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Principal's Corner

December 2021 News

Neil Armstrong Community –

    Happy December.  I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by this school year as the holiday season is in full swing.  There is so much excitement around campus this time of the year, and it so special to be a part of.  The holiday season has long been a favorite of mine and being on an Elementary campus only multiplies the fun and excitement.

    Looking back, I hope you enjoyed your week off with your families and had an enjoyable Thanksgiving.  We have a three and a half week push towards Winter break and we have so much to squeeze in. But it is all wonderful and hopefully your students find as much joy, day in and day out, from this season as our staff does. Thank you for taking a few minutes to read about the happenings and important safety pieces as we move forward.


     As we continue into the winter months, students will come down with runny noses or other symptoms of various illnesses. I know how challenging it is for families to keep students home and have them tested for COVID when this occurs. Please know, we want your student here, but we also have to look out for all of our students. If they have symptoms, please let the office know so that we can work with you on the appropriate protocols, and please have them tested ASAP. Our district is doing all we can to make that process accessible for our families and hopefully it is not causing too much inconvenience for your household.  Above all, please keep your student home if they are sick, for the wellness of our entire community.  We appreciate all that all of you and our whole staff do to keep our students in the classroom as much as possible.

Eagle March

   Thank you so much to our amazing students for their participation in the Eagle March.  It is such a fun event and is such a valuable fundraiser for our Academic Boosters.  Our websites are still live and will close TOMORROW night.  The grade level party is still up for grabs and will be announced on Monday.  What is not up for grabs is that some students will have an opportunity to PIE MR. GAGNON IN THE FACE, NEXT WEEK! They all did so well with fundraising and are very much looking forward to seeing this happen and it will! For all of the generous donations and the amazing work our students did, it is worth it! A massive thank you to all of our sponsors for their generous support, to our volunteers who made the event happen, for our families for supporting us in the run, and our students for participating, THANK YOU!


     A huge shout out to those individuals who have stepped into chair positions for the various events and organizations that we have so desperately been looking for.  This is such a gift to our students and we are grateful for your time and energy.  If you do have some time and are looking to give back to our school, our committee chairs are still looking for individuals to support them so please reach out to our PTA or NAAB presidents to find out how you can support our organizations and most importantly, our students.


    For the month of December, I am reading two separate books by age group with a kindness.  For TK -2nd grade I will be reading Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller.  This talks to the students about being kind and how they can take care of one another. It focuses on giving, helping and paying attention to others and we talk about what they can do in order to be kind to one another. With our 3rd -5th grade students I will be reading The Squirrels who Squabbled by Rachel Bright and Jim Field.  This is also a story of sharing and kindness along with disagreement and working together.  In the end, the squirrels find that it is better to share with one another than being selfish and only looking out for themselves.  If you are interested to hear these stories and discuss with your families, I would encourage you to do so.

Label All Personal Items

    As I shared last month, we strongly encourage all families to label all clothing items, lunch boxes and containers and water bottles that come to school. Students will frequently leave these items on the play yard or other places around campus and if their names are on them, we can get them back to them.  Especially as we are in the colder months, students will leave sweatshirts and jackets around campus and we are only able to get them back if they are labeled with the students first and last name (or at least last initial). NAMES are important as there are many kids with the same initials. Thank you for your help in keeping your family’s belongings in your possession.

Winter Pageant

     As we return to some of the memorable activities we provide here, we are thrilled to present our Winter Pageant on December 22nd.  The PTA will be providing Coffee and Hot Chocolate while the students of each grade level perform a few songs for your enjoyment.  The grade level performance times are as follows:

9:00 - 9:30 2nd/3rd
9:45 - 10:15 TK/K/1st
10:30 - 11:00 4th/5th

Please join us on the blacktop during your student’s time for an enjoyable celebration.

Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten Registration

     For those families who have incoming TK or Kindergarten students, next school year, the registration window is currently open. Although a bit earlier this year, this will allow us to have a clear picture as to which students will be joining us. This registration window will close on December 17th. We encourage all families with an incoming student in these grades to please visit the district website and complete this process, ASAP.  Thank you for tending to this process.

Assessment Days

    Next week, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, our 1st through 3rd grades will have assessment days. Students in these grades will get out at 2:35. This will provide our teachers with some extra time to assess your students ahead of report card time, in order to give you a clear picture of where your student is academically performing.  Thank you for noting this change and for your flexibility.

Pine Valley Winter Wonderland Toy Drive Event

    San Ramon Families! The leadership class of Pine Valley Middle School is hosting a special event in efforts to fundraise for our sister school, Parkside Elementary. Pine Valley is hoping to collect toys for this school whose students are in need of some holiday cheer. This event is called Winter Wonderland and is on Friday, December 11th from 5-8 in the back parking lot of Pine Valley. This event is free to all families, but we highly encourage people to bring a toy to donate. Families that bring something to donate will receive a free hot cocoa or cider. Cars will drive through the back parking lot and see it transformed into a winter wonderland with lights, decorations, carolers, music, and festive cheer.  Hope you can join them.


11/29 – 12/9 – Book Fair

12/9 – Book Fair Evening Event – MPR

11/29 – 12/15 – PTA TOY DRIVE!

12/6 – 12/10 – Assessment Day Schedule (1st – 3rd Grades)

12/11 – Pine Valley Winter Wonderland Toy Drive Event

12/22 – Winter Pageant – Blacktop behind the MPR

12/23 – 1/10 – Winter Break – No School

Thank you for all of your support this school year.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to your student’s teacher or myself if there is anything we can do to support your student or family as we continue this journey together.


Mr. Jared Gagnon


Neil Armstrong Elementary School

Contact Information

Email Mr. Gagnon at:

Mr Gagnon
Principal Jared Gagnon

Safety Corner


 - Any time you come to campus, whether for a supply pick-up, library pick-up or any other reason, please be sure you are wearing your mask and remain 6 feet from our staff for the safety of everyone in our school community.
- Please have a conversation with your students about the inappropriate use of chat, chatrooms and Google docs as a chat room. Students should only be using their school Google accounts for school activities and assignments! We have been noticing that students are chatting throughout the day, diverting their attention from the tasks that are asked of them. Students are using the chat feature, chat rooms feature or create a Google doc, share it with one another and have just created their own chat room. This is very difficult to monitor as students continue to find ways to circumvent our oversight. Thus, we would encourage all families to talk to their students about the expectation that their Google accounts are just for school work and not to chat with one another. We appreciate your help and support in keeping all of our kids safe.