A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 09/18/2018

Thanks to all who attended Back to School Night last Thursday. We tried to be efficient and include as much information and as many staff members as possible. If you have any feedback to improve Back to School Night for future years, please let me know! One idea I had was to have some sort of easy fundraiser dinner on the nights we have events so people can get their kids and a burrito or slice of pizza and support the school… Thoughts?

We are ready to offer after school Spanish as soon as you sign up for it!!
The Classroom Matters Language Enrichment Program – Spanish, is a learning journey for kids and customized to fit the needs of the students and parents. It’s an opportunity to engage kids in learning about the Spanish language, including the cultures of the countries where Spanish is spoken. Using best practices from a variety of second-language teaching strategies, we provide a foundation of basic Spanish phrases and vocabulary. Through movement, Total Physical Response, song, music, art, and reading and listening activities, our students learn to speak, read, write, and love the Spanish language. The biggest goal of our program is to expose our students to the language in an engaging, play- and project-based environment. Our teachers are native or near-native speakers, or have minors or majors in Spanish – and they are all passionate about the language. They all have previous teaching experience and receive ongoing training in classroom management and effective teaching strategies.

Our pricing includes:
-Supplies and materials (workbooks, art supplies, technology, paper, snacks, etc)
-A monthly music workshop with a band whose music is from Veracruz, Mexico
-3 cultural experiences throughout the year (sculpture, cooking and yoga, all in Spanish)

Price: $1200 for the whole year; installment payments possible, refunds available in full minus 10 percent.
Levels: Beginner and Advanced, 2 hours of instruction per week, per level.
-Tues and Thurs 3-5 beginning Sept 25th, which day beginning vs. advanced TBA very soon!
– Beginning class is for kids with no Spanish exposure. Advanced class is for those with some.
– minimum of 6 kids needed per class, but if one class has more the other could have less. So 12 total needed between the 2 classes.

The Board met on September 11, 2018. Among the items discussed were the need to be really careful with the plumbing in the kitchen. We need to make sure that anyone who uses the sink or dishwasher is well trained and understands all their vulnerabilities so we can preserve our fragile infrastructure. Also, as you may know, Gloria will be retiring from her role as Superintendent/CBO at the end of October. Monica Santiago was hired by the Board last spring to be the new Chief Business Official (CBO). Last night the board voted to change my position to Principal/Superintendent as of November 1st.

All parents are encouraged to attend CATSS meetings in order hear about what is happening at school and participate in community activities and fundraising events. In order to accommodate a variety of schedules, CATTS meetings this year are alternating between mornings and evenings.
CATSS meetings:
Oct 11 @ 7 PM
Nov 8 @ 8 AM
Jan 10 @ 7 PM
Feb 14 @ 8 AM
Mar 14 @ 7 PM
Apr 11 @ 8 AM
May 9 @ 7 PM
June 13 @ 8 AM

Volunteer opportunities:
We still need a few parents to volunteer to be on School Site Council. It is fun, informative and not too demanding. School Site council convenes at a mutually convenient time to review the Local Control Accountability Plan, develop and analyze a schoolwide survey and make recommendations for school improvement. Please let me know if you are interested.

Molly Heylin offered to chair a Middle School Recruitment committee. Thank you Molly! Anyone interested in supporting recruitment efforts should contact Molly.

Calendar of upcoming events:
9/19-21 678 camping
9/26-28 345 camping
10/1 Buffalo presentation
10/09 Board meeting @ 7 pm
10/11 vision screening
10/11 CATSS meeting @ 7 pm
10/12 Walk Through History (am is 345 class, pm is 678 class)
10/15 NO School Staff Development
10/27 Halloween Ball
10/29-11/2 Parent Conferences– sign up!
11/01 REVERSE minimum day, school starts @ 11 (Aftercare will be available 8:30-11)
11/08 CATSS meeting @ 8 am
11/12 Veteran’s Day No School
11/13 Board meeting @ 7 pm
11/19-23 Thanksgiving Break, no school
11/29 345 Field Trip

Community notes:
From Erika McDaniel: I have a set of bunk beds (black metal frame) and at least one mattress (maybe two) free to anyone who is able to come disassemble and transport them away? They will need to be picked up by the end of September, the earlier the better.

Do you have something to share in community notes? Let me know and I will include it in the next newsletter!

A Message from the Principal 9/5/18

by Lucia Sullivan on 09/11/2018

Back to school night is September 13th. We will begin at 6:30 PM. The schedule will be as follows:
6:30-7 K12 in Judy’s room
6:30-7 Costa Rica info meeting for 8th grade parents in multipurpose room
7-7:15 General Welcome, announcements
7:15-7:40 345 in Kirsten’s room
7:40-8 678 in Mr. Day’s room
7:15-8 Support staff will be in multipurpose room to share about their programs and answer questions

Please be careful in the parking lot. Do not park where there are red curbs; even if it seems okay to you, it blocks the ability of others to safely see the road traffic.

Volunteer Opportunities:
We really need volunteers to help with lunch recess duty, Wednesdays most of all but any day is helpful!

Many people have asked if you can help recruit middle school students. Yes! Please post that we are accepting Middle School Inter-district transfers on your social media sites. You can offer our phone number and website. Please encourage interested families to call the school. Ideally we would gain at least 6 middle school students by the end of September. Sixth and Seventh graders would be best. Spread the news!

School Site Council is a parental advisory group. The role includes a few meetings a year, the development of an annual parent survey and an opportunity to review survey data and help formulate future goals for school improvement plans and the LCAP document. Ideally we would have 2-3 parents serve on the School Site Council.

Community notes:
Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice March
This Saturday, 9/8 at 10am thousands will march in San Francisco for the largest climate march the West Coast has ever seen. If you and/or your family would like to carpool to BART from Canyon or link up with other Canyon families at the march, please contact Rena at 925.323.7928 or rena.meyersd@gmail.com. Additionally, here is a calendar of other related activities taking place during the week.

If YOU have something to share in community notes, please send it to me and I will include in future newsletters.

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 08/31/2018

Dear Families,

Thank you all for such a great start to the school year. I wish you all a wonderful long weekend.

As you may be aware, we are eager to find additional students for the 678 class. Right now we have 18 kids in that class. There are 7 sixth graders, 4 seventh graders, and 7 eighth graders. Currently we have three girls in sixth grade and one girl in eighth grade. If you know of anyone who would be interested in joining our middle school program, please have them contact the school immediately. The enrollment in the first week of October is used to determine our funding for the year. It would be of significant financial benefit to the school to have 6 more kids in there in the next few weeks. It goes without saying that it would also be a social benefit to the children to have additional classmates.

The CATSS Board met this morning. The walkathon scheduled for Saturday, October 13 has been moved to Sunday, October 14th to maximize participation. It was felt that many kids have sports events on Saturday that could be a conflict. If you would like to help out with the walk-a-thon or Halloween Carnival, please let us know! Do you have access to any sort of free donations of craft materials or food? The Halloween Carnival is a community event more than a fundraiser and we would like to make the event as wonderful and inexpensive as possible.

This year, in order to accommodate a variety of schedules the CATTS meetings will rotate between day and evening meeting times. We will retain the second Thursday where possible. Please mark your calendars for the following dates:

Oct 11 @ 7 PM
Nov 8 @ 8 AM
Jan 10 @ 7 PM
Feb 14 @ 8 AM
Mar 14 @ 7 PM
Apr 11 @ 8 AM
May 9 @ 7 PM
June 13 @ 8 AM

See you Tuesday!

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 06/06/2018

Dear Families,

The end of the year is upon us. Please read this whole document. There is a lot of important dates and information. You should all know that here in the office we are busy preparing end of the year events and preparing for next year. Community members have busily been making the repairs to the Apse and I am happy to report it is in perfect shape now! Last week we welcomed in-coming kindergarteners for a visiting day and orientation. This is a unique year as all new Kindergarten students are either Canyon residents or siblings of current students. Current second and fifth graders also had the opportunity to visit their classroom for next year and get a preview of what to expect next year!

CATSS met last night and voted in a new board. It will be:
Maggie Harper (Delilah, Sam, Hank & Grant’s mom) & Cambria Shaw (Gus, Bowden & Clementine’s mom), Co-Presidents
Greg Stukuls, Treasurer (Ligaya & Gunnar’s dad)
Rodrigo Gonzalez, Secretary (Roka’s dad)

The Board will meet next Tuesday night to discuss the budget and LCAP. That night’s agenda is just hearing as the actual vote will occur on June 26th special meeting. The LCAP draft is attached to this email. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to add to the LCAP.

There’s a lot happening:
June 7, @ 7 spring performances
June 11, @ 7 planning meeting for 100 year celebration (July 29)
June 12 Picnic & swimming @ Cull Canyon (no glass containers!). There is no Aftercare on this day!
June 12 Board meeting @ 7
June 13th @1, Music recital David Von Holder’s students
June 14 graduation @ 7
June 15, 9-9:45 second grade fly away home in grove, 9:45 fifth grade promotion on deck, make your own sundaes for lunch @ 12– then go home! Is there a parent who would stay with any kids who do not get picked by 12:30 so Ramona can go to the end of year luncheon?
Work days Saturday, June 30; Sunday, July 22
July 10 Brown Act Training for School Board (time tbd), public welcome!
July 29 Hundred Year Celebration Party
Aug 26 welcome back breakfast (Sunday)
August 29, first day of school!

There will be three potential openings for School Board in the next election cycle. Canyon residents who are interested in running for School Board should make sure they make filing deadlines at the Courthouse in Martinez:
https://www.cocovote.us/wp-content/uploads/2018_CandidateGuide.pdf If you would like to be on the School Board, please consider attending the Brown Act training. Contact Ramona for details.

Summer Reading:
Here are some great suggestions for new books from Commonsense Media–

Community Notes:
Our very own Kate Wees has opened up a Wellness center in Lafayette. Come support your Canyon community! https://radiancefamilywellness.com
Do you have something to share in Community notes? Let me know!

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 05/30/2018

Dear Families,

This is a busy time of year! I had the incredible opportunity to escort the 8th graders on their annual Outward Bound Trip. I had been hearing about it for years and was excited to see what it was all about. It was such a privilege to bear witness to these kids’ experience. It is truly a transformative experience and I am profoundly grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. The kids are so lucky to have this trip as their culminating experience.

I heard Open House was phenomenal. I am glad so many people were able to attend.

The next few weeks are busy ones.
Tomorrow, May 31, Kindergarten Orientation Day
Thursday, June 7, Spring Performances dress rehearsal starts at 8:45 (families welcome to attend!) evening show @ 7 pm
Tuesday, June 12, All School Picnic @ 10 am Cull Canyon (no glassware allowed! If you bring food to share DO NOT USE GLASS)
Thursday, June 14, Graduation @ 7 pm
Friday, June 15, Last day, minimum day (Is there a parent who wants to volunteer to stay with any unclaimed children after lunch so staff can attend end of year luncheon?)

Gloria and I are working on planning a Brown Act Training for the School Board and any interested members of the public. We hope to have this training on July 10th, but that is not confirmed. Please stay tuned for more information.

Attached please find a draft copy of the 2018 LCAP document. Feel free to provide any feedback. The June 12th meeting is a scheduled hearing for the budget and the LCAP and voting occurs June 26th.

Community notes:
Leslie Nuccio is a Board Member for Camp it Up, a Queer Family camp, asked me to pass along this information for any interested parties– http://www.campitup.org

I heard from Ken Pitts and he can do Wednesday, October 24, 2018 for the rescheduled Batizado 9-12. Canyon alums Eric Argent, Sophia Argent, Gabe Saffier-Ewing are planning to attend. And Ken is trying to recruit Eli Klein from Hawaii. He is working on getting Sam and Jessie Ewing as well.

Judy sent out Summer Reading information, and I will pass along for parents in grades 3-8. No matter what you have planned, reading should be part of everyone’s summer:
Contra Costa Libraries are having a Summer Reading Program June 4–Aug 4
Print out the reading passport or track your progress online.

Alameda County Library Summer Reading Game June 1–Aug 31.
Register online or pick up game boards at selected libraries.

Oakland Public Library’s summer reading rewards June 9–Aug 4
Sign up online.

Barnes & Noble’s summer reading program May 15–Sep 3
Download the reading journal.

Pura Vida,

A Message from the Principal 4/19/18

by Lucia Sullivan on 04/19/2018

Hi Folks,

At yesterday’s staff meeting Nicholas Zefeldt, Instructional Technology Coordinator for Contra Costa County, came and trained staff in Common Sense Media’s Educator tools for digital literacy. All staff enjoyed the training and plan to implement lessons in class shortly. Are you familiar with Common Sense Media? I have always enjoyed the site for picking family movies. They provide a clear synopsis with attention to violence, sex, drugs, product placement and messages that allows parents to make choices aligned with the needs and wishes of their families. I highly recommend it. As I was perusing the site I came across this article about 4/20 and thought it might be interesting to parents.


I was surprised by how much my own children knew about the “4-20” holiday and in reading the article above have come to understand that in the last year, as public opinion has swiftly shifted , mainstream advertising online is incorporating pot jokes in ads. Regardless of your personal views on cannabis, it is important to have tools to speak to your teen or tween about their health and safety. On that note, I had the opportunity to hear Ralph Cantor, retired high school science teacher and now drug educator speak at a Berkeley middle school about how to talk to kids about marijuana. He has a fact-based non-judgemental approach that I found very helpful. This attachment is a little dated, but pages 10-11 focus on Ralph’s work and could be useful to parents as we move into 4-20. I figure we can always benefit from more information.


Students in grades 3-8 are scheduled to begin state testing in the last week of April and first week of May. If you are opting your child out of testing, please do so in writing ASAP. Please don’t plan any unnecessary absences during that time. Make ups are complicated and stressful.

Planned parenthood will present an education program for students in grades 5-8 including: HIV prevention, human sexuality, hygiene and health in late April and early May. If you are opting your child out of sex education, please do so in writing ASAP.

The Batizado originally scheduled for May 9th has been postponed to next fall. I know this was disappointing news for some families. The reasons for this are financial. Ken would like to do a ceremony recognizing kids’ achievement (including belts and visiting Capoeira masters), but we had not budgeted for this for this school year. Given our current finances, it made sense to roll the costs of the event into next year’s field trip funds and have the event in the fall. Thank you for your understanding.

I mentioned in an earlier dispatch that the Acalanes high school district has decided to no longer accept inter-district transfers. This is unfortunate for our school as Canyon residents matriculate to Acalanes and doing so without their cohort of peers feels unfair. The decision making behind this process appears to be financial in nature as Acalanes has a funding structure whereby they get no additional funds from transfer students. The Canyon School Board is making a motion to have this detail in the funding mechanism changed at a state level so inter-district transfer students would be able to carry ADA funding with them wherever they attend school; we have no idea what will happen. If you would like to learn more about school funding in California, you can read this report: http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/report/R_913MWR.pdf
I think this is important information for everyone to have so that parents can begin thinking about high school options for each student now. If you are an inter-district family, it will be helpful to cultivate relationships with parents whose children attend your local high school so that you have access to key information as each city’s process has different timelines and hoops to be jumped.

If you haven’t already purchased your tickets for the Speakeasy on Saturday, it is not too late! Our little school appreciates all your support. Purchase tickets online here: https://canyon.k12.ca.us


A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 03/14/2018

Hi Folks,

Last night the Board met. Thanks to Lisa Lenher, Peggy Lynch and John Heylin for attending. Gloria presented the second interim budget report which compares the budget to actual spending. I am attaching a copy here for you to read. I think the broad strokes are that often the school has needed 60-70 grand annually to close the budget gap. For the last couple years, for a variety of reasons, we have not had such a large budget gap. This year we have a very large budget gap because of spending needs in a million directions: tree trimming, propane costs, increased pension liability costs, Esperanza’s retirement, etc… Gloria’s forecast is that due to the projected increase in our mandated retirement contribution we will most likely need around 80 grand a year for the next few years.

Given that we have not asked CEF for much money in the last few years, urgency around fundraising had understandably dropped off. I am confident that as a community we will be able to find some sustainable fundraising practices that will not run parents ragged and can preserve our wonderful little school. Our initial push is of course the Speakeasy on April 21st followed by a “buy a tile” project later in the spring. The Speakeasy sounds like it is going to be great fun; tickets go on sale soon!

I understand that tension around the budget gap has caused stress and division in the community. The bottom line is that this was just a nutty year with expenses coming out of the woodwork. We do not forsee this kind of budget gap happening again. If we want to preserve our school community, we need to stop pointing fingers or blaming anyone or anything. We need to focus on what is good and right, be kind to each other, and do our best to fundraise in the ways we can…

That said, there are still five Giants tickets left! Please send in a check made out to CATSS if you would like to go! When the last ticket sells, we will have quickly made $400 for CATSS:)

Also, last night the Board approved the 18-19 calendar. I have attached it here. It is very much like this year. One thing we are trying out for next year is creating a reverse minimum day for November 1st. Many people expressed how hard the morning after Halloween is, and given that it is a Thursday next year, it would be sort of a weird Staff Development Day. School will run on November 1st from 11-3. Aftercare will function in the morning that day. This is the conference week; Parents can bring their kids in any time between 8 and 11 and drop them at aftercare and morning conferences will be offered.

Today is Pi Day AND National School Walk Out day. For Pi day students have been measuring the circumference of pie plates. Rio will share his research on Pythagorus at assembly. 678 students made signs and walked out at 10 am for 17 minutes in protest of gun violence (picture attached). Their protest was languid, but I was glad to see them organizing and taking a stand.

If you haven’t had a chance to respond to the survey, please do it! https://goo.gl/forms/GUu9rruS674SKN5h1 We really need your feedback to continue to improve our program.


A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 01/04/2018

Dear Canyon Families,

Welcome Back! Jim Peterson came in today and as part of Eurythmy with K12, he led the whole school in a “Ringing in the New Year” celebration. The older kids were a little stand-offish at first, but by the end they were all fully participating:)

The new year is an exciting time in school. Children return after vacation knowing the routines and eager to get back to work. Randy, from Soul Shoppe, will be back on Friday to work with the kids on the “Stop & Breathe” program. He will also be coming to the February 8th CATSS meeting for a night of adult education about social and emotional learning. This has been triple confirmed. We are looking forward to it.

Peter Eichelberger will be coming in next week to share internet safety tips with students in grades 3-8. Judy will show an internet safety video called Safeside Superchick to students in K12.

There is a staff development day on Monday, January 29th (no school for students). We will be waxing the floors that weekend and would love any help moving furniture out of classrooms after school on Friday. Please email teachers directly if you can help.

Esperanza has retired! It is a big deal for our school but we have worked hard to create a smooth transition for the kids and the community. If you have not already purchased tickets for her retirement party, it is not too late! Contact Ramona for more information. The information is below. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Can you forward the invitation information? Who told you about Canyon School when you first came here? Can you make sure that person and any former families gets the invite? It is hard to keep up with former families and staff and we want to make sure everyone is included! We have a paid list; there are no physical tickets. You can check with Lucia or Ramona if you want to confirm that you are on the paid list.

Also, I sent out an email yesterday with all the details, but we need three more paid participants by Friday to run the after school Spanish program next week. We hope there will be three more kids as many people have been clamoring for an after school Spanish program.

Upcoming dates:
1/5/18 Soul Shoppe Stop & Breath for kids (in school)
1/9/18 Board meeting 7 pm
1/11/18 CATSS meeting 7 pm
1/15/18 MLK day no school
1/20/18 Esperanza’s Retirement party
1/26/18 K12 Field trip
1/26/18 End of semester
1/29/18 Professional Development, No School for Students
2/8/18 CATSS meeting with Soul Shoppe, parent information night
2/9/18 K12 Field Trip to BACT
2/13/18 Board meeting
2/19/18 No School
3/2/18 Read Across America Day
3/13/18 Board Meeting
3/14/18 Pi Day
3/16/18 K12 Field Trip
3/30/18 minimum day, no aftercare, dismissal 12:35
4/2-6/18 Spring Break, NO SCHOOL

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 12/05/2017

Dear Canyon Community,

Great news:
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.

Upcoming dates:
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.


A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 11/01/2017

Dear Canyon Families,

It was such a treat to see so many of you in your Halloween finest. A huge thank you to all who volunteered so much time to make such a wonderful tradition come to fruition. The school portraits are posted in the foyer. They are GORGEOUS! Please have a look, order a portrait package and support the school.

Upcoming dates/events:
Soul Shoppe will be providing a parent education night Thursday, November 9th. This workshop is starting at 6:30. There is no school Friday, 11/10 for the Veteran’s day holiday. Tuesday 11/14 is Opera a la Carte at 9 am.

Mark your calendar:
11/09 Soul Shoppe PARENT education night 6:30 pm
11/10 No School
11/14 Opera a la Carte performance @ 9 am
11/17 minimum day (no aftercare)
11/20-24 No School Thanksgiving Holiday Week
12/03 Art Faire
12/14 Winter performances
12/15 minimum day (no aftercare)
12/18-1/02 No School Winter Break

Aftercare Update:
Aftercare has hired John Holland to build shelves outside building C to better house art supplies in an easily accessible way. Late payment fees have not been enforced, however, if parents continue to pay late aftercare will be forced to assess late fees. Aftercare would like to purchase a kiln with the goal of having a pottery component in aftercare. Camille is wondering if we have any potters in the community who could help by offering advice in the selection of a good kiln for our site. Camille has determined where it should go and how it should be housed– we just need to select it and purchase it. Wendy Avolino is our new kindercare teacher. She grew up in Canyon and in the process of moving back. Our after school enrichment classes have been well received and well attended. We attempted to run an after school spanish class, but did not have the enrollment to get it off the ground. There was some confusion about the price– my understanding is that the more students that sign up, the lower the price can be. There was an initial price predicated on 13 kids enrolled, but with fewer than 13 the price was raised to reflect the instructor costs. We will try again to run the program in January.

General Safety:
Please discourage children from running across the parking lot when people are pulling in and out. It is best to drop kids at the walkway and then go park the car. We recently learned that we should be collecting additional information from drivers on field trips. Please provide a photocopy of your driver’s license and declaration page of your insurance in addition to completing the Canyon School Field Trip Driver Information form. Judy, Camille and Wendy, the new Kindercare teacher, have spoken to all students in K12 about staying away from the gate by the play yard and the potential danger of Pinehurst Road.

Visual Art Curriculum:
As you know all students have visual art with Esperanza on Wednesdays. Below is a brief informal synopsis of our art curriculum. Also, I have attached a brief one-pager on Los Dias de los Muertos taken mostly from the Oakland Museum of California. We use the OCMA curriculum to learn about this regional celebration.

Semester 1
Color and Composition – (mostly 2D work on paper)

Semester 2
3D Design – Last year was paper mache, this year is wire sculpture, which may include some paper mache and various clay media with the armature being wire instead of cardboard…

At various points during the year do stand alone projects that relate to a specific activity or event, for example over the next few weeks we will be creating materials for the Dia de los Muertos ofrenda. In December and May we always do set design and some work on props.

The four part lesson structure is as follows:
Opening – This is where the skills are addressed and contextualized. During this time we may look at examples of an artist whose work is relevant to our subject. (In K12 this period includes singing and informal Spanish language as well)
Drawing journals- Into to the lesson with a drawing technique, such as value scale, contrast, proportion, perspective, folded in. (We usually use our wonderful class set of prismacolor pencils but they will use charcoal, graphite sticks, pastels, and pens at various times)
Main Lesson – So far this year lessons have included color wheel, color theory (warm / cool, complements, analogous, etc) in both torn and cut paper collage and paint.
Free Exploration of the Media – This part allows kids who have longer attention spans to continue to work on their piece from the main lesson, so you may not see a “free piece” from each week. As the kids get older there is more time spent on contextualization, cultural significance, or focus on a particular artist or theme in art. For example we may feature artists such as Basquiat during Black History, Frida Kahlo or Ruth Asawa during Women’s History month, Egyptian art when studying Egypt etc.