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FOCUS

Welcome Back!

We are living in quite unique times.  Despite all that has changed in the last few months, much remains the same.  We have a great community of parents, administration and of course our students and we are ready to be stronger together, even if we have to be remote for a little while.  

We are excited to get back to school and look forward to seeing all of your familiar faces back online.  We hope you had a great summer!

A PARENT PARTICIPATION ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM

Goals and Philosophy

The FOCUS program at Neil Armstrong Elementary strives to develop a life-long love for learning in our students through family unity and a strong sense of community. Active parent participation is a key component to program success and helps facilitate strong bonds among families, students, and teachers. Academic instruction is based on the San Ramon Valley School District curriculum and augmented with the following elements:

Community - Parent involvement inside and outside the classroom as well as volunteer positions on the FOCUS Board reinforce that education is a family priority. Students work together via cross grade-level activities to establish mentoring within the program and create lasting friendships. Program-wide events such as socials, celebrations, field trips, team building, plays and end-of-year activities give families an opportunity to get to know the teachers and each other.

Lower Student-to-Adult Ratio - Parent volunteers and additional FOCUS paid para-professionals* allow for increased small-group and individualized instruction. Students will receive 9.5 hours more per week, per class of para-professional support.

Looping - Consistent class groupings allow students to remain together as they transition from grade to grade facilitating consistency and a deep level of camaraderie in their social and learning environment.

Public Speaking Skills - Group projects and individual oral presentations will give students the opportunity to do research on a topic to present as well as talk about their personal and cultural experiences to the class. The annual FOCUS play and Zooland give students the opportunity to act, sing, create costumes, sets and/or props for the parent and school performances.

Second Language Instruction* - Grades K-3 receive an hour of enrichment instruction per week.

Educational Enrichment Activities* - Field trips, performing arts, holiday experiences, and in-class presentations translate lessons into real life experiences.

Technology* – Use of iPads, Kindles, interactive white boards and programs and classroom computers (Grades 2-3) offer a hands-on approach to learning.

An annual donation of approximately $720.00** per student pays for para-professional support, second language instruction, and classroom resources deemed necessary by the classroom teachers, executive board and parent group. This annual donation is requested at the beginning of each school year that each child participates in the program. Para-professional support, second language instruction, and classroom resource targets are based on our ability to fundraise $720.00 per student to meet our annual operating budget.

*Note: Should our fundraising efforts not be sufficient to provide these enhancements, adjustments to the program will be made as decided by the parent group.  Due to remote learning, the second language program has been put on pause.

**Note: Contribution amount is determined by the parent board upon approval of the budget for the school year. Per program bylaws, donations to the program are non-refundable.

Admission Policy

Admission to the FOCUS Alternative Education Program is in accordance with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District's enrollment procedures for alternative programs. Admission to the program is determined according to the following guidelines:

  • The program is open to any student within the SRVUSD boundries
  • There is no screening process; acceptance is determined solely on the classroom space available, with priority given to siblings of FOCUS students
  • Class gender balance will be taken into consideration when placing students
  • If necessary to prevent diversions, priority may be given to Neil Armstrong resident students
  • An application for the program along with a signed support statement must be submitted by the deadline to be included in the lottery
  • In the event the class is full, the child will be placed on the waiting list for the applicable class and parents will be contacted as openings occur
  • Parents with children who are offered a space in the program must accept or decline within 24 hours of notification with the school office manager

Kindergarten admission guidelines:

  • A family with a child who has completed or is currently enrolled in the program (K-3) will have first priority
  • Remaining Kindergarten class space will be filled using the lottery system
  • Parents with children who are offered space via lottery will be contacted
  • Attendance at the FOCUS Orientation Meeting is mandatory for parents of all new incoming students (non-sibling).

 


2020-2021 Program Meeting Dates

Thursday, August 20th 
6:00 pm

Board only

Zoom Meeting – Linked to be provided

Thursday, September 17th
6:00 pm

Board only

Zoom Meeting – Link to be provided

Thursday, October 22nd
6:00 pm

Board/Parent Meeting

Zoom Meeting – Link to be provided

Thursday, November 19th
6:00 pm

Board

Zoom Meeting – Link to be provided

Thursday, Dec. 10th
6:00 pm

Board

TBD

Thursday, Jan. 21st 6:00 pm

Board/Parent Meeting

TBD

Thursday, Feb 25th
6:00 pm

ORIENTATION MEETING (Mandatory)

Board (after orientation meeting)

TBD

Thursday, March 18th
6:00 pm

Board

TBD

Thursday, April 22nd 6:00 pm

board

TBD

Thursday, May 20th
6:00 pm 21st

Board/Parent Meeting

TBD

 

 

 

Board Meetings are 1 hour: 6:00-7:00 PM
Parent Meetings are 1 hour: 7:00-8:00 PM.

FOCUS Staff
Contact MaryAnne DeNardi  MaryAnne DeNardi Focus Instructional Assistant
Contact Emily Eisan  Emily Eisan Kindergarten Teacher
Contact Sherry Forsythe  Sherry Forsythe 1st Grade Teacher
Contact Bill Gann  Bill Gann 2nd Grade Teacher
Contact Sue Robinson  Sue Robinson 3rd Grade Teacher
Contact Lisa Swisher  Lisa Swisher Instructional Assistant

BOARD MEMBERS

CO-CHAIRS 

Rema Chazbek 

Christopher Chua

TREASURER

Brian Morlan

FINANCE OFFICER 

Jennifer Chang

SECRETARY

Julie Fwu

FUNDRAISING COORDINATORS 

Debbie Grage

Sara Kader

PARENT VOLUNTEER COORDINATORS 

Amy Liang

Loralee MacDonald

MARKETING COORDINATOR

OPEN

TECHNOLOGY CHAIR

Sairam Lavu

 

Questions? 
Please feel free to contact us
focusalted@gmail.com