CMS Newsletter 9/9/19

With all the new technologies that keep coming our way, I find myself repeatedly saying, “It’s a brave new world.”  As parents and educators, it is very difficult to stay on top of all the new apps, devices, social media, etc. thrown our way.  Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that the technology our children are interacting with is less than ten years old. What kind of long term effect is this going to have on our youth? It is impossible to  know because we cannot do longitudinal studies on something so new. 

This leaves us to figure things out as we go.  The one thing I can say for sure is that if we want to improve our relationship with our children, we need to limit screen time.  We know that children benefit from time spent with caring adults. But not all time is created equal. Quality time does not include staring at a cell phone. 

In a similar vein, children’s online behavior not only needs to be limited, it also needs to be monitored.  There are endless possibilities of unsafe things that can happen with our children online, particularly if they think they are not being watched.  I always remind parents that we all drive better when there is a police officer behind us. Children who know their guardians are monitoring their behavior are far less likely to cyberbully and far less likely to be cyber bullied. This is not to say we should “blame” the victim, but a reminder of what we can do to help curtail this pervasive issue.

To add to the challenges, our devices have been created to be addicting.  The article linked below references, “technoference” as the constant interference technology can have on our lives. When we hear that little bing, our brains want us to immediately see who is contacting us. This can get in the way of so many important things in life, like good parenting at home and good learning at school.

The good news is there are things we can do for our children to help model appropriate online and digital etiquette.  This article provides researched based ideas on how we can teach our children to be responsible online citizens. I also like the concrete strategies suggested to help adults navigate this brave new world of ever changing technology. 

Modeling Good Screen Time Behavior 


7th Grade Yosemite Trip

This Monday in Science, 7th graders are receiving Yosemite registration and deposit forms. In order to secure your student's spot, please be sure these forms are returned by Friday, September 13th to first period teachers. Please contact Mr. Domer if you are interested in a scholarship of any amount.

Parents who are interested in chaperoning the trip can attend an optional information meeting this Tuesday, September 10th at 6:30pm in room 203. This will be the same information presented at the chaperone meeting following last Wednesday's general information meeting.

Please note that the email address is not functioning. Please direct all general questions to Ms. Becht at For financial questions, please include Ms. Banfield at as well.


ASB Events

September 8th to 14th is National Suicide Prevention Week. In order to spread the importance of knowledge and prevention to all students, ASB has planned a number of optional activities for students to participate in, including daily announcements and lunchtime activities.

Parents interested in exploring this further check out the National Suicide Awareness Week Suggested Reading List


ASB is hosting a number of upcoming Friday spirit days. Encourage your student to dress up and show their Mustang Pride!

  • Friday, September 13th - Trendy Friday
  • Friday, September 20th - Meme Day
  • Friday, September 27th - Tropical Day
  • Friday, October 4th - Pajama Day


6th grade ASB representative elections are happening this month. All interested students can pick up an election packet from Ms. Williams in room 204. All completed packets are due by Friday, September 20th. Elections will be held on September 27th. Please email with any questions.


8th Grade DC/NY Trip

Are you interested in your child attending the annual Washington DC and New York City trip from June 14th to 19th? Join us for an info meeting next Wednesday, September 18th at 6:30pm in room 204. Be sure to RSVP at to let us know you're planning to attend.

The DC/NY trip is not school sponsored or affiliated with the San Carlos School District, but led by an individual through EF Explore America. If you have any questions about this trip, please contact Jennifer Williams at


6th Grade Author Event - Wednesday 9/25

Kid Activists by Robin Stevenson

Opportunity to Pre-Purchase Signed Copies


On Wednesday, Sept 25th, The Reading Bug is thrilled to present to our 6th graders, Robin Stevenson...the author of over 20 books for kids and teens.  Her latest book, Kid Activists, may be her most inspiring and important one yet for young readers!

During the presentation, Robin will talk about her writing process, share some stories from the book, discuss how writing itself can be a form of activism, and encourage kids to think about what issues they care about and how they might use their own voices to take action on those issues.

If you are interested in pre-purchasing a personalized copy of the book for your student, please use the link below:




CMS Yearbook Early Bird Special


Don't miss your chance to get the best price on a 2020 CMS Yearbook and a free name plate for your student! On November 30th, the price will increase and name plates will not be available. To buy a yearbook, visit and follow the link to the Herff-Jones sales site. 

Questions? Email Yearbook Advisor Mr. Lamb -



PTA News

Get involved with the Central/Arroyo PTA!

Please join us at our first PTA meeting of the year this Wednesday, September 11th at 8:45 AM in the school library. These meetings are attended by both Tom Domer and Mindy Shelton and are a great way to stay informed. Also, mark your calendars for upcoming PTA meetings in 2019/2020. We would love to see you!

•       September 11 at 8:45 AM

•       October  TBD

•       November 13 at 7:00 PM

•       January 15 at 8:45 AM

•       February 12 at 7:00 PM

•       March 11 at 7:00 PM

•       April 15 at 8:45 AM

•       May 13 at 8:45 AM

•       June 10 at 6:30 PM

Join the PTA and make your voice heard!

It's not just about classroom volunteers and fun runs! Did you know that when you join the Central Arroyo PTA, you are also joining the California State PTA, which spearheads educational advocacy in Sacramento? 

• Higher membership gives our PTA a powerful voice in advocating for our children with the California legislature.

• 100% membership sends a message to Sacramento that our district is made up of voters who are concerned and involved.


Join PTA and keep the Stand Up for Public Schools push for better CA school funding going strong.


The 2019 Stampede and Soar Color Run is coming up on Sunday, October 6th, from 9am - 11am. 

Join the Arroyo Eagles and Central Mustangs as they Stampede & Soar through the City of Good Living! This year’s fun run will be a color chase celebrating community and raising money for our school through business sponsorships. 

Event Details                             

Sunday, October 6 from 9 am - 11 am

• Central/Arroyo Campus

• 1.5 mile laps through 4 color stations

• Run/walk one or two laps

• DJ music and food for purchase following 

• Liquid food-grade color provided by Chameleon Color

Register by September 15th to guarantee a 2019 Stampede & Soar t-shirt.

Tickets $25 per participant. SIGN UP TODAY!


Business Sponsor Opportunity

Have your own business or know someone who does? Here’s an opportunity to sponsor our annual Central Middle School and Arroyo School Stampede & Soar Color Run, taking place Sunday, October 6 in San Carlos! It is the only fundraiser of the year for CMS and Arroyo School and reaches over the families of over 800 students. Click here for more information on the Stampede & Soar Business Sponsorship. 

If you have any questions, or are interested in providing an in-kind donation, please contact Camala Umbenhaur at Thank you so much for your consideration and support!

Arroyo Spirit Wear - Deadline Extended to Friday, September 13th!

Go Arroyo  Eagles! Stock  up now on youth  and adult Arroyo spirit  gear. These items are available  only twice a year - now and mid-spring -  so don't miss out. Shop on our PTAEZ  school store by our extended fall deadline of Friday, September 13th. Orders will be delivered to your child's classroom by the first week of October. Questions? Contact Jen Holmes

Become a PTA Partner -  DONATE TODAY!

Your one-time PTA Partner donation of $250 this Fall directly benefits Central and Arroyo schools and students by providing: 

  • Teacher Grants and Supplies
  • Art in Action, Garden, MakerSpace programs
  • Library Books
  • Staff Appreciation
  • Healthy Cities Tutoring
  • School Assemblies
  • And much, much more!

Every donation amount makes a difference, and we thank you in advance for any support you can give the Central Arroyo students and teachers! DONATE TODAY! PTA Partnership also includes your annualPTA membership


Hot Lunch Volunteers Needed! 

Want a chance to see the kids during the lunch hour? Be a Hot Lunch Volunteer! Shifts are one hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Work monthly or more often. If interested, please sign-up at Questions? Contact Jen Pedrotti at


Jim Wiltens' Leadership Class

To follow up on Jim Wiltens' Leadership Assembly, there are several parent-child beginning and intermediate classes offered this year. Learn more here:


Central  Day of Service - September 29th  

Do you have a garage crammed with tools? Are your bulging biceps barely contained by your sleeves? Maybe you have a desire to have someone else boss your kids around on a Sunday? If so, you and your clan are the people we are looking for at Arroyo's Day of Service! Our projects will be all around the school grounds, working on sprucing, brightening, repairing and re-imagining several spaces. 

We need people with blowers, sanders, toolboxes, power washers, an affinity for details...and a can-do attitude.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 29 (yes, it's coming right up!), any time from 9 am to 1 pm. There will be snacks and refreshments for everyone who can show beads of sweat on their foreheads!

Learn more and sign up to volunteer here.


Calling All Readers! Central Arroyo Book Fair is Coming!

The Central Arroyo Book Fair is coming soon! Mark your calendars for the week of October 7-11.

More information and a volunteer sign-up link will be coming soon. Check the Arroyo PTA signup page.  We need your help to make the Book Fair a success! Please consider signing up for a slot (or more!)Volunteering at the book fair is a wonderful opportunity to visit with the students and encourage them to find great books to enjoy. Thank you in advance for your support!

Funds raised from the Book Fair help support the Central Arroyo PTA. If you have any questions please contact Kristy Ettinger Julie Ledford or Stephanie Brill

District News

After School Enrichment Classes

KidzToPros is excited to begin registration for their afterschool, fall vendor enrichment classes which will begin the week of September 16th.  Most classes available last year will be returning, along with more STEM classes and opportunities for our middle school students. Click on the link below to register for the classes offered at Arroyo.


Join the SCSD School Board!     

There is a vacancy on the San Carlos School Board due to a lack of candidates registered for the November 5 election. Therefore, there will not be an election for the San Carlos School District School Board in November. If you are interested in applying to serve on the School Board, there will be an appointment process led by the School Board over the next several months. More information with details of the application process will be shared in the next few weeks through district email and public notifications. 


Volunteers Needed for 7-11 Committee

Members of the San Carlos community, parents, and SCSD staff members interested in serving on the 7-11 Surplus Property Advisory Committee to determine the future facility needs for the District are encouraged to contact Cathy Eitel, Assistant to the Superintendent at to express interest or learn more about the goals and objectives of the committee.


Playground Supervisors Needed

Attention Parents! We are looking to hire additional noon supervisors at our schools for lunch & playground ⛹️‍♀️⛹️‍♂️support for 1.5 to 3 hours per day, $17.23/hour. If interested, please see the job posting and apply online at EdJoin - For site specific questions, please speak with your school principal.


SCSD STEM Fair Information Meeting on September 17th  

An informational meeting will be held for students from 5th to 8th grades interested in entering the San Carlos School District Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Fair on Tuesday, September 17th in the Central Middle School Library from 7:00-8:30pm.  Parents are encouraged to attend as well. We will discuss how to choose a topic, the elements of an exceptional project as well as the various guidelines and deadlines. A brief demonstration on super-hydrophobic surfaces will also be presented.

This year will mark the 24th Annual San Carlos STEM Fair.  We have a group of professional scientists that will be available to mentor and guide students at four optional evening sessions, as well as answer questions via email.  This is a tremendous opportunity for students to learn about science and engineering from top community scientists as they progress through their projects. 


Our STEM Fair is the gateway to the San Mateo County, Bay Area, California State, and Broadcom National STEM fair. San Carlos students regularly qualify and bring home awards from these events. The San Carlos STEM fair will be held on January 23-24, 2020. Attendance at the informational meeting is not required to enter the STEM Fair. Please email Bob, with any questions.

Parent Education Events in San Carlos and Beyond

The Vaping Phenomenon: What it is, why it happened, and what we can do about it

Presenter: Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, Stanford University

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 12:00-1:00pm

Location: Stanford University Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2), Room 111For more information, visit -


Community Partners

Join the SCSD Musical - Footloose  

Kick off your Sunday shoes!  It' s time to register for the annual SCSD musical!  All students in grades 4-8 are invited to join the cast of FOOTLOOSE.  No experience is necessary and everyone who registers will be cast. Students in grades 6-8 must attend a short, simple audition in order to be assigned roles.  Students in grades 4 and 5 will be members of the ensemble and do not audition.

• Auditions: September 18-20

• Rehearsals begin in October

• Performances: January 22-26


Get more info and register now -

San Carlos Chickens' Ball  

Celebrating 80 years of fundraising for our schools, Chickens’ Ball is the oldest PTA fundraiser in the nation. Our unique 2018 show raised over $40,000 for our schools through hilarious skits, song and dance.  And we’re at it again! Join us to help plan our next Chickens’ Ball variety show. We need representatives from each school to participate as a liason on our Steering Committee, enhancing communication and collaboration for this district wide event.

Steering Committee meetings are held once a month, typically the first week of each month.  Our next meeting is Sunday, October 6. This is a special meeting that includes the tradition of reviewing the skit entries for the show.

• Auditions to be a part of the show are October 24 (6:00pm) & 26 (10:00am) at Heather School.  

• Show dates are March 13, 14, 15 (matinee) and 20, 21 (two shows), 22 (matinee) at Central Middle School. 

Thank you for helping us celebrate 80 years of fundraising for our kids by promoting and attending the Chickens' Ball.  

For more information, contact your PTA or Julie Engberg at


Inaugural San Carlos Block Party - SAVE THE DATE  

On September 8th, the Chamber of Commerce, with the support of the City of San Carlos, is bringing a new event to downtown next month! Join the community for an outdoor dining event on the 600 & 700 blocks of Laurel Street from 4:00-8:00pm. Following the Sunday Farmer’s Market and Public Safety Faire, the street will be transformed into an outdoor dining area where the community can grab takeout from downtown restaurants and dine in the street with family, friends, and neighbors. The Chamber will be selling beer and wine and there will be a kids zone for play. For more information, visit