Pearl Zanker Elementary School



August 2016


Dear Zanker Students and Families,


I am excited to welcome you to the 2016-2017 year!  School starts Thursday, August 11th.   Just like all the other school days, on your very first day of the year, you will line up with your class at the designated location.  As your teachers welcome you into class and take attendance, we will recite the Pledge of Allegiance as a whole school.  This will be followed up by very important announcements.  Then, your learning will begin!  You will learn many wonderful things this year!  We are so lucky to have fantastic teachers.  They are dedicated, caring and experienced.  


On August 10th, we will make the student/teacher list public in the front office window at 2:00 pm.  At that time, we welcome all parents and students to an informal donut reception under the breezeway where you can say hello to other classmates, walk the campus to see where your classroom door is, and to visit with myself and our new Assistant Principal, Mrs. Alicia Padilla.  We will be here until the donut holes run out!


To help YOU be the best that YOU can be, we need Zanker families and the Zanker School working side-by-side.  We invite parents and guardians to become active members of our Zanker community.  Adults can help by attending meetings, parent conferences, volunteering and helping in school fundraising activities. We use the extra money to buy student supplies, bring assemblies to the school, and pay for field trip busing.  We ask that grown ups help insure that each child be at school, on time everyday, ready to learn and with completed homework.


Our regular day schedule is as follows:








8:45 AM

10:00 - 10:20 AM

11:50 - 12:25 PM

1:45 PM

1st - 3rd

8:45 AM

10:20 - 10:35 AM

12:00 - 12:50 PM

2:25 PM

4th - 6th

8:45 AM

10:20 - 10:35 AM

12:01 - 12:50 PM

2:45 PM


This year, breakfast can be eaten before school between 8:00 and 8:25 am or during recess.  Breakfast costs $1.75.  Lunch costs $2.75. You can add credit to your child’s account by turning in cash or a check using the envelopes in the front office, or you can go online to and setting up an account.  I also encourage parents to apply and see if your family qualifies for free or reduced price lunch.  You can apply online by going to our school website and accessing the application through the Quick Links section.  If internet access is a difficulty, feel free to come into our front office and using one of our Chromebooks.


As a reminder, we are a uniform school.  Starting on the first day, students should wear navy blue or tan pants or shorts, and collared tops of white, burgundy or navy blue.  We also suggest that students bring a backpack each day.


Parents and guardians are welcome to meet classroom teachers and learn valuable information at Zanker’s Back to School Night on Thursday, August 25th, starting at 6:00 pm in the Multi-Use Room (only grownups please).  


I am looking forward to seeing you.  If you have questions or concerns, call and speak to our secretary, Mrs. Garay or myself.  It’s going to be a GREAT year!




Trisha Lee


Science says parents of successful kids have these 13 things in common

The Tech Insider article.

Building a Foundation for Decimal Place Value Success

Click HERE to take a look at how Base Ten Blocks can be used to teach decimals.


Common Core State Standards - Resources for Parents

  • Common Core Math Explained in 3 Minutes - The article and video produced by helps address many of parents’ and community members’ concerns with Common Core math approaches. Unfortunately, the term "new math” is a misnomer; the math strategies suggested under Common Core have been employed in high-performing schools across the country for decades. Please view the video and article on the Vox Common Core math, explained in 3 minutes Web page.

  • Great Kids Milestones Math Videos - We have promoted the Great Kids Milestones videos on this listserv previously, but want to highlight the mathematics videos to help support local educational agencies and parents as they transition to the math standards. Milestones is a free online collection of videos aimed at helping parents understand grade-level expectations in kindergarten through grade 5. Milestones videos show students demonstrating what success looks like in reading, writing, and math, grade by grade.

  • Homework Help Desk - Be a Learning Hero has partnered with other organizations to create the Homework Help Desk. With the CCSS, children are learning new concepts and strategies in the classroom. That means parents are learning them, too. The goal of the Homework Help Desk is to equip parents with the knowledge and support they need to help their children with homework assignments.

Promoting a growth mindset at Home!

This article by Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, a free web-based learning tool used in many of our Zanker classrooms, writes about how we as parents can promote a growth mindset in our own children.

The Learning Myth: Why I'll Never Tell My Son He's Smart

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

I recently read the article Science Shows How the Brains of Intelligent, Successful People Are Different From Everyone Else by Tom McKay on the differences in people with a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset.  I found it very interesting with regards to how successful individuals are who are intrinsically driven.  It is a short but interesting that I recommend to all Zanker parents!