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Principal's Newsletter

October 2019 Principal’s Newsletter

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Dolphin Pride!

There is a lot of information in our first newsletter of this school year. Thank you for taking the time to read all that we have to share with you. We appreciate your continued support of our school!

International Walk to School Day

Thank you to everyone who walked or biked to school on October 2, 2019, in recognition of International Walk to School Day! 

Student Safety

On October 1, 2019 BIES participated in a school-wide evacuation drill.  All students exited the buildings safely and followed all directions. Each school in the district conducts monthly safety drills, under the guidance of The Big Five. On October 28, 2019, we will practice our Drop, Cover, and Hold On drill. The BIES safety committee meets periodically throughout the school year to review and refine our safety practices as needed.


Morning Drop-Off

Thank you for helping to keep the flow of morning drop-off traffic in the front driveway run smoothly each morning.  The students have been exiting quickly and promptly from the cars. We know that parking can be limited, and your continued diligence to help your child to be on time for school is appreciated and valued. 


Morning Bells

We have three morning bells signaling the start of the school day. 

8:00 a.m.: Grades 4-5

8:10 a.m.: Grades TK-K

8:20 a.m.: Grades 1-3. 

At 8:20 a.m., the gates are promptly closed.  Thank you for exiting the campus quickly prior to or by the 8:20 a.m. bell so that a security sweep of the campus can be conducted in a timely manner. Your children’s safety is a top priority.


Student Supplies, Homework, and Lunch/Water Bottle

If a student has forgotten supplies, homework, and/or lunch/water bottle and they are dropped off at school during the school day, the supplies/homework will be placed in the teacher’s mailbox for pickup at their convenience; the student lunch/water bottle will be placed outside of the office in a lunch cart and taken to the lunch area during lunch for students to check if they realize that they do not have their lunchbox/water bottle with them.  Specific students will not be notified to check the lunch cart.  Calls to the classroom for students’ retrieval of forgotten items from home once the school day has started disrupt the instructional learning time and environment.  We encourage our students to be responsible, as one of our school’s core values. Thank you for continuing your diligent efforts to support the learning of responsible.


Student Site Council Nominations

Brewer Island is holding elections for our SSC (School Site Council) for the 2019-2020 school year. There are two open parent representative positions and we encourage your participation! The SSC represents parents, community members, and the school staff in school governance. The SSC is responsible for the development of the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) and overall school site budget, including any categorical funds. The SSC is expected to:

·         Review and analyze student data

·         Solicit community input and develop a needs assessment

·         Assist the principal in developing and approving the SPSA and school site budget

·         Monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the SPSA on an ongoing basis

Nomination forms can be picked up from the front office. Please return the form to the front office between 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. by Friday, November 1, 2019.  If needed, elections will be held on Monday, November 4, 2019. The SSC will hold the first meeting of the full council at 3:00 p.m. on November 13, 2019 in the school library.  Future meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of each month.


Parent-Teacher Conferences

Grades TK-K. Conferences were held and well attended from September 23 - October 3.

Grades 1-5.  Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled from November 12-22 for students in grades 1-5. Students will follow a minimum day schedule during the scheduled conference days.  We value your participation in the scheduled parent/teacher conferences, as this is time to discuss your child’s strengths and areas to strengthen. Teachers will send home information to you regarding the day and time to meet.  If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher.


Halloween Parade

Please join us for our annual school-wide Halloween Parade on Thursday, October 31, 2019.  We will gather by 8:40 a.m. on the blacktop by the play structures.  Because the parade occurs inside the gated campus, any visitor who is attending the parade must sign-in upon student drop-off at the classroom door and receive a visitor’s badge, or sign in at the front office to receive a visitor’s badge.  All guests who are not volunteering in the classrooms after the parade are requested to exit out of one of the back three gates promptly upon the completion of the parade so that we can resume the scheduled day.  When considering a costume, please be mindful that we have young children on our campus, and select school appropriate costumes- nothing too scary, please.  Please leave masks for any adult costumes at home. For students, no masks with look-alike blood or scary, as the parade and day for the students is to be enjoyable for all students.  No toy or look-alike weapons of any kind are permitted.  Thank you for your support and cooperation.  We look forward to the parade each year!  Additional details for the parade will be included in a separate School Messenger email.



Thank you for helping your children to be in their classrooms learning!  We appreciate your part in getting your child to school regularly and on time. Here are some definitions and facts that you may find helpful regarding attendance reporting:

Excessive Excused Absences-These are absences that include sick days.  Bringing a doctor’s note after three consecutive days helps us to know why your child was not in school.  However, these absences do count towards chronic absenteeism.  Excessive Excused Absence letters are sent home after the 7th AND 10th excused absence.

Truancy- A student is considered truant when 3 days of unexcused absences have accumulated.  Missing over 30 minutes in a day (L or late) is also counted towards truancy. Parents receive truancy letters at 3, 6 and 9 days of unexcused absences/late.  Unexcused absences also count towards chronic absenteeism. 


Chronic Absenteeism- Being chronically absent means that students have been out of school 10% of the (18 days out of 180 total days) school year.  Parents receive chronic absenteeism letters when 9 days AND 10% of the school year has been missed.  


SMFC Ed Foundation Opportunity for 2019-2020
If you share the belief that children across San Mateo-Foster City deserve equal educational enrichment opportunities, please consider becoming a School Liaison. Or, join either the Readathon or 5k Run2Fund committees. The Readathon Committee will meet on Oct. 30, 11am, at Specialty’s Cafe at Norfolk & 92. Contact Liz Yeager at or Colleen Sullivan at from the SMFC Ed Foundation for more information.


Student Belongings

We encourage our parents/guardians to label all student markings with a marker.  As coats, hats, lunch containers, water bottles, etc. are left behind, we can help to return these items to students when they are labeled.  Thank you for your help!


BIES PTA Dolphin Drive

WOW!  Thank you!  We are grateful to our families who have contributed to this year’s Dolphin Drive!  Over $50,000 has been donated so far this year. Your support is critical to the academic programs and support here at BIES. Information and donations can be made on the BIES PTA website.  Please consider helping our school reach our goal of $110,000 to fully fund our programs and support needs!


Thank you for such a warm welcome to Brewer Island! I look forward each day to learn something new about your children and the school! – Dr. Becky Stephan, Principal



October 31, 2019                          8:40 a.m.: Halloween Parade


November 3, 2019                        2:00 a.m.: Daylight Saving time ends, set clocks back one hour


November 11, 2019                     NO SCHOOL: Veteran’s Day


November 13, 2019                     3:00 p.m.: Student Site Council Meeting, Library

                                                            7:00 p.m.: BIE PTA Meeting


November 12-22, 2019               Minimum Day Schedule: Parent/Teacher Conferences


November 22, 2019                     6:30-8:15 p.m.: BIES Movie Night: Toy Story 4


November 27-29, 2019               NO SCHOOL: Thanksgiving Holiday


All the best,

Becky Stephan , Principal