Bobcat Tracks- September 2016
Connecting our Community
Letter from our PFC President
Can you believe we already have four weeks under our belts? New families, I hope you're starting to feel at home, and returning families, I hope it's still feeling new and exciting. There really is so much this year to be excited about! 

The biggest news in our budget is that PFC is funding STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) lab activities at almost $32k this year; last year this represented just under $10k of our budget. This includes an investment of more than $14k in the new Garden program (have you met Mrs. Velkin yet? She spoke at the September PFC meeting, and she's phenomenal!). It also includes materials for every classroom's monthly science, engineering, art and Harvest of the Month activities. And Mrs. Schuler has plans to include technology training (like coding!) for both teachers and students. Teachers, parents, and especially the students couldn't be more excited about this cluster of activity!

One other change in our funding I'd like to mention is that in addition to giving each teacher $25 per student for materials as we have always done, the PFC has also created a grade-level fund, giving each grade $1000 to use in support of its educational objectives.

Another development that I am thrilled about is our newly created Strategic Funds Committee. The PFC and the families at Bancroft have build up a reserve over the last many years, and it is time to put these funds to use. Please read Matt Gould's article below for more information and please participate in whatever way you can. This is an opportunity to make an immediate and also lasting contribution to the life of our school.

And as you no doubt know by now, we are moving to Konstella for our communications. I hope you've been able to log on and look around. Did you know that you can click on any calendared event and get details on it? Did you know you can look up anyone at the school to find their contact information? We will be using it for room and school-wide communication, calendaring, signups and more. I am interested to hear your feedback on how it is working and how it might be able to be made to work better. 

As a final note, I want to make sure you understand that as parents here, you are all members of the PFC (Parent Faculty Club), so please don't hesitate to share your ideas, questions, and concerns with us - via email, in the halls, or at PFC meetings. Speaking of, we had 41 parents and staff at our September PFC meeting, and it was wonderful! We encourage you to come to at least one meeting just to see what it is about. We welcome and encourage your thoughts and are stronger for them. 

Mari Mielcarski
President, Bancroft PFC 
Strategic Funds Committee - Looking for Members
The newly created Strategic Funds Committee is looking for members.  The goal of the Committee is to: 
  • solicit and collect ideas from our community; 
  • identify the best ideas (against a pre-determined rubric); 
  • build those ideas into proposals; 
  • nominate the best of those for funding; and, 
  • oversee the implementation of the chosen ideas. 
Most of the work for this Committee is expected to occur between now and January and will include a handful of meetings in the evenings as well as some due diligence work between meetings. 

Please email Matt Gould for more information or if you would like to attend the first meeting this Thursday evening, September 22nd.
Traffic Safety
I would like to thank those who have already taken the time to volunteer for traffic duties. All of us appreciate it! 

This academic year, we have assigned each grade level a month of volunteer coverage. Of course, you can volunteer at any time that may work better for you. 

Our school has almost 600 students this academic year! We are asking for Traffic volunteers to help with the safety of our children and an efficient drop-off. As we all know, hundreds of vehicles come and go daily, and things can go awry. Vigilance is necessary to keep our students safe and the traffic lines moving. 

To ensure the safety of our students, Bancroft relies on ALL families to help with traffic and morning greeter duty from 7:30 - 8:00am.  Traffic Duty is one of the most important volunteer opportunities and requires 30 minutes of your time!

Konstella is our new communications app, and you may sign up through the app, or your room parents can help you with signing up.  Thank you in advance for your help!

The following are the assigned traffic duty months for each grade:

October: Kindergarten & 1st grade
November: 4th grade
December: 5th grade
January: 3rd grade
February: 2nd grade
March: 1st grade
April: Kindergarten
May: 4th & 5th grades
June: 2nd & 3rd grades

If you have any questions, please contact  Jolyn Duquette,
Bancroft PFC Traffic Coordinator.

We currently have 382 registered parents on Konstella. This represents just over 2/3rds of our students. When parents stay informed and involved with Bancroft, everyone benefits. 

If you have created an account, but not completed registration, you will still get the announcements and emails, but are missing out on the full features this wonderful tool has to offer. Please encourage your fellow parents to join or complete the registration process. If you have questions about registering, ask your room parent and if they can't help you, they will find someone who can! You can also always reach out to Philip Juarez, the PFC Communication Chair, for further help or concerns. Hope to talk to you all soon on Konstella!

Philip Juarez
Bancroft PFC Communication Chair

A BIG thank you to the Bancroft community! As of August 31st, 2016 we have received $67,739 in donations, making up 37% of our total fundraising goal for this year!

Because of the generosity of our school community, we can continue to fund classroom instructional aides, STEAM programs and supplies, community hospitality events, the new garden program, and countless other vital educational activities and programs. Thank you for investing in our community and our children.

It's not too late...make your donation go twice as far:  You might be eligible for a matching gift.  Ask your HR department today if your employer will double your donation!  

As of August 31st, 2016 we have received over $2,500 in matching gifts from Chevron,, PG&E, and Kaiser!

To those families who have made a donation, we thank you!  For those of you who are still considering being part of our Dollar-A-Day success, please stop by the school office and make your donation today! Donation forms can be found in the school office or on our website.

THANK YOU!! Go Bobcats!
Ashley Foster, PFC Treasurer


Calling all Bobcats! Lace up your running shoes and get ready for the 7th annual Bancroft Walk-A-Thon! This fundraising event will take place on Friday October 14th and will include lots of fun music, snacks, event giveaways and prizes for all students. Parents, family members and friends are encouraged to participate as well, so mark your calendars and plan to come walk or run with your Bancroft student! The Bancroft Walk-A-Thon raises money for the current school year to help fund technology improvements, teacher materials, playground supplies, garden program supplies, and our STEAM Lab.

Students get family and friends to sponsor them based on number of laps completed during the event or with a flat donation. Students and classes have the opportunity to earn a number of prizes and awards based on their participation and donation collection. Our goal for this year is $25,000. We hope to reach our goal with the amazing support of our Bancroft community.

Walk-A-Thon pledge envelopes, T-shirt order form and additional information will be coming home soon with your child in their Friday or Monday folder. GO BOBCATS! 

Questions? Want to help with the event? Contact Event Co-Chairs Stefanie Lee and Jennifer McCullock at
Benefit for Bancroft
Bancr oft PFC has partnered with Benefit-Mobile as a fundraising solution. It is free to members and free to Bancroft. Benefit is a free iPhone or Android phone app that can be used to pay for your everyday purchases such as groceries, clothes, home goods, and more. You can pay on site at the store or online. A portion of your purchase goes directly back to Bancroft! 

Retailers include Safeway, CVS, Amazon, Target, Starbucks, 
Whole Foods, and many more!

This is an amazing opportunity to earn a significant amount of money for our school by simply purchasing items that we would be buying anyway.  Please click here for an example on how you could "donate" $20 per week to our school!

Download the app and select Bancroft Parent Faculty Club as your beneficiary to start giving. Find more information in the app or at Feel free to forward this information to family and friends. The more people who participate, the more funds we will raise.

If you have any questions, please email Sarah Hansell at  
Family Night- Bancroft Makers Faire!!
"Makers Faire" is a celebration of creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness! "It is the greatest show and tell on earth!"

Bancroft's PFC is hosting a school Maker's Faire on Friday, October 21st from 6-8pm. Our Makers will be primarily students, either individuals, clubs, classes or teams. We are looking for Makers of all kinds, artists, authors, crafters, engineers, entertainers, up-cyclers, and more! Each Maker will be given a space to showcase their creations. Our vision for this event is that student Makers will be able to show their creations and talk to attendees and/or offer hands on demos that participants can try. If your student(s) would be interested in being part of this event please let me know and we can discuss the details. Lastly if a parent, grandparent, family member, friend are also a Maker and would like to provide a hands on demo or are interested in volunteering, please let me know at:

This is truly a school community focused family night and we look forward to seeing and hearing from all the creative Makers out there!

Thank you!
Clair Boomer
Community Service Day
Sign up now for the annual City of Walnut Creek Community Service Day which is Saturday October 8!
Come join hundreds of volunteers as they come together to help a wide array of worthy local causes, most importantly, Bancroft! 

This year volunteers will help paint paw prints and spruce up the learning garden. And if we get enough volunteers, we'll be able to include sprucing up the wooden benches throughout the campus.

There is something for every age... and the best part? If we reach 80% registration by  September 30th, every volunteer will receive a coupon for a free Dunkin' Donut! So what are you waiting for? To sign up, simply click on this link  and choose the Bancroft project you would like to help with. You will also be invited to start the morning enjoying a free breakfast at Heather Farm Park prior to heading to Bancroft. 

Let's reach 100% and feel pride in knowing we dedicated our time for such a valuable cause!

If you have questions, please contact Janelle Anderson.

Fall Fest- Save the Date
Saturday, October 29
@ 3:00 - 5:00pm

Join us for Bancroft's favorite spooktacular event - the Bancroft Fall Festival!  Wear your costume and get ready for some tricks and treats.  We'll have lots of BOO-tastic games, prizes, food, music, the popular CAKE WALK, ghostly HAUNTED HOUSE and more!
Advanced ticket purchases and volunteer opportunities will be available... more information to come. If you are interested in joining the planning committee, contact  Emerald Bristol or  Amy Walters  or check out open positions under the Fall Fest Committee on  Konstella
Odyssey of the Mind
The Odyssey of the Mind is an international team competition sponsored by NASA.  It is for students in kindergarten through college.  Odyssey of the Mind teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having fun in the process. By tapping into creativity, and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem solving, students learn skills that will provide them with the ability to solve problems -- great and small -- for a lifetime. Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems, while working as a team.  In Odyssey of the Mind, every idea is a good idea. The creative problem-solving process rewards thinking "outside of the box."
In Odyssey of the Mind . . .
  • Students develop team-building skills by working in groups of as many as seven students per team.
  • Students learn to examine problems and to identify the real challenge without limiting the possible solutions and their potential success.
  • The creative-thinking process is nurtured and developed as a problem-solving tool.
  • Teams will work within budgets and create everything without any outside assistance from their coaches, parents, friends, siblings etc.
To learn more or sign-up to be on a Bancroft Team, 
parents and students please attend the Info Meeting on Wednesday, September 21st at 6:30pm in the Bancroft's STEAM Room/ C4 or contact Christy Paloutzian at    
The Jamba Juice Fundraiser has been very successful.  So far, we've raised over $550 for Bancroft!

The next Dine2Donate (D2D) Fundraiser will be at Round Table Pizza.  Please be on the lookout for the flyer (below) that will be coming in your child's  Friday Folder.

On the list of D2D restaurants to target for the school year are: Denica's Country Kitchen, Kinders BBQ, Chick-fil-a, Wingstop, Rocco's, Ice Monster, Mooyah's, Panera Bread, Chipotle, Tutti Fruity, Mary's Pizza Shack, Guanatos, El Molino Torterilla, Yalla Mediterranean, Yogurt Station and Applebee's.  If you have any connections to a sushi restaurant or other restaurants please contact me,  Elizabeth  Real at: or put a note in the D2D folder in the school office.

If you are able to make copies (650 approximate) at your office, please also let me know.  

Your suggestions, ideas and comments are always welcome.

Thank you for your support!
Auction- Save the Date

Save the Date for our annual Spring Auction! 
March 18, 2017

Do you own your own business? Do you want to advertise in the auction catalog? 

The auction committee is looking for businesses in our community to sponsor our Heads & Tails Raffle Prizes, the VIP Table, a photo booth, and the Wine pull. If your sponsor amount is $250 or more, you will get a half page advertisement in the auction catalog, for a sponsorship of $100-225, you will get a quarter page advertisement in the auction catalog. If you are interested in being a sponsor please contact Cherisse Riney.

Cub/Girl Scouts
Are you interested in joining Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts?  

Troops are forming right now (1st-5th for boys and K-5th for girls).  Please contact Brett Paloutzian to inquire about Cub Scouts, and Kriss Bridgham for Girl Scouts. 

Girl Scouts Logo 2
Walk to School Day
It's Cool To Walk To School!
On  Wednesday, October 5th, Bancroft Elementary School will be participating in International Walk to School Day, joining children and adults around the world to celebrate the benefits of walking.

Walking to school promotes physical activity, helps create concern for the environment, and reduces traffic congestion, pollution and speed near schools.

Every student who walks to school on  October 5th (includes biking, scootering, etc.) will receive an "I walked to school today" sticker. Family members who walk with their students can pick up an "I walked to school today" sticker from the school office. 

Families who live too far to walk from home can park in the Countrywood Shopping Center parking lot and walk to school along the trail.
Join your fellow Bancroft families  October 5th and walk to school  - it's good for you and good for Bancroft! 

Box Tops for Education
Welcome back Bancroft families and to new families,

We hope you were saving your Box Tops over the summer! Please drop them off in an envelope/bag with your child's name and her/his teacher's name into the box for Box Tops in the office.

We will have a class celebration for the class that brings in the most each month.

Included here is an image of the Box Tops you should keep your eyes out for on the common products you are purchasing every day. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to reach out to your Box Tops coordinator, Alyson Ogden at , or go to this link.

Upcoming Dates
9/21: Life Skills Assembly,
Grades 1 & 2, 8:10-8:40am, MUR

9/21: Odyssey of the Mind Info Night, 6:30-7:30pm, STEAM Lab

9/23: Life Skills Assembly,
Grades 3-5, 8:10-8:40am, MUR

9/26: ELAC Meeting, 7:45-9:15am, Library

9/27: Picture Day

9/27: Walnut Creek Family Science Night at Bancroft, 6:30-8pm, MUR

10/5: Int'l Walk to School Day

10/8: WC Community Service Day

10/10: Teacher in Service; no school

10/14: Walk-a-Thon

10/18: PFC Meeting, 7pm 

10/21: School Maker Faire Family Night, 6-8pm

10/29: Fall Fest, 3-5pm, Bancroft

Visit the Bancroft online calendar for future dates.
Thank You!
Thank you to everyone who stopped by on the first day of school to our Welcome Back Cafe. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and meet some of our new families! Thank you to  Rachel Gould and the hospitality committee: Melissa Horgan, Kerrie Barry, Insuk Nam, Kelly Jones, Areej Bahrani, Hillary Osness, Mari Mielcarski, Helena Milosevic and Pauline Vanbeek.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped with another successful Info Day:  Clair Boomer, Jennifer Hill, Ashley Foster, Julie Fustok, Christina Bowen, Angie Meza, Lana Nemirovsky, Areej Albahrani, Brenda Walsh, Suzanne Leibowitz, Erica Shankle, Katy Schultz, Katherine Beckner, Elizabeth Real, Sarah Hansell, Stefanie Lee, Marga Marshall, Christy Paloutzian, Kriss Bridgham, Tatiana Diaz, Jolyn Durquette, Sandra Heinen, Reyna Taylor, Jill Collins, Jenn Boswell, Emerald Bristol, Leslie Lafredo, Kristen Carillo, Donna Noonan, Kelly Jones, Beth McKnight, Jennifer Mccullock, Jennifer Enson, Kim Wentworth, Tatyana Espinoza, Anna Rowe, Sandi Rosenblatt, Matthew Gould, Hillary Osness, Amiee Gordon.

A big thank you to Clair Boomer, Marga Marshall, Julie Fustok, Hillary Osness, Tatiana Diaz, Ashley Foster, Kriss Bridgam, Melissa Horgan, Christy Paloutzian, Jenn Boswell and Mari Mielcarski (and many of their children!) for packet stuffing. 

T hanks to Hillary Osness and Marga Marshall for running our new family park playdates. We appreciate all the volunteers that came to support this event: A miee Gordon, Sandra Heinen, and  Alana Keefe. 

The Fall After School Enrichment program has begun and we are grateful to   Julie Fustok  for the hours of work it takes to coordinate this great program for our children.

Thank you, Katy Schultz for getting our library off to a good start with volunteers. 

Thank you, Kriss Bridgam and Brett Paloutzian for coordinating the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts info nights and troop forming. 

Thank You  Rachel Gould, Jennifer Juarez, Tatyana Espinoza, Hillary Osness, Kristin Carrillo, Kathy Biddick, Amiee Gordon, Jennifer Guirola, Courtney Russell, Maria Guillermina Lobo, Wendy Iglesias, Walter Biddick, Amiee Gordon, Natasha Paul, Pauline VanBeek, Laura Choi, DeAnne Cardona, Katherine Beckner, Ivan olds, Ron Gordon, Scott Acevedo, Brian Espinoza, Philip Juarez, Kristin Manibusan, and Geri Rivera for putting together the ice cream social. We appreciate your time and effort in organizing this fun event! 

Thanks Suzanne Leibowitz for getting room parents going! Thank you to all who have volunteered to be room parents!

Thank you  Elizabeth Real for organizing our first Dine2Donate fundraiser via Jamba Juice gift cards.

Thank you to Jolyn Duquette for stepping up as our Traffic Coordinator and to all the traffic volunteers  for keeping our Bancroft Bobcats safe!

Thank you, Marga Marshall for running our buddies program. 
Our Bobcat Families for the 2016 2017 school year are:
Alana Keefe, Alyson Ogden, Gosia Dunning, Kristine
Christina Bowen, 
Wendy Iglesias, Sandra Heinen, Julie Fustok, Kevin Hwang, Kelly Jones.
So thankful for these families for welcoming our New Families to Bancroft. Our Bobcat Buddy Families have reached out to them and made sure they feel welcome and adjusted to our wonderful school. They have provided information, advice, and connected so they had a great start of the New School Year. As always, our Bancroft Community is a great community.
Go Bancroft, Go Bobcats!!
Budget Update

For prior Tracks, Principal's Messages and PFC Meeting Minutes
Please refer to the PFC website's archive
Ongoing Fundraisers
dollar a day

Earn cash for our school!
Collect Box Tops and drop them in the collection bin in the office.

B enefit is a free iPhone or Android phone app that can be used to pay for your everyday purchases such as groceries, clothes, home goods, and more. You can pay on site at the store or online. A portion of your purchase goes directly back to Bancroft

Basementeers receive 10% off every item every day and 10% of profits go back to your favorite local charity like Bancroft Elementary.
Contact Us
Bancroft Elementary
Spirit Wear
Show your school spirit by purchasing Bancroft Spirit Wear!
2016-2017 Bancroft spirit wear in youth sizes has been created with a brand new design for this school year! 
 Place your order by September 23th for mid-October delivery using our  order form

Every Friday is spirit wear day at Bancroft! A spirit trophy rotates throughout the school year, and is held by the classroom with the most spirit. Help your classroom win by showing off your Bobcat pride!

Please contact  Tatiana Diaz, Spirit Wear Coordinator, with any questions.