The Birney Buzz 09/16/2020

The Birney Buzz 09/16/2020
Posted on 09/16/2020

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Hello Birney families and friends,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at Family Friday – record turnout for a virtual meeting. I have been out of touch this week due to a pinched nerve in my back which has been keeping me very busy, but I have some really good things to share with you, so here goes. 

Specials classes are starting next week!  Our Specials begin a little later due to COVID online learning and the structure of ‘Welcome Week’, but please help me welcome back our fantastic Specials Team: Spanish enrichment teacher, Sra, Goudy; art teacher (actual teaching artist, the real deal, we’ve seen him on stage), Charles Evans Jr.; garden teacher extraordinaire, Mindy Swanson and, of course, our own Coach Lord. In addition, we welcome back Coach Kenda who will be working with Coach Lord on Wednesdays and every other Thursday for Physical Education with grades K-3, and of course our amazing library assistant, LeeAnn Eshenbaugh, who is planning for library books to get into kids’ hands to check out during the lunch distribution. More to come on that next week!

Of course, Specials will be online for right now, partly synchronous and partly asynchronous, until we are clear on Phase 1 and Phase 2 reopening plans; we are going to be asking for your feedback for the first few weeks so we can be sure to present a smooth program. We are embedding Specials in our online program just as if we were back in school so that our students become accustomed to seeking out the enrichment opportunity as part of their regular school day.

 For the morning specials, students will begin the day with their teacher for a morning meeting and then the teacher will take them to Specials.  Upper grades will attend specials after lunch on Tuesdays (5th)  and Thursdays (4th). Consequently, the grade level specials will be as follows:

Monday morning: 1st grade

Tuesday morning: 3rd grade; Tuesday afternoon: 5th grade

Thursday morning: 2nd grade; Thursday afternoon: 4th grade

Friday morning: Kindergarten

Morning specials will be either PE/Art or Spanish/Garden for 60 minutes each.  Instruction will be both sychronous and asynchronous. Participation in Specials will be graded as part of the citizenship grade on the report card as well as the PE and VAPA grade.  We ask that all students attend these highly valued enrichment classes as part of a balanced IB education. Coach Lord and Coach Kenda will also provide PE on Wednesdays for grades 1-3.  Kindergarten will have additional PE on Thursdays. We thank our families for all your support of our Birney Specials. As you know, our Fall Fundraiser and all other fundraising throughout the year contribute to the excellence of our enrichment program at Birney. We provide students these enrichment classes in order to create space for teachers to meet to collaborate during the school day on their teaching and planning; a requirement of an authorized IB School. 

The Fall Fundraiser is off to great start! We had over $2800 in orders in our first weekend! Kids will be shown this video in lieu of an assembly. The focus this week is to have everyone send 10 emails using the BOOST10 sharing section of the Boon Supply website!  Students were asked to remind their parents to go on-line & send 10 emails. The kids will win a Gold Ninja Coop Keychain! I apologize for neglecting to send out the video at the beginning of the week (that pinched nerve) so I wanted to be sure to include it here.

PrimeTime started last week, and the participation has been building since then – it is a lovely way for our kids to get to see their friends even while it is online. Ms. Kelly is doing an excellent job with a very special read-aloud program which gets the kids thinking and talking about any number of things by way of great books picked for maximum kids interest. Contact Ms. Kelly at [email protected] if you are interested in finding out more about PrimeTime.  After-school enrichment classes are also starting this week or next, including an amazing FREE opportunity with Kid-versionary Theater for grades 3-5. I am linking all the fliers here in this newsletter (PeachJar newsletter will be available now on the home page of our new website)

MonartFree Kid-versionary grades 3-5SpanishSoccer 

Need to talk to me? I am always available by email [email protected]


 My office hours for this week will be Friday from 2:30-3:30. Topic: Open Door Office Hour 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.  Check out the Family Technology Support website at for all things you need help with in the technology realm. 

Still need supplies? I would say 85% picked them up this week BUT if you did not, we have your supplies in the office, stop by between 12 and 2 during the week, pick up some food, grab your supplies bag, let us know how you’re doing!  KINDERGARTEN is doing another drive-through Distribution day this Friday. 

Question/Concern? Simply send email to [email protected]

Ms. Amanda

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