GoFairmont 2017-08-19

In this newsletter: Fairmont Clean-up Party, First Day Schedule, Eclipse, Lunch Policies, Free and Reduced Lunches, PTA Webstore, Room Parents Needed, PTA Meeting & Family Engagement, Letter from Superintendent Duffy 

Fairmont Clean-up Party

Join Aimee Williams and Dawn Miller on Sunday, August 20th, from 2-3 pm for a quick Fairmont grounds clean-up. Our school looks amazing after the makeovers; let’s make sure it’s beautiful on the first day of school! Meet by the stairs near the office.

First Day Schedule

8:00 am. Breakfast in the MP room

*8:15 a.m. Morning Yard Bell

*8:25 a.m. Line up Bell

8:30 a.m. Instruction Begins Kindergarten, Grades 1-6

9:00 – 9:20* a.m. Recess - Kindergarten and Primary grades 1,2,3

9:25 – 9:45* a.m. Recess - Intermediate grades-4.5.6

10:00-10:30 Eclipse Viewing on the yard

11:35 a.m. Grades Kindergarten 1, 2, Lunch, Grade 3 Recess

11:55* am: Grades 3,4 lunch, Grades Kindergarten 1,2 Recess

12:15 pm: Grades Kindergarten, 1,2,3,4 Recess

12:20 Grades 5, 6 lunch

*12:33 p.m. Grades Kindergarten 1, 2, 3,4 Recess Ends

12:40 p.m.: Grades 5,6 Recess

*12:57 p.m. Grades 5,6 lunch recess ends

*2:05 p.m. Minimum Day Dismissal, Grades Kindergarten 1-6

Please bear in mind that this schedule is for minimum days. Tuesday will be a regular day. Dismissal for Kindergarten will be 2:25 pm and grades 1-6 will be released at 2:40 pm. Don't forget to join us for our Welcome Back Coffee at 8:30 am in the MPR. It's a great time to come mingle and make some new friends. Donations of goodies are welcome. 


Mrs. Bernhardt has ordered special glasses so that our students can enjoy the solar eclipse on Monday. As it is our first day back to school, we need parents to take a minute and talk to their student about the eclipse. Explain to your child what an eclipse is, what it will look like, and emphasize that they need to protect their eyes by wearing special glasses. If you are free during the morning and have a volunteer badge, please reach out to your teacher and offer to help supervise the viewing.

Lunch Policies

While you are getting ready for the first day of school, please make sure that no peanut or peanut butter items are packed in your child's lunch. We do have students with severe allergies. We want to make sure that Fairmont is the happiest and healthiest environment it can be for all of our students. Please also remind your child not to share food items.

Free and Reduced Lunches

Paperwork for free and reduced lunches will go out in your child's folder but you can sign up online now: https://www.myschoolapps.com/

PTA Webstore

We have a new PTA webstore where you can sign-up for PTA and make donations. In a very short time, you will also be able to use the same site to pay for T-shirt orders and the FASEP (Fairmont After School Enrichment) program. Check it out! And now that you aren’t spending money on childcare and summer camps, don’t you want to make a donation? 

Room Parents Needed

As you are checking the class lists, don't forget to sign up to be a room parent. It's a great way to get to know your teacher and your fellow parents better without a huge time commitment. 

PTA Meeting & Family Engagement

The first general PTA meeting of the year will be Thursday, the 24th at 6 pm. Please note that this meeting will be abbreviated. We will vote on the budget and cover a few general business items. Family Engagement night is a chance for parents of upper grade students to meet the teacher and share some insights. Family Engagement will begin at 6:15 pm. Please join us for both events.

Letter from Superintendent Duffy 

Dear Community,

Welcome back. I hope you had a restful and enjoyable summer break. We are ready for the start of the new school year and get to usher in the first day, on Monday, with a rare and unique occurrence--a solar eclipse. Our schools have lessons planned around the eclipse, and the District’s science team has provided sets of solar eclipse glasses to each school for students to share. This is a great opportunity to kick off the school year with an engaging and entertaining lesson for our students. Each school site is prepared for the eclipse and will also educate our students on how to safely view the eclipse.

I am excited to interact with our students and families during this unique event. I am also excited for what the new school year will bring. To start, we have expanded our Dual Language Immersion program. Washington Elementary School begins the year with an additional Spanish Dual Immersion kindergarten class, bringing the total to three. And we became the lone East Bay District that has a Mandarin Immersion School with three kindergarten classes beginning on Monday.

This year, we are increasing our focus on literacy with additional support to our schools, our students, and their families to help them on their educational journeys. To do this work, we will need your help as we embark on a number of ambitious goals. We have a five-year plan to dramatically increase the number of students fully prepared for two- and four-year colleges; to dramatically improve the safety and culture of our schools; and to increase the retention of our employees. The plan was developed through community input from our LCAP and from a year-long listening tour that included our teachers, principals, school staff, students, parents and families, and our community stakeholders and partners. We will be releasing more details on that plan soon.

In order for the plan to be successful, we need your help. We need your assistance to ensure more of our young learners are reading at grade level by the third grade. We need your help to increase the number of our English Language Learners becoming proficient in academic English by the sixth grade. And finally, we know that if we focus on those two areas it will lead to more of our learners graduating fully prepared for college. To recap, we need your help in three areas this year: Early Literacy, Reclassification (English Learners becoming proficient in academic English), and A through G (College readiness). Stay tuned because we'll be unveiling those campaigns in the coming weeks.

Our technology department and school sites are also ready to equip ALL of our students with a tablet through our One-to-One Initiative. The initiative will enhance our students’ learning and create a blended learning environment that extends learning beyond the classroom.

This year, we are also focusing on our culture and climate, not only at our school sites but Districtwide. Last week, State Assemblymember Tony Thurmond and State Superintendent of Schools, Tom Torlakson, announced that our District was one of 35 districts or office of education statewide to receive additional funding to help keep more of our students in school. Our District received just under $2 million to help combat chronic absenteeism, truancy, and to support more restorative practices. The additional resources will allow us to hire a district-wide school climate coordinator, social work specialist, prevention specialist, and two full-service community workers at Lincoln and Nystrom Elementary schools.

Additionally, the city of San Pablo recently approved $650,000 in funding for violence prevention and intervention programs, youth leadership, and out-of-school education and care. The resources help us strengthen the ways we support our students and their families in and out of the classroom. Over the summer we also began work on examining willful defiance suspensions. While our suspensions are down across the district, our African American and Latino students still face suspensions at a disproportionate rate. Together with a number of community members and partners, we began addressing the situation to ensure that our suspensions continue to decline and that are students are in class learning.

Our commitment to you this school year is to become the best we can be at our craft of educating our students, enhancing and improving our culture and climate, and supporting our schools with the necessary resources. Together, we can ensure that all of our students are succeeding in and out of the classroom. I look forward to seeing you at our school sites.

Enjoy the school year. 

In community,

Matthew Duffy


Ways to Support Fairmont

Now is the time to get involved at Fairmont.

Join the PTA! It's easy and a great way to show your child that you support their education. Membership forms are available in the school office. Join today!

Donate! While you can donate when you join the PTA, you can donate any time by clicking on the green "Donate" button on the school web site. Friends and family are also encouraged to donate money to support Fairmont programs. Visit http://fairmontschool.org/donate now!

Volunteer! If you haven't already filled out our annual Volunteer Survey, please complete it online. Just go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1r3Q13_RqJ5msFvidsfq_hfiJywe_8QeZ16zDX2ynJWA/viewform. Send questions to volunteers@fairmontschool.org

Get Your Badge! Apply today for your volunteer badge. These badges let you help in class, on field trips, and more. Start your application at: http://bit.ly/1IUagO8

Thanks so much for your help and for getting involved with Fairmont!

Upcoming Events

  • August 21 - First Day (minimum), Welcome Back Coffee, Eclipse Viewing
  • August 24 - PTA General Meeting 6-6:15 PM and Family Engagement (grades 4-6) 6:15-7:30 PM
  • August 25 - Principal's Coffee 8:30 AM
  • August 29 - Ice Cream Social 6:15 PM

Centennial Time Capsule Dedication

On the anniversary of the City's incorporation, come to El Cerrito City Hall to enjoy light refreshments, attend the dedication of the time capsule and take a tour of City Hall! The time capsule will be located inside City Hall (upstairs near the History Room) and will include newsletters, photos and memorabilia from the City and over 25 community groups. El Cerrito City Hall (10890 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito), Wednesday, August 23, 5:30pm-6:30 pm (dedication at 6 pm).

To view this newsletter in Spanish and many other languages, use the Translate drop-down menu.

Contact Info

Fairmont Elementary School - 724 Kearney St., El Cerrito, CA 94530 - Phone: 510.231.1448