Academic Concern Form, Community Fundraising, New Mural, Teacher Appreciation, Talent Show, PTO for 2021-2022

As we head into May, our Social Emotional Learning focus is  Responsibility.  Please take a moment to review our  SEL parent resources for the month of May.

Academic Concern Form
As we begin to plan for the 2021-22 school year I wanted to extend an opportunity for families to communicate any information about their child that would be pertinent for planning.  We consider several factors when placing students into classes for the upcoming year such as:  Social emotional needs, behavior, gender, academics, GATE identification, 504 or Special Education identification and other factors. This upcoming year will look slightly different as we will not have GATE identified classes at the 2nd grade level.  If you would like to communication your child’s academic, behavioral or social emotional needs, please take a moment to fill out this  form.  

Students in the Community
Nura Fananapazir and her brother with a few other kids in the community are spearheading a campaign to raise funds and provide opportunities for education through the Mona Foundation across the world. 100% of the proceeds of their campaign will be going to build a school and provide education for children and youth in Sierra Leone. For more information on how to help, please email

A message from our Parent Teacher Organization:
New mural on campus
Some of you got a glimpse of the new mural in the Welcome Back video, but for those who did not, we are excited to share the new Phoebe Hearst mural, located near the back garden, in between Mrs. Healy and Mrs. Butterfield’s classrooms! This mural celebrates aspects of Phoebe that are some of the most memorable to students. We can’t wait for our parents to see it in person!

This mural was the product of fundraising dollars from two jogathons ago. Thank you to all families who contributed! (Click the photo for a larger image.)

Teacher Appreciation week starts Monday
It has been QUITE a year and our teachers have worked so hard to keep their classrooms running. We hope you will join us in showing gratitude and celebrating them during Teacher Appreciation Week! We have asked parents in each classroom to help coordinate – so if you haven’t heard from someone in your child’s classroom regarding next week, feel free to contact Melody Fananapazir ( and she will get you connected.

Talent show update
We are still accepting submissions for Phoebe’s Got Talent – “Live” From Home! The “stage” is open for our talented dragons to upload their 1-2 minute long video by  Friday, May 14.  Our top 20 acts will be featured in the 2021 virtual show going “live” on  Thursday, May 27 at 6:00 pm.

Just a reminder that anything students would normally perform on stage is eligible for consideration, including air rock videos.  Please get in touch with PGT organizers for examples of how to do a virtual air rock if your student and their friends are interested in this fun, safe, distanced option!

Entries may be submitted via email, shared from a Google Drive, sent through a Dropbox link, and more.  Please get in touch if you are having difficulty with your submission or if you have questions or would like any clarifications.

We can’t wait for the show!

PTO board planning for the 2021-22 school year
If you are interested in joining the PTO board for next year, we are currently working on next year’s roster. Contact if you are interested. We are shooting to have next year’s positions solidified by end of May.

Thank you,
Michelle Pechette

Continued Return to In-Person Learning, Health Aide, Gate Screening, Poster Contest Winners

We will be welcoming back our Cohort A 4th-6th graders this week.  There have so many smiling faces from both our students and our staff this week.  Nothing has brought me greater joy than hearing the sound of our Phoebe halls and classrooms once again ringing with the sound of students.  I want to again thank all of the many community volunteers that have made this return to campus so seamless. We could not have done it without you!

Health Aide on Campus
I want to extend a warm welcome to our health aide on campus and newest member of our Phoebe family, Jersey Fatlowitz. Jersey is on campus every day to serve our Phoebe students and staff.  Some of her duties include health screenings, managing our care room and voluntary surveillance COVID testing on site for our students and staff.  All information about our ongoing site testing can be found here.  You can sign-up your child at any time to participate in this ongoing onsite COVID surveillance testing.  You can email Jersey at

GATE Screening: A message from our District GATE Coordinator, Kari Lofing
As a result of COVID-19 district-wide safety measures, it was determined by the District Assessments Committee that, for 2020-21 only, it was not possible to guarantee valid assessment results, safe assessment administration for all of SCUSD’s 1st & 3rd grade students, and equitable access to engage in those assessments according to student need (i.e. accommodations per IEP or 504 Plan, or access to translated instructions).  Screening assessments will resume, pending any necessary agreements, in the 2021-22 academic year.  Screening plans for the 2021-22 academic year include ensuring screening for those grade levels that were not screened in 2020-21, specifically 2 nd and 4 th grades will participate in universal GATE screening assessments along with 1 st and 3 rd grades.  The decision to postpone screening assessments was informed by considerations of safety, validity, and equity and is consistent with decisions made by other large districts in the state.

For the 2021-22 academic year only, self-contained GATE classes at GATE Cohort/GATE Center schools (Isador Cohen, Phoebe Hearst, Pony Express, and Sutterville) will begin in 3 rd grade.  Class assignments in grades K-2 will be inclusive of the general school population.

GATE screening or re-screening by parent or teacher referral will begin by appointment with the start of the 2021-22 academic year.  Please contact the GATE Office to make arrangements.

A Message from our PTO:
Thank you to all of the families who participated in the  Phoebe Welcome Back poster contest. We are excited to announce the winners and their art for each grade! Collect your prizes from your teacher next week….

Kindergarten: Evelyn P
1st: Mia O
2nd: Natasha K
3rd: Beatrix Z
4th: Katelyn D
5th: Daniel K
6th: Aubrey C

Thank you and have a wonderful evening,
Michelle Pechette

Return to In-person Learning, Volunteers Needed

We want to extend a warm welcome to our students that are beginning to return to in-person learning in the coming weeks.  I am sure there are many questions still looming as we pivot to this new concurrent learning model.  I have comprised a list of FAQ’s that can also be found here, with answers to some frequently asked questions.  Please take a moment to review the FAQ’s and, as always, if you have any additional questions you are welcome to email me at  

Volunteers Needed
Please let us know if you are able to help out for morning health screenings before school by filling out this form.  We need a few volunteers from 7:30-8:00am Tuesday-Friday.  We really appreciate all those that have volunteered thus far! 

Thank you,
Michelle Pechette

Hybrid School Calendar, After School Care

First Weeks of Our Return:
It has come to my attention that there are some questions regarding the first 2 weeks of our return to in-person learning.  I want to make sure that families have information regarding the calendar as it relates to cohorts and teacher preparation days.  You can access that calendar here.   

After-School Care:
Please see the link for the 2020-2021 Expanded Learning (after school program) Application: The Application is currently live and will close on April 1, 2021.  Following the end of in-person learning, students will be able to participate in engaging experiences and physically distanced activities in the expanded learning space including, but not limited to: academic support, sports, art, dance, STEM, and other outdoor activities.  The Expanded Learning program will run for 3.5 hours after the conclusion of the regular day.   You will receive a call from our Expanded Learning team during April 5 – 7 regarding your student’s enrollment in the Expanded Learning program.

If you have questions, please call the front office we will be happy to assist you and your family.  

Thank you,
Michelle Pechette

Return Together Update, Volunteers Needed, Talent Show, Art Newsletter, STEM

I am happy to share that SCUSD and SCTA have reached an agreement and a  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed this weekend.  A few important updates from that agreement are:

  1. The elementary learning model has been modified, in that Cohort A will attend in-person learning on campus on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Cohort B will attend in-person learning on campus on Thursdays and Fridays.  Cohort C will continue to be a full distance learning option in which students will concurrently learn with Cohorts A & B.
  2. K-3rd grade students will return on April 8th and 4th-6th grade students will return on April 15th.  Per the MOU, teachers will engage in professional learning and planning the 2 days before they receive students back into their classrooms.  As such, teachers will conduct a brief check in with students on those 2 days and will use the remainder of the days for planning and preparation.
  3. The drop off and pick up schedule can be found here or on our website.  As noted in the family information night, pick up times are staggered to ensure social distancing.  

Health Screening Volunteers:
We need your help!  Please take a moment to fill out this form if you are available to help health screen students on the mornings of in-person instruction.  Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.  

Phoebe’s Got Talent:
Don’t forget… if your child is interested in submitting a video of their awesome talents, please fill out the Google Form here no later than March 26th. We will contact you soon after if we have any questions.

Phoebe Art News:
Check out Miss Jane’s monthly newsletter for all the art happenings at Phoebe.

Announcement for the 21-22 School Year:
I am thoroughly excited to announce that next school year Phoebe will offer a Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) prep class to students during their school day.  The intention of this class is to expose students to the hard sciences with hands on, phenomena based instruction.  More to information to come…

Thank you,
Michelle Pechette