Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Website

All of our news can now be found at You should be automatically redirected but in case you aren't, click here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Calendar Revision Update: Success!

The SD Unified School District just released a revised year round calendar for 2013-2014 with all the furlough days moved out of our testing window. (This is exactly what we requested to give our students the same chances for success as standard year students.) Spring break now ends April 28th and there's one furlough day on June 23rd. Check it out here:

School still ends on a Monday, but our students and staff will now have the same benefits of five-days weeks for preparation and testing as standard year schools.

Thanks to Superintendent Marten and the entire Board of Education, the concerned families and citizens who voiced your opinions, and all of you who made this happen.

Friday, July 19, 2013

An Open Letter to Superintendent Marten re: 2013-14 Year-Round School Calendar

Dear Superintendent Marten,

     As a parent at Birney Elementary, a year round school, I am writing to express my disappointment in the year round calendar for the 2013-2014 school year and respectfully request the Board of Education to re-evaluate it.
  • ·        Right now, there are three furlough days in June, two during the week of June 16th, one during the week of June 23rd. Combined with the Fourth of July holiday the following week, this creates undue hardship for many families who will have to arrange special childcare for three straight weeks.
  • ·       The furlough days in June take valuable time away from testing preparation. While the standard school year students are getting solid five-day weeks of preparation time during their testing window, the year-round students must contend with holidays and furlough days to schedule both preparation and testing, presenting year-round with unfair disadvantages. Surely the furlough days in June could be moved so that all students are given the same chances for success regardless of whether their schools are standard or year round schedules.
  • ·       The school year is set to end on Monday, July 21st. Attendance will suffer, and funding along with it. Having that last day as a Monday will also present challenges to parents trying to provide child care, camp or other summer instructional experiences to their children since many of those programs run on a Monday through Friday schedule. Parents will be forced to decide between skipping school or throwing away the cost of a day’s experiences; children will miss out on the year’s closure or their first day’s instruction. Since most camps and classes have closed by early- to mid-August, this seems to unfairly punish year round students who would seek extracurricular enrichment. Ending the school year on the previous Friday (by moving a vacation day from spring break to the end of the year) would benefit everyone and provide a more satisfying end to the school year.

I know that you and the Board of Education want to provide my child with the same opportunities for success and academic achievement as the children at standard year schools. Some ways of modifying the calendar which would eliminate any perceived discrimination against year round schools and better help the staff and students reach their full academic potential are:
  • ·       Move some or all of the June furlough days to June 23, June 24, and June 25, out of the testing window. Students and staff will be able to focus on academic achievement and not keeping track of the chaotic off again, on again schedule. Parents will only have to arrange for special child care for one week.
  • ·       Move some (but not all) of the furlough days to the end of the year round spring break: April 29, April 30, or May 1 and move the rest out of the testing window. Please do not leave us with any one-day weeks since our attendance will suffer.
  • ·       Move one vacation day from spring break to the end of the school year to allow school to end on a Friday.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I know you want all children and families in the SD USD to thrive. I hope we can be partners in making the 2013-2014 year a success.


Kim Schultz

President, Alice Birney Elementary PTA

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Information about Roosevelt Middle School

 Information as best as I can remember


(Burgundy, Grey, White, Khaki, Beige, Black)

RMS logo polo shirts (that can be purchased at the school or from LandsEnd)
School color polo with collar and buttons (without logo)
School clubs and event T-shirts only

Khaki pants, shorts (for both boys and girls), skirts (for girls)
Girls can also wear school color plaid (grey/burgundy)

RMS logo sweatshirts available through the school and at
Plain sweatshirts no writing or other logo, solid color (burgundy/marron, beige, grey, black)
Cardigan (burgundy/maroon, white, grey, khaki/beige, black - solid or stripes)
Jackets (burgundy/marron, khaki/beige, grey, black)

PE Clothes:
Shirts $6 (solid grey or white)
Shorts $11 (grey, burgundy/maroon) 
Locks for the PE lockers can be brought from home or can be purchased at the school. School purchase is recommended so if there is a problem with lock/combo etc., the school can solve it.

Many of the above clothing items can be purchased at the school, various stores including Marios on El Cajon, JC Pennys etc. Uniforms can also be purchased online at using Prefered School #900152158.

School Schedule

Orientation on August 22 at 10 am

First day of school is Sept. 3
Schedules by grade levels will be posted that morning
REMEMBER that Sept 3 is a short day - plan accordingly

1st bell: 7:25 am
Start time: 7:30 pm
End time: 2:28 pm

Short day schedule on Tuesday out at 1:20

Lunch for 6th graders is 11:16-11:46

The day consists of 7 periods which include:

2 periods of english/language arts (with the same teacher but at different times)
1 period humanities
1 period math
1 period science (science and math are in 2 hour a block with the same teacher)
1 language (Spanish or French)
1 PE

(Class sizes will be 20-24 to one)

School events:

Day of Peace: Peace sign day
Walk for a group or charity
Sophia Day: Health Day when they give back to Rady Children's Hopital
IB Festival/Open house


Ride Bike
Bus (route 7)
Magnet students have access to a bus if they are 5 miles away or further. Inquire with the office for details
Parent Drop off
(When dropping off students Zoo drive is the best. Upas is used for school bus loading and unloading and is very congested - no double parking, tickets are given)


No cost for lunch
lunches can be brought from home
Snacks can be purchased with cash or account (application for account is in the back of the school package)

Course Placement:

You will need to turn in the cards that were sent home from Birney.
You need to indicate whether your language choice is Spanish or French
Placement tests for Math, French and Spanish are at the beginning of the year.
Students will be placed in courses initially based on transcript, 2013 (5th grade) standardized test results and GATE identification, and then adjustments will be made to class assignments based on placement test results.


All students must have a planner so that they can make notes about homework, where teachers can send notes to the parents.
Planners should be checked nightly by parents.

Ways Parents can connect:

- Parent Connect an online resource
- Email teachers or counselors
- Call teachers or counselors
- Write note to teacher in student planner

Parent Involvement:

- you can be on campus, in classroom, or attend events
- attend meeting with teachers and counselors
- volunteer at the school
- volunteer in the classroom
- help with the before and after school programs and/or clubs
- supervise during lunches
- help with back to school night
- join the PTA
-serve on School Site Council

Volunteers who work with kids, need to be TB tested and background screened by FBI/CIA and finger printed.


- If your child will be absent you must call the school within 72 hours
- Ask for missed work (or check on Parent Connect)
- You can make up a missed day by attending Saturday School
- Make your appointments for you children on short days after school is out.

After School Programs:

Primetime provided by the Mission Valley YMCA.
This is free but tightly restricted. You must attend it 5 days a week till 5 pm--if you miss days, you are subject to removal.

Fee-Based After School also provided by YMCA, is available 1-5 days as needed

Both of the above include after school homework groups (1 hour)
and include clubs.

Clubs Only allows students not in either after-school program access to clubs. The cost for clubs vary but are free to Primetime students.

Some of the clubs that RMS has are:

- Garden Club
- CSI Club
- Junior Theater
- Girls in Science
- MESA (Math, Engineering, Science)
- Cheer
- Sports (Vollyball, Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Tennis) you must maintain a 2.0 GPA to participate in Sports
- Tennis - free tennis lessons every Tuesday.

Cell Phones:

You may bring cell phones to school. They must be turned off during the school day. If you are caught with your phone on, talking or texting, you phone will be confiscated.

Social Media:

Although RMS can not control the use of social media, it is discouraged. Facebook and other sites require you to be at least 14.
- If you choose to let your kids have social media accounts, please monitor them.
- If your child is involved in any online bullying, gossip or other activities that affect others at Roosevelt, it will be dealt with by the school.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

California Pizza Kitchen Gives Back for the Rest of the Year!

Every time you dine at California Pizza Kitchen in Fashion Valley
between May 1 and July 19, 2013, 20% of your bill will be donated back to Birney.
(you must show the cards being sent home this week with your kids)

This promotion is valid from 5/1/2013 to 7/19/2013
only valid at the Fashion Valley California Pizza Kitchen

7007 Friars Rd. Suite 901 

San Diego, CA 92108

Morley FREE Movies in the Park!

Movies in the Park at Morley Field on May 17th.

The reason for the date change is that Birney got a great opportunity to help sponsor the FREE Movies in the Park at Morley Field, featuring The Rookie. 

Birney PTA will receive 80% of the proceeds from the sale of Popcorn at this event. 

Be sure to buy lots of Popcorn!

Save the NEW Date for Movie Night - May 31


Still curious about which movie you would like to see. Tell us your choice in the comments below. So far we have 2 for Dolphin Tale and 1 for Wreck it Ralph.

Which Movie Do you want to see? Vote on the Facebook page for your favorite!
Wreck It Ralph • The Lorax • Dolphin Tale

Monday, April 15, 2013

Parents Night Out!

Save the Date - May 11th - 7-9:30 pm

Parents' Night Out-Dinner Night Minus the Kids at U31 in North Park
(where University Ave meets 31st)

Invite friends, family and your neighbors. It will be a fun night out, and a good chance for parents to hang out and get to know each other away from kids and school.

We will send more details as soon as we have them figured out. 

But for now, save the date.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You can read about IB profiles at this site:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ICES and Garden Camps

Update about the ICES and garden camps during the spring break. 

Both camps will be held here at Birney as arranged. There will be construction going on, as you know, but the contractor will be working with us to accommodate the students while continuing with the restoration of our shared spaces. Thank you for your patience and understanding! 

 Please remember the last day of school is Thursday, spring break begins Friday.

DON'T Forget that tomorrow is Family Dinner Night at Which Wich!

Family Dinner Night - all day!

Which Wich in Hillcrest

Wed. March 27—1:30 pm - 9 pm
3825 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 574-WICH
15% of all the sales in the store that day will benefit Birney
(not just our Birney Bees). Bring the flyer attached to the Buzz and write your child's name and class number on the back and the class with the highest attendance will get a mini sandwich party after the Spring Break.

Here is a link to download the flyer, in case you forget to bring it. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Garden Camp is On!

April 22-26, 2013

9 am - 3 pm

Mindy and Mickey are hosting a week long camp to gain knowledge of the garden and explore environmental and food related subjects.

For more information about the camp and to enroll. 

Download the flyer with the attached link.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


MONDAY - March 25

Third grade
10:30-11:15 – 15 minutes travel time back for lunch
(specials teachers take students over in the morning for rehearsal)

1st grade
12:30-1:15 – classroom teachers take kids right after lunch,
then 15 minutes travel time back to dismiss

TUESDAY - March 26

10:15-11:00 – 15 minutes travel time back for lunch
(specials teachers take students over first thing for rehearsal)

5th grade
12:30-1:15 – specials teachers leave right after lunch
then 15 minutes travel time back to dismiss

THURSDAY - March 27

2nd grade
10:30-11:15 - 15 minutes travel time back for lunch
(specials teachers take students over in the morning for rehearsal)

4th grade
12:30-1:15 - 15 – specials teachers leave right after lunch,
then 15 minutes travel time back to dismiss

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Family Dinner Night

Family Dinner Night - all day!

Which Wich in Hillcrest

Wed. March 27—1:30 pm - 9 pm
3825 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 574-WICH
15% of all the sales in the store that day will benefit Birney
(not just our Birney Bees). Bring the flyer attached to the Buzz and write your child's name and class number on the back and the class with the highest attendance will get a mini sandwich party after the Spring Break.

Here is a link to download the flyer, in case you forget to bring it. 

Dear Birney Bees
We are so close…You have done an amazing job at raising the desperately needed funds to ensure our school maintains the quality of our programs. With just a little more help we could break that $30K mark. If you forgot to send in your donation or if you would just like to help with that final push, DONATE NOW! at

Thanks again to all who helped make this years Run for the Green a success.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday March 15th, is Birney’s Annual Run for the Green and Family Friday.  From 2:30 to 3:30 our students will be running laps to raise money to support our Spanish, Art, Library and Garden specials.  Please come watch them give it their all as their sneakers hit the pavement.  This is the moment they’ve been working so hard for!  Volunteers are needed during the event to help teachers tally laps and the Jog-a-thon committee would greatly appreciate anyone who is able to come early and help with set-up or stay after for clean-up duties.  Please remember to bring your Run for the Green envelopes!  Collection boxes will be set-up during and after the event.  The last day to turn in donations is Monday, March 18th in order to be eligible for prizes.  Thank you everyone for your continued support!  We really couldn’t do it without such involved parents and families.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Run for the Green

Last Friday packets went out for our third annual Run for the Green. This is the main fundraiser that helps fund Birney's Spanish, Art, Library and Garden programs. We'll need several volunteers in order to help ensure we're successful--before, during, and after the event itself. Please consider helping with one of the following tasks:

Collecting envelopes and selling T-shirts before and after school March 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 18. Link to VolunteerSpot here:

Help the day of the event (cutting oranges, handing out oranges and water, marking runners, etc), March 15. Link to VolunteerSpot here:

Prize distribution after event, the morning of March 28:

Prize distribution after event:

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks so much!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Birney Highlighted on the SDUSD Website

Birney's heart The district is featuring Birney this week on the district homepage. Included is an article recognizing Birney students for taking part in the Great Kindness Challenge as we came back from break--in stark contrast to last year.
As Ms. Amanda was quoted, "We thought celebrating acts of kindness would be a welcome alternative to the memories of the last time we came back from winter break. The kids really took the challenge on. We were also excited to kick off the restoration of our burned-out building. This week was full of good beginnings and caring acts, then we wrapped up the week by wearing red, pink or white and forming a huge heart shape on the playground."

To read the full article, go to