Principal's Message, April 28, 2020

Dear Bolinas-Stinson School Families and Community,

I shared the latest information about possible configuration modifications for the 2020-21 school year at our parent zoom meeting last week. The Board of Trustees will be voting on the configuration options this afternoon at the board meeting. Below is a link to view the configuration models that I discussed with parents and their feedback.  I hope you are able to join us this afternoon for this important conversation.

Configuration Options for the 2021-22 School Year

Parents shared the following comments about the possible configuration changes for the 2020-21 school year. 

  • Math taught by one teacher in grades 3rd-5th and 6th-8th

    • Liked the idea of providing a more robust and comprehensive math program to better prepare students for high school math

    • Liked the idea of 6-8 math teacher being able to identify students for intervention early and provide support 

    • Liked the idea of being able to accelerate students with an aptitude for math so they would be on track to be placed in advanced math in high school

    • Liked that the 3-5 grade teacher would have a strong familiarity with students’ needs when they are in 5th grade

    • Want to make sure that large math classes are well supported by paraeducator

    • Want to be sure that math in grade 6th-8th was supported by a teacher familiar with middle school math and able to prepare students for high school

    • Want to be sure that math teacher in 5th grade is familiar with incoming students and has a strong background teaching math

  • Blended Classes in Science and History/Social Studies with a thematic focus

    • Parents liked the blended classrooms across two grade levels for the following:

      • More dynamic social model, with more students to interact.

      • Because of the extremely small numbers in some classes

      • Liked the thematic/PBL/Place based learning model - more engaging.

      • Noted that there were a lot of absences this year because of sickness and classes were extremely small with sometimes only (3-4 students) 

  • Having a 1st & 2nd grade combo class on the Stinson Campus

    • Liked this because this year’s 1st graders only got about about ⅔ of a year due to the pandemic and parents didn’t think their children were ready to move to the Bolinas Campus. They felt it would be a smoother transition for students to come back.

    • Liked that they would still be in the same class (hopefully) with their teacher from this year.

    • Liked having more students in the class

    • Liked that we will have an more breakout space on the Bolinas Campus for shared space for OT, Speech, Counseling, Meetings, and instruments/music?

  • One teacher in 5th and 6th Grade with support from Paraeducators and other teachers (math) and savings of $100,000 per year

    • Felt that the class was adequately balanced and supported

    • Financially made sense and more fiscally responsible for our school’s future - especially in light of the pandemic and many future unknowns

    • Wanted to be sure that the 5th/6th grade teacher not teaching math - Especially liked the new math configuration

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I hope you are able to tune in to the zoom Board meeting this afternoon.


Michelle Stephens

Bolinas-Stinson School Principal