Silver Gate Elementary

Week of November 16, 2020


Kid President's 25 Reasons To Be Thankful!

November Gratitude Challenge

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Parent Teacher Conference~Nov 16-20

As this most unusual year progresses, we are nearing the point where teachers will meet with parents for our annual parent/teacher conferences. As with everything else during this time, these meetings will take place over the internet and not face to face. In preparation for conversations around your child’s progress I ask you to consider the below:

Attendance and Academic Progress

The current district policy says students are considered present when they participate in that day’s Zoom meetings or complete that day’s assignments. Students therefore have opportunities to be considered present even if they aren’t part of the daily interaction with teachers.

Academic progress, on the other hand, is measured by the level of mastery towards meeting the end of year Common Core State Standards. Teachers are tasked with providing meaningful grades on the report cards based on the evidence collected by teachers in the form of independent student work samples and assessments. This information is most accurate when the work is completed independently as it would be in the classroom under normal conditions. If parents/caregivers/pod leaders provide answers or even guide students towards answers it prevents teachers from getting a clear understanding of their independent academic levels.

How to support children while providing opportunities that foster independence

This is a very big concept but there are some ideas that can be put into practice fairly easily that will pay big dividends. While staying cognizant of the age of students, some ideas that help students become independent learners include the following:

  • Walking away from your child during Zoom.
  • Check on them periodically but don’t sit next to them.
  • During lessons, let your child give their full attention to the class and the learning on their own. Prompting and whispering from adults in the background is distracting and hinders risk taking.
  • When your child asks for help during asynchronous learning, have them activate their prior knowledge by asking them to tell you what they already know about the problem/concept/task. Can he or she explain what the problem is requiring them to do and have they worked on something similar in the past?

Also, please remember that during the week of parent conferences (Nov. 16-20) all classes will have 120 minutes of synchronous learning time instead of 180 to allow for the conferences. Teachers will communicate the changes in the schedule for that week.

We know this year has been so markedly different than anything any of us have experienced and we are all learning how to make the best of it. I ask you to consider the above so that all Silver Gate students can learn to be strong, independent learners. I know teachers are eager to share with parents the story of your child’s success thus far.


Student grades will be live in the Parent Portal beginning 11/16. Page two in the link below shows you how to view your student’s grades in PowerSchool.

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Fall - Week 9 - Garden Harvest

Gator Garden Rebuild!

If you like to help with this project please read below!

Here is the latest updates on a topic that, for many years, has sparked curiosity and joy - and that is our beloved Gator Garden!

Over the past few years, we have observed the need to replace many garden beds (see attached photo). We have also talked about creating a perimeter garden that would have more efficient irrigation (no more overhead PVC pipe).

Last, the beds' current layout does not have adequate spacing (36") to allow access for someone who requires the use of a wheelchair.

Since the kids cannot currently be in the garden, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make these needed changes. Both Renée and I also only have two more years at Silver Gate and want to make sure the garden is in tip-top shape so that the program can continue to thrive long after our boys move on to Dana.

We do have a small budget that we are hoping to stretch as far as possible to make this happen. So, this is what we have done so far to get the ball rolling.

Three weeks ago, we cleaned out the beds to get a clearer picture of the current structural status.

Two weeks ago, we met with our gardener/landscaper, Chuck, to see what he could help us with before his retirement at the end of the year. He is going to remove the current irrigation and start dismantling the beds in the worst shape. (In all honesty, all the garden beds need replacement.)

We also started drawing up some new plans for the garden to allow for a better and inclusive flow, efficient irrigation, and more planting space (this initial plan is attached.)

Below is where we are looking for your guidance and support.

1. Does anyone have contacts that could get either Ceder or Redwood at a discounted price (or for free)?

2. Does anyone have input or would like to talk through the initial plans within the next few weeks?

3. Is anyone a super builder (or building assistant) that would like to help when the time comes to make the new garden beds?

4. A grandparent just made a $500 donation for the rebuild. You can donate money for this project by using FSG Venmo account @SilverGateFSG and write on the subject Garden.

Not only is the garden in desperate need of this refresh, but it would also be wonderful for the kids to return to when they are once again allowed to learn in the garden!

Thank you for being a part of this community and why our program is such a source of school pride.

Warmest regards to you all!

Kaitlin and Renée

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Virtual Calming Room

SDUSD Virtual Calming Room, created by the Counseling and Guidance Department. This has been created to be a safe space where students and families can find various tools to help with managing their emotions, feelings, and stress.



Join the Kids Heart Challenge!

Dear Families – Our Kids Heart Challenge is off to a great start! We already have 29 students that have joined the TEAM and have raised $1,914 to help those with special hearts! If you haven’t registered yet, I need you to download the FREE Kids Heart Challenge App for Apple or Android or visit to join the team! When registering, your child will take one of three healthy challenges – Move More, Be Kind, or Choose Water like Kai! You’ll also earn a FREE decoder wristband just for taking the challenge! Our goal is to have 100% of our students join the team and take the challenge!

  • CLICK HERE to see what fun gifts you can earn by participating! Register online and receive the decoder wristband.
  • Raise $10 online and you’ll get Heart Hero DASH and SAM! Raise $40 and you can add KAI to your collection. Collect ALL 6 Heart Heroes!!
  • Don't forget the TOP fundraising class will get a DANCE PARTY in PE!

Thank you for empowering our students to have happy and healthy hearts!


11/18 at 4:00 - 8:00pm: Rubio’s Dine/Take Out

11/23 - 11/27 - Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL

12/2 at 6:00 pm: FSG Meeting

12/4 - Material Distribution

12/18 - Sing Along (More details to come)

December 4, 2020 - Material Distribution & Ugly Sweater Spirit Day!

We will be dressed up in Ugly Holiday Sweaters and making this another fun drive by event! Come by and grab your materials and dress up if you like. Your teacher will let you know your distribution time!

Friday, December 18th - Sing Along

It will be about 20 to 30 minutes each assembly.

First Group 9:00 to 9:30 Grades TK-2

Second Group 10:00 to 10:30 Grades 3-4

Zoom link will be shared soon. It will also be shared on the Konstella calendar.

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Useful Resources


Announce your child's birthday on our school marquee. Click Here for More Details.

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I'M Glad You're Here!

I always kick off the year by showing this video to the students to let them know I'm Glad they are at Silver Gate. At the end of every Monday Morning Assembly, I ask everyone to turn to their neighbor and say " I 'm Glad You're Here!
Kid President's Letter To A Person On Their First Day Here