Bel Aire Park Magnet School  Logo
About us Calendar Faculty and Staff Bel Aire Park Magnet in the News Principal's Newsletter School Schedule Activities and Events School Meals Child Care Program Documents and Policies
International Baccalaureate Learner Profile Special Programs Example Units Our Programme of Inquiry
Family Faculty Club (FFC) Communications to Parents Partners
Mandarin Chinese Instruction Afterschool Enrichment School Library

Principal's Newsletter

March 2018

Greetings Bel Aire Families, as we head into our final trimester of the year, we are so pleased to see the growth in our students.  We had a wonderful week last week with our 3rd and 4th graders presenting their learning from their Energy unit. They did a great job communicating their curiosity in creative ways.  Then, our 5th graders presented an outstanding evening of sharing their knowledge during our annual PYP Exhibition.  Each year students are given opportunities to apply their skills and knowledge in preparation for this culminating event and for their life beyond school.  This month we are talking about what it means to be Knowledgeable and how we can communicate what we know to others.  This Wednesday, we’ll see our 2nd graders communicate their thinking about the artwork they have created during their unit.  Please join us if you can.  Thank you for all the support your give your student and our school community.      Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

February 2018

Greetings! We’re off to a great start with the new year!  This month we are continuing to expand our new theme: Communications and Media with some great opportunities for our kids.  Our second graders are working in their Art unit with a new performing arts component that will help students communicate their ideas through drama/theater.  Also, later this month we’ll hold our annual Talent Show with a variety of student performances.  We are also talking as a school about the Learner Profile attribute Open-minded and how we can try to be open to another’s perspective both as we learn in the classroom and as we work together socially as a person.  We’re encouraging our whole community to try to have empathy for others even when their perspective is different from our own.  Our 5th graders are working on this very idea right now as they prepare for their 5th grade Exhibition coming up on March 1.  They will be presenting their action projects all centered around peoples’ well-being.  All families are invited to come and learn from our student leaders.  Thank you as always for the support you give your student and our school. Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

January 2018

We are very pleased to announce that our school has received a federal Magnet School Assistance Program grant to support our ongoing program.  Some may remember that we received this grant back in 2010 to help us launch our International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program.  We have continued to grow our program over the last several years and with limited funds.  We were happy to be included in another grant application through our district office and have been awarded a grant to help us enhance our IB theme with a new emphasis on Communications and Media.  This new focus will support our units of inquiry and help our kids build skills (Approaches to Learning) needed to take action in our world and be high achieving students.   Over time, we will add new components in the areas of responsible use of media, technology, public speaking, broadcasting, interpersonal communication, global connections, and enhanced visual and performing arts.  We are very excited about the new opportunities we can provide to students and staff.  Please let us know if you have an interest or expertise that you might share with us as we move forward.  

november 2017

Happy Fall!  I always look forward to that chill in the air that means summer is finally over.  It has certainly been an unusual time this last month.   Our hearts go out to the families in our community that are still recovering from the fires, and we are happy to get back to our usual school routine.  We are working hard to make up for lost time.  One of the things that is so noticeable in any tragedy is the way people jump in to help and give so generously when others are in need.  One of our Learner Profile attributes is Caring and we’ve seen so many examples from students and families of unselfish service and concern for others.  I hope as we approach the holiday season that we can keep that spirit of giving alive and look for ways to help one another.  I am grateful to be part of such a caring community and especially for all those that give so much to helping our school be successful. 

Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

october 2017

Happy Fall! We are well into our school year now and each classroom is just about to begin their second unit of inquiry.   This month we’re talking about how we use our curiosity to help us become a stronger Communicator.  As we see so many students presenting and communicating their culminating unit projects we’re reminded that with a growth mindset all students can improve their skills through effort and practice.  For some students, just being in front of a group is challenging.  Other students are ready to let go of their notes and speak from memory; while others are ready to perform their ideas in new ways.  Everyone can grow from where they are now by setting goals to improve each time they use their communication skills.  One way that all students will practice their skills will be at our student led conferences coming up the second week of October. This is a great opportunity for students to share and present their learning to a very familiar audience.  Please be sure to check with your child’s teacher so that you are able to attend with them.  We also have lots of great activities this month.  Please be sure to check our website for updates and like us on Facebook if you haven’t already.  As always, I’m so appreciative of all you do as families to help support not only your own child but others as well. 

Sincerely, Janine Burt  

 

September 2017

Welcome Back to School!  Things are off to a great start this year already.  We have 3 full Kindergarten classrooms that bring with them lots of great new families to join our community. We are also very excited to have our first Transitional Kindergarten class this year in room 5.  Our youngest learners are curiosity come to life, which goes perfectly with our theme for this year: Communicate Curiosity.  As an IB world school, we use inquiry as a way to help kids not only learn new things but also to be excited by what they are learning and to lead all of us to new discoveries as we make meaning together.  This year we want to encourage each other to notice the world around us; what surprises us, and what we have yet to understand.  Then we want to be sure to share our questions and thinking in the variety of ways that we communicate: speaking, writing, reading, art, music, drama, and many more.  Please join us in celebrating curiosity this year through the lens of our 6 units of inquiry happening in each classroom.   Here’s to a great school year!

 

Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

August 2017

Dear Bel Aire Families,

Welcome back to school!  I hope you’ve had a happy and restful summer.   A special welcome to our new families, we are so happy to have you join our school community.   As always, we have a few changes this year.  We want to welcome to our 5th grade team, Elizabeth Hoover, who is a new teacher at Bel Aire. We also want to welcome our new kindergarten teacher, Amanda Morneault in Room 9.  We are also very happy to begin our new Transitional Kindergarten program at Bel Aire with our own Ms. Acomb at the helm.  We will be focused this year on cultivating and communicating our curiosity to give us motivation to learn and to inspire others to think and dream in new and bigger ways.  We will encourage one another to use our questions and passions to take action to help others and to build on the great inquiry and critical thinking throughout our program.     

 

As an International Baccalaureate Organization World School, we have an important step in our journey this year.   We will participate in our first evaluation visit from IB in April, to become reauthorized to provide the Primary Years Program of the IB for the next five years.  There will be much more information to come as well as news about the 50th anniversary of the IB organization in 2018 and how Bel Aire will celebrate along with our whole global community.   We will be outlining our plans for the year, including our educational goals, at Back to School night, Wednesday September 6th.  We are anxious to work in partnership with all families to ensure that every child has a successful learning experience.  Our Family Faculty Club will also be there to share lots of information about our school activities and events.  Please bookmark our school website (new address) belairepark.nvusd.org check it regularly for information or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BelAireParkMagnetIB for current updates.

 

There will be many opportunities to get involved during the school year both in your child’s classroom and in larger school activities.   We welcome contributions of your time, talents and ideas to making this a dynamic and successful year.  I am looking forward to working closely with you.

 

May 2017

Greetings!  Where has the school year gone?  It’s hard to believe we’re heading into May.  We’ve had so many great experiences this year Releasing our Imagination and this month is no exception.  Each grade level will be finishing up their final unit of inquiry and we’ll be focusing this month on being Knowledgeable as we have multiple opportunities for students to use their creativity and imagination to show the skills and knowledge they’ve gained this year.  Our 3rd – 5th graders will be participating in statewide testing.  Please help them to be at school everyday well rested and prepared to do their best.  We have an action packed month with lots of events and ways to participate.  Please keep the calendar posted so that you don’t miss any activities as we close out our school year.  Thank you for all the support you give to your child’s learning and to our school.  Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

April 2017

Happy Spring!  This time of year is a good time to reflect on our work so far.  I am so pleased with the commitment our students show in working hard to improve as readers, writers, mathematicians, inquirers, and thinkers.  This month we’re working on being Reflective.  What more can we do?  Or how can we change our choices for the better?  We had the privilege a couple of weeks ago to see our 5th graders present their Exhibition projects.  They were able to reflect on things that they are passionate about to help our environment.  They took action based on reflections on their new learning.   Some of these actions are improvements at our school including a new composting program.  We also challenge each other to reflect on our choices and ask ourselves how we can become more Caring and Principled in our actions.   We hope that you will take time to reflect together as a family about how our choices can help us become better each day.  Thank you for all you do to support your child’s learning.                     Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

March 2017

Greetings Bel Aire families, as we approach our final trimester of the school year, we have many exciting opportunities coming up for students and families.  Please see the calendar for the events we have scheduled for this month.  I especially want to draw your attention to our annual PYP Exhibition on March 16.  This is the culminating experience for our 5th graders for their years in the IB

Primary Years Program.  They will present their action projects and research to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired over the last 6 years.  This month we are talking about how we can use our imagination to help us live a more balanced life.  As we see students be creative in new ways, we see them grow and add pieces that make up a well-rounded life.  We’re challenging ourselves this month to find a new interest or passion by taking risks and having the courage to try.  We’re so excited to see the growth that comes when students actively take responsibility for their learning rather than always relying on direction from others.  We hope that you will take time as a family to be active together and enjoy quality time with one another.  Thanks for all that you do to support your children and our school.

Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

February 2017

Happy New Year!  I hope you all enjoyed the holidays.  We’ve enjoyed a nice month getting back in the swing of things and classrooms are alive with inquiry in their latest units.   This month we are talking about how to use our imaginations to help us become Communicators.  We will have many opportunities coming up to communicate our thinking.  Our 3rd graders are working on writing scripts for performances of origin stories, our 2nd graders are learning how we communicate through art, and our 4th graders will be putting on a play that presents their learning about landforms.   Communicating through reading, writing, and work in the Art studio are ongoing each day.   We are also excited to have our annual Talent Show this month.  Please encourage your students to be courageous in taking opportunities to communicate in new ways.   As we approach the end of our second trimester, we look forward to the growth we see in our students and how they continue to become examples of our Learner Profile.  We appreciate the many families that use these same attributes to reinforce what we’re learning at school.   As always we are grateful for the support that you give our school. Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

Dec./January 2017

At this time of year, we reflect on our blessings and good fortune.   The staff of Bel Aire Park is so appreciative of all you do to help and support our students, our staff, and our school.  We are all working this year on releasing our imaginations and finding creative ways to show our thinking, and this time of year reminds us that  it’s all for the purpose of  helping to make our families and our world more peaceful.   We wish you and yours a very happy holiday season.  Warmly, Janine Burt

 

November 2016

Happy Fall!  We want to thank all those that attended our student led conferences last week.  It is always so wonderful to see students sharing their thinking and their work with their families.  We see their confidence grow as a communicator as they take responsibility and ownership of their learning.  It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the end of our first trimester, but we’ve seen huge growth in our students already.  This month we are talking about how we use our imaginations to become an inquirer.  We had a couple of 4th grade students share their curiosity projects at our school meeting to inspire all of us to think bigger and deeper about questions we have and then look for answers.  We also have a new action board in the window outside the library.  We want to recognize those students that take action outside of the classroom – this could be anything from sharing what they learned with family members, extending their research at home and bringing it back to share at school, or doing a service for others using our knowledge and skills.  Please encourage your child to continue their learning and action beyond the school day and let us know when you see it so that we can share it and inspire others.  Thank you for all you do to support our school!

Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

October 2016

Happy Fall! We are well into our school year now and each classroom is beginning their second unit of inquiry.   This month we’ve been talking about using our imagination to help us become more Caring.  We were inspired by our 3rd graders showing kindness as part of their unit on Action.  We decided that we can all use our creativity to come up with new ways to help others.  As a whole school, we celebrated International Day of Peace by writing messages of kindness for those that might need a lift or to feel better.  Our board is now on display in the office, please come by and take a note from the board if you need a little kindness in your day or leave a message for someone else.  This is one simple way to make our world better and more peaceful.  We have lots of great activities this month.  Please be sure to check our website for updates and like us on Facebook if you haven’t already.  As always, I’m so appreciative of all you do as families to help support not only your own child but others as well.

Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

September 2016

Welcome back to school!  We are looking forward to a wonderful year together.   Our theme for this year is Release Your Imagination.  We hope to encourage everyone in our Bel Aire community to take opportunities to use their imagination to create, design, think critically, and take action to make our world better and more peaceful.  As students participate in the six units of inquiry at each grade level, they will use their imagination in different ways through art, writing, reading, scientific observation and experimentation, music, building models, etc.  As you discover the topics and concepts your children are exploring, we would love to have you extend it at home and share your experiences with us.  As always, we encourage all families to use the IB Learner Profile as a way to work with us at school to have a common language for who we want our students to become.  Striving for these attributes will help us all to be successful at school, in our community, and anywhere in the world.    Here’s to a great year together!

August 2016

Welcome back to school!  I hope you’ve had a happy and restful summer.   A special welcome to our new families, we are so happy to have you join our school community.   I am very excited about the new school year.  As always, we have a few changes this year.  We want to welcome to our 5th grade team, new teacher Jennifer O’Bryon, and we have a new resource teacher, Sarah Parker, working with our 3rd – 5th grade students.  We also want to welcome Kim Mathews back to Bel Aire.  She will be working as an intervention specialist this year. We have many great learning opportunities in the works for the new school year.  We will be focused on using our creativity and imagination to approach new tasks and to take action to help others as well as continuing to build on the great inquiry and critical thinking throughout our program.     

As an authorized International Baccalaureate Organization World School, we are committed to sharing with you this year about our Primary Years Program.   We will be talking more about the action students can take as they learn and we want to include families as well.  There will be much more information to come as we move forward. We will be outlining our plans for the year, including our educational goals, at Back to School night, Wednesday September 7th.  We are anxious to work in partnership with all families to ensure that every child has a successful learning experience.  Our Family Faculty Club will also be there to share lots of information about our school activities and events.  Please bookmark our school website www.bape-nvusd-ca.schoolloop.com and check it regularly for information or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BelAireParkMagnetIB for current updates.

There will be many opportunities to get involved during the school year both in your child’s classroom and in larger school activities.   We welcome contributions of your time, talents and ideas to making this a dynamic and successful year.  I am looking forward to working closely with you.

News

6/17/16

Greetings Bel Aire Families, as we begin the closing months of our school year, we are celebrating another honor.  We are thrilled to share with you that Bel Aire Park has been named a Gold Ribbon School by the state of California.  This recognition is for school’s that demonstrate an exemplary practice that leads to student success.  We are fortunate to have a program, International Baccalaureate Primary Years, which includes numerous practices that help our kids to become Inquirers, Thinkers, Communicators, etc.  Our theme this year has been Finding our Talents Within and it’s been an amazing journey seeing so many examples of students pursuing new opportunities for growth.   We have seen students try new learning in performing arts, use of technology, writing, film-making, science experiments, design, construction, public speaking, visual arts, gardening, and more.  And best of all we see students using their talents and gifts to help others and to make our school and our world better and more peaceful.   I appreciate so much the role of our amazing teachers that inspire our students each day and I appreciate all the support we receive from our dedicated volunteers who help us so often with all the special projects and events.   We have an action packed month coming up and I hope to see all of you at the fun events we have to complete another great year at Bel Aire!  Thank you as always for all your support.

 

 

more
5/18/16

Greetings Bel Aire Families, this is an updated letter from the one I had ready as of Friday.  I hope that you and your families are all safe.  We are aware of many, many homes that sustained damage in our community.  We are hopeful that your lives can return to normal soon.  Please let us know if there are ways we can help or direct you to other agencies for assistance.   As a school we faired pretty well and are grateful for the earthquake retrofitting we had last year.  We had minimal damage – mostly books and materials that fell and a few low shelves.  It took some time to straighten and put things back in order but overall we were very lucky.   We know that this was a traumatic experience for our children and although everyone is unique, we will be meeting in classrooms as soon as we return to give students an opportunity to share with one another and tell their stories.  Our school psychologist will be onsite to assist us with any students who need more help.   Please reassure your child that we have a safety plan in place and that they will be cared for and helped by their teacher as well as other adults.  I always like to remind students about all the helpers that work around the clock in our community to help others in need.  We will do our best to make the transition back to school as smooth as possible.  On another note – we invite parents to please join us for this year’s Back to School Night on Wednesday, Sept. 3.  We have lots to share with you and our Family Faculty Club Board members will be there too with opportunities for you to get involved at school.  At times like these, we’re reminded of what matters most.  I appreciate all of you, our dear students, and our wonderful staff.  Thank you so much for all that you do to support us.  Here’s to a great 2014-15!!

Sincerely,

Janine Burt

more
5/18/16

Greetings!  We are off to a great start (even with the slight disruption of an earthquake) and all classrooms are finishing up their first unit of inquiry.  Learning is as energetic and vibrant as ever.    It was great to see so many of you at Back to School Night where we introduced our theme for the year: UP, which defines the work we will do together this year.  So much of our IB/Primary Years Program is about using the knowledge and skills we develop to take action to make the world better and more peaceful.  We are talking as a whole school about agreements that we can make to uplift one another and to raise the thinking and performance of our students.  We recognize that we can feel uplifted by the feeling of accomplishing something, by what inspires us – like a speech or beautiful music, the actions of others.  And as we uplift others we have the potential for transforming the quality of someone’s life.  Let’s commit to working together this year to uplifting our school and our families.  Thank you for all you do to support our school.

Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

more
5/18/16

Happy fall!  I want to thank all those that attended our student led conferences.  We had almost 100% attendance, which shows that our parents really support the learning at Bel Aire.  This month at school we have been participating in Global Read Aloud.  We are sharing in an international discussion about the story, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.  Students are sharing online comments with students at schools in Australia, China, Mexico, and many other areas of the United States.  We are sharing our thinking about Edward and how he is changing and growing as he goes through challenges just like we learn and grow from our experiences.  This is just one example of how we are connected around the world as an IB school.  We are fortunate to have frequent international visitors.  This month we’ll have a visit from an IB teacher from India.  And just this week, we received a copy of a book published by our visitors from Taiwan last year, that highlights Bel Aire Park and our students as an innovative school program and a suggested model for all schools in Taiwan.  We also get to learn about their cultures and schools as we share with one another.  We hope that you as a family will encourage curiosity, questions, and research about people and places around the world.  Thank you as always for all that you do to support your child and our school.

 

Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

more
5/18/16

At this time of year, we reflect on our blessings and good fortune.   The staff of Bel Aire Park is so appreciative of all you do to help and support our students, our staff, and our school.  As a community we really are focusing UP as our year long theme states, when we come together to uplift one another for the benefit of our children.   We wish you and yours a very happy holiday season.

more
5/18/16

Happy New Year!  We’re glad to be back after the holidays and are now about half way through our school year.  This time of year is when we see students showing a lot of growth as readers, writers, and mathematicians.  As we approach a new calendar year, we are also reflecting on those goals we set in August.  At our school meeting this month, we were inspired by a quote from Martin Luther King, “The time is always right to do the right thing”.  We talked about being Principled by not just following rules but remembering that we have rules and agreements so that we can help one another to feel safe and happy. We can also uplift each other by looking for things we can do to help others and use our knowledge and skills toward making the world better.  I am inspired and uplifted so often by students’ care and actions on behalf of others.  We are committed to keep helping each other feel UP!  We hope that you will share with us the things that your student does outside of school to take action so that we can be uplifted by their actions.  Thank you for all the support you give to our work and our community!

Sincerely,  Janine Burt

more
5/18/16

Greetings Bel Aire families, the year if flying by and we are completing our second trimester this week.  One highlight this past month was our visit from Leadership Napa Valley.  The members of this organization come from a variety of business and civic organizations.  They were able visit all our classrooms and learn a little bit about our IB program.  The participants were amazed and impressed by how actively our students learn and they could clearly see the progression of inquiry from our Kindergartners through 5th grade.  I hope that you as families are also learning and inquiring together as your children participate in their units of inquiry at school.  In addition, we ask that you look for some time in your busy lives to get involved in the many activities we have going on this spring.  We have a strong but small group of dedicated parents in our FFC that support our school programs.  We really want and need to expand our volunteers and include more parents and families.  Please take a look at the events we have coming up (listed on the back page) and let us know where you can help.  So many of our wonderful academic and enrichment programs would not be possible without the support of our parent community.  As always, we as a staff are so appreciative of the support we receive from our parents and community volunteers. 

 

Sincerely,  Janine Burt

more
5/18/16

Happy Spring!  I hope you all enjoyed a lovely spring break and were able to spend some time together just for fun.  For the last month, we have been revisiting the idea of being an Inquirer and how that helps us learn.  When we use our curiosity to ask questions and then explore, observe, and research we are more motivated to discover new things.  We have some great opportunities this month for you to see student inquiry in action.  We invite all families to attend our 2nd annual PYP Exhibition where our 5th graders will share their culminating project as an IB learner.  We will also have our 2nd grade Bazaar for their unit on Economies and our 3rd grade Arcade to demonstrate the Simple Machines unit.  Please check the calendar for dates and times.  One great way to support all the inquiry at Bel Aire, is to donate to or attend our annual art faire/silent auction on April 26.  We so appreciate all that our parents and families do to support us at school.   

more
5/18/16

Greetings Bel Aire Families, as we begin to close out our year, I am reflecting on all the great learning and thinking we’ve had this year.  Our theme for the year was UP! - uplifting our thinking and our performance.  I was privileged to attend the Magnet Schools of America conference last week in Raleigh, NC where our school was awarded a Magnet School of Distinction Award – one of only two elementary schools in CA to receive this recognition.  I was reminded of all the hard work and effort from students, parents, and staff over the last 4 years of our magnet program.  It is perfect timing that we are celebrating our teachers this week.  I want to thank all of our dedicated staff members who work so hard and care so much about the learning and well being of our students.  Please take a moment to say thank you to your child’s teacher.   And thank you all for your continued support.  We have many activities this month and appreciate your willingness to help out. 

Sincerely, Janine Burt

 

more
5/18/16

Greetings everyone!  It’s hard to believe we’re finishing our first month of school already.  The students are settling in and the enthusiasm for learning is growing all the time.  As we begin our 2nd year as an authorized IB school, we’re making an effort to focus on the big goals of our program and how they can bring out the hidden talents in all of us.  Our theme for instruction this year is Finding the Talent Within and we’re talking as a whole school about how inquiry – our questions and explorations - help us to find our interests, passions, and talents.   We are also thinking about what it means to be internationally minded.  We are celebrating the International Day of Peace this month and thinking about ways that our actions can promote peace here at home and around the world.  We hope that you’ll join us in working together to find and use our talents to help those around us and make our world a better and more peaceful place.  I look forward to working with all of you this year and I appreciate all the support you give us. 

Sincerely, Janine Burt

more