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 https://goo.gl/pXALA4 . Other documents from the meeting are in the PTA public Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BzJvjEZpD_gNNGc2UllNWU9LdkU

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 - ashen71@gmail.com)

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 lkopra@yahoo.com 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 chisanlin@hotmail.com.

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 SGranados@ymcasf.org .

You can also check out their website risingstarrs.weebly.com 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 hellolinong@gmail.com .

Compiled by Grace Kao -- Send news and announcements via e-mail: gracekao33@gmail.com to be published in The Nest the next month, as the newsletter is distributed monthly.

THE NEST, August, 2017

Mark Your Calendars

Date/Time Event
9/1 Friday Free Dress Day! First Friday of every month
9/4 Monday HOLIDAY - Labor Day - no school!
9/6 Wednesday, 5-7PM Back to School Night
9/7 Thursday 1:40PM Early Dismissal Begins!
9/7 Thursday 5:30PM Mandatory ASP Meeting
9/14 Thursday, 6-7:30PM 1st PTA Meeting
10/6 Friday Free Dress Day! First Friday of every month
10/6 Friday ASP closed for staff training. Please pick up kids at 2:40p when school ends.
10/9 Monday HOLIDAY - Indigenous People’s Day
10/13 Friday Latino Heritage Event
10/31 Tuesday Halloween Celebration

Important reminders!

  • Return your school lunch forms!  Even if you don’t want or qualify for free or reduced lunch, mark “do not want” and return the form to help Starr King get more funding from the district!
  • Return your emergency cards!  It’s important for Starr King to have current phone numbers for every student.
  • Shots!  If you haven’t provided proof of immunizations for your incoming student, please bring that into the office ASAP.
  • Handbook!  This year, the PTA and administration have created a Starr King Parent Handbook to spell out the basics of life at Starr King.  Find it online at https://goo.gl/4vHk9q
  • Food Bank is every Tuesday morning in the Starr King yard behind the cafeteria starting September 12, 8 a.m.-9 (or when food runs out). Volunteers needed for both Food Bank and Snack Distribution. Please contact Nurse Nancy, if interested.
  • Sign up for Starr King email announcements at www.starrkingschool.org/parents/e-mail-groups

The Nest newsletter will be monthly.  Let’s save paper!  

A Note from Principal Martin

Greetings Starr King! I am happy to be returning as your principal and extremely proud of all I have seen during this first week of the school year.  Our returning teachers worked together with new teachers to get classrooms prepared for students and parents were ready to assist where needed. You will also notice our gardens have been replanted and are growing beautifully. As we move into this year there will be more changes. We anticipate having an early release day on Thursdays starting after Labor Day. This will allow us to conduct professional development with teachers and also leave time for their lesson planning. In order to make this work, we’ve changed the lunch schedule a little bit and continue to test some small changes to make sure it works for both students and staff. Thanks for bearing with us during this process. And, thanks for bringing your students to Starr King. We are honored for the opportunity and look forward to getting to know each one of them. Here’s to a great year, and to Peace and Learning!

Back to School Night – Wednesday, September 6th, 5-7 p.m. This is your chance to meet your child’s teacher, visit the classroom, and hear more about what is coming this year.  What’s up with all that homework?  When will my child be tested?  What will my child learn this year?  Get answers to these questions and more.  We are working on translation for our Chinese- and Spanish-speaking families!

Notes from Starr King PTA - Starr King! The first day of school embodied the learning, wonder, and community we aspire to all year long! In addition to continuing our work of advocacy, volunteerism, and fundraising—SKPTA is renewing our commitment to communication and inclusivity in our community building efforts! Join SKPTA and help us better serve our community of students, teachers, and families!

Our first PTA meeting of the year is Thursday, September 14 at 6 p.m. in the Starr King cafeteria—with dinner and student activities provided! Our agenda: we’ll kick off with an introduction to our ExCom Chairs and Committees; continue with a presentation of our 2017-2018 Budget and Program Plan; and wrap up with our volunteer roundhouse! Come and meet other parents, learn about and volunteer for projects/initiatives/events throughout the year, and exercise your vote for the 2017-18 budget and program plan (votes must be in person, not by proxy).

Want to view the proposed budget before you vote on it? We will link to the budget from the Starr King website, starrkingschool.org, by Monday, September 4.  

Want more information about the proposed budget?  PTA officers will hold office hours to answer your questions [budget related or otherwise] during the food bank on Tuesday, September 12 from 8am to 9am.

A quick preview — the PTA hopes to raise $265,000 this year, primarily through our two main fundraisers, our annual appeal—the ASK campaign—in October and November 2017 and our annual auction and party— Spring Fling—on April 7, 2018.  Our Budget and Program Plan allocates the funds through six primary “buckets” of programming:

  1. direct academic support— improving student experiences and outcomes through hands-on science with our new science para [welcome back Ms. Sam!] and classroom!
  2. enrichment programs—supplementing classroom instruction (including Education Outside and StageWrite—Building Literacy Through Theater)

  3. social-emotional support— staff and resources to promote emotional growth, healthy play, and conflict resolution

  4. teacher and staff support—from summer stipends to classroom supplies as part of our teacher recruitment and retention efforts

  5. school environment—from classroom fans to facilities improvements

  6. community events—from our back to school potluck to movie night, from skate day to welcoming incoming families!

 

Rising Starrs On-Site After-School Program – Mandatory Meetings – Is your child enrolled in Starr King’s on-site after-school program … or wants to join??  If so, please attend one of the MANDATORY 30-minute parent/guardian orientations in the SK cafeteria on Thursday, September 7 at 5:30 pm.  Contact ASP coordinator Sol Granados 415-730-9061 (SGranados@ymcasf.org) for more information. Please note, there is currently a wait list for all grade levels, but turn in applications ASAP for future openings. 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.

 

Compiled by Grace Kao -- Send news and announcements via e-mail: gracekao33@gmail.com to be published in The Nest the next month, as the newsletter is distributed monthly.

The Nest, May 10th, 2017

Mark Your Calendars

Date/TimeEvent
5/12/17 Friday Field Day - parent volunteers needed!
5/12/17 Friday 8:40am Pies in the Face! An ASK celebration!
5/11-12 Thursday/Friday, 6:30pm Stagewrite Performance at Brava Theater
5/13/17 Saturday, 9-11:30am SKATE DAY at Church of Eight Wheels
5/16/17 Tuesday, 10am-2pm Potrero Hill Rec Park-Fifth Grade Picnic
5/17/17 Wednesday, 10am Peace Rally-Potrero Hill Rec Center
5/18/17 Thursday, 8:30-9:15am SK Achievement Breakfast-invitation only
5/19/17 Friday, 2:00pm Pacific Islander Celebration- Multipurpose Room
5/24/17 Wednesday, 10:00am Kindergarten Promotion Ceremony
5/25/17 Thursday 10:00am 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony
5/26/17 Friday Last day of school!

Stagewrite Performances at Brava Theater(located on 24th St/York St)- ‘Mirrors, Smoke,& Getting Woke’-Short plays by Short People - Come see original plays written by Starr King 5th graders, inspired by works of visual art at the de Young Museum, and performed as stage readings by professional actors with music by The Write-Ons. Included in the evening’s performance, will be a SK Girls’ Group work and an A.D.A.P.T.work. Tickets may be purchased online from either Brava Theater or Stagewrite, and in-person from the SK office. Parents will also be selling in the morning before school starts. Let’s support our 11th year with Stagewrite!

Volunteer for Field Day - Friday, May 12 - Our PE teacher, Mr. Williams, is running a field day on Friday, May 12.  K-2 will participate in the morning from 9:30 to 11:30 and grades 3-5 will get their turn from 1 to 2:30.  We need parent volunteers!  If you can help run an event for all or part of these time slots, please contact Mr. Williams at WilliamsT@sfusd.edu.

Coming on Friday, May 12th at 8:40am…what you’ve all been waiting for!  For reaching our $175,000 fundraising goal of the Fall ASK Campaign, Principal Martin, Assistant Principal Fitzsimmons and a mystery member of the Starr King staff have graciously agreed to submit to getting PIEs in the face by three lucky students!!  Stop by and get a picture!

Skate Day is Coming!  May 13!  Our first roller-skating party is happening on Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Church of Eight Wheels (554 Fillmore Street).  Admission is free for the whole Starr King community!  There will be a bus leaving from Starr King at 9 a.m. that morning, returning at noon (or you can get there on your own).  Look for bus RSVP forms in your Wednesday folder in the next few weeks.  Questions?  Applause?  Email 1st grade parent Willem Vroegh at wvroegh@yahoo.com.

Starr King’s YMCA Summer Camp Registration is Available! Our on-site After School Program, run by the Y, has their summer registrations available (link:  http://risingstarrs.weebly.com/registration.html ). The Y has fun for everyone, and they plan to continue the “Best Summer Ever” theme this summer with weeks planned to be a “Summer of Discovery”. Summer Camp will be located at Cesar Chavez ES from June 5th to July 21st, with weekly enrollment available. A bus from SK to CC is available. Questions, please email Maybelle,mmiranda@ymcasf.org.

Alphabet soup: SSC and ELAC news!  On April 18, the School Site Council (SSC) and English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC) met together.  Principal Martin presented an update on the school's budget.  With the combination of District support, the site budget, and generous PTA support, we should be able to fund the school's most critical needs (including a full-time Assistant Principal, social worker, and Instructional Reform Facilitator), but our budget will be very tight.  Principal Martin is still working on identifying resources for needed mental health services and teacher release.

Principal Martin also reported that she has been conducting interviews with all Starr King students, classroom by classroom, to discuss how they feel about school and about their individual goals for the remainder of the year.  The results were mostly very positive in that the kids are enjoying school and have great aspirations, and the interviews helped her to identify some social-emotional issues in one classroom that needed to be addressed.

The SSC and ELAC members also discussed the use of the 30 minutes at the beginning of the day that is designed for additional instruction for English Learners at Starr King.  On the agenda of Starr King's leadership is ensuring that this time period can better meet the needs of all students in a differentiated manner.

SSC and ELAC also discussed Starr King’s uniform policy after some parents raised questions.  The historic reasons for the uniform policy were discussed, including the need to avoid differentiation of students based on resources and clothing.  The SSC and ELAC members all expressed support for keeping the uniform policy as is (blue pants, blue or white collared shirt or Starr King shirt), and renewing efforts to enforce the policy consistently.

Please donate any “gently used” or new uniforms to the office. We especially need small sizes for incoming kinder students, and large sizes for upper grade students. Thank you!

Keep collecting box tops to raise money for Starr King!  We are a month away from end of school, so keep bringing those box tops in to your teachers so we can continue to earn for Starr King!  We have a box tops collection contest from now until Friday, May 19th and the class with the most box tops will earn a pizza party!  Ms. Liu's 2nd grade class won in the fall.  Who will win this time?!? We received a check for $142.00 last month-Thanks!

Social and emotional skills toolbox series from Seneca - Our tenth Toolbox Skill is the “Apology and Forgiveness Tool.” The Apology and Forgiveness tool requires us to put many of our other Tools to work.  The act of a sincere apology takes self-reflection, self-esteem, and emotional intelligence.  Personal power if found when a child can make a mistake without feeling a loss of self-worth.  Making an apology is a sign of maturity, and asking for and granting forgiveness requires the child to let go of anger and hurt.

At home you can:

  • Be open when you feel badly about how you have treated your child and offer a sincere apology.
  • Let your children know that you forgive them when they have apologized.  
  • Help your children think about how they feel when they have been mean to someone, and consider whether they are ready to apologize.

Our eleventh Toolbox Skill  is the “Patience Tool”.  The dictionary says patience includes serenity.  To gain serenity, we must release our expectations and accept circumstances beyond our will.  Modeling this behavior for children will help them understand and learn it.  The opposite is also true- if we are impatient, our children will learn to be demanding and impulsive.  Here are 5 important ideas to keep in mind:

  • Being able to hold the frustration of not having what we want when we want it is no small task.  Knowing we are strong enough to wait makes a big difference.
  • Patience helps us to tolerate and accept situations beyond our control.
  • The Breathing Tool is the most helpful Tool with Patience.  Breathing deeply and slowly helps us to wait.  We need to practice this skill to be able to do it well.
  • We can use the Quiet/Safe Place Tool and the Taking Time Tool to help us have patience.
  • Finally, having patience with your child can sometimes by trying and takes practice, but there are two pay-offs:
    • Your child will learn patience from your example.
    • You will feel the benefit of increased patience in this world of ever-increasing stress and high pressure.

Newsletter compiled by Christine Van Aken - please send announcements to cbvanaken@gmail.com.

The Nest, April 26th, 2017

Mark Your Calendars

Date/TimeEvent
4/26/17 Wednesday, 5:30-7pmSTEAM Night!
4/28/17 Friday, 2:40-6pmAfter School Program CLOSED. NO PROGRAM on Friday
4/29/17 Saturday, 10-12pm“Micro” Greening Work Day
5/4/17 Thursday, 6-7:30pmLast PTA Meeting of the Year. Come Celebrate! With Student DJs!
5/6/17 Saturday, 10–NoonSAVE THE DATE—Kinder Welcome + SK/Stanford Alumni Greening Collaboration + Clean Schoolyard Trash Pick Up
5/12/17 FridaySports Day - volunteers needed
5/13/17 Saturday, 9-11:30amSKATE DAY at Church of Eight Wheels
5/25/17 Thursday 10am 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony

Rising Starrs After School Program is CLOSED THIS FRIDAY!  The onsite After School Program will be closed Friday (4/28), for their annual staff retreat.  This is a reminder.  The date was announced back in the fall.  Please make sure to have plans for picking up your child at 2:40pm!

STEAM night with the After-School Program -- STEAM = Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Math!  Get it!?  Our ASP hosts a science and art themed carnival for the entire school every spring, where they build seriously amazing projects -- like homemade stomp rockets and craft boat races based on economic theory (seriously!).  To be held Wednesday, April 26, 5:30-7pm.  Everyone is invited -- and if you’d like to help out, please contact Maybelle Miranda (mmiranda@ymcasf.org).

Another mini Greening Work Day!  Big ups to the rugged crew that showed up last weekend to haul debris… the yard is getting better all the time!  Please join Peter and the Green Team (which is pretty much all of you) for some strategic weeding and bagel-munching projects this Saturday from 10a to 12n.  As always: kids welcome, snacks provided… bring gloves and water.

Thursday, May 4 - Last PTA meeting of the year!  Important updates!   GELATO!!  We'll wrap up the PTA year with our final general meeting.  Don’t miss it -- the YMCA After School Program’s DJ CREW will be spinning in their debut performance, AND we’ll be celebrating our classroom and PTA volunteers, AND we’ll have prizes for some amazing volunteers, AND we’ll have dinner and GELATO!!  Need more?  Well, there’s also PTA business -- Ms. Martin will be there to give our community an update on hiring for next year, including for the 4th / 5th grades, and on other staffing issues.  And Jolie Ginsburg will present the Treasurer’s Report.

Keep collecting box tops to raise money for Starr King!  We are a month away from end of school, so keep bringing those box tops in to your teachers so we can continue to earn for Starr King!  We have a box tops collection contest from now until Friday, May 19th and the class with the most box tops will earn a pizza party!  Ms. Liu's 2nd grade class won in the fall.  Who will win this time?!?

Starr King’s YMCA Summer Camp Registration is Available! Our on-site After School Program, run by the Y, has their summer registrations available (link:  http://risingstarrs.weebly.com/registration.html ). The Y has fun for everyone, and they plan to continue the “Best Summer Ever” theme this summer with weeks planned to be a “Summer of Discovery”. Summer Camp will be located at Cesar Chavez ES from June 5th to July 21st, with weekly enrollment available. A bus from SK to CC is available. For questions, please email Maybelle (mmiranda@ymcasf.org).

Skate Day is Coming!  May 13!  Our first roller-skating party is happening on Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Church of Eight Wheels (554 Fillmore Street).  Admission is free for the whole Starr King community!  There will be a bus leaving from Starr King at 9 a.m. that morning, returning at noon (or you can get there via your own means of transportation).  Look for bus RSVP forms in your Wednesday folder in the next few weeks.  Questions?  Applause?  Email 1st grade parent Willem Vroegh at wvroegh@yahoo.com.

Seneca Social and Emotional Toolbox - Our eighth Toolbox Skill is the “Taking Time Tool”. The Taking Time Tool has two distinct purposes.  Time Away allows us to physically remove ourselves to create more space from the heat of a conflict.  It also allows us the space to calm down and take inventory of how we are feeling and thinking.  Time-In means to take some time to check-inside oneself to see what is needed.  It is time to notice what you feel, to think things through, or cool down.

At home you can ask your children to explain the difference between a Time-In and Time-Away, and to show you the Taking Time hand gesture.   You can also remind all family members to use their Taking Time Tool when conflicts arise.  It is helpful for children to see adults role model using the tool.

If you have any questions about the lessons or tools, please feel free to email Laura Lin at Laura_Lin@senecacenter.org.


Newsletter compiled by Christine Van Aken - please send announcements to cbvanaken@gmail.com.