The Birney Buzz 10/23/2020

The Birney Buzz 10/23/2020
Posted on 10/26/2020
Yellow Bee
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Hello Birney families and friends, happy Friday!
Phase Two Reopening: Yes, you’ve maybe seen on the news that the district has plans to reopen schools with a hybrid model as soon as the county metrics and our UCSD partners agree it is safe. The plan is outlined in this presentation.  The district will announce Tuesday, 10/27 what the timeline is depending on what the COVID metrics are. This is still news for the FUTURE – details of the plan have to be approved by at least 4 labor unions and everything depends on the COVID case rate. I know that behind every student and teacher eager to get back to school. There is a family concerned about health and safety. Please be clear that all the plans are created in collaboration with some of the best scientific experts in the community.  The process cannot be rushed and students will never be forced to return before comfortable doing so. We must also continue working with our bargaining units to ensure the health and safety of our staff. As soon as I have additional information I will share with the entire community. Thank you so far for your tremendous support!
Report Cards and the Parent Portal: The end of the first reporting period for elementary students is November 6. During the week of November 9-13, the Parent Portal will be disabled while teacher upload the fall report cards. The Portal will reopen Monday November 16 and you will be able to access your child’s report card through the Parent Portal. The Parent Portal is the only way you will be able to view the report card, so make sure you have signed into it.  If you need access still, simply reply to this email so I can verify you are who you are, then I will send you the access codes to set up your portal.
Using the Parent Portal for the LCFF form:  The LCFF form is how the district reports our ‘free and reduced lunch’ level to the federal and state governments.  That rate is how we get federal and state funding to support our neediest students. That funding is over $100,000 every year, until it isn’t. Typically, schools with less than 40% free and reduced lunch funding do not receive ANY funding – Birney was at 43% last year – THAT IS WHY THE LCFF FORM IS SUCH A BIG DEAL THIS YEAR!  So far. Only 20% have been submitted. The LCFF Form can be found in the PowerSchool Parent Portal (  You need a special password to access the parent portal which you get from me by simply replying to this email so I can verify that you are who you say you are!  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.
Parent-Teacher Conferences: Traditionally, during live school, Conference Week is scheduled for the week before Thanksgiving, November 16-20, and we take minimum days to fit in all our parents.  This year during online learning we have agreed to alter our expectations of Conference Week because (a) our teaching teams require so much time to work together to plan, upload, assign, and provide feedback on their curriculum and (b) we feel that as parents you already know so much of what is going on with your child since you are intricately involved in their online learning.   Consequently, we have extended our conference time by two weeks, so we will hold conferences from 11/16-11/20 and then after Thanksgiving from 11/30-12/11.  We feel that opening the window for 3 weeks instead of one will have less of an impact on the needs of online learning.  Additionally, we will not insist on 100% conferences like we do during live school.  We know that during online learning you have been able to have extensive exposure to your teachers in so many ways.  If you have questions about the report card when you see it, we ask that you email your child’s teacher and, if necessary, your child’s teacher will set up a time for a conference. 
Remember, we are reserving library books for the 4th and 5th grades - Wednesday is a big day out front of school at lunchtime!  In addition to Ms. LeeAnn checking library books out to 4th and 5th grade students, click the link for directions.
Please spread the word to last year’s 5th graders that 2019-2020 Birney yearbooks are in the office for distribution and/or purchase.  Please email Pat Spaulding at [email protected] to arrange for a time to pick your yearbook up. 
Reminder:  Every 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. We have received about 20% so far – please help us by doing your part!
Need to talk to me? I am always available by email!  My office hours for this week will be Friday from 2:30-3:00.  My office hour zoom link is: Meeting ID: 972 8803 0231 Password: b_ _ _
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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