Bancroft Elementary
Principal's Message - February
Principal's Message

During the first few weeks of the New Year, we have welcomed three new Bancroft staff members; Marilyn Baham joins us as the new Special Education Assistant (SEA) in our 4/5 grade SDC classroom with Ms. Hagen. Mrs. Baham worked for MDUSD at Bancroft several years ago and is returning to us after working in various other programs in the San Ramon District. We are thrilled to welcome her back. Amy Lambert joins the Noon Supervision Team and knows many of our children as she also works at the Bancroft Campus Diane Adair Day Care Center. Then in the final week of January we welcomed Paul Hernandez, as one of the six Bancroft Learning Center Assistants (funded by the PFC) filling our final position which has been vacant since it was posted in September 2014. While it has been frustrating to not have all these positions filled since September, having these amazing new members of our staff join us in January makes the wait worthwhile.


February brings with it many opportunities to express our friendship and feelings for those who mean so much to us. (At Bancroft School this includes the passion we show all our students and members of the community how much it means to us to care for our one another in an environment that strives to treat everyone with respect and kindness.) Treating people well... it sounds so simple, yet if this priority is missing in any interaction and relationship in our community the result can be very complicated and disheartening. The students are learning about Friendship and Caring this month as the featured Life Skills for February. Teachers have been provided with discussion ideas and activities that will help them highlight and deepen discussions around relationships. On February 24, Soul Shoppe returns to provide another learning opportunity for all of our students around the theme of Respect.


On January 26, while the students had an additional day to add to their weekend, our teachers attended a Symposium around the implementation of Common Core Learning specifically focused on one of the Listen and Speaking Standards, Academic Conversations. During the morning of the Symposium we joined other elementary schools in the district, led by teacher leaders who presented information and activities to support the professional growth in this area. We deepened our own skills to facilitate collaboration and creativity in the instructional designing of lessons and experiences for our students. Classroom spaces are becoming a topic of discussion as we look at possible ways to redesign rooms to bring about more interactions and give our students movement both at their physical work areas as well as how to interact with groups of peers. These ideas come from having discussions about how college and career work spaces feel and allow for these same levels of interactions. Academic conversations, like all areas of the standards ,need their own time for instruction in order for children to understand expectations and desired outcomes. Teachers also had some follow up training with the Thinking Maps strategies specifically in the use of the Multi-Flow Maps and Bridge Maps. In March we will have more in depth training in Math using the Singapore Math strategies.  


Current discussions are focused on student supports, beginning enrollment for our Kindergarten programs for the fall, continuing to implement our plans for student success, safety, and community and family engagement. While we remain focused on the present, February is also the gateway to our 2015-2016 planning as we look at enrollment, the need to find additional space for classrooms, and thinking ahead about school site budgets which the PFC prepares to support the many enrichment and instructional programs at Bancroft School. Additionally I will be working with the district to develop budgets based on preliminary allocations for the next school year. These budgets will be matched to implementing the Common Core Standards, 21st Century learning, family engagement, and professional development. Currently our district site-based funding is replacing all the instructional laptops in each classroom that are used by the classroom teachers as part of the instructional presentation and communication tools. The laptops that are being replaced are over 8 years old and can no longer be supported as the operating systems are obsolete. The Bancroft School Site Council approved the Bancroft Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) last spring. All funding sources are included in the SPSA for Bancroft and are focused towards these planned improvements. Teachers are providing their input as they provide their insight into all our programming and how we will sustain planned improvements.


I want to recognize the new learning and big changes that our teachers are engaged in each day as they work to implement the Common Core which requires that we shift from a "one size fits all" curriculum and are redefining educational practices. This shift takes many extra hours in planning, preparations, along with study and research. A big Thank You goes to our teachers and to the strides they are making with their students.


On Thursday, February 26 I will be hold our monthly School Site Council (SSC) meeting at 2:40 in the school Library. The PFC board has been invited and, as always, the SSC meeting is open to all members of the community. I will make a presentation on the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) components, the LCAP goals, and the various programs and services occurring throughout the school district and Bancroft. Funding resources for Bancroft are geared towards these goals and come from state/district-provided funding as well as PFC fundraising. This will be a time for sharing information, addressing questions and exploring avenues for improvement in our goal areas.


Warmest Regards,

Linda Schuler, Principal 

February Life Skills of the Month

Friendship and Caring


All the Life Skills are taught and used throughout every day at Bancroft School and students are given recognition and praise for being living examples of these skills (check out the Bancroft Best tickets to see all the Life Skills). Two specific Life Skills are focused on each month for more in-depth discussion and use. At the end of the month, two to three students are selected by their teacher for exemplary use of those skills and are honored with the Bancroft Life Skill Award.  Additionally, we hold a school-wide assembly for grades 1-5, and the students selected by their teachers are honored at this ceremony and presentation of awards. Parents of the students receiving recognition are provided with an invitation to attend the ceremony.


Look for our Life Skills Assemblies each month listed in the Principal's Message communication or visit the
school website for more information.


The Life Skill assembly for Friendship and Caring will be Friday, February 27th at 1:55 pm in the Multi-Use Room. 


Upcoming Dates

2/16: President's Day - No School

2/19: 5th Grade Picture Day

2/26: Site Counsel Meeting - ALL parents invited

2/27: Life Skills Assembly

2/28: Odyssey of the Mind Competition

3/7: Auction Night! 

3/10: PFC Meeting, 7pm Library

3/13: Teacher in Service - No School

3/25: 5th Grade Science Fair

3/26: Site Counsel Meeting

3/27: Life Skill Assembly

Visit the Bancroft online calendar for future dates.
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Bancroft Elementary