Principal Newsletter, Issue #103

Tara Devine, Silveira Secretary, selected as San Rafael Chamber Educator of the Month!

The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce Education Committee recently selected educator, Tara Devine, Mary Silveira Elementary School Secretary, as one of the recipients of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Awards for 2012-2103. Tara is the school secretary at the Mary E. Silveira Elementary School with 12 years experience in education. Her outstanding contributions are Overall Program Improvement, Exemplary Support to the Classroom and Technological Leadership. 

"Let us be very clear, Tara Devine is the face of the Mary E. Silveira Elementary School. Her diligent work with parents, students, staff, and community folks on a daily basis is extraordinary. She is a true professional in every way, thoughtful, empathetic, and organized. She is a task master, always a seeker of solutions and proficient with all duties and responsibilities assigned to her. However, what is most striking is the relationships she has built with the Silveira students. They enjoy talking and visiting her and they always leave her office happier than when they arrived. We are lucky to have someone with such admirable characteristics working within our community and directly with our children." explains nominator, Will Anderson, Principal. READ MORE


Kindergarten Registration, March 15th deadline is fast approaching!

If you have a child currently enrolled at Mary Silveira and you have a kindergarten or transitional kindergarten student coming you MUST register by March 15th to reserve a spot at Mary Silveira. Any registrations after the 15th you will be added to a waiting list. So what would be the ramifications? If we are full for the 2013-2014 year, you could have one child enrolled here and one at another school in the district. We have seen this happen so do not miss this date!

No dogs on campus

Just a reminder that there are no dogs allowed on our campus. About 99.9% of us do this well. Someone mentioned that they saw someone walking their dog on campus Friday during school. Please remember that this is to keep your children safe. In addition please understand that we have an after school program in the grassy knoll area. Please refrain from unleashing your dog after school in that area as well. We do have children who are afraid of dogs. If you see someone and you know who they are but are uncomfortable approaching them, please let me know and I will check in with them. Thanks for keeping our school clean and safe.

And what a year it was for Odyssey of the Mind!

I am so proud of our four teams this year! They all returned back from the regional competition with no less that 4th place! Two of those teams will advance to the California State finals! All of our participating students exhibited great leadership and collaborative skills and should be roundly applauded for their tenacity! Our 4th and 5th grade students who participated worked very hard balancing their lives to accommodate this program.

I have included a YouTube link provided by one of our teams that shows their presentation in its entirety. It is only about 7 minutes but worth every moment! If you have a few minutes I encourage you to check it out. Take a look for yourselves here to see what they did, why their project received such high praise from the judges, and why they are going to the State finals. Below, is an article recently written (Thank you Sylvie Astrid for fiding it) that helps sum up the program and why it is important. If you are the parents of a 3rd or 4th grader right now I would encourage you to start investigating this program and consider taking part  next year! It is very exciting!

PRESS DEMOCRAT, 26 February, 2013

Team Blue: Braden Bouwman, Vivian Johnson, Cale King, Emma Kraus, Angel Mack, Matteo Martinez --- Coaches - Ron Martinez/Geoff Mack

Team Green: Fabio Ferreira, Isaac Harlem, Aurelia Moriyama-Gurish, David Shalit, Andersen Teoh, Angela Tsai, Jocelyn Tsai --- Coach - Pamela Harlem and co-coach Jo-Ann Moriyama-Gurish

Team Red: Fiona Ben-Ora, Danny Meza, Niko Otsuki, Andy Smith, Sofia Spinozzi, Jason Tighe, Sean Vasser --- Coaches - Sylvie Astrid/Carl Otsuki

Team Yellow: Sophia Brady, Ari Gupta, Annika Jorgensen, Lucy Knopf, Dhruv Pareek, Diego Rodriguez --- Coach - June Gupta



Can Do working for you!

Check this little statistic out! I believe it says it all. Click here. Thanks again for those who have participated. For those who have not please do as soon as you are able. We are at about 64% participation at this point. We really need all of our families to help with the support of our programs. Technology, art, music and physical education programs are among the classes provided and our asking price is the lowest in the county by far and away. Please participate in any way you are able and support your children. If you have any questions please feel free to check with me.

Spring Jam

We are gearing up for our Spring Jam, which will take place on the evening of Friday March 15th! Ticket sale forms went home in Friday folders March 1st. We would really appreciate volunteers to help support our activities! Please click Spring Jam to sign up online on our SignUp Genius page. Thank you in advance as you will be helping to support one of the most entertaining events at Silveira!

Youth Sports, Sign-ups, Camps and Cultural Activities

SummerCrest Summer Camp 2013 is coming! For registration information, please click here.

March is eScrip Month! - 15 minutes of your time will earn thousands for Mary Silveira Elementary School!

Did you know ...

  • eScrip is a free program that generates money for Mary Silveira! Last year, eScrip contributed $40,000 to our schools. We need your help to raise that and more for this school year.
  • It costs nothing for you to sign up! There are no fees to sign-up in the eScrip program. It is simply a way to earn free money when you shop at Safeway, Scotty's Market, Paradise Foods and other participating stores.
  • Your eScrip contributions help support programs at Mary Silveira, including art, drama, K-2 music, PE, technology and more!
  • It's easy and secure. And FREE!

Take the time, it's worth it! Here's how to participate:

Fill out the eScrip form that was sent home in your Friday Folder (and is also attached) and return it to the school office or to Can Do! (P.O. Box 6182, San Rafael, CA  94903). If you are new to eScrip, you can enroll online at or simply return the completed eScrip form to Can Do! and Can Do! will take it from there! If you are already signed-up for eScrip, please check your account, update your credit or debit cards and make sure you have selected Can Do! as the organization you would like to support.  These steps ensure your account is current, active and generating money for our school. If you shop at United Markets, let Can Do! know and they will send you a United Market membership card to present when shopping at United Markets. Thank you for taking the time to enroll in eScrip or to update your eScrip account! Your participation matters!

Miller Creek Mom’s Night Out

Friday, March 22  at  6 PM, The Club at McInnis Park. Get ready to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Guest Author and Miller Creek parent Lisa Schulman will share about her writing experience and discuss her current book. Dinner, raffle baskets, wine, friends, and fun. All Proceeds Benefit the Miller Creek Library.


Science Fair Update

OMG! The MES Science Fair is a week away!  Your children should be finished or nearly finished with their display boards.  Remember that the purpose of the display board is to clearly communicate what they did in the project.  Display boards must contain all the components of the Scientific Method following the layout in the Science Fair Student Handbook, be easily readable from a distance of about 5 feet, and conform to all rules of spelling and grammar. Photos showing faces and the student(s) name(s) cannot be on the front of the display board.  The name, school, and teacher of the student(s) responsible for each board must be only on the back of the board.

Important Dates

March 4th, Monday - Final student support lunch meeting

March 11th - MES Science Fair judging – Bring your Display Boards and completed Project Abstract Forms*, signed by your teacher, to the MPR in the morning before school begins.  Do not attach the Form to your board -- MES must submit it separately to the County for entry into the County Science Fair.

* While Abstracts are not required for boards to be displayed at the MES Science Fair, only boards with completed Abstracts will be judged to move onto the County Science Fair.

March 12th - MES Science Fair open to the public. This will take place from 6:00-7:00pm in the MPR. Awards handed out to all participants. We encourage all 3rd grade families to attend as well to see what they will be doing next year!

Luncheon  - For all students who complete a display board - Time & Place TBD

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Memory Book

OMG...again! Our 2013 Memory Book is coming! No time to wait! Ed Malaret and his cohort of mysterious student writers and photographers have been working furiously all year on this book! If you reserve online now the cost is $26 but will increase after March 31st. If you purchase in the office the price will be $26 ( same as online price) and $28 ( after the deadline). The prices remain the same as last year. We encourage you to reserve your copy through online registration at... 

Sweets at Silveira, Valentines Day and other celebratory event reminders

We loved Valentines Day and the time many of you took to be with your children, support teachers and the time you set aside with your children to create Valentine's snacks for students. To top it off, most of our families were 100% on board with our District Nutrition Policy and brought healthy and creative snacks for the day. 

That being said we want to remind folks, especially our new families and some of our veteran families as well, that sugary treats are not allowed on campus as per our District Policy. Examples of this are candy, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, suckers, chocolate, etc. These were many of the items we saw and it sent a mixed message to our kids. Some families were wondering why some classes had them and others did not. One student asked me why these foods were brought. A just question. I will do my part and my staff will do the same to help remind folks to bring fruits, vegetables and other creative snacks instead.

Moving forward here is the plan that our staff have agreed upon. Our teachers will notify all of you prior to classroom events of what is ok to bring and ehat is not. They wil also post the policy on their webpagesa and our site. If the policy is forgotten or ignored our teachers and I will ask that the items be returned home either with students or with you before being passed out to students.  We know this may be uncomfortable for folks but we can avoid that moment if we all follow the plan. Again, this is to keep your children healthy and to send a consistent message about good eating habits.


Taking a knee when the bell rings

At our next LifeSkill assembly, this week, I will be introducing a new action to help keep students safe at school. At the end of recess and lunch and after the bell rings we will ask students to take a knee and freeze for a few moments until they are released by a whistle to walk back to their classes. This will prevent some of the running and tripping incidents that have been taking place recently. Encourage your child to walk on campus at the conclusion of recess and lunch periods.    

Citations, a new model

We are reviewing our current citation model and making some changes to that program. We will be introducing this to our students in the next few weeks with the hopes that we can prevent some of the breaking of rules that we have recently seen. If your child comes home with a citation and has never received one before, understand that this is simply because we are cracking down more with the goal of keeping all children safe. I will explain both the taking of the knee and citations at our next assembly. I will also keep all of you informed as we move forward.

4th Grade testing

Our 4th graders will be taking the Writing portion of the California State Exam this Tuesday morning. In the past we have had parent volunteers in the class supporting this effort. We received word from the State that this is no longer an option. During the test, parents are not allowed in the classroom for security purposes. Only the classroom instructors as proctors are allowed to facilitate this process. We also ask that our 4th grade families may sure that students get a good night's rest, eat a healthy breakfast, and come to school on time. I know they will do well as our 4th grade staff has worked hard to prepare them not just for the STAR exam but what soecific skills are necessary to become successful writers.  

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Student Jazz Combos - 2 week sessions!

These jazz combos rehearse classic jazz standards, as well as blues, rock and funk. Students will compose their own original tunes, and even learn their favorite tunes from their iPod playlist. At the end of the two week session, students will have a live performance, and make recordings of their best work. We focus on the art and joy of improvisation and the freedom of playing from the heart. Mike Schulist has instructed Science and Jazz Combos at Miller Creek Middle School for 15 years. His combos have performed all over Marin County, and recorded six CD's in the studio. For more information about Miller Creek Jazz Combos, search for Miller Creek Combos and you will find us on Facebook and on Click here for more information

Combo dates: Two weeks, June 17-21 & June 24-28

Contact Us

Mary E. Silveira Elementary School
Dixie School District

375 Blackstone Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903

(415) 492-3741

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Can Do!

Can Do! funds technology, art, music (K-2), drama, environmental science, physical education and special assemblies at all three elementary schools.

2013-14 MESHSA & Can Do! Flyer 



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