Canyon Communiqué November 2014 Volume 3

Matthew Steinecke
[email protected]
Erica Ehmann
AP Students M-Z
[email protected]
April Wong
AP Students A-L
Canyon Communiqué
National Schools to Watch -Taking Center Stage - Model School
California Distinguished School
Canyon Middle School
19600 Cull Canyon Road, Castro Valley, CA 94552
(510) 538-8833 Fax (510) 247-9439
[email protected]
Jason Whiteman
AP Intervention
[email protected]
November 2014
option 1
Principal Message – November 2014
Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,
Congratulations, we made it! We have completed our first quarter. Middle school can be such an exciting time for
students and families, especially as our children grow and learn more about who they are. Please communicate openly
with your children, letting them know you care and will be there for them, in success and in failure.
In October we focused on Bullying Prevention. Our Counselors visited each classroom to talk about bullying and the
ways to prevent it. In addition, PTA hosted Deputy Silva as she presented a Cyber Bullying Workshop. Since this is an
on-going issue, we asked Deputy Silva to present to students the details in her Cyber Bullying workshop. On November
4 , we will have a 6 grade assembly and a 7 & 8 grade assembly addressing the topics of bullying, cyber bullying and
other issues related to middle school students.
We have several important meetings in November that I hope you will be able to attend:
 African American/Black Families Network is November 5 – 6:30 – 8:00 pm.
 Padres Unidos is November 12 – 7:00 pm.
 PTA is November 18 – 7:00 pm. Our Math department will be sharing Common Core information.
 School Site Council is November 19 – 3:15 – 5:00 pm.
These are all meetings that give you, our parents/families/community members, a voice in the Canyon community. We
welcome you and need your support to continue making Canyon Middle School a place that is inclusive and supportive of
all our students and their families.
We will be conducting parent/teacher conferences on November 6 and 7 for our students who are having some
academic struggles in one of more classes. The purpose of parent-teacher conferences is to establish a plan for your
child that will ensure his/her success. The most productive conferences are when both parent and teacher work together
to assist a child. November 6 is a minimum day for students, with a 12:35 pm release time. November 7 , students do
not have school. School is also closed November 10 -11 for Veteran’s Day. We do not have school the week of
November 24 -28 , as our district honors Thanksgiving.
I would like to take this moment to remind us about campus information. Visitors must check in to the main office and
obtain approval if they want to be anywhere on campus between 7:30 am – 3:30 pm. Visitors are only allowed for
educationally appropriate reasons. Visitors are not allowed to have lunch with students or bring items to student’s
classroom. In addition, supervision on campus is provided from 7:30 am – 4:00 pm. If students are on campus after
4:00 pm, and they are not in sports or activities, they are not supervised. Students should be off campus within 30
minutes of the end of the school day if not in the Library or attending sports/activities. Please help us to keep our campus
safe for students and staff.
On January 7th we will be celebrating the California League of Middle Schools Region 4 Educators of the Year Awards
Dinner. We are seeking donations from companies to support this awards event. If you know of a company that would be
able to donate money or items to be given to the winners, please let Ms. Wong know. The Canyon nominee for California
League of Middle School Educator of the Year will be announced mid-November.
I am truly enjoying Canyon Middle School. The students and staff make this school one of the best I have known. I am
often reminded of my Condor Pride!
Matthew Steinecke
~Julie Fisher
6 Grade Counselor
~Doug Ferman
7 Grade Counselors
~Lucy Souza
8 Grade Counselor
Sixth Grade with Ms. Fisher
Hello 6th grade! Phew! Now that the first quarter is behind you, it is important to remember that it's still a big transition
to middle school, and could take some time to get a good routine down. Checking the teacherwebs and parent portal to
review their grades and upcoming assignments, and checking their binder reminder, are all important tasks to help your
child succeed. Keep it up!
With that being said, I thought the start of middle school would be an ideal time to share an excerpt of an article I
recently read from the Huffington Post, titled, "Top 15 Things Your Middle School Kid Wishes You Knew" by Rachel Vail.
1. Respect me. I'm my own person, not just your kid. Sometimes I might have opinions that differ from yours.
2. I still want to have fun with you, and feel like home is safe and happy. Smile at me.
3. I need to make some of my own choices, and maybe some of my own mistakes.
4. Sometimes I'm going to be moody and annoyed and frustrated. You need to just let that happen.
5. Trust that I'll do my work. If I don't, you can help me manage my time, but wait until I'm not taking care of
responsibilities to think I can't.
6. If you don't like my friends, it feels like you don't trust my judgment or like I am stupid about choosing friends.
7. I will fight you every step of the way if you make me do stuff I don't want to do (get some exercise, do my
homework, write a thank-you note, practice piano, apologize to my sister, take a shower, wear deodorant... so many
things), but you should probably make me do them anyway.
Seventh Grade with Mr. Ferman
We have now finished making anti-bully presentations in all classes. It was fun to get to talk to your students and share
how we should be treating each other. Many students asked thoughtful questions and we will continue to work on
treating each other respectfully. We have also finished our first quarter of seventh grade. This next quarter will include a
number of special holidays. Please let me know if there is any way I can assist your family as we go through the many
transitions together. Questions? [email protected]
Eighth Grade with Mrs. Souza
The Counseling Departments of both Canyon and Creekside are teaming up to offer various parent workshops. The first
one is Parenting Around Difficult Issues: How to address social media, self-harm and the pressure to succeed. Stephen
Altbaum, Marriage and Family Therapist with Kaiser will be speaking. This event will be held on Thursday, November
13 in the Creekside Multi-Purpose Room. Please mark your calendar!
Canyon will host the next workshop held in January, topic to be determined. We are preparing a parent survey that can
be done through Survey Monkey where parents can identify topics that are important to them. Stay tuned for more
California Junior Scholarship Federation – CJSF
Please take a look at my website to see a complete list of CJSF members. Seventh graders will be able to join after the
end of January. Students are busy completing their community service hours. We have raised $150 in box tops this year.
Thanks for all of your help. The money is used to keep our Canyon campus up to date with technology. Questions?
[email protected]
~By Douglas Ferman, CJSF Advisor
Each year we accumulate large amounts of found clothing, shoes,
jackets, etc. If you child loses something, please encourage them to check for it as soon as they
realize it is missing. Clothing is in the cafeteria and small items (wallets, jewelry, phones, etc.) are in
the main office. Items left after Friday, November 21st at 3:00 pm will be donated to charity.
Early Release: Nov. 6th – 12:35 pm **** NO SCHOOL: Nov. 7, 10, 11, & 24-28
Grade Reporting Schedule
Below is the schedule of when Progress Reports and Report Cards will be mailed home by quarter.
Please note that Progress Reports are not sent to all students, only those with grades raising concern.
Please remember that that you may check your child’s progress through the Parent Portal.
2 Quarter
Report Cards mailed on 1/29/15
3 Quarter
Report Cards mailed on 4/02/15
4 Quarter
Report Cards mailed on 6/24/15
2 Quarter
Progress Reports mailed on 12/11/14
3 Quarter
Progress Reports mailed on 3/5/15
4 Quarter
Progress Reports mailed on 5/14/15
Please review carefully…
We appreciate your patience during the recent road construction on
Cull Canyon Road and Heyer Ave. We realize there was terrible traffic and have
excused student tardies up until the time the traffic improved each day.
As many of you are aware, traffic is very congested coming to and leaving Canyon Middle School each day.
For the safety or our students and staff and in order to ease the traffic flow, please follow the directions below.
Please be sure students are being dropped off and picked up in the proper areas when coming to or leaving
school. Students ARE NOT to be dropped off/picked up in any RED ZONE or crosswalk.
Students are NOT to be dropped off/picked up in the Staff Parking lot near the tennis courts/music rooms.
Visitor parking is located in the parking lot below the C and D wings. Whenever possible, please park in the
marked spaces along the perimeter of this lot so that the traffic flow is not obscured.
PLEASE emphasize to your child(ren) the importance of ALWAYS using the painted crosswalks.
Please do not enter the wrong way into the visitor section of the front parking lot.
We understand this is sometimes an inconvenience but keeping students and families SAFE is a top priority!
Thank you for your cooperation regarding this matter. ~ Canyon Administration
Castro Valley Unified School District
2014-2015 Schedule of Board of Education Meetings
November 13, 2014
December 11, 2014
January 15 and 29, 2015
February 12 and 26, 2015
March 12 and 26, 2015
April 23, 2015
May 14 and 28, 2015
June 11 and 25, 2015
Meetings are held in the Board Room at the District Office: 4400 Alma Ave, Castro Valley and start at 7:00
pm. Agendas & Board Materials on the District website ( under Board of Education.
 Student Activities 
November is Native American Heritage Month!
To get the most current updates on or around campus, please LIKE us on Facebook and
FOLLOW us on Instagram at Canyon Student Activities! You can listen to the Daily Bulletin or
check the calendar at the entryway to school and on the Student Activities link on the Canyon
website to get updates as well.
Magazine Sale Success! Thanks so much for your generosity in supporting our magazine
fundraiser! We truly appreciate your support to fund student-based activities for the year!
Spirit Week: We had a wonderful Spirit Week to celebrate the annual Battle of the Valley! Thank
you to everyone who showed their spirit by dressing-up, playing lunchtime games, and of course,
attending the game! Go Condors!
College Day: The second Friday of each month is College Day at Canyon! Students and staff can
wear their favorite college apparel and showcase the collegiate aspirations of all of our condors.
We Scare Hunger: We will be holding our We Scare Hunger Canned Food Drive from October 22
– November 14. We have more families in need than ever, and we would like to help them as much
as we can. All non-perishable donations will be appreciated, and they will be collected in students’
Advisory classes. Please keep us in mind when you’re shopping, and help us scare away hunger in
Castro Valley!
stuffing / box or bag
sparkling cider
gravy / can or jar
canned ham (5 lb)
holiday cookies
aluminum roasting pans
cornbread mix
canned yams
large fruit juice
dried pasta
boxed jello
baking mixes
baked beans
canned fruit
canned tomatoes
canned vegetables
Anyone wishing to donate a check may do so. Please make checks payable to Castro Valley
Outreach. There are also many volunteering opportunities. The Castro Valley Outreach volunteers
shop for the perishable items before delivering to families. On Friday, 11/21, you can help pick up
food from schools, starting at 3pm. On Monday, 11/24, you can help sort the food at the Mormon
Church on Seven Hills, starting at 9am. On, Tuesday, 11/25, you can help sort food, starting at 8am,
and deliver to families, starting at 12pm. There are also other opportunities to help. Please contact
Ray Harris with CV Outreach at 510.912.2775, if you are able to volunteer.
Parade of Lights: Come support Canyon as we stroll down Castro Valley Blvd. in the 3 rd Annual
Parade of Lights! Cheer along as our Leadership class and Student Council Representatives show
the community how “Canyon Condors Light Up the World”! The parade will begin at 5:30pm.
Talent Show: Canyon’s Annual Winter Talent Show is on December 19. Sign-ups to audition will
be at both lunches Monday, November 17 and Tuesday, November 18 in Room F-10. Students
must sign-up one of those days in order to receive an audition slot. They will be notified of the exact
time and location of their audition; auditions will be held during the week of 12/1-12/5.
Ice Skating Night: Come skate with us! Our annual Ice Skating party at Dublin Iceland is coming in
December! More info will be out soon, so watch for updates. We look forward to seeing you on the
~Ms. Hsu and Ms. Shen, Activities Directors
Safety – Organization - Achieving Goals – Respect
Canyon Middle School - Sixth Grade
Outdoor School Program – 2014-2015
Dear Sixth Grade Parents,
Each year, as part of the sixth grade curriculum, our students attend a week at Outdoor
School. More information will follow to indicate which week your child will be attending Outdoor
Environmental study of three ecosystems
Decision -making skills
Cooperative learning
Study of environmental protection
 Feb. 23-27, Mar. 2-6, Mar. 9-13
Camp Loma Mar located in the San Mateo Mountains
The total cost for all Canyon Middle School 6th graders approximately $160,000.00
This pays for food, lodging, transportation, and medical insurance.
This also pays for the professional naturalists from the Exploring New Horizons
We are requesting a donation of $330 for each student. Monies will begin being
collected following the gift wrap/cookie dough fundraiser.
Any additional donations will go toward assuring that all students will be eligible to
If you work for a company, or know of organizations that might be willing to sponsor
portions of this program, please contact either Matthew Steinecke or Kathy
If you are willing to be part of our Fundraising Committee, please contact Kate Stickel at
[email protected]
 Gift Wrap Fundraiser begins October 7th. Your child
earns 40% of what they sell!
Plan to attend Outdoor School Parent Information Night
November 13th at 6:00 pm, in the room D-11.
Automated Communication from Canyon
Canyon Middle School uses an automated parental notification system to contact families with important
information such as attendance issues, special events and/or emergency situations.
We would like this opportunity to give you more information and answer any questions or concerns you might
have about our parental notification system. Although whenever possible we would like to have personal
communication with our families, we are privileged to have this automated system to stay in contact with our
families in a very fast and efficient way.
Attendance issues and special events calls are directed to the phone number used as the student’s primary
home phone number.
 Attendance related calls go out on the weeknights between 6:30 pm-9:00 pm. These types of calls are
to inform you that your student was marked absent for one (1) or more class periods. This may remind
you that you may have forgotten to report your student’s absence OR to inform you that a teacher
marked your student absent. If you believe the marked absence was in error we suggest that you
contact either the teacher or the Attendance Office to address the issue.
 Attendance email also goes out to the parent/guardian at the primary parent/guardian email address as
a secondary notification when your student is marked absent and/or unexcused tardy for one (1) or
more class periods. Emails are sent from the email address [email protected]
Please make sure to add this email address to your contacts or unblock from your spam list so that you
receive these reminders.
 Special event calls may also go out on weeknights and/or weekends to inform/remind you of things
such as early release times on minimum school days, non attendance school days such as school
holidays and/or upcoming PTA meetings and family events.
EMERENCY NOTIFICATION CALLS are directed to not only the student’s primary home phone number
but also to parent/guardian cell phone numbers. Emergency calls will go out anytime our school and/or
School District Administrators have determined that there is an emergency situation within our school/school
district or when special information needs to go out to CVUSD school families.
If you receive a call from our automated phone system and you were not to hear the message in it’s entirety or
would like to have the message repeated, you may press the * button on your phone’s keypad to play the
message again. All Canyon messages (other than attendance issue calls) can also be found in written version
on our school website at then look for the red megaphone icon marked “Auto-dialer
Please make sure that your contact information including an email address is current so that you can receive
this important communication. Please log into your parent portal account to update your contact data whenever
there are changes to contact information including phone numbers or emergency contact persons. You may
also request changes in person by the parent/guardian coming into the office or in writing. Notes to the office
must include the student’s name, grade level, the name of the number you which you change such as
mother/father cell phone number then the new number that you would like to replace it with along with the
parent/guardian signature.
We would like to remind you that students will ONLY be released to the parent/guardian and/or those persons
listed as emergency contacts (over the age of 18 with a valid photo identification card such as a driver’s
license) on their emergency card. For the safety of our students, students are NOT released by a phone
call request.
In the event of an emergency notification, we understand your concerns but ask that you DO NOT call our
school with questions, as all staff will be busy resolving safety concerns. We ask that you listen to our
messages carefully, read the information posted on our school website or on the Castro Valley Unified School
District website at or address all other concerns to the CVUSD office at (510) 537-3000.
You may contact the Canyon Middle School Attendance Office at (510) 538-8833 extension 6002 should you
have any further questions about our automated parental notification system.
~ Mrs. Anderson-Kelly, Attendance Clerk
Attention! Translators and Interpreters Needed!
CVUSD is looking for interpreters. We are looking for interpreters and translators for Spanish,
Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, and Russian. Anyone who is interested will need to be fingerprinted
and have a current TB test as well as filling out a classified substitute packet. The hourly wage is
$17.73 per hour. If you are interested, please contact Human Resources, attn. Lynn Lewis at 510537-3000, x1222.
Additional Job Opportunities:
Instructional Assistants LH/SH
CVUSD also has a number of Instructional Assistant LH/SH openings in our Special Education
classes. If you are interested in learning more about these positions, please contact Human
Resources, attn. Lynn Lewis at 510-537-3000, x1222.
All visitors to the school campus MUST check in and sign in at the school
office and show their ID (California Driver’s License or CA ID card). . Visitors must check in to the main office
and obtain approval if they want to be anywhere on campus between 7:30 am – 3:30 pm. Visitors are only
allowed for educationally appropriate reasons. Visitors are not allowed to have lunch with students or bring
items to student’s classroom. All visitors must wear a Canyon visitor badge or District ID card. This includes
anyone using the track during school hours. A special “track pass” will be provided.
If you are volunteering in the Library / classroom or chaperoning on a field trip / school dance, you
must have completed the Megan’s Law form. This form was part of the online re-registration process. IF you
did not complete one at that time, additional forms are available in the main office and must be completed 48
hours before volunteering. This form must be completed at the start of each school year and are good
through September 30th of the following school year.
Castro Valley
ZOO @ Canyon
Have you visited the Castro Valley ZOO in Room I-5 on the Canyon campus? There are over 20 animals to
view and some to handle. The “ZOO” is open on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8 to 8:45 am or by
appointment. Please visit our new website to see how you can help keep this valuable and enjoyable
resource available for our students and staff. Check out:
SCHOOL PICTURES: IF you missed ordering fall pictures of your child you may still order
them online. For easy online ordering, visit their website at:
Canyon Middle School appreciates the dedication of our School Board Trustee Members:
Charmaine Banther, John Barbieri, Janice Friesen, Gary Howard, Jo A. S. Loss
Superintendent, Jim Negri
Upcoming meetings: November 13th and December 11th – 7:00 PM, District Office
Please continue scrolling for the November
calendar and several fliers with special events.