The Birney Buzz 11/02/2020

The Birney Buzz 11/02/2020
Posted on 11/02/2020
Bees with Food

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Hello Birney families and friends,

As we begin November - can you believe it? – I just want to thank you for your amazing support through the beginning of this year! The grace and patience you have given us is so appreciated. Last week, for the first time, I heard teachers express some sense of routine and comfort with their new teaching style. This means they can relax a little more and begin to really enjoy the new virtual classroom. How are you feeling about it? Why not let them know how much you appreciate their hard work?

I want to point out that we are wrapping up the first reporting period, 9 weeks of instruction will have been completed by Friday, November 6, the last day of the reporting period. Next week, teachers will be finalizing their report cards basing their grades on assessments given, data gathered through online instruction and student participation. On Saturday, November 7, the parent portal will be turned off so that we can add grades, and we will turn it back on by Sunday, November 15. This week is your last chance to add your child to the parent portal so you can access the report card online.

The LCFF form is how our school qualifies for over $100,000 federal and state funding to support our neediest students. Birney is at risk of losing all that funding if we cannot get everyone to complete the LCFF form.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!  The LCFF Form can be found in the PowerSchool Parent Portal ( What if you don’t have access to the 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. 

Finally, I will appeal to your spirit of competition!  Congratulations to the parents in Mrs. Walker’s room – 68% have completed the process of signing onto the parent portal and completing the LCFF form.  Here’s the breakdown, with only 3 classes having half or more of the students represented:

1st Place!  Walker – 68%; 2nd Place! Sidell – 53%; 3rd Place! Pirouzan – 50%, Garcia, Miller, O’Malley - 43%, Delany, Lyons – 39%, Kovelant – 38%, Marking – 37%, Schwarz – 33%, Esparza – 32%, Rapczynski – 31%, Flanders, Cohen – 28%, Medlock – 24%, Tuchscher – 22%, Arguilla – 19%, Harget, Peterson, Mead – 18%

Standard news items left in every week to remind you how awesome we are:

·         Wednesday!  Library checkout for 4th and 5th graders – reminder to go online and reserve a book to pick up on Wednesday!  You can reserve all the way up to 11 a.m. Wednesday morning!   Here’s how you do that!

·         Here is next week’s Extra Grocery Schedule for Week of 11/2-11/6 from Feeding San Diego, the San Diego Food Bank and the USDA that contains shelf-stable grocery items, or fresh produce, or a mix of both.

·         Fall Fundraiser News!  This is the final list for the drive-in movie. The prizes are being shipped to the school. Ms. Bee will have raffle prizes and the gold ninja keychains at Distribution Days coming up. Final profit for the fundraiser was $21,021.61!  Yeah!

·         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. 

·         Parent-Teacher Conferences: We have extended our conference window to be 3 weeks, so we will hold conferences from 11/16-11/20 and then after Thanksgiving for two weeks 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 teachers as they prepare for student needs in online learning. We know that during online learning you probably have had extensive exposure to your teachers and to your students’ work in so many ways.  Your child’s teacher will let you know if they need to have a conference with you.  If you do not have a conference but you have questions about the report card, be sure to email your teacher and they will determine if a conference is necessary.    

·         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 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. 

Need to talk to me? I am always available by email!  I will not have office hours this Friday.

Question/Concern? Bad link? Access to Parent Portal? Simply reply to this email!  Ms. Amanda

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