Roosevelt Wins the SMCRA Celebrate Literacy Award!


We are pleased to announce that Roosevelt has received the 2015 San Mateo County Reading Association (SMCRA) Celebrate Literacy Award for the Reading Fair. The SMCRA recognizes programs for their significant contributions to reading instruction and literacy projects in San Mateo County.

The award was presented to Roosevelt’s Assistant Principal Tracy DaCosta and parent volunteer Trish Reilly Taylor for coordinating the event each year. We would like to extend our thanks to the parents and students of Roosevelt for producing wonderful Reading Fair boards each year, and to the judges that take the time out of their busy schedules to judge those boards.

Principal Girardi prepared the following speech for the awards ceremony:

How do you engage families in helping their children become better readers? At Roosevelt School, we believe that teachers and parents are partners in the education of their children and we are always looking for ways to involve our parents. We have family fun nights and parent/child educational nights that help to build a strong working partnership between the school and home.  Nevertheless, we were looking for a way to our parents and their children could improve literacy skills in a fun and interactive manner.

So, I was so excited when parent, Trish Taylor shared what she learned about Reading Fairs in the southern and eastern states. A Reading Fair would provide a way for our families, both English speaking and non-English Speaking, literate or not, to interact with their children around a text.  

Families could ask their children questions about the books they were reading and then create Reading Fair Boards together.

Our families were excited as we were and even though it was pouring rain that very first year, our cafeteria was packed with families for our Pizza and Prep Night.   (It seems to be pouring down rain every Pizza and Prep Night.) Parents learned how to participate with their child in creating a Reading Fair Board, how they would be judged and were given some basic supplies to get started.

So, what is a Reading Fair and what is a Reading Fair Board?  How do we start?  Each year the teachers read books with their classes and together they make a classroom board, which will later be submitted in the classroom board category. Students then select their own books to read. At home, they create a display depicting various aspects of either a fiction or non-fiction book. Boards may be submitted in the Individual Board, Group/Family Board, or Classroom Board category. Community members who have an interest in literacy and love of books, come and judge the boards in teams of two. Ribbons are awarded to all participants based upon a scoring rubric.  Grand Prize, Supreme, Excellent, Superior, Award of Merit. Participation ribbons are attached to boards before the evening reception begins. Students come to present their boards, demonstrating their knowledge and comprehension about the books they read.

Samples of some of our boards are around the room. I would like to now introduce you to the people who make our Reading Fair possible.  My Assistant Principal, Tracy DaCosta and parent Trish Reilly Taylor, who coordinate the event, my teachers who promote reading with their students and my Office Manager Gwen Thomas who processes all the orders for the supplies. Without them, our annual Reading Fair would not be possible.


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Week of September 9 – September 13

Mark Your CalendarMark your calenders for the following events at Roosevelt:

Monday, September 9
Kindergarten on Early Bird schedule – dismissal at 12:10

World’s Finest Chocolate Fundraiser Assembly (more information below)

Tuesday, September 10
First distribution day for World’s Finest Chocolate

3rd Grade teacher Gillian Parkhurst receiving the 2013  SMCRA Literacy Award

Wednesday, September 11
Instrumental Music Rental Night for 6th graders at MIT at 7:00pm

Thursday, September 12
Back to School Night for grades K – 2 at 5:30pm in the Cafeteria
Back to School Night for grades 3 – 5 at 6:00pm in the Cafeteria

Friday, September 13
Turn in $60 toward chocolate sales for Free Dress on Friday, September 20

Important Dates…
September 16 – Site Council Meeting at 6:00pm in Room 14
September 18 – Fall Picture Day – Free Dress
September 18 – Students turning in $180 toward chocolate sales receive plush raccoon on 9/20
September 20 – Order forms due for 8th grade t-shirt
September 20 – Back to School Dinner Dance (postponed – will be rescheduled)
September 23 – Roosevelt School Garden Receiving a City Beautification Award at 6:30pm at City Hall
September 24 – PTA Meeting at 6:00pm in Room 14 (date changed due to the awards ceremony on 9/23)
September 26 – Coffee with Principal Girardi at 8:00am in Room 1
September 27 – Last day to pick up boxes of chocolate from the office
October 3 – Last day to turn in money from chocolate sales
October 12 – rcef OctobeRun (more information below)
October 25 – Spooktacular Bingo at 5:30pm

If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to turn in an emergency kit for your child. It should contain some snacks that will be able to be stored until June – fruit roll ups, fruit snacks, granola bars, etc. (Please include a spoon if one of the food items requires a spoon.) You can also include tissues, a note, a picture, etc. We hope that once again the kits will not be needed, but in case they are, please send in a kit so that child will have one.

World’s Finest Chocolate…
This is our school’s biggest fundraiser of the year and helps to pay for so many programs offered throughout the year, so we really need parent support! Please note: Once you sign out a box of chocolate, you are responsible for the full cost of the box. Partially sold boxes cannot be returned to the office! If you are having trouble selling your entire box, PLEASE come by the school office – there may be other families that are willing to purchase some of your chocolate to sell and you can be matched up with those families. Selling tips: Do not send your child to sell door to door without an adult. If selling in front of Lucky’s, Safeway, banks, etc. it really helps to make a sign indicating that this is a Roosevelt school fundraiser and your child can wear a school logo shirt to help buyers see that it is for our school. Each candy bar sells for $1 and this year there are a total of 60 bars in each box. Students selling 8 cases of chocolate (12 cases for families of 2 or more) will win an event at Pump It Up!

Online Directory…
The 2013/2014 school directory is going green! We’ve switched to an online directory to save money on printing costs and to save paper. You will be able to access the directory from your home computer, smart phone or tablet. You can also update your family information any time during the year. The system will “graduate” your child every year, so you only have to enter the information just once. Each year you just need to verify that your information is correct.

Go to:

Fill out the information for each Roosevelt student in your family
In the “Family Display Note” please fill in any languages spoken at home
Hit Save  — You’re all done!

8th Grade T-shirts…
The order forms for the Class of 2014 t-shirts went out to both 8th grade classrooms. The cost of the first t-shirt per student is $5, any extra t-shirts cost $10 each. This t-shirt design is considered a uniform shirt for all 8th graders only and cannot be ordered or worn by any other grade level. Please make sure to turn in your order forms by September 20. This is a one time only print run and so we will NOT be able to accept any orders after September 20. Extra order forms are available in the school office.

Roosevelt Enrichment Fund…
Are you in — to win? Anyone that gives $100 will get a gift bag and a chance to win an iPad Mini! The drawing will be held at the November PTA meeting so make sure to get your donation in soon! Donations to the PTA pay for our art program, music, field trips, drama, outdoor education,  assemblies, classroom supplies, after school clubs, after school classes and various needed items and supplies for this school year. Checks can be made out to Roosevelt PTA.  Please stop by the office or send your pledge forms in an envelope to school with your child. Thank you for supporting the extra curricular programs at Roosevelt!

Spirit Wear Sales…
We are once again fully stocked with our school’s spirit wear so get them while supplies last. The school’s grey and navy hoodies may be worn in the classroom as part of the uniform.

T-shirts – $8.00 each (pink, light blue, grey and navy)
Polos with school logo – $10.00 each (navy, white and black)
Hoodie – $20.00 each (grey)
Zip front hoodie – $25.00 each (navy)
Hats – $10.00 each (khaki) – hats may not be worn indoors, but may be worn at recess

Spirit wear is available for purchase year-round in the school office. If you’re stopping by the office in the morning or just before afternoon dismissal, please be patient with Gwen, Haley and Lorena. There is always a lot going on in the office during those times, so it may take a while for them to get the chance to retrieve the items for you from the storage room. Also, if you are paying cash, please have exact change – the office is not allowed to hold cash to make change. Checks should be made out to Roosevelt PTA.

Once again the Redwood City Education Foundation (rcef) is sponsoring a 1/2 Marathon and two 5K races on October 12 in downtown Redwood City. The second 5K race is a “Kolor Run” – at each 1K point, runners will be blasted with non-toxic colored powder. Participants can run or walk in any event. Our wonderful P.E. teacher Mr. Nate is considering forming a Roosevelt team for the OktobeRun and possibly helping to train students at school. We’ll keep you posted with any updates.

Spooktacular Bingo…
Mark your calendars for Roosevelt’s 4th annual Spooktacular Bingo Night!  Friday Oct. 25th from 5:30-8:30. Doors open at 5:30, with our Pumpkin/cake walk beginning at 5:30.  Come in your favorite Halloween costume!  Pizza, popcorn, water for $1.00 each. 2$ for candy. Bingo will begin at 7pm.  .50cents per game. Pumpkin/cake walk, face painting, and Bingo with fabulous prizes!
We need volunteers to help. Please contact Kim Schiff at if you can help, Thank you!

“Like” us on Facebook…
Please be sure to “Like” the Roosevelt page to get school and district updates and pictures from Roosevelt school events in your news feed.If you’ve liked our page, but don’t see any updates in your news feed, it’s because Facebook has been using a formula that hides posts for pages that don’t pay for sponsored placements. What can you do? Go to our Facebook page and hover your mouse over the Liked box. Then make sure Get Notifications and Show in News Feed are checked.

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Have a Great Summer!

happy-summer2Thanks everyone for another great year at Roosevelt!

In 2012/2013 we celebrated:

* 62 point gain in our API score
* 2013 San Mateo County Teacher of the Year – Sarah Coyle
* 2013 San Mateo County Reading Association Award – Gillian Parkhurst
* 2013 Biz World Challenge Champions – 5th grade team

And we’re thrilled to announce that Roosevelt’s PBL program has been nominated for the California School Boards Association 2013 Golden Bell Award for outstanding programs!

More to come in 2014!

Reading Lists
Keep your child reading this summer! The Redwood City Public Library has a Summer Reading Club and has summer reading lists for children of all ages and reading levels. If you sign up and read for 600 minutes this summer, you can win some great prizes.

Links for Kids
Don’t forget to include some educational (but fun!) computer screen time this summer. Links for Jiji Math, typing programs and others can all be found on the parent blog under the tab Links for Kids, so check it out!

The following uniform color choices are part of the uniform dress code for 2013/2014:

Dress code for grades K-5:
Navy or Khaki – pants, shorts, skirts, jumpers, etc
White or Navy – collared shirts/tops, sweaters, jackets

Dress code for grades 6-8 ONLY:
Black, Navy or Khaki – pants, shorts, skirts, jumpers, etc
White, Black or Navy – collared shirts/tops
Black, Navy or White – sweaters, jackets.

School spirit t-shirts or sweatshirts are also considered part of the dress code for grades K-8.*

Don’t forget that you can order uniforms online from French Toast ( They have our school’s logo on file so for an additional charge, you can have the Roosevelt raccoon embroidered on shirts or sweaters. Use our school’s source code when you shop and Roosevelt gets 5% of your order: Source Code QS46WJ9. Over the summer they have a lot of sales, so keep checking their website for deals.


*Roosevelt logo polo shirts, t-shirts and jackets will also be sold at MAZE day, Screen shot 2013-06-19 at 4.27.13 PMso you can stock up there as well. Logo polo shirts will be sold for $10 each, so it’s a great value!


Important Dates for the 2013/2014 School Year…
August 20 – MAZE Day for students with last names A-L from 5:00-7:00pm
August 22 – MAZE Day for students with last names M-Z from 4:00-6:00pm

The first day of school for the 2013/2014 school year will be Monday August 26.

Have a great summer!

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Lights, Camera, Action!

Roosevelt School Teacher Uses Drama to Help Students Learn Vocabulary
by Roosevelt Principal Trish Girardi and Roosevelt parent Trish Taylor for Spectrum Magazine, May 2013

Update: Since the publication of this article, it has been announced that Gillian Parkhurst has been awarded the San Mateo County Reading Association’s Celebrate Literacy Award for 2013.

Memorizing a dictionary entry may give students the ability to recite a word’s definition, but how do students develop an in-depth understanding of what a word means? Teacher Gillian Parkhurst at Roosevelt School in Redwood City found a creative and engaging way to capture the interest of her third-grade students each time she introduces a new set of vocabulary words. She challenges students to work together in teams and create skits depicting their chosen vocabulary word.

Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 10.16.16 AM

Teacher Gillian Parkhurst introduces vocabulary words on the Focus Wall in week one.

Students have fun with their classmates while learning new words as they craft vignettes, using dialogue and gestures. Each member of the team comes up with an idea for the skit that illustrates the definition behind the selected word. When performing, the third-grade audience watches their classmates act out their interpretation of the word and looks for clues in order to guess which word is being presented.

Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 10.15.19 AMStudents discuss how to act out their vocabulary word. 

Learning vocabulary through skits builds students’ academic and content vocabulary and supports their reading comprehension so that all students become proficient readers.

Screen shot 2013-05-13 at 10.15.04 AMStudents working together to create the skit using movement.

Parkhurst develops students’ love of language through this playful, performance-based activity. Students are highly engaged and develop a love of language. Public speaking and acting out the vocabulary solidifies students’ knowledge of the meaning of the word. The students in the audience must be alert to the nuances of the performance, always cognizant of the “vocabulary list of words” from which they will choose.

Throughout the year, new vocabulary words are introduced every two weeks and are linked to their reading series. Students eagerly await the preview of the new vocabulary and their new team assignment. During the first week, students are introduced to their new vocabulary words and learn about them through a variety of classroom activities. In the second week they get ready for their performance by working with other students in a group. During the performance, all students play an active role and other students in the class guess the meaning of the word.

By the end of the two-week unit of study, all students in the classroom have mastered the vocabulary. This improves their self- confidence as well as helps to increase their reading levels.

As the year progresses, students become more active participants, developing their oral language skills as well as comprehension linked to the vocabulary being taught.


Roosevelt Kindergarten Team Wins SMCRA Literacy Award!

We are pleased to announce that the Roosevelt Kindergarten Team is receiving the San Mateo County Reading Association (SMCRA) Celebrate Literacy Award for their Targeted Literacy Instruction Groups.

SMCRA recognizes programs for their significant contributions to reading instruction and literacy projects in San Mateo County.

The teachers will receive the award on May 22nd at an Awards Ceremony.

The Targeted Literacy Instruction Groups program also received the coveted J. Russell Kent Award in 2009 from the San Mateo School Boards Association for program innovation and excellence.

Congratulations to our award winning Roosevelt Kindergarten Team!