The Birney Buzz 12/16/2020

The Birney Buzz 12/16/2020
Posted on 12/17/2020
Thank you

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Hello Birney families and friends,

The 10th Annual Birney Big Give was a great success! We raised over $20,237.45 in individual donations from 182 donors.  With the business sponsorships of $6,800 we are close to our $35,000 goal ($27,037.45).  Between you and me, there is still time if you want to help us get to over 200 donors (only 18 people – easy, right?!), just click on the donate button at FOAB’s website at

What a great contribution to our keeping Birney’s amazing Specials going through the year and supporting our teachers.  Did you know that our teachers use Specials time to collaboratively plan instruction, reflect on what has been learned by students and analyze student performance, always with an eye on improvement? While your kids are having fun learning Spanish, art (music, visual art, dance and theater), garden and PE, our teaching teams are inspiring each other to rise to meet the needs of every student in the grade level with rigorous instruction.   Every team member brings a different strength to the meeting, they share their best practices and contribute their ideas.  The result is what you see every day – I am proud of our Birney IB Program and the instruction, the materials, the spirit of what we teach our students, and your contributions to the fall fundraiser and Big Give make it all possible.  THANK YOU!

Many thanks to the University Heights Community Association for their annual Giving Tree – UHCA, our neighbors, have donated almost $2,000 in gift cards for needy families for supermarkets, Target and more.  If you know of a needy family, would you please reply to this email and help me get help out to our families most in need?  We will be coordinating the gift card distribution for early January, but if you know of someone in immediate need, we can make an exception.

A reminder - Mr. Liem and Mr. Lyons are retiring as of December 31, their last day will be next Friday, 12/18.  We have a “VidHug” project you can participate in for both or either of them. Mr. Lyons, 5th grade teacher at Birney for about 10 years, is at:

Mr. Liem, Birney staff member for 40 years, lunch supervisor, computer teacher, upset-student-whisperer and so much more, is at:

In addition, we are inviting the school community at large to join in a drive-thru celebration for Mr. Liem on 12/18 from 3-4 pm in the Birney parking lot. Families can decorate their cars, bring a card, gift, or just their smile and cheer (behind their masks) to honor our very deserving colleagues. Please do drive by to say goodbye to Mr. Liem.

TODAY:  Library checkout for grades 2-5!  Our popular “Curbside Check Out” happens every Wednesday from 12-2pm. There is a link for “Birney Curbside Check Out” on the library website Miss LeeAnn’s Library Land. You can reserve books up till 11:00 am on Wednesdays through the Destiny link. Please contact Ms. LeeAnn at [email protected] with any questions. Library books ordered will be available in front of school where the lunches are!

IT’S VACATION!!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL!! WINTER BREAK WILL BEGIN THIS FRIDAY AND LAST 12/19-1/03.  Prepare to zoom back in to class at 9:00 on Monday, January 4. 

PHASE ONE APPOINTMENT-BASED LEARNING:  There may be more openings available for students in need of onsite appointment-based learning.  Appointments are daily, supervised from 8:30-12:00 pm.  Students still participate online with their own teachers, but they are supervised by a credentialed teacher or a paraeducator and they have fewer problems with connectivity, mobility and focus. If you are interested in finding out more about this possibility for your child, a simple reply to this email will put you in touch with me and more information.    

  • Yearbooks from last year are still here! Please email Pat Spaulding at [email protected] to arrange for a time to pick your yearbook up. You can still purchase a yearbook too, there are extra copies.
  • Trouble with a device? DO NOT RETURN TO BIRNEY! We are running out of devices, so please do the following!
    •  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 AND CALL (619) 260-2460 for help.
  • Online Learning will continue into the New Year:  You may now be aware that our district has determined that given the current renewal of the lockdown because of COVID hospitalizations in Southern California, we will NOT be opening back up for Phase Two on January 4.  The Superintendent and Board will make further announcements on January 13, in the meantime we will continue remote learning with minimal Phase 1 at school. 

Need to talk to me?  Question/Concern?  I am always available by email!  I can be found at [email protected] or [email protected]

Ms. Amanda


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