Bancroft Elementary
Bancroft Elementary
Bobcat Tracks - September
Letter from our PFC President

Hello Bancroft Families ~


Keeping students, staff, and families safe in and around campus is a high propriety at Bancroft. I know that the traffic procedures have been communicated previously, but I would like to take this time to highlight some critical arrival and dismissal procedures.


If everyone could adhere to these procedures, it will ensure safety to all. It will also avoid the need to request the services of the Walnut Creek Police Department to police the school campus for traffic violations.


If after reading this message you still need further clarifications, please email me directly at or visit the school office.


Volunteers, on a rotating basis, are needed for Traffic Crossing Guards. Please email me for more information.


GREEN CURBS - Are ONLY for loading and unloading students from the "right" side of the vehicle. No waiting or parking is allowed. This is to ensure the continuous movement of traffic.


RED CURBS - NO parking, stopping, waiting, loading or unloading students. This is ILLEGAL.


NO U-TURNS - Once you turn onto Parish Drive towards school, you must follow the traffic to the end of the street and then turn left.


BUS CIRCLE - Is ONLY for school buses and it is also marked as a RED CURB. No parking, loading or unloading students, or using as a turn around at any time.


STAFF PARKING LOT - Is ONLY for staff use. No parking, loading or unloading of students, and it is not a drive-thru or turn-around area.


SPEED LIMIT - Please observe the 25mph school-zone speed limit at ALL times. There are pedestrians before, during, and after school.


PARKING - If parking is necessary, you may park on the street throughout the neighborhood or in the parking area at the END of Parish Drive next to Diane Adair ONLY.


CAR POOL LANE - This is for drop off and pick up as a way to minimize the need for parking and getting in and out of the car.


Thank you for your support in putting into practice all safe at school procedures! 


Warm Regards, 
Lisa Guarnaccia
Dollar-A-Day Campaign

Thank you Bancroft families for your contributions to our Dollar-A-Day campaign for the 2014-15 school year.  To date we have raised over $58,000, which represents participation by 46% of our student body. The money raised will help support funding of our instructional assistants, language development teacher, weekly technology support, library support, and science lab support for this year.  We greatly appreciate your contributions to this extremely important school fundraiser!


To those families who have made a donation, we thank you!  For those of you who are still considering being part of our Dollar-A-Day success, please stop by the school office and make your donation today!  Donation forms can be found in the school office or on our website under "Fundraisers."  Also, don't forget to ask your employer if they will match your contribution!


Please note, for all families who contributed $365 or more to this campaign, bobcat paw car magnets are available for pickup anytime in the school office.


Thank you again for your support!  Go Bobcats!

Odyssey of the Mind
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. By tapping into creativity, and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem-solving, students learn skills that will provide them with the ability to solve problems -- great and small -- for a lifetime. Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems. The creative problem-solving process
rewards thinking "outside of the box." Each year, students 3rd grade and older are offered five new competitive problems to choose from. K-2nd students have one given problem.  These long-term problems are solved over weeks and months. Some of the problems are more technical in nature, while others are artistic or performance based. Each long-term problem rewards "Style" in the solution. This helps teach students that they should not simply try to solve problems but take the next step of enhancing their solutions. The teams participate in a regional competition, presenting their solution to a panel of Judges. At the competition, the teams are also given an on-the-spot "spontaneous" problem to solve. Some spontaneous problems build verbal skills, some build mechanical skills, and some build both, but all improve a student's creative problem-solving talents.


To learn more, place your student on a team, or to volunteer to coach, attend the Info Meeting on Monday, Sept 22nd at 7pm in the Art Room or contact Chirsty Paloutzian.  You can also visit OotM's website.
PEAK (Partners for Educational Achievement K-12) is an education foundation started 4 years ago in an effort to raise additional money above and beyond each school's PFC.  Currently, the Walnut Creek School District has a similar foundation, called the Walnut Creek Education Foundation (WCEF).  WCEF raises money for the Walnut Creek School district only; annually, they raise $850,000.  PEAK has raised $110,000 over the last 4 years, and every year they are growing.  The money is disbursed to the PFC's of each of the six Walnut Creek schools in the Mt. Diablo School District (Bancroft, Walnut Acres, Valley Verde, Eagle Peak Montessori, Foothill Middle, and Northgate High).  PEAK supports approximately 4,250 students.  Please visit their website for more details.

We have a new PEAK representative for Bancroft, Amy Anderson.  She will be attending the PEAK meetings every month and reporting back to the PFC. Thank you Amy!

There are two fundraisers planned for this fall: a Zumba Fitness Fundraiser (Friday, September 26th); and the Walnut Creek Turkey Trot (Thanksgiving Day, November 27th), its largest fundraiser.  We encourage our students and parents to get involved and learn more about this great organization!
Help Wanted (and Needed!)
Fall Fest Co-Chair

Fall Fest is fast approaching and is scheduled for Saturday, October 25th. The income earned from this event is earmarked for the following year's 5th grade Outdoor Ed to reduce families' out of pocket costs... which means the funds are for the current 4th graders.

A 4th grade parent is needed to Co-Chair the Fall Fest with Eileen Saldana. The game stations are supported by volunteers from each classroom, the food stations are staffed by 4th grade families and the haunted house is organized by 5th grade families. 

Last years' Fall Fest Co-Chairs are available to help.  There is also a list of volunteers who have offered to help for this year is also available. Thank you so much for your consideration.  Please email Lisa Guarnaccia if you are interested. 



writing Artist
The PFC is looking for someone to update our new sandwich memo boards each week. These boards provide another avenue of communication to our families. Mari Mielcarski, VP Communications, will provide you with the content. Total weekly time commitment is about 30-40 minutes on Monday mornings after drop off. Contact Mari if you (or you and a friend) are interested in helping out.

Art Appreciation Volunteers

For any child, being an artist is easy, fun, and exciting, as they test the waters of paints, markers, crayons, and oil pastels to create a colorful masterpiece celebrating the innocence of childhood. 


Now you can be involved in the development of your budding Picasso by volunteering in the Bancroft Elementary Art Appreciation Program. Just one day a month, you will assist in the distribution of art materials, lend guidance to a work of art, and help a child develop their artistic skills.


The initial kick-off meetings will be held on Monday, September 15 at 8am and again on Tuesday, September 16 at 6pm. Volunteers need only attend one meeting.  Meetings will be held in the D-3 art room.  Volunteers are still needed for many classes.


For more information, please contact Dan DiCarlo or Kaori Hornbaker.
Room Parents
Thank you to all that have volunteered to be Room Parents!  We are still in need of one (or more) parents to volunteer for Miss Lee's class.  For specific details about the position, the Room Parent Guidebook is newly revised and can be found on the PFC website under the Room Parent tab.  Thanks for volunteering!
Spirit Wear
Show your school spirit! Fridays are Spirit Days at Bancroft. Students are encouraged to wear their Bancroft Spirit Wear or school colors. Each week, classes compete for Bobcat Spirit trophy. The class with the greatest percentage of students wearing school colors and/or spirit wear wins! To order this year's spirit wear, pick up a form at the school office or download the form from the Spirit Wear section of the PFC website and turn it in at the office with your check. The next batch of orders will be placed on September 29th. Go Bobcats!
Faculty Spotlight 
Lorena Stiles and Ellen Velasquez
Maestra Stiles (Left) and Ms. Velasquez in the Spanish classroom. 
Maestra Lorena Stiles and Ms. Ellen Velasquez are new kindergarten teachers at Bancroft this year. They are piloting the Two-Way Dual Immersion (TWDI) Spanish program for Mount Diablo Unified School District. Maestra Stiles is the Spanish language model and Ms. Velasquez is the English language model for the new kindergarten classes.

How the TWDI program works is the curriculum is taught in both languages with a goal to have students become biliterate and bilingual as they progress through their primary education. The students rotate between the English and Spanish teachers equally, for a 50/50 model of instruction.

Maestra Stiles and Ms. Valesquez have 58 students between the two classes. Piloting the new program, creating schedules, and adjusting as needed make their job a little more challenging, but both teachers say it's an exciting challenge! Incidentally, exciting is their go-to word in describing how they feel about the program and about being at Bancroft this year. They feel supported and welcomed by the Bancroft community.

Both teachers said working with kindergartners who are excited to learn is the best part of their job. They also enjoy hearing the hilarious things kindergarteners say.

Ms. Valesquez said wishes she had the opportunity to take dual immersion classes when she was growing up. She thinks it's important for students to learn both languages and wants education to be welcoming for both groups, not just the predominately English speaking group. Maestra Stiles said she likes to see the cultures come together and become united by speaking Spanish. She is always looking for challenges and is excited to be a part of the pilot program.

Both teachers said family has been the largest influence in their lives. Ms. Valesquez also indicated her three month study abroad in Cuba - being immersed in the language and culture - was a huge influence in her Spanish fluency.

Outside of the classroom, Maestra Stiles is a yoga instructor and enjoys teaching and practicing yoga in her free time. Ms. Valesquez enjoys running, nutrition, and baking.

Maestra Stiles' favorite quote is: "No dejes para maņana que puedes hacer hoy." (Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.) Ms. Valesquez likes the quote, "Look good. Feel good. Do good." She is also inspired by James Comer, "Significant learning can't occur without significant relationships."

Maestra Stiles went to UC Santa Barbara and majored in Black History. She is National Board Certified and is credentialed through San Francisco State. Ms. Velasquez went to UC Davis and received a BS in Human Development with an emphasis in Nutrition. She also has a Masters in Education with an emphasis in Dual Immersion from UC Davis.
In This Issue
Upcoming Dates
9/19: Family Ice Cream Social 
6-7pm, Playground

9/22: Odyssey of the Mind Info
Night, 7pm, Art Room

9/27: Walnut Creek Community 
Service Day

10/1: Dine 2 Donate at Rocco's and 
Yogurt Station

10/3: Life Skills Assembly

10/10: Walk-A-Thon

10/14: PFC Meeting 7-9pm, Library

10/17: Teacher in Service Day 

10/21: Soul Shoppe Parent Ed 
Night, 6:15-7:30, MUR

Visit the Bancroft online calendar for future dates.
Thank you!
*A huge thank you to Lisa Guarnaccia for running another successful Info Days.  And thank you to all the volunteers who helped her: Amy Anderson, Jennifer Boswell, Jill Collins, Meena Dempsey, Zuzana Duris, Rachael Gould, Jenny Gysin, Jennifer Hill, Kelly Jones, Eva Malki, Michelle Mansfield-Hicks, Beth McKnight, Oksana Melnyk, Mari Mielcarski, Ashley Noe, Pat Noonan, Hillary Osness, Brenda Walsh, Sharlene Welday, Elizabeth Real, Kendra Spicer, Pauline Tobin, Alphina Zapantis, and Sarah Zyla

*Thank you to everyone who stopped by on the first day of school to our Back to School Coffee. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and meet some of our new families! And thank you to Cherisse Riney and Ashley Noe and the hospitality committee for making the Coffee happen! 

*We are in our second year of the Bobcat Buddy program.  Thank you to Hillary Osness and Sarah Hansell for improving, adjusting, and running this important program.  Thank you too to the buddies who have volunteered their time and knowledge to our new families: Katy Schultz, Melissa Horgan, Amy Waltman, Christina Bowen, Leslie Lafredo and Stefanie Lee.

*The Fall After School Enrichment program has begun and we are forever grateful to Beth McKnight for the hours and hours of work it takes to coordinate this great program for our children.

*At the end of summer, the PFC put out an appeal for two vacant positions.  Thank you to Dan DiCarlo for stepping up to head up our Art Program, and to Amy Anderson for volunteering to be our PEAK representative.  We are appreciative and enthusiastic about your roles!
Ongoing Fundraisers

10% off everything every day and 5% back to Bancroft.  Just mention Bancroft when you check out.
Contact Us
Bancroft Elementary
September Bobcat Tracks | Bancroft PFC website