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From the Principal

Dear Foster City School Families,  

I am looking forward to seeing all of you and your children on the first day of school, Tuesday, August 15th. I hope you had a relaxing summer and spent some quality time with your children. We are excited for their arrival and have a few changes that we think will enhance their academic and social/emotional learning here at Foster City School.

First of all, we are changing the times that students go to morning recess and lunch. Our first and second grade students will be eating lunch at 12:30 and going to the playground around 1:00 PM. This makes for a longer morning for them but allows for our teachers to maximize learning with two, one-hour and fifty minute learning blocks. Because of the longer morning, it will be important for them to pack a healthy, mid-morning snack.

Our Third, Fourth and Fifth grade students will eat lunch at 11:50 and go to the playground at 12:20. This extends the afternoon and allows for more time to work on projects and labs.

We are also configuring our snack area and amphitheater to eat lunch outside rather than in the MPR. While the MPR is a great space and convenient for lunch, it does not allow us to use this space in creative ways as it was intended. When it is raining, we can continue to use the MPR, but our hope is that we will have more opportunities for exhibits, performances and collaborative learning experiences. One downside to eating outside is that we have limited shade structures, and this adds an additional 30 minutes of sun exposure for many students. As always, sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are recommended.

The San Mateo-Foster City School District is implementing a new English Language Arts / English Language Development program that is aligned with the CA ELA/ELD standards. Benchmark Advance incorporates all that we know about strong reading and writing instruction, with an emphasis on balanced literacy. However just like last year’s implementation of enVision Math, there will be a learning curve for all of us. Our teachers are very excited to have the resources and will need some time to learn how to optimize the curriculum.

Through your generous contributions to our PTA, we are able to partner with Playworks and Soul Shoppe as we build our own capacity to improve the Social/Emotional Learning of students at Foster City Elementary School. Playworks is new to our school, and they will be working with staff and student coaches on enhancing organized play during morning and lunch recess. Soul Shoppe will be working with all students several times a year on conflict resolution, anti-bullying, and other “powerful life-skills.”  They will also be working with parents at a PTA General Meeting in February.

I also want to introduce our new assistant principal, Amanda Goll. Amanda served as the Assistant Principal at Brewer Island Elementary School last year. She was also a student at Foster City Elementary School. We are thrilled that Amanda has joined our staff. Please introduce yourself to Amanda when you see her on campus.  

I have included some important details below. Enjoy the last few days of summer vacation with your children!


Patrick Hurley