For Students » Programs


Everywhere you look at Brittan Acres, you’ll find rich and diverse programs that make life in the classroom and on the playground that much better. We have parent-driven programs like Art in Action and BUGS, multiple after school options, and student support programs such as Counseling, Literacy and of course traditional favorites like Safety Patrol and Green Team that offer leadership opportunities.

Click these quick links to read about each program, or scroll down.
Art in Action
Art in Action is a PTA-sponsored enrichment program at Brittan Acres, which relies on the support of parent volunteers. Parents join their class in the art room to assist in a hands-on art lesson, inspired by a famous artist or culture. These range widely in style from Van Gogh’s sunflowers to an African Banda Mask. Each lesson begins with a teacher-led group discussion of the featured work of art, where students are taught art concepts and have the opportunity to observe carefully, question what they see, and discuss their opinions. This is followed by a pre-organized, hands-on project based on the artwork.


Art in Action gets parents into the classroom for a fun hour of learning. No previous art training or ability is required. There are also opportunities to help with mounting completed student projects, which can be done at school or home at any time. For more information or to volunteer, email

BUGS, or Better Understanding of Garden Science, teaches children about life science through gardening and hands-on science activities. Taught by Kate Pfaff and help with teams of parents, BUGS supplements the classroom science curriculum in a series of monthly lessons built around the new Next Generation Science standards.

Teams of volunteers are needed once a month in every classroom to teach science lessons and grow healthy vegetables in the garden plot. Each year, you will learn how to grow different crop families and can become a real gardening expert by the time your child exits BA. Volunteers can also help BUGS on school cleanup days and tending the garden at any time. For more information on the BUGS program, please contact Kate Pfaff at or visit the B.U.G.S website at

Healthy Cities Tutoring Program
Healthy Cities Tutoring is a non-profit organization that matches community volunteers with students to provide one-on-one mentoring to increase the academic success and self–esteem of our youth. No experience is necessary to become a tutor. Volunteers work just one hour per week at times convenient for them Approximately 40 BA students benefit from this program every year. To learn more, visit the Healthy Cities website at or email

Hot Lunch
Please follow this link to sign up for hot lunch with our vendor, Choice Lunch.
The PTA provides Hot Lunch Coordinators who hand out lunches to students once or twice a month. For more information, contact
The Library Media Center is open every school day from 8:00am until 1:00pm, except Wednesdays when it is open from 8:00am until 12:00pm. The Library is now open at lunch time for reading and playing games!

E-books and interactive books (that read themselves to you) that are a part of the BA library are now available for our students’ use outside of school. No matter where you find yourselves, if you are able to get online, your children can enjoy these books. Just log on to the library researcher at and click on Researcher. Then, in the Explore bar, click on the e-books icon to bring up a list of all our e-books and interactive books.Stop by for a visit during school hours – visitors are welcome and volunteers are always appreciated!

The Peninsula Library System has a searchable web catalog you can use to help locate books for research projects. To ask a question or volunteer to work in the library, email Karen Ha, who will be happy to respond just as soon as she finishes her reading…

Shop on & Support the Library
The Brittan Acres School Library has joined the Amazon SchoolRewards Associates program, an effortless way for you to help us continue growing and improving our library, simply by shopping at When ordering on Amazon just make sure to use our SchoolRewards link. When doing so we receive up to 10 percent of every Amazon purchase.

Remember to bookmark this link in your Internet browser!

The Literacy Associates Program at Brittan Acres:
Early Intervention for Reading Support

All of the schools in San Carlos maintain programs to address the needs of struggling readers, with the goal of supporting every child’s academic success. Here at Brittan Acres, our Literacy Associates provide that valuable service.

The program consists of pull out instruction for students who have been identified as performing below grade level in reading, providing immediate additional support when it is required. The goal is to eliminate gaps in student learning that might otherwise grow into more challenging reading difficulties. Students enter and exit the flexible program as their performance dictates; at any given time, our Literacy Associates serve approximately ten percent of our student population.

Our Literacy Associates work with selected students four days a week for 30-minute sessions, providing two hours of individualized reading remediation per week. They communicate regularly with classroom teachers about their pupils, are available to attend Student Success Team (SST) meetings, and provide data for parents and teachers to measure student progress.

Emphasizing earliest intervention, BA’s Literacy Associates focus first on struggling Kindergarten and First Grade students. Identification of students in need of Literacy support is determined by classroom teacher referral and by school-wide Kindergarten and First Grade “DIBELS Benchmark” assessments (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) conducted in September, January, and May.

Once in the program, each student’s progress is regularly monitored using specific DIBELS assessments. This makes the program flexible and efficient, capable of serving and releasing many students over the course of each year. Children who are shown to be performing at grade level are exited, making room for students newly identified as needing support to be entered into the program.

The focus of each Literacy session is determined by the needs of the students being served. Emerging readers are taught segmenting and blending skills, sound-symbol relationships (phonics), word attack skills, and accuracy and fluency in reading text. Developing readers learn to observe punctuation, develop their vocabulary, and improve their reading comprehension. Students are taught to read and spell high frequency words for their grade levels. Research-based materials are used, including the interventions materials newly adopted by the district in 2009-10 for use in classrooms, Literacy Associates programs, and Special Education settings.

On an as-needed basis, students identified as “Beginning” English Language Learners by the California Early Language Development Test (CELDT) may also work with our Literacy Associates using Language For Learning, a district-adopted structured language program addressing concepts important to both oral and written language.

Makerspace and Tech Lab
Our Makerspace is a hands-on tinkering and invention learning space. This space will be used during instruction time, with parent volunteers who help lead the various centers and teach competence to the students. For more info, check out the BA Tech Makerspace Site.

About Music for Minors
Founded in 1976, Music for Minors (MFM) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture in children a lifelong love of music by providing quality music education programs in elementary school classrooms.

Guiding Principles
  • Participation in school music develops creativity, social development, critical thinking, and self-esteem.
  • A solid music background is a vital part of every young student’s well-rounded education.
  • A high-quality, comprehensive, inclusive music curriculum should be offered to all students.
  • A comprehensive study of music involves singing, creating, reading, listening and responding to music.
  • A music program is most effective when there is a sequence of scope, musical knowledge, and skills taught for all students.
  • Music education positively influences other academic disciplines.
Music in Our Schools
The program provides a specially tailored music education program for our students. Professional music educators deliver comprehensive, sequential, and standards based music education in 30-minute sessions for grades TK-3. A common repertoire of songs and activities and a standardized program will be delivered across the district.

Staff Appreciation
We have a team of volunteers who will be focused on making sure the staff at BA is appreciated for all they do for our children. This may include meals or treats throughout the year. If you have questions, please contact Danielle Van Wert
Nature Park
What is a Nature Park?
The Nature Park is a place where children can co-create a new form of play space that is dedicated to creativity and play in nature. They differ from parks and playgrounds because they offer opportunities to interact with the environment, doing practical and adventurous things, rather than leaving it untouched.

For example:
  • Create sculptures from natural materials
  • Construct shelters from plants, branches and rocks
  • Build fairy houses, gnome homes and elf dwellings
  • Making trails
  • Weave fantasy play, stories and games into their activities
  • Other types of free and creative play
A Nature Park is an outdoor laboratory of creativity with open-ended possibilities for self-designed play, creativity, learning and socializing. If you are interested in volunteering, please email