My dearest Portola Pandas,
It has been quite a year! We started off 2019 on solid ground, literally, as we walked up Sweeney Ridge for the 250th Anniversary celebration of Gaspar de Portola discovering the San Francisco Bay. We are so lucky to have this as a tradition that binds us as a community.
We started a new tradition with our Portola families, and thanks to the efforts of your teachers, we have enjoyed many creative activities spanning all grade levels. Our collective focus on being kind is a reminder that a little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.
The New Year brought with it beautiful landscaping additions and a new flagpole. We take pride in how Portola looks, as it reflects our pride in ourselves as a community. It is this same pride that I have in our teachers and staff, as we faced an unthinkable challenge when our community, state, and nation were directed to stay at home. Our Portola community went above and beyond in adapting for this challenge - especially our teachers - who were asked to convert their physical classrooms into an online model in just a few days. Many people stepped up to help in this transition, and my hope is that you all will remember this as a time that brought out the best in others.
As you reflect on this year, there will certainly be some bittersweet moments. As I have said many times this year, when you belong to a family, there are happy times and sad times, laughter and tears. But the important thing is that we are together—and though are time together at Portola was interrupted, we have continued on in another venue. For our 5th graders, I want you to know we have not forgotten how difficult this must be for you in your transition year to middle school. This is not an ending; you will always be a part of the Portola family.
Have a safe, happy, and healthy summer! We look forward to seeing you in the fall!