- Faculty and Principal's Message
- The Basics
- Historical Perspective
- Middle School Program
- Being a Parent Aide
- Student Activities In and Out of the Classroom
- Family Obligations and Commitments
For over fifty years, Christa McAuliffe School has provided families a unique alternative to the traditional neighborhood school. We value hands-on learning whenever possible, combined with direct instruction when necessary, and the co-created community that results from parents participating regularly in their child’s education.
Dale Jones, former McAuliffe principal, once commented on four key attributes of McAuliffe:
1. Positive climate that our teachers establish
2. Respect for individual differences between children and adults alike
3. Developmentally appropriate curriculum
4. A place where adults truly care about children can be found everyday all over our campus.
By choosing McAuliffe, you have chosen to value the above qualities, and to participate as a parent aide in a community of like-minded people. Your commitment and volunteer hours are what enable us to provide so many enriching small group activities and field trips.
Our school celebrates childhood in a manner that makes learning fun for the children and that enriches the lives of the parents and teachers as well. When we hear parents comment that their child loves coming to school, or that they are learning how to be the kind of parent they have always wanted to be, we know that we are succeeding.
I welcome you to McAuliffe with my whole heart and mind. I know you will learn here. Learning requires that we feel curious, ask questions, are open to new input, and are willing to make mistakes, and I hope that I can be a model of those qualities for you. Thank you for choosing us, and enjoy what lies ahead!
Yours in Education,
The mission of the Christa McAuliffe School is to provide each child with an integrated curriculum that addresses social, physical, emotional, and academic growth. The flexibility of the curriculum and the child-centered environment enable us to provide learning at the most appropriate time for each child. The child-centered environment at the Christa McAuliffe School provides students with life-long learning skills.
At a time when many people are re-examining education and are concerned about basic educational values, the Christa McAuliffe School believes that a basic education must address the needs of the whole child. Social, physical, emotional, creative, and intellectual-growth are interrelated and are of equal value.
Children will grow and develop emotionally, socially, creatively, physically, and intellectually in their own way, at their own pace, provided they are in an environment which fosters that development. When children feel accepted and respected, are exposed to a rich variety of learning experiences, are appropriately challenged, and are given choices in what and how they learn, they develop their innate desire to learn. Our staff allows children to cultivate skills, such as math and language, as necessary tools of living. In this environment, children acquire skills and knowledge naturally.
Our curriculum and classroom structure reflects and emphasizes the following beliefs:
Children learn better by doing—rote memorization of facts is not a meaningful way for children to learn.
Children live in the present and the logical starting points for building skills are a child’s interests, abilities, and developmental level—not curriculum-driven or textbook-based goals and expectations.
Children have an innate drive to learn, provided that they are in an environment that allows them to grow and develop in their own way and at their own pace. Extending and broadening their experiences, with emphasis placed on the depth of curriculum, rather than acceleration of curriculum, enhances their learning experience.
Children construct mental models of real world phenomena to understand the world around them. Their personal experiences either reinforce these mental models or update them. Our constructivist teachers invite students to independently investigate ideas, present contradictions and allow children the space and time to exercise their higher-order reasoning to refine their mental models. This results in deeper understanding, better long-term recall and application of ideas explored together.
Learning extends beyond the walls of the classroom into the community; children learn most profoundly from first-hand experience.
Skills taught in isolation are not as relevant as an integrated curriculum. Integrated learning is a way of relating a variety of experiences in meaningful ways.
Learning is encouraged in an environment that permits freedom of movement and talking, and respects the nature of children and childhood.
Teachers act as facilitators to the child’s learning—children are not “vessels to be filled”, but collaborators in their own learning.
Children need to practice making choices in order to learn to make good choices; mistakes are learning experiences.
The social, emotional, creative, physical and cognitive aspects of the child are of equal importance.
The understanding of concepts is more important than the memorization of content; process is valued over product.
Homework is given when it is relevant and meaningful to what is occurring in the classroom. Students interviewing relatives for our Family unit, observing the night sky for our Lunar studies unit are good examples of homework at McAuliffe.
Children need to have adequate amounts of unstructured time to play, be creative, use their imaginations and generate their own activities. In the classroom, students need opportunities for free time to make choices, to select from a variety of activities and to practice time management skills.
are people…human and individual from birth.
are living for the present and not simply preparing for the future.
will grow and develop emotionally, socially, creatively physically and intellectually, in their own way, at their own pace, if they are in an environment which fosters this growth.
have a natural desire to learn.
learn most profoundly from firsthand experiences.
learn about the physical world through their senses and about the social world through their interactions.
are ready to learn at different times and in different ways, with wide variation among children in both timing and methods.
is founded on the development and reinforcement of a positive self-concept; a child needs to be aware of her/himself as a unique, competent individual in order to trust and pursue his/her interests; a child who “thinks s/he can” is far more likely to venture deeper into the unknown, believing it to be only a temporary condition and will be encouraged when the subject matter is presented and experienced positively.
are best where people interact most fruitfully to encourage mutual trust, respect, and acceptance.
should be open, honest, responsive and responsible; neither authoritarian, nor permissive approaches promote the environment we seek.
that provide a range of possibilities and allow each individual child opportunities to make choices are the most conducive to learning.
should permit freedom of movement and talking, show respect for the nature of children and childhood, and encourage learning.
should encourage children to be self-reliant, promote growth, initiative, self-respect, and a desire to learn.
that allow teachers, adults, and children to capitalize on natural interests and curiosity, enhance learning.
play an important active role in the classroom as assistants to the teacher by releasing the teacher from operational duties such as material prep, working with small groups of students, providing each child with more individual attention when needed, helping with special projects, and offering their own particular talents in cooperation with the teacher.
Instructional Aides & Specialists…
Christa McAuliffe School is committed to having the services of professional instructional assistants and specialists in our classrooms. These instructional assistants and specialists are at the very heart of the McAuliffe program and provide the continuity and leadership necessary in a parent-participation program.
Not your Traditional Classroom
We expect children to learn and grow as whole individuals. The classroom environment is designed to encourage and guide children in the development of a sense of self-direction and individual responsibility.
Students have choices in the use of their time, but they also receive specific assignments. Each child is expected to complete daily work in math, writing, reading and language. Experiences in art, cooking, gardening, music, social studies, science, and physical education are also highly valued parts of the curriculum. Students’ work may be individual and will be monitored by the teacher, who acts as guide, resource and leader. The teacher and adults in the classroom try to support each child’s interests as much as possible.
Of equal value with intellectual growth is the social interaction that is an integral part of learning experiences. Adults work actively with children to facilitate the development of these interaction skills.
Development of Self Concept
We encourage “the 4 R’s” in each child...
Reliance on Self: view himself or herself as an individual…special, separate, unique, be self-confident, independent, assertive, free from intimidation, feel self-worth, express honest feelings and emotions, feel competent, believing and having the capacity to function in the world have self-direction - making appropriate choices and managing time responsibly, with an awareness of his/her own interests
Relish for Life: a delighted, participating attitude toward life, characterized by joy and spontaneity at home and school
Responsibility for Actions: a sense of responsibility for his or her own actions, to accept the natural and logical consequences of his or her behavior and to learn to choose behavior according to its consequences
Relationship to Others: to be able to form productive and satisfying relationships with others, based on respect, trust, acceptance, cooperation, consideration, and caring
Development of Capabilities
Each child should learn to think, form judgments, discriminate, make decisions and problem-solve; and be creative, inventive, and critical, with the ability to express him/herself in verbal, physical, artistic, and musical ways.
Development of Specific Skills
Each child has opportunities to develop the tools for learning and living—including physical coordination and visual/motor development.
Development of Varied Interests
Each child is exposed to a wide range of ideas and experiences to stimulate and challenge the child’s interest and desire to learn.
School begins each day at 8:25 AM for grades TK and Kinder, and at 8:30 AM for grades 1-8.
Lower Grades (TK-3) end each day, except Tuesday, at 2:35 PM.
Upper Grades (4-8) end each day, except Tuesday, at 3:05 PM.
Every Tuesday, school ends for ALL grades at 2:00 pm for regularly scheduled staff meetings.
Who’s In The Office?
Principal: Adrienne Van Gorden
Secretaries: Monique Wolff and Gail Sugiura-Bush
Special Program Coordinator: Telina Pavia
Office Telephone: (408) 253-4696 Office Fax: (408) 865-0684
School Address: 12211 Titus Avenue Saratoga, CA 95070
School Website: https://mcauliffe.cusdk8.org/.
The Christa McAuliffe School is an open campus within the guidelines of the Cupertino Union School District. All visitors must sign in at the office. All parent aides must also sign in and out. A special book is located in the main office for this purpose.
As an open community, we accept collective responsibility for monitoring our campus. Each class may provide name tags for its parent aides, but it is common to see both familiar and unfamiliar adults without name tags. If you ever feel concerned about the presence of any adult at school please offer to direct them to the office (community members will appreciate your vigilance!). Most importantly, if any suspicious activity or unsafe condition is observed at school, it should be reported immediately to the main office.
Attendance and Absence Reporting
For the latest attendance policy, please refer to the CUSD website’s Attendance Policies and Regulations page. Our friendly office admins have put together some important phone numbers and details, please feel free to read and print out this handy information below.
Call the attendance line at (408) 253-4696 ext. 6 or email Gail (email@example.com) and your teacher EACH DAY your child does not come to school. Leave the following information (press any key to bypass the phone message):
Student Last Name (no need to spell unless this is the first time calling)
Student First Name
Teacher or room number
Your relationship to the student
Reason for absence / symptoms if sick – Fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, vomiting, etc.
Important info before a child returns to school – Your child must be Fever-, Vomit- and Diarrhea-free for 24 hours without medication before they return to school.
Exceptions for calling daily – You do not have to call:
If you have completed the Parent Report of Extended Absence form for your child’s extended absence.
If your child will arrive at the classroom later than 8:30 AM, please sign in on the yellow “STUDENT LATE SIGN-IN LOG” on the table in front of the office and please put a reason.
Please try your best to get your student to school safely on time.
Please sign your child out on the pink “STUDENT CHECK-OUT SHEET” on the table in front of the office and please put a reason. If s/he/they returns to school the same day, fill in the “RETURN TIME” on the same line on which you checked out.
Please do not put just “APPOINTMENT” – need type, e.g. doctor, dentist, etc.
If your child will miss the entire day of school for any reason, please complete the online Parent Report of Absence or the paper form in the office. This should be completed at least 5 days prior to the time off. Some absences can be approved as excused time off, but only if requested in advance, such as:
Religious holidays – must be on the interfaith calendar
Local / 1-2 days – need proof of appointment
Out of country / 1-2 days plus 2 excused for travel
Bereavement (for immediate family* only)
In California / 1 day
Out of state / 3 days
Out of country / 3 day plus 2 excused for travel
Shadowing at another school
Take Your Child to Work Day
Weddings – 1 day for immediate family*
Competitions – Elite level only (international, national or regional – need documentation from coach/league/tournament confirming participation)
Graduation (for immediate family only)
*Immediate family – parent or guardian, brother or sister, grandparent, or any other relative living in the student’s household.
*** If not requested in advance, the time off will be UNEXCUSED ***
PLEASE REMEMBER: ALWAYS GET A MEDICAL NOTE FOR APPOINTMENTS
There is NO INDEPENDENT STUDY offered any more. The District does not support the practice of taking trips/vacations during the school year and it is highly discouraged. However, if your child must take time off, you are allowed 10 consecutive days. On the 11th day, if you do not return, you will be inactivated from McAuliffe.
**** ALL VACATION DAYS WILL BE UNEXCUSED ****
Illness vs. Illness Verified
Students are allowed a total of seven (7) days of illness after which a District “Illness Letter” will be generated. If your child misses a school day due to illness, it can be verified by a doctor’s note, email or nurse’s verification (must be done within 5 days). The “Illness” code will be changed to “Illness Verified” and will not count towards the letter.
Also, if your child’s temperature is taken at school and is considered a fever, 100 degrees or higher, that is also considered “Illness Verified”.
LATE, TARDY, ILLNESS LETTERS & SARB (Student Attendance Review Board Referral Process:
Your child can be marked for:
DELAY – 1 to 29 minutes late
TARDY – 30 or more minutes late
TRUANT – Tardy three (3) or more days
Letters are processed monthly and will be sent out.
5 delays – Late Letter #1 – work on promptness, please
8 delays – Late Letter #2 – didn’t work hard enough
12 delays – Meeting with Principal (may be referred to SARB)
Sent after seven (7) days of illness per year (does not have to be consecutive).
“Illness Verified” is not counted in this total
Sent after three (3) days of unexcused absences in a school year. These are automatically generated by our attendance system.
Information for New Families
Welcome to McAuliffe! Your Class Coordinator aka CC, typically a veteran parent at the school, serves as your first guide to the community. Please pay attention to pertinent communications that your CCs send which include:
An email invite to join your Class’s Google group
Reminder to setup your Membership Toolkit (MTK) account
Reminder to complete a background check (Fingerprinting) for each family member aiding at the school
Reminder to submit proof of a negative test result to the front office before starting to aid at school
Reminder to send verification of a negative Tuberculosis (TB) test to Gail at the front office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Test results must be submitted before aiding begins.
A volunteer form at the beginning of the school year with CUSD volunteer information and requirements.
Parents are welcome to borrow books from the school library on many different parenting topics including child-development and behavior. Please check with our Media Aide/Librarian for the location and borrowing terms.
Refer to the Parent Aiding Resources page on MTK to review sample lesson plans for special activities across the different grades.
Parking: It’s all about safety and traffic flow
HOT TIP: Best and safest to beat the rush -> arrive 10 min early! There is often no traffic!
During morning drop off
Please DO NOT drop your kids on Titus Avenue (This is a traffic violation.)
Please DO NOT U-turn on Titus Avenue
During afternoon pick up
Please remain in your vehicle while in the pick-up zone and pull up as far forward as possible.
In The Parking Lot
The speed limit is 5 miles per hour in the parking lot (a great time to take deep breaths)
The parking lot is a No Cell Phone Zone!
There is NO Parking in the Drop-off lane (not even to walk your child to class)
While in the Drop-off lane
MOVE FORWARD all the way, to fill in any gaps ahead of you, and then let your child(ren) out.
Children should always exit/enter your car from the curb side only.
Once in the drop-off lane, STAY IN IT until the very end. Don't pull out of line, unless instructed.
If you need help in the drop-off lane (for example, with getting something out of the car) ask the coordinators for help.
When in the drive through lane (the non-drop off lane), don't stop to drop off kids or to talk to friends.
Staff Parking Lot – This is not a drop off place. Non-staff may park there ONLY AFTER 8:35 am.
Both drivers AND pedestrians must watch for direction from the Traffic Coordinators. Stop if they signal you to stop.
ALL Pedestrians – Use crosswalks and wait for a traffic coordinator to signal you to cross.
Beyond The Parking Lot
If you typically go west on Prospect (going towards Saratoga Sunnyvale / HWY 85) after dropping off, consider these options to ease congestion, keep Titus and Prospect less congested, and help keep everyone safe:
Go east one block to make a U-turn. (Make a RIGHT out of the Titus to Prospect, go about one block down the road, then U-turn at the traffic light of Johnson/Prospect.)
Go out on Miller instead of Titus. (Make a RIGHT out of the parking lot. Make the very first RIGHT you can make onto Brookview. At the end make a RIGHT onto Miller. There is a traffic light at the corner of Prospect to make the left turn.)
Treat other drivers the way you would want to be treated.
If you run into an issue with another driver or car, please show patience and consideration. Before emailing the community, send an email to the front office staff so that they can address the issue.
Do not park in a way that blocks our neighbors’ driveways or mailboxes. Let’s be safe for our kids and pleasant for our neighbors.
How did the Christa McAuliffe School, a parent participation school, get started?
A group of parents from a local cooperative preschool met in May of 1971 discussing their concerns regarding the educational opportunities in the community at the time. They also reflected upon their combined knowledge, skills and ability to operate a cooperative school based on their experience with the cooperative preschool. This group also emphasized their desire to work within the public school system to create an Alternative School. In the span of five months, from May-September 1971, this group of determined parents completed the proposal process with the Cupertino Union School District and gained approval to establish the Open Kindergarten-Primary Project, or OK Program. In October of 1971, the first kindergarten teacher was hired and class began at the Eaton Elementary School.
Keeping an eye to the future and following the procedures necessary, the parents, the Principal and staff moved forward with proposals to continue the program to a first grade class. In May of 1972, the Board of Education approved the continuation of the kindergarten class to a first grade class and the establishment of a second kindergarten class.
February of 1973 marked Board approval for the OK Project to continue for two more school years and to hire an additional teacher if there was enrollment demand for a second kindergarten class. The district hired two teachers, one for first grade and a second kindergarten teacher in May of 1973. First and second grade class opportunities were advertised district wide in July of 1973. A summary evaluation of the 1972-73 school year stated: “The data suggests that the Open Kindergarten and first grade classes successfully accomplished many of their stated goals and at the same time showed comparable growth in the cognitive skill areas…”
The Board of Education approved the creation of a combination 4-6 grade class for the 1974-75 school year in March of 1974. By September 1974, the parents, Principal and staff received approval from the Board of Education for the Open Kindergarten Program to become a K-6 Program.
In 1975, the program moved from the Eaton School to the John Muir site and became the Muir Alternative Program. As the program grew and evolved, the Board of Education approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to reopen the Hansen School to house the Alternative Program in September 1988.
The Board then approved the renaming of the site as the Christa McAuliffe Elementary School. The Alternative Program’s Coordinating Board suggested this name because Christa McAuliffe’s statements as the first teacher in space reflect a belief in the importance of hands-on experiential learning for children. The following is an excerpt from the essay she submitted to win NASA’s competition for a seat on the space shuttle Challenger:
“I would share my space flight experience through... (various) class projects and activities. These would include role-playing problems in space travel, journal writing, comparing fantasies about space travel with the realities of the trip, researching the history of space exploration, model building, collecting oral histories of different generations in order to compare perspectives about the progress of the Space Age, and debating the merits and uses of space technology in terms of politics, science, defense, art, and as an aid to humanity.”“
Beginning in the 2000-2001 school year, McAuliffe added a middle school program (6th – 8th). The Cupertino Union School District board approved the extension of McAuliffe in the spring of 1999 after an extensive effort by a committee of McAuliffe parents, teachers and former students.
To allow our adolescents to grow physically, emotionally, intellectually, and creatively, while preparing them for academic and social success in high school and beyond.
Research Into Practice
The Middle School program at McAuliffe (grades 6, 7, 8) provides a unique opportunity for our district and community. Our program reflects many of the recommendations from “Caught–In-The-Middle”, the California State Department of Education’s seminal work on the research regarding effective middle level programs. We strive to put into practice recommendations from two decades of research on achieving excellence in education for adolescents.
“The most effective instruction at the middle grade level emphasizes academic integrity while making an emotional connection with students.” Caught in the Middle, 1987 CA Department of Education
At the heart of the program is the understanding of adolescence as a time for change:
changes occur across physical, cognitive, social and emotional realms
transformation and experimentation reflects students’ attempts to achieve independence and to find their place in the adult world
students are challenged to behave responsibly and to demonstrate a capacity for self-control and self-management
changing situations can foster exploration and development of aptitudes, interests, and special talents
These changes guide us as we plan a developmentally-appropriate middle school. Dramatically different rates of development mean great diversity in young adolescents. We pay attention to these changes and provide a safe place where all students can be successful. Students develop accurate and positive self-concepts, in addition to talents and skills.
“Developmentally appropriate instruction addresses young adolescents’ increasing ability to think hypothetically, abstractly, reflectively and critically. Middle school educators need to provide educational experiences that allow learners to engage in higher levels of cognitive thought and activity, (but must also) consider individual differences and varying levels of thinking ability.”
Developmentally Appropriate Middle Level Schools, 1993
The most effective Middle School learning environments include teachers and adolescents working together democratically. Students’ concerns and questions shape the curriculum, which is constructed through teacher-student collaboration. Control, power, and decision-making are shared. The students study significant topics that help them explore the questions and concerns they have about themselves and the world around them. When the subject matter is integrated, students can acquire knowledge in a variety of ways that have meaning and relevance to them.
Middle school students must have a significant role in their learning – both what and how they learn. Our students are encouraged to:
make meaningful choices and commitments
become self-directed, life-long learners and responsible decision-makers
complete and assess their own work
independently manage their time and activities
Our curriculum is based on site-developed learning targets, guided by state and district standards. It will provide a strong foundation and a deep capacity for learning, emphasize depth of understanding rather than surface coverage of material, challenge each student to achieve high standards and foster higher order reasoning and skills.
Students leaving McAuliffe at the end of eighth grade will be distinguished by an intrinsic motivation and a natural desire to learn, strong interpersonal communication skills and the ability to think critically and reflectively. They will have creative problem solving abilities, the ability to work effectively/collaboratively with others, diverse interests and abilities, self-confidence, and a sense of connectedness with members of our community.
The program reflects our goals in ways that are unique to the students each year. While the content may vary, the core program and structure remains consistent.
1. Core Program
strong focus on language arts, reading and writing skills, taught as integrated subjects through literature, history/social studies, and science
College Preparatory Mathematics program (CPM), including Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and Geometry, featuring small groups and multiple teaching approaches. Students work together at different math levels to solve complex problems and develop higher order mathematical thinking skills
diverse physical education activities which allow all students to participate
field trips relevant to the curriculum, extending the classroom learning into real world
2. Program Structure
flexible schedule which allows for longer periods of study, small group work, and in-depth projects across the curriculum
varied learning approaches and authentic tasks which challenge each student appropriately
appropriate challenges and encouragement to help students take risks and grow in all areas
3. Parent Participation
Parents enrich the core program by:
teaching elective courses or special interest groups focusing on student interests including: visual arts, theater, music, cooking, journalism, robotics, computers, gardening, second language, community service, etc.
driving field trips and weekly P.E. carpools
coordinating/organizing/scheduling activities such as field trips, electives, plays, dances, after-school sports, special events, etc.
leading an Advisory group—meeting with a small group of students on a regular basis
team teaching our CPM Math program
offering special sports activities
The Middle School Program relies heavily on the talents of the parents to provide support, enrichment, and diversity to the core program. Parent participation enriches the core program by reducing teacher-to-student ratios, providing more personal and interpersonal attention to each student, providing positive role models and mentors at this critical adolescent period, and allowing for more fieldwork, field trips and community service.
Parent Participation Requirements
Classroom Aiding: minimum of 12 hours per month
Field Trip Driving: minimum of 4 day field trips per child
Meetings: Attend Middle School parent activities including class meetings, Middle School meetings, and Teen Parenting Program (M.A.T.)
Class Job/School Job: Be responsible for at least one job per child, either a classroom job or a school-wide job.
The Parent Participation section above gives examples of all the various types of activities that are typically needed in the middle school classrooms. Not all parents aid in the middle school classrooms on a weekly basis, although many parents are needed regularly to support math, electives, advisory, and P.E. It will differ from class to class, year to year. The teachers and Class Coordinators will inform the parents about what will best meet the class needs and how each family can meet their requirements.
Don’t worry! Relax. It is normal to feel intimidated by a roomful of unfamiliar children in unfamiliar surroundings. Just as we give our children time and space to adjust, do the same for yourself. It will take time to become acclimated to both McAuliffe and the children. Your M.A.T. classes and monthly class meetings will familiarize you with the ways of the school, which involve a basic belief in the intrinsic goodness and curiosity of the child, and a trust that a safe emotional space will allow them to learn optimally in the educational environment. Be patient with yourself and feel free to ask the instructional assistant or other parents for help. Arrange a check-in with your teacher at a time suitable to them to ensure that the student activities are not interrupted. You will never go wrong if you simply treat the children with the same respect that you expect for yourself.
General Aiding Guidelines
Arrive early and be prepared to work at the start of your aiding time.
For Kinders, allow extra time to review lesson plans, for classroom set-up and ensure hand offs to aides who follow you in adjacent aiding slots.
Sign in using the QR code displayed outside the office when you arrive each time you aid. This is also a good time to silence your phones before aiding begins.
Siblings may not be brought to the classroom during your aiding time or on field trips. This is a CUSD policy.
Work to develop a genuine relationship with each child. Each relationship you develop will go a long way in cooperative effort as you aid.
Substitute For Your Aiding Day
You are responsible for arranging for a substitute and notifying the Class Coordinator and/or teacher if you must be absent. A list of possible substitutes will be circulated in the fall of the school year.
If you just fail to show up, it affects the teacher, the other parents, and most of all, the children, because plans must be changed to provide for fewer activities or groups.
Guidelines for Interacting With Children
- Respect each child as an individual.
- Be as courteous and considerate of a child as you would be of an adult.
- When a child shows affection for you, respond in a friendly, genuine manner. Avoid soliciting affection or recognition, and never force your feelings upon any child.
- By respecting a child’s feelings, attitudes and thoughts, you support their sense of self-dignity and help elicit cooperative behavior.
- Accept each child’s level of development as okay. Avoid judgmental attitudes such as, “You’re too old for that!” Instead, try to reflect feelings... “You feel like doing that today.”
- Be positive, supportive, and accepting in all your relationships with the children.
- Be friendly and pleasant to all children, whether they appear to like you or not (appearances can be deceptive!).
- A child should always understand that you like and accept him/her, even though you may not approve of her/his behavior at that moment.
- Avoid condescending, critical, or negative attitudes and/or behavior. A critical or disapproving attitude often will generate an atmosphere that can promote a child’s accidental deviation from desirable behavior.
- Be honest and sincere with the children to maintain their trust and sense of security. Children are quick to detect insincerity, and they may lack the sophistication necessary to understand the causes of such behavior.
- Give specific messages such as, “I like the way you did that,” not “You’re a good kid,” which could imply the possibility of being a “bad kid.”
- Children are more willing to listen and follow directions if you observe the following:
- Speak in a calm, low voice.
- It may be necessary for you to speak firmly to a child, but it is never necessary for you to shout. Remember, children respond more readily to low, firm tones than to loud, excited ones that betray an adult’s anger, annoyance, or false bravado.
- Speak directly to the child and use his/her name.
- When you need the attention of an individual child, approach them so that you are within earshot. Make your communication personal and meaningful, and allow her/him dignity and respect. Get down to the child’s eye level.
- Lean or sit down so that the child can see your eyes and face. Seek to communicate and solicit cooperation, rather than intimidate and demand obedience.
- Use as few words as possible with children.
- Too many words or elaborate directions may confuse a child. Keep your comments brief and clear to be effective.
- Keep your voice and facial expressions open.
- The children will look to you for approval, encouragement, guidance, and direction. Because your voice, facial expression, and particularly your eyes provide instant communication, it is important to be cheerful, receptive, and understanding while at school. An enthusiastic expression and welcoming eyes will help children develop a genuine self-respect.
- Making suggestions in a positive manner rather than a negative manner is usually more effective.
- Positive comments suggest a positive alternative and help a child learn more acceptable behavior. Negative comments actually reinforce negative behavior and help convince children that they are inadequate or unable to contribute to the group. Since self-respect depends, to a significant degree, upon what parents, teachers, peers, and other authority figures think, it is our obligation to help each child learn the rules of the game or the morality of cooperation.
- It is helpful to give children advance notice of a change in activity.
- This prepares them for the change and allows them time to finish whatever they’re doing. You might say, “You may finish that page; then it will be time to put it away.”
- When directing a child to another activity, use a quiet and firm approach.
- Use the words “time” and “need” to make your direction positive and impersonal. If you give a child a choice, you must be willing to accept her/his “no.”
Some Skilled Ways of Talking to Children
Sue Sakshaug, former McAuliffe teacher, gives us some words to use with children. This “teacher talk” aims at teaching children how to discipline themselves. The words leave room for children to understand their feelings and the feelings of other people too.
“Tell him. Don’t hit and hurt him. Use words. I can’t let you hit. I know how you feel, and it’s alright to feel angry. But you may not hurt other people.”
“Sand (or tanbark) is not for throwing. It stings people’s eyes. If you feel like throwing something we will find a ball or a beanbag. In the sandbox, you dig and build and put the sand carefully just where you want it to go.”
“Ask her. Don’t grab it from her. People don’t like grabbing. Ask, and then listen to his answer. Did she say ‘no’ to you? Ask him to call you when she is finished. I’ll help you find something else to do while you wait.”
“It bothers me when you call him ‘stupid’. He is not stupid. He is hammering and nailing those pieces of wood in his way, and everybody’s way is special.”
Children are learning as they work and as they play.
Allow and encourage as much free and creative activity as the children can handle without frustration.
Should a specific endeavor or situation increasingly frustrate a child, help him/her discover a constructive solution. (You might provide a clue or “nudge” to one piece of the problem.)
By helping a discouraged child with the first step of a problem, you can often foster enough self-confidence for him to continue on his/her own. For example: “Let’s find the puzzle piece that fits in this place.” Once you have both found the piece, let the child take over.
Be sensitive to a child’s frustration level if she/he is tired, ill, or emotionally upset. At such times she/he will require you to be more sensitive and discerning in the help and support you provide.
Other times to be on the alert are: at the end of the school day, right before lunch, the first day back after an absence, changes in the child’s family.
When dangerous or unsafe situations arise, it is imperative that you remain calm and collected.
Consider the following suggestions carefully:
Danger Tone: You should reserve a special tone for danger situations—strong and urgent. Think clearly and use only exact words to phrase your command. For example, if a child is about to fall, your call of, “Tommy, hold on!” should be stern and firm so instant obedience is inevitable.
Judge the critical situation carefully. There are those moments when a sharp voice will actually precipitate an accident by shocking a child into a precarious position.
“Be Careful”—the use of these two words is not effective when a child is in a crisis situation. “Be careful” means nothing to a child at such a time, as it implies using judgment beyond his/her ability.
Allow the children to work out their own difficulties whenever possible.
Never do for a child what they can do for themselves. Give help only when clearly needed.
We are obligated to train our children in courage and self-reliance that will lead them into the courageous acceptance of life. To do so, we must first recognize what Dreikurs, renowned child psychologist and author of many parenting books, defines as the “pitfalls of pity.” Often, we must deny our first impulse, and then show our sympathy and understanding by supporting the child in her/his grief as well as her/his courageous search for a way forward.
Offer sympathy and understanding to a child, never pity. Be careful to express sentiments of sympathy without implying doubt in the child’s ability to face the ordeal courageously. If we pity the child, she thinks she has the right to pity herself. Therefore, it is wise to remember that pity is a negative emotion, for it belittles the individual and weakens her/his self-reliance.
It is important to remember that when a child makes a mistake or fails to accomplish a goal, we should avoid any word or action that might suggest we consider her/him inadequate or a failure. We must separate the deed from the doer and provide positive redirection.
Class Jobs, Leading specials and Curriculum planning
All our students participate in Cooking, Art, Gardening, Music and Creative Explorations throughout the week. These specials are led by passionate parents with the firm belief that all these life experiences widen their world of learning and help connect our children to themselves and the world around them. Parent leads create lesson plans to engage and augment classroom learning as part of their Classroom Jobs, see section for details on Classroom Jobs.
When helping children discuss a problem or attempting to resolve a conflict it is important to remember that our ultimate goal is for them to be able to handle these issues without us. To that end it can be helpful to have them agree on a process for discussion first.
For example, they might agree to listen to each other without interrupting, state their feelings without name-calling or other personal attacks, hear each other without judging, etc.
You may need to ask some questions to help young children define what is important to them. As they discuss the problem, help them stick to their “agreements” as it can be difficult to remain calm when one has strong feelings.
The goal of their discussion is to learn how to state their feelings, to listen to others, to state their desires, and to resolve differences in a calm, kind, and honest way.
There is no predetermined end to their conversation, such as, “I said I’m sorry. Can I go back to class now?” The children (there may be more than two) need to feel complete with their process.
You are not looking for a particular conclusion. Let it come from the children whenever possible. Remember our role is to facilitate, not judge or participate.
When children are having a disagreement or conflict over something at school, our level of involvement will vary depending on the age of the children, and the matter involved.
Safety is our first priority, so for any child on campus at any age, if physical injury is in question, it is imperative that you act swiftly to restore a safe environment for every child involved.
Also, we want our children to be emotionally safe. If any child is distressed to the point of shutting down or lashing out, or crying, we will want to be with them and hear them out separately FIRST to restore calm. In this way, we meet their upset with empathy and our calm presence. Then, we can ask them if they are ready to talk to the other child, which is something we REALLY want to encourage in the range K-2 (even though they may recover from the problem quickly), where adult involvement sends an important message that they are part of a community where they can expect their feelings to be taken into consideration, and where they are called to also consider the feelings of others. If a child is not willing to talk to the other child with you, then teacher involvement is necessary.
When you bring children together to resolve, remember that conflicts which arise are opportunities for the children to learn. When we see it that way, it will be easier for us to appreciate that the time and effort of resolving conflict is well spent. We can enter into a process which models respect, emotional intelligence, and communication, and remember that our role is to facilitate a process which makes connections between the kids so they can find their own solutions, instead of having to decide upon or drive a particular outcome. There is no predetermined end to their conversation, such as, “I said I’m sorry. Can I go back to class now?” The children (there may be more than two) need to feel complete with their process.
The process will go something like this:
When both children are able to engage, ask them to sit face-to-face.
For each child (usually beginning with the one who is most upset) ask them to tell the other child what happened, beginning with “I feel…”.
Encourage Reflective listening. Ask the other child(ren) to repeat back what the other child was feeling and what they said.
After each child has had a turn, and if no further clarification is needed, then ask them if they have any ideas about what they could do to resolve the current situation, or what could happen next time to avoid the problem. It may be helpful to write down their ideas.
Run through the solution list and see if there is something they agree on, or if there is a solution that is close that they can modify to make work for them. Once agreement is reached, let them know that you (or the teacher, or another specific adult) will check in with them to see how it’s going in a reasonable time appropriate to the issue.
As the children grow older, in 3rd-early 4th grade, you may notice that the kids are adept at resolving conflicts themselves, and your involvement may not be necessary.
By the time they reach 4th-5th grade and on into middle school, then your role will shift primarily to checking in with kids if you have witnessed a conflict or who are showing emotional distress for any reason. That’s because the social landscape has changed and increased in complexity. We continue to send the powerful message that the child’s feelings are important and will be taken into consideration by our own respect and attention as we listen to them.
Using your presence and listening ear, if they are willing to talk to you, make an effort to avoid proposing solutions, but instead try to understand as they explain how they were feeling and why. When they are calm, you can engage them in a process where they generate their own solutions (or are willing to listen to suggestions) and evaluate them. If their solution is that they want to have a conflict resolution with the other child, then you would support that in the same way as described above.
If a child is willing to let the behavior of another child go, but YOU are still concerned, then mention it to the teacher.
How To Do Playground Supervision
Vests & bags
Everyone doing playground supervision must wear a yellow volunteer vest (red for kinders). The vest is so that kids and other supervisors can identify you. Band-Aids, sanitizing wipes and masks are available at the aiding cart in front of the office. Feel free to add a few of these items to your vest pockets.
Each classroom should have a few yellow vests in the cupboard. You may also borrow a vest from the aiding cart if necessary. After lunch aiding, please return vests borrowed from the aiding cart promptly.
Go to your area
The areas are outlined in the attached map of the school. They are not mapped out in detail; you should watch other supervisors and work together to ensure that children are not playing unsupervised.
The basic idea for playground supervision is to walk around in your area being a positive presence for the kids, ready to help, observing, and stepping in when you feel uncomfortable with something. The Lunch Duty Schedule and Expectations is more detailed, and shows the bell schedule and what different grades are doing at different times. Please print and read it. It's also included in the bag.
Some important things to know in case of rare events:
- If a child falls and can't get up, send someone to notify the office, but don't move the child.
- If students are physically hurting each other, take them to the principal.
- If you observe bullying, inform the classroom teacher and/or the principal. Bullying is a pattern of intimidating, harmful or coercive behavior that repeats.
When your shift is over
- See that kids of the right grade level have heard the bell and are returning to class.
- If you need to, report any conflicts to the teacher(s) of the children involved.
- If possible, pick up clothing and other "lost" items and return them to the Lost & Found.
- Return the vest and bag to where you got it.
- Reflect on your time with the kids! Chat with the other parents about how it went.
Thoughts On Discipline At McAuliffe
From Dale Jones (former Principal)
At McAuliffe, we try to view discipline as a positive learning experience. Our emphasis should be on changing inappropriate behavior, not punishment. However, this does not mean that we should be more tolerant of inappropriate behavior. In fact, if anything, it means we should be more vigilant in confronting inappropriate behaviors, because to not do so fails to take advantage of a learning opportunity for the child, and our inaction, which does not go unnoticed by the child, implies adult consent, reinforcing the inappropriate behavior.
Much of our inaction is due to a fear of saying the wrong thing and a hesitancy to discipline someone else’s child, particularly when inappropriate behavior is witnessed by more than one adult. It is important to consistently remind and encourage the kids to follow agreements. Behavior that is never okay includes any action that is or may be hurtful to another, physically or emotionally, running indoors, inappropriate language, and any action that is disrespectful of others or of property.
First Name Usage At McAuliffe
“Why do students call teachers and other adults by their first names at McAuliffe?”
We recognize the value of relationships based on mutual, genuine respect. We respect each other for who we are, rather than simply for what position we hold.
In the working world, we refer to colleagues by their first names regardless of age differences or rank..
By using their first names, the adults invite children to feel comfortable with them; they invite them into an environment where we all work together collaboratively.
Children learn that they are not entitled to less respect because they hold the job of students rather than that of teachers, or because they are children rather than adults. In the security of these relationships, children gain experience trusting adults and taking risks that help them grow.
In spring, participating classrooms hold an open house art show. Parents and students are invited to view artwork, made throughout the school year, in classrooms, common rooms and hallways. This event offers each child a chance to be an artist and have their work on display. The campus comes alive with beautiful, creative and thought provoking pieces.
During the year, outside musicians, performing groups, storytellers and wildlife experts give presentations to the children. In addition, there are occasional civic assemblies-such as fire safety, water conservation, etc. All these events appear on the calendar located at the school website.
Many of McAuliffe’s lower grade children are paired with upper graders for a year of regularly scheduled, mixed-age activities. Taking field trips together, writing and reading stories to each other, and doing art projects together afford both the older and younger child a unique learning opportunity.
The highlight of many a primary grade child’s week is Creative Explorations. This time is set aside weekly for open-ended exploration of a STEAM area. Often in conjunction with another class, children choose from a menu of activities that could range from marble painting to bubble science to jazz dance. Parents are actively engaged in developing and leading these activities in cooperation with the Faculty. Creative Explorations offers opportunities for child-initiated and child-chosen projects often while working with children not in the child’s regular classroom or grade.
In upper grades, instead of Creative Explorations, children participate in electives. Similar in spirit and implementation to Creative Explorations, electives last for several weeks. This extended period gives children a chance to delve more deeply into a creative area, working on projects and skills that take longer than one session to develop. Past electives have included sewing (with sewing machines), photography, woodworking, crochet, role-playing game design, computer programming, animation and beading.
Day Field Trips at McAuliffe
Field trips are part of the curriculum at McAuliffe and are intended to enhance and expand that curriculum. It is due to the dedicated involvement of our parents that our children are able to experience the exceptional learning environments our teachers select.
Field trips will vary from year to year and from class to class. Trips are most often taken to complement the science and social studies curriculum as well as the arts. We believe that the world is our classroom. We take advantage of the opportunities to explore the curriculum in real settings.
Your class Field Trip Coordinator(s) will keep you informed of upcoming class trips and will ensure that driving and chaperoning responsibilities are shared fairly. Parents and students must abide by our field trip policies to ensure safety for the children, see the Field Trip Policies Chapter.
You will need to prepare in advance for your child’s field trip. Consider where your child is going on their field trip. Your child should come prepared with proper clothing, proper shoes, food, sunscreen and backpack to facilitate a meaningful experience for them.
Costs and expenses for day field trips are taken from the Class Fund.
Overnight Field Trips
Beginning in third grade, McAuliffe students take overnight field trips together with the teacher and parent chaperones. Some trips, such as fall beach trips, are for building community. Others may extend the social studies or science curriculum.
Halloween is one of McAuliffe’s long-standing traditions. The morning schedule is normal. During lunch, children, staff and willing parent aides change into costumes. In the afternoon, the carnival begins, with a costume parade, refreshments, game booths and fun for all. Each class (parents and teacher) organizes the game booth or booths the class will sponsor. Parents donate refreshments and share the responsibility to work in the booths.
Years of experience have shown that participation in projects like a class play is intensely valuable for children, and it is considered an important piece of the McAuliffe curriculum.
Students may be involved in all aspects of the play, including performing, costuming, set construction, publicity, and technology. Teachers manage its direction, curriculum, and production. Parents are involved in many things, including production, music and choreography. Once production begins, afternoons are devoted largely to play rehearsal and curriculum. The work becomes more time-consuming and intense within two weeks of opening. Finally, there are day and evening performances.
Given that the play takes a tremendous amount of time and energy, why do we do it? We do it to give the children at McAuliffe some unique opportunities:
To produce something as a team that is big; bigger than any individual
To jointly create something extraordinary out of nothing
To have experience with a project that is boundless in terms of time
To learn new skills, such as music, dance, carpentry, video or sewing
To experience the energy of working on something authentic
To build a lasting memory and a sense of accomplishment: to be able to say, “Remember when we did that play? Wasn’t that great what we did!”
Student Leadership Council
The Student Leadership Council is a student organization that is open to all students and provides a forum for discussion and resolution of student issues, particularly those that cannot be resolved at the class level (for example, playground rules and sharing of playground facilities). Student Leadership Council also helps organize school wide fundraising events for specific causes, as well as decide on spirit days.
The Variety Show
This is an annual event featuring over half the students in the school! The show provides our children with the chance to take a risk and share their special talents with others: jokes, dance, singing, skits, magic and instruments. They can go solo or team up with their friends for an act. There are several shows in late January to early February—with both daytime assemblies and night performances. Any child who wishes to perform may do so. Participating families are asked to support the production in some volunteer capacity.
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving begins with a morning sharing assembly for students and staff. Following the assembly, some classes may integrate a sharing feast into their Thanksgiving/Fall curriculum, including food and decorations that the children make to be shared with their families and their “buddies” from other classes. Other classes may be involved in a sharing project with the community outside of McAuliffe instead of a classroom-based sharing feast.
Enrollment in the Christa McAuliffe School is available to families who have completed the preliminary information process, who reside in the Cupertino Union School District, and who agree to accept the parent participation commitments as approved by the Parent Faculty Group (PFG) Executive Board. At the discretion of the Cupertino Union School District School Board.
Our school requires more in time, money, and emotional commitment than the neighborhood school. We believe that these energies are well spent; that our students develop life skills that are essential to their growth as competent, secure and successful individuals. Parent participation supports a terrific program and is a wonderful gift to our children.
Full participation by all is critical to the success of this program. The level of participation is very high and may not work for all families. Our many decades of experience has taught us that this level of participation is necessary to provide quality developmentally-based instruction through hands-on, small group, and real-world experiences. Parent participation is critical to the program and in its absence, the rich programming at McAuliffe is unsustainable.
We also believe that parents are the first and most important role models for their children. It is necessary to keep in mind you are always modeling for your children. When you are prepared for your role at school, you show them school is something important for which to prepare. When you are on time, you show them it is important to be on time. When you are respectful, they observe how to be respectful. And, on the McAuliffe campus, you are modeling for all of the children you encounter. You are fundamental in providing an experience that is powerful and beneficial for all of our lifelong learners, young and old.
If, once your child is enrolled, you find yourself in good faith unable to fulfill a requirement, please contact your Class Coordinator and classroom teacher/s to discuss other options that might be available at their discretion.
Our program rests on a cooperative and trustful spirit. The requirements have been formulated over the years to meet the needs of both our students and our families. We aim for an equitable and fair sharing of these tasks, and we rely on you to honor your commitments.
The specific requirements are as follows. Please contact your Class Coordinator if you have special needs or questions.
Your Family’s Commitment to Aiding
Each family provides an aide in the classroom on a regularly scheduled basis; this is a fundamental premise of our program. The staff has created and designed the curriculum for the class around the consistent attendance of aides.
Each family’s commitment in the primary and upper grades is:
For one child, aid 2 blocks per week, equivalent of 1 full morning or two afternoons, around 4 hours per week
For more than one child, aid 3 blocks, around 6 hours per week, equivalent of 1 entire day
Each family’s commitment for grades 6-8:
Curriculum support: The commitment is the hourly equivalent of aiding blocks depending upon curriculum needs
The aiding schedule blocks, to include recess and lunch time periods, are as follows:
8:30 – 10:30: This block allows time for aides to prepare for morning duties and to get instructions from teacher notes BEFORE students are let in at 8:30. From 10:10 – 10:20 aides can clean up and write notes back to the teacher about how their sessions went. If an aide is working both early morning and mid morning slots, they may also use the recess time to take a break (use the restroom, support the café, etc.).
10:30 – 12:30: This block includes preparation time BEFORE students are let in from recess; aides from each class need to stay for the lunchtime duty each day. If there are multiple aides in this slot in a class, each class may work out whether one aide will be responsible for lunch the entire school year, or whether there will be a rotating schedule for supervising lunch. In making this decision, classes should keep in mind that there are benefits to having the continuity of the same aide on a given day all year.
12:30 – dismissal: This block includes preparation BEFORE students are let in from lunch.
For middle school aiding requirements, please refer to Chapter 5.
In order for aiding to work smoothly:
Your teacher and Class Coordinator(s) will establish a schedule in the fall.
Plan to arrive at school with plenty of time to sign in at the office and report to the classroom.
Arrive promptly for aiding time to review lesson plans and any instructions the teacher has.
Aides are responsible for finding a substitute in the event of an absence. Please see section titled: Finding Substitutes For Your Aiding Times
Note: Classroom aiding is the primary focus of our aiding requirement. However, Christa McAuliffe School reserves the right to provide alternative ways of meeting parent participation requirements to reflect the needs of individual classes and of the school as a whole.
Finding Substitutes For Your Aiding Times:
Sooner or later, every family is in the situation where they need to find a substitute. Perhaps a child gets sick during the night, they have an emergency meeting at work, or a family matter takes them out of town. Now what?
Substitute Aiding at McAuliffe is based on the following agreements:
1. If an aide is unable to be at school for the normal aiding time, they need to make the best effort to find someone else who can cover. Use judgment as to what the best effort is in a particular situation. No one expects parents to leave an extremely ill child to make dozens of phone calls, but in less serious situations, or planned absences, it is reasonable to expect an honest attempt to find a substitute. An email may not suffice to find a substitute on short notice.
2. Many classrooms create lists of possible substitutes from within each class. The Class Coordinators can provide this information at the beginning of the school year. Aides may also make arrangements with other school community members subject to a teacher’s approval.
3. Substitute Aides must have M.A.T. Training, a negative TB test on file with the school office and have been fingerprinted before they are allowed to aide in the classrooms at McAuliffe.
If we ever have any problem, emergency or otherwise, in meeting aiding commitments it is up to us to talk to a Class Coordinator, the teacher, the PFG President, or the Principal to work out a mutually agreeable solution.
One aspect that sets McAuliffe apart is the adult-to-child ratio in our classrooms. Our program provides supplemental staff, such as Instructional Aides in each classroom, Middle School Specialists, additional hours for our Librarian. A substantial portion of the program budget covers supplemental staff. The remaining funds support additional activities and program improvements not funded by the District. McAuliffe families raise a significant amount of money each year for our program with the Cash Contribution Drive.
Annually the Finance Committee analyzes the expenses of the program. This committee then presents a budget recommendation for PFG approval in the spring of the year for the next fall. Based on this budget, the community is informed of the cost per child to fund our program. Families are asked to donate to help us meet the budget goal for the year. This donation is payable to the PFG in the spring of the previous year as the PFG commits to salary expenses to the district for the next school year and may be paid by installments if the family chooses to do so and should be paid in full by December. The PFG will also fundraise through corporate matching grants, auto donations and additional school-wide fundraising events as needed.
Class Fund Contribution
As part of their annual contribution, funds are diverted directly to each of their child(ren)’s Class Fund to cover materials and activities that are not provided by the CUSD. This budget covers field trips, cooking ingredients, specialized art and science materials, materials for creative explorations and general classroom supplies as well as classroom equipment such as literature study books, math manipulatives, PE and science equipment.
Financial assistance is available for families for whom the donations are a hardship.
McAuliffe Aide Training Class (M.A.T.)
Every adult working with children at McAuliffe is required to take this training. This includes parents, family members and caretakers.
The McAuliffe Aide Training (MAT), is a 6 session course, 3 hours per session. It is offered in the Summer and Fall. As your child moves into the middle school program, adults are required to take the Teen M.A.T. program. Spouse attendance is recommended.
This class is based on the work done by Don Dinkmeyer and Gary McKay in developing Systematic Training for Effective Parenting. While originally developed as a parenting class, the M.A.T. classes we offer have been modified for use in the classroom. McAuliffe requires these classes of its parents to ensure that the many different parent aides manage classroom behavioral issues in a consistent and positive way. There is no cost for the M.A.T. class offered at McAuliffe.
Day Field Trip Duties For Parents
Chaperoning field trips is also an aiding requirement. Parents participate in field trips for each class in which they have children. You will be assigned either as a driver or co-pilot as arranged by the Field Trip Coordinator at the discretion of the teacher.
The requirements are as follows:
Grades TK-5: Minimum of 4 day field trips per child
Grades 6-8: Number of trips will vary depending on the needs of the class (less than 4 per child)
These are minimum estimated averages. The amount of driving necessary in any particular class can vary and can be substantially higher. A shortage of drivers will cancel a trip, so we ask all parents to make every effort to drive or to find a substitute driver if necessary. Your driver’s license must be current, your insurance up to date, and your car in good condition.
TB Test & Fingerprinting
Everyone who aids or participates on field trips must have proof of a negative up-to-date TB test on file with the office staff. All aiding parents must be fingerprinted once only with the Cupertino Union School District.
Each family must have a representative at the yearly PFG General Meeting and at the monthly class meetings for each child’s class. Families are expected to attend monthly class meetings as this is an important vehicle for communicating class specific activities, needs and news.
In order to keep our classrooms and school running smoothly, parents are required to provide support for one community job per child. Community jobs are either classroom jobs or school-wide jobs and include a wide variety of ways to contribute to our program. A list of required classroom jobs is provided by the Class Coordinators at the beginning of the school year and typically includes jobs such as coordination of field trips or curriculum topics, class pet care, or event organization. Community support jobs span a range of responsibilities and include jobs that can be done outside of school hours or at home. Some community support jobs are reserved for first-year families and are designed to ease the transition into the McAuliffe community. Check the community support jobs chapter (Chapter 13) for a listing of most of the community support jobs. Sign ups for community support jobs happen shortly after school starts. Please check with your Class Coordinator for the date.
Exceptions To The Parent Participation Requirements
Any PFG member may request financial assistance for class-fund and/or overnight field trips. No students will be excluded from a class trip for financial reasons. However, a class trip may be canceled due to insufficient funds
Any PFG member may request an aiding alternative or flexibility through a documented agreement with the classroom teacher.
McAuliffe staff members whose children attend Christa McAuliffe will individually coordinate the PFG requirements with the classroom teacher.