BA Blast Newsletter
September 20, 2020
Mark Your Calendar
- BA Spirit Wear orders due, September 21
- Virtual Principal Coffee Chat, September 25, 9:30am
- Local School Holiday, Mon, October 12
- PTA meeting, Wed, October 14, 3pm via Zoom
- Walk-A-Jog Fitness Challenge, October 18 - October 25
Dear Brittan Acres Families,
I never realized how much I appreciated clean air until this week. After being shut inside for several weeks, it was so nice to get out and take advantage of the nice weather and fresh air! I hope you too were able to enjoy some outside time and get some exercise. As I told my students at the assembly last week - Reading is to the Brain as Exercise is to the Body! Both are equally as important as our students grow and learn.
I know that the role of parents has shifted dramatically with distance learning. We truly appreciate everything that you are doing to help support your students during this time. I wanted to share some resources with you.
If you need help with meals then check out our School Lunch page on the SCSD website. Boxes with meals for the week, including entrees and a variety of fruit and veggies, are picked up on Mondays. Simply order online and safely pick-up your box for the week. If you are interested in applying for free or reduced-price meals an Electronic Application is available now!
Internet / Wifi
I’ve had many people reach out to me asking about internet connections. Hotspots can work similar to a cell phone to provide wifi for one user but unfortunately will not work for multiple devices. If you are noticing that you are consistently having trouble with reliable connections, see the suggestions below from our district tech dept.:
If you are leasing your router from your ISP - request an updated one as the first (free) step.
If you own the router and it is more than 5 years old, update your router to one that supports Wi-Fi a/b/g/n.
If you are on a personally owned device with an ethernet port, then plug directly into the router for a more solid connection. (Unfortunately, this is not an option for Chromebooks.)
Zoom uses up a lot of your upload bandwidth. If you have a large household doing many Zoom sessions at the same time, you could reach out to your ISP about raising your account level for higher upload limits (though at a cost) or switch your internet service provider to someone that offers a fiber connection (usually no upload/download limits).
If families are spread out across the home, there might be an issue with the range of the connection. A WiFi repeater or extender uses your existing WiFi signal, amplifies it and then transmits the boosted signal. With a WiFi repeater you can effectively double the coverage area of your WiFi network - reaching far corners of your home or office, different floors, or even extend coverage to your yard.
Wide Open School also has a list of companies offering free and low-cost internet at the following page, Internet Access and Devices.
We are proud to be partnering with the Parent Venture Series, an extension of the Parent Education Series, to bring high-quality, engaging speakers and programs to our community. This year, all events will be online and free!
Several websites have been designed to support families in distance learning. Wide Open School has a variety of tools for social-emotional learning and digital citizenship, plus resources on racial justice and equity and for kids with learning and thinking differences, English-language learners, and Spanish-speaking families.
I’m also hoping to connect with families by offering Virtual Principal Coffee Chats. This is an opportunity for you to drop in with your coffee and connect with other parents at Brittan Acres. Initially there will not be an agenda for these drop in meetings but if needs arise, we might tailor them towards specific topics.
My first Coffee Chat will be this Friday, September 25th at 9:30. Join me. Please see your e-mail for the Zoom link
Joining Together for Student Success!
Join TeamKid and be a part of the critical community fundraising needed to support our students, our teachers, and our schools!
Your PTA donations support essential programs and events at Brittan Acres this school year. PTA funded programs include teacher stipends, art supplies, enrichment, staff appreciation, community building, special projects and needs, walk-a-jog shirts, healthy cities tutoring, and much, much more. We are aiming for 75% participation and today we're only at 24%. We can do this, BA! Donate Today.
Your SCEF donation ensures continued funding for teaching positions and professional development, technology devices and applications, mental health and wellness, elective teachers and music programs, and Principal Flex Accounts across all San Carlos schools.
Find out more about how PTA and SCEF are working together for student success HERE. Join the TeamKid movement by making your PTA donation this fall and planning your SCEF donation at a time that works best for your family.
BA Spirit Wear - Orders Due Monday!
The deadline to order your Brittan Acres spirit wear is tomorrow, Monday, September 21st. Don't miss this one chance to order BA merchandise for the year. We are offering a variety of fun shirts, sweatshirts, and hats for the whole family. Shop online at https://bapta.myschoolcentral.
Walk-A-Jog Fitness Challenge
We are excited to announce our plans for an adjusted Walk-A-Jog, which is traditionally BA's largest community event of the year. We will not be able to come together to celebrate our community as we always have, but we want to encourage all families to get active and celebrate our BA community!
This year, we will be encouraging a Walk-A-Jog Fitness Challenge during the week of Sunday, October 18th through Sunday, October 25th. The PTA will be giving out shirts to all Brittan Acres students to wear during this Fitness Challenge week, and the goal is to find fun activities to do as a family. We will share ideas of activities as the week approaches, and we will be collecting photos that capture the activities you choose to do together. Please mark your calendar for this week long Fitness Challenge and please fill out this form so that we can collect your child's shirt size. If you have questions, please reach out to Angie Jongejan and Melissa Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposition 15 - Schools & Community First
The San Carlos School District unanimously approved a resolution in support of Prop 15 Schools and Communities First on the ballot in November. The District would receive an estimated $1,896,397 and the City of San Carlos $4,112,000 in additional funding if the initiative passes. According to the measure's sponsors, The California Schools & Local Communities Funding Act would raise an estimated $12 billion annually statewide for schools and local communities including $830 million for San Mateo County.
For details, go to the California PTA's website.
WHY is community support of our schools so important?
School districts in California are funded one of two ways. State-funded or “Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)” districts, like ours, receive the majority of their revenue from the state of California based on student enrollment because their property tax revenue is insufficient to fund the minimum per student allocation set by the state. Community-funded districts (formerly known as “Basic Aid) derive all their funding from local property taxes because they are able to meet the state-set per pupil funding threshold through their property taxes alone.
While San Carlos is surrounded by some community-funded districts, the vast majority of school districts in California are state-funded, like SCSD. A shift in how California schools are funded resulted after the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, prior to which, school funding was much more robust throughout the state, as districts could count on property taxes to meet their funding needs. How does this impact us today? Following Prop. 13, California now consistently ranks near the bottom in education funding in the U.S., particularly in the Bay Area where cost-of-living is so high.
SCSD currently receives about 75% of what it takes to educate our students from the state of California, leaving a 25% gap to fill. Thanks to support through SCEF donations, parcel taxes and the like, our San Carlos community bridges this funding gap to ensure our district has the resources to provide our children with the well-rounded quality education they deserve.
To learn more about California school funding: https://www.scefkids.org/
SCEF 2019-20 Annual Report: Photos Wanted
We are beginning to work on SCEF’s 2019-20 Annual Report and would like to include photographs of kids working in their home "classrooms." If you would like to submit a photo for consideration, please send it in the highest resolution to: email@example.com. We will select a few to publish in the annual report and use in marketing throughout the year.