Listed here are some aspects of life at Birney that may not stand out in the handbook but shape the routines and rhythms of the school year.
Every Friday is Birney Pride Day
Every Friday, you'll notice students and staff wearing their Birney Bee T-shirts to show their Birney pride. T-shirts are available for sale at Family Friday and other PTA events for prices ranging from $8.00 and up depending on style. You can also win a shirt by participating in our Run for the Green in March.
Every morning, Coach Lord offers Running Club on the Birney track from 8:45AM until the first bell rings. Students track the number of laps they run; for every five miles they run, they get a "foot" charm. Students, families, and staff are welcome to run.
On Wednesdays, Running Club offers a timed mile run. Each student's time is tracked; every student who runs the mile gets a paper "foot" in the Running Club display case on campus with their name and personal record (PR) on it. Every time the student runs another mile, a star is added to the foot in the case. The mile starts roughly at 8:50AM, so if you're interested, be at school when the gate opens at 8:45AM.
One Friday every month (usually the first but not always), Birney hosts families and friends for Family Friday. Gates open at 2:15. At 2:30PM, Ms. Amanda addresses the families and answers any outstanding questions. At 3PM, all classrooms open to families and the teachers and students share information about that month's activities and units of inquiry. It's a great opportunity to get to know the school, your child's teacher, and the IB program.
Birney Pencils for IB Behavior
Birney revolves around the 10 characteristics of the IB learner profile: inquiring, knowledgeable, thinking, communicating, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-taking, balanced, and reflective. Each week, students exhibiting these traits are highlighted in the weekly newsletter, the Birney Buzz, and are eligible to win a pencil, delivered to your classroom by Ms. Amanda.
Extra Recess Friday
The top five classes in the school in attendance each week are granted an extra five minutes of recess on Friday as a reward. At one time, kids were given ice pops as a treat, but when students pointed out that ice pops were not a healthy choice, extra recess time replaced sugary treats.
Mission 2 Save
Through our relationship with Mission Federal Credit Union, students may open savings accounts with as little as 25 cents. Deposits are taken at the front gate of the school the second Wednesday of the month from 8:45-9:15. The interest rate for student accounts is 5% up to the first $500.
Old Trolley Barn Park
Trolley Barn Park is the unofficial park of Birney students, since it's an easy walk from campus and is located in the heart of the Birney neighborhood. If you're looking to talk to other parents who send their kids to Birney, this is a great place to start. Trolley Barn is the site of the University Heights summer concert series and you'll often see people in Birney shirts there.
Perfect Attendance Ice Cream Trip
Attendance is a key priority at Birney. Students lose out on the educational process when they're not in school; the school itself loses funding when students stay home. To combat this, every year the Student Council ASB and FOABE jointly fund a limo ride to Mariposa Ice Cream for all the students with perfect attendance. Since illness is unavoidable, students can make up absences and tardies via Saturday School sessions throughout the year; specifics on Saturday School will be sent home with students if and when it becomes relevant. Birney's attendance is one of the top in the district.