Friday, January 29, 2021
Quote of the week: "Life begins when you step outside your comfort zone." Neale Donald Walsch, author
Dear Ocean Shore Families,
Happy Friday! I hope everyone weathered the literal storm this week. Unfortunately, part of my fence and the structure covering my old hot tub did not. My backyard looks like it was hit by a tornado. Experiencing 70 MPH winds made me very thankful that I no longer live in tornado country! Today's quote is just a little reminder that we all need to exercise our hearts, minds and bodies a little as the pandemic drags on. Of course, this advice is coming to you from someone who has turned binge-watching British historical dramas (Bridgerton, The Spanish Princess, The Last Kingdom...) into an art form. Luckily, I have a job that forces me out of my comfort zone almost on a daily basis. However, I'm still trying to make sure that I push myself in my free time to do something other than watch a screen. I've discovered yoga, tried my hand at baking sourdough bread, and am reading "How to be an Anti-Racist" and participating in our DLG book club. While engaging in these activities isn't necessarily going to help me change the world, it does push me beyond what is comfortable and force me to stretch mentally and physically. Resolve to take a small step outside of your comfort zone this week and encourage your kids to do the same!
Shout out of the week: Bill Litz gets my shout out this week. He is the one who has acquired all of the plants and planted them in the garden this year. Last year, he planted the tomato seeds that we raised to sell, he acquired the lettuce that we are giving away, and planted almost all that we see in the garden and all that we are harvesting. Ocean Shore's beautiful garden has been a bright spot during these difficult times. Thank you to Bill and to all of the volunteers that have kept the garden growing!
Kindergarten registration for siblings is due by noon on Monday, February 1st. If you haven't already done so, please bring your form directly to the district office.
EAT team: If you are interested in helping out in the outdoor learning space of the garden, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or just join us: in the garden Sunday, February 7 between 10 and 1 (you do not have to stay the whole time - also adults only) or via Zoom Monday, February 8 at 6:30 (again you do not have to stay the whole time). Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84816396584?pwd=UnhZN3JiQmZqKzlSU2RQODYxVHpXUT09 Meeting ID: 848 1639 6584 Passcode: 1MwrRe-- If you are interested in helping sand, prime, and paint some wood letters to decorate the school, please email Virginia email@example.com
PEF: Membership Has Its Rewards: Have you tapped into the new Partner Perks Program offered through the Pacifica Education Foundation? Through a unique partnership with local businesses, they now offer exclusive discounts to PEF members; and are adding new partners every month! The program helps you and our local business community; and our students' educational experience benefits directly, too! Ready to tap into these perks? Get your membership today! Also, check out the attached flyer for Spindrift's Bollywood dance class. PEF members receive a 10% discount.
Return to School Update: We are not planning to return to school at this time. However, there is now a detailed plan in place for when we do decide to return. The district office will present it to the school board on February 10th. Hopefully, the vaccination process will speed up, and teachers will receive their vaccinations quickly.
Friday, January 22, 2021
Quote of the week: "When day comes we step out of the shade/aflame and unafraid/The new dawn blooms as we free it/For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it/If only we’re brave enough to be it.” -- Amanda Gorman, our first National Youth Poet Laureate
Dear Ocean Shore Families,
This week seemed lighter and more optimistic than any other week this school year. Even though I'm not seeing students in person, I enjoyed participating in the district wide spirit week. Today was pajama day, but with distance learning, isn't every day pajama day? I know we still have a long way to go before this pandemic is under control. The light at the end of the tunnel still seems like an oncoming train (to paraphrase a line from the poet Robert Lowell). However, I do feel hopeful. Even though President Biden's inauguration ceremony was scaled back, it was joyous. If you didn't get a chance to watch, find a clip of Amanda Gorman, our first National Youth Poet Laureate, reciting her poem "The Hill We Climb". It gave me chills, and reminded me that we all carry light within us. It is our job as parents and educators to find our light (some days we have to dig deep) in order to support those around us. This upcoming week, I'm going to make an effort to see that light in others (especially those I don't always agree with). I'm also going to look for the light within myself, and try to put that light to good use.
Shout out of the week: Mike Taylor, the amazing poetry teacher for our 4/5 classes, has shared his SPARC poetry program with hundreds, if not thousands, of Pacifica students over the years. As soon as Amanda Gorman started reciting her poem, I thought of him. Thanks to funding from the Pacifica Education Foundation (PEF), our students have had access to Mike's program and have had the opportunity to work with a poet who also happens to be an extraordinary teacher. Don't forget to support PEF if you can, so that our kids continue to have access to enrichment programs like SPARC poetry, music with Mark, and band! https://www.pacificaef.org/membership.
General PTO Meeting: Our General PTO meeting is this Thursday, 1/28 @ 7:00 pm. The agenda will be circulated next week, so please watch for the family education opportunities listed. Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/99168384589?pwd=a2pMYWRnTTIzeFRKakF5Y0Zib2tsUT09 Meeting ID: 991 6838 4589 Passcode: 558807
One tap mobile +16699006833,,99168384589#,,,,*558807# US (San Jose)
DLG (Diversity Learning Group) Virtual Book Club: This Monday, 1/25 @ 7:00 pm. If you missed the introduction meeting but still want to join in, Adults and 7/8th grade readers are welcome. Please see below plan and next meeting zoom details. The book club aims to promote community discussion focused on the DLG vision “to instill an understanding of the value in acceptance and respect for one another’s differences so that we can grow as a society.” Zoom link: https://fhda-edu.zoom.us/j/6489556005 How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. - This book is described as taking readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas – from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities - that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
DLG - Diversity Learning Group - January 27th @ 7-8:30pm The Diversity Learning (DLG) group is back and virtual! DLG serves as a resource for parents, teachers, staff and students in the OSS community to identify and discuss ideas, concerns and areas in need of further growth or awareness. The Diversity Leadership Group’s mission is to provide leadership, guidance and support to the Ocean Shore community to cultivate an environment of inclusion where each individual is valued and respected. Please join our monthly meetings on the last Wednesday of the month, from 7-8:30pm. For more information or to get involved email: firstname.lastname@example.org Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/94549565997?pwd=bFBpcFRoZUZsZ25vL2lnR2Zkenc2UT09 Meeting ID: 945 4956 5997 Passcode: DLG One tap mobile +16699006833,,94549565997#,,,,,,0#,,130538# US (San Jose)
Return to School Update: We tested half of our staff members who are at school regularly for COVID 19 this Thursday. The second half will be tested next week. We'll continue to test every two weeks going forward. There is no other news to report. The RTS committee meets again this Tuesday, and I will share any updates from that meeting in my next letter.
Friday, January 15, 2021
Quote of the week: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'what are you doing for others?'" -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dear Ocean Shore Families,
I'm writing this on Martin Luther King Jr.'s actual birthday. He would have been 91 today. He was only 39 years old when he was assassinated. 39. For some reason, I always think of him as older, maybe because of all he accomplished. We think of him as an icon--larger than life--and in many ways he was. However, he was also an ordinary person with a wife, four small children, and a job. In some ways, he was deeply flawed, as are many men and women who achieve great things. We all struggle in some way, and we all stumble. It's so important to let our children see us struggle, to admit our mistakes, to acknowledge our flaws, and to model resilience. So often our focus is on achievement and mastery: how can we earn the highest grades, make the most money, be the best parent, excel on the football field or in the boardroom. Martin Luther King, Jr. points out that our focus should be on how we can help others, and that we should be urgently and persistently finding ways to be of service. As we head into this three-day weekend, I challenge all of us to consider Martin's question, and find at least one small thing that we can do in our lives to answer it.
Shout out of the week: Jonathan, Jason, Sophie, and all of the students who participated in our virtual MLK celebration! The 19-minute video starts with an speech excerpt, continues with short (15 second) clips of students sharing their thoughts, and the final portion of the video is a moving rendition of "This Little Light of Mine" with some special Ocean Shore lyrics written by Jonathan.
There is no school on Monday, January 18th as we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
DLG (Diversity Learning Group) Virtual Book Club: If you missed the introduction meeting but still want to join in, Adults and 7/8th grade readers are welcome. Please see below plan and next meeting zoom details. The book club aims to promote community discussion focused on the DLG vision “to instill an understanding of the value in acceptance and respect for one another’s differences so that we can grow as a society.” Three upcoming meetings:
o Mon Jan. 25, 7-8pm (Chapters 1-6)
o Feb. 8, 7-8pm (Chapters 7-12)
o Feb. 22, 7-8pm (Chapters 13-18)
Zoom link: https://fhda-edu.zoom.us/j/6489556005
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. - This book is described as taking readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas – from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities - that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. More info can be found at https://www.ibramxkendi.com/how-to-be-an-antiracist Note: Book is available on Libby both as an ebook and an audio book if you are not interested in purchasing the book. (Libby is a free library app to access San Mateo Library system)
Return to School Update: Because of recent developments and because we are awaiting new updates on vaccine distribution from the state, the district office will not be presenting the return to school plan to the school board until February 10th. Our options for hybrid learning might change based on that new information. We are implementing regular COVID testing for staff members who work on site starting this Thursday.
Friday, January 8, 2021
Quote of the week: "My mom used to say, when the news is scary, look for the helpers." --Fred Rogers, former longtime host of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS.
Dear Ocean Shore Families,
It feels like every time I sit down to write, I sigh and think, "what a week!" Like most Americans, I was horrified by what happened on Wednesday at our Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. I was an American Government major who attended college in Washington, D.C. partially because I wanted to go into politics. Life took me down a different path than I had planned, as it often does. However, I have always remained politically active, and I have always defended politicians at the local, state, and federal level. Most people that go into politics do it out of the desire to improve their communities and to help other people. Much like in education, no one becomes a school board member, state senator, or congressional representative for the money. I am grateful that there are people willing to take on the cost, responsibility, headaches, and physical danger involved in serving the public, and I am reminded that I should take the time to thank them for their service. If I have time to check Facebook, I have time to email our city council members or school board members or Jackie Speier. Maybe that should be a new inauguration day tradition.
In sad news, the 15-year-old brother of an OSS student was in a car accident over the holiday break and is currently in a coma. There is a GoFundMe page to help the family with expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/f/pacifica-15-yr-old-accident-victim-needs-our-help?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer-andr
Fred Rogers on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was always a voice of love, kindness, and acceptance. He represented a quiet strength and promoted civility. I love the above quote because it points out that there are always helpers. Right now, so many people are going above and beyond to help others: health care workers, teachers, grocery clerks, parents juggling work and childcare. The everyday heroes in our country greatly outnumber those that would see our democracy crumble.
It's important to highlight those in our community who are helping others. I invite you to email stories to me of Ocean Shore students who are rising to that challenge, and I hope to have a new shout out each week to celebrate them.
Shout out of the week: Kaavel Basu, in Stephanie Trelogan's 3rd grade YDL class, used his savings to purchase 20 LEGO sets and dropped them off at UCSF Benioff's SF Children's Hospital to be passed out to children who were spending the holidays in the hospital. UCSF gave him a shout out on their Twitter feed, and I was thrilled when his mom passed the news on to me. Thank you, Kaavel for your thoughtfulness and generosity!
Come join The DLG (Diversity Learning Group) Virtual Book Club: The DLG Book Club aims to promote community discussion focused on the DLG vision “to instill an understanding on the value in acceptance and respect for one another’s differences so that we can grow as a society.” Come join us on our inaugural discussion circle! When: Monday, January 11, 2021 Time: 7:00pm-7:30pm
Book: “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. For: Any Adult and or 7th/8th graders
Zoom: https://fhda-edu.zoom.us/j/6489556005 Pre-req: No need to have read anything by this meeting. “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. - This book is described as taking readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas – from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities - that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. More info can be found at https://www.ibramxkendi.com/how-to-be-an-antiracist Note: Book is available on Libby both as an ebook and an audio book if you are not interested in purchasing the book. (Libby is a free library app to access San Mateo Library system)
Environmental Action Team - wants your help! This Sunday, January 10th, from 10am-1pm Garden Day. Outdoor, socially distanced, mask wearing, garden work going on. Adults only for now. Come join us to keep the garden looking snazzy. Monday, January 11, 6:30-7:30 EAT Meeting - Join our zoom to help us plan for the garden and ways to bring the garden to our students. Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84816396584?pwd=UnhZN3JiQmZqKzlSU2RQODYxVHpXUT09 Meeting ID: 848 1639 6584 Passcode: 1MwrRe--
Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.-Please read this message from Sophie Korn. Teachers will be sharing this with students, but I wanted parents to have the information as well. "Each year we honor the life and legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 3rd Monday of the month, which is closest to his birthday, January 15. We would like to hear from Ocean Shore students! What does his message and legacy mean to you? What hopes do you have for our school, our community, or our country? How do you plan to honor his memory? Please encourage, or assist, your students to share their thoughts with us on this community Flip Grid." They must be logged in to their psd account to open the link. https://flipgrid.com/9b95cf5d
Return to School Update: With COVID-19 cases rising, and San Mateo County in the deep purple tier, we will not be returning to school any time soon. However, the Return to School Committee and the district office are finalizing our return to school plan and will present it to the Pacifica School Board on January 20th. If it's approved, the plan will be sent on to San Mateo County for their approval. Hopefully, COVID numbers will drop, and vaccines will be distributed quickly. We are implementing regular COVID testing for staff members who work on site starting this month.
Principal of Ocean Shore. Check back here for weekly updates and messages from the principal.