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From the Principal

Dear Foster City School Families,  

The opening of the school year has been busy for all of us, but it has gone smoothly! Most of our students were able to catch a glimpse of the Solar Eclipse on August 21st due to the special glasses purchased by the PTA for all students. It was very exciting to hear your children’s comments as they were able to spot the “Orange Banana” in the sky through their glasses! Thanks to the teachers who made sure the students were informed about the significance of the eclipse and for closely monitoring them all morning.

It was also nice to see so many of you at Back-To-School Night. Amanda and I were able to get in all classrooms that evening and left feeling confident that you know your children are with knowledgeable and caring teachers. I presented to many of you that evening at the PTA General Meeting and shared with you some of the changes that are happening here at Foster City School this year and the reasons for those changes. One change was outdoor eating. We are doing everything we can to move as many students as possible under the shade structure on those hot, sunny days. You may notice that some of the covered walkways are now full of tables! By eating outside, it allows for our MPR to be used in more interesting and flexible ways.

On September 5, we have our first full-day workshop with Soul Shoppe. Soul Shoppe will be reviewing the “Balloon” image that demonstrates how children’s feelings can build up when they don’t get their needs met or face challenges. Because of their “full balloon,” children can act out and this is where problems may arise. Soul Shoppe helps students to learn how to “empty” their balloon using healthy tools that they learn during the workshop. They also learn to “check in” by stopping and noticing their feelings. By using this common language, we can work  together to support all of our students both at school and home with their social and emotional learning.

We also had over 60 students in grades 3-5 apply to be Peacemakers. We had to ask several students to wait until next year since we had so much interest! Peacemakers had their first day of training in late August and will have their second training in mid-September. Thank you to all of the parents who have given your children permission to miss class for this training and for missing some additional class time to help students in grades TK-2 during their recess time. Our Peacemakers are trained to help students resolve conflicts, including showing them how to walk the “Peace Path.” The Soul Shoppe workshops and the Peacemaker program are funded in large part by the PTA. Thank you for your generous donations.

We are currently reviewing our student applicants in Grades 4-5 who are interested in being Junior Coaches with PlayWorks. Coach Jake from PlayWorks, along with Siwin Chu our new lunchtime recess coach, have already been organizing games on the playground. In Mid-September, Coach Jake will be teaching all students at Foster City School new games and training our Junior Coaches on how to get more students involved. We hope that this will enhance our students’ playtime and reduce the “boredom” that many kids experience during recess. PlayWorks is completely funded by the PTA through your donations during Falcon Drive.

I am looking forward to seeing you at “Movie Night” on September 15th. I know that we need many volunteers to pull this night off so please be sure to go the the PTA website to volunteer. If we do not have enough, you’ll see me outside with my clipboard recruiting volunteers! If you need help figuring how you can participate with your children and volunteer, ask any member of the PTA and they can share with you strategies that they’ve used over the years.

Finally, I hope that some of you will participate with me and other staff members at the Run2FunD Education event on Sunday, September 24th. There are many ways to get involved that don’t involve running! For more information, go to smfcedfund.org/run2fund/.


Patrick Hurley