Bancroft Elementary
Bobcat Tracks - March
Letter from our PFC President

Hello Bancroft Bobcats!


We had a wonderful and successful auction at the "Hoedown". Thank you to Cherisse Riney for all her hard work to plan, organize and procure for this important fundraiser!  Thank you to the many volunteers who provided their time and talent to support this worthy cause.  The auction is a huge undertaking and requires an army to make it successful. So THANK YOU ALL!!


Looking ahead, the PFC is underway with our recruiting efforts for volunteers for the 2015/2016 school year. We are reorganizing our organizational chart to be able to lend more support to all our volunteers.


If you are currently in a volunteer role please let me know if you'd like to continue in your present role. Or if you are new to volunteering and would like an an opportunity to share your experiences, please reach out to me. I would be happy to discuss the many ways, small or big, you could help provide to our community.  Volunteering is a good way for parents to exercise their talents or hobbies that perhaps have not been utilized in a long time.  For example, accounting, managing projects, party planning, communications, scheduling, etc. There is a volunteer spot for everyone!


Open House is fast approaching... it will be on April 2nd from 5:30 to 7pm. This is great time to visit with your child's teacher, see their classroom and experience the growth that has taken place throughout the school year.  The PFC will also be in the courtyard promoting all the ways volunteers help and support our wonderful school. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding the ways PFC funds and supports our school, students, teachers, faculty, and community. I look forward to seeing you there.


Warm regards ~

Lisa Guarnaccia

PFC President

Northgate CAPS

There is a new post on the Northgate CAPS website. Read more about them and "follow" their blog by visiting their website.
Odyssey of the Mind


On Saturday, February 28th, 2015 Bancroft Elementary had 6 Odyssey Teams compete in the SF Bay Odyssey of the Mind Regional Competition. That night the gym at Concord High was packed for not just one, but two separate AWARD CEREMONIES.


Many of these teams had been practicing for 4 months, and as one of our Bancroft Parent Coaches put it," our team had collaborated, deliberated, decorated, painted, glued, taped, cut designed, discussed, brainstormed, decided, voted, worked, written, jumped, eaten, practiced, laughed, cried, played, learned, produced, argued, focused, solved, created, procrastinated, composed, built, failed, succeeded, and developed friendships that will last a lifetime." Thank you, Coach Leslie Lafredo, for putting your team's season so eloquently.


Before reporting the tourney results, our teams would like to thank our Odyssey Judges and Volunteers. Without these judges and volunteers, our teams would not have been allowed to compete in this amazing event.




Kemal Batu, Lisa Corrigan , Jillian Lenahan, Catherine Lewis,

Dee Seligman, and Herbert Yu

Kenny Gollehon, Melissa Horgan, Wendy Iglesias,

Sandi Rosenblatt, Bindu Sairamesh, and Adel Vardell

  Primary Team- Wacky Weather (2nd Grade)


Coaches- Mari Mielcarski, Kaori Hornbaker, and Christy Paloutzian
 Team: Cian Horgan, Colson Hornbaker, Abby Lewis, Sydney Mielcarski, Cole Mielcarski, Sarah Osness, Carter Paloutzian 
and Claire Paloutzian


Primary Team-Wacky Weather (1st and 2nd Grade)



Coaches- Kriss Bridgham and Lynn Drinkwater
Team: Becca Bridgham, Kim Bridgham, Ava Corrigan, 
Pepper Drinkwater, 
Eva Trujillo

Problem 1 (Vehicle) Team- Run Away Train (4th and 5th  Grade)



Coach - Alphina Zapantis
Team: Alysse Barreuther, Aisha Batu, Isabella Gollehon, Alana Marks, Naomi Townsend and Athena Zapantis

Problem 2 (Technical) Team - Experiencing Technical Difficulties (4th grade)


Coaches- Jim Click and Christina Bowen
Team: Jack Bowen, Lucas Click, Cal Easom-Oakley, Timothy Lambert and Wyatt Reeg

Problem 4 (Structural) Team -Lose Your Marbles (3rd Grade)



Coaches- Justin Seligman and Dan Vardell

Carson Boone, Connor Jones, Evan McKnight, Kaleb Seligman and Corwin Vardell


Problem 5 (Theatrical) Team- Silent Movie (5th Grade)

Coach- Leslie Lafedo Assistant Coaches-
Alice Kwong and Wendy Iglesias

Liam Iglesias, Seiji Kosinski, Nicholas Lafredo, George Lund, Ryder Short, Zen Van Dusen and Jonathan Yu




Well-done Bobcat Odyssey of the Minders (aka OMERs)! You are ALL WINNERS!!!!!!

Box Tops for Education

Hello Bancroft Bobcats!  Our Box Top year isn't over yet and neither are your opportunities to help our school. 


This year you've raised $777.20 for Bancroft - just by bringing in your Box Tops!  Keep it up and we will reach our 2014-2015 goal of $1000.


Top three classes:  B-6 Grunert, D-2 Nnaji, and C-9 Spalding.  These classes have almost earned their Popsicle Party by brining in 1500 Box Tops for each class.  You can find out where your class stands by checking out the poster in the office.
So remember, bring in your Box Tops and help raise money for Bancroft!
Harvest of the Month

Our Bobcats have had a healthy start to 2015 thanks to Bancroft's Harvest of the Month program!


In January, we had the opportunity to sample both Oranges and Mandarins and learn about how they are great sources of Vitamin C and Folate.   Beans, a great protein source, were the subject of February's lesson and we were able to try both garbanzo and kidney beans. We wrapped up the first quarter of 2015 by tasting Avocados in March and learning about the healthy types of fat they provide (and some lucky classes also got to sample a little guacamole as well!).


Each lesson is conducted by parents, without whom this program would not be possible. Our sincere thanks to each and every one of them!


We will be taking April off, with our last lesson scheduled for the first week in May. If you are at all interested in volunteering to assist in this program for your class, please contact your room parent or Sarah Hansell.

Spring Book Fair - Explore an Ocean of Books

Don't Miss Our Spring Book Fair!

  • March 31 - April 2, 2015
  • Will Be Open for Shopping After School and During Open House (4/2)
  • Bancroft Elementary School - Multi-Use Room
  • Volunteers Needed!
  • Our online book fair is available from March 22, 2015 to April 11, 2015.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Melissa Horgan  or Katy Schultz.  

Read Across America
Oh, the Places You'll Go when you read! March 2nd kicked off Read Across America. This year, the book theme is the Seuss classic, Oh, The Places You'll Go.

Parents and other members of the community have been visiting Bancroft classrooms to read favorite books. 

On March 4th and 5th, Mrs Gay introduced the reading program that will continue through May 7, 2015. Over the next two months, students log their reading to receive prizes and applause during their library time. Students in grades K-2 receive a prize for every 100 minutes read while students in grades 3-5 receive prizes for every 500 minutes read.
Faculty Spotlight - Mrs. Hicks


I have a B.A. from Santa Barbara, M.A. from Portland State, and Teaching Credentials from Cal State.


I'm currently teaching a 2nd and 3rd combo class. I have been at Bancroft 17 years and teaching 26 years.  


My daughters went here. I loved Gail Brecky, who was the principal at the time. She had high expectations and I wanted to be here.

I like everyone I teach with. Everyone does their job and there is not a huge discrepancy of levels from the different teachers.


I just want the kids to love learning.  I want them to keep learning without me, without their parents. Learning is not just assignments, it's a lifelong thing.  It's important for every citizen to be educated.

What is the best part of your job?

The kids. I like when I say, "Good Morning," they smile at me.  I love that connection.


The different levels students are at - whether teaching a straight grade or the combo class. Common core has helped with that as it can challenge the more advanced learners.


Just do the right thing. If everyone in the world did the right thing, life would be good. We are all a part of the earth. We affect each other.  


Before I went into teaching I was a program planner. I helped people later in life and realized I could have more of an impact as a teacher.  I could help correct things before they became a problem.


Integrity. If no one's looking, are you going to do the right thing?

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS? I love to read, quilt and hike. I love to be outside in nature.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. The writing is amazing. I keep a reading journal by my bed to write down well-written phrases. 


My mom - she's my role model. I can tell her anything. She has unconditional love and is so special.


Being a mom - having kids. In teaching, I ask myself, "If this were my kid, what would I want to have happen?" I realize that every person sitting in a chair in my classroom is the most important thing in their (the parents') life.


"The best things in life aren't things."

Upcoming Dates
3/19: Site Council Meeting

3/25: 5th Grade Science Festival

3/27: Life Skill Assembly

3/31 - 4/2: Under the Sea Book Fair

4/2: Open House, 5:30-7pm

4/6-10: Spring Break

4/14: PFC Meeting, 7 pm

4/16: Site Council Meeting

4/24: Spell-a-Thon

Visit the Bancroft online calendar for future dates.
Thank you!
* Thank you Cherisse Riney for organizing a successful auction, Hoedown for Education. Stay tuned for the April Tracks for a full wrap up and more Thank yous.
* Thank you to Christy Paloutzian for organizing another successful year of Odyssey of the Mind at Bancroft. Thank you to the many coaches and parents who step up to give this hands-on learning experience to our Bancroft students.
School Communication
Bancroft PFC Communications Survey - Your responses are requested

Please take the very short (3 questions!! 4 minutes!!) survey at the link provided or find a paper version in your child's Friday or Monday folder.  If you prefer paper, please turn your survey in to your child's teacher or to the office.

Your responses to these questions will shape the ways in which the school and the PFC communicate with you in the coming years. Thank you for your thoughts!
Next Tracks Release
Friday, April 17, 2015
*Submissions Due 
Monday, April  13th
* Submit articles to Hillary Osness
2014-15 Money Raised
Budgeted Expenses

Ongoing Fundraisers

10% off everything every day and 5% back to Bancroft.  Just mention Bancroft when you check out.
Contact Us
Bancroft Elementary
Second Grade Curriculum Spotlight

These spotlights are not meant to be an all-inclusive detail of the year's curriculum. Rather they are meant to highlight many of the engaging projects, new work, and learning that happen at each grade - the things that both make kids look forward to that grade and that students will remember when they think back.


2nd Grade curriculum has much of what it has always had, though, like the rest of the school, it has adjusted to the Common Core Curriculum. In Language Arts, the students do Centers twice a week - one of them is a book club, and the other is focused on skills (like poetry, the 5 W's, or dictionary work). They also do book reports every month (with a tied in art project), as well as weekly paragraph writing as part of their homework. There are also ongoing writing projects in the classroom (such as the current topic: "If I caught a leprechaun..."). DEAR time (with reading responses and an requirement to try different genres of stories) and teacher Read Aloud time also happen in 2nd grade. Some examples of Read Aloud books from this year are Oz the Great and Powerful and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


In Math, they are following the Engage NY Curriculum. Within that, they learn addition and subtraction within 1000, place value, money, time, shapes, and are introduced to fractions and to the foundations of multiplication and division. Mrs. Lipnicke says of the curriculum that she has "never had kids grasp place value so well!" The classes also have math journals for word problems, do Bubble Math, and have Math Centers every week.


In Science, they start with a unit on rocks and minerals, capped with a field trip to Heather Farms and a kid-made "laptop" made out of a manila folder that is "open" on a "webpage" with facts about rocks. Then they study seven systems of the human body. This unit culminates with a small group poster project where each child gets to present his or her poster to a group of peers from other groups (a "Gallery Walk" presentation style). Next is a unit on balance and motion where they study racetracks and have the option to build a leprechaun trap using simple machines. Finally, they study plants.


In Social Studies they study "People Who Make a Difference." In this unit, together with a partner, they create a poster about a specific historical figure. Their book report for this month is a biography. In December they study "Winter Celebrations from Around the World" ending with a fabulous holiday party where students bring in food that their family uses to celebrate. "People in the Marketplace" is the next unit where they study factories, currency, and trade. They make hats in a simulated production line and also think about what they want to be when they grow up. Finally, there is a unit on "People From Now and Long Ago." This is an ancestry unit that ends with the children making a doll that is dressed in the traditional dress of one of their ancestors. They also make a poster that shows interesting facts about this ancestor's country of origin.


2nd grade goes to music class, library, and computer each once a week. They do PE three times a week where they focus on exercises, running, cooperative games, and ball skills. They have PFC-provided, parent-run art and science every month. And they also do directed draws in the classroom, and use songs like School House Rock to reinforce teaching concepts. Homework assignments go home on Mondays and are due Fridays.  Homework typically involve 20 minutes of math and 20 minutes of reading every day plus spelling words and a paragraph assignment.