CMS Newsletter 10/17/2021

This Week at a Glance

6th Grade

7th Grade 

8th Grade


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Principal's Message

This time of year we (teachers and administrators) take a deep dive into student data.  We are looking at performance in the classroom and assessment data.  We learn a lot about our students’ academic achievement, progress and areas for growth.  We concentrate on unfinished learning in order to develop pacing guides and learning goals for our students.  We also take a look at ways we can provide accelerated curriculum to meet the needs of our students who need to be challenged.  

This week I have been researching strategies to help keep our more advanced students engaged and was struck by something I found extremely interesting: the strategies for providing intrinsic motivation for students and the strategies to engage advanced learners are nearly identical.  Last week I wrote that if parents and educators provide choice for student learning, they will be more intrinsically motivated to do well.  The same advice is given for children who excel at a subject.  The lesson I learned is that the blueprint for motivating students is something that can help us all.  It is simply good teaching strategies that work with all kinds of learners and all kinds of personalities.   

Today I would like to share two more things that work in motivating us to do well: Daily habits and allowing for the pursuit of interests and passions. 

  1. DAILY HABITS MATTER. Creating routines is one of the best ways to help children learn to manage their time (but remember to allow choice in developing these routines). We all have different systems that work for us, for me I work best with a ‘to do’ list. Work with your children to come up with a system that works best for them.  Our kids these days are highly scheduled; learning how to manage our daily tasks is essential to success. Sometimes school provides the wrong message when it comes to developing intrinsic motivation. We often place a disproportionate emphasis on grades and test scores instead of on teaching and learning (remember grades and test scores are extrinsic motivators). Our role is to make sure our kids are not over scheduled and to help them prioritize the activities they are going to take part in. If our kids are appropriately challenged, they can make wise decisions on how to spend their time and build competency. Conversely, if they are overscheduled, students cannot make good decisions on time management, but become overwhelmed and have a much more difficult time developing autonomy. 
  1. ALLOW THE PURSUIT Of INTERESTS OR PASSIONS. Needless to say, we are all motivated to do things we enjoy. The challenge for teenagers is finding the time to pursue interests that are productive and engaging. So many of the activities our children take part in are decided for them - think math or history for example. But when we allow time for children to engage in activities that interest them, they often dive deep into the experience. This then helps them connect what they are learning in school to the outside world. Students who create their own pathways in life do better in school because they better understand the importance of education. They see school as a means to a goal, not just something they have to do everyday. The problem of over-scheduled children comes up again here. If children do not have any free-time, they do not have the space to figure out who they are and what they enjoy. Our kids have to overcome so many external messages as to how they should look or act that destroys their confidence. But we know that students who are actively involved in things that interest them or passion projects have much higher self esteem. If we allow our students to figure out what their talents, abilities and interests are, they will have much higher intrinsic motivation. In short, let your children be themselves - you may be pleasantly surprised! 


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.

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PTA News 

Fall PTA Reflections Coordinator(s) Urgently Needed! 

If we don’t get a Co-coordinator this opportunity won’t exist for our students this year!  Sign up here to volunteer. Contact Kirsten Kell, last year’s Coordinator at  

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

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.

Enter Here:

Student Entry Packet - English

Student Entry Packet-Spanish

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



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

Meet our New Director of Health & Wellness

Hi there families of San Carlos! My name is Ilana Yakubovich (she/her), and I am the new Director of Health and Wellness for the School District. I recently moved here from Boston and am excited for sunny days and redwood trees. I come to the district with years of experience in mental health counseling, health promotion, and yoga teaching with young folks ages 3-25. It is important to me that our entire community is well taken care of and well supported, and I look forward to meeting and talking to you to ensure you have the resources to take care of your families, and yourselves. I am starting to plan the Walk Audits at each school site- please reach out if you would like to volunteer to help out at one!

Please email me at with any ideas or questions, and I am thrilled to connect with you soon.

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


San Carlos Education Foundation (SCEF)

Gather your family and friends and join SCEF at Chase Center for a Golden State Warriors game! October 30 and December 23 -- 75 participants will be invited to sit in the lower level before the game to watch the players’ warm-up! January 25-- The first 10,000 fans will receive a Curry/Chamberlain Duo Bobblehead. Discounted tickets available for select dates and a portion of each ticket sale benefits SCEF. More information is available here:

Halloween is happening! And so is our 11th annual Candy Buy-Back!

Drop extra candy November 1-4th, at your school’s office and it will be donated to Operation Gratitude and sent to our troops. Drs. Chang, Amin, and Kaher will donate $1 per pound of wrapped candy to SCEF.

City of San Carlos Events - Halloween Movie in the Park

Parks and Recreation is hosting a free Halloween movie night at Burton Park on Friday, October 22. Join us for a showing of the Addams Family (2019) from 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm. The night will also include free Mister Softee, field games, and a haunted house from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm behind the Youth Center at Les Mundell Grove. For more information, call (650) 802-4471. FACE MASKS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

San Carlos Parks & Recreation is excited for the return of Goblin Walk!

San Carlos Goblin Walk - Friday, October 29 - 4:00-5:30 pm. Children 7 years and under, accompanied by an adult, are invited to Trick-or-Treat down Laurel Street in their costume and visit the businesses displaying the Goblin Walk sign. The first 1,000 Trick-or-Treaters can pick up a Goblin Walk Trick-or-Treat bag at Harrington Park or from any Goblin Walk volunteer. For questions please call (650) 802-4382. Planning on going? Let us know on our Facebook Event Page!

VolunTEEN: Laurel Street Clean-Up

Calling all “VolunTEEN’s” ages 12-18, lend a hand to help your community! Join the Youth Advisory Council and Key Club on Saturday, October 30 from 9:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m. for a Laurel Street Clean-Up. We will provide gloves, pickers, and buckets. Your time, effort, and presence will make a difference in your community. Registration required.Registration required for the Laurel Street Clean-Up. To register, visit:

Parent Education Opportunities

NEW! In their new book, When You Wonder, You're Learning: Mr. Rogers' Enduring Lessons for Kids, authors Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski examine the science behind Fred Rogers' essential "tools for learning" (October 19, Online).

NEW! How can we create safe, respectful, and inclusive communities? Join Samantha Brown, M.Ed., Director of Education, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), for Fighting Hate for Good: An Anti-Bias Community Training (October 20, Online).

San Mateo County Office of Education Vaccination Discussion. COVID-19 Safe Schools and Vaccinations for Youth - October 27, 6:30pm-7:45pm. Vaccinations for children ages 5-11 are expected to be available in November. Educators and families are invited to join the San Mateo County Office of Education and representatives from San Mateo County Health for a discussion about vaccinations for youth, including research on the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations for this age group. Learn more | Spanish flyer

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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.