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"The Pride" Community Letter, October 4th, 2021
Posted 10/2/21

KINDERGARTEN IN THE HOUSE - Such a sweet team of children this year!! 


Monday, October 4th

CAN DO FUN RUN UNDERWAY! There's still time to register!!


LGBTQ Awareness Month and Latin X Heritage Month! 


We have visitors! Our Assistant Superintendent of schools, Kristy Treewater, and one of our Board Members, Barret Schaefer, Clerk, will be touring classrooms with me. Learning together! 8:30-9:30


Tuesday, October 5th



Individual portrait day, Grades K, 4th, and 5th grade - Dress to impress!  We can use our superstar parent power these days if you can spare a few hours. Super fun!


Thrive Together, Zoom Parent Presentation - See below. 6:00-6:30 pm. Well worth your time. Click here for the Zoom link. 


Wednesday, October 6th



Individual portrait day, Grades 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade - Dress to impress! We can use our superstar parent power these days if you can spare a few hours. Super fun!


Class Book Fair preview! 


International Walk and Bike To School Day. We have a team of riders beginning at 7:30 am. If you have not done this before, it is a must! See below for details.


Thursday, October 7th



Classes quick Book Fair Preview - 8:00am-4:00pm


Initial District Diversity Equity and Inclusion Team meeting, 4:00-5:30 pm. See below for details.


Book Fair evening, 5:00-7:00 pm, MPR - Gonna be a hoot! drop on by, browse around, support our school library, prepare for holiday gifts, and just bringing a little bit of that community spirit back!


Friday, October 8th



Non-Student Day - Professional Development Day for our teachers - Continuing our fantastic work with writing across the district. This remains one of our top 5 districtwide priorities.


Book Fair Open, 9:00-2:00 - Stop on in!


Enjoy your three-day weekend everyone and remember to be safe as we are not out of the woods yet. 


Saturday, October 9th

CAN DO FUN RUN UNDERWAY! Tomorrow is the last day!


Book Fair Open, 9:00-2:00 - Stop on in!

HOW WE ROLL WITH OUR ASSEMBLIES! Masked up, outside, music, and a little togetherness!

LIONHEARTS ARE IN THE HOUSE! Stopped these 4 scallywags as they were running at breakneck speed to the office to drop their lionhearts into the box. Well earned!

Here are a few other notable individuals whose impact has been felt historically!



October Life Skill: Self Awareness!

October marks our next life skill, self-awareness, and the beginning of LGBTQ+ History Month, which celebrates the history and the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (sometimes questioning) community along with the importance of civil rights movements in advancing gay rights. October marks National Coming Out Day on October 11 and the anniversary of the first and second marches for gay rights in Washington which took place in 1979 and 1987.


Decision Tree Changes

They are found on the front page of our website. 

* Student or staff with symptoms

Student or staff member exposed to a positive person at school

Progress Reports

We will be sending out progress reports on Friday, October 15th, to those students who are below benchmarks in core areas of learning. Not to worry if your child receives one. You are not alone. We are coming out of a challenging year (20 months really) and we are noticing trends requiring additional support.


We are on it and made several assumptions in preparation for the start of this year. Again, with the hiring of new folks, and the implementation of new programs to address, we are on it. 


Math and English Language Arts PD last week 

The photo below from Friday's PD work captures our district teacher and administrative teams wrapping our heads around changes in how we are approaching math and reading.


Learning together, analyzing and discussing key data points, identifying new and historical trends, building an understanding of our new learning frameworks, considering the use of current and new resources, and recognizing the urgent call to address the challenges children are facing at this time. We are doing everything we can to meet the moment.


Throughout our discussions and readings, equity, as relates to 2nd language learners and children of color, was a space we returned to time and again. We were all deeply encouraged by this focus in the math framework.


The need to extinguish myths such as "I just don't have a math brain", addressing historical and deeply distressing trends about certain groups given subtle and sometimes overt messages about their ability to be successful with math, or why tracking students does not bear fruit in the short or long run, were important topics discussed. More to come throughout the year as this team meets regularly.


3RD -5TH GRADE MUSIC: Band, Choir, and Orchestra are underway!



On Wednesday, October 6th, Lucas Valley will partner with our local team, Safe Routes to School, to support our International Walk & Roll to School Day.


For our bike riders, we will meet at 7:30 am at the Miller Creek Tennis Courts near the Marinwood Pool. From there, one of the coolest dudes you will meet (parent), Anthony Fontaine, will safely lead a horde/gaggle/pack/murder of bike riders, along the path below with music blaring from somewhere on his bike. Super cool and a fan favorite!


Tables will be set up with information, encouragement, and light swag for walkers, riders, scooters, skaters, etc., Subsequently, on the first Wednesday of each month we will set up a table for Walk and Roll Wednesdays. If you are interested in volunteering to help with any of this tabling (starting at about 7:45 am), please reach out to either myself or our Home and School President, Franco Ruggeri,, Proof of vaccination is required.


This is a great and fun way to promote safe and healthy travel to school. All you need to bring is yourself and some enthusiasm for our walkers and wheeled riders! Thanks.


Want to get more involved?

Safe Routes to School Marin County

PATHWAY FOR RIDING TO SCHOOL: Thank you Anthony Fontaine, parent, for leading this ride!



We have been doing great in terms of keeping Covid at bay! Remember, if your child is unwell, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, etc. please keep them home and email me symptoms at


We continue to follow the Decision Tree from public health and appreciate your support along the way. Their guidance has been terrific! Covid resources are found at the bottom of this letter, always.

STUDENT LEADERSHIP: Good energy from our 4th-5th grade future leaders!



This week I shared with all 4th and 5th-grade students that we are opening the doors to all those interested in joining the Student Leadership Team! The Nitty Gritty...

  • We are not electing students based on speeches nor are we running campaigns this year.
  • I invited any and all 4th and 5th-grade students to meet at lunch if they had an interest in exploring.
  • I reviewed positions, provided chart paper, and had them note 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices.
  • The positions posted:
    • Kindergarten lunchtime support
      • helping to sort green waste at lunch, keeping them safe, engaging them, and working with our aids - few times a week
    • 1st and 2nd-grade lunchtime support
      • same as above with the addition of helping pass out lunches
    • Monthly Spirit Day creation
      • Work to create a monthly spirit day map for the year. Monthly
    • Spirit Day announcements
      • Make announcements over the loudspeaker, assembly announcements. Monthly
    • Spirit Day walkthroughs
      • Make announcements about spirit days through classrooms. Monthly
    • Write articles/Illustrations/photos in my newsletter
      • Related to events and spirit days
  • A spreadsheet has been created and students have been placed into positions though I have not shared yet as I am tinkering still.
  • The next step will be calling each team to meet about specifics, dates, times, commitments, etc.
  • Rarely, will I pull from their classroom learning space.
  • The commitment will be minimal!

My overall goal is to provide any and all 4th and 5th graders with a shot at leadership opportunities. Plus, they are just smarter than me and have better ideas! 

NO NEED TO READ THE FINE PRINT PEOPLE: And now, what to sign up for?!



We have learned much since we were the age of our own children and we continue to learn more, ever-changing, ever understanding, ever inclusive! Here are a few nuggets...

  • Gender identity begins to develop earlier than many people assume. Most typically developing children begin to recognize gender in others by about 18-24 months of age and have a fully formed gender identity of their own by roughly age 4.
  • Building a strong sense of community and a climate of acceptance in our LVE classrooms and community is a crucial proactive strategy for creating a safe environment for all students, including those who identify as transgender and non-binary. 
  • Ongoing learning is a key element of this process and we must continue to expand our understanding of the shifting sands our children tread upon.
  • Our children currently live in a world where LGBTQ+ people are part of our communities.
  • Social-emotional learning through an LGBTQ+ equity lens is critical for our children to better understand and appreciate their own identities and experiences as well as those of the people around them. 

So what does that mean for Lucas Valley Elementary School?

For the month of October and all year long our librarians, counselors, staff, and Principal will be reading stories, engaging students in projects, and sharing information at assemblies, with the goal of bringing much-needed attention to:

  • Gender stereotypes
  • Self-awareness - Who am I? How am I?
  • Identity 
  • Intersectionality, or put another way, the complex way that the many aspects of our identities overlap, including our race, gender, identity, class, and more.
  • Understanding ones own emotions
  • Understanding how the decisions we make affect others


Every child had the right to feel safe, accepted, welcomed, and valued, and we will work diligently with all of you, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team, Site Council team, and Home and School team, to ensure we support every child along the way. It is our goal to continue providing a foundation where all children and families become more accepting of gender diversity and feel supported and safe along the way. Equity will always remain at the center of our work.


Our teachers will be engaging children in age-appropriate lessons and I look forward to stepping into those spaces as well as both an educator and as an ally for our children. This is beautiful work...

CHICKENS AND THE GARDEN: Fan favorite this year. 6 chickens now, orchard, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and friendly chickens to hold!

FEEDING FRENZY: Experts in the field. We are washing our hands as we leave the coup.

PATIENCE: Unbelievable how these chickens like/tolerate/endure/withstand being held. Our kids are great with them!


Gender Spectrum

This fantastic resource is one we turn to as we support our children, staff, and families. Click this link to learn more!


Understanding Gender resource

Understanding of gender identity continually evolves. This is a fabulous resource to help support children, staff, and families.


Parents and Families resource

Parenthood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It's about understanding that they are exactly the person they are supposed to be. 



MINDFULNESS WITH CLAN CACERES: Thank you, Arlo Seaver, Erika Gendreau, and our Home and School Team for helping build our outdoor classrooms! THE BEST!

OUTDOOR LEARNING WITH CLAN MCGEE: additional thank you to Franco Ruggeri and his HSC team for the small table additions!



What a fantastic resource one of our parents shared with me the other day.  For each of the skills below, a group of experts developed a short story through which the skills are taught. Each story centers around a central character who is experiencing a stressful situation and teaches that character a specific skill to cope with the stress. It is easy on the eye and ear and worth watching.

  • Belly breathing: In this story, Ángel is introduced to a special kind of breathing called belly breathing. Belly breathing can be used to make you feel more calm and relaxed. Watch this video to learn how you can do belly breathing too. About 6 minutes 
  • Increasing favorite activities: This is the story of Drew, who is learning about doing fun activities to help improve how they’re feeling. When we’re feeling down, we often stop doing activities that we normally enjoy doing. But doing more of the activities we like can actually make us feel better and give us more energy! Watch Drew’s story to learn more.
  • Mindfulness: All of us have thoughts from time to time that make us feel upset. In this story, you’ll meet Taylor. Taylor is learning Mindfulness 5-4-3-2-1. Mindfulness 5-4-3-2-1 teaches you to calm your mind and helps you worry less. Follow along with Taylor so you too can learn how to practice mindfulness 5-4-3-2-1 when you need it.
  • Catch It, Check It, Change It – Labeling: We all have thoughts that make us feel worried or upset from time to time. But sometimes these thoughts really get in our way and aren’t helpful. There are steps you can take to turn those upsetting thoughts around. It’s called Catch It, Check It, Change It. It’s a bit like being a detective investigating your own thinking. In this story, you’ll meet Ren who is learning to catch, check, and change their thoughts. Follow along so you can learn too!
  • Catch It, Check It, Change It – All or Nothing Thinking: This is the story of Dana who is having some very upsetting thoughts. We all have upsetting thoughts from time to time. But sometimes those thoughts aren’t helpful and can make us feel even worse. Dana is learning a new technique to turn those upsetting thoughts around. It’s called Catch It, Check It, Change It. It’s a bit like being a detective investigating your own thinking. Follow along with Dana so you can learn too.

FLEXIBLE SEATING: Getting it done!

3RD-5TH GRADE MUSIC: This is where it begins



This team meeting is open to all for participation and we hope you will join us on this journey. The Miller Creek School District believes diversity is an asset, values every student, and is committed to building communities where students thrive. In order to do so, we must recognize systemic disparities in opportunities and outcomes and dedicate resources to address those disparities. 


Meeting Dates for the year (Zoom)

October 7- 4:00-5:30

December 7- 4:00-5:30

February 15- 4:00-5:30

April 19- 4:00-5:30


Click the Screenshot below for a preview of, what appears to be, quite a thought-provoking Independent film, RACE


From the desk of our new Counselor, Katrina Villena, and school psychologist, Olvia Smith, we are inviting one and all, to attend this important zoom event to talk about anxiety and coping strategies.


I strongly encourage you to attend this event on October 5th, from 6:00-6:30. Well worth the time. Click here for the Zoom link to this event.



Parents can access community flyers by visiting the Community Resources page on the Miller Creek School District website. New flyers this week:

  • 2021 Fall Ball - Central Marin Lacrosse 

TEAMWORK LIFESKILL: I loved how they explained to me how this math game works! Had to be there... 



There's still time to register!!

The Can Do! Virtual Run as One is on until Sunday 10/10!! If you were unable to pick up your swag bag last week, please contact the Can Do! office at or call us at 415-492-3500 to make arrangements. 


Don't forget to designate Lucas Valley Elementary when you register and be sure to update your miles via the Run As One website. Let's see which school can run, walk, hike, skip, etc the most "Miles for Miller Creek School District"


Be sure to take pics with your bib and swag on and upload it to this Dropbox link: Lucas Valley Elementary Run as One Photo Link. You might be featured in our newsletters, website, etc!  


All proceeds raised support the wonderful enrichment programs that our Miller Creek School District schools offer your students such as the Art & PE teachers and supplies, 1:1 technology, and more!  

CLAN LIEBMAN: Working the flexible seating, always masked and always on task


Thank you to our amazing Run as One Sponsors, Kelly's Wishes FoundationsOutFIT Marin FitnessJennifer Harris Marks, Realtor, The Dodson Family, and Judy Arai, Realtor.


Can Do! is donating 5 Free Registrations to your school to those kids who would like to participate, but don’t have the means. Please email us at for more information.


We are at 41% of our $690,000 goal. Every donation matters, so please donate! Thank you to the 83 Lucas Valley Elementary families that have already donated! We appreciate you!  


Did you know the Can Do! Company Matching Gifts program is an excellent way to maximize your donation? Click here to find out more. 



Although we are not a nut-free school (so to speak!), I want to ask if folks can think carefully about what they pack into lunches as we have children who are allergic to various nuts. If you have other options we would really appreciate you considering them.



The Miller Creek School District is experiencing a significant workforce shortage.  We are far from unique as employers are struggling to fill positions across the country.  What is unique, however, is the opportunity this presents for our community.  I can't guarantee you that working in a school is easy or that you won't go home tired at the end of the day.  But I will guarantee you that the work is deeply fulfilling.  Years from now we will look back at the pandemic and ask ourselves, "How did we show up?" I take great pride and satisfaction knowing that the teachers and staff of our little school district show up every day for kids. Full and Part-Time


Paid Positions are Available


Click HERE for opportunities or simply email Principal Anderson with your interest.

MATH: In action

THANK YOU CAN DO: Paula and Laura are rocking the art room and there is a surprise inside the classroom, coming soon!



Vaccination Opportunities in Marin 

There are numerous free COVID-19 vaccination opportunities in Marin County taking place throughout the week. Those who are eligible, but haven’t received a vaccine or completed a vaccination series yet, are advised to make a reservation online in advance. All clinics are available to residents who are 12 & older. We as a community have done a remarkable job at reducing the spread of COVID-19, thanks to those who have gotten fully vaccinated. We appreciate you doing your part. 

Here are the available clinics for the rest of the week:   

  • Northgate Pfizer Booster Clinic Tuesday-Wednesday, 1:00pm to 7:00pm Thursday-Saturday, 9:00am to 3:00pm 
  • Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church  Novato - Sunday, October 3 
  • Marinship Park  Sausalito - Monday, October 4 
  • Coastal Health Alliance Pt Reyes - Tuesday, October 5 
  • Grocery Outlet  San Rafael - Wednesday, October 6 

CLAN SHAVER: Loved the discussion around brain activity and most recently, around bacteria. 

CAMERON, ROCKING MY FAVORITE POET "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - M.A.



Each of our school sites is now equipped to offer Rapid Antigen Testing to staff and students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms at school or those that are determined to be a close contact of a person who was COVID positive.



Oct 12: Public Health Update for the School Community (1:00)


Oct 13: Public Health Update for Families: Vaccinations (6:00)


What Can You Do to Prevent the Spread of Vaccine Misinformation? 

The first Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 vaccine was given in December of last year. Since that time, there has been conflicting information about the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccines. How do you separate truth from misinformation?  


For more information, visit the CDC How to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation webpage

CLAN DYE: Making it happen in small groups!

BRANDON ROCKING SCIENCE: This was the dude who astounded everyone with his Rubik's Cube skills!



Scroll down the bottom to the nice visual titled Marin County Schools Status and look for how schools are managing Covid.



Click this link for the latest regarding the 32 point plan. This document resides on our website as well.



CLAN CUNHA: Rocking the tangrams and small group centers!