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416 Gladys Dr
Pleasant Hill, CA, 94523



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Do You Know Mrs. Burns?

Renee Penegor


By Renée Penegor

We are SO fortunate to have Laurel Burns as our school librarian. At the PTA meeting last week, she spoke about her love of Strandwood, what goes on in our library, and her vision for it's future. She has been teaching for 20 years and if you've ever met her or spent time with her, you'll know she is passionate about her job, the importance of libraries and the positive impact librarians can have on students in the 21st century. I know my 3rd grader is a huge fan of Mrs. Burns. You may have seen Mrs. Burns' informative article in the Community Focus during National Library Week in April. Here's the link in case you missed it:

Our library doesn't have a budget from the federal government, the district, or the school. As parents, we can support the work of Mrs. Burns by volunteering in the library, partaking in the Scholastic Book Fair (held in Fall and Spring each year, run by parent volunteers), and by joining the Library Birthday Club (this year 200 members = 200 new books for the library!!). As a PTA, my hope for the coming year, is that we can support her bigger vision for our library: such as replacing static bookshelves with moveable ones, replacing the old and poorly working mounted t.v. with a flat-screen smart t.v., and provide adjustable/flexible seating for a variety of set-ups in the room. These are some of the things PTA members will need to discuss and I encourage you to join us in the conversation for 2017/18.

Mrs. Burns is on our campus three days a week and if you happen to see her, please take a moment to tell her how much she is appreciated. You can follow Mrs. Burns and the learning going on in the library on twitter: @Librarian1427

Rules For the Parking Lot

Renee Penegor

  1. Safety first.  This is my youngest child (obviously my favorite), please don’t run over her in the parking lot.  Actually, we’d all really like all of our kids to arrive to class safely.  
  2. Don’t park, drop off or wait in the red zone, crosswalk or neighbor’s driveways.  The red zone is for fire safety, crosswalk for walking safely, and the neighbor’s have jobs they need to get to (on time preferably).
  3. Don’t block parked cars, especially in the middle row.  People need to get to work (on time preferably).  This is not a safe place to unload your student.
  4. Stay off your phone.  When you smile and stare at your lap, all of us can tell you’re on your phone.  Texting, talking on the phone or liking that adorable post on Facebook can wait until after 8:10 a.m.
  5. If you can, walk.  Walking will get you those extra steps on your Fit-bit.  My daughter will still hold my hand when we walk side by side (priceless).  Parking on Monti Circle or behind the school on Westover and walking in is always a good choice.
  6. Please don’t park in reserved parking spots.  If you want that coveted spot with your name on it, go to the PTA auction next spring and bid on it.  I’m speaking from experience when I say it’s no fun to pay big money for that spot and never be able to park in it.  I’ll also say from experience that reserved parking spot is worth every penny.
  7. Don’t block the garbage bins behind the multi-use room.  The garbage doesn’t get picked up and your 5th grader in that new P wing can’t concentrate on their math facts because of the stench.
  8. Get to school early.  Don’t rush.  Kids are stressed when you are racing.  When you breathe, kids remember to breathe.  Show them that being to school on time and with a smile is important.  They should be walking into their classrooms by 8:05 a.m.
  9. Sometimes life happens -- the baby needed a diaper change, a lunch box was left behind, the alarm didn’t go off,  or you lingered too long over your corn flakes.  Your child will arrive late--accept it as a fact.  Don’t speed in the parking lot, and put another child at risk. This morning was hard, tomorrow will be better.
  10. The only person that should get out of the car when you pull your wheels parallel to the yellow zone is your student.  I promise, Johnny can put on his own coat, carry his backpack, and exit safely while you blow him a kiss.  Don’t fill out the photo day forms, field trip forms or sign your kid’s homework calendar while you’re parked in the yellow zone (You know who you are). Yellow is for loading and unloading students only.  Parents stay in your car.
  11. Please be on your best behavior and have sympathy for me, a mom who has three different kids at three different schools (College Park, Pleasant Hill Middle and Strandwood) and is trying to get them all there safely and on time.  Thanks for helping to make Strandwood a better place one drop off and pick up at a time.

submitted by C. Gifford-Palermo

Off To A Great Start

Renee Penegor

The 2015-16 school year is off to a great start.  A huge THANK YOU to all the volunteers of Jumpstart Day and to all of you who visited the stations and talked with PTA members to find out what's going on at Strandwood.  

We appreciate your donations to the Fund For Excellence -thanks to you, we hit our first fundraising benchmark goal.  We also want to extend a special welcome to our new PTA members.  Our first general membership meeting will be Thursday September 10th at 7pm in the library. All are welcome!

We'd love to share some of your back to school photos from around campus on our new site.  If you want to see your kiddos faces here, please email photos (limit 2) to


After School Enrichment - Fall Sessions start soon!

The Strandwood PTA is excited to bring some new classes to our after school enrichment options while bringing back some of the old favorites! 

All after-school classes require at least one parent volunteer (that is a PTA member – Paid the $8.25 fee and is cleared through the Mt. Diablo District, fingerprinted and TB tested) to be present at each program session. This parent volunteer just helps ensure children are where they are supposed to be and be there in case of an emergency. Most or all of the program vendors offer a discount off the registration fee or FREE registration for the parent volunteer! 

Fall classes starting mid-September (find info & registration forms here):

·          Tennis

·          NEW! Volleyball

·          NEW! Public Speaking/Debate

·          Chess

·          Basketball

·          Flag Football – This program will be cancelled unless we get more registrations, right now we only have 2 signed up!

·          NEW! Toyology

·          Lego Engineering

·          Girls on the Run

·          NEW! Media Art (Drawing/Painting Animals)

·          Guitar Lessons

·          Gardens for Growth

·          Stage Play

Contact: if you have questions or want to be the Parent Volunteer for a specific program.



Information packets about The Nutcracker, along with permission slips will go home in communication folders with all students in about two weeks.  Please read through all the information.  There will be caps on volunteer dances for 3rd-5th grade, which means we can only have a set number of students per dance, so get those permission slips in on time. No late permission slips will be accepted.

Want to be involved with THE NUTCRACKER at Strandwood? Great! We still have some open positions. Join us for a fun, fulfilling experience, unique amongst elementary schools in our area. We are looking for:

Dance Teachers K-2nd grade class dances: No dance experience necessary - these are simple steps! K-2 class dances rehearse twice a week for 20 minutes, starting the week of October 12th. Show day is December 5th. 

Dance Teachers 3rd-5th grade volunteer dances (Arabians, Battle, Chinese Tea, Party, Wind Up Dolls) rehearse before or after school, once a week, beginning week of October 12th. No dance experience necessary - we will teach the steps to you, they are very simple. Show day is December 5th.

If you have any questions regarding the above Open Nutcracker positions, please email: