Notes From Your Principal

September 30, 2022 ~ Volume 6, 2022-23

It Moves Too Fast

How is it possible that I am writing you on this last day of September? Where did the time go? We say that all the time as parents, and also as eduators. Personally, I'm three days away from having a teenager, which both excites me (I know that's not normal!), and saddens me, as I have a picture in my office of when he was just hours old, and I miss all the days in between.

The same is true here. We remember the timid, yet excited students that walked through our gates on the first day of school. And in just over a month, we know that so much progress has been made, so much growth (physically, emotionally and academically) has happened in front of our eyes, yet we don't see it in the takes reflection.

I reflect upon each of my days. Not only where did the day go, but what did I get done? What did I miss? What's left? How can I do it better? I ask that of my own child many days. We know reflection is incredibly important, be it on the school work or tests, in a social situation, or in life. Take time in the car (when they can't escape) or at dinner to reflect collectively on your days. Share in that reflection so that they know it's not just a question you are asking of them, but that you ask of yourselves. What choices did they make, and could they have made different ones? Did they help someone? Did someone help them? Did they take time to say thank you or I'm sorry...two incredibly important statements.

And remind them that they don't have to perfect, but are they making progress? ('Progress over perfection!")

We are working on recognizing the positives. We have reinstated Bulldog Bucks, which we give to students "caught being good", and will have a student store open shortly for them to cash in what they've earned. They are collecting their bucks to spend! ~ And this coming Monday, we will have our first Bulldog Recognition Assembly. Parents are welcome to join either in a parent section just inside the gate that we will have taped off, from the sidewalk, or watch on our livestream (and will also be recorded so you can watch later)! The parent section will be limited, and parents will not be allowed in until 8:30am. We will end at or before 8:55.

. . . . . . . Monday Morning Meeting . . . . . . .

September 26 (pre-recorded)

Passcode: g^78+8PN

Personal Devices

Phones and "Smart" watches are not permitted to be used during school hours. Students may not accept phone calls or text messages from parents (or anyone else) between 8:30am - 3pm. Please be sure your children's devices are off or in silent/airplane mode (or whatever mode works with your device). If students are found using devices, the devices will be confiscated, parents/guardians called, and parent/guardians (only) can pick them up from the office. Any true emergency should be called to the office. And if it's not an emergency, please wait until after school lets out. Students need a distraction-free academic environment. Thank you!


The Footsteps2Brilliance bilingual early literacy program for birth through third graders is accessible 24/7 via the Internet from the smartphones, tablets, and computers that families already own. This resource expands free access to all children and families statewide, creating a much-needed bridge between school and home. The $27 million digital literacy partnership will provide free learning resources in English and Spanish. Families and caregivers of young students can access the Footsteps2Brilliance digital bilingual educational resources starting today by going to the Footsteps2Brilliance California Bilingual Early Literacy Initiative web page
Our Volunteer Badge Wall
Are you a volunteer? If so...when you come to campus, please come into the office, sign in, grab your new badge off our new Volunteer Badge Wall and head off to your new location. Please be sure to sign out and put your badge back before leaving. (Thank you!)

Did you know all of California now has access to "HelpNow"--free online homework help?

The California State Library provides free online tutoring for California K-12 students, available through public libraries. Through HelpNow, live real-time homework assistance is available 24 hours a day by laptop, tablet, or phone from qualified tutors using state curriculum and standards.

24/7 assistance is available in English and Spanish for Language Arts and Mathematics.

Every day between 10:00 am and 10:00 pm, assistance is available in core K-12 subjects in the following languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Tagalog.

Tutors can provide a virtual whiteboard, conduct live audio interactions with students, and work with learners on a wide range of concepts. Students are expected to work through the content and learn from the feedback. Tutors do not provide answers — they provide guidance and help. Tutoring sessions may be monitored for completeness and pedagogical effectiveness. All tutors have passed background checks and possess, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree.

Anyone using a computer inside of California can benefit from the live “HelpNow” program. Simply click on this link to get started with a live tutoring session now. The average wait time is 23 seconds.

Additionally, users who have a valid library card can log into the service and receive additional benefits. Learners can request to continue working with their preferred tutors or access a “writing lab” to drop off written work and receive feedback. Students can pose a question and get a written answer returned to them, review past sessions, and send and receive messages to tutors and organize tasks.

The HelpNow app is available on iOs and Andriod platforms via their app stores. The app is designed to function on smartphones as well as tablets.

The HelpNow platform is ADA compliant and offers a toll-free help number and an audio tutoring option. The service conforms to section 508 Standards developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative.

For more information, please email

Member for Citizen's Bond Oversight Committee

The District is in need of a new member that is: "Active in a business organization representing the business community located in the District".

RethinkWaste Poster Contest Now Open

Participants must be 3rd through 5th grade students in the RethinkWaste service area*. See the site for more information.


If you are a new parent or did not get your volunteer clearance, I recommend you doing so. In order to get cleared you'll need two things:

  1. Either a negative TB test result of a Risk Assessment form signed off by a physician.
  2. Cleared fingerprints (Here is the form) We suggest going to the UPS store between Trousdale and Murchison, let them know you are coming from BSD.

Change: Proof of Covid-19 vaccinations IS NO LONGER NECESSARY.

You can either submit both to me to send to Alison Bell, or you can send them to her directly at <>.

Important Upcoming Dates/Events

We certainly are hitting the ground running at McKinley. Besides all the amazing things happening in our classrooms, we have a whole lot going on to put on your calendars:

  • Monday, Oct. 3 - First All-School Recognition Assembly (8:35am, North Yard...see above for more information)
  • Thursday, Oct. 6 - Make-up Picture Day
  • Monday, Oct. 10 - Non-student Day, Professional Development for Staff
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11 - BSD Monthly Board Meeting
  • Wednesday, Oct. 12 - School Site Council (Zoom)
  • Thursday, Oct. 13 - PTA Executive Board Meeting
  • Friday, Oct. 14 - Principal Cafecito (Zoom) + Harvest Festival Auction Begins
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18 - McKinley Student Lead "The Pledge" at BSD Board Meeting
  • Wednesday, Oct. 19-Friday, Oct. 21 - 4th Grade Gold Rush Trip
  • Saturday, Oct. 22 - Harvest Festival
  • Monday, Oct. 24-Friday, Oct. 28 - 5th Grade Outdoor Education

For other important dates, please see our school calendar.

Thank you for all your support. ~ Joy Shmueli

BCE Needs Our Support

BCE Fall Drive in Underway!

Please join fellow parents and give during the BCE Fall Drive to support our school! Your investment helps fund teacher salaries and critical programs to ensure your student has every opportunity for a bright future.

Families that contribute any amount receive a Fall Drive lawn sign (while supplies last) to join the community in a show of support for our schools.

Save the Date for BCE's Annual Fundraising Gala and Live Auction - November 5

We're excited to announce that the BCE Annual Fundraising Gala has moved to the fall and will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2022, at the exquisite Domenico Winery in San Carlos. We are currently seeking Live Auction items and volunteers. More details about the event will be provided soon, but for now, save the date!