Friday, September 27, 2013

September Faculty Blog

Hi all,

Here is the September Faculty Blog.

Admissions: Open Houses are set for October 26, December 4 and January 18. Two are Saturdays and one is a Wednesday. There are several ECE weekday open house dates scheduled in the spring.

The first Enrollment Open House of the year will be Saturday, October 26 from 10-12. Tours begin now and applications will be open for 14-15 on November 1.



Homework reminders:
The question of homework has come up in multiple ways.  As stated in the Parent Handbook, we do not give assignments early when families go on vacations. Students may certainly read or keep a journal while they are gone. If there is an ongoing project, the student may work on it independently. The point is that the assignments are not meaningful without the instruction that precedes them. The more consistent we are with this, the better for all.

Additionally, we do not assign homework on weekends or vacations.  The students and families need time away and time to spend together.  At the same time, struggling students, may benefit from some extra time to work on projects, spelling lists, or reading. If this is confusing, please talk with either Cecilia or Gary.

Conference Day notes:
Enrichment teachers should be on campus on Monday and Tuesday (Conference Days), per their regular teaching schedule. Parents may drop in.  Otherwise, enjoy this time for planning and collaborating.

ECE and Elem - the conference schedule is being passed - please be sure it keeps moving.  Thank you.

Other PSA news:
So you know, the PSA has made a few adjustments to their budget.  We will no longer sell scrip and will not host restaurant nights this year (too many volunteer hours as compared to the money earned).  At the same time, they will cover the cost of class plays (considered a curriculum expense).  Parents should not be asked to contribute financially in any way to costumes.  Of course, the parents will continue to give many hours of their time. PSA will also pay for major class events, like Pioneer Day and Native American Day.  PSA is working closely with admin to minimize the number of asks from the families.  

Fund Run Prizes
Thank you for your enthusiasm and support on Fund Run and spirit week.  The campus was certainly full of energy, and we trust that the outcome will be adequate funds for our PSA events. 
This year, after hearing from some students and talking with the faculty last year, the Fund Run organizers did away with class prizes for (ice cream parties, free dress, and movie tickets). They also decided not to make a big announcement about this. So your student might still be expecting something. You can let them know that the challenge this year is for the school to reach its fund raising goal, $40,000, which is higher than ever before as a goal. Upon reaching the goal, which will be announced at the assembly, a treat is planned for that day. Also, we will have a special celebration later, which will involve Free Dress and hopefully something else (I’m working on that). Thanks, Gary.
Earthquake Drill (October 18th)
Due to the drill we had that was unplanned, I have canceled the fire drill on September 30th. Our next drill is on October 18th at 9:30. This is an announced drill so let your students know and explain to them what to do for the drill and in the case of an earthquake (Drop, Cover, and Hold). Unfortunately, this year we are not able to have our drill on the same day as the Great ShakeOut, which is on October 17th. Thanks, Gary.
Special Person’s Day (October 17th)
We have Special Perosn’s Day every two years , although we sometimes miss a year. We will be having one this year on October 17th.  The schedule for the day and note that went out to parents is below.
What: Special Personsʼ Day and Picnic
When: Thursday, October 17th 2013 " 10 am - 12:30pm
Where: Almaden Country School
The Details: Special Personsʼ Day is an opportunity for your child(ren) to invite someone to Almaden Country School to share their school experience. That person can be any special person in your childʼs life - a relative, friend, neighbor, or favorite babysitter. The schedule for the day is:
·      10:00 a.m. Registration

·      10:15 a.m.Welcome in Auditorium/Keynote Speech by Nan Hunter, ACS Founder
·      11:00 a.m. Head to classrooms
·      11:40 a.m. Picnic Lunch
Families bring bag or picnic lunches to eat on the blacktop at tables provided by the school. Uncle Ray’s will operate that day to provide lunch to those students who have ordered lunch. Fresh fruit and cookies will be provided for dessert.
·      12:30 p.m. Students return to class
 Junior Kindergarten and Begindergarten students may be picked up as usual or stay in the classroom for an extra period from 11:00-11:40 a.m. to show their Special Persons the class before participating in the lunch with everyone else.
Kindergarten students who participate in Special Persons’ Day lunch must return to their classroom at 12:15 p.m. for closing circle and dismissal.
There is another small part of the day involving how students will pick up their Special Guest. Since we are still finalizing that, I will let you know via email. Thanks, Gary
STEM at ACS Parent Ed Night
On October 9th at 7:00 the school will have its first parent education night of the year. The focus of the night will be about STEM education at ACS. It is going to be a very cool evening in which parents will be doing activities from our science and technology curriculum as the best way to learn about what we do and what STEM really is. Elizabeth Pombo, Julie Hackett, Barbara DeMoss, Kaitlyn Howell, and Mary Beth Gay will all be preparing and running activities involving plants, water, wind, microscopes, computers, and problem solving. Then we will discuss STEM and Dr. J will make connections with 21st century skills. It promises to be a great evening and you are certainly all invited to come. Thanks, Gary

Middle School Teachers:
Please remind your students to log out at the end of the day. I was in a classroom this week after school doing an update and two computers out of the cart were logged out. All others were still  logged in and many had documents open. These documents will not sync to the server if they are open on the desktop. 
Thanks, Mary Beth
How to install printers:
I have attached an illustration instruction sheet on how to install printers onto a computer in .pdf format. If another format will work better, let me know and I will send it again. 
Mary Beth
Howtoinstallthecorrectprintersonyourcomputer (1).pdf
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  1. Hello everyone. We will need to move the announced Earthquake drill mentioned in the blog to Tuesday, October 15th at 9:30. This will be in the bulletin and I will email you as a reminder.
    Thanks, Gary