10/14/19 CMS Newsletter

Principal's Message

Principal's Message

I hope every student at Central had the opportunity to take part in a student led conference.  One of our major goals this year is to create a culture of student ownership of their learning.  Part of this culture shift has centered around goal setting. A second part of this is our student led conferences in which students showcased the work they have been doing so far this year.  When a student sets some goals, then highlights their accomplishments to a caring audience, they begin to take ownership in their learning. Success, no matter how small, feels good and healthy habits begin to form. 

In San Carlos, and particularly at Central, we have always stressed the fact that we focus on the whole child.  We strongly believe in educating both the mind and the spirit. You see this in our commitment to Social Emotional Learning and in our Wellness Campaign.  But some parents have expressed a concern that we do this at the expense of a rigorous curriculum. I feel like this creates a false dichotomy: that we must choose between rigor or child centered instruction.  I would like to answer that by explaining how we go about empowering our children to take ownership in their learning so that we can provide a rich, varied, engaging and yes, rigorous curriculum.  

We begin by looking at student data.  As soon as we get the rosters of our incoming 6th grade students we look at their academic progress.  We also look at the progress our current students have made. In education speak we call this progress monitoring.  We do this with each individual student as well as holistically as a school. We use this data to set goals for individual students and to set goals for the entire school.  In fact, this week I will be meeting with Superintendent Harmeier and Assistant Superintendent Barber to examine student data to see where we stand and where we need to go. I will be presenting goals and we will discuss the best ways to reach these goals. 

To bring this back to our students, this data allows our teachers to provide regular, individualized feedback to our students which, in turn, allows us to help students create their own goals.  We use several tools to help us drill down on student progress which include the SBAC test, classroom performance, Star Ren Test, IXL, benchmark tests, writing assessments, to name just a few. You can also see how your student is doing on multiple measures by taking a look at the SBAC results that were recently mailed home.  This lists two main areas: English and math. In English, the SBAC will provide scores in the subcategories of: Reading, writing, listening and research/inquiry. In math: Concepts and procedures, problem solving and modeling & data analysis, and communicating reasoning.   

We begin with data analysis because it is one of the most important parts of the puzzle. But it is just one piece of a system of interrelated practices that position students as leaders of their own learning.  Other parts include things I have already mentioned, such as, student led conferences and data. We also create several ways to celebrate learning, sharing data with students, creative ways to provide feedback, checking for learning and understanding on a daily basis, learning targets and standards based grades.  In addition, we are giving students much more opportunity for choice and a voice in how they access the curriculum.  

One of my goals this year is for students to be able to articulate what their learning goals are in each of their classes.  When you ask a student, “What did you learn in school today?” You know the answer, “I don’t know.” This makes my goal seem insurmountable.  But I am an eternal optimist. I would like to create an opportunity for continued conversations around learning in ways that I hope you witnessed during our student led conferences.  If you ask your child, “What would you like to learn this year in science?” and if you have some tools at your disposal, you might begin to get a better idea of what is inside that growing, magnificent brain in your child’s head.  

This got me thinking about ways families can support students in taking ownership of their own learning.  In my next communication, I would like to write about how parents can help create a student who takes leadership in his/her learning.  I have already shared a document that might help you set some goals with your child. But, I have much more to share so please stay tuned.  


School Site Council

School Site Council

Are you interested in learning about the inner workings of our school?  Do you have good ideas to share about education? Do you like being a part of the decision making process by contributing to our LCAP? If so, School Site Council is for you. 

CMS is looking for two parents who are willing to make a two year commitment to School Site Council.  We meet after school once a month while school is in session. If interested, or if you would like more information, please email me at tdomer@scsdk8.org

Tom Domer



School District News


Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill - October 17

As part of the statewide emergency preparedness training for earthquakes, all SCSD schools will participate in the Great Shakeout on Thursday, Oct. 17. Please view this link to see community resources about the Big 5 Emergency Response protocols. 


New Student Registration - November 1

New Student Registration

The San Carlos School District will be opening the first window of registration for any NEW students enrolling for the 2020-2021 school year, on November 1, 2019. This registration window is open until February 28, 2020 and parents may register at anytime during this period. 
New Student Registration is for all incoming Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten and any student in grades 1st through 8th that will be new to the District (currently enrolled students do not need to complete this process).
Visit our website for more information - https://tinyurl.com/SCSD-Enrollment



Preschool & Kindergarten Parent Information Night - November 18

Preschool Kindergarten Information Night

Have an incoming Kindergartener? Looking for a great preschool? Join us for our Preschool & Kindergarten Parent Information Night on Monday, November 18 from 6:30-8:00pm in Mustang Hall. Info Night is designed to provide parents and guardians with information about the San Carlos School District and its programs.


  • How to Register for School
  • Overview of our District, Schools, Preschool, Kindergarten & Transitional Kindergarten programs
  • Meet the Elementary School Principals
  • Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) Overview
  • San Carlos Education Foundation Overview
  • Resources Booths for Parents - Afterschool Programs, Healthy Cities Tutoring, Sequoia Health Care District

Visit our website for more information - https://tinyurl.com/SCSD-Enrollment



Mark Your Calendar for ROPES


ROPES is the Rite Of Passage ExperienceS program that is specifically designed as an optional enrichment activity as students complete a cycle of their education. ROPES provides students in 4th, 6th, and 8th grade an opportunity to participate in an academic ritual by way of real-life learning experiences. Participating students will choose a self-directed project that incorporates the 21st century learning skills of initiative, inquiry, creativity, communication, cooperation, and leadership. Students have an opportunity to choose from a variety of Challenge Project Categories: Creativity/Appreciation of the Arts, Innovation/Invention, Adventure/Personal Challenge, Cooperative Games, Service/Advocacy
To learn more about ROPES projects and guidelines, students and parents should attend the ROPES orientation on: Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019 at Mustang Hall at Central Middle School. 4th Graders attend from 6-7pm, 6th and 8th Graders from 7:15-8:15pm. For more information, please contact us at ropes@scsdk8.org 



SCSD Athletics

Please use the DISTRICT LINK https://www.scsdsports.org for information on SCSD Athletics. Call 415-334-3333 or email scsdsports@legarzasports.org with any questions.


Mustang Roundup


Join the PTA - Your Support Makes a Difference


This past week our Mustang and Eagle families enjoyed the Stampede & Soar color run and our week long book fair and family night. These programs and events from 4th grade through 8th Grade Graduation festivities are made possible by our PTA and we can’t do it without YOU. Please help us reach our fundraising goal by OCTOBER 15TH. We’re 80% of the way there and we need your help. 

Our PTA funding includes teacher grants and supplies, Art in Action, Library Books, Healthy Cities Tutoring, and SO much more!

We are asking for a one-time PTA Partner donation of $250 which consolidates fundraising efforts and allows for more efficient spending throughout the year. Every donation amount makes a difference, and we thank you in advance for any support you can give the Central Arroyo students and teachers!  

So if you’re ready to join the PTA to advocate for great education; if you have a business that generously matches donations; or if your child has grandparents that want to stay involved in giving your kids an enriched, well-rounded experience at Central/Arroyo, please click here to JOIN TODAY! Thank you in advance!


Thank You for a Fabulous Family Night and Great Book Fair

Book Fair Librarian

Librarian Katie Hultgren displaying all of the books she purchased for the Central/Arroyo Library with the funds raised from All For Books donation which totaled $170.11!

Thank you to everyone for coming out to support the Central Arroyo Arctic Adventure Book Fair! This is a wonderful fundraiser for our PTA and school Library. A special thank you to our amazing librarian, Katie Hultgren, and all of the parent volunteers.  We could not have done this without you!

We are excited to announce that the All For Books fundraiser, which helps support our library and, with the help of Scholastic’s matching program, other schools in need, was a huge success!  And in case your students ask, Team Polar Bear was the winner of the fundraiser challenge (by an “avalanche”) and there were 85 “snowballs” in the guessing jar.  Winners were announced over the PA system on Friday.  


And a Special Thanks to the Book Fair Chairs!

Thank You

Our October #FUNMONTH momentum from Stampede & Soar rolled into Book Fair this past week. Thank you Kristy Ettinger, Julie Ledford and Stephanie Brill for organizing and leading the week, and to all of our volunteers who help the book fair run smoothly each day. It takes a lot of work - thank you for making it happen!



PTA Reflections Contest 2019-20:  Look Within

PTA Reflections Contest

Don't ignore your inner artist! It's time to start working on your Reflections project for this year's PTA Reflections theme, Look Within. Enter your artwork and reflect about its meaning to you in one of six categories:  

  • Dance Choreography
  • Film Production
  • Literature
  • Music Composition
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts

All entries will be recognized for their artistic achievement--participation itself is a meaningful contribution to the Central community!  First-place finishers in each category enter the district competition. District winners move on to the state level, and winners ultimately compete at the national level. Click here to review the Official Rules on the PTA Reflections page of the Central website.

Due on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 to Ms. Gamez in the office.



The Central Yearbook and Mr. Lamb Need Your Help!


We have 3 volunteer opportunities available - please contact Mr. Nick Lamb at nlamb@scsdk8.org if you are interested or have any questions.

1) After School Sports Photography

For every sport, a team photo is needed and a few good action shots as well! We need a parent volunteer who would coordinate with Legarza to ensure all coaches take a team photo and reach out to parents for help with some good action shots from as many different of our teams as possible.

2) Event photographer

Our yearbook will need photos from school events such as Children's Theater productions, Stampede & Soar color run, and the Swing Dance competition. This parent volunteer could take the photos themselves and/or gather all photos taken from other parents at the events.

3) 8th Grade End of Year Slideshow 

This job involves asking parents to forward school related photos from the last 4 years, organizing them by year, and putting them to music. The slideshow is shown to the 8th graders at the end of year breakfast. We also ask parents to send in baby pictures for the yearbook. 


Calling all Volunteers!

White Oaks Elementary

It’s time for the White Oaks Walk-a-Thon, where our preschool through 3rd grade kids come out for an afternoon of fundraising and fun!  We’re looking for middle school volunteers to help with the Family Fun Day on Sunday, October 20th.  Student volunteers lead yard games, hand out snacks and more.  It’s a great way to get volunteer hours while helping out our local school.  Visit White Oaks Walk-a-Thon 2019 to sign up.  Make sure to find the opportunities specially marked for students. Thanks in advance!







TOWN Event was a Record-Breaking Success

Thank you for your support of SCEF.  Sunday’s Evening at TOWN broke all fundraising records for this event because of the generosity of our community.  A huge THANK YOU to Greg St. Claire and his partners and staff for an amazing venue and meal.  Shout-out to Roberta Marks, Tanya Lehman, Annie Ramirez, Debbie Blucher and Christopher Kashap for their behind the scenes work on the event and auction. SCEF relies on in-kind donations from local professionals and we would like to recognize graphic designer Adria Olender and printer Moquin Press for their in-kind donations putting together the TOWN program. Thank you to event photographer Lisa Noble for capturing the spirit of the evening! Photos and more can be found at https://www.scefkids.org/news/.


Do You Work for Oracle?

If you work for Oracle, please sign in to the Oracle Volunteering Portal to log any volunteer hours at your school or with with Healthy Cities tutoring.  Keeping track of this volunteer information helps SCEF when we make our grant request to Oracle each year. The Oracle grant supports technology and professional development. 


Faculty and Friends' Got Talent!

Beloved San Carlos music teachers and instructors along with other local musicians will perform on Friday, November 8 at the 14th annual Friends and Faculty Concert. This popular event is great for the whole family and all proceeds benefit SCSD middle school music programs. To purchase tickets, please visit https://www.scefkids.org/events/

Come out and hear some of your favorites do their thing! Performers include Doug Chin, Chris Anthony, Joe Murphy,  Sara Murphy, Katie Tupper, Tabitha Tetreault, Selena Gould, Scott Daily, Grace Schulz, Hummingbird Music, and The Peninsula Scottish Fiddlers. 

  • Friday, November 8, 2019
  • 7:00 pm
  • St. Charles Church in San Carlos



Community Partners


Special Screening of Ghostbusters!


The San Carlos Youth Center will be hosting a special screening of Ghostbusters (the original) on the big screen at Youth Center gym on Friday, October 18 from 7-9pm! The movie will begin at 7:00pm, but arrive early for FREE Mister Softee, games, and a haunted house starting at 6pm. The event will be chaperoned by Youth Center Staff.



All Aboard for the Transportation Museum - October 27th at Brittan Acres

Transportation Museum

The Transportation Museum features interactive and educational exhibits and activities related to all kinds of transportation. This year's museum will take place on Sunday, October 27 from 10-3 inside the Multi-Use Room at Brittan Acres.

This year's exhibits include analyzing the legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad, exploring transit-oriented development in the Bay Area, traversing the world's most extreme airports, and an in-depth look at the history of SamTrans. In addition, there will also be a hands-on flight simulator and bus driving simulator, a transit-themed escape room, a virtual reality activity, and outreach booths hosted by representatives from local transit agencies, including the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and more. You can learn more at TheTransportationMuseum.com.



Healthy Cities Tutoring Orientation and Training for New & Existing Tutors

Healthy Cities Tutoring

Join us and make a difference in the life of a child.  Healthy Cities Tutoring matches volunteer tutors with students in K-8th grade who are struggling in school and need additional support.  Tutoring is just 45 minutes once a week, and timing is flexible with openings before, during, or after school.  Tutors select the school(s) and grade-level(s) they prefer and we match them accordingly.
Attend one of our upcoming training sessions on Wednesday, October 16, 8:30am-10am or 6:30pm-8:30pm at White Oaks School to learn how to help children one-on-one in the areas of reading, writing, math, engagement in learning, and self-esteem.  Additional trainings on 10/22 at Henry Ford Elementary & 11/7 at Clifford School.
Visit healthycitiestutoring.org for more information.



Chickens' Ball Variety Show and PTA Fundraiser

 Chicken Ball

Got Talent? Want to raise money for your kids’ music and art programs? Want to have fun? Sign up online and attend auditions October 24 or October 26 at Heather Elementary school. Watch our short video for all the info you need. www.chickensball.org



Parent Education Opportunities

Parent Education

Parent Symposium @ Santa Clara County Office of Education

  • When:  Saturday, October 19th, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Where:  Santa Clara County Office of Education

This free event will feature a number of informative sessions on current trends and hot topics in parenting, including school readiness, internet and social media safety, and much more!  Click here to RSVP.


TWO Opportunities to hear Charlies Appelstein, MSW, Author and Youth Care Expert, present No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: Using a Positive, Strength-Based Approach for Effective Parenting.  

  • When:  Wednesday, October 23rd, 7 pm - 8:30 pm.  Click here to RSVP.**
  • Where:  Mills High School's Theater

And a second opportunity to hear Mr. Appelstein speak:

  • When:  Thursday, October 24th, 7 pm - 8:30 pm.  Click here to RSVP.**
  • Where:  Menlo-Atherton High School's Performing Arts Center




High School Happenings


Sequoia High School

Sign ups for Sequoia HS Shadow Program will begin on 9/11. Sign up 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.


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.