The Birney Buzz 10/02/2020

The Birney Buzz 10/02/20
Posted on 10/06/2020

To translate into another language, open Google Translate, copy and paste this message there and select your language of choice.  Para español, abra Google Translate, seleccione español, haga una copia de este correo electrónico y péguelo en Google Translate.  Gracias

Hello Birney families and friends,

As we reach the end of the 5th week of school, and the 4th week of 'real' classes, I want to thank you for all your dedication to making sure your students are ready for school every day, committed to turning in their assignments and respectful of their peers and teachers at all times. I also want to tell you just how proud I am of my Birney staff in every way - under these difficult circumstances, I know that  we are all feeling the difficulty of online learning at a time when we would normally be enjoying building relationships with our students face to face, both in the classroom and around the school. I have sat in on planning sessions with all the grade level teams over the last two weeks that teachers have met with me while students participate in Specials. I feel such awe and inspiration watching my teams plan for engaging and exciting instruction online. I know how grateful I feel to have such a great team of teachers and staff here at Birney, and I would like to invite you to let me know how you are feeling about your child's experience. Do you have a positive comment for your student's online learning? If so, I know that we would love to hear it - you can send your kudo, comment, or thank you to [email protected] or if you prefer communicate directly with your child's teacher - they are definitely in need of some validation for their hard work kicking off this unprecedented (oh, if only I had a dollar for every time I have heard or said that word since March 13!) school year, and at this point a little compliment goes a long way!   

You haven’t heard from me this week because I have been quite busy in meetings and planning Birney's Phase 1 Reopening Appointment-Based Learning scheduled for implementation the week of October 12. I have worked with the Birney team to identify a small number of students who will be offered appointments for evaluations beginning the week of October 12, 2020. The team will work to further identify students who need more support over the next several weeks, but I wanted to be sure to inform families that, for the most part, we will remain ONLINE unless we reach out to you, for now. Over the next 3-4 weeks, as we prepare to issue our first report card in November, we will be reviewing student progress towards goals and grade-level proficiency by analyzing our formative assessments. As teachers formalize these assessments, you can work with them to provide the most accurate, student-centered data we can get, meaning…let the student do the assessments independently (with the teacher). Once we have a set of eligible students, we will be creating appointments for groups of no more than 6 for grades K-3 or 8 for grades 4-5 to receive onsite support. Of course, families continue to have the option to remain online as well. As more details emerge and plans get firmed up, all depending, of course, on continuing improvements in infection rates, I will communicate to you. 

English Learner Advisory Committee, Friday, October 9, from 1-2pm. Virtual meet and greet other parents of students who are learning English and hear how you can get involved in the committee. Leadership opportunity: We are looking for a representative to attend the monthly District English Language Advisory Committee. If you are interested in being a part of ELAC please email [email protected] for more information or to request translation for the meeting.

Family Friday Friday, October 9, from 2:30-3:00 I will answer your questions at our October Family Friday. Zoom link to come later in my reminder email.   

 Next Friday, October 9, from 2:30-3:00 I will answer your questions at our October Family Friday. 

Fall Fundraiser Update! Check out the new items from Boon Supply…

  • Eco-friendly Laundry Strips!!!  Help reduce plastics by using these laundry strips in your wash and 40% goes back to Birney!
  • Ms. Bee loves using the Family Conversation Cards at dinner to get the kids talking about stuff they like!
  • Tons of cute new patterns for the Re-useable Ziploc bags!

Sales are almost at $10,000 and we need another $15,000 in sales to reach our goal!   Only 62 students out of 550 have participated and we need your help!! The Specials classes depend on these fundraising efforts! *Please make sure to add the student’s name as the “Seller” and their Teacher’s name! Fundraiser ends Oct. 9th so don’t delay, get your orders in today!  If your student sells more than 18 items, in addition to getting the 18+ item prizes noted on the flyer (which includes a pair of ear buds),  they get an invitation to the (socially distanced) Birney Drive-In Movie Night & a special snack pack! Don’t want to buy anything, but want to help?   Donate $275 (the annual cost of an IB education for one child) & your child gets to join the Drive-In Movie Night at Birney! Please go to the FOABE website to the “Donate Now” section. Please put your student’s name in the notes along with “For the Fall Fundraiser” - or you can click on the PayPal link.   So far, we have over 19 kids who have earn their spot!

Birney and District Business Needs You - 3 Things for the Grown-Ups! 

First, a large part of our federal funding is dependent on our families completing the LCFF (local control funding formula), which helps us get federal funding every year. The LCFF Form can be found in the PowerSchool Parent Portal ( A job aid is available for parents to assist with entering information for the LCFF Form. The LCFF Form is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese in the Parent Portal.

 You will need to have access to your PowerSchool Parent Portal, which you requested access to when you wanted to look at your report card from spring. PLEASE do fill it out, we count on hearing from every family to make sure we keep out Title One status which enables us to keep our English Learner and Reading Specialist support. Helpful Links: LCFF Memo, LCFF FAQs, Instructions for Parent, Instructions for Parent (Spanish). If you need access to the parent Portal, simply reply to this email for your password. 

Nextevery student should have a signed “Universal Form” on file with his/her school for the 2020-21 academic year. If you have not turned in yours, here is a fillable PDF form: English  /  Spanish. Please print and sign the form and then either mail it back to your school or drop off the printed copy.

Finally, below is the Facts for Parents guide which contains the Universal Form:  English / Spanish. A signed Universal Form acknowledges that you and your family have taken the time to review the Facts for Parents guide. The guide offers a comprehensive look at school district policies and is a valuable source of information. 

Need to talk to me? I am always available by email! 

Need a device? Check a new device out at Birney daily from 12:00-2:00 during lunch service of Grab n Go meals, just stop by the office. If your device is not working, first call the Online Learning Support hotline at (619) 732-1400 and walk through with a technician what is wrong. If they cannot fix over the phone, they will tell you where you can exchange. If you need support with your internet strength, check out the Family Technology Support website at for all things you need help with in the technology realm. 

Question/Concern? Simply reply to this email!  Ms. Amanda

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