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Last updated: July 5, 2020 3:23 PM


Educational Resources   Enrichment


June 24, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

Happy July 1st! Remember, no At Home Learning on this Friday, July 3rd. Enjoy the long weekend!

As summer school is winding down, we are busy clearing, cleaning and reorganizing the site for a fresh start to a new school year! And you know that means that the bulletin board outside my office needs your help. Please see the picture attached and help me to fill it with photos of you and your adventures. I know that your vacation plans may have been changed, but send pics of your backyard fun, small road trips or big ones, your pets, art projects, Lego creations or just your sweet smile! "Adventure is out there" is one of my favorite movie lines (from the Disney movie, "UP!").

Room B is continuing its California virtual road trip with a visit to Yosemite, Otto (day 51) has on his fanny pack and is ready to join the fun, with an eye to hiking Half Dome!

Mrs. Rose

June 24, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

We received a donation of more than 60 new books from the Peninsula Library System and they are free to you and your family! The titles include everything from ”Judy Moody” and “Wayside School is Falling Down” to “Pete the Cat” and “Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”! The donation consists of fun classics, National Geographic Kids, and books in Spanish too. Contact me to make an appointment to come in and grab some new titles for Summer Reading fun!

Arbor Bay is getting new hygienic floors in all areas (except the bathrooms and Rooms C & D, which already have tile or laminate). This will greatly assist in maintaining sanitary areas for all kids and staff, in this time of COVID-19. We are now very busy packing up the classrooms, hallway libraries, offices, etc. in preparation for the installation beginning July 13. If you have any boxes that we can use for packing, please feel free to drop them off at the school.

Room B is taking a 'virtual road trip' through California and is learning about the California Condor. With a wingspan of over 9 feet, the condor can fly up to 55 miles per hour! Can you imagine soaring through the air if you were a California Condor – so many sights to see!

Mrs. Rose

Otto (day 50) is on the edge of his seat spotting the largest bird in the North American sky.
The California Condor soaring high!

June 17, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

Our Summer Program started on Monday and I hope that things are going well for our participating families. We are so glad that so many of you are joining us for more At Home Learning! I will be writing to you weekly and am happy to share more about what Otto is doing this summer!

Last summer, I bought books focusing on Racial, Cultural and Learning Differences for our Social-Emotional Learning Library (in the hallway near Room B). I have attached the list and hope you will connect with me to borrow some for your family to use now. The books are just sitting on the shelves this summer, and I would be happy to lend them out to be read! Please let me know if you are interested to know more about the other resources in the SEL Library here, as well.

Otto (day 49) is ready with a stack of summer reading (the pink dots mean they are part of our SEL Library!)

Mrs. Rose

June 5, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

Congratulations to our graduates, Alana and Natalia! It was a wonderful graduation ceremony with Room B students and staff, friends and Sweet and Moyer family members. We look forward to the Parade + Celebration today at 2:00! See you all then!

It's the last day of school, and Otto (day 48) is excited and ready for the Summer Program starting June 15. It's going to be sweet!

Mrs. Rose

June 4, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

It's finally here – the ABS Talent Show 2020! Special thanks to Jenny for taking the time to put it all together for all of us! So, grab a snack, sit down, relax and be amazed and amused by our terrific students! Here's the link:

See you tomorrow for the Graduation-Celebration Parade at 2:00 in the parking lot. Please remember to drive s-l-o-w-l-y around to say hello to the staff and special guests -- Alana and Natalia and their families! Please let me know that you will be by to pick up the special packet I have for every student.

Otto (day 47) is popping that corn and getting ready to be 'otterly' entertained by the students of Arbor Bay for the 2020 talent show!


Mrs. Rose

June 3, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

We are not having our typical end-of-year activities and I know that's tough, but we are excited to see you at the Parade on Friday at 2:00! We are so happy to be celebrating all our amazing students! There is a packet for each student, including the June report card and some fun prizes. It would be terrific if all the students made a card or sign to give to our graduating 8th graders, Alana and Natalia! If you have not already, please let me know that you will attend.

Parents – here is the link to the racial awareness resources we have listed on our website: . Please provide me with additional resources that you have found to be helpful and appropriate for our students.

I'm looking forward to seeing you all at the Parade on Friday at 2:00, and it looks like Otto (day 46) is ready to join the fun!

Mrs. Rose

June 2, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

Quick reminder about the Graduation Parade honoring Alana and Natalia on this Friday, June 5 at 2:00. We will have a packet for every student that includes their June report card and fun surprises! We will be so happy to see you all!

We only have a couple extra copies of the Arbor Bay 2019-20 Yearbook, so let me know if you need one. A BIG thank you to Hilary for putting it all together again this year! We love our Yearbook publisher, TreeRing, because they partner with 'Trees for the Future', to plant trees in our school's name! We are a certified "TreeRing Green Yearbook School", thanks to your yearbook purchases!

Today's word of the day is "safe". Please view this 60 second video (students, watch with your parents) from Akiea Gross and Woke Kindergarten they have on Instagram: . Important questions: What makes you feel safe? Who makes you feel safe, and why? Why do some people feel safe with police and others don't? What can you do to make sure other people feel safe?

Otto (day 45) feels safe with his friends (from his adventures) and hopes you do too!

Mrs. Rose

June 1, 2020


The United Nations has declared today 'Global Day of Parents'! These definitely are tough times to be a parent, and I want to take a moment and let you know how inspired I am with your hard work these past 11 weeks of At Home Learning. It has certainly been very difficult for many, further complicated by financial and housing insecurity. We have always gathered as a community to support each other, and I look forward to that day when it comes again, in person.

It was hard to explain COVID-19 and distance learning to our children, and now the racial tensions that have again erupted need an explanation as well. Our community is hurting, and we want to reach out and give support. Here are wise words from Marlowe's Mom, when asked about resources to share: "This is the most comprehensive list I've ever seen: Single best book for our youngest kids (it is currently out of stock in multiple places online, I'm happy to loan our copy): "Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice". I highly recommend "Books for Littles" (; and this organization provides free online events for parents:". These resources, and others, will be listed on our website - thank you to parents and staff who have provided assistance with this.

Tonight in San Carlos, there was supposed to be a peaceful sunset vigil in memory of Mr. Floyd and against racism (Peninsula Progressive Action Group, and it has been postponed, unfortunately. Otto (day 44) was all set to attend with his Mom, shining his flashlight in support of all people and parents everywhere.

People come in many shapes, sizes and colors. We may all look different, act different and sound different…but don't be fooled, we are all people. "Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth" by Oliver Jeffers (2012)


May 29, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

We are excited to celebrate all our students and have scheduled another ABS Parade for next Friday, 6/05 at 2:00 – 2:30! Our 8th graders will be recognized for their hard work as they move on to high school and every ABS family carload will have the opportunity to wish each of the graduates and their parents the very best! Every ABS student will also receive a packet of goodies to take home from the parade! Please let me know that you plan to attend.

Here's the video of Teacher Deanna doing the Yoga and dance routines: Thank you to Pranav for his suggestion that Otto (day 43) have a dance party! Otto is getting ready for the weekend -- it's so good "you don't even know"!

Mrs. Rose!

May 28, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

It's so hard to believe that June is just around the corner! This year has flown by, and yet parts of it have seemed very long indeed! Before next week gets too busy, I want to 'tip my hat' to our wonderful students and parents who have been so terrific during the At Home Learning Program! You have certainly made the best of a difficult situation, and I am inspired by the example you have set for everyone! Next week will be filled with some special end-of-the year activities to celebrate our time together!

The Sumer Program registration form is attached and I'm sorry that I forgot to include it yesterday! We will continue to follow the county health and education guidelines for At Home Learning this summer. Fingers crossed that the Fall brings some new and welcome changes!

Otto (day 42) is still excited about celebrating yesterday's "World Otter Day"! Thanks to Alison and her Mom for the report!

Mrs. Rose!

May 27, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

As we look ahead, we know that Arbor Bay's Summer Program (6/15 - 7/10) will continue with At Home Learning. The registration form is attached, and we hope your student will join the fun! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Here's a free Parent Ed webinar that may interest you, presented by Children's Health Council and Common Ground on June 9. "Dr. Devorah Heitner understands the digital world and appropriate digital milestones and can answer your questions as well as help you explore new safe digital experiences for your children"

Otto (day 41) is kicking it up a notch as he continues learning about ancient Japanese culture in Room B with this week's lesson on ninjas!

Mrs. Rose!

May 26, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

It was such a treat to see you at the ABS Parade last Friday! Your signs and BIG smiles made us all so very happy! We miss you like C-R-A-Z-Y! A BIG thank you to Avery in Room C for sharing her stuffed safari animal collection with the group! Having the animals hanging around helped make it a 'wild'ly fun time for all! Please forward your photos or brief videos so we can share them with everyone!

We will plan to do another parade late next week to celebrate our graduates, Alan Moyer and Natalia Sweet! They are both going to Sequoia High School in the Fall and we want to send them off in style – more details coming soon!

Many of you are continuing to work with Teacher Lisa in OT during At Home Learning! Otto (day 40) is doing his best "star – hotdog" jumping jacks and hopes you will join the fun too! Let's all jump back into the week after a terrific holiday weekend!

Stay cool and calm during this mini heatwave!

Mrs. Rose!

May 22, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

We are all set for the ABS Parade this afternoon and hope it will be filled with fun and surprises for your students!! Please be sure to arrive between 4:00 – 4:30 and plan to stay in your car as you drive slowly through the parking lot (on Chestnut) between the school building and the Youth Center. We will have packets to distribute, so you will need to stop to receive these from staff.

Please remember that there is no school on Monday, 5/25, in celebration of Memorial Day. We will be doing At Home Learning again on Tuesday, as regular.

We hope that you will get the chance to go outside this long weekend and have some active fun! If you do some sidewalk chalk games (like Otto (day 39)), please send me a photo as I'd love to see what you did! Here's how to play 6 different versions of Hopscotch: and some other fun sidewalk chalk games

See you soon!

Mrs. Rose!

May 21, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

We are excited about the plans for our ABS Parade tomorrow and it will be terrific to see your smiling faces -- we miss you! Be sure to arrive between 4:00 – 4:30 and plan to stay in your cars and drive through the parking lot (between ABS and the Youth Center) s-l-o-w-l-y! We will have a packet for each of you that includes your schoolwork, personal items, and yearbook (if you ordered one). Please let me know if you will attend so we can have all of your items packed and ready for you.

Otto (day 38) is enjoying the parking lot parade and waving hello to the amazing ABS teachers!

Mrs. Rose!

May 19, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

YAY, there's gonna be a PARADE! Please be sure to calendar this Friday, May 22, and plan to arrive at Arbor Bay sometime between 4:00 – 4:30m for another Fun Friday activity! We will have an all-school parade with a jungle theme! The staff will be so happy to see all of you as you stay in your cars and drive through the parking lot (outside the ABS building) s-l-o-w-l-y! The entire ABS community is invited, so let me know that you will be able to join the fun!

Otto is bringing Zen to the garden and is learning about Japanese Gardening this week with the study of Japanese culture in Room B. Here's a link,, on how to make your own mini Zen garden at home just like Otto (day 36)!

Can't wait to see you at the Parade on this Friday at 4:00! "We're wild about learning and miss you like crazy!"

Mrs. Rose!

May 18, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

This week, our school-wide focus will highlight how to be a "Bucket Filler". Here is the story in case you are not familiar with it:

Rooms A and D have been exploring kindness and how Jane Goodall helped increase our understanding of the emotions and family unit of the chimpanzees. "What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." -Jane Goodall

Kindness is good (for) all.

Mrs. Rose!

May 17, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

Please be sure to block off next Friday, May 22 4:00 – 5:00pm for another Fun Friday activity as we have an all-school parade with a jungle theme! The staff will be so happy to see all of you as you stay in your cars and drive through the parking lot (outside the ABS building) s-l-o-w-l-y! More details to follow!

It's been a fun week of discussing the weather and climates around the world! Anthony D'Angelo said, "Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine". Otto (day 34) is dressed for whatever climate change brings our way!

Mrs. Rose!

May 14, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

It's time to work on your video for the Arbor Bay Talent Show! Your 2 minute video is due to Teacher Jenny by next Wednesday and the info form is attached. What's your talent? Feel free to do a song, dance, read a poem, show us your lego creation, artwork, gymnastics, basketball shots, etc. Can't wait to see it!

Otto (day 33) is getting excited for the talent show! What do you think an otter's favorite song is? Let me know your ideas!

Mrs. Rose!

May 13, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

We are excited that the ABS Engagement Committee is presenting a live Science Adventure with a virtual Zoom visit from the Little Explorer's Petting Zoo! This terrific opportunity is designed for all ages of ABS students, and it will include a visit with a panther chameleon, a blue tongue skink and a surprise guest!

Otto (day 32) is excited to learn more about his new friends on tomorrow's zoom call with Little Explorer's Petting Zoo! Please be sure to join the fun!

Mrs. Rose!

May 12, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

What a surprise to have a bit of rain last night and today! I saw a rainbow late yesterday afternoon and wondered if you saw the same one too?! We are starting to study seasons, climates and weather around the world. Teacher Hilary likes cool rainy weather and I like days that are sunny and dry. What is your favorite type of weather?

And it's the perfect season for a Science conversation about the parts of a plant and how plants grow! Room A is studying this, and Ms. Reyes recommends "From Seed to Plant" by Gail Gibbons. She included the Epic link in her classroom assignment and here is a video of the same book:

Otto (day 31) is rooting for his new plant friends and learning about "How A Plant Grows and The Parts of a Plant" along with students in Room A.

Mrs. Rose!

May 11, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

This Thursday, we are thrilled to offer a virtual visit from Little Explorers Petting Zoo to talk to our students about masters of adaptation. We will be visiting with their animal friends, the panther chameleon and the blue tongue skink (and one special guest if there is time). They are both masters of adaptations, physical and biological. It is scheduled for May 14th, 11:45am, and the Zoom session is about 20 minutes long. This is so exciting and appropriate for all grade levels! More info coming soon.

Mrs. Bartling emailed today to see how you are doing with the May Reading Challenger program. We are almost halfway through the month and if you need suggestions for book titles, please let me know. Otto (day 30) is checking off 3 boxes for this month's reading challenge with some (flash)light reading: read with a flashlight, read to a pet and read in a tent!

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Rose!

May 8, 2020

Hi Students and Parents,

This week has been busy with a terrific read aloud from Teacher Alexa, fun art projects with Ms. Doubrava and a yucky fun-guy video from Ms. Reyes!

Thank you for all the cards and gifts for Staff Appreciation Week! And here is a thank you to you from the staff:

Here's hoping you have a wonderful weekend and get to celebrate the moms and other caregivers who give us loving attention every day!


May 7, 2020

Hi Students and Parents,

To help check off a box on the May Reading Challenge, here's the link to Daniel Radcliffe reading the first chapter of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"! Kids, ask a parent before you click this link to be sure it's okay:

Here's a little 'decomposers humor' for Room C:
Where do fungi go shopping? At the grocery spore!
I didn't like the fungi at first, but then he grew on me!
Why do you not want to go on a road trip with fungi? Because they take up too mushroom!

Otto (day 28) is learning about decomposers with Room C this week, while sitting around with the fun-guys!


May 6, 2020

Hi Parents,

It was so fun for me to see your students during my check in with Room A and Room B today in their Google Classroom meets – and I was so happy to see everyone's smiling face! Thank you for helping your student to get online at the appropriate time. This online social connection is important for the students in each room to retain their friendships with their classmates! And thank you for the very special birthday wishes today!

There's still 2 more days for your student to let the staff know they are terrific! Of course, a thank you is important any time, but the outpouring of affection during Staff Appreciation Week is truly special and the staff is grateful! The staff emails are listed in the School Directory.

Rooms A, C and D have been talking about different careers this week and it got Otto (day 27) thinking that it takes a very special caring person to be a teacher! We are so fortunate to have the best staff at Arbor Bay! Their compassion, creativity and dedication make working here such a pleasure for me.


May 5, 2020

Hola ABS Parents!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I'm gonna step into Mrs. Collins' shoes for a brief History lesson: Cinco de Mayo (Spanish: "Fifth of May") is a holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honor of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III. Mexico had trouble paying back war debts to European countries, and France had come to Mexico to collect that debt. Modern traditions in Mexico include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events.

If you go to and click on the Google logo, you can play a quick and easy fun game of LOTERIA (for a change of pace and a bit of fun!) It's similar to BINGO and is a Mexican board game of chance (and the words are in Spanish). I've played it twice today so far; lost the first time and won the second. Plus, I'm learning some new words! Let me know if your family has a chance to play it and did you think it was fun?!

Otto (day 26) always finds some ways to have fun - Taco 'bout a Cinco de Mayo celebration!


May 4, 2020

Hi Parents,

It's Staff Appreciation Week, so please be sure to ask your student to say "thank you" to the teachers and therapists they spend time with this week! A drawing or email is another great way to say thanks!

Even though the weather may be nice outside, the situation is not sunny for all of our ABS community. Many more of our families are struggling increasingly with the current situation of At Home Learning due to the amplified stress of job loss and financial instability. Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday and we are hopeful that you will join us in supporting our Family Aid Emergency Fund. You will receive an email and I hope you will respond and also forward it to friends and family. Our goal is to continue to serve all our children; it is so vital to ensure their further success. A little help from you can make a BIG difference!

And now, for something a little different: "If you Luke outside you'll see it's sunny today but tonight the winds will come with force". --- Princess Leia's weather report (from Avery in Room C)! Otto (day 25)

May the force (May the 4th) be with you!


May 1, 2020

Dear Parents,

Mrs. Bartling has put together a Reading Challenge for the month of May and emailed it to you and your students! Please encourage them to join in this terrific activity!

The new Science videos from Ms. Reyes were emailed today (check your student's Google Classroom email for the link)! Would your student benefit from a "Science Buddy" to assist with the assignments? Let me know and I will connect you with a high school student who is volunteering to help.

Otto (day 24) has been studying the Revolutionary War with Room C this week and is pretending to be Paul Revere and asking for "Liberty"! Or maybe, for just a sip of tea!

Here's hoping you get some calm moments of reflection during the weekend ahead. Let me know what we can do to be supportive.


April 30, 2020

Hi ABS Parents!

Next week is Staff Appreciation Week and a terrific time for your student to send a friendly thank you email or drawing to the teachers and therapists. Please let me know if you need emails for some of the school staff.

Here's two parent resources you may find helpful: and

Otto knows that today is the last day of April and then, just like that, tomorrow May is here! Teacher Shelby's birthday is on Monday, May 4, so please have your student send her a Happy Birthday email:!

April showers bring May flowers as Otto (day 23) steps into Spring!

We are truly missing you and the students!


April 29, 2020

Dear Parents,

Yesterday, I started writing a separate daily email to your students and a few of my Arbor Bay friends wrote me back! I will always include a question or two to get them started on a reply. Here's hoping more of them will do it today!

The latest news from the state regarding schools potentially opening in mid-July is somewhat confusing, and not yet confirmed. However, the San Mateo County Public Health Department is very clear with the news that the Shelter in Place order is extended through 5/31/2020; as well as At Home Learning will continue through the last day of our regular school year, June 5, 2020. We will all 'stay tuned' as news develops!

And here's Otto (day 22), our school mascot, investigating critters in camouflage. He likes to learn (along with Room A) about animals and how they use their structure to help them survive.

Stay safe, stay calm,


April 28, 2020

Dear Parents,

Hi Parents!

Here's a bit of quick news for you:

• Does your student need some help with the work for Ms. Reyes? If so, I have a Science Buddy for them! We have a local high school student who can work with your student on the assignments! She loves Science and wants to help! Let me know if you want to connect with her.

• Before your student goes online with the teachers, please be sure they go to the bathroom and have their snack first. Also, please have them stay indoors while online so that the internet connection is better!

• Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, so please be sure your student says "thank you" to their teachers and therapists! They could also write them a letter or draw a picture for them. If you send it Arbor Bay, I will get it to them in the mail.

• Here's our school mascot, Otto (day 21), admiring his home gallery of the classics! These are examples of the pieces of artwork we created earlier this year! I hope your student remembers the names of the artists (Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso and Yayoi Kusama)!


April 27, 2020

Dear Parents,

Here's two very different, and hopefully helpful, tidbits for you.

Dr. Seuss-ish advice:
I will teach you in a room; I will teach you now on Zoom.
I will teach you in your house; I will teach you with a mouse.
I will teach you here and there; I will teach you because I care.
So just do you very best; and do not worry about the rest.

Lisa Ogawa created "a very detailed Google Slide showing how to attach photos/videos to Google Classroom App assignments. By following the same instructions, people can also add files from other sources that they have on their phone". This way you can submit student assignments, easy peasy!

This one's (day 20) for you, Mr. Morgan... and Room D and Ms. Reyes, studying how animals make their homes in the forest!


April 24, 2020

Dear Parents,

It's been a busy week and I hope that you are all doing well, and everyone is safe. Please be sure to let me know what I can do to be helpful and supportive of your family.

The Friday Fun Virtual Dance Party today at 2:30 sounded like a rockin' good time! (I was stuck on a Zoom call at the time and was sad to miss it.) If you have some fun and exciting ideas for Fridays, please connect and share them with Lisa Webster at!

For some quiet indoor time, consider doing a fun puzzle activity! You may be piecing it together for the weekend but beware of the puzzle piece bandit!

Have fun, be safe,


April 23, 2020

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for your participation in the Parent Meeting yesterday, it was wonderful to see all of you! I hope you found the information helpful and feel free to connect with me directly if you have other questions. Here is a quick overview of the meeting:
1) We will deliver our summer program in alignment with the direction provided by the County Public Health Department and the County Office of Education;
2) We will be providing end of the year assessment and third trimester report cards (format is still TBD);
3) Numerous resources are listed on the ABS website under the COVID-!9 tab and on our Facebook page;
4) The parent survey indicated the need for small groups, printed work packets, 1:1 and direct instruction (and we agree!) and we hope the recent classroom changes are helpful;
5) Instruction will continue to focus on preventing regression and working as quickly as we can to move your student forward.

One of the things I truly value at Arbor Bay is our sense of school community -- your kids really enjoy engaging with each other! The school directory is attached, and I hope you will encourage your student to be a pen-pal and reach out to other students. They could send a letter, homemade card, pictures, and just keep in touch. It's always fun to get something in the (snail) mail!


April 22, 2020

Dear Parents,

Earth Day gives us a great excuse to pause and breathe for a moment, and appreciate the wonder of the world around us. These times are unfamiliar and difficult; and we will get through this and move forward. We can do this, together, as a community. Please let me know what I can do to be supportive.

Earth Day, every day!


April 21, 2020

Dear Parents,

Ready for your student to dance off some of that extra energy? We hope your kid will join the ABS Dance Party on this Friday, 4/24 at 2:30pm. Here's the info:

Also, the San Carlos Children's Theater will be dancing to Aladdin's Friend Like Me on Friday, April 24th at 7:00 pm. No advance preparation is required. "We'll all learn the dance together. Afterwards, send SCCT a clip of you dancing and we'll add it to our final video. Everyone is welcome to join the Friday night virtual fun so please share this info with family and friends." Here is the link for more info:

It's hard to believe that Earth Day (tomorrow) is 50 years old! Cheers to the opportunity to celebrate this year with friends and family, even if it is remotely! Let me know if you need some activity ideas or resources, but here's what our mascot, Otto, is up to:

Join the Exploratorium tomorrow to celebrate Earth Day wherever you are, April 22, 1:00pm PDT.

Go green, stay green!


April 20, 2020

Dear Parents,

A couple quick important things:

Our Parent Meeting is scheduled for this Wed., April 22 at 4:00pm. Please get your questions to me by 2:00pm on Wed and keep them general, not 'your student' specific.

Here is the invite info:
Topic: ABS Parent Meeting; Time: Apr 22, 2020 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

The Google Classroom and Hangout are the ABS platforms specific for Arbor Bay School At Home Learning purposes only. Please monitor your student's use of their Arbor Bay School accounts. I am getting complaints from parents, students and staff about calls and requests at all hours, and this is not appropriate. If we need to monitor your student's use to ensure it is suitable, we may need to disable these features, which will inhibit their active online participation in our academic program. Please help us help you.

If the "Hangout traffic" is bugging you or your student, simply sign out of it temporarily in 3 easy steps: Open Gmail; on the left side of the window, under the folders, you'll see your Hangouts profile icon with the user's name and a down carrot next to it: click any one of the three; in the pop-up that appears, scroll down to the very bottom and press the "Sign out of Hangouts" box. You can always sign back in when you are ready!

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday at 4:00pm in our Zoom Parent Meeting.


Otto is learning about the Samurai with Classroom B and creating a haiku for you!

April 17, 2020

Dear Parents,

With all the busy-ness around us in this unfamiliar time, it's so important to be sure that you are good taking care of yourself. Parenting is tough work, made more difficult these days by the uncertainly of circumstances outside of our control. Here are some free online parenting resources you might find useful: . Our Parent Meeting will be next Wed., 4/22 at 4:00pm – more details to follow on Monday.

Yesterday's email encouraged you to go outside and today I am hoping to help you find the beauty and wonder right in your home. I love the concept of awe and found this article (link below) to be inspirational

Here are some highlights: "We often think about awe in response to rare and intense events, such as viewing a sunrise over the Grand Canyon or watching Olympians break world records. But awe is also found in the everyday - watching the leaves of a...tree change from green to yellow."

The article breaks it down into this acronym:

Attention: focus your mind and heart on things that are likely to foster awe.

Wait: focus this attention on something you appreciate, value, or find amazing, then pause long enough for one full breath.

Exhale and Expand: when you exhale, you relax, and when you expand, you amplify whatever sensations you are experiencing. Check out the article for hints to find awe experiences in the everyday items and activities in your home:

Otto is in "awe" inside, getting ready for the weekend and an imaginary aviation adventure!

Wishing you moments of awe and the time to enjoy it this weekend!


April 15, 2020

Dear Parents,

The San Mateo County Office of Education has requested that the above attachment be distributed to all our families.

Here's a terrific link for a 'virtual recreation center' that has a lot of kid-friendly resources:

Happy to share a great activity from Dr. B: "here is an activity to help you learn about your self-regulation skills. Self-regulation skills can help you manage your feelings and behavior. Build your own 'cope-cake' to help you identify ways you can cope with your feelings. Download this handout and draw or glue pictures of things that make you feel calm and decorate your 'cope-cake'. What makes up your 'cope-cake'?"

I had lunch on the back patio at ABS and was treated to a hummingbird admiring our succulent garden (off and on) for almost 20 minutes! Such a wonderful treat on a gorgeous day. I hope you are finding moments of quiet joy that nourish your life in these unfamiliar times.

Stay safe and calm,


April 14, 2020

Dear Families,

Today I checked in with Ms. Reyes and Mrs. Collins and there is terrific news! Starting next week, Ms. Reyes will be providing once weekly videos that will provide an overview of the week's Science assignments in each classroom. Ms. Reyes will let you know when the video 'drops' on Google Classroom (on Thursday or Friday of the week) and it will also include a quick experiment/extension activity and a small preview of what's next. Room B and Room C, Mrs. Collins will connect with your students tomorrow (Wed., 4/15) to invite them to her Friday Zoom History lesson, beginning this Friday, 4/17! Room C's lesson will be at 10:00 and Room B's will be at 10:30, following your Google Meet. Please be sure your student takes advantage of these great opportunities! And let us know how it goes!

I would like to schedule a Zoom Parent Meeting next week to discuss the results of the Parent Survey and how things are going with At Home Learning for your family. Please let me know if a 12:00noon or 4:00pm meeting on Wed., 4/22, will work best for your schedule. And please return your Parent Survey, if you have not already. Here is the link again:

Otto know that Rooms B and C are working on a Food Chain assignment and he did some work of his own to show his food chain gang.

April 13, 2020

Dear Parents,

Welcome back from Spring Break and we hope you had some wonderful experiences with your kids while staying safe at home. Please send pics to Bonnie Silverman ( to include in our April newsletter!

I'm still hoping to get the remaining nine Parent Surveys to examine your answers and make necessary modifications to the At Home Learning Program. Here is the link:

We are so grateful to have Sharon Reyes, Science Specialist) and Gayle Collins (History Specialist) continuing to support our students and supplement our academic program. Both are experienced Master Teachers who are passionate about their favorite subjects and their enthusiasm is contagious! Feel free to connect with them – and

Looking for the Enrichment Specialists' (Yoga, Music, PE) videos or a cool resource Laurel Bartling emailed to you? Check out the ABS website COVID-19 page and click on the 'enrichment' or 'educational resources' tabs for more info:

Wishing you health and happiness,


April 3, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

Everyone joins me in wishing you a wonderful Spring Break next week, filled with indoor and outside fun! At Home Learning instruction resumes on Monday April 13, 2020.

Please return the Parent Survey Laurel sent in the email yesterday and included here: If you prefer a paper copy emailed or mailed to you, please let me know. I will compile the survey results and then we will have a virtual Parent Meeting the week of 4/13 to discuss plans, answer questions and share community.

After Spring Break, we will continue with our Art Program, as I read "Sky Color" by Peter H Reynolds, with the kids. It's the compelling story about Marisol and how she answers the question, "How am I going to make the sky without blue paint?". The Art Program will include videos, send assignments and even some Google 'Art Hangouts'. More info soon!

Yesterday I gave you PE/Movement resources and today is all about art! Some are 'handy', and some are messy, and some are just for fun!
• Here's a recipe for homemade play-doh from Leo's Mom for SUPER easy NO COOK fun! The video is short and easy to follow:
• Play-doh ideas:, and Don't forget to grab your old cookie cutters for more fun!
• Here's some easy 'handy' crafts: and
• Ready to get a bit messy? Try these: and
• No muss, no fuss: and
• Directed drawing:,, and
• Other ideas:

Otto is having fun with his Play-doh using his imagination! I know we can't take off for Spring Break, but let's all plan to have some adventures anyway! Please be sure to send pics!


April 2, 2020

Dear Families,

I am grateful for the beautiful clear blue skies we have had for the past few days, and I hope you have had a chance to get outside to enjoy the crisp clean air!

Here's some ways to stay active, indoors and outside:

If you've always wanted to do a flash mob, here's a chance to do it from your own home! Use this link to join San Carlos Children's Theater virtual group on this Sunday at 11:00PST: You are gonna need to practice ahead of time, and please show us your best steps!

Here's a video of Coach Mike and his kids doing some warm-up stretches and then fitness exercises! I really enjoyed watching his youngest, Johnny, work so hard to keep up with the older siblings and hope you enjoy it too!

Here's some apps that will encourage your kid to head outside:

Here's some fun choreographed instructional dance videos:,,, and

Remember to always try your best! Even Otto has a CAN-do attitude!


April 1, 2020

Dear Students and Parents,

I am so happy to hear the great reports from your teachers! It's really quiet at the school and I miss your happy faces and bright smiles! Please send me your drawings and stories to put up here. Every classroom is busy with At Home Learning and I wanted to share a bit of what they are doing:

Today friends in Room D got to listen to Ms. King and her daughter, Louisa, do a read aloud of "I am Going" by Mo Willems! Teacher Jenny gave out the Rainbow Writing sight words activity, too. Ms. Reyes gave the assignment "Why do birds have beaks?" and I'm interested to read your answers! Please send them my way!

Room B middle schoolers are finishing the "Refugee" (book by Alan Gratz) with only a few chapters to go! So glad that Isabel was able to make it ashore in Florida (and with a new baby brother too!). Mrs. Collins assigned the vocab words for the new unit on Medieval Japan and Ms. Reyes sent a video about the 'flow of energy in ecosystems'.

Students in Room C got to watch the Liberty Kids video 'Liberty or Death' from Mrs. Collins. Mr. Steve has asked his classroom to start a "Time Capsule Journal"; this is a great assignment and will be interesting to read in a few years, when we are all older! Ms. Reyes asked, "What do the Beluga and the sea duck have in common in the food web?"

Today, Room D friends had a fun online treat with the lunchtime doodles of Mo Willems, and he showed his original sketchbook for "Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus"! Ms. Reyes also gave a book video, "Who Lives Here?" about Sofia and her animal friends.

Today we got the news that the rest of this school year will be At Home Learning. The teachers are busy working on new and fun ways to make learning enjoyable for everyone! We will be sending a survey in a few days to get your feedback and ideas for the program.

Spring Break runs Monday, April 6 through Friday April 10, and there will not be any schoolwork assignments.


March 31, 2020

Dear Families,

Please be sure to share the appropriate information in this email with your students! I was checking in with some of the families today and some had not yet shown the yoga video to their kids or ‘The Adventures of Otto' (at the end of every email and on our website and Facebook page). These are all meant to create community, lift spirits and encourage a love of learning. Here is the video from Music Teacher Chris:

Arbor Bay has become a "Going on a Bear Hunt" site, complete with stuffed teddy bears and pictures of cartoon bears in the windows. We even have official certificates outside, near the front door! If you're nearby, come check out the fun! Please ask your student to draw and color a bear and send it to me for the windows here! The more "bears", the better!! Take a look: and

Hey, it's also National Crayon Day, so check out and

Your kids are familiar with "Go Noodle" to wake up their bodies or get their giggles out, but there are also videos for releasing tension and worry. Here's one recommended by Dr. B:

Internet problems today? There was a glitch with Comcast this morning and that might be the reason. If it's not just today, here's the top 6 hints from our IT guy: restart the device; get closer to the wi-fi unit; if all devices aren't working, it's your internet coming into the house; use your cell phone's Hotspot (if you have good cell reception), but it may cost extra; jump on your neighbor's wi-fi (ask first!); or connect with me and I will have our IT guy call you!

Here's some great songs from Teacher Chris:

Your kids really are my sunshine


March 30, 2020

Dear Families,

Thank you to Katie for the recommendation of the "iHeart Radio Living Room Concert for America" (last night) to benefit Feeding America and the First Responders Children's Foundation! We know a little help can make a big difference! I especially enjoyed Alicia Keye's beautiful piano playing and watching Billie Eilish and her brother sing together! If you would like to donate, go to and

Are you stuck at home or safe at home? A little word can make a big difference! I hope the resources provided by your classroom teacher and Laurel Bartling are helping to fill the time with your student in a fun, educational and meaningful way. Also check the ABS website for additional info: Be sure to let us know what we can do to be supportive and help.

Tomorrow is Tuesday, when we usually have Yoga with Ms. DeAnna! Here's the note from Ms. Kathi and Ms. DeAnna about yoga (that I sent last week):

"I hope you all and your families are doing ok during these uncertain times. Dealing with so much change and uncertainty can cause stress and anxiety. We are working with ABS staff to keep some consistency, learning, connection, fun and structure in your kid's day. We hope you enjoy the OmmWorks YOGA class video prepared for your kids so they can see the beautiful Miss Deanna and practice distant connection. Feel free to join them parents and caregivers 😉. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you and be safe. With Kindness & Gratitude, Kathi, Deanna and the OmmWorks Team". Here's the video:

Even Otto wants to join in the yoga fun! He may need a little help from his ABS friends, though!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti,


March 27, 2020

Dear Families,

We have all made it through another week and are well on our way to adjusting to his new routine. This transition should be getting a bit smoother â€" if it isn't, please let me know and I may be able to help you out. Please be sure to connect directly with Annette and Lisa when they contact you to schedule your therapy services! If you have not been getting Speech or OT at ABS, but want to start teletherapy or consultation services, please let me know.

I wanna keep this short and helpful:
-Wanna see all the educational resources in one spot? Check out our website and click on Educational Resources:
-Wanna do some fun art lessons? Let me know what you think of this:
-Katie wants to pass along that there is a live concert that will be on tv Sunday, March 29th at 6 pm Pacific/ 9 pm Eastern on Fox and iHeart radio. See link for details:
-Wanna check out the NASA Hubble Space Telescope Mission Operations? Here is a link to the 360 Degree Virtual Tour: Otto thinks it's a blast!

Hope you have an "Otto this world fun time" this weekend!


March 26, 2020

Dear Families,

We are a community of people united in the love of our children and our passion for their education! The current situation is difficult and the news yesterday of the extension until May 1 was tough to take. So many questions and not enough good responses right now. I totally believe in this school community and our ability to find the answers and help each other. We are thinkers and doers, doctors and plumbers, number crunchers and hair stylists, designers and activists, and we can make this all happen, for all our ABS kids. I encourage you to connect with each other (maybe you parents want to schedule a daily "Hangout" or Zoom!). What are tough problems you are dealing with, what solutions/helpful hints can you offer others? How do you work full-time at home, help your kids do their home-school work, keep them busy and schedule down-time? I spoke with Katie's Mom yesterday and she was wondering "Am I supposed to be baking bread and cleaning closets? I can barely get my paid job done, keep the kids busy/happy, and get dinner on the table!" It looks different for every family and each day. Let's all share resources, ideas and support. Please reach out to the other classroom parents and check in. I always believe that people are doing their best and we can/will get through this together!

If the "Hangout traffic" is bugging you or your student, simply sign out of it temporarily in 3 easy steps: Open Gmail; on the left side of the window, under the folders, you'll see your Hangouts profile icon with the user's name and a down carrot next to it: click any one of the three; in the pop-up that appears, scroll down to the very bottom and press the "Sign out of Hangouts" box. You can always sign back in when you are ready!

Our teachers have gotten feedback that some students and their parents are feeling overwhelmed with the assigned workload and everything else going on in the world. I'm sure most families are feeling the same! Please view the Daily Plan as a list of activities to keep your student busy and learning. Not everything has to be completed or turned in daily. Your calm and healthy approach to the assignments is what's important right now.

Hope you have a chance to enjoy the blue sky today…I know Otto did!


March 25, 2020

Dear Families,

I was notified today that the "seven Bay Area county health officers, in collaboration with their six county superintendents of schools have made a unified, regional decision to extend school closures and student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in these six counties". ABS staff had our weekly staff meeting today and this was a topic of conversation. Obviously, continuation of the program for a longer duration will take additional planning and preparation. We will continue to rely on your feedback to let us know what is/is not working for you. Please connect directly with the classroom teachers.

The morning "Meets" and "Hangouts" are going well and it's great that everyone is able to join in! I have heard from the kids that it's great to see their friends and teachers! Just as a reminder, our students' and teachers' privacy is of the utmost importance, so do not post/publicize photos, screenshots or videos online that contain other student's or teacher's images. Have some great pics of your student doing At Home Learning that you want to share on our private Facebook page? Contact Lisa Webster (Leo's Mom) at

Here's a couple resources that you may find helpful:;;

This year the students selected the Otter as our school mascot, and we are happy to present Otto's adventures during At Home Learning! Please share this with your student (also on our Facebook page and and we welcome your student's suggestions as to what Otto can do to keep busy.



And now, "The Adventures of Otto" (the ABS mascot who is At Home Learning)

March 25, 2020

Bay Area School Closures and Student Dismissals From Regular School Attendance To Be Extended Through May 1, 2020

Redwood City, CASeven Bay Area county health officers, in collaboration with their six county superintendents of schools have made a unified, regional decision to extend school closures and student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in these six counties.

Building on the regional coordination the Bay Area jurisdictions took on March 16, 2020 in issuing Health Officer orders requiring all residents to shelter in place, the following Bay Area county agencies have been working together over the last several weeks to align strategies and practices during this unprecedented time for public education:
• Alameda County Office of Education • Contra Costa County Office of Education • Marin County Office of Education • San Francisco Unified School District • San Mateo County Office of Education • Santa Clara County Office of Education • City Health Officer, Berkeley, within Alameda County

With the support and collaboration of the Public Health Officers in the respective counties, the County Superintendents of Schools recognized the need to extend the period of school closures and student dismissals through May 1, 2020. School facilities may remain open to staff for the purposes of performing tasks deemed essential by the school district and county offices of education. Education will continue through flexible learning, meals will continue to be provided and, where possible, childcare may be arranged.

During this time, residents are expected to adhere to the "Shelter in Place" Orders issued by the Public Health Officers on March 16 and stay home except for essential activities until further notification from their local health department.

In addition, all residents are urged to keep practicing the guidance provided by Public Health Officers including:
} • Social distancing • Washing hands often with soap and water • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth • Staying home if you are feeling sick • Contacting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. • Engage in regular exercise or physical activity

The regional connections across our most populous counties in the Bay Area require a coordinated approach. County Offices of Education will continue to work in close partnership with local health departments and local school districts to support the children, parents, and essential workforce of the Bay Area.

"Working together to address a virus that respects no boundaries is the right approach," explained San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee. "San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow and I commend our colleagues across the Bay Area for their commitment not only to public safety but to continuing learning opportunities for students during this challenging time. We also commend our community for taking all possible steps to slow the virus' spread."

March 24, 2020

Dear Families,

We have received a request for drawings or letters to be delivered to the elderly in our community! Vanessa Treadwell has asked, "If your kids (or you) - home from school/work, would like to draw a picture and or write a letter; e-send it to me and I'll get it to the Executive Directors in Senior Communities that are on lock-down. These pictures and words will bring great joy to our elders that are experiencing isolation due to the virus. I work for Home Care Assistance and we have direct connections in this channel so together we can make a real difference. We are better together! Please send artwork or letters to:, Subject Line: We are Better Together!"

I am working with Coach Mike, Yoga Teacher Miss DeAnna, and Music Teacher Chris on creating online videos for ABS that can be played anytime. More info on this will be coming very soon! Meanwhile, check out this website that has some fun indoor games that don't take any special equipment and are fun for the whole family: Here is a Thomson family recommended website for art fun, with supplies you already have:

The following information came today from the Council for American Private Education:

"The US Senate is currently considering a coronavirus relief package that includes aid to K-12 schools. Currently, there is language in the legislation allowing non-public schools to receive relief. However, it appears that some are attempting to remove this language. Please use this link to urge senators to make sure that private schools are not excluded from Congress' COVID-19 relief package: "

Today, Jamieson told me that she has already finished all her Math and she is feeling really proud of herself! She also finished a Taylor Swift autobiography on Epic! and is reading "Dork Diaries" by Rachel Renée Russell. Mady made purple Jell-O, but everyone in the house only likes the red flavors (Cherry and Strawberry)! Her Uncle sent her a book from the "Winterhouse" series by Ben Guterson and she is busy trying to figure out the mystery

Take good care,


And now, "The Adventures of Otto" (the ABS mascot who is At Home Learning)

March 23, 2020

Dear Families,

Thank you so much for the outpouring of support as we enter week 2 of At Home Learning! All the students are getting used to the daily "Meet" and we are glad that the transition has proceeded so well. It's always tough on kids and adults when there is so much uncertainly and please know we are all still adjusting to this new situation. We know that you, as parents, are receiving loads of content for your child's program from us and other sources, and sometimes additional input may actually conflict with what you may have been told previously Please do what is best for your situation in your home with your family on any particular day. Some days your student may be ‘up' for the program and other days, maybe not so much. We do not want to add further stress, but do request that you log into the "Meet" each day as that is how we take daily attendance. Please email your teacher to let them know your specific concerns about what is working and what is not. If you are looking for additional curriculum content, please contact Laurel at

Teacher Hilary says, "Don't forget to order your yearbook!" You will need to log in to the Treering account to place your order. If you want custom pages, the deadline for those is April 10th. To activate your account, or to log in & place an order, go to and enter Arbor Bay's code: 1013546625132730. Please do it now before you forget!

Today I had the opportunity to Facetime with Ani and saw her incredible Lego masterpiece of a "Pirate ship in water with Minecraft Zombies" that she built with her dad, as well as their 1000-piece puzzle of Christmas Nutcrackers that looks super challenging! Nati came by and picked up her planner, a Chromebook, Refugee (book by Alan Gratz) and some art supplies to help keep her busy. Please let me know if you need any items that are here onsite, and we are happy to gather those things for you. I'd love to connect with your student, so let me know if we can schedule a phone call soon!

We always have spirit days in March and this Wednesday is "Plaid Day", so let's see how many of the students and staff can wear their ‘plaid' at the morning "Meet"! I know Room B is working on their funny hats for Teacher Pamela as well! Let's be sure with all that is going on that we make time for some silly spirit days too!

"I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny." Dr. Seuss

Take good care,


March 20, 2020

Dear Families,

Our Facebook page has a delightful image of one of our Room A students doing his morning "Meet", so check it out! If you have images of your student's "At Home Learning Program" that you would like to share on Facebook, please email them to Lisa Ogawa at or text to 650/281-5586. We miss all the students and would love to see their smiling faces, even if it's just online!

Today I had a "phone date" with a couple of the students in Room C and was happy to hear that Mila is doing her classroom job of assigning +1 for students doing their best work, and Pranav was excited about Mrs. Collins' assignments on the American Revolutionary War! Please let me know if you would like me to schedule a phone date with your student. I'd love the chance to check in with them one on one!

It was terrific to "see" our Room B students today as I popped in for a moment during their "Meet" with Mr. Morgan, Teacher Pamela and Ms. Doubrava! Thank you for providing the support your student needs during this special "Meet" time with their classmates and teachers. If you have questions or feedback (regarding logging in, online resources, homework, etc.) please email the teachers directly, as the "Meet" time is for the students' benefit. The staff is working hard all day every day to improve the program and will be responsive to your email input.

The art program this year was a terrific opportunity for me to work with each of your students and I had so much fun doing it! Using watercolors was really a favorite, so I hope that you can help your student continue to explore this further at home. I would love to see your student's art activities, so please send me pics! We also were working hard on sign language, preparing to sing and sign "You Are My Sunshine". Please check out this YouTube video if your student wants to continue with this,

Things are difficult right now and there are a lot of adjustments to be made with this transition to At Home Learning. I am beyond grateful to work with this amazing and dedicated staff! The teachers are working with Laurel Bartling on curriculum and instructional resources. Please continue to email me suggestions for program ideas and we will continue to include new things as we "roll out" the program. Today was just Day 2, and we are well on our way!

Be healthy and calm,


March 19, 2020

Dear Families,

Families will need to play a more active role in supporting their child's education at home than ever before and what we are doing is new for all of us. Day 1 of online instruction had some thrills and some spills! As we work out the specifics, we will certainly all get better at this!

Here's some important things your teachers want you to know about the "Meet": your student needs a quiet place to do the classroom "Meet" because the microphone picks up all surrounding sounds in your home â€" your dog, the silly brothers, the dishwasher, etc. During the "Meet", your student should not touch the keyboard, unless instructed to do so (and may initially need supervision with this). Students should follow general classroom rules during the "Meet", only talk when called upon, be a good listener and respectful to classmates.

Concerning online learning: Students should take their time on assignments and do their best work. All assignments have a due date and it is not necessary to complete them when initially assigned or ahead of time. Our intent is for your student to spend about 4 hours daily doing ‘school tasks', including the mandatory morning" Meet", instruction and assignments, PE/music/yoga, breaks, snacks, exploring online resources, speech/OT services, etc. This does not need to happen all at once. Your student should not be online all day long. This is not a productive use of their time and it is counter-intuitive to what we are trying to accomplish. Please closely supervise your student's use of the technology device.

And finally, here's some wise words from a local Mom: "You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your kids. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports…But here's the thing, our kids are just as scared as we are right now. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for 4 weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends. Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behavior issues with your kids. Whether it's anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can't do things normally - it will happen. You'll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behavior in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances. What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it's all going to be ok... Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing…At the end of all of this, your kids' mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those 4 weeks is long gone".

Be healthy and calm,


March 18, 2020

Hi Parents,

We have been working hard to ensure that we are connecting with each and everyone of you about the "live" distance learning sessions, starting tomorrow! If you have any questions, please email your classroom teacher or Laurel ( We have been hearing from so many of your kids who are excited about the new opportunities for learning online!

Some new news:

We just received guidance from the CA Department of Education on how to proceed with ‘distance learning' and Laurel and I are reviewing the 50+page document (with hundreds of website links) to ensure we are in compliance.

We hope to start Speech and OT services for our district-funded students very soon and then we will connect with our private families regarding adding services, as well. We have a HIPPA compliant secured online platform and will be using this, in addition to other online and instructional resources. More info coming soon! (Let's successfully launch Google Classroom tomorrow and then we are ready to do more!)

Here's a great resource that I hope you find useful:

Please let me know what we can do to be helpful and we will "see" you tomorrow at your student's first "Meet"!

Stay healthy and calm,


Hi parents! Thank you all for your patience while we get everything in place for our first "Meet" tomorrow morning. We are excited to see how this all works and say hello to your children. I wanted to check in to see if everybody has had a chance to login.

If you are still having issues logging in or joining your child's class, please send me or your classroom teacher a message so we can get this figured out.

As a reminder, your child's teachers "Meet" times are as follows:
Room A/D with Teacher Alexa - 10:00 AM
Room B with Mr. Morgan - 10:00 AM
Room C with Teacher Steve - 9:30 AM

Let us know how we can help and HANG IN THERE! :)

Laurel Bartling

March 17, 2020

Dear Families,

We are certainly missing your kids, and it's way too quiet at Arbor Bay today!! Please let your teacher and Laurel ( know how it is going with the sign-in for the Google Classroom especially if you are having difficulty with it at all. If you have not yet signed in, please do so today as we are rolling it out on Thursday and want to problem-solve all issues prior to that.

A number of you have contacted me about the challenges of working from home while your student is home as well. We are happy to do whatever we can to be helpful. My suggestions for easing this transition are to:

1) Hold a family meeting to discuss this new ‘normal' and use this time to express concerns as well as problem-solve.

2) Create a daily schedule for your student, as that is what we use here at school. This schedule should include schoolwork, meals, chores and other daily activities. Use a white board, large sheet of paper, or a checklist so your student can mark off their accomplishments.

3) Establish a learning environment for your student â€" kitchen table, comfy chair in the living room, bedroom desk, etc. Keep in mind your students' specific learning needs and ensure they have the supplies needed to do all assignments.

4) Take regular breaks for movement, fresh air and snacks. Our youngest students have a break every 10 minutes or so and our oldest kids sit for about 40 minutes at a time. Be sure that movement and ‘down-time' are interspersed throughout the day.

5) Give yourself a break also! This is a new situation that is unfamiliar to all of us. We will all need to adjust to the bumps along the way.

6) Utilize positive reinforcements to reward targeted behavior and completion of tasks. These ‘bribes' are motivational and can make a big difference! Some ideas include making a special snack, reading time, online chat with friends, phone call with a relative, outdoor time, etc.

We are one community and I encourage you to reach out to other school families to stay connected, while still complying with the social distancing recommendations. I have attached a copy of the school directory for your convenience. Ms. Doubrava and I were just talking about the ‘science of kindness" ( and this is a great time to reach out to others and rely on their support! Our school-wide SEL curriculum is found at, if you want it as a resource.

Your teachers will be connecting with you, so please respond to email requests for logging in, posting attendance, etc.

I have some signs on the wall at my desk that I look at daily. One says, "Nothing new has ever happened before". Another states "Staying positive does not mean that things will turn out okay. Rather it is knowing that you will be okay no matter how things turn out". I also have one that reads, "I can't make everyone happy, I'm not pizza!" We can and will do this… together.

Stay healthy and calm,


PS: Your local libraries have many online resources (online books, etc.) for your use! You can access it online at

March 13, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Today was a whirlwind of activity and I apologize for the quickly written email earlier today. Beginning on Monday, 3/16, we will have At-Home Learning for all students, as the County Public Health Department has issued a School Operations Modification Order requiring all schools to "dismiss students from regular attendance and encourages schools and school districts to implement at-home learning models if feasible". Arbor Bay staff created a learning packet for each student that went home with their report card today. If your student was not in school today, please drop by school on Monday to pick it up or contact me directly. Staff will be onsite Monday â€" Friday, 9:00am â€" 5:00pm.

We are working this weekend to develop a school-wide comprehensive learning plan that includes all subject areas for all students, utilizing online resources, digital learning, software programs, hands-on activities, and more. The scope of this is extensive as our students require an individualized approach to maximize learning. The teaching teams will meet first thing Monday morning to plan and prep the specific At-Home Learning program for each student. We hope to disseminate that information to each family on Wed., 3/18. As a Non-Public School certified by the CA Department of Education, there are specific guidelines that must be followed, and I will be studying that information this weekend to better inform the staff.

I want to acknowledge how difficult this shift in operations is for most families. As I mentioned in an email earlier this week, our intention was to remain fully operational unless ordered to modify the program. That order came at noon today, and I know the decision was made with the well-being of your family and the community in mind. Please know that we are thinking of you and your student; the hallways will be empty without their laughter. We know that our school community will only grow closer and stronger as we get through with this Public Health Emergency. Please let us know what we can do to be helpful.

All my best,


PS: The San Mateo County Parks will remain open! Check out

March 13, 2020

Hello Families

In our effort to continue teaching and learning we are transitioning to At-Home Learning and will be using the Google Classroom interface to connect with you. Your student's classroom teacher has created and invited your child to join their virtual "classroom", which they can log into using their Google email & password at

Once your child has logged in, they will need to "join" their class. This will give them access to connect with their classmates and teachers remotely. Please confirm with your classroom teacher ASAP that you are able to login & access the classroom, so we can troubleshoot before Thursday morning's check-in. If you have any issues getting setup please connect with Laurel Bartling (

Starting, Thursday, March 19th, the teachers will be doing a daily check-in with their class. Your child's teacher will be in touch in the next few days with the daily time to login. This will be done through the "Meet" feature in Google Classroom, which is available through the apps icon in the upper right-hand corner from the Classroom Screen. This will allow both students and teachers a chance to chat remotely. This "Meet" check-in will also account for your child's attendance that day. If your child is unable to login (which we understand), please sign and electronically return your child's "Daily At-Home Learning Plan".

Each day of the school week your child's teacher will have a "Daily At-Home Learning Plan", which will outline what they want them to do for academic subjects throughout the day. If you or your child have any questions about the day's expectations or assignments this is something you can discuss during your check in. Not all assignments will be assigned through Google Classroom. Please connect with your teacher directly on how to manage your child's assignments. Our Science and History specialists will have access to the Classroom as well, and they will be uploading their own activities & assignments. Their assignments will likely be twice a week instead of daily.

This shift to At-Home Learning is significant for students and staff. During this time, we will do our best to (1) continue standards-based lessons and activities so that students keep up with their learning and (2) provide a diversity of activities so that your student can be occupied during normal school hours. We encourage each family to create a structured routine that embraces this daily regular At-Home Learning opportunity, including a time and location dedicated to the student's efforts.

Tomorrow I will send the ‘top 5 tips' (plus a bonus!) to help ease this transition! If I can help in any way, please don't hesitate to contact me.


March 13, 2020

Thank you for your attention to these important updates. I will keep this short and to the point, offering additional information later today. As of noon today, the San Mateo County Health Department Officer, Dr. Scott Morrow, has issued an order that San Mateo County schools will be closed for in-person instruction starting March 16. We will move to transition to 'At-Home Learning' effective immediately and anticipate this may continue until 4/03. Our Spring Break is scheduled for April 6-10. Our site will remain open only for staff.

Our terrific teachers have been preparing for this possibility and today your student is bringing home a packet of appropriate instructional materials that may include worksheets, reading packets and additional resources. These materials should be utilized for the first 3 days of next week, and we will be forwarding additional resources to you on Wednesday for instruction beyond that time. At-Home Learning details will be communicated directly to you by your teacher, and our plan is to provide academic instruction to ensure that learning continues. Please be patient and flexible as our hard-working teachers are rolling out this process.

If you need to borrow an internet-enabled device for At-Home Learning, please connect with me directly as we can offer Chrome Books, as appropriate.

Arbor Bay School will be open and staffed during this time. Please phone or email with any questions or concerns.

Susan Rose, Director
Arbor Bay School

Notice from the Health Department (March 13, 2020)