2nd Annual Love a Picture Book Month
Lincoln's Birthday Holiday - No School
Montessori guest speaker: Judi Bauerlin 7-8 pm MPR
Love a Picture Book Family Night
|Do you Have a Computer to Donate?
We are looking for a gently used laptop computer or two that will run Windows XP. If you or your business would like to donate to Birch Lane please contact:
Staff Appreciation Thank You's...
hosted a "Chocolate Fountain
and Chocolate Extravaganza" for our staff on February 1st! A huge thank you to Diane Rubin, Autumn Laube-Renault, Lana Magness, Carol Joyce, Stacy Clark , Michael Bobell, and Lisa Dock
for providing chocolate treats and goodies! Thanks also to the fabulous team of Jeneane Stevenson, Kari Rebhun, Kathy Barnes, Megan Rabin and Annie Ventresco for all their help in making this annual event extra special!
Staff Appreciation Co-Chair
The "PTA" parking space in the staff lot is reserved at all times for the Birch Lane parent who holds the permit for the space for the month - monthly permits are available to the highest bidder at the Spring Fling Auction every May! Thanks for your cooperation!
Dear Birch Lane Families,
It is hard to pick up a newspaper these days without reading about another "problem" with education. Money is tight and as you know our school funding has been cut from every level over the past few years. We are fortunate at Birch Lane to live in a community that overwhelmingly supports our schools, and to have a fabulous PTA that works tirelessly with our teachers to support so many programs at our school. PTA fundraisers have replaced outdated computers in our lab, purchased electronic whiteboards for most of our classrooms, paid for the school counselor, computer tech, teacher supply money, busses for 6th grade camp, library support, a part time art teacher, the Challenger field trip for fifth grade and a host of other smaller ticket items that directly impact our students' education.
Our major fundraising event, Spring Fling, will be on May 12th this year. This multi-layered day typically brings in $20,000-$30,000 annually. There are many components to this fun day and there are numerous volunteer opportunities. Some involve making phone calls, some may be just one day jobs. As with any major production, there are small jobs for many people or big jobs for just a few! If you have never volunteered for Spring Fling before, here is your chance. If you are new to Birch Lane and really don't know how you can help, here is your chance to be a part of a great day full of fun that has a positive impact on our school. Just e-mail PTA Vice president Aaron Wright at
to join the team.
Measure C Ballots Arrive This Week!
Dear Birch Lane families,
Please watch your mail for the Measure C ballot this week!
Please vote, seal your envelope and sign it on the back. Mail it in as soon as possible. There is also a collection box at the library.
Your support for this measure is critical. We need your vote.
Measure C renews Measures Q & W - this is a tax we are already paying, and it will continue to fund quality programs in our schools.
For more information, see http://www.yesforourstudents.org
Sign up for Spring Fling!
Birch Lane Families,
The Annual Spring Fling is May 12th this year. It is time to start preparing for our big day. In order to pull off a successful day, a small army of volunteers is needed. In an effort to organize our volunteers and their responsibilities a Google document has been set up online. Anyone can access and sign up on this list. There are many ways to contribute before, during, and after the Spring Fling. Please take the time to look at all of the volunteer options available. Many hands make light work. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly.
Thank you in advance,
Aaron Wright PTA Vice President
Special Montessori Guest Speaker - All Welcome
The Montessori Parent Advisory Committee (MPAC) has a special treat for all who are interested in learning more about Montessori education. Please join us on Tuesday, February 21 from 7-8 p.m. in the MPR room for a presentation by Judi Bauerlein. Judi is a Montessori education pioneer who has trained many Montessori teachers, including some of Birch Lane's. She was also one of the consultants who helped start Birch Lane's Montessori program eleven years ago. In 2010 Judi was honored by the American Montessori Society as a Living Legend. We are opening Judi's presentation up to the Davis community, so please invite people who might be interested. This could be a great opportunity for incoming kindergarten parents to learn more about Montessori.
Questions? Contact Allison Chilcott at
Friendship Week - February 14-17th
-sponsored by Mrs. Carrell and students from the Birch Lane Leadership Team
All week long students and teachers will be celebrating friendships by focusing on a different friendship quality each day of the week. Students may participate in special lunchtime activities that highlight these qualities as well as participate in the school wide "Get Caught" program. If students "get caught" by a teacher or classmate doing something kind or helpful for another student during Friendship Week, they may be nominated for an ice cream party the following week.
Please encourage your student to participate in the week of friendship activities. Ask them each day about something they did to be a friend or "fill a bucket".
Tuesday: "Respect" means being considerate of other's feelings and perspectives, not interrupting, sharing, being fair and following the rules.
Lunch recess project- "Get Caught" pledge sheet and garden project for senior center.
Wednesday: "Teamwork"- means compromising, working together, cooperating, doing your fair share and being a good sport.
School Photo- everyone wear white!!!
All students will assemble on the playground for an aerial photograph of the student body spelling out "Birch Lane".
Thursday: "Helpful" means doing something kind or considerate for others without expecting anything in return.
Lunch recess project -garden project for senior center.
Friday: "Kindness" means reaching out to others with a smile, a "hello" or giving them a compliment.
Mix it up day- students eat lunch with their "#'s" class.
Popcorn at lunch for students who completed their "bucket filling" tickets.
Love a Picture Book Month
Love a Picture Book Month is off to a great start and our Reading Road Trip is well underway. A superhighway has been constructed in the library and is filled with cars, bicycles, campers, and motorcycles representing the reading punch cards which have been turned in. Our students have already read over 700 books so our travels have taken us 700 miles on our coast to coast journey. Additional punch cards may be picked up in the library.
Bring in postcards from friends and relatives around the country for a chance to win free books and let us know the life lessons your family learned from 5 picture books. You could win a $25.00 gift certificate for books!
"Books Take You Places" t-shirts are available in both youth and adult sizes and sell for $10.00. Stop by the library soon to get yours as supplies are limited. Birch Lane parent, Sandi Osterman, created a wonderful design for the shirts (see design below). Thank you Sandi for your help, creativity, and talent!
Mark your calendars for Family Love a Picture Book Night on Thursday, March 1.
Hope to see you on our travels.
Birch Lane/Fairfield Elementary Schools
T-shirts will be on sale in the library!
Scan & Notify Team Corner
Scan & Notify Party on Wednesday, February 15 at 1:30 pm - near the bike racks.
Let's celebrate all the sweetness at Birch Lane the day after Valentine's Day.
Students earn Monkey Money when they scan in at the scanning table in the mornings.
They can use their Monkey Money on goodies and sweet goodies on Feb. 15.
We are looking for donations - baked goodies, fruit or fun items for students to buy with their earned Monkey Money. Please volunteer. Contact
Many students participated in the The Polar Bear Challenge in the Month of January.
The top scanning student scanned in a total of 20 days.
A lottery took place based on the top scanning students.
The winners are:
Username Asobsey - Scott's class
Username Carina - Aradhya's class
Username Gracee - Kurata/Taylor's class
Username Imgonfiotti - Grabar's class
The prizes are gift cards to Yolo Berry, Rocknasium, a drawstring bag, a bike bell, and silly putty.
Congratulations to all the students that participated and biked/walked to school - keep up all the good work and continue to scan in every morning you can!
The Scan & Notify Team:
Beth Bourne, Steve Faith, Tony Hasson-Snell, Soji Howe, David Leifson, Kelly Macy, Chris Pinnow, Deborah Rains, Julia Seebach & Sanne Fettinger.
Reminder for Kindergarten Parents
Please remember Oral Health Assessment forms are due by the end of December. If your child has seen the dentist in the last 12 months you may have the form filled out by his/her dentist.
Also please remember to turn in your child's physical examination form. The exam may not be more than 6 months before your child started Kindergarten in August.
Both forms were part of the registration packet given to all parents. If you need another form please obtain one from your school's office or on the DJUSD website.
GROWING FOR SPRING
With Spring just around the corner, we're starting seed now for planting once our ground warms. Tomato, pepper and eggplant seed along with basil and others we'll want to have growing through spring and into fall can be started now indoors. Grow lights can be set up in many classrooms, bringing gardening indoors for the winter.
Some of our classes have already harvested from fall plantings like lettuce, kale and chard. Our Fuyu persimmons in the Kindergarten yard were harvested and enjoyed by many of our classes too. This winter Citrus will be a focus and a great thing to share with classes if you have an abundance from your home trees. A truly memorable experience is to bring a variety in for a citrus taste test! Throughout the spring, we should be harvesting food from the garden like carrots, lettuce, kale, chard and peas. In late spring we'll harvest garlic too! Mmmm Garlic bread...
Bob Redfield is pruning most of our fruit trees this winter, as he has graciously volunteered to do for the past few years. We are trying to keep them at or below 10' to make it easier for us to harvest. Others are encouraged to help prune some of the woody ornamental plants and small trees, especially in the far North and South sides of campus.
LUNCH TIME GARDEN CLUB
Debra Ariola has partnered with Molly Kenneth to make the Margaret O'Brien Arboretum available during lunch recess each Friday. Nature crafts and gardening are overseen, and exploration of nature is encouraged. This has become something many children look forward to each week.
Thanks to all of our garden volunteers for all the support we've received this year so far! We have volunteers that work with students in the garden and we have volunteers that help maintain our whole school site which could be considered a garden itself. Our winter garden sale went well and we'll have another in the spring. Many of our classes had volunteers that made successful gardening happen for our kids.
ALWAYS ROOM FOR MORE HELP
If you are interested in maintaining one of the garden spaces, keeping pathways clear of weeds, pruning back woody perennial shrubs or trees, please let Garden Coordinator Debra Ariola know. Check out our garden sites on-line as well!
Looking for campers! Camp Kesem UC Davis is a free weeklong camp for kids ages 6-16 who have or had a parent diagnosed with cancer. We are currently looking for new campers to join us this year at camp, which will be held at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch from June 17-22, 2012. Please visit www.campkesemdavis.org or contact Camper Care Coordinator Megan Choi (
) for more information. The application can be found on our website starting February 12th and will be due April 13th, 2012.
The Academic Talent Search (ATS) Program at CSU, Sacramento provides academically challenging, fast-paced courses to highly able and motivated 4th through 9th grade students in the greater Sacramento area. Participating students enjoy the chance to take classes with like-minded students and to move through curriculum at a faster and deeper level.
Students in the 4th and 5th grades can discover new approaches to traditional topics and experience enrichment opportunities in new subjects. More than 20 classes are offered each summer in one-week sessions. Last year, each class cost $259. There is financial aid available.
Students in 6th through 9th grades have the opportunity to experience a collegiate environment on the campus of CSUS. More than 100 classes are scheduled each summer and range in length in one-, three-, and five-week sessions. Students have the opportunity to accelerate their learning in traditional subjects like mathematics and to explore new topics which are not always available in regular school. Fees ranged from $125 to $419 depending on the length of the course. Again, financial aid is available.
To qualify for Academic Talent Search classes, students must take the ATS Qualifying Exam which will be offered throughout Davis. We suggest you attend your school or the one nearest you, but if dates conflict, you may go to any session as long as you register ahead of time. Registration forms are available at the sites listed or from the DJUSD District Office, GATE Program, 526 B Street. The ATS website is: http://edweb.csus.edu/Projects/ats . Turn in registration form to school office prior to date of testing to reserve a space. Bring $15.00 fee on day of testing (check payable to "ATS" or cash). Scholarships are available.
This year's testing schedule is as follows:
Korematsu Elementary on January 18
1:45-3:15 pm, and February 15 from 1:45-3:15, Library
Pioneer Elementary on February 8
2:00-3:30 pm, Rm. C18
Montgomery Elementary on February 8
2:00-3:30 pm, Room TBD
Willett Elementary on February 15
2:00-3:30 pm, Rm. D20
North Davis Elementary on February 23
3:30-5:00 pm, Rm. E32
Harper Junior High on February 28
3:45-5:15 pm, Rm. E23
Birch Lane Elementary on March 7
2:00-3:30 pm, Rm. 20 & 21
Holmes Junior High on March 15
3:45-5:15 pm, Rm. B19