Principal's Message, April 24, 2021

Dear Bolinas Stinson School Families,

This week we celebrated Earth Day on Thursday, April 22nd. The theme for this year's Earth Day was "Restore Our Earth" which focused on natural processes and emerging green technologies that can restore the world's ecosystems (thehindu.net). All week long, classes went on field trips and participated in fun outdoor activities to show their support for our Earth. I was delighted to find this beautiful Bolinas mystery moth on my window early one morning this week - what a wonderful gift from Mother Earth!

We are so fortunate that BSUSD is situated in an ideal location to take advantage of the amazing and unique coastal flora and fauna. Our school’s partnership with Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) will continue to grow as we work together to cultivate exceptional environmental education experiences (I couldn't resist the alliteration!) for our students in all grades. Our teachers have begun working with PRNSA Education Director, Biret Adden, who is passionate about helping children and teachers connect to the natural world through positive outdoor experiences. Please let me know if you have other ideas or local resources that would enrich our school and benefit our students.

NO MORE STAGGERED START TIMES STARTING MONDAY, MAY 2, 2021

I am extremely happy that we are now able to merge cohort start and end times for our students. Due to updated school transportation guidance, BSUSD is safely bussing many of our students to and from school. This has allowed us greater flexibility with unifying our start and end times. Please be aware of the upcoming schedule change below beginning on, Monday, May 2nd:

Bolinas Campus Start and End Times Grades 2nd-8th: 

  • Monday-Thursday, 9:00-2:00 PM

  • Fridays, 9:00-12:15 PM

Stinson Campus Start and End Times Grades Pre-K-1st: 

  • Monday-Thursday, 8:45-1:45 PM

  • Fridays, 8:45-12:00 PM

STATE TESTING FOR BSUSD STUDENTS IN GRADES 3-8TH ~ BEGINS MAY, 2021 

We will be administering the California Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment to students in third through eighth grade this year, beginning in May. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have specific questions about the test or the testing environment in your child’s class. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers for parents regarding state testing from cta.org & caaspp.org.

  • What are the summative assessments? 

    • The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are part of California’s system of assessments called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). The summative assessments are an annual measure of what students know and can do using the Common Core State Standards for English language arts/literacy and mathematics. This testing was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

  • Why are the summative assessments given? 

    • The purpose of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments is to assess student knowledge and skills in English language arts/literacy and mathematics, as well as how much students have improved since the previous year (student growth). These measures help identify and address gaps in knowledge or skills early on so students get the support they need for success in higher grades and become ready for college or a career.

  • Can parents opt out of state testing for their child? 

    • Yes. California Education Code section 60615 allows a parent or guardian to submit a written request to school officials to exclude his or her child from any or all parts of state-mandated assessments. Section 852 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations further provides that parents or guardians may annually submit a written request to the school to excuse their child from any or all parts of CAASPP for the school year. 

  • How do parents opt out of standardized testing for their child? 

    • Parents write a letter to the superintendent or school principal letting them know that their child will not take part in the specific test (name the test) this year, and ask that the school make arrangements for a productive educational experience for their child during the testing period. 

  • How will opting out of testing affect my child’s grades or academic standing? 

    • Currently, there are no state-mandated consequences for students who do not take the Smarter Balanced Assessments or other state-mandated tests. 

  • What if a parent submits a request to opt out after CAASPP testing has already started? 

    • If the parent’s request is submitted after testing has begun, any completed tests will be scored and the results will be reported to the parent or guardian and included in the pupil’s records.

  • Where can I get more information? 

    • Get more information through organizations like the National Education Association (www.nea.org)

EIGHTH GRADE GRADUATION PLANNING COMMITTEE

We will be hosting a small private in-person graduation ceremony for our 8th Grade graduates and their immediate household family on the last day of school, Friday, June 11th at 1:30 PM. In an effort to keep staff, graduates and their families safe, and in compliance with Marin County Health Department and Marin Schools recommendations, the Bolinas Campus will be closed during this special ceremony to all but the graduates, their immediate household family, and staff. We will provide a live stream link of this special event to the BSUSD community. Please reach out to Gohar Yervandyan at: gohary@bolinas-stinson.org if you are interested in helping our graduates with the planning and preparation of this important event.

SUMMER LEARNING PROGRAM FOR BSUSD STUDENTS GRADES K-5 

I am excited that we will be able to offer a five week summer learning program from June 21st - July 23rd on the Bolinas Campus. The program will run from Monday-Friday from 9:00-12:00 PM. Anna Tosick, our wonderful 3rd grade teacher is already hard at work designing  fun and engaging activities and curriculum to keep our students learning during the summer! 

Student participation is by teacher recommendation will focus on supporting students in reading, writing and math. We will be sending invitations to parents in May. If you feel your child would benefit from this program, please check in with your child’s teacher.

WE ARE PLEASED TO WELCOME GEORGE HAWES AS OUR NEW BOLINAS CROSSING GUARD

If the last name sounds familiar, it’s because George is married to our very own CBO - Catherine Hawes! George and Catherine noticed that we were having a hard time with staffing the Bolinas crossing guard position. George stepped up to take on this important role for the rest of the year to help ensure our student’s safety.  Be sure to say “Hi” to George on the Bolinas Campus and Roberto on the Stinson Campus, we are so lucky to have them both! 

As always please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions. I wish you and your family much love and laughter!

Warmly,

Michelle