1/18/21 CMS Newsletter

Principal's Message

January 18, 2021



Since 1976 the month of February has been designated Black History or Afrian American History month to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincon and Fredrick Douglass.  This was the culmination of an effort which began in 1915.  The role of Arican Americans in our history has either been misrepresented or missing completely from our history books. The goal of Black History month is to right these wrongs and to bring African Americans contributions to the forefront of American consciousness.  In recent times,  Black History month has celebrated the contributions of our African American citizens.  

Given the omission of African Americans in our history books, it became painfully obvious that the keepers of our shared narrative need to be more diverse and inclusive.  While we have made progress, there is still a great deal of work that lies ahead.  One of the lessons Black History month has taught us is that when we include all members of our society in the writing of our history, we get a much more accrue picture of our past.  How can we learn from the past, when we are not getting it right, or worse yet, if we are lying to ourselves?   While African American scholars have done an outstanding job writing their histories back into our history books, it is time to take it to the next level.  

I am writing this now because Monday was the birthdate of Martin Luther King Jr., however, we have to be honest; making significant change cannot happen by acknowledging a problem once a year.  Declaring the month of February Black History Month and celebrating MLK day are appropriate gestures and I am grateful for them; but this work needs to happen everyday.  

We are taking a three pronged approach in confronting anti-racism head on.  We are reaching out for help where we need it and we are tapping into the valuable resource our teachers and administrators bring with them every day. 

At Central we are committed to changing the way we have done things in the past.  We have always had good intentions, but acknowledge that we need to be taking a proactive approach in confronting racism and discrimination in our society.  Being a leader and an educator means that it is our job to step back and reevaluate our practices from time to time.  There are many things we can do better and there is a lot that we can build upon.  

Below I would like to highlight some of the work we are doing to build our capacity around inclusion, diversity and anti-racism.  Some of these are recently adopted programs while others we have been working on for years:

CircleUp Education is an organization which does work around implicit bias and microaggressions.  Our teachers have been working on examining our workplace and our classrooms in order to see things from a different perspective.  Restorative circles and restorative justice are two vehicles they use to tackle difficult conversations. Their focus is on building relationships “to interupt discrimination, racism, inequalities and implicit bias”.  

Inclusion Counts is helping us look at our systems in order to make lasting structural change that values inclusion and diversity.  We have engaged in listening campaigns to help prioritize our efforts and to create goals that are community focused.  Students, parents, teachers and other staff members have been invited to share their perspective on issues around class and race in San Carlos.  The information we gather will inform our structural changes. 

Our teachers are also taking a role in making equity a year round priority.  A teacher lead committee is looking into lessons to be delivered in advisory classes so that this topic stays top of mind.  We have found several resources from Teaching Tolerance that provide us with lessons that we can deliver throughout the year that approaches difficult topics specifically designed for middle school students.  

Other efforts are being made as well.  We are updating our Social Emotional Learning curriculum to includes anti-racist material.  We are working on revamping our Student Handbook to include language that explicitly outlines the consequences to racist behaviors.  

These are just some of the things we are doing that I hope illustrate our commitment to building a better world for our children.  I look forward to doing the work and in sharing with the Central community our efforts.  Please reach out to me with any questions or if you would like to take part in some of our efforts.  

Lastly, I would like to share an article published in the Atlantic written by a high school student from New Zealand.  I enjoyed learning about how people in other countries continue to be inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s words and deeds.  

Reading MLK in New Zealand

Tom Domer



Congratulations to the Central students who participated in the PTA Reflections Contest.  Central students did very well pulling in awards for, AE-Award of Excellence, AM- Award of Merit, and HM- honorable mention.  Below are our winners.  Way to go CMS!

  • Gabby Lonardo - Award of Excellence - Dance CMS
  • Gabby Lonardo - Award of Excellence - Film CMS
  • Christine Chang - Award of Excellence - Literature CMS
  • Emi Bryant - Award of Excellence - Music CMS
  • Christine Chang - Award of Excellence - Photography CMS
  • Emma Billing - Award of Excellence - Visual Arts CMS

School District

Kindergarten Information Night - January 19th

Each year, the SCSD welcomes our newest families into the district with a Kindergarten Information Night, introducing them to our community partners and reviewing the process for registering for Kindergarten. 

This year, we will hold a virtual Kindergarten Welcome Night / Meet the San Carlos School District at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. The presentation will include information from SCEF, PTA, Healthy Cities Tutoring, Extended Day Programs, Preschool Programs, and district Wellness Programs as well as an overview of the registration process. 

Zoom has a capacity of 300 participants. If you are unable to join via Zoom, please watch the presentation live on YouTube. Zoom participants will have a Q & A option at the end of the meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 989 2821 4883
Passcode: 340068
- or -
Watch on YouTube

On Wednesday, January 20 the Powerschool Registration Form will open for new students and any students returning to the district to begin their registration. All registration will be completed online and parents will be asked to upload their documents into the system. The deadline for priority registration is February 26.

See our Key Dates for Registration page for more information.


Remember to Order Lunch Meal Kits

We have weekly meal boxes available for pick up each Monday (including delivery to Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. Each box includes five meals - an assortment of hot and cold entrees and a variety of fruits, veggies, and milk. Simply order online and safely pick-up your box for the week. Order.lunchisserved.com                                                                    

To order your student’s Weekly Lunch Box, please log onto LunchIsServed and place your order. You must place your order by 9am on Sunday before the following week.


Parent Education

Remember to check out our Pandemic Care & Support website for parent education events and resources, mental health support, and more! You can also add the SCSD Parent Education Calendar to your phone. 


Teen Talk Sexual Health Curriculum Information Night for Families of 7th Graders

Join professionals from Health Connected to learn about the sexual health curriculum that will be taught for 7th graders later this year. Webinar will take place on Monday, February 1 at 7:00p.m. Puberty Talk (English) Flyer Here   El Courso de la Pubertad (Espanol) Aqui  RSVP HERE


ROPES Judges Needed

We are in need for parents, staff 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. You can learn more about ROPES on our website. This year all judging will be via Zoom.   

There are 3 opportunities to judge:

  • Tuesday, Feb 2, 4:00–6:30 pm
  • Wednesday, Feb 3, 2:00-5:00 pm
  • Thursday, Feb 4, 6:00-8:30 pm

In addition we will be holding a training session for all judges on Thursday, Jan 28 from 6:00-7:00 pm.  This will be via Zoom and we will be recording this session if you can’t make this time.

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/session.

We hope that you will be able to join us in this worthwhile event. Please sign up here to be a ROPES Judge.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via ropes@scsdk8.org


Free TCRWP Parent & Caregiver Workshop

  • Free TCRWP Parent & Caregiver Workshop
  • Thursday, January 28, 1:00-3:00 pm Eastern Time (10am-12pm Pacific Time)

Join expert Teachers College Reading and Writing Project staff at our upcoming workshop day for parents and caregivers of students in grades K-8. Learn more about ways to support your child’s literacy education at home, what or how they are learning in school, how to best engage in home literacy projects, and more. These days are typically 2-3 hours long, composed of a series of 15-minute small-group presentations. Parents and caregivers can choose the workshops that match their needs and are free to come for one workshop or many. The schedule of workshops will be made available prior to the event. These sessions are offered live and are not recorded for later viewing.
Click the link below to register. 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.





Congratulations to All of the Reflections Contest Entrants

We appreciate all the students who took this opportunity to express themselves around the theme “Why do I matter…”

  • Brenna Wiggin:  Dance Choreography / Coreografía de baile    
  • Ben Romanowsky:  Literature / Literatura        
  • Lily Henry:  Literature / Literatura        
  • Anoushka Swaminathan:  Literature / Literatura        
  • Emi Bryant:  Photography / Fotografía        
  • Emma Billing:  Photography / Fotografía        
  • Ben Romanowsky:  Literature / Literatura        
  • Brenna Wiggin:  Photography / Fotografía        
  • Ben Romanowsky:  Literature / Literatura        
  • Emily Lock:  Literature  / Literatura        
  • Ethan Kell:  Photography - Fotografía        


Become a PTA Member Today!

If you haven’t yet joined the CMS/Arroyo PTA, you can still sign up for membership. PTA family memberships are available for $20 and Individual/Teacher memberships are $10.

As a PTA Member, you not only support our CMS/Arroyo teachers, staff and programs but are also part of decision-making discussions and support the voice of the PTA and public schools in advocacy programs at the state level. Your support goes a long way. Join us this year and sign up as a member today: https://centralarroyopta.myschoolcentral.com/ptaez/



San Carlos Education Foundation (SCEF)

The SCEF Read-A-Thon is Coming Next Week!

The San Carlos Education Foundation’s first ever Read-A-Thon will encourage students to read as much as they can January 25 -- February 5, 2021. Participation is free and voluntary, but students will have the option to invite sponsors to support their reading with an online donation. Our goal is 100% participation in the Read-A-Thon and $200,000 raised to support San Carlos students.

  • All the information you need to know can be found on our SCEF Read-A-Thon website at www.scefkids.org/read2021
  • Jenni Holm, author of Babymouse, Squish and Sunny Side Up is visiting with us virtually to kick off the Read-A-Thon, on Sunday, January 24th! She is releasing her newest book, a middle school novel, The Lion of Mars, this month. We are excited to meet Jenni, hear about her books, and have the chance to ask her questions. Sign-up for this special event on the Read-A-Thon website.

Special thanks to the Partners at Dwell Realtors --Laura Bertolacci, Bob Bredel,  Tatum Clarke, Alana Corso, and Joyce Romeo-- our inaugural Read-A-Thon sponsor. 


Community Partners


San Carlos Week of the Family

What:    San Carlos Week of the Family

When:   Jan 15-31, 2021 (yes, we have a couple of great events after the official week)

Who:     Your family (San Carlos families take many forms. Everyone in our community is encouraged to participate.)

Where: All over San Carlos

Safety: All events should be COVID-safe. Lots of at-home activities and virtual sessions.

Info:      www.sancarlosweekofthefamily.org  (get info here and register for events)

The 21st San Carlos Week of the Family starts Friday.  There are dozens of events.  Have fun with the family and enjoy some safe events.

Some highlights of this year’s Week of the Family: Details are on our web site.

  • We have 100’s of FREE family art packets available for the City-wide Art Project
  • There are volunteer opportunities to build Family Care Packages
  • Take Monday as your Family Activity Day to enjoy games with your family
  • Invent using the Hiller Virtual Invention Lab
  • Attend one of the many Library Events
  • Each Green Corner is presenting 3 video sessions on gardening
  • Practice your trivia skills at Adult Trivia Night
  • Help kickoff the SCEF Read-A-Thon with multiple events
  • Attend a virtual theater event by the San Carlos Children’s Theater
  • Eat crab and support the community at the San Carlos Lions Club Drive-by Crab Feed


San Carlos Park and Rec Art Contest

Does your child have a talent in art and would to share their work with the community? San Carlos YAC is holding an arts competition called "Creations and Connections." Any youth ages 10-18 can submit artwork under the theme of "Peace, Love, and Community" in one of many categories ranging from poetry and short stories to film production, fine art, and even dance choreography. Entries will be broken down into different age groups. Prizes will be awarded for each age group! Don’t miss this opportunity to express artistic talent! Read and learn more at cityofsancarlos.org/yac.



High School Happenings

Sequoia High School

Carlmont High School

Design Tech High School

Tide Academy