12/16/19 CMS Newsletter

Principal's Message

In my last newsletter of the decade I want to share with you one of my major goals for the next decade.  I think of this as a decade-long goal for a few reasons.  First, instituting major change in education takes time to do well.  My goal is to work toward bringing environmental literacy and environmental sustainability curriculum to Central Middle School.  This is called being a Climate Ready School.  This brings me to the second reason I consider this a decade-long goal.  Scientists at the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimate that we have little over a decade to implement significant change before catastrophic environmental damage is done.  Education is a key to helping us make this change because we can no longer be indifferent to this issue.  In addition, climate change is not just an issue of how our planet might be affected.  Significant social and economic damage will coincide with rising temperatures. We have little time to waste. 

I have not written about my interest in developing a Climate Ready School in the past for fear of sounding too political.  However, I believe that this issue now transcends politics.  Climate change is the toughest, most intractable issue we face, but it is becoming less and less partisan.  People on both sides of the aisle are increasingly interested in tackling this problem.  Most importantly this is an issue that many of our children are deeply interested in.  The climate crisis resonates with our children because they are the ones who are going to have to live with the results of the decisions we are making today. 

In listening to the news lately, I have heard several stories about teenagers across the globe, led by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, protesting in capital cities because their leaders are not doing enough to address the climate crisis.  It gives me hope that the next generation is taking up the mantle of a sustainable future, but it also makes me think that our schools are failing our students.  I ask myself; what more could I be doing? I consider myself an environmentalist, yet I am not a leader in this fight? I am not modeling the correct behavior. 

As the principal of our school I should be doing more to raise environmental literacy in each and every classroom. This is essential because we all need to be speaking the same language.  How can we solve these problems if we do not entirely know what they are? We need science-based information, lesson plans and activities that help our students understand the true nature of the climate crisis.  There is a concerted effort out there to discredit the climate movement, therefore, our students also need critical thinking skills so they can determine for themselves what needs to be done.  A Climate Ready School will provide students with the skills they need to recognize the problem, the vocabulary to articulate the causes and effects of climate change and the tools necessary to fight it. 

My goal is to become a school wide leader in bringing a robust environmental literacy and sustainability curriculum to Central.  I do not think it is enough to teach climate change in science classes then simply move onto the next lesson.  The climate crisis demands that we tackle this from every angle.  I would love to create a dialogue amongst our students, faculty and community members that will result in climate activism and future innovation.  I do not claim to have all the answers, however, I want our students to leave middle school with the tools they need to fully understand this issue and a feeling that they are empowered to do something about it. 

Happy holidays and have an amazing new year.  Here is to doing something that matters…. 

Tom Domer

Upcoming Spirit Day!

  • Ugly Holiday Sweater Spirit Day - Thursday, December 19th

Winter Food Drive
There is still time to donate nutritious, non-perishable food to this year's food drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. All items must be turned in to the office by the end of the day on Wednesday, December 18th. Thank you to all who donated.

8th Grade DC/NY Trip
Give the gift of travel this holiday season by enrolling your child on this year's Washington, DC / New York City trip. There is still space available for any interested 8th graders. Sign up now at www.efexploreamerica.com/2257458xu.

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 jenniferawilliams09@gmail.com.


School District News


Measure N Parcel Tax Information

To protect quality education for our elementary and middle school students, the San Carlos School Board placed Measure N on the March 3, 2020 ballot that would renew and increase our existing local school parcel tax. Without Measure N, some existing local school funding, about $2.2M will expire and disappear from SCSD school budgets. Our K-8 schools will have to make drastic cuts to academic programs, increase class sizes, and maintain only basics.
Our greatest needs for community-supported INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM SUPPORT include:

  • Attracting and retaining qualified and experienced teachers
  • Maintaining small class sizes
  • Maintaining programs that support bringing all students up to the highest level possible in core subjects like math, reading, and writing
  • Maintaining math, hands-on science, technology, and engineering programs
  • Providing art, music, libraries, and a well-rounded education

Our school district makes every effort to use resources wisely. We have tightened our belt, improved efficiencies, and made cuts to limit impacting class size. We have also conducted a full assessment of all of our local school instructional program needs - including the need to retain our best teachers and maintain core academics for children in grades K-8. It is clear we need additional local revenue to fund our core priorities.
To learn more about the Parcel Tax, visit our website - https://www.scsdk8.org/apps/pages/2019-2020-Parcel-Tax-Information

Please feel free to contact Dr. Harmeier if you have any additional comments or questions - Michelle Harmeier, Superintendent - mharmeier@scsdk8.org - (650) 590-5935


ROPES Presentations are Coming and Judges are Needed

We are looking for parents and community members that would like to serve as a judge for the ROPES (Rite of Passage Experiences) presentations in February. ROPES are challenging projects that 4th, 6th and 8th grade students have completed which allow them to learn about their world and themselves in a deeper but fun way.  
There are 3 opportunities to judge:

  • Monday, Feb 3, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm 
  • Tuesday, Feb 4, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm 
  • Wednesday, Feb 5, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

We would not be able to maintain this valuable program without the support of our community. We are asking for you to join district staff and other community members by volunteering to serve as a judge on one of our judging panels. Typically, we have two to three judges per room and they judge four to six student presentations in an evening.

We hope that you will be able to join us in this worthwhile event. 
If you are able to judge on any/all of those days, please contact Veronica Rickson either via email at ROPES@scsdk8.org or by phone at 650-590-5926. Thank You!


Winter Enrichment Class Registration Now Open!

KidzToPros is excited to begin registration for their afterschool, Winter Vendor Enrichment Classes which will begin the week of January 13. Registration opened on Wednesday, December 11. Check your email for more details!


PTA News


PTA Meeting  - Wednesday Morning

PTA meeting on 12/18 at 9AM in the Central/Arroyo Library - will be a quick regroup. Come grab a nibble, and hear about our Parcel Tax Advocacy planning, and our Upper Elementary School Play! Thanks PTA members for joining us during this busy time.


Staff Breakfast

We are providing the staff breakfast on Thursday 12/19 to show our appreciation during the holidays. Please sign up to bring something here.





Starlight Gala - March 14
Save the Date for the SCEF Starlight Gala and Auction--March 14, 2020 at Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club. Tickets go on sale on Thursday, January 9th at 10 am.

Help us meet December 2019 fundraising goals!
Take advantage of the TAX BENEFITS of charitable giving before the end of the year! Explore corporate matching and stock donations on our website or contact info@scefkids.org with questions. 
Honey Bear Trees supports San Carlos public schools by donating 15% of tree, wreath and garland sales to SCEF. Find detailed info online, and don’t forget to download the flyer to take with you!


Community Partners


Help Us Reimagine SamTrans

Please take 7 minutes to participate in this survey for SamTrans. Reimagine SamTrans will evaluate each SamTrans bus route, as well as the entire bus system, in light of changing travel patterns and needs. They will look at every element of the SamTrans system, from customer experience, to route design, to how often the buses run, to efficient and effective operations practices, and more.



Last Chance for San Carlos Youth Softball

Don't miss out! Teams will be forming in the next few weeks for our 2020 Spring Softball Rec program. San Carlos Youth Softball is a great way for girls to have some fun, develop skills and build friendships. Tryouts for 8U and up will be on Sunday, Jan 12th (and makeups on Sunday, Jan 19th). 
Our program is for girls ages 4+ (as of January 2020) at all skill levels. Refer a friend new to SCYSA and both of you can get $25 off your registration! Be sure to sign up - https://sancarlosyouthsoftball.sportngin.com 
Questions? More information online at www.sancarlosyouthsoftball.com or email sancarlosyouthsoftball@gmail.com.



High School Happenings

Sequoia High School

8th graders and their families can learn all about Sequoia HS through Group or Individual Shadowing, Info Nights, Forums and Newsletters. To learn more, click HERE 

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.