Albert Michelson Elementary

Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges grades TK-5.
WASC Accredidation
September 28:  Grades TK-3 Return to In-Person Learning
October 5:  Grades 4-5 Return to In-Person Learning
Dear Michelson Community,

I hope you are all well and healthy. I want to thank all of the parents/guardians who participated in the Board Meeting last Wednesday. We are deeply aware of, and value, the variety of opinions in the District. I am grateful for the respectful and open collaboration and conversations that have taken place as the issue of re-opening was discussed and a plan developed. I know that feelings remain divided on the spectrum, but the process was respectful and collaborative, and speaks well of the community.

As you know, we are returning to in-person school for grades TK-3 on Monday, September 28. Grades 4/5 will return on October 5.

With that in mind, I want to update you on next steps.  I apologize for the length of this email, but it is important information, so please read it.

First of all, the only way this is going to work, and stay working, is if everyone follows the rules. I know that we have some families that have different viewpoints. But we need to follow the plan to make it work, so we can stay in school. I am always happy to listen to feedback, but please follow the guidance in the plan, even if you personally have a different viewpoint. I am ALWAYS there to listen to points of view and talk through solutions.


The procedures for drop-off and pick-up are DIFFERENT due not only Covid-19, but also because of the limitations of the construction zones. I would appreciate your carefully reviewing this information.

Drop Off:


Feeney Park remains the drop off area FOR ALL STUDENTS. Please pull all the way forward. Linda Miller will be greeting families at Feeney.  We would appreciate all families, except kinder students, to stop, drop, and roll. What this means is carefully pull up in the Feeney lot, have your student ready with backpack and jacket, and have them exit the car quickly with a well wish for the day! PLEASE DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE. STAFF WILL BE OUT IN FULL FORCE TO GREET YOUR STUDENT AND DIRECT THEM UP THE STAIRS TO THE ENTRY.

Students will be reminded to stay distant as they climb the steps to Feeney. The playground gates will be restricted due to construction staging, so students will follow the markings to the front of the school. Grades 2-5 are directed into the building with a left turn out to the playground area. Split classes will line up in the area with the lower grade level designation. Line zones are clearly defined and staff will notify them where to stand.

Kindergarten, first grade and the first/second split will walk past the front of the school and down the gravel path to the entry gate by the kindergarten yard. Again, staff will be highly visible to assist in this entry. Kindergarten, 1st grade, and the 1/2 split will line up on the marked areas in the kindergarten yard.  Kindergarten parents may park in Feeney Park and walk up the stairs with their student.  Adults need to stay distant from other adults and say goodbye at the entrance to the gate.  Again, staff will be be there to support you.  We know this is hard.

Special ed students will be arriving in the Extended Day parking lot and will have a direct route to the classroom. Staff will meet them at the Extended Day lot.

TK students attend from 10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. and will be greeted at the front entry of the school. TK parents may accompany their student to the outside waiting area, but must maintain distancing.

Bus students enter the Kindergarten gate and will walk to their assigned yard locations.

As the Feeney gate area is not available until construction is concluded in mid-October, dismissal is as follows:

Regular Ed Bus students and Special Education Bus students:
Bus students will board the bus at the front entry of the school.

All other students will line up on their field lines outside and then walk distanced to Feeney Park. Parents will pick up students at Feeney Park. Please do NOT PARK in the first row of parking stalls next to the stairs. This is where students will line up. Teachers will have "eyes on" before they dismiss a student. Again, please maintain distance during the pick up process. We can not have crowds together, so please respect the restrictions, even if you disagree.

On the first day, please send your student's tech device, school supplies, and workbook items back to school.  It would be preferable if they are all in the backpack in a Ziploc bag.  The student needs to walk a little ways up the stairs, so ease of carrying items placed in the backpack would be ideal.

Please return the packet of emergency information BEFORE the first day of school.  There is a box outside of the school where you can drop off these forms and contact cards.  This is SO IMPORTANT.  We need this information to contact you in the event of an emergency.

Please send your student to school with a mask if they are in grades 3-5.  Split grades for 2/3 wear a mask or shield.  For the comfort and security of all, we are HIGHLY encouraging and incentivizing masks or shields IN GRADES TK-2.    If your student forgets, we have them available. I know this is a passionate issue, and again, please remember we have to follow the rules to be open.  Please help us do it, so we can keep your kids in school.
The bus, on the highway stop schedule, is available for those students THAT HAVE NO OTHER WAY TO GET TO SCHOOL.  One of the most beautiful things about the parent survey was 85% of families said they would stay off the bus, so kids that needed it could have a safer ride.  PLEASE IF YOU CAN DRIVE YOUR STUDENT, WE NEED YOU TO DO IT.

Food service will be available with pre-packed breakfast and lunches.  Hot food resumes November 1.  More information to follow.

We are aware this Parent Square message is sending deep into the  emergency contacts rather than the Primary Parent/Guardian Emails.  We are working on this issue and regret any inconvenience this is causing.   It should be resolved soon.

In closing, I want to thank the VTA Membership (Teachers Union) and CSEA (Classified Union) for their willingness to embrace in-person learning. This is a rare thing in this state, and I thank the staff for their collaboration as we move forward on this process.

I know this is hard, and I know everyone wants life to return to normal. But until it does, THE ONLY WAY this will work, is if we all do the best we can and follow the guidelines, whether we agree or not.

In closing, please reach out to me if there are any questions or suggestions. If I can provide additional information about alternate programs to in-person learning, please call my cell at 650-996-3290.

Take care,

Louise Simson
Principal/Assistant Superintendent
Dear Michelson Community,
At Albert Michelson Elementary, we believe strongly in the home/school connection as a driver for our students' success.  Communication plays a huge role in creating a transformative learning environment.  Each week, the school emails a "News and Update" message in English and Spanish. If you are not currently receiving this regular email and would like to be added to the list, please contact and ask Mrs. Bergantz to add you to the list.  Michelson staff and teachers are just a phone call or email away.  Reach out to us and let us know how we can support your child in the best way possible!
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
—William Butler Yeats
Albert Michelson Elementary
196 Pennsylvania Gulch Road
Murphys, CA 95247
Telephone:  (209) 728-3441
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 329 Avery, CA 95247
Louise Simson
Principal/Assistant Superintendent
Judy Bergantz
Administrative Assistant
Call in Absence Line:
Free adult English classes every Wednesday and Friday
at 8:00 a.m. 
Join us!