Message from the Principal

Message from the Principal

August 19, 2021

Dearest Bret Harte Community, 

I hope this finds you all healthy and in high spirits as we return to school, in full capacity, for the first time in a long while.  We are so excited to see our Bret Harte scholars, in person, each day and this year promises to be one filled with lots of learning.  I'd like to express my deepest gratitude to all of our families for all of your support last year.  From distance learning to the hybrid return in the spring, it was definitely one of the most unique and challenging school-years that we have had to navigate and our staff is so appreciative of all that you have done to support our scholars.  

Join me in welcoming our new teachers to the Bret Harte team.  Ms. Deedra Robinson will be in first grade English this year.  Ms. Robinson has served in a number of roles across our Bayview schools and was most recently the Reading Intervention teacher at GW Carver Elementary School.  Ms. Gina Maschio will join the English Plus team in 4th grade, a grade level that she has taught with great success for the past six years at Charles Drew Elementary School.  Ms. Marsha Howard will serve as the 2nd grade English teacher working the same scholars that she taught last year during her residency in our 1st grade class.  We are thrilled to welcome Mr. Harry Jamerson back as well.  He will serve as the 5th grade English teacher and our students know him very well, as he has spent a great deal of time here as a guest teacher in the past.  Finally, Mr. Ethan Brentlinger will join our physical education team and we are gearing up for a year of vigorous physical activity for all of our scholars.  To all of our new Bret Harte educators, we welcome you with open arms!  

As you have likely heard from both our school district and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), we have a number of safeguards in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and keep our community safe.  We ask for your continued support in ensuring that all students come to school each day with a snug fitting mask, as everyone who enters the building is required to wear a face covering at all times while inside.  This includes our vaccinated adults.  Additionally, we will be asking students to wash their hands frequently throughout the day including before they eat and when returning to the classroom from outside.  Our custodial team will be sanitizing the building as part of their deep evening cleaning of classrooms and shared spaces and we are planning to hold as many activities outdoors as possible.  These include dance and instrumental music classes.  The guidelines do allow us to use some congregate spaces, such as the cafeteria and gymnasium, but we will do so with enhanced ventilation from both windows and, in some areas, air purifiers.  Visitors are permitted to enter the building, but please do remember that masks are required at all times while inside.  Thank you, in advance, for all of your support with these public health safeguards.  

Finally, I'll be in touch soon regarding Back to School Night.  We are planning on holding multiple smaller evening events, one grade level at a time, so that you get a chance to see your scholar's classroom, meet their teacher in person, and do so without a large crowd.  We will be sending notices home on all of those specifics soon along with ways that you can get involved with our Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO), School Site Council (SSC), African American Parent Advisory Committee (AAPAC), and English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC).  It is our partnership with our families that makes us stronger each year.  

Do not hesitate to attend Morning Assembly each day at 8:30am on the soccer field and my door is always open if you need something or just want to chat.  

Best wishes on a safe and healthy start to the year, 

Jeremy B. Hilinski, Ed.D.