Friday Memo - Canyon Middle School

Matthew Steinecke
[email protected]
Doris De La Torre
AP Students M-Z
[email protected]
April Wong
AP Students A-L
Canyon Communiqué
A Legacy of Excellence
Canyon Middle School
19600 Cull Canyon Road, Castro Valley, CA 94552
(510) 538-8833 Fax (510) 247-9439
January 2015
[email protected]
Jason Whiteman
AP Students M-Z
AP Intervention
[email protected]
Happy New Year - 2015
option 1
Principal Message – January 2015
Dear Students and Parents/Guardians:
It’s hard to believe that another calendar year has passed and that 2015 is now upon us. We hope you are
able to spend time relaxing with family and friends. During the holidays, it is important to pause and enjoy each
other’s company.
We will be starting off the year by welcoming our new assistant principal, Doris De La Torre. Ms. De La
Torre has worked in the District for over 10 years. She will be working with students and families with the last
names M-Z. We are pleased to have her joining our SOAR-ing Condor team.
Fortunately, the school year is not yet halfway finished. That means there is still time for students to do
whatever work is necessary to improve grades by the end of the semester, which is January 23. Students will report
back to school on January 5. There will be no school on January 19, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 22 and 23 are minimum days. School will be dismissed at 12:35 pm for all students on these days.
Students must be off campus by 1:00 pm. Bus service will be available for the students who normally ride the bus at
12:35 pm. Teachers will be working on grades and preparing for the 2nd semester during these times.
Our parent meetings for January are:
 African American Alliance Network – January 8 – 6:30 pm, Library
 PTA – January 13 – 7:00 pm, Library
 Padres Unidos – January 22 – 7:00 pm, Library
Our winter concerts were incredible, as our students in band, orchestra and choir dazzled audiences, under
the expert guidance of teachers Carina Zamora, Heidi Dahms and Katie Burke. In addition, our students and staff
celebrated our talents at our Winter Assembly on December 19.
During the months of November and December our Canyon community did an outstanding job collecting
food and gifts for our community. During November our students collected almost 4,000 canned goods that were
distributed for the Thanksgiving Holiday. During December, various classes raised thousands of dollars to provide
gift cards and gifts to more than a dozen families as part of the Castro Valley Community Outreach program. This
outpouring of generosity is representative of the care and compassion of our school community at Canyon. Our
special thanks also to Mr. Ray Harris for his ongoing commitment to the Community Outreach program, to our
Activities Directors, Mrs. Shen and Ms. Hsu, and of course to all of you who support our community in so many
Lastly, we are proud to announce that we will be unveiling our new Canyon website. We will have a fresh
new look that will enhance our families experience using our website. In addition, please follow Canyon Middle
School on Twitter @CanyonCondors. We will be highlighting the amazing academics and activities that we are
proud of.
From my family to all of you in the Canyon community, I wish you a peaceful holiday season and a Happy
New Year. Remember to SOAR Canyon!
Best Wishes,
NO SCHOOL – January 19, 2015 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
EARLY RELEASE – January 22 and 23, 2015 – 12:35 pm
Matthew Steinecke
Congrats to grads ad for yearbook: 8th grade parents, you can still create and purchase
an ad for your graduating 8th grader, which will be published in full color in our 2014-2015 yearbook. You can
create your ad and include personal pictures and a message at Enter Canyon
Middle School in the search box, and the instructions will prompt you from there. Any questions, ask Cherie
Banaga at [email protected] Deadline is January 15.
21st Annual Youth 2 Youth Conference
Please mark your calendar and sign up for the Annual Youth 2 Youth Conference. The event will be held at
Monte Vista High School in Danville on Saturday, March 7, 2015. This popular event fills up quickly. Don’t
wait to register!
Visit this link for more information and to register.
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
3 Quarter
Progress Reports mailed on 3/5/15
4 Quarter
Progress Reports mailed on 5/14/15
Robotics Club
Enrollment for the January to March sessions begins immediately. See Mr. Lawrence or go to the club
website for details (
The Canyon Middle School Robotics Club is for students who want to learn something about electronics,
software, computers, data acquisition, sensors, and mechanics. If you want to get into automotive or
aeronautical design, then you need to learn about the dozens of processors and the devices they
monitor and control. If you like sciences, then you'll want to learn about automated processes and tools for
performing experiments. The Robotics Club is for you if you are inquisitive about technology and how things
Club members will be connecting computerized devices together, getting LEDs to flash, operating motors and
gears using software, and building a project. Members will learn about electronics, how to hook up things to a
microprocessor, computer serial communications, and you'll be able to write your first few lines of code to
display on the screen.
The Robotics Club has been sponsored by a generous donation
by the Castro Valley Educational Foundation (
LOST AND FOUND: Please have your child check the Lost and Foundin the Cafeteria
(and locker rooms) for missing clothing, shoes, etc. Smaller items like keys, glasses,
and jewelry can be found in the front office.
Canyon Middle School appreciates the dedication of our School Board Trustee Members:
Charmaine Banther, John Barbieri, Gary Howard, Jo A. S. Loss, & Dot Theodore
Superintendent, Jim Negri
Upcoming meetings: January 15th and 29th – 7:00 PM, District Office
~Julie Fisher
6 Grade Counselor
~Doug Ferman
7 Grade Counselors
~Lucy Souza
8 Grade Counselor
Sixth Grade with Ms. Fisher
Hello 6th grade! With progress reports coming out and the first semester ending on January 23rd, this is a
good time to reflect on how things are going academically for your child. If you think your child may be in need
of extra support for their homework, I’d like to remind you about The Homework Club in the Canyon Library.
No sign ups are necessary, and it's a great place to work on your homework and get help for free from peer
tutors if they need it. It's open every day, except Tuesday, from right after school until 4:00.
Winter break can also be a great time to clean out and organize their backpack and see what might be
floating around at the bottom of it (The Black Hole, as I call it). If homework seems to be getting lost, I suggest
creating one Homework Folder for all classes, with pockets on each side. On one side they put assignments
they need To Do, and the other side they put completed assignments that are To Be turned In.
The other beneficial purpose the break serves is to spend time with your child. If you've been feeling a little
more disconnected from your middle schooler lately, and they're not sharing as much with you as they used
to, you are not alone! This is common at the onset of early adolescence (ages 9-13). But, there are two major
ways to create a sense of closeness with your adolescent, Confiding only being one. The other is
At an age when talking together may be harder for them, doing together is another viable way to create
closeness. So, rather than insist on more talking together, switching to ‘doing together’ activities will help you
and your tween continue your bond. It may be more of driving them to places, doing things that interest them,
and sharing entertainments you both like. You can have a good time together without having a good talk.
Although, sometimes doing together can open up a chance to talk. Please let me know if I can be of any help.
Happy holidays!
Seventh Grade with Mr. Ferman
I can’t seem to understand my 7th grader! One day s/he wants to be held like a little child and the next day
s/he is screaming at me that s/he is not a little child any more. Each morning when my child gets up, I have to
ask myself “Who is this child today?” Welcome to the world of middle school students. Our children change
and grow in the most amazing ways—sometimes it amazes us and other times it puts us in daze. These are
all just normal transitions—some say it is the interest we pay for the things we put our parents through.
Through it all, try to stay calm. Teens have the ability to argue about most anything. Pick your battles. What is
truly important to your family? Focus on those issues and just let some of them go. If in the process, I can be
of any help, please feel free to email or call. [email protected] or 510.538.8833 x.6133
Eighth Grade with Mrs. Souza
Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a fun filled winter break, a chance to see family and catch up with
friends. The end of the first semester is January 23rd, that is fast approaching. Be sure to monitor parent
portal, that way there are no surprises.
The Canyon/Creekside counselors are getting another guest speaker date set up for February. If you missed
the parent workshop at Creekside, be sure to attend Canyon’s in February. Managing Teen Moods and
Stress will be covered. More info will be available via email and auto-dialer as the date gets closer.
Tips for keeping your student healthy:
 Middle school students are often tired and hungry. Most of them do not get enough sleep. You can
help your child by,
> > > > > continued on next page > > > > >
Tips for keeping your student healthy (continued):
 Make a plan. When do they need to get up in the morning? Make sure bedtime is early enough to get
at least nine hours of sleep. Be sure phone, computer and TV are off.
 Make sure your child goes to bed around the same time each night, this makes it easier to fall asleep.
 Let your child sleep a little later on the weekends, one or two extra hours.
 Have them eat breakfast, even if only a slice of toast and a small glass of juice. Many are not ready to
eat before school, but do need the fuel to get their brain powered up! Pack snacks in the backpack, so
throughout the day an energy boost is available.
The above tips will help your student be ready to learn. Any questions comments, please email me or call.
(510) 538-8833 ext. 6175 or [email protected]
California Junior Scholarship Federation – CJSF
By the time you read this article, seventh graders will soon be able to join CJSF. The first semester is over on
January 23rd. After that time, the forms for both 7th and 8th graders will be on the “Wall of Forms”. Remember,
8th graders must join again, but dues are for the full year.
We are now accepting applications for the Marian Huhn Scholarship. January 22nd is the deadline. We have
examples in the library for students to read. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me
[email protected]
~By Douglas Ferman, CJSF Advisor
Castro Valley Unified School District
2014-2015 Schedule of Board of Education Meetings
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.
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.
BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION: Canyon Middle School participates in the General Mills BOX
TOPS FOR EDUCATION program. There is a container on the main office counter for Box Tops. Each Box
Top is worth one dime… and they add up quickly. Your support of our school is greatly appreciated!
Special thanks to our CJSF students who trim and bundle the box tops to be submitted.
 Student Activities 
January is Mentoring 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.
Adopt-A-Family Update: Every December, we continue our tradition of community by assisting Castro
Valley Outreach with their Adopt-A-Family program. This year, we collected donations for eleven CV families
in need, and we raised over $9000. We’re so proud of our generous Canyon students and families who have
helped make a happy holiday season for others!
Spelling Bee: It’s Spelling Bee Season! Canyon students will have the opportunity to show their
outstanding spelling skills as soon as we get back from Winter Break! The top spellers from each English
class will compete in the Canyon Spelling Bee during the week of January 12-16 to determine who will
represent each grade in the Castro Valley Unified Spelling Bees. Grades 4-6 & Grades 7-9 CVUSD Bees will
be held in early February, and the Alameda County Spelling Bees will be held in early March. Canyon is
hosting these events in Room D-11, so come out and cheer on our great Canyon spellers! Winners of the
Spelling Bees may also be eligible to participate in the San Francisco Chronicle Spelling Bee.
DANCE, DANCE, DANCE! The 6th graders are having another dance in order to support Outdoor School!
On Friday, January 16th, they can enjoy their own dance from 3:30-5:00pm. The cost will be $3, but
students are encouraged to bring a few extra dollars for treats and activities. All proceeds will go toward
growing the Outdoor School fund.
7/8th Grade Dance: We will be having another 7/8th grade dance on Friday, January 16, 2015 from 7:009:00pm. Admission is $3 or students can use a Renaissance Pass for free admission. Please remember
that all school rules apply at the dances. Dress code will be enforced and cell phones visible inside the
dance will be confiscated until the following Monday. Please arrange ahead of time for rides home. If you are
not picked up by 9:30pm, you will miss the next school event. Clear book/library fines and keep a good
behavior record so you can enjoy the fun. Bring your smooth moves and we’ll dance the cold winter night
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.
Ice Skating Night: Come skate with us! Our annual Ice Skating party that was postponed from December
at Dublin Iceland is coming soon! Watch and listen for more updates on dates and times. We look forward to
seeing you on the ice!
Please listen to the daily bulletin to get updates on lunchtime events. Information is also posted on the
calendar at the entryway to school.
~Ms. Hsu and Ms. Shen, Activities Directors
Safety – Organization - Achieving Goals – Respect
Students: Don’t forget to turn in your S.O.A.R. tickets.
Boxes are located in the Library and in Ms. Hsu’s room, F-10.
S.O.A.R. tickets are distibuted to students who demonstrate Canyon’s SOAR qualites!
Respect… Excellence… Pride
California Distinguished School
Dear Canyon Families,
Happy New Year!! Hope you all had a nice and relaxing winter break. We wanted to start off the New Year by saying,
“THANK YOU!” to all of our Canyon parent/guardian volunteers who have made all of our PTA events possible. There
were many: Fall Book Fair, “Welcome Back Staff Appreciation Breakfast,” Picture Day, Canyon Hearing & Vision
Screenings, Monthly Staff Treats, “Staff Soup Supper,” etc. Clearly, these events would not be possible without your
We are off to another great start and soon the end of the 2nd Quarter/1st Semester will be here within the “blink-of-aneye!” So many exciting PTA/school-wide events will be happening during the next couple of months and your support
and gift of time is ALWAYS greatly appreciated.
Please join us at our next PTA meeting:
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, in the Canyon Library at 7 p.m.
Canyon’s English department will give a valuable presentation and will sum it all up for us:
Modeling + Pathways + Testing = One Informative Night!
Our next school dances will take place on January 16th:
6 graders: 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
7th/8th graders: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Parent/guardian volunteers are ALWAYS needed at our school dances.
Remember, you must be Megan’s Law cleared. Contact the office at 510.538.8833 ext 6001 if you’re not certain.
If you are interested in volunteering opportunities, but haven’t had the chance to sign up, contact the following committee
chairs. Who says we, parents, are not needed in middle school!!!
Spring Book Fair - Manette: [email protected]
Staff Appreciation – Joanna: [email protected]
Monthly Teacher & Staff Treats – Sandy: [email protected]
Library - Karen: [email protected]
Garden - Leif: [email protected] or Lisa: [email protected]
Stay Connected by signing up or registering your email address and profile to receive 2013-2014 PTA and school wide
information. Go to the Canyon website at to register/update your email address in the
designated box. If you are no longer interested in receiving emails from Canyon Middle School PTA, please unsubscribe.
Please join & support the PTA! We encourage you to become a PTA member. Our dues are only $20 per family member
and allow you to vote on PTA program funding that affects school wide programs. The PTA membership form can be
found on our PTA website.
Let’s all continue to S.O.A.R.!
Canyon Middle School PTA Executive Board Election
Notice for the 2015/2016 School Year
The Canyon Middle School PTA Nominating Committee is actively seeking interested PTA members to be a
part of the board for the 2015-2016 school year. Below is a list of the different positions and a brief description.
Anyone who is interested in additional information for a specific position or would like to express interest in
filling a position can contact one of the Nominating Committee members listed below. Nominations will be
accepted through mid-February 2015. Elections will be held during our May 2015 PTA meeting.
The following positions are electable for the 2015-16 school year:
Treasurer: One year commitment. Averages 2 hours per week
Handles all deposits and writing of checks.
Attends PTA meetings, presents budget and balance finances throughout the school year
Knowledge of Quicken (accounting software) a plus but not required
File annual taxes and coordinates or partners for semiannual audit activities
Secretary: One-year commitment. Averages 4 hours per month
Documents PTA meeting minutes, secures approvals, posts accordingly
Other duties as requested by President or Vice President
Helps as needed with school and PTA events, ie registration, Book Fair, dances
Vice President: One-year commitment. Averages 8 hours per month
Manages/oversees external communication
Acts as assistant to the President and shall preside in he/her absence
Helps with and provides oversight for all PTA committees
Helps as needed with the school and PTA events, i.e. registration, Book Fair, dances
President: One-year commitment. Averages 10 hours per month
Presides at the facilitates all meetings of the PTA Executive Board and the PTA General Membership
Serves as the Executive Officer for the PTA
Acts as the liaison with the Administration to present parent wishes and concerns and reports back to parents
through PTA process
Helps as needed with school and PTA events, i.e. registration, Book Fair, dances
Nominating Committee:
Monica Jiménez-Hui [email protected]
Stephanie Budde
[email protected]
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I hope everyone is ready to start the New Year! We have 565 books checked out to students that
planned to read over the winter break. I think that is pretty great considering we have 1400+
students. Please help your student by reminding them to return their library books the first week that
we are back. Late notices will go out to the students on January 12th, giving everyone a chance to
hunt for that lost book. We only charge for lost books, there is no charge for being late.
While I was looking at the library stats, I noticed that reading really drops, as the student gets older.
6th graders average 5.6 books per year, 7th graders average 2.5 books a year and 8th graders
average 1.45 books per year. It is really important for students to keep their reading skills up. When
they get to High School they will be required to read a novel every 6 weeks, and it is a much easier
transition if their reading stamina it up.
We will be getting some new library books the first week we are back to school, so please
encourage your student to come in and check out the new books. The new books are courtesy of
Canyon’s PTA and the Canyon Library Supporters. Thank You Again!!
~Karen Sakamoto, Library Aide
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:
S.H.A.R.E.S. cards are available in the main office. Canyon Middle School receives 3% of sales at
Lucky, FoodMaxx, Save Mart and Smart food stores. Don’t forget to keep saving those Box Tops over the
summer for next year. Thank you to all of our families, friends, staff and the community who help support our
programs at Canyon.
Please continue scrolling for the January
calendar and fliers with special events.