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February 2020 Parent Newsletter
Thelma Buckley
Monday, January 27, 2020

February 2020


Dear San Juan Parents and Families,

As we are leading up to statewide testing in May, please support your child with 100% attendance, homework support, and family reading time every night.  You can also support your child’s education through healthy nutrition and exercise, and plenty of sleep every night, so your child will be at school on time and ready to learn every day. Please make needed appointments after school. Don’t shortchange their future by missing instruction!

Thank you for keeping toys at home so your child can focus on learning.

The Great Kindness Challenge

The Great Kindness Challenge is coming to San Juan School! We will celebrate Kindness Week January 27 – 31, and invite you to participate. Your child will be bringing home a Kindness Checklist where you can record their acts of kindness. We will also have special dress-up opportunities each day:

  • Monday – Shine Bright for Kindness – wear bright colors
  • Kindness Rocks – dress like a Rockstar
  • We Can Work Out Problems – wear exercise clothes
  • Peace, Love, & Kindness – dress like a hippy
  • Dreaming of Kindness – wear pajamas to school
    • Ms. Fuentes’s Dual Immersion 1st grade class was the class with the Most Words Read in all of San Benito County  
    • Ms. Flores’s class was one of only 8 classes in all of San Benito County to total One Million Words Read in the Winter Challenge

    • Ms. Vallejo’s Dual Immersion Kindergarten was one of only 8 classes in all of San Benito County to total One Million Words Read in the Winter Challenge

    • Ms. Ramos’s 2nd grade class was one of only 8 classes in all of San Benito County to total One Million Words Read in the Winter Challenge


Footsteps to Brilliance

San Juan School uses the Footsteps to Brilliance literacy program in Grades TK – 3rd. This online learning is brought to us by the San Benito County Office of Education. For the recent Winter Reading Challenge, San Juan produced multiple winners who were recognized by County Superintendent Lomanto on January 24:


That’s right, of only eight classes in all of San Benito County to read One Million Words in the Winter Challenge, three of them were from San Juan!

Patriot’s Pen

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) sponsors the annual Patriot’s Pen essay contest for 8th graders. This year’s topic was, “What Makes America Great?” I am proud to announce that Alexa Flores, a San Juan 8th grader, won the essay contest for all of VFW District 5, which stretches from San Francisco to Monterey. Alexa used knowledge gained from our 8th grade history curriculum and her teacher, Mrs. Emerich, to focus on the events of the Revolutionary War in her award-winning essay. Alexa’s essay now advances to the state level competition. Congratulations, Alexa!

Smarter Balanced

Testing grades (3rd – 8th) are working hard through April to prepare all students for the demands they will be expected to navigate during our statewide assessment in May, prepared by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

Our primary grades (K – 2) are also working hard so students can master all grade level concepts and be ready to advance to a higher grade next year. They are learning the foundational skills of reading, writing, math, and cooperative learning to ensure a successful future at San Juan School.

You can support your child’s future by providing healthy nutrition, daily reading, and adequate sleep, so they arrive on time and ready to learn every day. Every instructional day is crucial to your child’s learning. Our lessons are rigorous and it will be a disadvantage to your child to miss any time at school. Please make appointments outside of school hours, so you child can enjoy a full day of learning.


Our afterschool program’s move to room E3 has been a seamless transition. Students have better access to our school facilities and can use the computers for homework. YMCA leaders continue to meet near the gym after school each day. Parents have been picking up their YMCA students through the black gates near the front office. This change is an improvement for our YMCA students and leaders.


Our lockdown drill is scheduled for 1/28/2020. All staff and students have been trained to improve safe outcomes in an emergency. Safety for all students and staff is our highest priority at San Juan School.  We have already had six fire drills this year, as well as our earthquake drill held on 10/17, when we joined schools across California in The Great Shakeout. We held a Tier 3 emergency drill, including operationalizing our first aid station as we would in a real emergency. We will continue with fire drills, earthquake drills, and a second lock-down drill in March.


Sleepwear is not appropriate for school, and is not allowed at San Juan School, except on pre-announced spirit days. This includes pajamas, slippers, and blankets.


Students are recognized on their birthday, and may choose a free birthday book each year. This is the third year of free books for all students since we established the birthday book program in 2017.

Bully Free

San Juan is a bully-free school. We regularly review our school-wide bully-free strategy:


STOP – ask the person to stop bothering you;

WALK – Walk away;

TALK – Speak to an adult

Part of our commitment to students is to empower each student with their own strength. Sometimes, simply asking someone to stop may work. If not, take advantage of our beautiful school grounds and walk away from anyone who is bothering you. If STOP and WALK do not work, TALK to an adult. Of course, ask for help right away if you need it.

The same STOP WALK TALK strategy also works for a child who is bullying – stop and think about what you are doing; walk away; ask an adult for help. We are committed to stopping bullying and redirecting any students who are bullying.

Fiesta Fun Run 2020 - Save the Date

We have set a tentative date for our Fiesta Fun Run of May 16, 2020. This is an important community and cultural event, and is our largest annual fundraiser. You may want to save the date, although it is not finalized and may change. Middle School Athletics

We are continuing our winter season for middle school sports. Our first Boys’ Basketball game will be on 1/28/2020. The season schedule is posted on our website. Encourage your middle schooler to maintain the grades and behavior they need to be part of our after-school sports program.

Spelling Bee

San Juan School was well represented at the preliminary rounds of the spelling Bee. We will announce any finalists as soon as we are notified.

Safety Patrol

Our Safety Patrol in the parking lot is composed of middle school volunteers. They have been trained and are now providing safe and visible crossing escorts for younger Padre students. Please follow the instructions of our safety patrol leaders!


For the upcoming local elections, candidates may be campaigning for votes. Like all public schools in California, we do not condone or allow any campaigning at school. However, we do not own the public streets or sidewalks along Nyland Drive or The Alameda, and cannot restrict campaigning on public property.

We also do not own the property behind the school, the driveway of which is located near our parking lot. The homeowner in this adjacent area may advertise campaign materials on their property if they so choose. This area is not under our control, and any campaign material displayed may not represent the students, staff, or families of San Juan School.

Upcoming Events (check website calendar for changes):

1/27 – 31 The Great Kindness Challenge Week

1/28 Lockdown drill

1/29 3:00 School Site Council in Library

1/29 6:30 8th grade parent meeting in library

1/31 IEPs

2/5-6 San Benito County Spelling Bee Final

2/7 Parent Coffee, 8:30 a.m., Room B5

2/13 San Benito County Arts Showcase 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., Vets Hall, Hollister

2/13 Dual Immersion Parents 5:30 in library

2/14 Middle School Valentine Dance

2/17 – 21 Presidents’ Week Break (no school)

3/2 Dr. Seuss Birthday

3/2 – 6 Read Across America Week