Final Orion Gazette for 2020-2021

June 7-June 11

School Calendar

June Calendar

June 7 Field Day for students

June 8 5pm Grade 5 Promotion Ceremony on site

June 10 Last Day of School-Early dismissal at 1:30 pm for DL and onsite instruction (This is new information)


August 13 Kindergarten Maze Day 3:00-5:00pm

August 16 Grades 1-6 Maze Day 10am-3:00pm in the cafeteria

What is Maze Day? Students and families come to the school site to learn their name and room number of their teacher, meet parent leaders from the PTO, complete the annual lunch application and receive the Student/Parent handbook.

A Message from Principal Katherine Rivera

“If you can't fly then run,

if you can't run then walk,

if you can't walk then crawl,

but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

I want to thank all of the parents, community volunteers, and the Parent Teacher Organization for the incredible support and love you showered upon us! THANK YOU!

I am so thankful to our community, the district, the parent volunteers and the staff that:

We were able to re-open and bring students back to school.

We are able to provide a proud send-off to our 5th graders and have an in-person graduation and other fun activities for most students on site

We have the vaccine for adults and youth 12 and over and with that the ability to be back to almost normal next school year.

With immense joy and hope in my heart, I wish all of you a good summer. Looking forward to seeing you next year in person.

IMG 4027

REACH After school program registration for 2021-22 begins June 2

As of Friday, June 4, only 9 families have registered for REACH after school. The program needs at least 50 students enrolled to operate staffing and program costs. To ensure Orion has REACH after-school programs for next year, enroll TODAY!!

For REACH program questions contact Onika Tarver at 650 4446560

Registration opens at 9 am on Wednesday, June 2nd.

Click the link to register: (Early Kinders) (K – 5thgrade) (Post Care)

Flexible Tuition Program- Our Flexible Tuition program helps ensure access to our After School Program for all and helps ensure the continued socio-economic diversity of the program’s student body.

See attached flyer for the full details.

The Flexible Tuition Program allows families to apply for reduced tuition based on varying income levels and current economic or family hardships. If you are interested in applying for the Flexible Tuition Program, please contact Onika Tarver, Program Coordinator.

Garden Grant for Next School Year

Thanks to San Mateo County, Orion school has been awarded a grant to improve and update our garden valued at $19,000. We are working in partnership with Each Green Corner to have a sustainable garden.

The scope of the project includes composting bins, improved raised garden beds, an outdoor sink, outdoor classroom materials, raised stumps, additional storage shed, and some plants.

The work will begin in September. Stayed tuned for future community workdays.

A few items were not funded by the grant and will take our collective effort to fund in the Fall which includes:

- 25 Dwarf Fruit Trees estimated at $125.00 each, totals to $3,125.00

- 17 native pollinator plants estimated at $25.00 each, total to $425.00

Overall total = $3,550.00

To learn more about our new parter, visit:

Technology and School Materials Return Instructions and Progress Reports

All parents/guardians please be aware that we will be collecting all of the District Technology devices(iPads, Chromebooks, Hot Spots, and chargers)that students have been using on the last day of school:

Wednesday, June 9, 1:30-3:00 to the main office

Thursday, June 10th Drop of in parking lot on Ave del Ora 1:30-3:00

June 11th, 9-11 am in the cafeteria

The school will be closed starting June 11 through early August for construction. No one will be answering phones or be present in the office.

Report cards will be sent home with students on the last day of school.

Families of students in Distance Learning can pick up report cards when dropping of devices

After June 11th, any Orion books or devices can be dropped at the district office at 750 Bradford Street, Redwood City.

Some of you have been asking if your child can access some of our online learning tools like RAZkids and iReady over the Summer? The good news is that students can still use Clever to access Learning A-Z/RAZkids, iReady, and other applications. We recommend that families bookmark the district Clever page on their home devices BEFORE students return the district i-Pads and Chromebooks. It is important to test it out to see if it works on the home devices before Summer vacation starts. Families can find Clever at It's a good idea to write down your child's User name(the student's address) and password or they can also use their Clever Badge to be able to log in with Clever.

We are expecting that all students will return to In-Person learning with our normal school schedule for the next school year(Distance Learning will not be an option). If you are moving and your child will not be returning to our school, please call the office or email me. We are already creating balanced classes for next year and need accurate numbers of students.

Please note that I have attached a "Draft" School Calendar for next year below. Parents, please make your family travel/vacation plans according to the district vacations so your child does not miss school. You will receive the Final Calendar with the MAZE day packet in August.

Free Online Coding Club for grades 3-5

Coding taught by University and High School students: flyer

Starship Update

PTO Sponsored Dates

6/7 Field Day

6/8 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony

8/15 All school picnic and Maker Day

8/18 Welcome Back Coffee sponsored by the PTO

Thank you to everyone for bearing with us through a difficult year in many regards. We made it through a global pandemic, distance learning, and through difficult conversations about loss of identity and campus culture. I don’t expect that we start the year with all issues solved, but we are in a better place now that are able to share perspectives that are very different on all sides and talk through them to find the best course for everyone. I know we all remain united in wanting a campus where our children can thrive in their learning. ~Meghan

Thank you for all you have contributed to making this year possible. We are overwhelmed and humbled by the determination and commitment all families showed this year. We should all be proud of how we showed up for our kids and in turn, how amazingly resilient they are. Thank you! ~Lilli

Variety Show

Wow! Congratulations and thank you to all our amazing performers! It was wonderful to see all the students performing acts that were inspiring, delightful, and funny! We especially enjoyed our teacher and student council performances. Thank you to all who participated and attended the show!

A special thank you to Frank Wasilewski for hosting another wonderful online event.

We were able to raise $7452 dollars which will cover our additional funding costs for Art in Action curriculum and supplies and provide upgraded materials funding for science projects!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this wonderful year-end event!

Field Day Monday, June 7th

Classes will be rotated through different field day stations throughout campus! This will be a fun event to celebrate and close out this eventful year! Thank you to everyone who has signed up! There a few slots still open, sign up here: Field Day Volunteer Sign Up

Read-A-Thon Fundraiser: Results

We raised $19,061 for STEAM next year during the fundraiser. Thanks to our beloved Catherine Stuart, we have rounded out this to $20,000k to meet our goal for implementing Science in our integrated units next year.

Rewards chosen in your child’s store will be delivered to your child in class on Wednesday 6/9 or Thursday 6/10.

We would like to recognize the efforts of Wanny Tam and Kat Chui in organizing the fundraiser. Thank you for all of the efforts you put into raising money for our children’s science education next year!

Congratulations to all the children who participated. We had a 33% participation rate! Our children logged 57,390 minutes of reading!

I hope everyone enjoyed it! We will be trying this fundraiser again in November before Author-Illustrator Faire! Please let us know if you would like to volunteer!

Educational Volunteers for Next Year

The expected volunteer regulations for next year will be that all parents need to get TB and Fingerprint clearance in order to participate in classroom volunteer positions as Art in Action volunteer, STEAM integrated unit volunteers, and Los Dichos, as well as any other push in the volunteer position.

Jennifer Sandoval at the District Office can check if you are cleared:

Here are the steps to getting cleared if you are not yet, or need TB test updating

Volunteer Requirements

We recommend all parents get cleared for volunteering, as the clearance stays with you until your last child leaves the district.


We are wrapping up our school-wide study of Kenya this week. Students and Families can still check out the amazing animals that have been brought to life on campus.

A huge thank you to the parent committee who made multicultural happen. Led by Jen Parsons, this team fostered the spirit of multicultural and inspired us all. We can't wait to start again next year.


Jen Parsons, Tania Cardenas, Viktoria Gontcharova, Chanda Stewart, Tanaya Mills Installation team

Jennifer Advani, Beth Snedegar, Tania Cardenas, Jean Francoise Barthe, Averi Johnston Crofts, Chanda Stewart, Diane Flick, Jitpal Sahai

Don’t forget to check out our website where we are posting all of the amazing resources. Flamingos are still on the move for one more week!!

PTO Special Listening Sessions:

We concluded our PTO Special Listening sessions with the teachers sharing how difficult their experiences were during the transition. They requested no summary or video to be shared but asked that parents share person to person their perspective.

PTO Budget and Fundraising

Paypal Link for Donations:

2021-22 Executive Team was elected on June 3rd

Co-Presidents: Meghan O’Reilly Green & Lilli Milton

Co-Vice Presidents: Christina Hsu & Krissie Rice & Open

Co-Treasurers: David Weekly & Open

Co-Secretary: Jess Bryski & Diane Chung

Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering for one of many open positions.

Structure of PTO: Roles and Responsibilities

Here are the overview slides from last week’s PTO orientation for new and interested families.


Contact Renee at for any questions.

To purchase & customize your yearbook:

Must be a parent or student 13 years or older.

1 Go to

2 Enter your school’s passcode: 1015496576801726


Save the dates for these Back to school activities!

All school Picnic and Maker Day August 15th

During this school-wide picnic, we will decorate the campus and build projects to shower the school with joy and welcoming in preparation for the beginning of classes. Bring your lunch and help us beautify the school. Kids are welcome to play on the playground and help. Details to follow on Konstella and Facebook. If you are creative and interested in joining the planning team let us know!

Welcome Coffee First day of school.

Depending on covid regulations, we hope to have our annual back-to-school welcome coffee. Traditionally, the coffee is hosted by 1st-grade parents to celebrate and welcome the incoming new families. Look for signups on Konstella and Facebook.

And that’s a wrap! Any ideas or questions please email us at

Happy Summer!