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Principal's Message



Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year. I hope you all enjoyed your summer break during this unique time of social distancing and are ready to begin a productive academic year.  I can’t tell you how honored and excited I am to be your principal. I wish I could meet you all in person and I hope we can soon. I appreciate all of you who have reached out and have welcomed me into your Falcon family.  I feel privileged to become a part of this special community. You have much to be proud of.

I want to extend a special welcome Kindergarten, Transitional Kindergarten (TK), and  new student parents to the Falcon Academy! I know I can speak for the entire staff when I state that we are excited that you and your child will be embarking on this incredible educational journey with us. 

As you are all aware, we are experiencing an unprecedented pandemic, which has changed the way in which we are able to educate your children, at least for the time being. As we begin this school year in Distance Learning, let me assure you that the teachers and staff at the Falcon Academy will continue to provide the highest quality education to your children as possible. One of the most important parts of Distance Learning is communication. Your child’s teacher will be reaching out to you to set them up on the distance learning platform of their choosing (Google Classroom or SeeSaw). It is critical that your child logs into their teachers’ Google Classroom or SeeSaw (Grades TK to 2nd) daily. To help with Distance Learning, BOUSD encourages families to do the following to help students during this time of Distance Learning:

  • Attendance will be taken daily during Distance Learning and will follow the same protocols as it would in a traditional classroom setting.
  • If your child is unable to log into their Google Classroom due to illness or other reason, please call the office to report the absence, just like you normally would if we were attending at the school site. 
  • Establish daily routines.
    • Set regular hours for school work.
    • Keep normal bedtime routines for younger children and expect the same from your older-aged students, too.
    • Breaks are important! Your children should move regularly and take periodic breaks as they study.
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher if additional support is needed.
  • Define the physical space where your child will study. We encourage our families to designate a specific area where their children can complete their assignments, engage with Distance Learning and meet with their teachers.
  • Stay Connected. We encourage our families to reach out to their child’s teacher for support and kindly request a 48-hour response window for our teachers. Please note that communication will occur primarily via email. We value input from all stakeholders and assume the best intentions for everyone involved in supporting our students.
  • Begin and end each day with a family check-in. Families are encouraged to start and finish each day with a simple check-in. This brief grounding conversation allows children to process the instructions they’ve received from their teachers. It helps them organize themselves and set priorities for the day.
  • Help your children process and own their learning. Students engage with their peers throughout a typical school day to process and discuss what they have learned. We encourage our families to engage with their children about what they are learning.
  • Establish times for quiet and reflection. We understand the enormous challenge that families with multiple children face. There may be times when siblings need to work in different spaces to avoid distraction. We encourage families to get creative and experiment with different ways to block out distraction and share space.
  • Make sure your child logs in to their PE classes as scheduled. This is vitally important to their health, wellbeing, and to their learning. Mental breaks during the day are needed. We encourage our families to be active together!
  • Remain mindful of your child’s stress or worry. This is a stressful time for both adults and children. We encourage parents to monitor their childrens’ stress and anxiety levels and to please reach out to your child’s teacher or school counselor if additional support is needed.
  • Keep your children social, but set rules around their social media interactions. We encourage our families to monitor their children’s social media use during this extended school closure and to remind their children to be polite and respectful digital citizens.
  • Every Distance Learning classroom may be different. In the same way that every physical learning classroom is different, each Distance Learning classroom will be different and offer a variation of learning opportunities. We encourage flexibility and dialogue with teachers should questions arise.

For the full reopening of schools information guide, please visit BOUSD Distance Learning Plan: 2020 -21

We understand that this will be challenging, but rest assured that our primary focus is on the health and safety of our students as well as educating your children. We look forward to the day that we can return to school as “normal” and will be sure to make that transition as smoothly and as quickly as is possible once we receive permission from state officials. I want to give a special thanks to the teachers, staff and families as we continue to work together to create a welcoming community that is focused on student success. Please call or email if you have any questions or concerns. Please give us some grace as we navigate these uncertain times and know we are working hard for our families. We hope you are ready for a great 2020 - 2021 school year together!


Karen VanDine