Message from the Principal
Last week I wrote about the importance of play and of allowing for unstructured time for our children. This week I would like to write about structured play here at school. During our staff meeting this week, we discussed how to incorporate play into our classrooms in order to make learning fun. As educators we believe that learning is fun, but our students do not always feel the same way. So it is our responsibility to find ways to make learning fun so that our students feel engaged and motivated to learn. This can be challenging for teachers who are teaching academic subjects, but it is not impossible when we acknowledge that we do a better job at student engagement when we recognize the importance of play.
I would like to highlight how our teachers are getting our students’ blood flowing and brains thinking in new and innovative ways.
In our science classrooms, teachers are turning the learning process upside down. In the past, students would read a great deal of vocabulary rich science text then possibly do a lab or activity around this content. Now, our teachers are engaging students in several hands on activities which expose them to complex scientific concepts. Only after students have had many opportunities to interact with the curriculum, will they read anything about it. The idea behind this is, “Doing science is learning science”. This hands on approach gets our students out of their seats, having fun while learning.
In social studies our 6th grade teachers do fact based Jeopardy games. In lieu of a paper pen test, teachers check for content knowledge through games. Teachers create the Jeopardy answers and students work in teams to come up with the questions. Eventually students develop their own questions and answers. This allows for much more student-led learning that focuses on cooperation, teamwork, collaboration and flexibility.
In 8th grade math we are working with a manipulative called algebra tiles. Each term in an expression has its own sized tile which helps students understand and visualize how to combine like terms. The tiles are also blue or red to determine whether they are positive or negative.
Students also use tiles to help with distributing a negative within the parenthesis. Teams work together to build expressions with the tiles, making "legal moves" and simplifying the answer. With this approach, the teacher is not the main holder of knowledge but instead students share their learning with each other.
In 7th grade math, students just finished probability where they worked with spinners to learn about theoretical vs. experimental probability. Next week classes will work with positive and negative tiles to help them add and subtract integers. The tiles help students visually understand the concept of adding a negative or subtracting a negative. This also looks a lot like play when seen by an observer, however, students are learning real world math concepts.
In English, play takes the form of staged "phone calls" during class from the "budget office" telling students that they've gone over budget with their word count and need to cut unnecessary words from their draft.
Play also takes the form of a quick ro-sham-bo contest to decide which partner will get the Chromebooks from the cart, or a quick song entry prior to a "DOK" from Lady Gaga's "Let's Dance" with the lyrics, "Let's Dance, Gonna Be Okay" that the teacher hears as, "Let's Dance, gonna DOK."
I could continue to write about the many ways in which our teachers engage student learning, but there are just too many great examples. Our teachers work very hard to foster a love of learning amongst our students. This has the added benefit of building positive relationships between teacher and student. When students see their teachers having fun and modeling a love for learning, they too become lifelong learners.
School District News
Wanted: School Site Council Representatives
Are you looking for a way to get involved? Help provide feedback for our School Site Plan and School Safety Plan? Sign up to be considered for our School Site Council (SSC).
What is the SSC? A group of teachers, parents, and classified staff that serve a two year term collaborating with the principals of both Arroyo/CMS to review school improvement programs and plans. They provide quality feedback on the School Safety Plan and the district LCAP.
What do I need to do? Attend 5 meetings during the school year all at 3:15 p.m. in the CMS Conference room. October 17th, December 5th, January 23rd, March 5th and May 28th.
How do I sign up or get more information? Email Tom Domer to express your interest and/or ask questions. Please reach out no later than September 30th.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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 - https://www.edjoin.org/Home/DistrictJobPosting/1215987.
For site specific questions, please speak with your school principal.
Fall Intramural Sports
We are excited for our 2019-20 Intramural Sports program! Our Fall Intramural Basketball Season provides San Carlos students in grades 5-8 an opportunity to participate in organized sports activities after school on Fridays. We have designed a 10-week program that is open to players of all levels - those who have played competitively at a high level and those who have never played an organized sport. While there will be no cuts and playing time will be shared evenly, we will have 2-4 divisions (based on signups in each grade and preferences indicated on the form). Coaches will manage practices and games to match up players so that each player is appropriately challenged. We anticipate that this program will provide a fun introduction to middle school and will prepare students for the upcoming Art David Athletic League (ADAL) season!
Coaches from our ADAL teams will also be leading this program. Registration will open September 16th and the cost will be $195, which covers a coach, scorekeepers, referees, insurance, equipment, scheduling, and administration of the program. The season will span over the months of October and November, beginning October 4 and ending December 13, consisting of 10 events.
Please complete an Interest Form so we can plan for the correct configuration of the teams. On Thursday, September 26th we review the Interest Form and send out an email with more detailed season information such as times, locations, registration, grade divisions, etc.
Join the SCSD School Board!
The San Carlos School District School Board will have a vacancy due to a lack of candidates registered for the November 5 election. Therefore, there will not be an election but instead a Candidate Appointment process. The School Board approved the appointment process at their September 12 meeting. Interested candidates may attend any of the Candidate Information Sessions in the District Office Board Room - 1200 Industrial Road, Unit 9B, San Carlos to be held on: - Wednesday, Sep 25 - 7:00-8:00pm - Friday, Sep 27 - 9:00-10:00 am - Thursday, October 3, 7:00-8:00pm Please check the website for more information.
If you have additional questions, please contact Cathy Eitel, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Countdown to Stampede and Soar Color Run
REGISTER to RUN or VOLUNTEER and join in the fun! It’s a great way to connect with our community and support our Central and Arroyo schools. Bring your family and come on out for this fundraiser and community building event on Sunday, October 6th, 9am - 11am!
Buy your tickets for the whole family TODAY! http://bit.ly/2TUj0Sb
Tickets $25 per participant.
Limited sizes still available for your custom 2019 Stampede & Soar t-shirt, while supplies last.
A big Thank You to our sponsors for their support:
Platinum Sponsors: Chang Orthodontics; County Consumer Plumbing Group; Joyce & Tatum Real Estate; San Carlos Orthodontics.
Silver Sponsors: Alana Corso, Dwell Realtor; Andrew Orthodontics; Brittan Park Valuation; Brittan Park Valuation; Clarity Counseling; DaVinci Marble; Floorcraft; Hyland Design Group; Jones Lang LaSalle; Kirsten Kell- Family Therapist; Wendy Wood Design.
Join the Central Arroyo PTA
Thanks to those who've supported the Central Arroyo PTA! Every single dollar makes a difference for our students and teachers. The one-time family donation of $250 supports teacher grants and supplies, Art in Action, Library Books, Healthy Cities Tutoring and SO MUCH MORE! We thank you in advance for any support you can give.
PTA Partnership also includes your annual PTA membership. When you join the Central Arroyo PTA, you are also joining the California State PTA, which spearheads educational advocacy in Sacramento. DONATE TODAY!
Calling All Readers: A Blizzard of Books is Coming
The Central/Arroyo Book Fair is October 7th-11th, and we need your help to make it a success! Please consider volunteering by signing up for one of the shifts using this link: : https://signup.com/go/zNxkiWS
Students will be visiting the Book Fair throughout the week with their classrooms. The Book Fair will also be open before and after school. Please tell your student to swing by. Parents are also welcome to check it out before or after their parent-teacher Conference.
Blizzard of Books Family Night will be held in the evening on Thursday, October 10th, from 6:00-8:00 pm. Bring the whole family to this arctic adventure and rediscover how cool it is to read! Free pizza will be provided by the PTA and an icy treat will be available for purchase.
Parents are also invited to join us for last some minute shopping at Bagels and Books on Friday, October 11th from 8:00-9:00 am.
Thank you in advance for your support! Funds raised from the Book Fair support the Central Arroyo PTA and the Library. If you have any questions please contact Kristy Ettinger (email@example.com), Julie Ledford (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Stephanie Brill (email@example.com).
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 https://signup.com/go/OJUrzSh. Questions? Contact Jen Pedrotti at firstname.lastname@example.org
You have a chance to participate in the Evening at TOWN by joining in the TOWN Raffle. The winner will choose from a grand prize of (1) 7-night accommodations at a luxury resort in Mexico or (2) a beautiful diamond necklace donated by Geoffrey’s Diamonds and Goldsmith.
Only 200 tickets will be sold.
If you would like to purchase raffle tickets send an email to email@example.com noting how many you would like and which item you would choose if you are the lucky winner. Tickets are $50; 3 for $125 or 6 for $250.
Workplace Giving - Corporate Matching - Double Your Donation
Many employers are willing to support the causes which are important to you. Take advantage of your company’s workplace giving program by applying for a matching gift. Immediately assess your eligibility and gain access to detailed information about your employer’s corporate giving program by searching our database of companies with matching gift programs at doublethedonation.com/scef
Here is a partial list of the top companies who supported SCEF last year via Workplace Giving:
- An Anonymous Hardware/Software company in Santa Clara County
- Genentech, Oracle, Wells Fargo – gift must be made in September!!!
- Gilead Sciences
- Electronic Arts
- And 60+ others
Would you like to spread your contributions to SCEF throughout the year? Please consider signing up for monthly donations. A $1,500 donation can be given as a $125 gift each month. Sign up for SCEF’s recurring gift program at SCEFKids/Donate.
San Carlos Day of Service
Save-the-Date: San Carlos Day of Service is Sunday, September 29, 2019 from 9:00am-2:00pm. San Carlos Day of Service is a one-day celebration of our wonderful city through acts of community service. The Day of Service grows our sense of community through one day dedicated to giving back.
Learn about projects and sign up here - https://www.sancarlosdayofservice.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
High School Happenings
Sequoia High School
8th graders and their families can learn all about Sequoia HS through Shadowing, Open Houses, Info Nights and Tours. To learn more, click HERE.
8th grade students will be able to shadow Sequoia students on most Mondays between September 23, 2019 and January 27, 2020.
Carlmont High School
8th graders and their families can learn all about Carlmont HS through Group or Individual Shadowing, Info Nights, Forums and Newsletters. To learn more, click HERE.
Sign ups for Carlmont High School Group Shadowing and Individual Shadowing are open until full. Sign up here.
Summit Public High School
8th graders and their families can learn about the Summit Public School experience HERE.
Design Tech High School
8th graders and their families can learn about the Design Tech Charter High School experience HERE.