CMS Newsletter 10/10/21

This Week at a Glance

6th Grade

7th Grade 

8th Grade


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Principal's Message


Students are encouraged to  come to school wearing your Halloween costume on Friday, October 29th. 

A few rules to follow as students will still be attending classes:

  • Masks may not be worn at school
  • No Weapons or Props of any kind
  • Costumes that severely limit a student's mobility are also not to be worn to school
  • Make-up or hairspray must be applied prior to coming to school (Do not bring to school)
  • We do know that these rules may disappoint some students, as they will not be able to wear a complete costume, we do apologize for this.  Our main concern is safety.
  • Students will still be required to wear their Covid masks inside. 

ASB will be hosting a costume contest during lunch with several categories. 

Please consider limiting the amount of CANDY brought to school before, and after Halloween.


Now that conference week is behind us, many families are asking how we can help our students find resilience and motivation in school.  As educators these are important topics that are near and dear to our hearts. I want to share with you what we are doing at school in order to provide a deeper understanding of the work we are doing. Many of the strategies we employ at school can be useful at home. 


A big part of our job as educators is to motivate students to do their best. This is not an easy task and there is no magic formula we can execute to get students going. Everybody, no matter what age, is motivated by the things they are interested in and enjoy.  We work hard to personalize learning for all of our students. This can be a problem for educators working with children who are still figuring out who they are.  Having said that, teachers must stick to the standards and teach their subjects to every child regardless of their interest in the class. 


The good news is that our brains are hardwired to be naturally curious, in other words, we all want to learn. In fact, I have always held the belief that learning is fun, but learning can also be a lot of hard work. Oftentimes we need to provide a little encouragement to our kids to get them started on non preferred tasks, like doing chores or homework. Adults often resort to providing rewards, threats or even fear to motivate kids. Children are master deal makes, i.e. “I’ll do this for that.” They learn quid-pro-quo at very early ages. This is called extrinsic motivation. But research suggests that these types of techniques do not work in the long run. Extrinsic motivation can even have a negative effect on teaching our students to be self-motivated because they are not independently learning how to make good choices. 


There has been a great deal of research lately on motivation and self-determination. Psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryan state that three things help motivation, “Autonomy (a sense of control over learning), competence (an ability to handle challenging tasks) and relatedness (feeling a sense of belonging).” When these three things are present we see students develop strong internal motivation. 


This is why you see us stressing community building, risk taking, failing forward and resilience here at CMS. We know that these are the building blocks of learning. 


I have five suggestions we are working on at school that can help create intrinsic motivation for our students and will help us create a learning community that helps us develop autonomy, competence and relatedness for our students. This week I will write about the first thing we are working on here at school. You can also try this at home. 


  1. PROVIDE CHOICE - everybody likes to decide how they spend their time, however, children do not often choose wisely (video games, social media and TV come to mind). Simply helping kids see that they have options can empower them to make better decisions.  First, you must stress that they have to spend some time everyday participating in learning, and engaging in extracurricular activities. For some students, too much freedom is not a good thing, so you may have to provide a list of options and/or time constraints. Giving students the opportunity to pick and choose the way they spend their time helps develop a greater sense of autonomy. Our jobs as the adults in the room is to monitor their behavior and redirect when necessary. A nudge in the right direction can go a long way. Some of our kiddos might even need to struggle and fail in their time management efforts in order to learn and make progress. But remember, failure is not a bad thing as long as we are failing forward. 

During the remainder of the month, I will present the other five strategies that help foster intrinsic motivation in our children as well as other resources for building resilience. Stay tuned….


Tom Domer



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PTA News


The PTA would like to thank all families who purchased books at our Book Fair last week. A significant portion of sales are rewarded back to our school library and to our PTA to support valuable programs throughout the year. If you were not able to join us, our online book fair is running through October 14. Orders will ship directly to your home, and sales will still be rewarded back to our school. Shop now!


We also wish to thank the incredible volunteers who helped out at the fair throughout the week: Alin Gedikian, Kristy Ettinger, Jigna Sangani, Trinity Murphy, Julie Ledford, Stephanie Brill, Gesara Tyler, Lori Low, Cleo Salsbury, Michelle Nayfack, Rina Vignola, Shveta Kulkarni, Adrianne Aguilar, Christine Levenson, Kirsten Kell, Jackie Ghio-Bisbiglia, Stephanie Glass, Jennifer Fischer, Sakhbinder Balch, Andrea Roberts, Leslie Steinway, Kate Kassab, Jennifer Liao, Julie Moronez, Mary Lunneborg, Vanessa Poon, Velma Velazquez, Amy Idhe.  Events cannot happen without your support and we appreciate you!  

Many thanks, 

Katie Hultgren, Lena Grodin, Andrea Mardesich & Jenny Goines

book fair

PTA Meeting This Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 7:00pm via Zoom

Please join us for our second PTA meeting of the year this Wednesday, October 13th at 7:00pm via Zoom. Hear a presentation from Each Green Corner about our school garden. Also, mark your calendars for upcoming PTA meetings in 2021/22. We would love to see you!

Be sure to check out the Agenda before the meeting to see what will be discussed!  PTA Meeting Dates & Agenda – PTA – Central Middle School (

**Please note, the meetings will rotate between in person (morning) and Zoom (evening).

  • This link has been updated from past newsletters

San Carlos PTAs is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Please Donate to Our Fall Fundraiser!

THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to our PTA Partner campaign. Without you, many of our school's wonderful programs would not be possible. Please click here to donate today!



Are You a Business Owner?

 Get the word out about your business AND help provide enriching activities for Central and Arroyo students by being one of our local business sponsors! Sponsors reach the families of 700+ students in the San Carlos community. Please help us provide engaging and enriching activities for our students by becoming a sponsor. For more information, email Fundraising Chair Angie Wu at


Volunteers Urgently Needed: Fall PTA Reflections Coordinator(s)

If we don’t get a coordinator this opportunity won’t exist for our students this year!  Sign up here to volunteer.

This program is very well supported at the district level with lots of guidance on how to do this role. Any questions contact Kirsten Kell, last year’s Coordinator at  

PTA Reflections Contest 2021-22: I Will Change the World By..

Don't ignore your inner artist! It's time to start working on your Reflections project for this year's PTA Reflections theme,  "I Will Change the World By…". 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.

Entries will be due mid- November 2021.


Yearbooks are now on sale. Here is the link: School Code: 7281

New this year 8th grade families can purchase space in the book to celebrate their 8th grader's accomplishments with a personalized message and photos. This is accessible through the order center.

This year Central is using the eShare for the yearbook again. Families can submit photos for consideration for the yearbook. Please be sure to indicate which students are in the photos, the grade of the students and the context. The yearbook staff hopes that this will be an extremely helpful tool for CMS athletes and sports.

Lunch Time Support Needed

Support school staff by being present in the yard and playground during student lunch.  Assist students and supervise as needed.  Your chance to observe students in a relaxed setting. Sign up here! 

OR go to our website and sign up here Ways to Support your PTA Programs and Events – PTA – Central Middle School (

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School District News

COVID Reminders - Stay Home When Sick and Get Tested

Staying home when sick and getting tested for COVID-19 are two of the most effective ways to keep our community safe. Click here for more information.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19 (CDPH)



  • If you have any of the symptoms listed above, call your school office to report an illness, stay home, and take a COVID test.
  • If you need to report a COVID case, please call our District Nurse - Page Pollack at 650-632-8300 (Arroyo Office) or Human Resources at 650-590-5922 if the Nurse is unavailable.

For additional information, visit our COVID-19 Resources page and review the SCSD Health & Safety Plan.

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

Healthy Cities Tutoring Fall Tutor Orientation and Training - October 13, 10:00 am or 7:00 pm

Don’t miss our upcoming New Tutor Orientation and Training -(Attend only one session)

Join other new tutors and learn more about HCT and our program, meet our staff and have all your questions answered! Following the orientation session is our Fall Training led by HCT staff and teachers from our schools. Learn valuable techniques for engaging and supporting your students. We hope to see you there!

If you have not tutored with us, this session covers everything you need to know to get started with a student!

  • 10:00 am – Join us for our in person Tutor Orientation and Training held at the San Carlos Library, 610 Elm Street, San Carlos
  • 7:00 pm – Join us on Zoom for our remote Tutor Orientation and Training
  • Zoom link will be emailed to participants via the evite (see below)

Join other new tutors and learn more about HCT and our program, meet our staff and have all your questions answered!

Following the orientation session is our Fall Training led by HCT staff and teachers from our schools. Learn valuable techniques for engaging and supporting your student. We hope to see you there!

  • 10:45–11:30am OR 7:45–8:30pm Tutor Tips Training: Interactive and fun training on how to make the most out of your tutoring sessions in person or over Zoom. Chance to ask questions following the meeting.


Orientación y capacitación de tutores de otoño : 13 de octubre, 10 a.m. O 7 p.m.

No se pierda nuestra próxima orientación y capacitación para nuevos tutores. Asiste solo a una sesión.

¡Únase a otros tutores nuevos y aprenda más sobre HCT y nuestro programa, conozca a nuestro personal y obtenga respuestas a todas sus preguntas! Después de la sesión de orientación está nuestro entrenamiento de otoño dirigido por el personal de HCT y los maestros de nuestras escuelas. Aprenda técnicas valiosas para involucrar y apoyar a su estudiante. ¡Esperamos verte ahí!

  • 10AM - Únase a nosotros para nuestra orientación y capacitación de tutores en persona, que se llevará a cabo en la biblioteca de San Carlos, 610 Elm Street, San Carlos.
  • 7:00 pm. M. - Únase a nosotros en Zoom para nuestra orientación y capacitación de tutores remotos. El enlace de Zoom se enviará por correo electrónico a los participantes a través de evite (ver más abajo).

10 - 10:35 AM O 7 - 7:35 PM Orientación para nuevos tutores : si no ha sido tutor con nosotros, ¡esta sesión cubre todo lo que necesita saber para comenzar con un estudiante!

10:45 - 11:30 AM O 7:45 - 8:30 PM Consejos de tutores Capacitación: Capacitación interactiva y divertida sobre cómo aprovechar al máximo sus sesiones de tutoría en persona o con Zoom. Posibilidad de hacer preguntas después de la reunión.


The Parent Education Series

Worried about substance use at school? Join Eduardo Torres, Senior Prevention Specialist at Prevention Solutions (Hazeldon Betty Ford), for Supporting Your Child’s Healthy Decisions in the Transition Back to School (October 12, Online).

On October 13, the San Mateo County Office of Education and SUHSD offer Part 2 of the Community Resiliency Model (CRM)®, a free, two part mental health training open to parents, guardians, and community members (Online).

Are your kids safe online? Join Pamela Estes, San Mateo Human Trafficking Program Coordinator, for a conversation about digital safety, Are My Kids Safe? What Parents Should Know About the Online Environment (October 14, Online).

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High School Happenings

Carlmont Fall Newsletter

Check out the latest edition of the Carlmont Corner-Fall Carlmont Corner 

Please join us for the Riekes Center Homecoming, our special fall fundraiser!

Sunday, October 17th from 4-6pm at the Riekes Center

Help raise funds that will be reinvested in the center, while enjoying live performances and tasty refreshments. Learn more about our programs in fitness, arts, nature, and leadership/community service. Visit for tickets and more info.


Sequoia High School 


Carlmont High School 


Summit Public School  


Design Tech High School