by Lucia Sullivan on 12/05/2017
Dear Canyon Community,
I hope you all had a wonderful week with your children. I am certainly grateful for the bridge reopening, but mostly for this wonderful community that pulled together to support one another during such upheaval. Thank you for making it work for almost SIX months!!
Our own alumnae, Clara Holland, entered and WON a Costa Rica Outward Bound photo contest; the first place prize was a $300 scholarship to Outward Bound which Clara has graciously donated to Canyon. Thank you Clara! We can’t wait to see the picture. Rumor has it, prints may be for sale at the art faire!
We had a former parent lodge a complaint with the California Department of Education about our snack program. These things require serious legal attention and we take all complaints seriously. Our school handbook states that our snack program is optional. If parents feel compelled to participate, they should know that they have a right to opt out of the snack program. Just let your room parent know that you would like to opt out and send in your child’s own snack. The legacy of having a shared snack was created to both distribute the responsibility of remembering to pack it (do it once monthly for the class and don’t worry the other days) and to build community in the way that sharing food does. It is our intention that a shared snack reduces parental burden and supports a cohesive community.
All three classes will be on field trips Friday, December 8th. Mark your calendars! Friday, February 9th is a parent’s night out. The 8th graders will babysit (a Costa Rica fundraiser) and parents can go have a little adult time— stay tuned for more details…
A huge thank you to Erika McDaniel and Maggie Harper who have volunteered to watch the last children picked up on Friday, December 15th. Lunch will be served at noon, pick up is at 12:35 at the latest. Please be prompt getting your children. I am sure Maggie and Erika will be eager to leave, and the kids always look a little sad when they are the last ones here at pick up. Thank you also to Lisa Gaiser and Jorgen Jensen who have kindly offered to serve lunch at the art faire.
Ruby and others on the CATSS board will be finishing two year terms this year and the CATSS board is actively seeking new Board members for next year. Please consider participating in the CATSS board as it is a great way to both learn about and support the culture and traditions of the school.
Healthy CA Survey:
In the next few weeks, your child (grades 3-8) will be asked to take a survey at school. The California Department of Education requires schools and districts to ask students about alcohol, tobacco, and other drug issues, as well as questions about school safety and the learning environment. Participation in the survey is voluntary on the part of the student, and we hope you will give permission so that your child’s opinion and knowledge can be part of the information gleaned from the survey. The survey is anonymous. No names or any other identifying information is connected to the answers except for the name of the school. If you have questions, please contact Ramona or Lucia. If you wish to view the survey, you may do so at the school office.
Our winter performances will be Thursday, December 14th at 7 PM. You are also welcome to attend the dress rehearsal at 8:45 that morning. Judy’s class will perform first. There will NOT be a book exchange after their show. Therefore, parents of K12 students will either reclaim their children for the remainder of the performances or take them home. After the 345 show, we will have another very brief intermission at which time families with young children may choose to depart. There will be no refreshments until after the final play. The next day all three classes will have parties.
Classes will have book exchanges or gift swaps on Friday morning December 15th. Participation in these events is optional. But please let the classroom teacher know if you will not be participating or plan to be absent so that the teacher can make sure all children present receive a gift of some sort.
A reminder that the party to celebrate Esperanza’s retirement will be held on January 20th. Early bird pricing is available until winter break. Get your tickets now! Contact Ramona if you need an invitation.
Parents who use aftercare who are not paying bills on time will see late fees on their bills. This is a self funding program and parents who use aftercare need to pay on time or speak to Camille about a payment plan.
Thank you to CEF for sending out their email this week. I have received some questions about what CEF pays for. CATSS fundraises for field trips, enrichment and community events. CEF fundraises for our budget shortfall. California has one of the lowest rates of education funding in the nation. We know that some people can not afford to give each year. Contributing to CEF is entirely voluntary. However, my understanding from CEF is that they have received pledges for 20% of the amount of money that needs to be raised for this year. If CEF is not able to raise the necessary funds, we will be forced to lay off all the support staff (Lily, Sequoia, Steve, Camille), and if that is insufficient, then we will have to reduce our numbers by revoking inter district transfers until we could get to just two classrooms. These are dire steps, and I hope we will never have to do any of these things. Canyon has no parcel tax. CEF is funding the school’s basic operational shortfall. I don’t want to scare people, but if you have been on the fence or unclear about the value of this contribution; please know that it is essential to the functioning of the school.