CMS Newsletter - 08/30/21

Monday, August 30, 2021

Principal's Message

I would like to share my observations for the first week of school.  From the moment students walked onto campus, they seemed happy to be back at school.  There is always an air of excitement on the first days of school as students happily reconnect with friends. While this is true this year, the energy seems even more positive and cheerful. There are a number of reasons for this: Our kids are eager to get back to a routine. They need social interaction. They crave structure and normalcy. They enjoy working in groups to complete assignments. And of course, students are always happy to see friends.  

When I enter classrooms I see students who are engaged and eager to learn.  Hands are raised for enthusiastic participation.  I see students working together at times and independently at other times.  I have heard great classroom conversations, with critical thinking at the forefront. I see teachers happy to be in front of their students, employing the teaching strategies they know are best for learning. I have also heard a great deal of laughter.  

One interesting thing that I have noticed is that students seem to be ‘done’ with lunch before lunch is over.  Students are walking back to class BEFORE the bell rings. In my 25 years in education, I have never seen this happen.  We did not extend the amount of time for lunch, nor are we letting them out early.  My take on this is that students need to learn how to get lost in play again.  In middle school, ‘play’ can look like many different things, it can be laughing with friends in the quad or playing sports on the field.  In every developmental stage, play is an important teacher of social skills.  During distance learning, play looked much different than it had in the past.  I think our students need a little bit more time to re-engage in play. The good news is that I do not expect this phenomenon to last. 

In the same manner, as our kids readjusting to their daily routines, there are going to be some tough times ahead. As we get further along in school and the excitement of the first days wane, students are inevitably going to struggle.   All of our students have experienced trauma and loss.  The past 16 month have been very difficult for all of us.  I like this New York Times article because it gives parents an idea of some obstacles that may arise and provides solid expert advice on ways to help your children through it.  

How to Prep Kids for a Potentially Bumpy Return to School

In all the excitement in seeing our kids back in classrooms, I do not want to forget to highlight how important it is that we stay safe and continue to follow safety protocols.  I like this UCSF article about a safe return to school because it highlights why kids should be in school and what we need to do to keep them safe.  I also like that they did not forget to mention how to keep teachers and staff members safe as well. 

Will Kids Be Safe When They Return to School? Will Everyone Else?

I am extremely hopeful and optimistic for a year of reconnecting, re-engaging and seeing the pure love of learning.  We have done a great deal of work preparing for this school year, and I have no doubt this will pay off. 

One Reminder.  Our water fountains are still taped shut, but our water filling stations are available for students to use.  Please remember to send your children to school with a refillable water bottle. 

Counselor's Corner. Check out this video from Ms. Jade, School Psychologist & Ms. Jobak, School Counselor as they discuss Unhealthy vs. Healthy Stress

Tom Domer


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PTA News

Join the Central Arroyo PTA!

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
  • 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 Open Positions

The PTA is looking to fill a few more volunteer roles for this year. There are a number of positions we are hoping to fill immediately as well as many more opportunities throughout the year.  We can't do it without you! Sign up here to volunteer.

Here are some open positions needed ASAP 

  • Stampede & Soar Volunteers - Our Stampede & Soar team needs your help! We are looking for volunteers to help plan our Fall Stampede & Soar community event. This is our only business sponsor opportunity of the year and a fun-filled community event! It's a great chance to get involved. Volunteer here

Arroyo & Central Living Campus Monthly Work Day

Come help care for Each Green Corner’s Living Campus Garden at Arroyo and Central! 

Lots of impressive volunteer work has gone into the garden so far and Saturday, September 11th is the next workday! The work will start at 9 a.m. and end around 1 p.m. It’s going to be a fun and rewarding day! 

See the event page for more details and COVID instructions. To register for the event click here

If you have any questions or concerns please email

To be a Volunteer Garden Lead or Coordinator sign up here

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School District News

New Hours for Curative Van

Please take advantage of the no-cost COVID-19 testing provided by the San Mateo County Health Department.

Click on the link to sign up at one of the following locations to begin your regular weekly testing:

-Central Middle School (parking lot, under solar structure)

  • Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9:00 am-3:00 pm
  • Thursdays 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
  • Fridays 11:00 am-5:00 pm (effective August 17, 2021)

Other Community Based Testing sites in San Mateo County Here

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Community Partners

San Carlos Education Foundation (SCEF)

Welcome back to the library!

SCEF is proud to partner in support of libraries at all San Carlos public schools this year. SCEF dollars and CARES Act money is being utilized to make this happen. We look forward to working with our school librarians for our second annual SCEF Read-A-Thon in January. Learn more about how your donations benefit all students at every school at

Be a GEM: Give Every Month

Did you know that you can make your donation by setting up an ongoing, automated, recurring gift? When you Give Every Month, your support of SCEF is spread across the entire year. If you sign up NOW your donation will be given over 10 months (Sept-June)--now that makes giving easy! Learn more and join this campaign (at any dollar amount) at

Like our Facebook page and @scefkids on Instagram, too, for more upcoming details and all SCEF news.

City of San Carlos

Planning Commission Virtual Study Session Protected Tree Ordinance

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 7:00 PM

On September 7, 2021 at 7:00 PM, the San Carlos Planning Commission will hold a study session which will allow Staff to gather input from the Planning Commission and the San Carlos community for consideration as part of the new tree removal, trimming, and protection regulations. For more information and how to attend the meeting, as well as future updates, please visit

City Council Virtual Study Session

September 8, 2021 5:30 PM

The City of San Carlos has been working with the community and stakeholders to develop urban design strategies for the City’s east side industrial area from Holly Street to Brittan Avenue, known as the East Side Innovation District. At this City Council Study Session, "10 Big Moves”, or strategies will be presented. These strategies translate the community’s aspirations for the East Side into a holistic design framework that will inform future development and infrastructure improvements for the next 10 to 20 years. Please join us! To learn more and review materials from previous community workshops, please visit

Parent Education Series

On August 31, Sequoia Healthcare District hosts a Town Hall with Sandra Firpo and Barbara Wood, Disaster Preparedness: Building Community Resilience. Please join us for this timely event! (Online)

We kick off the 2021-2022 season with Bill Stixrud, PhD, and Ned Johnson, bestselling authors of the new book, What Do You Say? How to Talk with Kids to Build Stress Tolerance, Motivation, and a Happy Home (September 1, Online).

Ready for some back-to-school self-care? On September 9, Mission Be offers a new "Mindful Parent" series featuring Madeleine Pizey in Mindful Parenting: Reducing Covid Stress and Anxiety (September 9, Online).

Keys: for Parenting is here! Keys is a new communication tool that puts parenting advice at your fingertips—literally, it's a keyboard!—developed by Charlene Margot and Bev Hartman, co-founders of The Parent Venture. Give Keys a try!

Want more great parenting advice? Follow the Parent Education Series on social media (Instagram and Facebook), or subscribe to our free Video Library (YouTube), a popular and trusted resource with over 21,000 views!

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High School Happenings

Sequoia High School

Sequoia High School website:

 Carlmont High School

Carlmont High School website: