The Star

Ruby Bridges - where the STARS come to shine!

Translation available!

First off, translations to The Star are now available! Go down to the bottom of this newsletter and pick your language! Happy reading!

Hello from the principal's desk!

Feb 19, 2018

At the tail end of our four day weekend. Woohoo!!! Just wanted to shoot out a copy of the STAR as you come back from your fun adventures.

We had an AWESOME assembly on Friday featuring an African Dance Troupe. They had 3 dancers and musicians from Senegal who rocked our MPR. Look here for a video and some pics below.

This assembly was timely, as we are preparing our own drum and music performance for the Cultural Voices assembly this Wednesday, 2/21 at 8:40. Families are invited to attend, although it might get crowded with all of our kids there too!

We are still looking to add some fresh faces to our Lunch Time supervisors. We are hiring! If you have a couple of open hours during the day, like 11 - 1:00, even for a couple of days out of the week, come on down and help out. You can help us open lunch boxes or be outside playing football on the yard. We need a few more adults out there - come help!!! Write me an email, or just talk to me on the yard.

Hey, if you are loving the school like I am, can you head over and LIKE our PTA Facebook page? Here is the link - just leave us a nice note. Say that the new Vice Principal Mr. Lundholm is funny and cool. Something, anything!!!


With joy and gratitude,

Jesse Woodward

Upcoming events at Ruby Bridges

Feb 16 & 19 - NO SCHOOL

Feb 20 - RB Community Traffic Safety forum with Alameda Community Safe Routes to School, 1:00 - 2:00 @ RBE (location TBD)

Feb 21 - 8:40am Cultural Voices Assembly in MPR

Feb 23 - Spring Picture Day

Feb 26 - March 9 Golden Sneaker contest (see below)

Feb 27 - SSC 3:15

March 2 - Crazy Hat Day

March 8 - 8:30 ELAC - English Language Advisory Committee

March 9 - Early release for teacher collaboration

TK: 11:40, Kinder - 5th 12:30

March 14 - 16 Early release for Spring Conferences

TK: 11:40, Kinder - 5th 12:30

Afterschool program changes?

Some changes may be coming to our aftercare program at Ruby Bridges and it is important you all know about it. I have heard that parents are talking, and I wanted to put this out to keep you all in the loop and dispel any rumors.

The main aftercare program we currently have on site is called LEAPS. It is run through an organization named BACR. BACR (Bay Area Community Resources) has done a great job providing a wonderful afterschool program for the Ruby Bridges community since before Ruby Bridges was even a school. We are at the end of this most recent three year commitment to BACR, and will be putting out a new RFP (Request For Proposal) for the 2018-19 school year to see who is interested in taking over our program. I am sure that BACR will apply to continue to run our aftercare program and will want to keep LEAPS in its current form for next year. I am also sure that we may get some new providers jumping in the pool!

What we are including in our RFP and are looking for from an aftercare provider for next year-

  1. To have a high quality enrichment program that is STEAM focused, as we have become a STEAM school! STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
  2. To provide a high degree of academic tutoring/advancement, and get HW done before kids go home for the night.
  3. To increase our enrollment from 130 kids (where it is now) back up to 180 kids (where it was a few years ago).
  4. To not cost any more money for families than the $2 a day (with scholarships for those who can't afford it) that we charge now.
  5. To provide care for children everyday after school until 6pm.
  6. To keep a high priority on safety for our students.
  7. To provide super fun activities so kids don't want to go home!!!

I am looking to add a few more families to the decision making team I am putting together. Please email me if you are interested in joining the team to preview after school program options. You can also email me if you just want more information.

STEAM Studio

STEAM just keeps rolling ahead! Transitional Kinders made a class collage focusing on Concentric Circles inspired by Kandinsky while Kindergarten talked about Lion Masks for Lunar New Year. 1st graders participated in a movement game called Musical Drawings. What fun to see the students dancing to the music then becoming models and artists! In 2nd grade, we are finishing up the engineering of the toy spinners while 3rd & 4th graders finished their AREA & PERIMETER robots. 5th graders worked on Mixtures and Solutions with an experiment with oil, food coloring, and water. They created marbleized papers that are quite lovely! Enjoy the photos and head over to our Instagram account to see more pics!

Add yourself to my Remind text group

Do you get my texts about important school events? Want to? Text the message @rbstars to the number 81010 to add. You will be prompted to download the Remind app from the app store, you can but don't have to. You will now get my text message updates!

Student Council corner...

Now that January has come to a close, our Pennies for Patients fundraiser has ended. Please send your student collection boxes filled with change to school by this Friday. Student Council officers will be collecting classroom collection boxes early next week. Stay tuned to find out how much our school raised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!

February is here and this is the month where we SHOW LOVE TO OUR COMMUNITY OF ALAMEDA! We will be doing a canned and dry food drive to support the Alameda City Food Bank. Our Student Council members set a goal to collect 2018 items during the drive! Please support our community and families of Ruby Bridges who rely on our city’s food bank for food support. Please donate non-perishable items including: cereal, canned food such as vegetable and fruit, instant noodles, canned tuna, bags of dry beans, rice, etc. Food can be brought directly to the bins in the front office or to classrooms. Let’s show our neighbors that we care and help us reach our goal!

Ruby Bridges Annual Cultural Voices Assembly

Families and community members are invited to attend our schoolwide assembly on Wednesday, February 21st at 8:40 in the Multipurpose Room as all classes will be celebrating the diversity of our Ruby Bridges students through music and poetry! All students from preschool and TK through 5th grade will come together in unity and we hope you will join us! Seating will be limited so plan to arrive early.

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Safe Routes to Schools - Golden Sneaker Contest

Lace up those shoes, dust off those bikes, or get ready to share your ride! The Safe Routes to Schools Golden Sneaker Contest is coming to your school.

From February 26 to March 9, students in participating classrooms will work together to reduce car trips by using active and shared transportation options such as:


  • Biking, Skateboarding, using a scooter, or any other human-powered wheels
  • Riding the school bus
  • Using public transit such as AC Transit or BART
  • Carpooling with other families

The Golden Sneaker Contest offers a chance for every student to participate. If you live too far from school to walk or roll, you can:

  • Park a few blocks away and walk
  • Meet up with friends who live close to school and walk or roll as a group
  • Start a carpool
  • Take the school bus or public transit to school

Students will track how they get to school each day. The classroom with the highest percentage of these healthy travel choices will win a Golden Sneaker Trophy and celebration.

Alameda County’s Safe Routes to Schools program, sponsored by the Alameda County Transportation Commission, is a comprehensive, proven approach to getting more kids walking and biking safely to school. For more information, visit

To find out more details or to get involved contact Jesse Woodward at

Library talk...

We are so excited to welcome Mitali Perkins to the Alameda Free Main Library on Tue. Feb. 27 from 3:30-4:15

The Author:

Ms. Perkins is an engaging speaker and will discuss two of her award winning books, Rickshaw Girl, chosen as one of the 100 Great Children’s Books of the last 100 years by the New York Public Library and You Bring the Distant Near, a young adult novel nominated for the National Book Award.

The Books:

  • Rickshaw Girl, a moving story of Bangla culture and customs that highlights changing attitudes and times. This lively story, chosen as a must-read global title for children by the Cooperative Center for Children’s Books, was also performed by the Bay Area Children’s Theater.
  • You Bring the Distant Near, has received an equally high level of praise. The Washington Post cheers, “This touching, intricately layered novel follows an Indian American family who immigrated to the United States in the 1970s as it adjusts to life here and faces both opportunities and struggles over time ... Accomplished storytelling, vividly drawn characters…broaden this vibrant book’s appeal beyond its target audience. Readers across the generations will take it to their hearts.”

A book sale and signing will follow.

This is a free event and seating is limited. Reservations are available at
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AEF Enrichment classes start soon!

Alameda Education Foundation After School Enrichment classes start soon!

Enrichment classes start the first week of February. An exciting range of classes are offered across elementary schools in Alameda. To see the complete listing for your school, please go to:

Scholarships are available. Please email to apply.

To register please go to and click on the blue “enrichment” button.

SBAC notification

We will be starting the state mandated testing for ALL students in grades 3 - 5 starting in May. Please read the letter below to get more information about the testing.

SARC info

School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs) are now available on-line at This link can be reached through the ‘schools’ drop-down from any page within the AUSD web site. Hard copies of SARCs are available upon request at each school’s office.

Ruby Wrap

Did you know has a parenting-help arm of their company? I included an article from this division, called The Family Engagement Lab in our last STAR. Here is another article on the importance of teaching our kids how to code!

Social Media presence

We are going to really work hard to share all the wonderful things going on this year through our PTA Facebook page, PTA Instagram, and school Twitter. Please try and participate along with us! It is super fun when we can all enjoy the MANY positive events that happen here, even if we weren't there in person to see them!