PO Box 187, 187 Pinehurst Rd., Canyon, CA 94516 | Phone: (925) 376-4671 | Fax: (925) 376-2343

Update from the Principal 9/5/2020


I want to start by acknowledging the incredible amount of work everyone is doing to get the year started. Ramona is organizing the materials pick ups and drop offs. The teachers are learning more platforms and curricula and tech than they ever imagined, the parents are making Herculian efforts to support the kids and function as de facto IT specialists (and short order cooks:). I want to thank CEF for organizing and managing their fundraising effort. I want to acknowledge Lola and The CATSS board for their work to build and support our community. And I want to acknowledge Eric Reynolds who is working 24/7 to optimize our learning platform and support the kids! I felt terrible that I forgot to acknowledge him on last night’s back to school call. He was there to answer questions and I just forgot he would be! He just built out a feedback component on the website. Just go to the adorable racoon in the lower right corner. It can help you if you have a problem. You can also give it feedback. As people identify common challenges Eric is building them into the bot’s repertoire, so that it can help people automatically. Please contribute to this effort by sharing all your feedback and ideas!

Book club

Lola and CATSS are going to be doing a parent book club to build community and connect! The first book will be Kimiko Guthrie’s new book, Block Seventeen. Kathleen at Great Good Place for Books has ordered copies for us. So if you’d like to support a local bookstore and a local author and relish in the chance to escape into narrative fiction, you can email her at: kathleen@ggpbooks.com or call to reserve your copy today!

Also, Lola and CATSS will be meeting with Eric to discuss a Marketplace function of Critter that will allow for us to have our digital marketplace to support the school. This will facilitate an online art faire! Are you an early adopter? If you would like to help get the Marketplace rolling, and/or if you are an artisan with wares to sell, please reach out to Lola, so that we can include you as we get this off the ground.

Back to School Nights

Thank you so much for attending the back to school nights! It was great to see so many of you. All of the presentations are shared with you on Critter so you can see them.


Our efforts are well underway. On behalf of the school, I would like to thank everyone for their efforts around fundraising and for the contributions we have already received. Please contact Mike Godwin or Raph Steinzig with any CEF related questions. The struggle is real. If you can give, please do!

FYI/If you are interested:

Former Canyon parent and editor of Common Sense Media, Sierra Filucci, debuted Common Sense Parents, a fantastic Facebook group about parenting in a technological world. Join her group at the link above.

These Study Carols were shared in the chat, when Steven Blakely asked about creating workspace for kids.

This is the poem Alix shared at Back to school night.

Brian Coyle had these thoughts in relation to some zoom issues people have brought up:

Zoom bandwidth: in the default HD condition, a 15 person meeting with video on all sides in gallery view requires 2.5 mb download, and 1.5 to 3 mb upload speeds.

Most Zoom issues stem from the upload side. Internet connections have much less upload than download speed. I just tested and got 21 mb down, 5.1 up. Xfinity’s Blast plan boasts 300 mb down, only 5 mb up. The way connections like zoom work, after ten packets get downloaded, one packet is uploaded to verify. If not received, the previous ten packets get sent again. Viola, congestion.

Google “speed test” and see yours. Google’s version shows upload and download, some others only show download. If upload speed is <2 mb, you may have problems if several use the internet.

One way to reduce upload bandwidth is to turn off Zoom’s HD default.

In Zoom click Settings (the gear icon).

Click Video in the left-hand menu.

In the My Video section, uncheck the box beside Enable HD if it is checked.

Also, if your Internet router has an ethernet connection, you can run a link between it and your laptop to get more bandwidth, instead of wireless.

If getting disconnected a lot from Zoom: some computers save power by disconnecting wifi. To fix it, search for the power plan, and make sure it doesn’t turn off devices to save power. On a chromebook there may be something like if the screen goes to sleep the wireless connection ends, which you can toggle off.


Published in Letters from the Principal