The Nest, December 2017

Mark Your Calendars

Date/Time Event
12/01 Friday Last Day of ASK Campaign -- Please Donate!
Free Dress Day
12/07 Thursday, 6pm PTA Meeting + Holiday Party!
12/22-1/5 Friday-Friday Winter Break (2 weeks)

Important reminders!

This Friday, December 1st is the last day of the PTA “ASK” fundraising campaign. We need everyone’s help to reach our $175,000 fundraising goal! See info below about how to donate.

A Note from Principal Martin
It is fitting during this season that I say again how thankful I am for this wonderful community: kind and caring families, engaged students, and dedicated faculty and staff. Even so, I am always wondering what we can do to improve. Every day plans are created, refined and acted upon to make Starr King a more efficient and productive community where all children have a rigorous yet joyful learning community. Current projects include resurfacing, marking and increasing shade on the playground, reviewing science offerings and providing more opportunities for tutoring to make sure all students are reaching proficiency. We invite you to participate in these discussions by attending PTA, SSC or ELAC meetings to give input, or speaking with their designated representatives to pass along your ideas and concerns. As soon as we return from the Winter Break we will begin planning for the 2018-2019 school year and I hope to hear your voice in these discussions. Happy Holidays, peace and learning, -D

New Traffic Patterns
Our traffic has been extremely congested and this has led to disagreements and also unsafe drop-off for students. We have completed a traffic study and are making suggestions through the city traffic office to improve the surrounding street traffic. We are also trying a couple of new drop off procedures so expect changes over the next few days as we see which best suits our school. I ask that you consider our student’s safety in responding to requests from the parent volunteers who are assisting. Sadly, we’ve had some rude comments and angry responses. Please be courteous and responsible. This will improve safety and help build our community. Thanks,-D

2017 ASK Campaign - Please donate or pledge by Friday, December 1st.
If you haven’t already, please help us get across the finish line to our $175,000 fundraising goal by making your donation by THIS Friday. We are in the last week of the ASK Campaign which raises funding for invaluable supplemental staff and programs such as Mr. Kenny, our Elementary School Advisor, hands-on science education with Ms. Sam and Mr. George, Stagewrite and much, much more! We will report back about how we did at the upcoming PTA meeting. Thanks to all in advance for your generosity and support to our school and our kids!

You can donate now: online or drop off/mail a check or cash with a donation form to the school office (1215 Carolina Street, San Francisco CA 94107) OR make a pledge to donate (email Alisa Shen at ). More details on the school website at:

PTA Meeting + Holiday Party, 12/7 - 6pm Dinner, Childcare, Crafts, and More!

Join us for a delicious dinner! Bring a sweet treat for our dessert potluck! Decorate cookies! Make pom poms for our Starr King yarn installation! Win prizes in our raffle. Fun for the whole family. AND, we have a short but very important agenda!

  1. Auditor’s Report
  2. Treasurer’s Report
  3. Staff and Community initiated funds for general membership review and vote
  4. Program Plan and Budget amendments

2018 Taiwan Summer Program Introduction Meeting
If you are interested in the Taiwan Summer Program, please attend on Friday, 12/8/17 for the Q&A session from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the school cafeteria. We will be covering all essential camp information such as dates, times, the registration deadline, requirements to secure a free tuition spot, living arrangements, and any questions that you might have to consider joining us next summer. Please note, this summer camp is for students currently in 3r d to 5t h grades. However, if your child is in 2n d grade now, you can apply, but will be put on the waitlist automatically. If you are interested in attending, this meeting is mandatory. If you cannot make it, but are definitely interested, please contact

Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent-teacher conferences occur the week after Thanksgiving break from Nov. 27- Dec. 1. Teachers will contact parents with their available schedule. School will be dismissed 1 hour early during conference week and buses will arrive one hour early as well.

School Site Council and PTA Survey - Coming Soon!
The School Site Council (SSC) and the PTA are making PLANS, and they want to hear from you! As part of our ongoing efforts to stay on top of what the Starr King community wants and needs, SSC and PTA will be surveying the community in December and January about academics, enrichments, social and emotional supports, and more. The surveys will provide important input to SSC and PTA as they plan for the 2018-19 budget and ongoing programs. Surveys will be available online and on paper, in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

Starr King On-Site After School Program
Our Winter Showcase this year will be Friday Dec. 8! Please come stop by and watch our kids sing and play the cello or violin at 4:30pm!

Check out what’s new or find out how to apply at Please contact Sol Granados at if you have any additional questions.

Compiled by Grace Kao -- Send news and announcements via e-mail: to be published in The Nest next month, as the newsletter is distributed monthly.

December 7th PTA Meeting Agenda

Starr King PTA Meeting
Thursday, December 7
6 – 7:30 pm
SK Cafeteria
Dinner! Childcare!


6:00pm SK ASP updates/announcements

6:05pm Teacher Initiated Fund Proposals:

  1. Pebble Go Library Database Subscription

6:10pm Community Initiated Fund Proposals:

  1. Skate Day Community Event
  2. Gene Yang Literacy Event books for students
  3. Starr King End of Year Sports Celebration
  4. Starr King Basketball Coach Stipend

6:20pm Program Plan and Budget Amendments

  1. Community Survey
  2. SKASP Early Release Stipend

6:30pm Treasurer’s Report / Auditor’s Report

6:35pm ASK!

6:40pm Up and Coming in 2018!

6:45pm Cookie Decorating and Pom Pom Making

7:15 pm Dessert Competition Results and Raffle Prizes

The Nest, October 2017

Mark Your Calendars

Date/Time Event
10/31 Tuesday, 1:30pm Halloween Celebration
11/03 Friday Free Dress Day
11/09 Thursday, 6:00pm NEW DATE - Movie Night at Starr King!
11/10 Friday HOLIDAY - Veterans’ Day
12/07 Thursday, 6:00pm PTA Meeting (no November PTA Meeting)

Important reminders!
All meal forms are due by Friday. The new form is for meals and other scholarships such as after school programs. If you have not turned in a meal form, please do so now. Our funding depends on getting forms in. Right now we are missing 70 forms. You do not need to request free or reduced lunch, simply put in child’s name and check “Not needed”. You can complete online at

A Note from Principal Martin
One of the questions I get most often from students is why don’t we serve chocolate milk? I usually tell students about how much sugar is in one carton, but don’t have time for a longer discussion. As we enter this holiday season (Halloween to Winter Break!) I think it bears reminding students and parents that obesity is on the rise. And with it comes diabetes and a host of other diseases. It’s important that students learn about healthy eating when they are young so they have the chance to make the most of their teen and adult lives. Please follow SFUSD healthy food guidelines when providing snacks for classroom parties and events.

Notes from Starr King PTA
Notes from our October PTA meeting are in our google drive here.
Other documents from our meetings are also in the PTA public Google Drive, Including our 2017-2018 approved program plan and budget.

We’d like to hear from you! The PTA SUGGESTION BOX located in the front office is awaiting your suggestions, questions, concerns, ideas! And every PTA meeting, we’ll make time for Community Initiated Topics!

We do not have a PTA meeting in November. Instead, come out for our Movie Night on Thursday, November 9!

Our next PTA meeting is Thursday, December 7th, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Childcare and dinner provided!

2017 ASK Campaign Kicking Off
ASK Campaign continues! Our fall fundraising campaign continues through Friday, December 2! If you haven’t yet, please make a contribution today. It doesn't matter how much you give—every dollar gets us closer to our fundraising goal and 100% participation.

The ASK funds so many programs that make a difference every day at our school, such as our on-site healthy play program run by Mr. Kenny, our science program with Ms. Sam, our outdoor education program with Mr. George, our StageWrite writing enrichment, and much much more. Please give to support them! See the SK website for more info about how to donate:

SSC Report
The School Site Council (SSC) held elections for the open parent positions on the SSC. The newly elected parents are Amy Salfen (kinder MI), Katrina Grant (3rd grade GE), Rita Hao (2nd grade MI), and Bart Balocki (3rd grade MI, who served a prior term on the SSC including as SSC Chair). Alternates are Anna Hennessey, Eric Fong and Sol Granados (ASP, Community Member). Stacey Leyton (4th grade MI) will continue on SSC in the second year of her term, along with 2nd grade MI teacher Cheryl Liu, 1st grade GE teacher Jessica Erickson, K-2 special day teacher Cathy Bellin, and school staff representative Christina Quiroz. Principal Darlene Martin is a permanent member of the council.

SSC meetings are generally held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the school. Agendas will be posted outside the office prior to the meeting, and we always open with an opportunity for public comment by community members. Due to the upcoming holidays, the upcoming meetings will be Tuesday, November 14 and Tuesday, December 19, from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

At our October meeting, the SSC elected Bart Balocki as chair and Rita Hao as secretary. The SSC approved amended bylaws and discussed upcoming topics for the year, including ELD Power Hour (the first hour of the school day), support for teachers, social emotional learning programs, presentation of sensitive topics in class, planning for upper grades in future years, use of the library, homework policies, morning assembly, traffic safety, and early release day management.

The SSC also received a report from Darlene Martin about the results and status of English Learner reclassification tests, English reading tests and Mandarin tests.

Halloween Parade
The Halloween parade will start at 1:30pm on Tuesday, October 31st. Classes may begin outfitting students at 1pm and can begin arriving on the yard at 1:15pm. We will listen to music and march together then students will return to their classes for fun and spooky activities. Please remember that costumes must meet school dress code requirements. We do not allow bloody costumes, weapons or full-face scary masks (we have a lot of wee ones!)

Movie Night - Thursday, November 9th
We’re showing Sing and serving pizza and popcorn! Showtime is 6:00pm in the Starr King cafeteria. Come early for dinner, get cozy [bring a beach chair and/or a blanket] and get popcorn—fun for the whole family!

Parent Teacher Conference
Parent-teacher conferences occur the week after Thanksgiving break from Nov. 27- Dec. 1. Teachers will contact parents with their available schedule. School will be dismissed 1 hour early during conference week and busses will arrive one hour early as well.

Starr King On-Site After School Program
Check out what’s new or find out how to apply at Please contact Sol Granados at if you have any additional questions.

Compiled by Grace Kao -- Send news and announcements via e-mail: to be published in The Nest next month, as the newsletter is distributed monthly.

PTA Meeting Minutes are published on their own page.

The Nest, September 2017

Mark Your Calendars

Date/Time Event
10/5 Thursday PTA Meeting
10/6 Friday Free Dress Day! (First Friday of every month). ASP closed for staff training. Please pick up kids at 2:40PM when school ends.
10/9 Monday HOLIDAY - Indigenous People’s Day
10/13 Friday Latino Heritage Event
10/31 Tuesday Halloween Celebration
11/9 Thursday NEW DATE - Movie Night at Starr King!
11/10 Friday HOLIDAY - Veterans’ Day

Important reminders!

  • Food Bank is every Tuesday morning in the Starr King yard behind the cafeteria starting September 12, 8 a.m.-9 a.m. (or when food runs out). Volunteers needed for both Food Bank and Snack Distribution. Please contact Nurse Nancy, if interested.
  • Stop Kiss and Roll is under way for morning drop off! Thanks to our 5th grade Safety Patrol and parent volunteers! Driving families, please follow the cones and help us keep the line moving; it saves time for you and for everyone else.

A Note from Principal Martin

To me, the beauty of Starr King is that there are so many people in the community working together to meet the needs of every child. This year we’ve added high school tutors and are hosting student teachers so that we have additional support for students. Our English learners also receive tutoring on Mondays and Wednesdays after school. Still, it’s a daunting task and we are constantly monitoring our progress. Your voice is important to making sure we fully understand if we are meeting our goals. We invite all families to participate in our regular PTA, ELAC and SSC meetings. We are also starting two new meetings: an informal coffee conversation directly after the food bank and a monthly workshop to share information on important topics such as literacy and bullying. Thanks in advance for your participation in creating a community of peace and learning, -D .

Notes from Starr King PTA

Thank you for coming to the the first PTA meeting and approving our budget and program plan! You can find the notes attached in this newsletter. And the link to 2017-2018 approved program plan is . Other documents from the meeting are in the PTA public Google Drive:

We’d like to hear from you! The PTA BOX located in the front office is awaiting your suggestions, questions, concerns, ideas! And every PTA meeting, we’ll have time for Community Initiated Topics informed by whatever we find in the BOX!

Our next PTA meeting is Thursday, October 5, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Childcare and dinner provided! Our agenda:

6:00 pm SK ASP updates/announcements
6:05 pm Hsu Laoshi Summer Taiwan Trip Presentation
6:20 pm ASK!
6:25 pm Treasurer’s Report
6:30 pm SSC [School Site Council] updates/announcements
6:45 pm Community Initiated Topics
7:00 pm Committee Meetings

We will also be doing a Halloween costume swap at the next PTA meeting! Feel free to bring old costumes or swing by if you are looking for a costume.

2017 ASK Campaign Kicking Off

This year’s fall “ASK Campaign” will be kicking off in a few weeks in October. Starr King’s ASK Campaign and Spring Fling party are the two primary PTA fundraisers that fund supplemental staff, programs and enrichments that were described at the last PTA meeting when we voted on this year’s PTA budget (or “Program Plan”). This year’s ASK is scheduled to begin in early October and end the last week of November. Details about the ASK Campaign and how you can donate will be coming home with students in their Wednesday folder in a few weeks! If you have any questions, please reach out to Alisa Shen (PTA Fundraising Committee Chair -

Sign Up as a Member of Starr King’s PTA

To join the Starr King PTA:

  • Complete the PTA form included with this newsletter and return it in the folder or to the PTA mailbox in the office -- or --
  • Email that you want to be a member

Volunteers Needed

Many thanks to parents who signed up for committees. We are looking for parents who are interested in volunteering for the planning of the following events:
Chinese New Year and Spring Celebration. If you are interested, please call/text Sandy Wan (Events Chair) at (415) 827-1488 or email

Rising Starrs On-Site After-School Program

OCT 6th: ASP is closed for our semesterly mandatory staff training. Please plan on having your child picked up at 2:40 pm after school ends.

Still openings! ASP still has 6 spots left for kindergartners and first graders. The ASP teachers are excellent and the kids are happy to be spending time with their SK friends, engaging in free play, some structured activities, as well as a few enrichment programs. This year, the enrichment programs for K-1 students include Mandarin, chess, swimming ( Chinatown YMCA), and music. You can sign your kids up for 2, 3, or 5 days, and the program is quite flexible with the days you choose, or if you need to shift days on occasion. For more info, you can contact Sol Granados, the program director at .

You can also check out their website for extra information and applications.

PTA Fund for Classroom Supplies

We know that there are some questions around the classroom fund line item in our PTA program budget. PTA has given teachers summer prep hour reimbursement and $500 each year to help with class supplies. In addition, the school has a budget for classroom supplies. However, parents traditionally provide food and snacks directly, and the PTA cannot give our teachers cash gifts. So snacks throughout the year, Holiday and End of Year gift collection from your cohort will be up to room parents to collect, though not required but greatly appreciated and a great way to say THANK YOU to our teachers. Hope this clears up what school is providing, what PTA is funding and what you can do. Please direct all classroom supplies needs to Lin Ong at .

Compiled by Grace Kao -- Send news and announcements via e-mail: to be published in The Nest the next month, as the newsletter is distributed monthly.