School Newsletter

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  • Newsletter June 25 2020

    June 25, 2020

    Dear Beach Parents and Community,

    I hope your family is doing as well as can be this 3rd day into your child’s summer vacation!  Thank you for your partnership during our most unexpected end to the 2019-20 school year, and over the course of the whole school year as well. As we plan for the unknowns of next school year, know that I’m committed to and love this school and our community!  While this year ended in an unexpected way and next year will begin in an unusual way, our staff will be ready to welcome your child and family into the new school year however it unfolds.

    One of the many strengths of our staff is the love we have for our students and school community. We want Beach to be a joyful, inclusive, safe and engaging place for every child, we value partnering with you every step of the way throughout your child’s K-5 experience, and we are committed to facilitating strong learning outcomes and success, with racial equity and social justice at the forefront, for every one of our students. As a white principal, I want you to know I am committed to listening, reflecting, learning, and taking action to interrupt systemic racism, white bias and oppression in our own school and beyond. (Please let me know any thoughts, concerns, questions, etc..) Our staff’s love for our students and community is powerful when we come together as a team with a shared vision. We are committed to listening, reflecting, learning and taking action on behalf of each of your children next year. 

    Some specific actions we’re planning include 

    • Deepening and expanding the ways we reach out to, hear and support parents
    • Black Family Affinity Group, Topicas Para Hablar, Topic Talk 
    • Listen closely to students in our circles (or solid rectangles). What are students telling us?  
    • Black Student Union, GSA (Gay Straight Alliance)  
    • Figure out new ways to be responsive and flexible in our responses to students
    • Utilize Successful Schools Survey data to help us critically examine our practices and school environments. For example: what do our students need and want in order to feel a “sense of belonging” at Beach?  What do words such as “sense of belonging”, “safe”, “respectful” mean to our students? To our families?
    • Re-launch our “4 Be’s” (Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible) framework through lenses of equity, social emotional learning and needs, cultural relevance, and what it means to be anti-racist
    • Evaluate our lessons, resources and practices utilizing a framework for anti-bias education

    Some other quick updates for you:

    • If you missed our student materials pick-up day last week, we’ll have your child’s paper bag of supplies for them in the fall. Staff (other than custodians) are not permitted to re-enter schools until a date TBA. 
    • If you saw the messaging from Mr. Ramirez last week about advocating for funding for PE, and/or if you advocated, please know that funding for PE to this year’s levels, as well as adaptive PE, was restored!  The current plan is that our students will maintain the same amount of PE they had this year with Coach Ramirez and Ms. Orr. 
    • Last year’s school supply lists are posted on our website, with the most important items to focus on during summer sales for next year highlighted. Please feel free to hold off on purchasing the other items until we know more. We want to minimize school supply costs for families, but also ensure all students are ready with basic supplies for school and/or home, and don't want you to miss sales in the interim. If your budget is limited, please prioritize a good sturdy backpack big enough to zip around a pocket folder, pencils, markers, folders, and paper (see your particular grade level list for specific kinds of folder and paper requested). We will update the lists with additional needed items when we know what school will look like. Please don’t feel you must prioritize purchasing school supplies over basic needs for your family. We will partner with organizations and fund-raise as necessary to ensure all children have needed supplies next year. If your family is able to double up on supplies to provide them for a family whose resources have been more impacted during the COVID-19 crisis, please do! (Please just let the office know if you purchased an extra set of supplies, and for what grade level.)
    • The “Grade Level Benchmarks” insert you received with your child’s report card, with sections called Academic and Social Behaviors, Writing, Reading, and Math, was our staff’s effort to provide you with a visual reference for what we’d hope students at each grade would be able to understand or produce by the end of a regular school year. I want to highlight the “Academic and Social Behaviors” section. Students need to understand those academic and social behaviors, as well as regular academic skills. Often, they need help mastering the academic and social behaviors before they can successfully learn academic skills. If you recognize skills your child needs to learn (which is pretty likely for many if not most students!), helping them practice this summer could have a huge positive impact on their academic learning next year.

    If you haven’t yet read Ms. de Boer’s message about supporting children’s social and emotional needs, alongside helping them understand the significance of current events around racial injustice and police brutality (sent via school messenger June 9) please keep scrolling-- we have begun posting our school newsletters in chronological order under this tab. Her message as well as her linked reading/listening and website are amazing resources!

    My very best wishes for all kinds of goodness for your family, and our world, this summer. 

    Yours,

    Lisa

  • Newsletter June 15 2020

    Dear Beach Families, 


    We are very near to the end of an historic school year on multiple fronts. In the midst of a global pandemic wrought with uncertainty, anxiety, and fear, school in its traditional sense was abruptly interrupted and the bulk of the work was suddenly thrust into your laps. This, for many families, was likely nothing shy of a nightmare. For others, your children thrived. No matter how this impacted your family, we made it to the end of the school year. That being said, the concerns regarding COVID-19 that closed schools in March remain unresolved.


    With COVID-19 as a backdrop, we also find ourselves in the midst of another profoundly important and historic movement with people in our city, state, country, and around the world taking to the streets to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Conversation about race and racism are likely new to some families and for others this has been an ongoing conversation or a profoundly personal experience. Helping even our youngest students understand these concepts and the concept of white privilege and how to be an antiracist are critically important. 


    As we approach summer a whole new set of questions and concerns arise for me, especially around supporting the social and emotional needs of our kids while helping them understand the significance of the current events of today. Some ideas to support this work can be found below. 


    Take care of yourselves, be safe, and congratulations on finishing the school year. I will see many of you again in September.


    Warmly,


    Katrina


    How to talk to kids about race and racism and how to be an antiracist:

    This open letter to White families from Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacob, a Black parent writing for Romper.com is a much better and much more personal explanation as to why this work is so important. I encourage you to start by reading her letter before continuing with my response below.


    As a biracial Asian/White woman I will be the very first to admit that I am not an expert on this topic. My family is the beneficiary of many positive social determinants of health including a history of access to education including higher education, access to high quality health care, and financial security. With that caveat I am happy to share what my family is doing as we engage in the work of becoming antiracists. First and foremost, I need to continue to educate myself on the history of systemic racism that has been present in this country since it was founded so that I can understand how I have participated and caused harm. I do not feel that I can support my children’s growth in this area unless I am personally and actively engaging in this work. To do this I read/listen to books, podcasts, newspapers, and anything else I can get my hands on to help me better understand the experience of what it is like to be Black in the United States, on how to better understand my privilege, on how to be an ally and an antiracist. I talk to people about what I am seeing, hearing, and reading. I try to notice when I am uncomfortable around people that are racially different than me to better understand whether my own biases are causing this discomfort. My husband and I talk about what is in the news with our kids, and we talk with them about what it means to have white privilege. We talk about how their skin color is different compared to mine and to some of our friends. We take them to child friendly protests (with masks on) so that they have a physical experience of being part of this movement. We talk about how my interactions with and perceptions of the police are different from those of our Black friends. We read fiction and nonfiction books and movies together and separately and talk about them. We talk about stereotypes, race and racism in what we are seeing, hearing, and reading and in the context of when the movies/books were filmed and written and whether things are different now. When we were in Washington, DC a little over a year ago we visited the Smithsonian’s African American History Museum. My son was 7 at the time. It was too much for him to fully understand, but definitely planted a seed for having more conversations about what it is like to be Black in this country especially now in light of the long overdue reckoning for racial justice for Black Americans. It gave both of my children the opportunity to begin to understand the historical context of why and how we got to this place today. The link below is a great resource to start talking with your kids about race.


    10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids About Race


    I am linking a reading/listening list here


    My child is having having big emotional outbursts and more behavioral concerns:

    Recently many families have mentioned an increase in challenges managing emotions and the related behavior concerns. I want to take a minute to fully appreciate what we have required of our children. We told them that they couldn’t go to school, see their friends, and play sports or engage in other activities because of a virus that was making people critically ill. They saw parents staying home from work. They saw parents wondering how they were going to buy groceries and pay bills and rent. And now they are seeing and hearing protests for racial justice and against police brutality directed at Black Americans. They may be seeing images of George Floyd dying under the knee of a police officer, protesters being beaten with batons and gassed by police in riot gear. This is terrifying for adults, let alone children that have no locus of control and limited understanding of what all of this means. Remember this when your child acts out or is more emotional than usual. Their reactions are normal and expected. When responding to kids, ask yourself, ”How do I act when I am scared and anxious?” and “How do I want people to respond to me when I feel that way?” This doesn’t make challenging behaviors go away, but sometimes understanding why a child is behaving a certain way can be immensely helpful when trying to support them. 


    All students have been taught about their amygdala and prefrontal cortex. They know that the amygdala is the emotion center of their brain, and when activated by strong emotions, it can disengage from the rational prefrontal cortex. When we consider behavior in this regard, their occasional irrational behaviors often make a lot more sense. The key is to teach them skills to manage big feelings before they find themselves in a fight or flight state. My website has 42 days of very short mindfulness exercises that your kids can practice. They can be found here. I would encourage you to go through the archives with your kids to find some that work for your child. Scroll through the slides to see each day’s activity. Additionally, I have a series of lessons/activities on my website that focus on helping kids build resilience. They are linked here in English and here in Spanish. A book list with links to digital books to support emotional regulation and information about our brain’s emotion center can be found here.



    How do I support my children’s need to be with friends during the coronavirus and social distancing?

    There is no easy solution for this. Families need to decide what their personal comfort level is with the risk of seeing others. Younger kids especially struggle to maintain social distancing. It is not a natural way for them to play. I recommend reading to educate yourself on what is safer and more risky. Determining what you are comfortable with and having candid discussions with other families is of the utmost importance. 


    Personally, I am seeing that both of my children really need to be with their friends in some capacity. My middle schooler has been doing well through this crisis, but has not liked weekends. She is grumpy and sullen and complains that she has nothing to do without the structure of school. I anticipate that this will get worse as soon as school is over. I struggle to balance physical safety with the mental health and wellness of my children. We have been talking with other families about the possibility of letting the kids get together. For me that would likely mean outside only. I know that they won’t likely be able to maintain social distancing, but I do know that they will keep their masks on and use copious amounts of hand sanitizer. I also trust the families with whom we would do this to share the same expectation of their kids that I do and that they would practice similar social distancing expectations as my family when we are not together. This likely feels too risky for some families and ridiculously cautious for others. I want to acknowledge this openly because, again, there is not an easy answer. 


    Warmly (again),

    Katrina

  • Newsletter June 8-11

    Dear Beach Parents, Families and Community,

    Our car parade and clap out for our 5th graders yesterday afternoon shone light on the love our staff and community has for our children. Thank you so much if you were able to help or participate. I hope your child had fun, and that you had fun! The end of elementary school and being promoted to middle school is such a big, emotional milestone. I hope you will take time to pause and reflect on all your hard work and effort as a parent, and celebrate what you feel most proud of. Remember to include your efforts to build strong relationships with your child’s teachers-- such an important component of children’s success in school, and an area in which our staff wants to do better. Each of our Beach students are beautiful and full of spirit, capacity, potential, and you have everything to do with that! Our 5th graders go out into the rest of their lives representing a very loved group of people from Beach Primary School. We’re still holding them tight right now though. Next Tuesday evening at 5 pm we’ll be posting a virtual ceremony for our whole community to enjoy, 5th grade or incoming K or anywhere in-between. In the video, 5th graders will share reflections, our student body will be represented in a photo clap-out, and many staff will share comments. 

    Many of us, including me, recorded our comments pre-Memorial Day, thus before George Floyd was killed. This has brought up some feelings. Our messages will feel cheerful and focused on celebrating our children. I’ve thought about re-recording my remarks, but we have two things running parallel right now-- love for and joyful celebration of our children. And, an urgency to respond to George Floyd’s murder as well as the innumberable Black Americans who have died due to police brutality.

    Our community is resilient, empowered and incredible when we come together as a team to make something happen. As we celebrate the way that who we are, and what we can do together, played out yesterday, we can also carry our collective efficacy forward in the most important work we are doing in our own reflection and growth, as well as with our students, every day. Our staff is considering: What do our Black students need to feel safe and valued in their learning spaces? What do our non-Black students need, in order to better understand how to provide support and stand against injustice?

    I believe in our staff and know we believe in each other, to carry our love, passion and our ability to do hard things that need our full commitment and a large, diverse collaborative team, forward. I was struck with the many effective and powerful ways that collaboration between family and school resulted in the amazingness of our car parade yesterday.  Our collaboration, spirit, desire to make it happen well, willingness to take on the necessary pieces and belief in ourselves-- was why it worked. Let's remember the power of our collective efficacy as we prioritize racial equity for our school and for the world.

    And now, an important logistic for next week (student materials pick up Thursday June 11) and also a reminder: Please join us for Topic Talk this afternoon at 4 pm.

    Student Materials Pick Up Plan

    Some students still have belongings such as water bottles, coats or beautiful work at school; others have everything from school already.  If your child or children are in the first category, you will be able to come to school next Thursday at a scheduled time to pick up their materials (and drop off library books).  Please know that PPS has decided parents and students are not permitted to enter school buildings for any reason. Here is how this will work.

    • Teachers will still provide instruction to students next week. It is possible that there may be a day teachers provide an asynchronous activity vs. a classroom meeting.  Your teacher will let you know their plan for students for next week, as always.
    • Next week staff are scheduled at various times between Monday-Thursday to come to Beach following social distancing rules to organize student materials and their classrooms for summer break.
    • Our staff will write student names, teacher names, teacher’s room number, and student’s locker number if relevant, onto paper bags, place all student materials (including medication if relevant) in the bags, then organize them for delivery to parents or designee (written permission required) in cars on Humboldt at a time organized by student last name on Thursday (only):
      • Student’s last name begins with A-H:  8-10 am
      • Student’s last name begins with I-Q:  10 am-12 pm
      • Student’s last name begins with R-Z:  12-2 pm
    • Organizing bags and pick-up alphabetically by teacher enables parents who have children in multiple grades to pick up items from more than one class at the same time. 
    • Please pull up so you are facing the school-side of Humboldt: you’ll want to pull up to the curb facing forward toward Denver (not facing toward Concord/Interstate).
    • Parents are encouraged to bring in library and textbooks and place them in a stack (or bins if it’s raining) by the main entrance; our staff will carry them to the library.
    • Within your scheduled time (above), please pull up on Humboldt, in front of the auditorium doors (right between the main doors and the entrance closest to Concord).
      • Please bring and hold up a paper out your car window that clearly names your child’s last name and each teacher’s last name so our staff can locate your bag(s) and carry them to the curbside, step back, and you will then pick them up.
    • Parents and staff are asked to adhere to Social Distancing guidelines throughout the process.
    • If we end up with confusion about locker items we will use this plan at the Pick Up location: a staff member will show the student/parent (who remains in their car) all of the items in the bag and the student can identify if items are theirs. Items that were in the bag but don’t belong to the student will be returned for retrieval by the student to whom they do belong.
    • We are starting the day with a smaller band of names to allow us to see where the glitches are and make necessary changes before the next grade band.We hope you won’t have a long wait and apologize in advance if you do. Please plan to arrive during your scheduled time so we don’t end up with (even more) traffic congestion; if you come off-schedule we will have to work differently to find your child’s materials which will create delays.
    • Neighbors, friends, family etc. can pick up items for other students as long as the parent provided a note (you could hold up a text requesting that you pick up, or hand staff a paper request, etc.) designating permission.  Please communicate this and provide the note to staff when you pull up.
    • Report cards will either be sent home in paper bags or be mailed the week of June 15. Many teachers will still be working on report cards through next Thursday June 11 (June 11 is a district work day intended for writing report cards). Thus, some report cards will be mailed home, but if teachers have completed theirs early, they will come to you in your paper bag.

    Warmly,
    Lisa

  • Newsletter June 1-4

    Dear Beach Parents and Community,

    Can you believe there are only 7 more days of school before this school year will be over? This year will likely stand out in the memories of all of us, and it is a stage in our 5th graders’ education in particular, that they will surely remember forever. Our 5th grade teachers and other staff have been collaborating to plan special events for our 5th graders’ end of year and end of elementary school that we are excited to share with you.

    Virtual Promotion Ceremony On Tuesday, June 9 at 5 pm, we will send out and post on our website, a video ceremony our staff is making for (and in collaboration with) our 5th grade students.  We hope our whole community (5th grade of course, but also everyone else!) can join us in viewing the video from home at 5 pm on Tuesday (in the spirit of being together).  We know some families will need to view it at a different time as schedules permit. On the last day of school (the next day) 5th grade teachers will then show the video in their classes so that students can watch together; any who weren’t able to view the night before, can see with their class. Following that, classes will have individual google classroom “parties” that all staff will be invited to drop into.  (All our classes will be holding special meetings this day.)

    Final car parade and Clap-Out.  This coming week on June 3rd at 5pm (one week prior to the last day of school) we are hosting a parade to clap out and celebrate our 5th grade students! 5th grade parents are invited to bring their 5th grader to school beginning at 4:30; 5th grade students will be positioned 6 feet apart in an assigned (yet chosen) spot along either Humboldt or Denver, to be honored and celebrated as their last week of elementary school approaches. 

    Here are the details. All are welcome to join in to celebrate our 5th graders and be together as a school community, according to the specified guidelines. 

    5th graders and Beach staff will be the only people allowed outside of cars and will be positioned on the school side of the streets (all other people must stay in cars or be distanced across the street under family supervision). 

    5th graders should be dropped off or arrive between 4:30-4:50pm. (Once dropped off students will stay on the x marked spot in their class’ section of the route until their adult picks them back up.)

    • Ms.Piff’s class stands between the corner of Concord and halfway down Humboldt. (Thick orange line on the photo)
    • Mr.Almazan’s class stands halfway down Humboldt to the corner of Denver. (Thick orange line)
    • Ms.Macdonald’s class stands from the corner of Denver and Humboldt half way down Denver. (Thick orange line)

    Other people: 5th grade families and siblings, other students and families, friends, Beach staff and partners are invited to drive the route and cheer!  While it’s safest to be in cars, attendees on foot are responsible for their own social distancing and need to stand on Humboldt on the opposite side of the school. (Thin orange line)

    Route starts at the corner of Concord and Humboldt going past the front of the school down Humboldt, turning left on Denver and heading around the block. (The pink arrows on the map)

    Picking up your student - We ask that all 5th grade students who participate be permitted to stay standing in their spot until 5:30 (or when the parade is over). Parents can drive around a second time, picking up their student right at their individual location. 

    Please keep in mind:  We have created these procedures that must be followed, and also ask you to come with awareness we are doing this for the first time and there could be challenges with timing, despite all our efforts to be precise and organized. We hope our route will prevent traffic jams and we simultaneously recognize there may be congestion and waiting. We want to ensure we celebrate every 5th grader and are putting together an alternate plan for those who can’t attend the parade.

    Safety is priority.  5th grade students are expected to stay in their individual spots (marked with an X) until you pick them up.  We realize it will be challenging for students not to go up to each other; please help your student understand they must stay 6 feet apart from every adult and child other than their family.  Much as they will want to, they can’t hug anyone. It is hard to know who this will be hardest for… we’ll all be in it together though, and we’ll celebrate and have fun despite the challenge.

    If your 5th grade student will walk, please send them with a note giving your permission for them to be released from school at 5:30 without you picking them up. 
    No bathrooms will be available.
    We are not able to allow anyone to enter the school. Please be sure your child uses the bathroom before arriving.  
    No candy or any items thrown. Let’s celebrate with bubbles. Blow them from your car window.
    Again, only 5th graders are allowed out of cars or to come unaccompanied. 
    Our staff is only supervising 5th graders.
    Younger students must be accompanied and supervised by an adult to be present.
    We will be delivering notices to our neighbors ahead of time..
    Please be as considerate of them we will definitely be changing their regular environment. 

    Parade route map 

    A few other components of our 5th grade celebration to know about...

    Farewell Heart Mosaic-Mandala ~ During 5th grade classroom meetings the idea of doing something together, completed by all 5th graders to serve as a tribute and farewell for the year emerged and is now in process. As a symbol of students belonging to Beach Elementary and to this community, Mr. Almazan drew a heart on the school blacktop composed of many pieces, with each piece representing one of our students. The goal is for each 5th grade student to come to school with their family to color a piece of the heart with chalk, then take a photo of their colored piece and a photo of the family that will be put together into a mandala and sent to 5th grade families. Teachers are coloring the piece for any student who can't get to school (those students are still sending a photo of their family. We have until tomorrow before the rain on Saturday! Here’s what the image looked like earlier this week.

    Minecraft. 5th grade students have all been invited to participate in replicating Beach Elementary using the Minecraft Bedrock program! Minecraft is an open virtual space where participants must build their own world. In this world, participants have special powers and there are creatures very different from the real world that allow them to foster the creativity of the participants while developing another set of skills. However, the versatility of these virtual spaces allows them to replicate places and constructions from the real world, where avatars of people can visit the Louvre Museum, climb the Eiffel Tower or hold their graduation ceremony in an environment very similar to Beach Elementary!  Check out Mr. Almazan’s inspiration for creating this opportunity for our students via two videos, linked here for you.

    Minecraft Virtual Graduation at UC Berkeley  https://youtu.be/-iYTZwJwiLo

    Elementary students in Japan Hold Minecraft School Promotion https://youtu.be/k0_xRaFY628

    Have a wonderful weekend, and hope to see you driving down Humboldt or Denver cheering for our 5th graders next Wednesday afternoon!

    Warmly, Ms. Hawking, Ms. Piff, Mr. Almazan, and Ms. Macdonald

  • Newsletter May 25-28

     Dear Beach Parents,

    We hope you will join us for one of two “Topic Talks” coming up the next two Thursday afternoons.

    Tópicos para Hablar” esté jueves 28 de Mayo, 4pm, and “Topic Talk” Thursday, June 4 at 4 pm
     
    Our goal is to invite a (virtual) space for our adult community to come together, connect and share around our current experiences as parents. Our staff deeply values the voices, perspectives and insights you have to offer each other and also us, in our efforts to best serve your child(ren) and you as we “re-frame” school this spring and, likely, into next fall. We are so very proud of, and grateful for, the amazing ways you are supporting your children, our staff, and our community, and we want to be here for you in new ways… in whatever ways we find and can accomplish together.

    Our staff’s Equity Team, which meets twice per month, is bringing the question “Thinking about our future, and our need and desire to disrupt inequities in our system, what are things you want to do differently, individually or as a school?” forward to our staff next week. Our staff cares so deeply about the success of each and every one of our students, and we want to figure out ways to adjust Distance Learning in order to meet the varying needs of families... for example, whose children are being cared for by grandparents without the ability to support online learning, or who are are working or caring for younger children all day long thus can’t prioritize or help students attend classroom meetings. Or, for whom our district and staff’s current efforts just aren’t yet the right opportunity for school-based connection and learning.

    We’ll start with a quick presentation/overview of some very accessible and engaging resources on Ms. de Boer’s website, for helping children learn resilience. Then, we’ll invite you to share about how what you saw/heard resonates for you and what you’re going through or supporting, with your child. You’ll also be able to ask questions of any topic in the chat (a feature of Google Hangouts Meet) that we will either answer in the space if there is time, or through following up later either in the school newsletter or by calling or emailing with individuals or small groups. 

    Our first “Topicos Para Hablar” is at 4 pm next Thursday, May 28 (for our Spanish speaking community, facilitated by Ms. Romero and Ms.Marquez), then the following Thursday, June 4 Ms. Mo and I will co-host in English. Members of our Equity Team and other staff will also likely join either or both conversations.  We know the time won’t work for everyone so please let us know what time would work better for the future. In addition, a staff member will synthesize each meeting and we’ll post that synthesis on our website, for reference for those who can’t attend.

    These are conversations about ways to support your child socially and emotionally, and an opportunity for our adult community to come together in community and solidarity.  Please join us!

    Sincerely,
    Lisa  

     

  • Newsletter May 18-22

    Dear Beach Parents and Community,

    This week I’d like to shine a light on our Community Partners & Case Management team, who came together at the beginning of our school closure to organize supports for our most vulnerable students and families.  We are in connection and partnership with many parents and volunteers as we work to support the acquisition of basic needs (food, shelter and work), access to internet connectivity and devices, and in development of effective, enduring ways to foster the emotional well-being of everyone in our community.  As of this week, 100% of our students have been able to connect with their class online! I extend my deepest appreciation for team facilitator and school counselor Ms. de Boer and the daily commitment of team members: Ms. Mo (SUN Manager), our REAP staff Ms. I, Mr. E, Ms. Megan, and Mr. Anderson, and 9 other non-classroom teaching staff including myself-- Ms. Marquez, Ms. Megan, Mr. Ramirez, Ms. Romero, Ms. Tina, Ms. Helen, Ms. Amanda, Mr. Baca, and Ms. Singer. 

    The COVID-19 crisis has very clearly illuminated the challenges that families face everyday, and unfortunately, right now we have even more families that are suffering.  The ongoing commitment, compassion and energy of our community volunteers has been incredibly heart-warming and provides essential supports to families who are experiencing difficulty or suffering during this pandemic.  We anticipate that as the state lifts closures many volunteers will return to work and summer routines.  Volunteer availability to sustain current levels of support and commitment will naturally wane.  We want to ensure families have a way of accessing resources when volunteers are unavailable. As we work to foster the emotional well-being of everyone, we also want to ensure that our amazing volunteer community knows that it is okay to step back and take care of yourselves and your families.

    Our school community is so incredibly fortunate to be partnered with REAP and SEI; Ms. Mo has been instrumental in supporting our team and our PTA to connect  families to community resources. Our goal is to build resiliency and connection throughout our community, and we want your engagement.  How can our community stay connected in what feels to many like an unconnected world?  What can I do  to support our community?  I need your help to identify those needs and find solutions.  Please submit your feedback here (use the “anything else” box) or via email -- my virtual door is always open to you.

    Belle Chesler, another brilliant mind in our parent community, wrote in her powerful article published in “The Nation” this week: “we are not going to solve the problems of our present and near future with the usual solutions… Now is not the time to be silent but to raise our voices, using any privilege we may have, be it in time, money, or simply access, to demand major changes both in how all of us think about our American world and in the systems that perpetuate such inhumane and unconscionable disparities for so many.”

    Please join our efforts to build a space in which we all learn from each other, where connections are made and whole family friendships are grown and fostered, equitably. We have an opportunity as a larger community to learn from one another and replace old systems with new possibilities.

    Our PTA is a dynamic, integrated and essential partner in these efforts, and is asking for continued donations to support Beach families. All donations will go towards supporting basic needs and expenses like utilities, rent, and gift cards to supplement food and household supplies. Please provide financial support via our Beach Family Fund on the Beach PTA page

    Our Beach community is here-- large, resilient, capable, and full of love and care for our own and for all. Thank you from all parts of my heart to all of you doing so much already, and to those who will join our efforts in whatever way works for you and your family, let’s continue to unite and act.

    I miss our students so much, and love seeing their faces when I visit virtual classrooms. Every week I enjoy visiting a few more classes. A highlight today has been presenting in 5th grade classes, one of several exciting end of year projects our staff is in process planning for them. More to come on that soon! Take good care of yourself and each other, and thank you for your part in our Beach community. 

    Warmly,
    Lisa