Alta Vista Elementary School

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Principal's Page

August 7, 2019



Dear Alta Vista Families,

I want to welcome all of you to the 2019-2020 school year! I hope you are enjoying your last few weeks of our summer break, so that you can be relaxed, recharged and ready to start another amazing year at Alta Vista Elementary School.

We’ve had productive summer at Alta Vista! Many of our staff members participated in professional development opportunities, including Guided Reading, Writers Workshop, EduProtocols, Eureka Math, and the Krause Center for Innovation’s MERIT program focusing on technology in education. As such, we are ready to dive into the school year with renewed energy, fresh ideas, and an excitement for learning. Our office staff has also been busy, registering our newest families, ordering supplies, and updating student files. And of course, our hard working custodial team used the summer to thoroughly clean the entire Alta Vista campus. The entire Alta Vista learning community is working hard to ensure a successful start of school on Wednesday August 14th.

We’ve had some exciting additions to Team Alta Vista. Please join me in welcoming our newest staff members:

  • Ms. Liz Murray is joining our Special Education Department. Ms. Murray previously taught at Oster Elementary School in Union School District. Although they will miss her smiling face on campus, we are thrilled to have her teaching our third/fourth grade SDC class in room 23. Fun fact - Ms. Murray jumped in as part of Team Alta Vista in June! She was teaching an Extended School Year class in the morning and moving into her new classroom in the afternoon.

  • Ms. Megan O'Connor will also be joining Alta Vista. This is her fifth year as a counselor in USD, working at Guadalupe and Lietz. A Bay Area native, she enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and spending time with her niece and nephew when she's not at school. Fun Fact - Ms. O'Connor loves all forms of art (especially musicals) and recently took up tap dancing. 

  • Rounding out our Special Education Department, Ms. Megan Ostiller will be teaching our RSP program. She has taught the second/third grade SDC class at Guadalupe for the past two years. Ms. Ostiller is also a graduate of Cal Poly (Go Mustangs!) and enjoys hiking, running, reading and traveling. Fun fact - Ms. Ostiller is a triplet!

  • You'll also see a new name, but a familiar face. Ms. Parnell was married over the summer and will be going by Mrs. Landolt.

The first few weeks of the school year include many important dates. We hope you’ll join us for the following upcoming events:

August 14 - First Day of School

  • Grades 1-5 The first bell rings at 8:10 and students should line up at their designated classroom location. The final bell rings at 8:15 AM and students will be marked tardy if they arrive after 8:15 AM.

  • Early dismissal on Wednesdays for grades 1-5 will be at 1:15 PM . . . this includes our first day of school.

  • Please join us in the cafeteria from 8:15 to 8:45 for our annual Welcome Coffee. It's a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends and meet our newest families.

August 16 - Alta Vista Family Picnic

  • First - Bring a blanket with some favorites foods and find a spot on the field.
  • Next - Go to your child's classroom, fill out the visitor sign in log and put on a visitor sticker.
  • Then - Meet your child at 12:00 and enjoy lunch together.
  • Finally - After you are done eating, say your good-byes and let your child go play with friends before returning to class.


August 21 - Back to School Night for Grades 1-5

  • Parents only, please. NO children allowed.

  • 6:00-6:45 Classroom presentations for parents with children in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades

  • 6:45-7:15 Principal’s Welcome and Home & School Club Meeting, Cafeteria

  • 7:15-8:00 PM Classroom presentations for parents with children in 4th and 5th grades

We encourage you to visit our school website to keep up to date with events and information. You can also follow us on Twitter at @TeamAltaVista.

We are currently confirming our enrollment for the upcoming school year. If your child is not returning to Alta Visa, please call the school office. Classroom assignments will be available online, beginning at 4:00 on Tuesday, August 13th. Directions for using the PowerSchool website will be mailed to your home address and should be received by Saturday, August 10th. If your summer plans have included travel, it is important to have your child back by the first day of school. Students who do not attend on August 14th will be dis-enrolled.

On behalf of the Alta Vista staff, we look forward to seeing you on August 14th and working together to provide an exceptional learning experience for your child. Here’s to another successful year filled with inspirational learning and memorable moments.

All the Best,

Cathy Bailey

Proud Principal of Alta Vista Elementary School


Alta Vista Information and Reminders


Classroom assignments will be available online at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 13th. You should receive a mailing by Saturday, August 10th with directions explaining how to access the PowerSchool parent portal to find your child’s placement.


At the bottom of this newsletter, you will find our School Handbook. It is organized into two sections; one for parents and one for students. It includes important information about our school, policies, student expectations, game rules, and conflict resolution strategies. Please review the information contained in the Student Section of the handbook with your child. We want to make sure that all students are clear about school expectations and how to be a successful and safe student at Alta Vista. Parents and students are asked to sign and return the signature page at the end of the handbook (or complete the digital form) by Friday, August 16th.


The school day for grades 1-5 begins at 8:15 AM. The first bell rings at 8:10 and students should line up at their designated classroom location. Teachers will open their door or escort students to the classroom. The final bell rings at 8:15 and students will be marked tardy if they arrive after 8:15. Please be sure to have your child/children here on time.

There is no recess or free play before school. Due to school district policy, younger siblings are not to play on the playground and/or on the play structures during school hours (7:30-6:00), even with parent supervision.


There is no supervision after school, so please be sure that your child has a way home upon dismissal. Students are not permitted to play on the play structures or playground after school (even with parent supervision). Although this has always been school policy, since Union School District's Extended Care Program has legal use of our facilities and all of our playgrounds after school, this policy will be enforced during the upcoming year.


Union School District elementary students are dismissed early on Wednesdays for grade level planning and collaboration. On these days, students in first through fifth grades will be dismissed at 1:15 pm. This includes the first day of school on August 14th.


When picking up students from the white loading zone on Blossom Valley Drive, stay in your car, pick up your child, and then move your vehicle so another car can pick up. Remember the white curb is for drop off and pick up only. Students may only be picked up from the curb. Double parking or blocking traffic to pick up or drop off a child is NOT allowed. Students are prohibited from getting into vehicles parked/stopped/waiting in the street. Please do not ask your child to cross the street unescorted. This puts you and your child at risk of accidental injury.


The kindergarten parking lot will be closed to all cars during drop-off and pick-up times, except those with a valid handicap placard.

To avoid the congestion and traffic in front of the school, please consider parking on Westchester or one of the other side streets around the school and walking into school. Alta Vista has two crossing guards to keep students safe. One is located on the corner of Westchester and Blossom Valley. A second crossing guard is stationed at Blossom Wood and Blossom Valley. We ask that parents and children be patient and wait for the signal from the crossing guard to cross at these intersections.


We respectfully discourage families from bringing along dogs when picking up children from school, as this creates additional concerns for safety when dogs and/or children become overly excited or frightened.




With the beginning of a new school year, we would love to increase our noon duty supervision staff. If you are available from 11:55 to 12:55 one or more days per week, or simply want more information about the position, please contact Vicki in the front office.


We hope to see you on the playground!

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Back to School Events

8/13 - Classroom placements will be available via the PowerSchool portal at 4:00

8/14 - First Day of School (First through Fifth Grade 8:15-1:15)

8/14 - Welcome Coffee in the Cafeteria (8:15-8:45)

8/16 - Alta Vista Family Picnic (12:00-12:30)

8/21 - Back to School Night (Details Above)

Alta Vista Elementary School

Alta Vista Elementary School

2018 California Gold Ribbon School