Bronco Bulletin

November 2016

Missed last month's Newsletter?

Bernal Bronco's October Newsletter:

Principal's Message:

Dear Bernal Families,

Believe it or not, we’re already almost to the end of the second grading period of the 2016-2017 school year! My, have we had an exciting start to the year at Bernal Intermediate School. We have completed installation of our new Digital marquee in front of the school (see picture below). We are now able to digitally post upcoming events and important dates. This will help us increase how effective our communication is with our students, families and community members. Speaking of community building, we are well underway in our lunchtime and after school clubs! We have approximately twenty clubs that span a range of interests and hobbies or our students. Cheer club, video game club, math club are just a few of the wonderful clubs at Bernal. Home and School Association has also been hard at work. We just finished our October book fair and, what a success! We had record book sales and a strong showing of students and parents. Speaking of parents, shout out to the following parents who volunteered at the book fair: Almichael Concordia, Candace Warner, Gennie Baldi, Julie Farro, Kathy Jozefowicz, Renee Johnson, Tina Le, Shachi Kulkarni, Jae Cecilio, Emily Concordia, Fahmida Rahman. Way to go Bronco parents! November is here and so is the rainy weather. Remember to bundle up, be safe and take care of each other out there!

Jamal Splane,


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Reminder: Term 2 ends this Friday, November 4th

Decision Making: Support Your Middle-Schooler's Decisions

Support your child when he/she makes decisions you don't agree with. It is bound to happen in every parent-child relationship. Even if you knew it was a bad decision, take the opportunity to talk with your child about it. Try not to lecture; instead, ask what he/she learned from the choice, and how he/she will handle a similar situation in the future. If he/she hurt someone else, give him/her the opportunity to make amends and ask for forgiveness. It's important to show your adolescent that even if you don't agree, you will still love him/her and be there to talk with him/her. For example, instead of saying "I told you it was a bad idea to skip studying for that test," say "Do you think you'll skip studying next time? What would have been a better choice?"

Define Safe and Smart Choices With Your Middle-Schooler

For example, talk to him/her about his/her physical health and the consequences of making irresponsible decisions like smoking cigarettes. Tell him/her about the impact on his/her health, like how it would affect his/her soccer skills or singing ability. Also, talk through alternatives to negative choices. For instance, explain to him/her that he/she can always call you or other family members for a ride home instead of getting into a car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs.

Bring Your Middle-Schooler Into Discussions About Family Issues

By allowing him/her into discussions like which movie to see or what to have for dinner -- as well as more important matters, such as how to deal with issues affecting younger siblings -- you're giving him/her the opportunity to have his/her opinions heard. This shows that his/her opinions matter and that you're open to hearing about his/her ideas. This may encourage him/her to share decisions he/she has to make about school or friends with you as well.

How to be an Active Bystander and a "Bully B.U.S.T.E.R"

As October's Anti-Bullying Month wrapped up, along with a month of Advisory related lessons, students wore orange in solidarity with the anti-bullying movement and created a door poster with reminder strategies of how to stop and stand up to bullying behavior that can be a reference point for students all year long. Although the month is now over, the message will ring true for the duration of the school year: Bernal is a safe place for ALL kids. Thank you for being a part of the solution by continuing to support students at home with strategies of how to stand up or help out when they find themselves as a bystander in a potential bully situation. Below are excerpts from a great article from a leading expert, specific to the middle school environment.

How to Teach Kids to Be Active Bystanders

Studies show that active bystanders can do far more than just watch. In fact, student bystanders may be our last, best hope in reducing bullying. Active student bystanders can:

~ Reduce the audience that a bully craves

~ Mobilize the compassion of witnesses to step in and stop the bullying

~ Support the victim and reduce the trauma

~ Be a positive influence in curbing a bullying episode

~ Encourage other students to support a school climate of caring

~ Report a bullying incident since 85 percent of time bullying occurs an adult is not present. Students are usually the witnesses

When bystanders intervene correctly, studies find they can cut bullying more than half the time and within 10 seconds. [Pepler and Craig]

Borba’s Six “Be a Bully B.U.S.T.E.R.” Skills

  • There are parameters to activate student bystanders, so get educated! Here are a few facts to ensure success.
  • To ensure success you must first mobilize students to be active bystanders.
  • You must give students permission to step in.
  • You must also teach specific strategies so they can step in.
  • Each strategy must be rehearsed or role-played, until kids can use it alone. (I’ve had schools have students role-play these in assemblies, make them into chart-reminders that are posted around the school, and even have students create mini-videos of each strategy to share with peers).
  • Not every strategy will work for every student, so you must provide a range of strategies.
  • Ideally you must enlist your peer leaders – those students on the highest popularity tier who other students look up to – to mobilize other peers.
  • Adults must be onboard with the approach and understand what bullying is and how to respond. Adults must listen to student reports on bullying and back students up. The biggest reason kids say they don’t report: “The adult didn’t listen or do anything to help.” Step up adults!

The best news is that child advocates and parents can teach kids these same bystander skills. Doing so empowers children with tools to stop cruelty, help victims, feel safer and reduce bullying.

Teach “Bully BUSTER Bystander” Skills

I teach the acronym BUSTER as a mnemonic to help kids remember the skills more easily. Each letter in the word represents one of the six bystander skills. Not all strategies work for all kids. The trick is to match the techniques with what works best with the child’s temperament and comfort level and the particular situation. Don’t forget to ask students for their input and additional ideas. Their creativity never ceases to amaze me!

1. B-Befriend the Victim

Bystanders often don’t intervene because they don’t want to make things worse or assume the victim doesn’t want help. But research shows that if witnesses know a victim feels upset or wants help they are more likely to step in. Also, if a bystander befriends a victim, the act is more likely to get others to join the cause and stand up to the bully. A few ways bystanders can befriend victims:

Show comfort: Stand closer to the victim.

Wave other peers over: “Come help!”

Ask if the victim wants support: “Do you need help?”

Empathize: “I bet he feels sad.”

Clarify feelings: “She looks upset.”

You can also encourage students to befriend a victim after the episode. “That must have felt so bad.” “I’m with you. Sorry I didn’t speak out.” “That happened to me, too.” “Do you want me to help you find a teacher to talk to?” Though after the episode won’t reduce the bullying at the moment, it will help reduce the pain of both the targeted child and the witness.

2. U-Use a Distraction

The right diversion can draw peers from the scene, make them focus elsewhere, give the target a chance to get away, and may get the bully to move on. Remember, a bully wants an audience, so bystanders can reduce it with a distraction. Ploys include:

Ask a question: “What are you all doing here?”

Use diversion: “There’s a great volleyball game going on! Come on!”

Make up false excuse to disperse a crowd: “A teacher is coming!”

Feigning interruption: “I can’t find my bus.”

3. S-Speak Out and Stand Up!

Speaking out can get others to lend a hand and join you. You must stay cool, and never boo, clap, laugh, or insult, which could egg the bully on even more. Students also must learn how to assert themselves and say that speaking up to a bully is the hardest of the six Bully Buster Strategies. The students in the photo are learning my “CALM Approach” when speaking up to a bully. Best yet, older students are teaching the skill to younger students. Stress that directly confronting a bully is intimidating and it’s a rare kid who can, but there are ways to still stand up to cruelty. Here are a few possibilities:

Show disapproval: Give a cold, silent stare.

Name it: “That’s bullying!”

Label it: “That’s mean!”

State disapproval: “This isn’t cool!” “Don’t do that!” “Cut it out!”

Ask for support: “Are you with me?”

4. T-Tell or Text For Help

Bystanders often don’t report bullying for fear of retaliation, so make sure they know which adults will support them, and ensure confidentiality. You must give students the option of anonymous reporting. An active bystander could:

Find an adult you trust to tell

If you have problems, keep going until you find someone who believes you

Call from your cell

Send a text to someone who can get help

Call 911 if someone could be injured

5. E-Exit Alone or With Others

Stress that bullies love audiences. Bystanders can drain a bully’s power by reducing the group size a few ways. Students bystanders could:

Encourage: “You coming?”

Ask: “What are you all doing here?”

Direct: “Let’s go!”

Suggest: “Let’s leave.”

Exit: If you can’t get others to leave with you, then walk away. If you stay, you’re part of the cruelty. Leaving means you refuse to be part. Just quietly leave the scene.

6. R-Give a Reason or Offer a Remedy

Bystanders are more likely to help when told why the action is wrong or what to do. Students could:

Review why it’s wrong: “This isn’t right!” “This is mean!” “You’ll get suspended.” “You’ll hurt him.”

Offer a remedy: “Go get help!” “Let’s work this out with Coach.”

Final Thoughts

The right comments and behaviors can make peers stop, think, consider the consequences, and even move on. Bystanders can make a difference. They can be mobilized to step in and reduce bullying-that is if they are taught how. It’s up to us to show students safe ways to do so, support and believe them, and then acknowledge their courageous efforts. 160,000 students today skipped school because of peer intimidation and bullying. It’s time to rethink our strategies and teach bystanders how to step in safely and speak out against peer cruelty. © 2011 by Dr. Michele Borba. Please honor this copyright.

Dr. Borba is an educational psychologist, parenting expert, TODAY show contributor and author of 22 books including Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing or The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. For more about her work refer to her website and daily blog, Dr. Borba’s Reality Check and follow her on twitter @MicheleBorba.


Parents, please, please, slow down before and after school around Bernal when dropping off and picking students up. We have been getting complaints from neighbors about speeding cars and general unsafe driving behavior. Also, please remember to drop your student off on the school side of the street. Crossing the street in the middle of traffic is not only not allowed, but not safe. Let’s set a good example for our students.

Math Acceleration Program (MAP) Outstanding Achievement Award

Lizbeth Martinez Durazo, 7th grade student at Bernal, is ALearn’s Outstanding MAP Student for 2016. Lizbeth was nominated by Mr. Montez, her summer school teacher, for approaching difficult concepts and problems as a challenge. She tried various methods to solve problems and worked diligently until she was satisfied with her answer. She put growth mindset into practice by participating, working hard, and having an amazing positive attitude throughout the program. She worked with everyone in her class and often showed them her process but not the answer. Lizbeth investigated several UCs during college readiness lessons. She also demonstrated outstanding growth. Lizbeth was awarded this honor at a special event on October 19 in Mountain View, and spoke in front of a crowd of over 300 people. She was one of two students selected out of 55 classes throughout the Bay Area! Congratulations to Lizbeth!

Bernal Band Brings in the Fall Season!

Thank you to Mrs. Fennern and the band for an awesome fall band concert. It was well attended and everyone had a good time. The band worked tirelessly and their hard work paid off. They were a hit! Good job Mrs. Fennern and all of the band students.

Girls Basketball Games

Tuesday, November 1st - 3:45pm Bernal @ Brownell Middle School

Thursday, November 3rd - 3:45pm Solorsano @ Bernal

Tuesday, November 8th - 3:45pm Davis @ Bernal

Thursday, November 10th - 3:45pm Bernal @ Britton Middle School

Tuesday, November 15th - 3:45pm South Valley @ Bernal

Thursday, November 17th - 3:45pm Murphy @ Bernal

Tuesday, November 28th - 3:45pm Bernal @ Valley Christian

Girls B Basketball Games

Tuesday, November 1st - 3:30pm Davis @ Bernal

Tuesday, November 8th - 3:30pm Bernal @ Davis

Thursday, November 10 - 3:30pm Herman @ Bernal

Wednesday, November 30 - 3:30pm Bernal @ Herman

November Spirit Days!

Friday, November 4th - Sports Day

Friday, November 18th - Flannel Day

Make a Difference...Be a Sub in the Oak Grove School District!

Have a B.A. Degree? Love working with kids? Need a job with flexibility?

Make a difference....


Oak Grove School District is looking for Substitute Teachers

$150 PER DAY

How to Apply:

  • Submit an Oak Grove School District Substitute Application
  • Include your resume
  • Secure an Emergency Substitute Permit (see details below)

Substitute Teacher Requirements from Santa Clara County Office of Education The minimum requirements for substitute teaching assignments are (1) a Bachelor's Degree and (2) passage of the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) If you meet these requirements, you may apply for an Emergency 30-Day Substitute Permit. The substitute permit is valid for a period of one year. You may contact SCCOE for further details on how to obtain a permit: 408-453-6767 or you may contact us in Human Resources.

If interested, you may also visit edjoin for an online application:

For further questions regarding Substitute Teaching positions with Oak Grove please email:

Measure EE Information

The Oak Grove School District Board of Trustees placed a parcel tax measure, Measure EE, on the November 8, 2016 ballot. If passed, Measure EE will generate $3.1 million to improve the quality of education for all of our students, enhance academic programs and improve school campus safety.

For more information and facts on Measure EE:
Fact Sheet on Measure EE
Hoja de Información de la Medida EE
Những Dữ Kiện về Dự Luật EE

Measure EE is a parcel tax measure that will:

  • Help attract and retain high quality teachers for every classroom;
  • Maintain class sizes and improve education at early ages, when it matters most;
  • Provide teacher training and professional development;
  • Fund programs in science, math, and computer programming; and
  • Improve security at our schools by providing additional student supervision and upgrading security cameras.
  • Allows a Senior Citizen exemption

As listed on the November 8, 2016 Election Ballot:


EE To improve education and student achievement in neighborhood schools by maintaining small class sizes; hiring, retaining and training quality teachers; expanding science, technology, engineering, math, language, art, and music education; improving health, safety, security, and maintenance services; and providing before-/afterschool programs; shall Oak Grove Elementary School District levy a parcel tax of $132 per parcel for nine years providing $3.1 million annually, exempting seniors, with annual audits, citizens' oversight, and all funds used locally?

Para mejorar la educación y el logro de los estudiantes en las escuelas del vecindario a través de cupos reducidos en las clases; contratación, retención y capacitación de maestros altamente cualificados; expansión en las áreas de ciencias, tecnología, ingeniería, matemáticas, idiomas, arte y música; mejora de los servicios de salud, seguridad y protección y servicios de mantenimiento y proporcionar programas antes y después de la escuela: ¿debería el Distrito de Escuelas Primarias de Oak Grove recaudar un impuesto parcelario de $132 por parcela por nueve años y proporcionar $3.1 millones anuales con exención para las personas de la tercera edad, con auditorías anuales, supervisión ciudadana y el uso local de todos los fondos?


Parent Information Night: Science Education for 21st Century Learners

Tuesday, Nov. 1st 2016 at 6:30-8:30pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Sweet Rendezvous - Bernal's HSA Ongoing Fundraiser

Thursday, Nov. 3rd 2016 at 12-9pm

668 Blossom Hill Road

San Jose, CA

Bernal's Home & School Association has an ongoing fundraiser at Sweet Rendezvous. Go enjoy a sweet treat to support Bernal every 1st Thursday of each month all day long!

Open Daily 12:00 – 9:00 PM

668 Blossom Hill Rd
San Jose, CA 95123
Phone: (408) 225 – 5004

Sunday, November 13th: Lego Robotics Tournament

Location: TBD

Time: TBD

School Site Council Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 15th 2016 at 5:30-6:30pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Home & School Association Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 15th 2016 at 7-8:30pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Movie Night

Friday, Nov. 18th 2016 at 6pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Stay tuned for more information about Bernal's first Movie Night of the 2016-2017 school year put on by our Home & School Association!

Goodwill Truck Drive

Sunday, Nov. 20th 2016 at 8am

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Bernal's Home & School Association will be hosting a Goodwill Drive on Sunday, November 20th! Mark your calendars and starting cleaning out those closets! :)

Thanksgiving Break - No School

November 21-25

Winter DANCE

Friday, Dec. 9th 2016 at 2:45-5pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA