The Nest, May 10th, 2017

Mark Your Calendars

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 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

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

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: ). 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,

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