Tile Wall Legacy/Fundraiser

I’m sorry. I’m getting these forms out late.

If you’d like to leave a legacy at Foulks Ranch and paint a tile to be installed on our school’s campus AND raise money for our school garden all at the same time, PLEASE fill out the form being sent home today and return by MONDAY, AUGUST 29 with your $30 check payable to Foulks Ranch PTO.

I’ve included a photo of the image in case the form gets lost in transport from school to home.


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DonorsChoose.org Project Needs Your Help

We currently have a DonorsChoose.org project online to obtain one more Chromebook.

Donors Choose is an educational crowd-funding platform that helps teachers obtain materials students need. We need to raise $267 to complete the project. The good news:

The good news: we’ve already raised $200 thanks to a $100 donation by Mrs. Jelani and a $100 matching donation by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The even better news: a $37.50 donation right now could finish the project with the help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation matching program going on right now! 🙂

Could you please share this opportunity with friends, families, or colleagues? The link to the project is bit.ly/2bj9bWe

Mission Springs Chaperone Update

We are set! Thank you so much to the following parents:

  1. Angel Epstein
  2. Victoria Polischuk
  3. Ken Kirkman
  4. Igor Carreon
  5. Jerry Haynes

We now have all the chaperones we need for Mission Springs. There will be a chaperone meeting to be determined. MSOE packets will go home with students soon along with a packing list.

There will also be important information shared soon for students who take prescription medications and how that will be handled. Stay tuned.



Google Classroom Invitation

Today, Google announced parents can now accept invitations to receive updates on their child’s work delivered via Google Classroom.

You can view missing work, upcoming work, or class activity as it unfolds in Google Classroom.

Invitations went out today. You have up to 7 days to accept the invitation.

To learn more about Google Classroom and why you might want to keep tabs on what’s happening during the school day, please click HERE to read the recent notes shared by Google.

Mission Springs Chaperones

October 3 through 7 we will attend Mission Springs Outdoor Education Camp in Scott’s Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

As of today, I have two dads attending as chaperones: Ken Kirkman and Igor Carreon. Jerry Haynes will be attending as an additional staff member, since he is a teacher at Laguna Creek High School.

We need two female chaperones.

Calling all the mothers out there. Are you willing or able to attend as a chaperone? If not, we will “borrow” mom’s from another class to serve as a chaperone.

Please email me at jbentley@egusd.net by this weekend or call/text me on my cell at 916-216-9056 by this weekend please. We need to finalize chaperones by no later than Wednesday of next week.


For more information, please contact the Fingerprinting Office in Human Resources at

686-7797 ext. 7238

 Fingerprinting Hours are as follows:

Mondays and Wednesdays

8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.


Tuesdays and Thursdays

2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

PTO Multi-Cultural Night October 19


The Foulks Ranch PTO would like to host our first annual Multicultural Night on Wednesday, October 19th, from 5:30-7:30pm. We have a very diverse group of kids and families and want to share with the entire community what it means to be different and yet so much the same.  We will host the event in the MP room, and would like to entertain a fashion show with food bites and booth displays.

We’re asking for samplings of food, dress (costume), arts/crafts, song/dance, or anything else that you might want to share with us and help with booth displays and setup/cleanup.

For food, please bring finger foods or a dish that can be broken into small sample cups and doesn’t need to be kept warm/heated.

If anyone has any cultural dress/costume that they would like to lend/donate to our kids or demonstrate themselves, we’d like to do a simple fashion show and short excerpt / description of the clothing and its meaning.

For those of you that would like to volunteer your time, but don’t have any wearables or aren’t so blessed in the kitchen, we would love to have you help with creating booth displays or cultural arts and crafts during the event.

Thank you and we look forward to a night of fun and exploration!

Please sign up here: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0A4DACAE28A6F94-foulks

Happy Last Day of School & Summer Break

Thank you for the chance to be your child’s teacher. I am thankful to be entrusted to work with your kids on a daily basis.

This has been a transitional year in many ways. We’ve gone 1:1 with technology and are refining our implementation of project based learning. We’ve been working with the Common Core State Standards and searching for best practices to teach reading, writing, spelling, grammar, math, science, history-social science, P.E., and all of the essential success skills necessary to be college, career, and life ready-skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, self-management, speaking and listening, leadership. And we’ve been doing all this with a 14 year old, out-of-date adopted English-Language Arts Program.

It’s interesting to think that as adults we’ve had about 13,000 hours of seat time in a K-12 educational system. That’s a big number, and it means we’ve seen a lot of teachers and styles of teaching and learning. But education is changing. Our economy is changing. The things we need to know and be able to do are changing. And yet the one thing that has shown little to no change is the manner in which education reacts to these changes.

I know that our classroom looks and runs differently than any other at this school. We are a bit of a “unicorn” so to speak. I can assure you, however, that there are other teachers and classrooms scattered throughout the country that look and feel and sound like ours, and that gives me hope for the future of my profession. And for our kids.

Want to see what a 21st Century school looks like? A school that is getting students college, career, and life ready? Look no further than Katherine Smith Elementary in San Jose. Their story is inspiring. It was taken over as a failing school and turned into a project based learning school. Read the stories of their students on their Word Press Blog.

I appreciate your trust and support to transform our class into a deep-thinking, deep-learning, innovative room. Your students are amazing, and I get the privilege to see them transform on a daily basis.

I recognize their are some things I do well and some that I struggle with. It’s hard to communicate on a daily or weekly basis the nature of the change or growth your children are making. I can hear it in their discussions and see it in their actions or read it in their writing. I’ve been working hard to learn ways to close the communication loop to provide you more timely and regular feedback. I’m learning how to use Google Classroom and Socrative, two tools I expect will help provide you more updates and info on a regular basis. I’ve been able to communicate with students via comments in Google Docs and Newsela Writes, but I know it’s not always seen by parents. These are areas I will continue to focus on for next year.

We do not do school as it’s always been done. We do it differently, and I believe for the better of education.

I’m excited to announce next year we will partner with Real World Scholars to start our own business. We’ve got $1,000 in seed money to start our capital venture, and students will be using an e-commerce platform, Classroom Wallet, to track expenditures and income.

In the Fall we’ll begin work on a trailer for Patricia Newman’s soon-to-be-released book, “Sea Otter Heroes.”

In the Fall we’ll begin a new collaboration with the City of Elk Grove’s Integrated Waste Department to create a series of films on organic waste recycling and mandatory small business recycling.

We will complete a documentary film on water. We will launch into historical investigations and produce documentary films about our learning.

We’ll be reading about ancient civilizations and the science and math they used with Joy Hakim’s Award Winning books. And we’ll be launching into novel studies as well.

Summer will be a busy time, preparing for the new learning adventures. I encourage you to encourage your students to read as much as they can…especially Newsela Articles. I’ll announce a summer reading challenge for this in a separate post.

Thank you again for the honor to work with your children. To those who are leaving our class to go to different tracks or classes, you will be missed. And to all, enjoy your time with family. The days are long. The years are short. Every moment together is one you’ll never get back, so do cherish the time off.

And see you August 8! It’s going to be the best year yet!


Movie Permission Requested

The Sandlot Movie Permission Slip

On Friday we would like to watch The Sandlot. Common Sense Media reviews the film at https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-sandlot# It’s rating is PG. It was created in 1993 and has become a classic for many kids and adults.

Common Sense Media approves the film for children 8 and up. In my family (three daughters aged 8, 10, 13), this is a film we view several times a year.

The language is fleeting and in context so as not to be gratuitous. It’s a friendship story described as “A Field of Dreams for tweens.”

If you would prefer your child not view the film, please return the paper permission slip to school signed or email me, and I’ll find an alternative location and activity for your child. My email is jbentley@egusd.net










Sign below if you DO NOT want your child to view the film. I will find an alternative location and activity for your child during the time the film is being shown.


Parent Signature_______________________________________________________________________