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From the Principal

One of my favorite parts of the day is walking around the campus in the morning and greeting you and your children as we all start our day. I have a few different routes that I take in the morning. Lately, I’ve been trying to help out at various drop off points to help make this safe and efficient. I’ve included some observations and reminders below.

In November, we had our PTA Reflections Gallery and Awards Ceremony. Thank you to Rachna Mittal for organizing and serving as our emcee for the evening. Rachna was able to show us highlights of student film, dance, and music -- as well as art and literature displayed on tables. Thank you Rachna for your hard work and congratulations to all of the students who participated in this event!

During the month of December, we have our annual Scholastic Book Fair. The fair is open from Monday 12-11 thru Saturday 12-16. We are open during the evenings on Tuesday and Thursday of that week from 6 to 8 PM, and again on Saturday morning during our Pancake Breakfast from 8-11 AM. This is a terrific opportunity to choose books with your children and support the school. Thank you to Tracy Militello and David Saito for organizing this event. If you’d like to volunteer for either the Book Fair of the Pancake Breakfast, please do so by visiting our PTA website.

Also, for the next two weeks, all of our students will be participating in a computer coding program. Computer Science Education Week is an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. See below for more details.

We are looking forward to our first Parent Education Speaker Night on Wednesday, December 13th from 6:00 PM to 7:15 PM. Susan Stone Belton will be sharing her insights and research on communication with our children. Thank you to the PTA for sponsoring this event and Ms. Patteson (kindergarten teacher) for her work in organizing this event. Refreshments will be served and child-care/pizza will be provided for toilet-trained children!

You may have noticed some of the ‘Pop Up Gardens’ on our campus. Various classrooms have adopted flower beds and brought them back to life! Ms. Presse’s fifth grade class recently transformed the little area between room 24 and the computer lab. Students took shifts throughout the day and turned this little dirt space into a beautiful flower garden surrounded by a small white picket fence. There are more plans in the works! Thank you to everyone for making our campus more colorful and vibrant.

I look forward to December and the upcoming vacation. However, I am also looking forward to January-April where we have a few uninterrupted months to work with your children. I am in classrooms frequently and observe high-quality instruction. I am amazed as I watch students highlight ‘key details’ from complex texts and write summaries or synthesize information from multiple texts. These short texts, often excerpts from longer pieces, are challenging for students. They include content from history/social science as well as both life and physical science. The New York Times recently published an opinion piece titled “How to Get Your Mind to Read” by Daniel T. Willingham. Willingham argues that students need the knowledge that comes from strong science and social studies instruction in order to comprehend the reading that they will encounter in school and life.

During their literacy block at Foster City School, students are learning how to read while learning science and social studies content. Our new Benchmark Advance English Language Arts/English Language Development curriculum has ten units at each grade level, of which seven build content knowledge in social science, technology, and science. Students still read books that they have chosen and love to read -- as well as listen to read-alouds of favorite stories and novels from their teacher. But we are also teaching your children how to read nonfiction texts while building the critical background knowledge necessary for comprehending future texts.

Below is more information for you about upcoming events. Have a great December!


Patrick Hurley, Principal 

Drop Off and Parking

This is a reminder that drop off and pick up instructions are on our website. Drop off areas are for students who can get out of the car (with their backpack) on their own. An adult should not be getting out of the car to help them as this slows down the process. For safety and efficiency, it works best when children exit from the passenger side of the car so that they can do so safely without having to navigate passing traffic on the driver’s side. If your child needs more help than this, we ask that you park off campus and walk your child on to the school grounds.

While you may see empty spots in our parking lot, we have only enough for all of the staff and ask that parents not park in the lot. Many of our employees are dropping off their own children at school and daycares and depend on these open spots between 7:45 and 8:15. We have employees that start later in the day as well.

SMFCSD Town Hall Meetings

We want to hear from YOU.

Our school district is chronically underfunded and experiencing a structural deficit. We are opening our doors to the San Mateo-Foster City community for ideas and solutions. Please join us at an upcoming Town Hall meeting.

All events are 6:30–7:30pm

• Tues. Dec. 5 at Abbott Middle School

• Wed. Dec. 13 at Bowditch Middle School

• Thurs. Dec. 14 at Borel Middle School

• Mon. Dec. 18 at Bayside Academy


Computer Science Education Week(s)

Foster City Elementary School students will be participating during their Computer Lab time with Ms. Oh for the next TWO weeks! All students will use code.org as well as Tynker (TK-2nd grade) and Scratch (3rd-5th grade) to learn some basic computer coding skills.

Below are some links that will provide more information. The applications that your child will be using are all web-based, so the whole family can code together!

Code.org: https://code.org
Tynker: https://www.tynker.com
Scratch: https://scratch.mit.edu

Registration for students new to Foster City School!

If your child is currently enrolled at Foster City School and will be returning next year, you do not need to do anything related to registration for the 2018-19 school year. However, if you have another child that will be attending Foster City School next year, be sure to complete the registration process.