Friday, December 12, 2008


Thanks so much to all those who brought in gifts for the Seniors. The Senior Community Center Christmas Party was a huge success, almost every Senior won a prize and they had a great time. Thanks for being so generous with gifts, home made cards and crafts.

Michelle Livermore
and The Senior Community Center

Thursday, December 4, 2008

SDSU Women’s Basketball

Dear Birney Families,

I am again an ambassador for the SDSU women’s Basketball team. This year they are offering free tickets to four of their home games in their “Ticket to Thrive” program. Tickets are valid for anyone not in high school – NCAA forbids free tickets for them because of recruiting rules. The games are entertaining and a great way to expose your child to college athletics.

*Dec 30 Championship Game of SD Surf Slam 7pm

*Jan 7 vs. Air Force 6pm
There will be signing stations for autographs.

Jan 24 vs. BYU 2pm
Girls and Women in Sports day – athletes from all the teams (tennis, water polo, track, golf, softball, crew) will be set up in the concourse to interact with the fans – you can kick a soccer ball at a college goalie!

Feb 21 vs. New Mexico 2pm
SDSU Alumni Day

The two starred games are during the break so I will need to get the tickets to you before we leave on break. There is an order form in this weeks Birney Buzz – just fill it out and return to me by December 12 (so I can order the first two games and get them back to you). I give you another order sheet when we get back from break.

Go Aztecs!
Coach Lord

Christmas Apple for the Teacher.

For those of you who might be struggling with a gift idea for your child's teacher. Great Schools has done a survey of what teachers think are the best gift. It ranges from gift cards to just a note of thanks.

There are other great ideas for you to Teach Giving as well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Congratulations Domenic!

Past PTA President Domenic Fulgoni became a US citizen on November 19. He along with people from 83 other countries, renounced their allegiance to their native countries. And at the end of the ceremony the judge said, "Congratulations, you in."

After saying the pledge of allegiance, Domenic posed for photos with his wife, Tiffany, daughter, Sophia and son, Michael and then he headed off to have is first lunch as a citizen at a Corvette Diner.

We are very proud to have Domenic and his family as part of our Birney family. When you see him, tell him congrats and welcome to the New World.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bullying and Teasing, Helping Your Child with Bullying

The latest research shows that more than half of all children are, at least on occasion, directly involved in bullying as a perpetrator, victim, or both. And many of those who are not directly involved witness others being bullied on a regular basis. No child is immune - kids of every race, gender, grade and socio-economic sector are impacted. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As parents we have the power to help reduce bullying. Here are’s top ten actions you can take to help address bullying:
1. Talk with and listen to your kids - everyday.

2. Spend time at school and recess.

3. Be a good example of kindness and leadership.

4. Learn the signs.

5. Create healthy anti-bullying habits early.

6. Help your child’s school address bullying effectively.

7. Establish household rules about bullying.

8. Teach your child how to be a good witness.

9. Teach your child about cyberbullying.

10. Spread the word that bullying should not be a normal part of childhood.

Click on this link to read more about
Bullying and the ways you can help prevent it.

Diez acciones de los padres pueden tomar para enfrentar la intimidación
Las últimas investigaciones muestran que más de la mitad de todos los niños son, al menos en ocasiones, directamente implicados en la intimidación como autor, víctima, o ambas cosas. Y muchos de los que no participan directamente son testigos de alguien que es intimidado regularmente. Ningún niño es inmune - niños de todas las razas, géneros, grados y sectores socio-económicos son afectados. Sin embargo, no tiene que ser de esta manera. Como padres tenemos el poder para ayudar a reducir la intimidación. Aquí están las diez acciones que dice que usted puede tomar para reducir la intimidación:
1. Hable con y escuche a sus hijos - todos los días.
2. Pase tiempo en la escuela y en el recreo.

3. Sea un buen ejemplo de la bondad y el liderazgo.

4. Aprenda los signos.

5. Crea hábitos saludables contra la intimidación temprana edad.

6. Ayude a la escuela de su niño a reducir la intimidación de manera eficaz.

7. Establezca reglas en el hogar sobre la intimidación.

8. Enséñele a su hijo cómo ser un buen testigo.

9. Enséñele a su niño acerca de la intimidación por el Internet.

10. Corra la voz de que la intimidación no debe ser una parte normal de la infancia.

Haga clic encendido esta conexión para leer más sobre tiranizar y las maneras que usted puede ayudar para prevenirlo.

Cookie Orders!

Great News! The Otis Spunkmeyer orders are arriving on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Your items will be available for pick up in the auditorium at 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Please be sure to pick up your orders on Dec. 10 because we won't have cold storage available to keep your dough fresh.

FYI - The dough remains fresh in the refrigerator for up to two-weeks and can be kept in the freezer for up to a year. And if your dough thaws, it can be refrozen.

HINT: You may want to bring along a cooler to store your dough in for delivery to your friends and family.

Monday, November 24, 2008

NEW INFORMATION about Family Dinner Night Out!

Help Raise Funds for
Birney Elementary by eating out
Monday, December 15, 2008
11 am - 9 pm
At the Hillcrest
Pick Up Stix
1040 University Ave.

Pick Up Stix will donate 25% of the sales To Birney.
You must present the flyer being sent home on Monday, December 15 for verification.

Dine in or take out.
Phone ahead: 619-295-7849

If you would like a copy of the flyer e-mailed to you. contact us at

An Adventure Awaits You...

Start making plans to travel to the
corners of the globe with family and friends.
An adventure awaits you...

Check back regularly for information on your travel plans.


Comience a hacer planes para viajar a
esquinas del globo con la familia y los amigos.
Una aventura le aguarda…

Compruebe regularmente para la información sobre sus planes de recorrido.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Coke Rewards for Birney Elementary

Birney Elementary and My Coke Rewards

Help us earn points so we can purchase items for the school.

Here is how to participate:
1) Go online to and register
2) Fill out all pages of the registration form
3) Once finished registering, click on Enter Codes
4) Enter the code numbers located either in the inside pull flap on any 12 pack of Coke products or from the inside of the plastic bottle tops and hit submit. You can then enter additional numbers or click on done.
5) Go to back to the main page and click on My Coke Rewards for Schools
6) Enter the schools zip code 92103
7) Click on School Name
9) When the box open add in number of points and click donate, then confirm and click donate and then you are done.

Or if you want it to be really easy! Turn in your bottle tops and box numbers from your coke products to the Birney PTA Mail Box or hand them to us at any Family Friday and we will enter them for you.

If you have any other questions, contact us at

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Intersession Ideas!

San Diego Unified School District has eliminated the intersession program due to the budget cuts at the state level. With the reduction of funding, the district will not offer a general education intersession program to students K-8. There will be a program available for special education students who are eligible and have it marked "yes" on their IEP for extended school services. Prime Time will NOT be available during school breaks.

Are you wondering what to do with your kids during intersession? Well here are a few ideas.

Mission Valley and Toby Wells YMCA offers camps for Winter session, Vacation Days/Individual Days as well as Intersession camps. They both also offer Kids Place Sitting Service for up to two hours.

For those of you who need a night out or just time to shop. The YMCA has Family services for that as well.

The San Diego Zoo offers Winter Camp and Winter Art Camp on Dec. 20, 22, 23, 29 and 30th.

Balboa Park junior Theater has Holiday Break Camps (See bottom of the page).

The Joan Kroc Center Camps for Thanksgiving week, Christmas Break and Spring Breaks. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)

Birney Fundraiser

If you would like to send off the catalog to friends via email, please contact Michelle at or and I will send you the pdf of the catalog.
Thanks for your efforts.

Jump for Heart

Well I have to thank Coach Lord and all who put on the Jump for Heart last Friday. What a fun event. Kids were jumping crazy and parents joined in as well.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Costume Parade

The 2008 Birney Costume Parade was a huge hit! All the princesses, monsters, super heros and fairies were a joy to watch. Thanks to all who participated, the kids looked wonderful.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

PTA Fundraiser

“The PTA fall fundraiser starts on November 7. Get excited about selling some goodies, winning some prizes, and helping out our school. We will meet in the auditorium for Family Friday on November 7 to kickoff the fundraiser. Let’s have some fun with it! All funds will benefit school programs and assemblies.”

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fun Halloween Events

From haunted hotels and ghost stories to monster bashes, music and the scary movies, Halloween parties and happenings in San Diego abound. Scroll through our list for events that'll grab you.

For kids/families
Enjoy an evening of critters, trick-or-treating, arts, crafts, music and more at the Zoo's popular Spooky Sleepover (Oct. 11, 18 and 25).

Create your very own sugar skull art at Bazaar del Mundo's annual Dias de los Muertos fest (Oct. 31-Nov. 2), at the Back From Tomboctou Gallery in Normal Heights and other county Dia de los Muertos events. Cruise for blockheads at Legoland's Brick or Treat (Oct. 4-26) celebrations or explore below the surface at Birch's Haunted Aquarium (Oct. 24-26).

Check out Halloween Family Day at the San Diego Railroad Museum (Oct. 26), or visit your local library branch for fun Halloween activities for the whole family.

List provided by Sign-On San Diego.

Some other fun things to do:
Halloween Spooktacular at Sea World
Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch
Del Mar Scaregrounds Screamzone
The Whaley House

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Halloween!

The PTA will be providing each student with glow sticks on Halloween.
The sticks glow in the dark and are great to use in the evening so your
child can be safely spotted as they trick-or-treat.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PTA Movie Night Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.

The Birney PTA is hosting a Movie Night. And in keeping with the Birney Bee theme, we are showing the Bee Movie. This is a great way for families to enjoy an evening out. Admission is FREE. So bring the kids, bring your blankets and have fun.

The PTA will be selling concessions. The movie will start at 7:15 in the Auditorium

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Star Party Was Out of This World

The Star Party on Friday Night was a huge success. All teachers, parents and children had a great time. The PTA sponsored drinks and popcorn to top off the fun. Here are a few photos of the event.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Order Your Birney Sweatshirts & More!

For anyone interested in a Birney Bee Spirit item. We have mugs, hats, buttons and various items that have the Birney Bee Spirit Logo on them. These are great gift ideas for Teachers or for students or family members interested in showing school pride.

Check it out at Birney Bees.

3rd Annual Star Gazing Party

The San Diego Astronomy Association will be on our playground - Friday night, October 17th, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Everyone is welcome. If you have a telescope at home, bring it!

Jupiter will be visible and we will be able to see the equatorial bands and 4 of its moons. We will see star clusters, the Ring of Nebula, and the famous Double-Double Star in Vega.

Don't Miss it!
The PTA will be handing out popcorn and lemonade and a special little treat.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back to School Night

Dear Birney families,

Thank you for your help in making the beginning of our new year so smooth. Our office staff and support staff have worked so hard to get our year running, but without your cooperation, we wouldn’t do nearly so well.

I look forward to meeting many of you at our Back-to-School Night. Our evening will go as follows:

5:30-5:45: meet and greet on playground, presentation of staff by auditorium

5:45-6:15: 1st classroom presentation

6:15-6:25: change rooms, stay and ask questions or visit the information tables on the playground

6:25-7:05: 2nd presentation

The two presentations will be the same; it is our way of accommodating families with more than one student in different classrooms. You are certainly not required to attend both if you don’t need to.

There will be several tables set up on the playground with lots of information about our school, please stop by.

Thanks PTA for providing refreshments as always!
Ms. Amanda

Estimadas familias de Birney,

Gracias por todo su apoyo en el comienzo de nuestro año escolar. El personal de la escuela ha trabajado duro para que funcione bien la escuela, pero sin su apoyo constante no podríamos lograrlo.

Anticipo verlos el 2 de octubre para nuestra ‘Noche de Regreso a la Escuela’ con mucho placer. El horario será así:

5:30-5:45: Conocer al personal de la escuela cerca del auditorio
5:45-6:15: 1era presentación en el salón de clase
6:15-6:25: cambiar salones, conversar con el maestro o visitar las mesas de información en el patio de recreo
6:25-7:05: 2a presentación

Las dos presentaciones sirven para informar a la familia que tiene dos o más estudiantes en la escuela. Si no tiene más de un niño, no es necesario que asista a las dos.

Habrá mucha información sobre la escuela en las mesas en el patio de recreo, pase por ahí si le da tiempo entre presentaciones.

Gracias como siempre al PTA por los refrescos!
Ms. Amanda

Thanks to all who attended the PTA Meeting!

Thank you everyone who was able to attend. Our next meeting is October 9 at 6 pm. Where we will discuss the IB BASH. Please everyone try to attend and encourage your friends to come too.

If you missed the meeting on Sept. 11, and would like a copy of the minutes, please contact Michelle at and I will send you a copy.

Thanks again for the great support.

Family Dinner Night Out!

Please join us for our first Family Dinner Night Out!
Enjoy a nice dinner out and help support the
Birney PTA assembly programs at the same time.
Wednesday, October 15
11:30 a.m. - Closing
3492 Adams Avenue • San Diego, CA
Birney PTA will receive 20% of the proceeds on all sales
of orders accompanied by the flyer that is being sent home in "The Buzz."
Please present flyer to server when ordering or picking up your food.
Also feel free to pick up or make extra copies of the flyer to share with friends and family.

Flyer valid for dine-in or take out only. Not valid on home delivery.

To make reservations or to order take-out items call:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Children across California are back in school, but we don't yet have a state budget.

Way back in January, PTA and our nearly one-million volunteer members around the state raised their voices in opposition to the initial "cuts only" budget proposal that would have slashed funding for education, health and other services for our state's single most important constituency - our children. We gave that initial budget a grade of "F," and we rallied people across the state to "flunk the budget, not our children"

Throughout the spring and early summer we've continued to call on legislators to do the right thing by preventing deep cuts to our schools and children. In July, a legislative committee with representatives from both houses introduced a "balanced approach" proposal. It would close the state's $15 billion deficit with new, ongoing revenues and some cuts. Even this proposal isn't ideal. It still makes dramatic cuts and merits only a "barely passing" grade. But in this very difficult economic year, we recognized that this conference committee proposal reflects a realistic compromise.

Unfortunately, this proposal has not yet been approved by either the senate or assembly. What's worse, in recent weeks, both houses seem to be straying farther from it. We now have counter-proposals calling for all sorts of short-term fixes and stopgaps. We oppose these short-term approaches and urge you to as well. After a record-setting budget-delay, our state legislators and the governor must not simply pass the buck for another year by approving a budget that relies on additional borrowing, gimmicks, or that cuts even more deeply into education, children's programs and the future of California.

We still need now what we needed in January -- a real budget solution with permanent new revenues to provide our children with the education and services they need to be successful.

We know you share our concern for California's children, because they represent the future of our great state. I urge you to forward this letter along to as many people as you know. Ask them to please do this one thing for all children in California:

Call or email your elected state leaders this week.

Urge them to stand up for children. Ask them to prevent deeper cuts to schools and children's services. Ask them to support additional, ongoing revenues for schools. And call upon them, as our elected representatives, to make the tough decisions that must be made now to ensure a prosperous future.

I appreciate your time and attention to this critical matter. There is no job more important than ensuring that our children are given every opportunity to be successful. If we do that, we all win! If you would like additional information about the state budget, I encourage you to visit our website at
Thank you for taking the time to stand up for our state's children!


Pam Brady
California State PTA

UHArts Event

Thanks to all of those who helped out at the UHArts event. There was beautiful, interesting and thought provoking art for all to enjoy. If you did not get a chance to attend. Take a look at all of the chalk drawings that are still around the school.

Also, thanks to all the parents who came to help with the school clean up. Every little bit helps.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Fave Teacher Project

The Center on Policy Initiatives is launching a project to involve students in celebrating the value of educators. The MyFaveTeacher project invites students from elementary to high school to make and share short videos about a favorite teacher or other school employee.

Please help us get the word out right away! CPI will begin featuring the videos online later this month and will award prizes (grand prize an iPod Touch!) at CPI's annual Gala on Oct. 16. A San Diego nonprofit, CPI has been a strong advocate for teachers and is honoring all educators as a central theme of the Gala.

To be eligible for the contest, videos must be submitted by Sept. 19. We encourage simple videos made on cell phones or any digital camera -- no longer than 1 minute.

The My Fave Teacher project will continue well beyond this initial contest, as part of CPI’s commitment to highlighting the hard work of teachers and others in our schools. But we have a short timeframe to launch this opening contest! Please consider promoting it as a back-to-school project.

Details and instructions are available at . Send questions to Please spread the word about this exciting opportunity and encourage students to participate!

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to School

The classrooms are ready and the kids are excited. Birney is back in session. The energy was great for the first day, new clothes, new schools and a well rested group. We are excitied for the coming year and we hope you are too. Please take a few minutes every week to look over the "Birney Buzz" that comes home in your child's backpack, mark your calendars for important events and remember to fill out all the necessary forms and permission slips.

We will try to keep you up-to-date on important issues and dates facing the school, as well as information important to your child. Please feel free to send us questions and we will be as helpful as we can be.

Cheers to the Teachers and Staff. Welcome Back.
Birney PTA

Friday, August 29, 2008

READING'S REWARD (Beyond Just getting smarter)

In observance of National Library Card Sign-Up Month, just show your library card from any public library in San Diego at any San Diego area Chipotle on Tuesday, September 16 and you'll receive a - FREE BURRITO, BOWL, ORDER OF TACOS, or SALAD

Thursday, August 28, 2008

PTA at the University Heights Arts Open

UH Opens Arts Festival on 9/6 and 9/7 from 12:00pm-4:00pm.

We’ll have our concession table set-up and we’re sponsoring some art projects for children.

The 3rd annual, UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS ARTS OPEN (UHAO) on September 6-7, 2008 is a free self guided tour of the arts. The weekend festival showcases the works of over 100 new as well as celebrated artists, playwrights, performers and musicians from the San Diego region enlivening the University Heights community. Begin the tour at Birney Academy of International Studies, 4345 Campus Ave, San Diego


d.goth Patti Fox dark vomit Sherry Krulle-Beaton Amber Pierce Weston Riffle Josie Rodriguez

Art Rocks

In celebration of the Arts and University Heights 120th anniversary, Seventeen artists will turn large river rocks (which are the neighborhoods signature building element) into works of art to be displayed at the 3rd annual UH ARTS OPEN.

*Opening UHAO & Art Rocks exhibition and reception

7:00pm on August 15, 2008

Swedenborg Hall

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Samantha Bell & Make a Wish

Hi all,
As some of you already know, one of our own Birney Bees had surgery this spring on a brain tumor. Despite the sudden surgery and the devastating diagnosis, Samantha was back at school in no time and fit right back in to the swing of things. That's just who she is.

I am forwarding you an email from Samantha Bell's mom, Eden. The email contains a link to the pediatric brain cancer foundations' website which will explain all you need to know about the diagnosis and the procedure ... as well as about Samantha, who is really a unique and wonderful little girl. Samantha is going in for another surgery at the end of the month (August 28). She'll need lots of positive thoughts. Please feel free to share this information with anyone you feel might want to contribute in any way.

One of the biggest problems (apart from the actual surgery of course) right now is that Samantha's 'make a wish' was for a potbellied pig as a pet, and there is some kind of zoning law that prevents this from happening. If you know anyone who can exert some influence with the powers that be to get Samantha's wish granted, let us know!

Her old, but still current through the end of the year, website has a way to donate to the cancer foundation, her new website is in formation and is listed at the end of the email from Eden Bell, her mom (


Amanda L. Hammond-Williams
Alice Birney Academy of International Studies
4345 Campus Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
Office: (619) 497-3500
Fax: (619) 688-3017

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Education Coalition Launches Statewide Radio Ad Campaign

Sacramento – Today the Education Coalition released a statewide radio ad campaign to urge the Governor and lawmakers to invest in education and to find common-sense budget solutions that increase revenues. Transcripts of the ads are below, and audio versions can be found on the web site at . “The Education Coalition wants our elected leaders to know that the time has come to put aside partisan politics and to invest in our children’s future,” said David A. Sanchez, President of the California Teachers Association. “Delaying and cutting school funding through the state budget process only hurts our students.” “Our state leaders need to put our students’ education at the top of their agenda, and pass a responsible budget that rejects cuts to schools,” said Pam Brady, President of the California State PTA. “We need to give students the tools and resources they need to succeed. The time to act is now.” “Schools are already suffering from the impact of cuts and delayed funding,” said Paul H. Chatman, President of the California School Boards Association. “It’s time to move forward and invest in our kids. California business leaders say the best way to improve our economy is to make sure we have a well-educated work force – let’s work together to achieve that goal.”

“The final budget agreement must include increased revenues as part of any approach to balancing the budget,” said Marty Hittelman, President of the California Federation of Teachers. “Refusing to support solutions to raise revenues for schools shortchanges our students and California’s future. It’s time for real leadership from our lawmakers.”

To read a transcript of the radio ad.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

How Does the Education System in California Stack Up?

Want to know how California school districts and schools are performing?

Click Here and then click on the drop menus.

California schools are responsible for educating the most diverse
student population in the country with substantially fewer resources
than most other states. A new Ed-Data article examines the education
system in California and other large states and provides important
context for understanding the state's public school system, its
performance, and its challenges.

The article reports on student demographics, enrollment trends,
resources available to public education, and their implications. You can
find the article by clicking "How California Compares" at .

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rummage Sale and Pancake Breakfast

Hey Birney Bees,

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year's rummage sale and pancake breakfast a success. Last year, the PTA made money selling spaces and providing snacks. This year, we expanded by hosting a pancake breakfast and our own rummage table. Judging from our preliminary count, we've netted about a thousand dollars for the Birney PTA. That's a huge step upfrom last year, and a great foundation to build on for next year. We had help from a lot of people this year. Parent (and next year's PTA treasurer) Samantha Boice was the kitchen boss for the breakfast. Along with kindergarten teacher Billy Medlock and parent (and PTA secretary) Susie Villareal, they made some of the biggest pancakes this side of I-15, and kept the school cafeteria humming. Parents John and Marvi Blanco made sure no one got a breakfast without paying, except for the Birney students who earned a free breakfast for their run in the Magic Mile. Parent and Garden Coordinator Mindy Swanson got us some great local organic produce for the breakfast, and ran a garden table at the sale. Parent (and PTA VP) Tom Richardson helped arrange and price our donated items, then sold popcorn, soda, snacks, and the odd Smencil to participants who needed more than a pancake breakfast. Parents Dave Hamrah and Rich & Marisol Schultz were making deals all day to sell our donated items at the rummage table, after Dave spent the last few weeks collecting it all. PTA Treasurer Kelly Tawater got our event advertised and made sure all paying customers found their spaces and had what they needed to set up. Parent (and next year's PTA President) Michelle Livermore used her graphic design talents to make our flyers for the event which were posted and emailed across town. Parent Juliana Humphrey grabbed a paintbrush to create some last minute banners to hang up around the school. Parent Risa Baron coordinated an SDG&E bulb exchange booth. Special thanks go to those parents who donated items to sell and those who donated their proceeds to the PTA, especially Katrina Peterson. Finally, we had a row of tables with Birney teachers selling items to raise money for their classrooms. Overall, we would have liked more foot traffic, but with the Adams Avenue Festival, Red Bull Air Races, and Cinco de Mayo weekend competing for public attention, I think we pulled it off. Thanks again to everyone involved. Dominic Fulgoni PTA President