The Birney Buzz 11/09/2021

The Birney Buzz 11/09/2021
Posted on 11/09/2021

November 9, 2021

Hello Birney families and friends!

It’s great to be back after my long weekend away – I thank Ms. Mead for stepping in to my shoes and doing a great job in my absence.  And wow, what a weekend of emails – our district’s intentions being honestly sincere, I think, the various communications over the weekend certainly created a great deal of confusion for ALL of us.  The first email from the Superintendent came Thursday evening announcing a proposal going before the schoolboard to close down schools.  The last email from the Superintendent walking back the proposal to close schools, sent Friday at 6:30 pm, is here:

Students, parents, friends, and colleagues: We are writing to follow up on the communication sent yesterday regarding a proposal to make next Friday, November 12, a non-instructional day. We’ve heard from many families that appreciated the opportunity to focus on mental health and wellness; others expressed concerns about their ability to find adequate childcare solutions on such short notice. After careful consideration, we have decided to keep our classrooms open next Friday. All students will be welcome at school on November 12We will continue to offer students the chance to use that day to rest and recharge. Families that choose to keep their students out of school for a mental health day on November 12 will have their absence marked as “excused.” Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact us. Your input helped us arrive at what we believe is the best possible option for all families. We continue to look for new ways to recognize the importance of mental health.   Sincerely, Dr. Lamont Jackson, Interim Superintendent , San Diego Unified

Let me be clear – as I was last Thursday – we will have classes on Friday, November 12 and we have the Scholastic Bookfair here at school on Saturday, November 13, in the morning through 1:00 pm.  While I appreciate our superintendent’s concerns for the mental health of both our families and our staff, there are opportunities galore for ‘wellness and mental health’ coming up, so we are committed to Friday being a full day of instruction. We are aware that other schools across the district are making their own decisions based on their predicted staffing.  We at Birney do not predict a staffing shortage, thankfully, so we will proceed as normal with our last full day of instruction before the Thanksgiving Break, since next week we dismiss students at 1:30 so we can hold parent-teacher conferences with all of you. We will work with students who do stay out of school this Friday next week to ensure that they make up the work they missed.  

Here is the calendar:

Thursday, November 11 is a holiday for Veteran’s Day – no school - enjoy a day off school.

Friday, November 12 is a full SCHOOL DAY with instruction that has already been planned at each grade level.  Our district announced they will excuse absences BUT our teachers, having already planned for the day, WILL BE TEACHING according to their plans.  If you do indeed decide to take the excused absence, your student will still be required to make up missed work.  Some schools across the district are experiencing staff shortages, but our staff at Birney are dedicated to their students and will be showing up for them, or will have made arrangements.  All students in attendance will have a full day of instruction in their classrooms – thanks to our Birney teachers and staff for their dedication.    

Monday, November 15-Friday, November 19:  Parent-Teacher Conference week – 1:30 dismissal EVERY DAY for conferences.  Students will be dismissed early so that teachers have time to conference with every family. Both SAYSanDiego and PrimeTime after-school programs will be functioning from 1:30 on every day.  We also have the OpenMinds folks running an after-school Drawing and Book-making camp from 1:40-3:40 pm for $32 daily. Register through email at or call (619) 665-1264.

Monday, November 22-Friday, November 26: THANKSGIVING BREAK, NO SCHOOL!  A full week off means LOTS of opportunities for wellness, mental health and gratitude. Enjoy the week with your family!

Monday, November 29-Friday, December 17 – 3 full weeks of instruction – as we start the 2nd reporting period, these 3 weeks of instruction are key, we hope our students’ families will commit to getting them here.

Monday, December 20-Friday, December 31 - Winter Break, LOTS MORE opportunities for wellness, mental health and gratitude. Enjoy this time with your family.

Monday, January 3: school reopens with full days of instruction again, except Wednesdays.

Please call in to school when your child is absent - (619) 497-3500. 

Hope this helps - the Birney Buzz will be sent home in backpacks tomorrow, enjoy your holiday Thursday, see you Friday!

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.