In addition to building community through events, the Juana Briones PTA also supports our students by funding classroom enrichment and educational expenses not covered by the district or by PiE.
As the only organization dedicated to supporting only Juana Briones students, the PTA is able to offer enrichment activities and materials that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Below is an overview of the types of programs that we fund in our classrooms. If you have questions or comments about specific programs, please contact a board member or attend the next PTA meeting — we would love to have your input.
The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo
Throughout the school academic year, trained Museum educators from The Palo Alto Junior Museum come to our campus and provide a wide range of standards-based science programs for our kinder through 5th grade classrooms. Programs are tailored to complement core science instruction, or structured as stand-alone experiences for students.
Palo Alto Children’s Theater
Every other year Juana Briones partners with the Palo Alto Children’s Theater to stage a children’s performance as part of their Outreach Productions Program. The PTA provides funding for this program, and PTA volunteers work with PACT to organize rehearsals and provide supervision during rehearsals and performances.
Reading every day is a top educational priority for Briones, and the PTA supports this goal by purchasing hundreds of new books every year, both for library and classroom use.
Mystery Science makes open-and-go lessons that inspire kids to love science. They make it possible for an elementary teacher without a background in science to teach lessons that entertain and inspire students. Teachers login to mysteryscience.com and browse lessons on all topics they are required to teach for science. Every lesson begins with an actual question that scientists wondered long ago—and eventually figured out. These are genuine questions that kids ask today such as “What do plants eat?” or “Why is there sand at the beach?”
The PTA sponsors educational and entertaining speakers at student assemblies several times per year, bringing in enriching educational assemblies and activities. Past examples include science assemblies by The Lawrence Hall of Science, musical performances, and drama workshops.
Utilizing the research-based Developmental Assets model, Project Cornerstone has a number of school-based programs, trainings, and services which empower and engage youth, parents, and school staff to:
- improve school climate,
- reduce bullying, and
- create vibrant, caring communities of learners.
Click Here! to learn more!
Teacher’s & Curriculum Support Funds
These two funds are each nearly as large as the assembly fund, and go towards paying for curriculum materials and offering a flexible account that teachers can use in whatever way is most useful to their classroom.
Teacher’s Grant Fund
This fund is set aside for special purchases that fall outside regular classroom funding. In 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, we’re very proud to have used this fund to help our teachers create a technology Maker Cart. These materials are available for all classrooms to use.
Supplies for Teachers and Staff
Pens, markers, paper, scissors, tissues… the cost of running a classroom can add up quickly, and without support, those expenses often fall on the teacher. With this fund, every classroom teacher is able to get reimbursed for supply purchases.
School Improvement Fund
This fund goes toward school improvements. Past examples include adding benches to the playing field area, a new PA system, a projector for the Multi-Purpose room.
This fund is available to the principal to pay for needed items that aren’t funded through the district. Examples include replacing all of the worn-out playground balls, buying a vest and lights for morning drop-off traffic rules enforcement.
Field Trip & Transportation Fund
This fund helps to offset the cost of special field trips, which makes it easier for teachers to work these educational opportunities into their plans.
Parent Education Nights
Speakers and educational opportunities for parents at Briones and throughout the district. (If there’s a topic that interesting to you, please propose it to the board!)