BA Blast Newsletter


October 18, 2020

Mark Your Calendar

  • Walk-A-Jog Fitness Challenge, Oct 18 - Oct 25
  • Pumpkin Contest Submissions Due , Oct 25 
  • Picture Day, Nov 4

Principal's Message

Dear Families, 

October is Safety Month: October 19-23 marks Digital Citizenship Week. 

As we are deep in distance learning, teaching students how to be safe online is of vital importance. Teachers have been teaching digital citizenship and safety since the start of the school year and students have been learning how to use their devices safely, responsibly and respectfully. There are many good resources available for families to reinforce digital safety at home. WideOpenSchool provides some good resources to explore together: 

Digital Citizenship, Grades PreSchool - 2nd
Practice using technology safely, respectfully, and responsibly. These fun and free games and activities will help you make smart choices online and in life.

Visit Interland, Grades 2-6
Explore four islands in this game by Google that covers key digital citizenship topics like protecting privacy, sharing safely, and being kind online.

Digital Passport, Grades 3-5
Explore some of the different elements of digital citizenship through these games. Pick one and play!

What's Cyberbullying?, Grades 3-5
What counts as cyberbullying? Learn what it is, and what it isn't, and give kids important tools they'll need to combat the problem.

I’m looking forward to getting outside and participating in our fitness challenge this week. I hope many of you have an opportunity to join us in this revamped BA tradition.

Suzanne Fast, Principal


Parent Events

There are a variety of parent events happening in the next few weeks. Please see below for opportunities to learn, get support, or discuss current topics and events in our community.

Parent Screening: The Social Dilemma 
We tweet, we like, and we share— but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? In the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen. Take a look here at this thought-provoking trailer. 

This is such an important topic, especially now that we (and our children) have become so dependent on the screen to stay connected both socially and academically, Mrs. Scholer, Principal of White Oaks, will be hosting a screening of this documentary, followed by a discussion on Wednesday, October 28th from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm (adults only). 

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here by Monday, October 27th. Participants will receive the Zoom link beforehand. 

Site Council Meeting
Our next School Site Council Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21 at 3:00 pm via Zoom. Come learn about our school from the instructional program view along with our themes and priorities for the school year. Site Council meetings are open to the public, and all are invited to join the conversations. Please contact Principal Fast for the Zoom link. 

Parent Education: Writer’s Workshop
Join us for a virtual parent workshop to support your writers at home by our two literacy coaches. They will share routines, structures, and essentials to put in place at home, as well as strategies to help your child improve as a writer. There will also be time for questions and answers at the end.

  • Grades K-2: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 @ 7pm - K-2 Flyer
  • Grades 3-8: Thursday, October 22, 2020 @ 7pm - 3rd-8th Flyer

Parent Support Groups
Please click on this link to see more details about this three-part series to support parents & caregivers in setting limits and holding boundaries with children. This is being offered free to parents as part of the SCSD parent education program this year.

October 21, 28 and November 4: Setting limits and holding boundaries with our children


It’s not too late to Join the TeamKid movement! 

Many thanks to those families who have already contributed to TeamKid, our Brittan Acres PTA fundraising campaign this year! The PTA fundraising deadline is approaching, if you haven’t donated yet, we still need your help!

We are just $10K shy of our goal, so your contribution of $125 per student, or $250 for a Family Membership to Brittan Acres will bring us closer to meeting our goal to cover PTA funded programs this year.

Although we are currently in distance learning, PTA fundraising is still needed to provide critical site needs. Our PTA funds directly support teacher stipends, art supplies, enrichment, staff appreciation, community building, special projects and needs, the walk-a-jog shirts you just recevied, healthy cities tutoring, and much, much more. Click HERE to donate.

We invite you to Join TeamKid today and support these organizations that support our schools.


The Walk-A-Jog Fitness Challenge is Here!

The Walk-A-Jog Fitness Challenge is taking place all this week, October 18th-25th! We encourage you to find a few ways to get outside and get active with your family this week. Here are a few reminders:

  • Sign the waiver in order to participate
  • As a reminder, the Fitness Challenge is not happening at Brittan Acres. You will be doing something active with your family at your house or around your neighborhood.
  • Encourage your child to wear their new Walk-a-jog Fitness Challenge tshirt. If you were not able to pick it up, you can stop by the Brittan Acres office. There are still small and medium shirts remaining.
  • Take pictures and share them with us in this album.

Kids will be encouraged to wear their shirts for the whole school assembly on Wednesday with Ms. Fast! If you have questions, please reach out to Angie Jongejan and Melissa Schmidt at


Pumpkin decorating submissions due soon!

We are thrilled to announce that the BA PTA is continuing with the beloved annual pumpkin decorating contest tradition - virtually!

Decorate your pumpkin at home, take a pic and submit the picture for entry by grade level: TK/K Pumpkin Contest Entries
1st Grade Pumpkin Contest Entries
2nd Grade Pumpkin Contest Entries
3rd Grade Pumpkin Contest Entries

Pumpkins will be judged on the following categories:

  • Most adorable
  • Best traditional
  • Most original design
  • Silliest
  • Scariest

5 winning pumpkins per grade! Winners receive:

  • Pictures of winning pumpkins featured in Mrs. Fast's assembly the week of Halloween!
  • Fun, custom yard sign that can proudly be displayed next to winning pumpkin in yard
  • Halloween goody bag

Start decorating today and submit your entry by Sunday, October 25th! One entry per student - winners will be notified by Tuesday, October 27th. For any questions or if you would like to help, please reach out to Katie Montgomery  Happy decorating!


District News

SMARTE Afterschool Clubhouse

Do your children miss spending time with other kids? Would they like to join their friends in the SMARTE Clubhouse? We still have a few openings in our program!

The SMARTE Clubhouse is providing on-site, all-day care while schools are on a distance learning schedule. Programs will run from 8:30 am-4:30 pm each day. We have three different options available for families:

  • Full-time care 5-days a week
  • Part-time 3-days or 2-days a week

The SMARTE Clubhouse is dedicated to enriching children's lives outside of school. It provides a fun, safe and welcoming place to spend time in a supervised childcare environment to support online learning along with engaging enrichment activities. The program is available to TK-3rd grade students at our four elementary schools - Arundel, Brittan Acres, Heather and White Oaks. Each program offers age-appropriate educational and enriching activities in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Please visit the SMARTE Clubhouse website for more detailed information. If you have additional questions, please email us at Scholarships are available for families in need and we offer both an employee and sibling discount.

Click on the SMARTE Clubhouse Registration link to sign-up today!

San Carlos School District Preschool Program

Did you know that the San Carlos School District Preschool is open and safely running? Children are painting, building, creating, learning and playing with their friends. They are happy and enjoying their days in the preschool classroom.

The program has been open and safely running since May 11 - Monday-Friday from 7:30am until 5:00pm. Your preschooler is welcome to attend 2, 3, 4 or 5 days - we have open spots available at each of the four elementary sites.

Each preschool classroom is self contained with up to 12 children and 2 teachers. A strict health and safety protocol is followed each day. Children and teachers are wearing masks as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

To find out more information, visit our preschool website or contact the Director of the program, Sue Dawley at She will be happy to answer all of your questions.

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.



SCEF dollars are hard at work this school year, and we are doing our part to support our students and teachers. YOUR donation dollars are supporting smaller K-3 class sizes, new Chromebooks and iPads for students, professional development for our teachers in distance learning and social justice. SCEF is partnering with the district and the PTA Coordinating Council (PTACC) to fund our parent education program this year--Parent Ventures and One Life Counseling are helping to provide a robust menu of opportunities.


Community Corner

Healthy Cities Tutoring Training - Oct 21

Healthy Cities Tutoring is recruiting volunteers – Reach a child. Touch a Family. Build a community.

Join our community of volunteers who range in age from 14-96 and provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring to students for 30-45 minutes per week to improve their academic performance, engagement in learning, and self-esteem. This year with distance learning we are seeking volunteers willing to be trained in tutoring a student remotely once a week. We expect the need to grow this year and hope you or someone you know will get involved in this rewarding volunteer experience.

If you are interested in learning more, please mark your calendar for our annual new tutor orientation & training which will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, October 21 at 7:00-8:15 pm. RSVP here. For more information to become a Healthy Cities tutor, visit and click VOLUNTEER to complete the online application or email


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This newsletter is brought to you by the Brittan Acres PTA.  Join the Bruin Village.