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Principals Message

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Principal’s Message

Date: June 5, 2011 Author: admin Categories: Principals Message

Hello BA community.

This will be my last Blast message for 2010-11—a wonderful year of growing and learning. Thank you for the part you played supporting your children and their school experiences. To those families whose children are moving on from Brittan Acres: thank you for leaving your imprint on BA. Please keep in touch.

Farewell Mrs. Monroe and Mrs. Macfarlane

I’d like to extend special thanks to Lois Monroe, who will retire from teaching this summer– for the second time! Lois has taught hundreds of Brittan Acres children over the course of her career, and we will miss her valuable expertise and wonderful sense of humor. You already know about Friendship Counselor Laura Macfarlane’s decision to open a private practice in San Carlos next year, after 10 years of service here at BA. We will miss her flexible perspective and soft-spoken wisdom.

District Wellness Policy to Begin 2011-12

The school board is in the process of adopting a new wellness policy, as recommended by a district committee facilitated by Dr. Leslie Martin. The goal of this policy is to support improved health and well-being in all our schools, and it will look very much like wellness policies already in place in districts all around California. More specifics will follow in the fall. Here is a brief overview of three key areas of the new policy that will change our practices at BA.

Classroom Celebrations

Currently at BA, families routinely celebrate birthdays in classrooms by bringing boxes of cupcakes, doughnuts, and other treats to school. In a class of 24 children, this can mean 24 days where children are eating highly caloric, non-nutritious foods during class time. Occasionally, in a given week, there may be three of these parties in a single classroom. The new policy will limit classroom celebrations featuring foods like these to no more than once each month. When school begins next year, your children’s teachers and I will share specific guidelines for the ways birthdays and other parties will be celebrated in our classrooms.

Incentives and Rewards

Teachers and parents often use incentives and rewards to encourage children to put forth effort. The new policy will discourage school personnel from rewarding with foods generally. Ideally, teachers will encourage children to do their best for intrinsic rewards, like the feeling of satisfaction that comes from learning something new. When external rewards and incentives are used, they will include options like special experiences and opportunities, rather than highly caloric, non-nutritious foods.

Fundraising Through Food Sales

Up until this year, ice cream sales were a traditional BA fundraiser at pickup time on warm Friday afternoons. According to the new policy, highly caloric, non-nutritious foods like ice cream may not be sold within the school day—which is defined as 30 minutes before school begins to 30 minutes after school lets out.

The End of Fun?

Please understand; the purpose of these changes is not to take the fun out of school.  Instead, the goal is to change practices that may inadvertently teach the unhealthy lesson that eating highly caloric, non-nutritious food is synonymous with fun. I promise to keep fun in mind as we institute these changes at our school, and in exchange, I hope for your support.


One day soon the sun will come out—it always does. I sincerely wish for you and your families those special conversations and experiences that are only possible in the slower pace of summer. Enjoy the moments.

Best wishes,

John Triska