Bay Vista Bulletin

October 2020

Message from the Principal

Greetings Bay Vista Families!

It’s hard to believe October is finally here and the first six weeks of school are behind us! We have seen many changes these first six weeks and I am proud of how our Jaguars, staff, and teachers have persevered through many of these unforeseen changes.

MAP Testing

In September, teachers assessed all students to obtain baseline data to help develop plans for acceleration in response to any slides in learning due to the Spring “COVID slide” and the traditional Summer slide. Our online families got an up-close look at MAP testing and were integral in troubleshooting technology challenges to set up successful testing sessions for students.

Parent/Teacher Conferences in October

Teachers are currently setting up conferences to discuss student data based on our September assessments. They will also share specific strategies being implemented in the classroom to accelerate or remediate skills, as well as offer suggestions for you to support that work at home.

After-school Programs

If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to reach out to your child’s teachers if you notice any struggles at home with assignments or concepts. We will be launching our Extended Learning Program (ELP) this month which will offer tutoring options. Stay tuned for more information in the coming days from Mrs. White, our ELP Facilitator.

At this time, we are not offering ELP programs to outside vendors due to Covid-19 concerns. Once we can resume those programs, we will share that information with families.

Teachers of the Year and Staff of the Year

I also want to announce that we recently named our Teacher of the Year, Emerging Teacher of the Year, and Employee of the Year! Mrs. Deanne Ruffing, fourth grade teacher, is our Teacher of the year. Mrs. Christina Kaddis, fourth grade teacher, is our Emerging Teacher of the Year. Mr. Eugene Williams, Head Plant Operator, is our Employee of the Year. We are fortunate to have such dedicated members our school family! Congratulations!

Masks-Please pack extra masks in student backpacks

We have been providing a lot of masks to students each morning and our supply is very low. Please pack extra masks in student backpacks so they will always have one on hand when they arrive to school. All students received five gray masks at the beginning of the year. They may be washed up to 50 times so they can be reused. Thank you for your help with keeping our Jaguars masked! :-)

Learning Option Changes

I am looking forward to welcoming many of our online students back into the building later this month. Included in this newsletter are important details you need to change your learning option for the second nine weeks.

Thank you to all our families for your continued support as we finish up the Learning Option Change Window. We will begin contacting families the week of October 12th regarding learning changes. Students returning to face-to-face learning will begin back in the traditional classroom on October 27th which is the beginning of the second quarter.

Have a great October!

Donna Hall, Principal

Learning Option Change Process- Window Closes, Tuesday, 10/6 at 11:59 p.m.

As previously shared, families may now request a Learning Option Change through Tuesday, 10/6 at 11:59 p.m.

Below is the link to make your Learning Option Change along with some facts for the process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the office as we are happy to help!

Keep current learning option:

· No action is necessary.

Change of Learning Option:

· Complete the form link below. All submissions received by the deadline (October 6th, at 11:59 p.m.) will be assigned a random order and will then be reviewed based on available seats and instructional staff at the school. To receive a ranking for review, you must fill out the form and request a change by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

· Link to change learning option:

Learning Option Change Highlights/Facts-please read carefully

· Learning Option Change Window- 9/30-10/6

· Any submissions received on October 7 (or later) will be added to the end of the school

review priority list based on the order of request.

· Families will begin to be contacted by school-based staff regarding their requests no later

than the week of October 19.

· Class Sizes for face-to-face instruction

o K, Grades 1, 2, 3 – 18 students

o Grades 4, 5 – 22 students

· Students returning to traditional learning from MyPCS Online may not have the same

teacher upon returning.

· Sibling Status (within the same school)

o Once a randomized ranking number is established, review will occur in that order.

o If a student is reviewed and a learning option change can be approved for that student,

then any siblings should be reviewed at that time. This will mean that the siblings will be

reviewed ahead of their ranking number so the family has the information they need to

make a decision regarding a change. The sibling will only be moved ahead IF the first

student is offered a seat.

o If a student is reviewed and a learning option change cannot be approved for that

student, then any siblings will not be reviewed at that time. This will mean that the

siblings will be reviewed in order of their randomized ranking number.

Monthly Parent Meeting Requirements for 20/21 School Year

Please see the attached PTA Calendar link/document beneath this section which has the Required Parent Meeting dates for the 20/21 school year, as well as the alternate meeting credit options. A copy will be sent home with all F2F students on Monday, 10/5 and will also be included in upcoming family communications/emails from Ms. Hall.

As a reminder, the September Open House was the only required parent meeting for the first semester.

In January, there is only one opportunity to earn meeting credit. All parents/guardians must attend the Required PTA General Meeting which is our Testing/Curriculum Night on January 11th. There are NO OTHER MEETING CREDIT OPTIONS for January.

February through June offers more than 11 opportunities to earn meeting credit. If parents/guardians cannot attend the PTA General Membership and Family Night on a given month, they may attend the alternate meeting credit option denoted with a * on the PTA Calendar. However, THE ALTERNATE MEETING CREDIT MUST BE EARNED WITHIN THE AME MONTH AS THE REQUIRED MEETING.

During a typical year, there are 8 required meetings and a family can miss no more than 2 meetings to avoid dismissal.

THIS YEAR, THERE IS A 4 MEETING REQUIREMENT out of the 6 meeting months. Families may still miss up to two meetings per year.

Upon missing three meetings, a family will be referred to the Interventions and Appeal Committee (IAC) and considered for possible dismissal from the fundamental program.

Referendum 2020

Pinellas County Schools Referendum - Please support on the voting ballot in November

The Pinellas County School Referendum is up for renewal on Nov. 3. Referendum funds boost reading, music and art programs; provide up-to-date technology and textbooks; and help recruit and retain quality teachers.

  • Community members and families recognize the importance of the Referendum. Pinellas County voters have supported the renewal of the half-mill property tax every four years since it was first approved in 2004. An independent committee oversees the distribution of funds to ensure that money is spent as voters intended.

    The Referendum:

    • Helps recruit and retain quality teachers: Eighty percent of the Referendum revenue supplements teacher salaries. This year, each teacher receives a salary supplement of $5,231 as part of their base salary.
    • Supports all students through new or expanded classroom libraries, additional supplies, increased training opportunities for teachers, and updated computers and technology.
    • Funds intensive small-group literacy programs that help students read at grade level, instrument rental fees for students that can't afford them, and paid admission for field trips to museums and art galleries.
    • Provides all schools with equitable funding for quality art supplies, equipment and technology that help students produce strong and award-winning works of art.
    • Supplies music, theater and dance equipment, technology, sound systems, uniforms and materials that support award-winning performing arts programs.

Bay Vista PTA Updates

At Bay Vista PTA’s September Board meeting, we got to work planning ways to engage families and support the school community this semester. Teacher luncheons and Spirit Nights are scheduled, and we have some fun ideas for family activities to keep us connected this fall—keep your eye out for details about an upcoming Trunk or Treat Drive Thru and Virtual Family Meet & Greets! We’ll be planning for these—and more—at our Board meeting next week, so please join us!

See below for ways you can support PTA and the Bay Vista community this month:

Sign Up for the Teacher Luncheon

Our first Teacher Luncheon is this Wednesday! We still have items we need volunteers to sign up for: With our current situation, please send it store bought items only. You can drop items off in car line with your students.

Join PTA or Renew Your Membership

You can still join PTA, renew your membership, and/or sponsor activities via our membership portal: To pay by check, please email As a reminder, students of families who join or renew will earn a homework pass!

Attend the PTA Board Meeting – All are Welcome!

Help us plan our upcoming family engagement events! Our Board meeting this month is this Monday, October 5th. PTA Board Meetings are the first Monday of every month from 5-6 PM and our held virtually on Zoom through December. Please join us this Monday!

Join all meetings via the below Zoom meeting link:

Meeting ID: 268 984 8459
Passcode: 2iwRQR

Participate in Spirit Night at Chuck E. Cheese

Make it a pizza night and help raise funds for Bay Vista at the same time! When you dine in or carry out at Chuck E. Cheese on Tuesday, October 20th, 20% of all sales will be donated to our school. When placing an online order, please select Pay Upon Pickup at checkout, and just notify the cashier that you’re participating in Bay Vista’ Fundraising Night. Check out the attached flyer and spread the word…friends and family can participate, too!

Counseling Corner with Mrs. Erb

Quick and easy grounding technique that can be used with your child or yourself when they/you are feeling anxious, worried, or just need a reset.

This is called the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique

Start with taking 3 deep slow breaths.

Next, list 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.

This exercise uses your 5 senses to help bring you into the moment and help calm and relax you.

Box Tops Collection has gone digital!!! New easy way to support Bay Vista!

Help Bay Vista raise funds with *almost* ZERO effort! Box Tops for education has gone DIGITAL - no need to cut out tops, just download the app and scan your receipt! Practice this simple habit and support Jaguar school programs and materials. It couldn't be easier: you buy groceries anyway and the kids would have fun scanning receipts for you! Jaguar Pride!

Apple and Android apps available in your app store

Music News

We have transitioned into all “LIVE” classes for music. If your child is virtual, you have a meeting link that was sent to you from your child’s homeroom teacher. While this type of teaching/learning certainly isn’t ideal, it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces over the last week!

As we continue to navigate this unfamiliar territory, please know that I am doing my very best to create meaningful, relevant content for your child while continuing to provide a safe environment. Music is a performing art, but we are not able to use many of the instruments I would normally be using, and our singing time is very limited, as well. Please encourage your child to do their best. I always say to them “I never expect you to be perfect, just whatever your best is”.

What's Happening is Art?

We’ve been having a great time in art class, finishing up our Corona Monster vs. Love Monster pictures! Some of these will be on display soon throughout the school. This week, many of us were writing about the Nearpod Field Trip we got to take to the Modern Art Museum Pompidou, in Paris, France. As part of the online field trip, we also got to check out the Wynnwood Walls mural project in Miami Beach. These online field trips featured virtual reality views of a sidewalk art project and some really neat murals. We are now about to embark on our study of the different kinds of lines, and we will also start learning about primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), and secondary colors (orange, purple, and green). After this, I hope to have time to create some harvest season art with the students, as temperatures cool slightly and we start to feel Fall in the air!

Kindergarten Kids Corner

It has been a busy world in Kindergarten! We have been learning so many new and exciting things! We have been exploring Earth Science and learning all about the Sun, Moon, and stars. We even designed our own flying objects and stretched out words to label the parts for our project based homework. We have been busy writing stories that include characters, setting, and actions, too! You should see how well we can count and understand the numbers 0-5 in Math. Next stop- learning all about the shapes in our world. We are learning and growing every single day and we can't wait to learn even more!

First Grade Frolics

During the month of October First Grade will be focusing on all new units in reading, writing, and science, while continuing our work with addition and subtraction unit 1. In reading, Module B, students will be focusing on nonfiction books by identifying and using text features, as well as gathering as many facts and details from photographs and words as possible. In writing, students will begin writing to teach someone about a topic in which they are an expert. Students will also be writing many teaching books and learning how to use text features to teach other readers! This month in science, students will be focusing on two new units, Sunny Days (sun) and Our Wonderful World (natural resources).

Second Grade Specifics

We have been very busy in Second Grade this past month. Here are some things that have been going on with us.

ELA This week we finished up Module A where we studied realistic fiction and narrative writing. We read about a girl named, Yasmin, and all her adventures. Her family was from Pakistan and it was fun to not only read but learn about a different culture. We also wrote stories that created a strong feeling or were written about a favorite memory. These were funny, scary, and sometimes sad.

Math We have worked so hard in math learning to solve problems up to 20. We learned lots of strategies to help us. We also learned to read a word problem and apply those strategies. We have just begun to work on using data and creating graphs this week.

Science You will never believe what we have learned about this last week - healthy soil (no big deal) and worms (yucky and fun). The worms help the soil to be healthy and we know why! We will soon learn about seasons, how the sun warms the Earth, and severe weather next. These will be so interesting studies.

We are all so happy to be back in school and working together to learn all that a Second Grader needs to know. We miss our virtual friends and hope that it won’t be too long before we are ALL together again! Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Third Grade Thoughts


Mammals, Birds, Reptiles & More: Unearthing the Secrets of Life Science. The next Reading module will focus on reading for information. The students will become researchers finding important facts and details from different sources. Reading for this purpose will help them in writing information pieces. The students enjoy learning about animals from around the world.

The month of October is an exciting month for writing in 3rd grade. Students will be learning to make “All About” books in Module B. These books will be informative books and students will be choosing a topic which they feel they are experts on. They will write, illustrate, and publish the book. “All About” books are always a favorite for the students because they can express themselves through something they enjoy. We will also work on third grade specific vocabulary words and continue to practice working on grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It’s going to be an exciting month!


Third graders will be starting their much-anticipated journey into multiplication and division this month! We will be learning about the properties of multiplication (commutative, associative, and distributive), solving word problems using multiplication and division, and working on our fluency. Third graders should strive to master their multiplication facts before they enter 4th grade


Third graders will be learning about light energy in a unit called “Bouncing Light”. We will learn about different forms of light energy and gain an understanding that light can be reflected, refracted and absorbed. Classes will take turns going into the Science Lab to learn about soil formation. Students will be able to explain what makes up soil, how weathering and erosion form soil and be able to describe the physical properties of soil. They won’t look at dirt the same after this lab.

Fourth Grade Facts

In October, 4th grade math will move from working with place value to multiplication. In class we’ll be modeling multiplication relationships and encouraging students to know their facts! We will also be examining multiplication comparison and the relationship between multiplication and division.

In Science, we’ll be continuing our Earth Science unit by studying the properties of rocks and minerals and examining the similarities and differences between weathering and erosion. We’ll also be learning about Earth’s natural resources and differentiating between renewable and nonrenewable resources. Most exciting, face-to-face students will have the opportunity to socially distance in the science lab to learn about human impact on Earth’s environment. Virtual learners will participate in virtual labs to extend their learning.

In Reading, we will be pivoting from fiction to nonfiction. We will be practice determining the main idea of a text and learn how to find key details to back up the main idea. We will also be learning about the different types of text structure and how the text structure can help us as readers. A classroom project that students will be working on this month are field guides. Students will pick one nonfiction animal book to read and to become experts on. They will then create a field guide of that animal using nonfiction text features to display the information they learned.

In Writing, we will begin essay writing. We will begin our essay writing unit learning how to color code essays. We will also introduce the steps of the text-based essay writing process and demonstrate each step. Their first essay will be about their animal from the field guide. They will be choosing an angle to write about their animal and then adding their essay in the field guide.

Our Paper Bag book reports are due on Thursday, October 22nd.

Fifth Grade Updates

Fifth grade teachers are using various online programs for homework for both online learners and face to face learners. This is meant to keep students doing the same types of things as often as possible, whether they are here in school or at home. It is also a way for us to complete and check homework without having as many papers to turn in. Online assignments are written in the agenda and gone over in class. We are especially enjoying the Flip Grids they are doing in Science! If you have questions or if a particular program is not working for you, please contact your child’s teacher. Please remember that if something is not working, we do need communication from a parent or guardian (not just the child) in order to make an accommodation for missing an assignment.

Q.U.E.S.T. -Gifted October News

Bay Vista Q.U.E.S.T. (gifted) program is thriving! Currently, we have 93 students in the program, and it is growing day to day. We are serving students both in person as well as online.

What is Giftedness?

Students with gifts and talents perform—or have the capability to perform—at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience, and environment in one or more domains. They require modification(s) to their educational experience(s) to learn and realize their potential. Student with gifts and talents:

· Come from all racial, ethnic, and cultural populations, as well as all economic strata.

· Require sufficient access to appropriate learning opportunities to realize their potential.

· Can have learning and processing disorders that require specialized intervention and accommodation.

· Need support and guidance to develop socially and emotionally as well as in their areas of talent.


What is Giftedness? | National Association for Gifted Children

Students with gifts and talents perform—or have the capability to perform—at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience, and environment in one or more domains. They require modification(s) to their educational experience(s) to learn and realize their potential. Student with gifts and talents: Come from all racial, ethnic, and cultural populations, as well as

Some gifted characteristics may include:

*has a questioning attitude

*retains information easily

*learns skills rapidly, easily, and efficiently

*wide range of interests

*solves problems in unique and creative manner

*enriched vocabulary

*possesses leadership abilities

*enriched vocabulary

*expresses ideas which are unusual

*sets own high standards

If you feel like your child has many of these characteristics, reach out to your child's teacher.

Upcoming October Dates

5 PTA Board Meeting-Virtual, 5:00 p.m.

5 SAC Meeting -Virtual, 6.30 p.m.

6 Window closes for Learning Option Change Window

23 End of First Quarter Grading Period

26 No School

27 Students returning to F2F instruction return to class today

TBD PTA Trunk or Treat Drive-thru