Programs and Services

Families are an integral part of our program, and key to its success. Becoming a world-class organization requires teamwork, and we are better every year at working together in the service of our Birney community.

Our motto is “Think globally, learn locally,” which means we consider the global perspective in addition to our own, and we recognize the last thought in the IBO’s mission statement, “Other people, with their differences, can also be right.” We encourage our entire community to advocate for themselves, so let us know when things are going well, as well as when they are not! You are the best advocate for your family, and a simple phone call or email can make the world of difference. My email is [email protected], and please allow 24 hours for me to respond; if you do not get a response within 24 hours, feel free to circle back and re-send.

We work closely with our parent and community volunteers to maximize the opportunities for our community’s enrichment. Our vibrant Birney Parent Organizations (BPO) consist of the Birney PTA, our community-builders, and Friends of Alice Birney Foundation (FOAB), our IB program support fundraisers. The BPO contributes enormously to our success, and we hope to continue to strengthen our partnership with our amazing volunteers, partners, and families who are new to Birney.

The BPO is committed to supporting our school financially, raising over $150,000 every year to support our specialist classes such as Spanish, Art and the Birney Environmental & Agricultural Science Garden program, grade level and school assemblies, grade level field trips and the IB teacher training and materials for our IB PYP. At the same time, the BPO strives to build community among the families through new family orientation, playground playdates, parent nights out, family dinners, morning coffees, bedtime stories and the annual Passport to Adventure festival, a vibrant celebration of our diversity and international mindedness, which we hope to revive this year after the two years of pandemic-related cancellations.

The Birney community thrives when everyone commits to be a caring, contributing and inquiring member. We acknowledge that academic success is paramount for all of us, yet the Birney goal is to make sure that every child’s time here is memorable, enjoyable and successfully balanced. Every child has regular PE, Garden, Art, Spanish, Computer and Library time.

All classes are equipped with state-of-the-art technology including individual laptops issued in Kindergarten and again in 2nd grade, which students in grades 2-5 may take home daily or as needed.

For before and after school care needs, we have two before/after-school programs: our ASES grant-funded Prime Time program is free, but families qualify based on certain criteria and must commit to the full program. We also offer a more flexible, but fee-based program through SAY San Diego. These two programs run daily throughout the year from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In addition, we offer a combination of free and fee-based after-school enrichment (ASE) classes such as garden, soccer, golf, robotics, guitar, Spanish, keyboarding, bridge, chess, music and dance. These typically start 2-3 weeks 5 after the term begins so we can communicate with vendors and provide schedules to families. Families work directly with the vendors to sign up.

To make sure our community remains balanced, we have a tradition of school wide events that are fun for the students and adults alike, often tied to our monthly Family Fridays, which occur on the first or second Friday of every month from 2:30-3:35. These events may be internationally minded, such as our celebrations of the International Day of Peace, Mother Language Dance Party Day, the Kindness Challenge Heart or Passport to Adventure Festival.

Other events are student-oriented, such as our ‘Meet the Class’, Read Across America and Student-Led Conferences. We also feature wellness events, such as Run-for-the-Green, Jump for Heart or Field Day; or they may be social events for parents paired with pizza and movie events for the kids at school "Birney Nights Out". 

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