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February 10, 2015

Dear Horrall/LEAD Families and Supporting Community Members,

Happy Valentines’ Day next Saturday and Presidents’ Day Weekend to all! 

On Friday, Feb. 13th: Instead of bringing sugary treats to school, students will dress in Valentines’ colors for a “Free Dress Day” while they participate in “JUMP ROPE FOR HEART” where exercise and a healthy lifestyle are emphasized. Students will donate what they and their families would have spent on Valentines’ cupcakes, cookies and candy to the American Heart Association. Thanks to Ms. DeMartini and the PTA for this event!

  • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16th: No school; Presidents’ Day National Holiday!
  • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17th: No School, Staff Professional Development DAY!

Parent Education: We hope you are taking advantage of the many “Parent Education” opportunities offered in the evenings and at the monthly PTA/Principal Coffee Chats. Last month’s chat featured second grade teacher, Mr. Sullivan, presenting to parents on how to support the school’s literacy efforts at home. If you were not able to attend the coffee, the packet distributed are in our office and on our web site.

  • Tuesday evening, 2/10 at 5:30 in the LGI, the 4th grade team will present on new Common Core Mathematics and the new Smarter Balance State Testing.
  • Thursday Evening, 2/12 at 6:30 in the LGI, SDC Preschool Parent Education

Website: We have been working with the District and the Grossbauer Group to design a new website for our school. It will hopefully go live by mid-March and we are thrilled that all of the engaging things that are going on at our school, as well as our new magnet focus will be featured. The home page provides easy access for parents with updated information about schedules, events, hot lunches, important calendar dates, staff information and more! It is a site designed to be easily accessible from tablets and cell phones. Many thanks to the District for selecting our school to be the prototype for all new SMFC school web sites and Felicia Howell, Tim Merritt and Andrea Quinn, staff members who assisted in the process.

Literacy Update:

  • Barney Saltzberg, award winning author, illustrator and musician came to our school this past Monday to share his gifts and writing techniques with our TK, K and 1st Grade students. It was a memorable event and we thank Felicia Howell and The Reading Bug in San Carlos for making this happen. My grandson Grant who just turned 5 even joined us for the event. Children were thrilled to receive autographed copies of Barney’s books!
  • Pam Munoz Ryan, author of Esperanza Rising and her new book, Echo will read to and discuss her work as an author with selected 4th and 5th  Horrall/LEAD  students on Wednesday, February 25th at The Reading Bug in San Carlos. 40 students will eat lunch early and hop on a bus at 12:15 with Mrs. Dullea and Ms. DeMartini to travel to hear Ms. Ryan. Lucky students, lucky us! Thank you Reading Bug for your continued partnership with our school and community.

Professional Development Day on February 17th: Staff will spend the morning working with a consultant and elementary teacher who will work with us as we continue to develop our digital arts and literacy focus, emphasizing Google docs, Google Draw, Google Slides and design and implementation of digital portfolios and digital photography. Teachers will spend the afternoon practicing and developing plans to implement learnings from the morning session, with the added benefit of being coached by our presenter and members of our Vertical Tech Team.

TK/K Tours: We just completed 3 weeks of our TK/K parent Tours of our school community. We had a record number of participants in the tours and are thrilled that they were able to see up close and personal, all of the great things going on at our school. Thanks to the TK/K team as well as other grade level teachers who invited us into their classrooms to see them do their magic. 


Pattie Dullea