Birney Buzz

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The Birney Buzz 04/12/2021

Hello Birney friends and families,

What a delight it was seeing students back at school.  Walking into classrooms today it felt so wonderful to see students there.  Admittedly, and expectedly, we need to work on some things, but we will get it right soon enough. This is the first time for us doing school spaced 6 feet apart in a pandemic, so we are going to have to rework some things this week to get them right.

Connectivity was abysmal today - so many devices trying to connect to school wireless caused all kinds of problems districtwide.  The IT people assure us this will improve throughout the week, so crossing fingers and toes that it will.  In the meantime, we are having our 'roomies' grab a favorite book to read while teachers try to reconnect, so 'zoomies' can do the same.  Most importantly, be patient and flexible with us while we work this out.

Our lunch and wellness break schedule went fairly smoothly, but dismissal was not good at all.  Tomorrow we will be bringing the students closer to their designated dismissal gates so that they can see when you arrive and they can tell their teacher goodbye  and then come to you (since today our radios did not serve us well at all).  Thank you for your patience with us while we learn how to do school during a pandemic - it is counterintuitive not being able to get close and invite you all to come on campus to pick up your kids.  Still, I know you want to stay safe too, so please stay masked and 6 feet apart on your side of the gate too - this afternoon looked like a super-spreader event!  

Here is a reminder for gate entry and dismissal:

  • Multi-sibling families - please have your older child(ren) go to the entry/dismissal area for the YOUNGEST child, both at the beginning and the end of the day.  
  • Kindergarten students (and their siblings) - enter and leave through kindergarten playground gate on Campus Ave.
  • 1st grade students - enter and leave through main gate on Campus 
  • 2nd grade students - enter through main gate in the morning, leave through the staff gate in the parking lot, just on the other side of the office.
    • 1st and 2nd grade students will be brought to sit on the grass in front of the office to wait to be picked up - when they see you are there they will tell their teacher goodbye and leave, either through the main gate (1st grade) or the parking lot gate (2nd grade).
  • 3rd grade students and the students of room 214 will enter/leave through the field gate by the running track. The teachers will bring them out to sit or stand on the field and running track to wait for you to arrive, then when they see you they will tell their teacher and come to you. 
  • 4th grade students will be waiting in lines in front of the library gate and when they see you they will tell their teacher goodbye and come to you. 
  • 5th grade students will line up on the basketball courts facing the library gate and will come to you when you arrive.  You may also wish to have them walk home or to a pre-determined destination beyond the gates where you can pick them up.  If so, please communicate with your teacher to let them know. If you do have them walk out of the gates to meet you, please discuss what they are to do if you are not there, just in case!  

So ... let's try this tomorrow and maybe by Thursday we will have a well-oiled machine.  Remember also that we are here Monday-Thursday with students, then on Friday you will zoom from home and do asynchronous work from home.  

As always, a simple reply to this email will get you to me!

Ms. Amanda

The Birney Buzz 04/10/2021

Hello Birney families and friends,

We have been hard at work all week preparing for their return.  In anticipation, we have a Parent Handbook Resource for you - click and read it through.  I have also copied a little of it into this email just in case.

8:30 Gates Open
8:45 Students Line-up to Enter Classrooms safely
9:00 Instruction Begins
2:35 Dismissal

Daily Self Screening  will be available at the gates. 

ATTENDANCE - Report Absences or 619-497-3500



In order to enter safely, we have divided our students for entry and dismissal to 4 separate gates.  If the family has more than 1 student, please have the students enter through the gate that corresponds to the youngest child.  Siblings can then get the youngest situated and proceed to their own line after. 


  • Campus Avenue Kindergarten Playground Gate: Kovelany 21, Sidekk 22, Walker 23, Harget 24, Medlock 25

  • Main gate: Garcia 304, Esparza 305, Pirouzan 209, Arguilla 210, Flanders 208, Rapczynski 306

  • Field Gate: Peterson 211, Tuchscher 213, Cohen 214, Mead B15, Delany B16, Miller B17

  • Library Gate: O’Malley 26, Samson 27, Marking 28, Monetti 29, Schwarz 30

FIRST DAY OF Phase 2: Monday, April 12


  1. Requirements for On-Site Instruction (one-time only)

  2. Family Opt In Forms (Spanish) (one-time only) 

  • Students will turn in all form in to their teachers on April 12 (or the first day of attendance)

  • Requirements and Opt In Forms are for day one only; Symptom Questionnaire is every day.


Daily - Printed copies will be available at all gates.

Morning Gates

Before School - students (and parents if they are with the student)

  • Stand on markings that are at the DESIGNATED entry gate.

  • Only students will be allowed through the gates.

  • Families will have to stay outside of the school grounds when the gates open at 8:30AM.

In the case of multi-sibling families, students will go to the gate designated for the youngest student’s grade level.

8:30AM, staff will open the gates as follows:

  • Campus Avenue Kindergarten Playground Gate: KINDERGARTEN CLASSES

    • KINDER: Rooms 21 Kovelant, 22 Sidell, 23 Walker, 24 Harget, 25 Medlock 

    • ONLY for kinder and siblings of kindergarten students

  • Main gate: QUAD #1: 208 Flanders, 209 Pirouzan, 210 Arguilla, 304 Garcia, 305 Esparza, 306 Rapczynski

  • Field Gate: QUAD #2: 211 Peterson, 213 Tuchscher, 214 Cohen, B15 Mead, B16 Delany, B17 Miller

  • Library Gate: UPSTAIRS CLASSROOMS:  26 O’Malley, 27 Samson, 28 Marking, 29 Monetti, 30 Schwarz 

Students without Symptom Questionnaire: Support staff at each gate will stay with students who do not have the symptom questionnaire and ask them the questions, and/or call home. 

Students with Symptom Questionnaire will walk to their lines on the playground and stand/sit on a white line which has been spaced 6 feet apart. Please be sure to complete and sign the symptom checklist daily. Staff will be on the playground to help children locate their line.

8:45 - 9:00AM When directed, students will walk to classrooms. Teachers in all grade levels will meet students at the classroom door and direct students to assigned seats. 

9:00AM Instruction Begins

  • Students will need to be in seats and logged in to begin instruction at 9:00.

  • Students zooming from home will begin online at 9AM unless otherwise instructed.

Late Arrivals

  • Students who arrive late will come through the office, turn in the symptom questionnaire and then go to class. 

Class Schedules → Teachers will continue communication with families via email and/or Google Classroom.


  • Students can bring their own lunch. 

  • A Grab & Stay (boxed lunch) will be provided to the students eating lunch on campus. All food is at no cost to families. 

  • MENU 

  • Vegetarian options available, please notify administration if you will need a vegetarian option. We will need 24 hrs from the request to make it happen. 

  • Guidelines to follow:

  • Meals will be eaten outdoors whenever possible.

  • Physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet between students must be maintained (since masks are off while eating it is that much more important).

  • Wash hands before and after the meal.

  • Masks are removed during the meal - ensure the time a student’s mask is off is limited to just the time when eating. 

Grab and Go Pick Up - No longer available at Birney Elementary 

  • Food for students attending school on site will be available. 

  • New pick up locations starting April 5th for students continuing only online→  HERE 

  • We are waiting for more information about supper and breakfast distribution.


2:35 Dismissal (older siblings will be dismissed at the gate of the youngest sibling)

  • Campus Avenue Kindergarten Playground Gate: 

    • KINDER: Rooms 21 Kovelant, 22 Sidell, 23 Walker, 24 Harget, 25 Medlock 

  • Main gate: 1ST: 209, 210,  304, 305

  • Parking Lot Gate 2ND GRADE: 208, 213, 306

  • Field Gate: 3RD & 4TH GRADE (214 Cohen) 211 Peterson, B15 Mead, B16 Delany, B17 Miller

  • Library Gate: 4TH & 5TH GRADE: 26 O’Malley, 27 Samson, 28 Marking, 29 Monetti, 30 Schwarz 

Families please go to your child’s designated gate at dismissal. Support staff will open the gate for dismissal and radio the names of students to be picked up.  Teachers will direct students to walk to the gate to be picked up.  Older siblings will be dismissed to the gate of the youngest sibling. 

Primetime or SAY: 

Students going to PrimeTime or SAY will be dismissed to those areas to be admitted to the programs. Instructions for parents picking up from Primetime or SAY will be communicated by PrimeTime and SAY staff to families enrolled in the programs. 


Teachers will take students who have not yet been picked up and are not going to the after-school programs back to their class to call home. Students will wait in their stable group classroom until called to send the child to be picked up by a family member.

Please do not hesitate to email me at to get any question answered!  See the teachers' emails and oresentations for class-specific information.  

Ms. Amanda


Hello Birney families!

The Birney Buzz 03/25/2021 attached details information regarding the instructional model survey to determine how many students need in-person and/or online instruction beginning April 12.  The week of April 5 will be all online for 2 hours a day from home.  Next week is our Spring Break!

I still need to hear from 120 students before I can determine how many spaces we will need to carve out 5 feet apart for our students to return.  Depending on the capacity of our classrooms, we may need to go to a 2-day model - but we would prefer to stay all 4 days with all of the students who are returning.  I NEED TO HEAR FROM ALL OF YOU!! Please make sure you have taken THIS survey (the link is in the attached Buzz)  and also here:

Complete Survey. English                                  Ir a la encuesta. Español

Remember, you will need your student(s)' ID number -  yes, they already know it!  IF you can't figure out the survey, just email me to let me know!

Attached Buzz also has information about aftercare possibilities.  

Friday is our beloved Bedtime Stories - the zoom link is in the Buzz, as well as information about the Scholastic Book Fair.  So click on the link and read all about it!  -Ms. Amanda 

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