Director's Note: February 12: Math updates, PBL in action, Jan Brett Contest, Underwear Drive, and More!

What's going on with Math at Bridges Charter School?
We are so excited to be on the brink of redefining our approaches to teaching and learning math at Bridges. Our teachers are currently in an exploration phase where we are testing out new strategies and methods for math that will hopefully lead to more student engagement, more opportunities for differentiation (including differentiating for our advanced students), and stronger self-efficacy for our students.

Check out this video to get a taste of where we are headed: https://www.youcubed.org/resources/solving-math-problem/

And if you would like to do more to support your students at home with math, there are some great resources here: https://www.youcubed.org/resource/parent-resources/

Project Based Learning in Action
Last week was a fun and rewarding one as many students completed and showcased projects in our community. The 4th graders were building chain reaction machines with objects brought from home, the 3rd graders turned into historical figures and created their very own wax museum, and students in other grades were sharing their informational writing during publishing parties. The 5th graders have also been eagerly engaging in opinion writing and have delivered compelling arguments in support of and against our healthy food policy. I will be listening to their arguments this week and entering their ongoing debate with my own research! Pictures of some of these projects are posted below.

Underwear Drive
Ms. Tori's kindergarten class is giving back to our community this month by hosting an Underwear Drive for local foster children. They are collecting new, unopened underwear for children in size 2T and up -- you can take donations directly to Ms. Tori's class.

Jan Brett Contest -- we need your help!
Bridges could win a visit from Jan Brett, illustrator and writer of children's picture books but we need your help along with the help from your Friends and Extended Families. Last year, our school finished in 13th place.

Please vote for our school on her website by clicking on the link below then click on "Enter Here"., Enter your name, your email address, and our school's formation:Bridges Charter School, 1355 Calle Bouganvilla, Thousand Oaks CA 91360 (you can even copy and paste the above in the appropriate blocks if you like).

http://www.janbrett.com/

Last Parent Information Night Coming Soon!
We have just one more Parent Information Night before our lottery in March! If you haven't told your friends about Bridges, now is the time!  Enrollment Interest Forms are due no later than Friday, March 9th at 4pm. Spread the word, and have your friends sign up here: https://www.bridgescharter.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=992548&type=d&pREC_ID=1308279

Intent to Re-Enroll
Have you filled out your intent to re-enroll form on our website? We are still missing responses from many of you, and the deadline to reply is March 1! We need to know how many seats we have available to fill in our school lottery. If you are unable to fill out the form on our website, we do have a paper copy available in the office. Stop by to see Theresa, Maria, or Libby.

If you are a current family interested in seeing an upper grade classroom in action, please let us know. We are happy to give you a brief tour and introduce you to the teachers.

The re-enrollment form is available here: https://www.bridgescharter.org/apps/form/form.BRICS.qH2aF3Z.2z7

Valentines Day
Bridges students have a lot of love to share -- and what a better day to share the love than on Valentines Day? Each teacher is approaching Valentines Day a little differently in their classroom. Please follow your child's teacher's lead, and remember candy and other foods that are not aligned with our Healthy Food Policy should remain at home.

New Field Trip Requirements for Parent Drivers
Our students are lucky that we prioritize field trips as a part of their learning experience. We are also very fortunate to have so many parents willing to participate in the field trips and drive students when necessary.

We have received more information from our insurance company that requires us to have more information on file for parent drivers. In addition to the livescan fingerprints, proof of insurance, and the signed waiver, we now will also need a copy of your DMV record which can be obtained from the DMV website for $2. We will require this once a year and will need this on file if you are participating in the school sponsored field trip in any way.  We also will require proof of insurance for all parents driving to field trips even if you are not transporting children.

We know requiring these extra documents is burdensome for you and the teachers, but it is vital that we stay in compliance in order to protect our school, and it is even more important for us to take all the preventative measures that we can to ensure that students are safe when traveling off school grounds.

The new field trip requirements will need to be board approved, and therefore will not be implemented until March. Please stay tuned for more specific information from your child's teacher!

Handball during Recess: Please leave your Handballs at home!
Handball is a popular game during recess for many of our students. Student are very excited about playing it and often enter into intense games with each other. It is the perfect setting to learn conflict resolution! Please note that students should not be bringing any toys or handballs to school. Toys brought to school should remain in their backpacks. We have plenty of handballs at school to be used and shared by all children, and our yard duty supervisors will order more handballs as necessary.

Makerspace Developments
Our February Makerspace will have more opportunities for children to experiment with energy, lights, crocheting, and more! You can sign up to donate supplies here: https://www.parentsquare.com/feeds/719606. And don't forget to visit your teacher's parentsquare page to sign up to volunteer with your child's class! Our Makerspace will not be successful without parent volunteers.

Social Emotional Learning Updates
This month's social emotional theme is about community building and team work. This sounds like what we do every day at Bridges, but we are going to celebrate team building during an assembly on Monday, February 26th at 8:40am -- join us if you can!

Upcoming Dates for your Calendar:
  • Fri. 2/16: No School -- Lincoln Holiday
  • Mon. 2/19: No School -- President’s Day
  • Wed. 2/21: Class picture day
  • Thurs. 03/01: Deadline to submit Intent to Re-enroll
  • Wed. 03/14: Public Lottery for Enrollment

We hope you have a great week,

Dr. Kelly and Ms. Cindy

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