Principal's Message, March 25, 2019

Dear Bolinas-Stinson School Families,

Equinox Open Mic Night fun!

Thank you for coming out to support our Equinox Open Mic Night! The kids did a great job sharing their various talents and we raised over $500.00 for the Bolinas-Stinson Parent Group! This money will help provide food and supplies for upcoming family events and help fund enrichment for our students. A HUGE thank you to all the parents and teachers who volunteered their time and to Anny, our music teacher for organizing our talented students this special annual event.

Tsunami Awareness Week - March 25 - 29

We will be having an earthquake/tsunami drill on both campuses on Tuesday, March 26th.  Students will take cover (stop, drop, and hold) in classrooms during the earthquake drill, then gather on the black top. Bolinas students will then load the buses for a quick trip to Mesa Park, and our Stinson students will walk along the tsunami trail (if it is not wet and slippery). These drills are an important part of our school’s emergency preparedness plan. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you are interested in helping out on the Emergency Preparedness Team.

High Rate of Chronic Absenteeism - What does it mean?

I recently had an opportunity to meet with staff from the Marin County Office of Education to look closely at our school’s high chronic absenteeism rate for the 2017-18 school. Chronic absenteeism is tracked by the state and defined as - any student who is absent 10% or more of the instructional days for which they are enrolled. If a child is enrolled for the entire school year, that would equate to 18 missed days of school. 

Many parents think that excused absences don’t count, but they do! All absences are counted, whether they are excused or not.  Based on the most recent data from the California School Dashboard Accountability System for the 2018, we had a chronic absenteeism rate of 40.8% which increased from the year before by 12.1%. Last year, out of the ninety-eight students enrolled, our school had forty students who were chronically absent.

Why is it important?

Please keep your child home if they are sick, but if they are healthy, they will benefit from coming to school. When students miss school, they miss out on academic content, art, music, physical education, field trips, library, enrichment activities, and critical social time with their peers. Good attendance builds great lifelong habits as well as helps students to develop a sense of personal responsibility.  

How can we help?

Because our school is so small, even a few students make a big difference. Here are some ways we can all work together to improve our school’s attendance rate.

  • If you know your child will be absent, let us know.  
  • If a child will miss more than 5 school days, arrange with their teacher to complete an Independent Study Contract
  • Plan trips during scheduled vacation time
  • Be aware of how many absences your child has this year
  • Take a look at their attendance on the report card to see how many absences they have had so far

Thanks for working together to improve our school!


Michelle Stephens

Bolinas-Stinson School Principal