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Audience: Our School and Our School

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.

 

 

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Posted by: Janine Burt
Published: 6/17/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

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

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

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

 

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

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

 

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

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.

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

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

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

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

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

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.   

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

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

 

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

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

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

Happy fall!  We appreciate all those that came to our student led conferences earlier this month and Family Math night last week.   Both of these events were great opportunities for our students to communicate their thinking and practice their skills in presenting information to others.  As a school this month, we are talking about what it means to be a Communicator and how that helps us to discover and magnify our talents.  This fall, we’ve had many visitors from other schools to see how our students and teachers are showing thinking and problem solving strategies during math instruction.  While we know that our math program is working to help students more fully understand mathematical concepts, we also know that it is our IB Primary Years Program that has helped our students to build their confidence and critical thinking skills and it’s given them many, many occasions to share their knowledge and ideas with one another.  Our classrooms are rarely quiet, but are usually buzzing with conversation as students make meaning together.   We hope that these conversations are continuing at home and that you are encouraging your child to share their questions and discoveries at home.   I suggest that instead of asking your child “How was your day?” we ask, “What questions did you ask today?”   Thank you for all you do to support your child’s curiosity and learning. 

Sincerely, Janine Burt

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

Greetings!  It’s hard to believe we are past the halfway point in our school year. I love this time of year because we begin to see an acceleration of learning now that students are well into the routines and expectations for the school year.    This month we are talking as a school about the connection between risk-taking and being courageous.   Each day we ask students to take risks by being willing to make mistakes and learn from them and to try things that might be new or challenging.  At times, it takes real courage to put ourselves out there, but that is often exactly when we find those hidden talents we didn’t know we had.  In addition, we have opportunities every day to use courage to stand up for what’s right in helping one another and our world.   We had a group of visitors last week, and the observation that came up again and again across all grade levels was the confidence of our kids as they communicate their thinking and share their ideas (even with 12 adults in the room!)  Please encourage your kids to share the curiosities and passions with others.  Thank you for all you do to support the learning at school.

 

Sincerely,

Janine Burt

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16




Audience: Our School and Our School

Happy Spring! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful spring break.  We are excited about all the great learning and events we have planned over the next couple of months.  As a school, we have been focusing on being Reflective to help us discover our talents and passions.  We have students at all grade levels reflecting on what they are learning and how to apply it by taking action.  When we take action we use our talents and skills and grow in new ways.  A great example of this is our 5th grade Exhibition which will take place this month on April 13.  Our 5th graders will present their action projects using their creativity to advocate for something they believe in.  Please encourage your child to think about ways that they can improve as a student and a person by taking action with the new things they come to know and discover.  Thanks for all you do to support our school. 

Sincerely, Janine Burt

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Posted by: Jennifer Baker
Published: 5/18/16