General Information

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Program Description

Fiesta Garden International School opened its doors in September 1993 to new generations of learners who, when they graduate in six years from an elementary school, will be bilingual and biliterate in Spanish and English; in addition will have the working knowledge and perspective of the growing interdependence of people and countries throughout the world. The educational program is built upon three cornerstones:

  1. A strong academic curriculum
  2. A global perspective which emphasizes the acquisition of critical thinking skills
  3. The development of literacy in both English and Spanish by the time a student reaches 5th grade

Fiesta Gardens International School is a two-way immersion magnet modeled after other successful programs worldwide. Approximately 50% of the students are native English speakers and the other 50% are native Spanish speakers or bilingual. The program design requires that students are immersed in Spanish for the majority of their day during their primary years. As they progress through the program, the English portion of the instructional day is increased thus assuring bilingualism and bi-literacy by the students’ fifth grade year. All students have access to the full curriculum which includes language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education and the arts. The Common Core State Standards are used to ensure that the curriculum is rich, meaningful and challenging.

Research has shown that two-way immersion programs promote the benefits of bilingualism for all children. Predominantly Spanish speaking children are provided equal access to the core curriculum, maintain their home language and learn English. Dr. Virginia Collier’s monumental study, out of George Mason University, of 42,000 Spanish speaking children over twelve-year time span, showed that Spanish speaking students enrolled in two-way programs achieved more than Spanish speaking students who were enrolled in other bilingual or English as a second language programs. Research from the French immersion programs in Canada showed the English speaking children attained a high academic level in the target challenge at no cost to their English development and that on standardized tests they scored at or above other English speaking students enrolled in other monolingual programs. The Canadian research also points out another benefit which is that participating youngsters develop improved mental flexibility. Our evaluators from Far West Labs and our Program Quality Review consults from River Glen Two-Way Immersion Magnet in the San Jose Unified School District have reviewed our results. Preliminary reports from this review of test data, writing samples, observations and interviews indicate that our students will follow the trend of the previous research.

Academically, the Fiesta Gardens International School Magnet is strong. Socially, our parents report that their children exhibit greater cross cultural understanding  than that which they have experienced previously. Daily, staff members witness cooperation and respect between children from different language groups. Personally, our students exhibit a deep sense of pride in their bilingualism. They know that the ability to speak two languages is a special skill and that they are working twice as hard to attain this skill. There may be some days when they resent the extra work, but ask them if they want to attend a monolingual school and they will give you a resounding, “No!”

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Transportation and Parking

We have one bus from First Student providing transportation. The bus picks up/drops off students at the church on Humboldt St. Please refer to the bus schedule from First Student if your child takes the bus.

Our parking lot can be extremely efficient and safe when parking lot etiquette is followed by all. Please use the main parking lot for dropping off your children;  it is supervised and the safest option. You may enter the parking lot from Bermuda Drive, drop off your child in the drop-off zone and circle back around to exit on Bermuda Drive. We have a drop off lane that we encourage everyone to use appropriately. Do not park in the drop off zones or in the red zones. Please make sure that students are ready to jump out of the car  quickly in the morning. This means that they should already have their coats on, backpacks ready and please have them exit the car on the sidewalk side of the car. It is extremely dangerous for students to exit on the traffic side of the car.  Please drive to the end of the loading zone! This way we can fit in as many cars
as possible and there is no long line of cars hanging out in the middle of the intersection. Thank you for helping us keep our students safe and for your positive attitude at drop-off time. Do not double park in the loading zone and please do not have students get into cars in the middle of the parking lot – this is extremely dangerous! It is important we all set a good example for our students so that can learn the proper conduct in the parking lot.

Do not park in the corner shopping center, those spaces are reserved for customers and cars will be towed away if used for school parking. Thank you for parking respectfully in our neighborhood and walking in with your students.

We ask that you please be respectful of our neighbors. U-turns on Bermuda Drive or using driveways to turn around are not appreciated by homeowners. Police have expressed concern about dropping children off on 19th Avenue entrance so we ask that you please park your car and walk your student to the entrance. The back entrance is not supervised.

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We request that only children in Grades 1 through 5 be permitted to ride their bicycles to school. There is to be NO BIKE RIDING AND NO SKATEBOARDS ON THE SCHOOL GROUNDS.

When riding bicycles to school, students are to walk their bikes to the designated parking areas upon arriving at ANY ENTRANCE to the school grounds. Children who ride bikes to school must obey all traffic rules, give signals, look before turning, not ride on sidewalks, and walk bikes across streets. Students must wear helmets!

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Attendance and Absence Procedures

The State of California provides, by law, for compulsory school attendance by all children between the ages of six and sixteen, unless subject to a state exemption. Parents are responsible for compliance, and the school is obligated to keep accurate records of daily attendance for each student.

Therefore, if your child is absent from school, call the office at 650-312-7737 to let us know the reason for the absence and the expected date of return. If you do not make such a call, office personnel will call your home or work to verify absences. Students with excessive absences may be required to provide a doctor’s note to verify illness.

If your child is tardy or late for more than 5 minutes, please notify the office so that a lunch can be ordered if needed, and our records can be corrected. A child that is not in his/her classroom by 8:25 a.m. is considered tardy. Chronic tardies will result in appointments between the parents and the principal to review the problem.

Absences for reasons other than illness are strongly discouraged. If you sign your child out early (more that 30 minutes) without a valid excuse, he/she will be considered as partial day unexcused absent and, therefore, considered tardy. A pupil who is absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions during one school year, or any combination thereof, is considered a TRUANT. Parents, remember that due to the nature of our program, attendance is vitally important. Students must be in class to hear and respond in Spanish. Excessive tardiness or absences may affect your child’s progress at Fiesta Gardens International School.

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Early Dismissal

If your child needs to be dismissed early, call or send the office a note. When you come to pick up your child, you must sign them out FROM THE OFFICE. We will then call the classroom and ask the student to come to the office. If your child returns before the end of the school day, you and your child must check back in through the office.

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Pick Up

We have experienced difficulty with the large windows on the walkway down the middle of our school. Students who see their parents quit working with the teacher. We can not afford to waste valuable instructional minutes. Please wait by the playground so that the children are not disrupted. We would greatly appreciate your help with this.

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School Lunches

Students are able to purchase hot lunches at school. The food is prepared at the Central Kitchen and brought over to Fiesta Gardens. A lunch form is available for determining whether your child will need to pay $2.50 or is eligible for free lunch. If your child was on the free lunch program last year, he/she will be carried over for the month of August ONLY, while the new application is being processed. A sibling can also be added to a family application for the carry-over period. These lunch forms will go home the first day of school. If you do not receive one, please come to our office.

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Emergency Cards

An emergency card and a disaster card must be filled out each year for every student. In the event that the school needs to get in touch with a parent, these cards are used. It is vitally important that the information on these cards be kept current. One is filed in the office and the other is kept in the classroom. If changes need to be made during the year, please contact the school office immediately.

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No student may be given medication at school without written permission from the parents and a signed note from the child’s doctor. You must notify the school if your child is taking medication. Any medication authorized by parents or physicians will be administered through the office if needed during school time.

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First Aid

First aid must be given according to Recommended First Aid Procedures from the San Mateo County Medical Society. All school personnel are legally responsible for administering first aid whenever the occasion arises at school.

The school staff, including the nurse, is limited to administering first aid treatment only and MAY NOT ATTEMPT TO DIAGNOSE an ailment. Medication, including aspirin, cannot be dispensed by school personnel. However, if your child has the need for medication on a regular basis, you should contact the school office so we can discuss the procedures with you. Also, if your child has been exposed to or has contacted a communicable disease, please contact the school office.

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School Office Hours

School Office hours are 8:00 am to 3:45 pm. Please note that there is no supervision of students before 8:10 am.

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Common Dress Policy

Fiesta Gardens does follow a dress code. Something new this year is that university or college t-shirts are no longer part of the common dress policy. Here is our updated dress code:

Common Dress Policy

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We have childcare from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Fiesta Gardens. You may contact the Children’s Annex at (650)312-7777 regarding cost.

Children’s Annex Fee Subsidy Applications available in the school office.

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Every Wednesday your child will bring home an envelope containing information or an email from the school. Please send it on Thursday. We will also have all documents available on our school website. If you have any questions, please write a note or call your teacher immediately!

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Messages To Children During School Hours

Personal messages to be delivered to children during the school day must be kept to a minimum. We will accommodate such requests ONLY IN VERY UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES. Each request becomes a classroom disruption and an interruption to the instructional program.

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Office Telephone Usage

The office phones are for emergency calls only. Plans for after school should be made in advance.

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Cell Phones

If your child has a cell phone at school, it must be turned off during school hours and kept in their backpacks. The school accepts no responsibility regarding loss, damage, etc. of the phones.

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Students’ Birthdays

Make specific arrangements in advance with your teacher. Please do not expect to bring treats on the day of birthday without teachers’ prior approval.

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Lost and Found

Parents are STRONGLY encouraged to LABEL articles of clothing (particularly coats, sweaters, caps, lunch boxes, etc.). A box of lost/found clothing is kept in front of the office doors. Clothing not claimed is donated to a charitable organization.

Staff does not collect and return clothing left out on the playground.

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Money Found on Campus by Students

The office will keep the funds for 30 days. After 30 days have passed, and no one has claimed the money, the student that found the funds can claim them.

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Adult Visitation of School

You are most welcome to visit school. Please make specific arrangements in advance with the teacher or the office. For the protection of our children, and in accordance with State law, you must register in the office before visiting a class.

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