A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 06/19/2019

Dear Canyon Community,

It has been a wonderful year. Thank you so much to all the staff and parents who worked so hard to support the kids.

The Board voted to approve the LCAP and the proposed budget at their June 18th meeting. We bid farewell to Art Peterson who taught 6th grade math this spring and helped out with supervising 678 snack and lunch and we say goodbye to Steven Day. We will be welcoming Alix Feinsod in 678. All other staff is projected to remain constant.

At the last Board meeting the Earth Guardians presented a climate resolution. The resolution spurred almost an hour of discussion and made me think about several things. Chief among them was the notion of transportation. One of our on-going struggles is attendance. This impacts our funding and causes financial stress. Improving attendance increases our funding. As the Board was discussing climate action, I was thinking of the carbon footprint of all the inter-district families driving into Canyon. It got me thinking that if we could set up a bus system we might be able to:
Get more people to school on time (thus improving our ADA, increasing our funding and improving academic outcomes)
Reduce our carbon footprint
Make the school more accessible to families who are unable to drive here every morning
Make the lives of parents easier
Do we have anyone in our community who has the skills to help investigate the feasibility of a bus? It would be amazing if we could see where people live on a map and figure out if we could have one or two bus stops and pick up lots of kids? This would have to be parent funded (think of the money you would save on gas and brakes:). Let me know if this something you’d be interested in. And if you think you have the urban planning know-how to help make this happen, please reach out right away!

The conversation the Board had regarding climate action made me think that we need to have a symposium solely focused on climate action. Is there anyone who would be interested in helping to plan, organize and facilitate this event with Rena, the kids in the Earth Guardians Crew, me and Board members? Please let me know so we can get this on the calendar.

We have two parent volunteer summer work days. The first is Sunday, July 7th. The “must-do” tasks on this day are first getting the stage thrust taken down and then getting all the furniture out of the classrooms so the floors can be cleaned and waxed. The next work day is Saturday, July 27th. On the second work day the furniture is cleaned and replaced in rooms. If we get lots of helpers there are many other projects that can be done on this day as well. Please let me know if you plan to come to the first work day. This will help me know which projects we can expect to complete. It will also help CATSS know how much food to provide. The new 678 teacher would like a bit of help cleaning and organizing that room as well. Please let me know if you’d like to help with that.

Middle school enrollment continues to be an inflection point. Please help us out by recruiting kids who may be interested in our middle school program. We currently have availability in 7th and 8th grades. Please direct interested parents to email me directly as I will be on email all summer and eager to answer questions and talk to prospective families.

Raphaelle Steinzig participated in School Site Council this year and together we reviewed and analyzed the parent survey feedback. Thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully. Things that came across clearly as hopes, wishes, wants:
1. Dogs on campus MUST be leashed. Some kids are afraid. If you bring your dog to school please leash it and pick up after it:)
2. Spanish has been a great success and is universally appreciated. Next year we will have more!
3. People love music. Some wanted more (like instrumental lessons as part of the school day). Unfortunately we do not have the resources for an in-school instrumental music program at this time.
4. There was a suggestion of getting a counseling intern so that we had more staff available to address the emotional needs of students in the school day. We do have a school psychologist. Her name is Kara. She works for the county and comes to school as needed to serve students who receive counseling as part of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or to do psychological testing as part of the IEP referral process. I spoke with Ali Guida Smith and she said she would explore options for a Counseling intern. Thank you Ali!
5. Parents want the lunch calendar posted on the website. We do that now. Look under the tab that says LUNCH.
6. Parents want an accurate google calendar of school events posted on the website. We want this too!
7. Parents appreciate the weekly newsletters from homeroom teachers AND would like more communication from other teaching staff.
8. Parents continue to want more opportunities for afterschool enrichment. In the past we have had a parent volunteer work on this with Camille. Is anyone interested in doing this next year?
9. Parents in grades that have chrome books want to limit computer use to designated academic tasks and reduce freeplay on computers.

We will work to address these wishes. Have a wonderful summer!

Summer Calendar:
Sunday, July 7th Parent Work day
Tuesday, July 9th @ 7 PM Board Meeting
Saturday, July 27th Parent Work day
Tuesday, August 13th @ 7 PM Board Meeting
Sunday, August 25th Welcome Breakfast
Wednesday, August 28th First day of school (ends at 1:35!)

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 04/23/2019

Dear Canyon School Community,

Happy spring! It is such a delight to feel the sun shine and see the kids working outside getting fresh air.

Please join us this Thursday (4/24) at 4:30 if you’d like to meet our finalist for the 678 position, Alix Feinsod. She will be here for an informal meet and greet from 4:30-5:30.

We have continued to work on recruiting more students for 678. So far we have two girls (7th and 8th respectively) definitely coming and two more who recently visited and may join the group as well. I am very excited to be able to add fresh faces to that room.

Moraga School District has invited us to a workshop they’re hosting on May 1st Exploring the Dynamic World of Gender. If you are interested in learning more there is an attached flyer. All are welcome!

It’s not too late to get your tickets for the Luau:

Luau in the Redwoods

It is not too late to volunteer to help with the Luau either!

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4faea62daafb6-luau

Aftercare Update from Wendy:
I am updating here because, together with other co-workers, I have “filled” the lost and found box. Now is the time for all good kids and parents to go through the box.

Whatever is left, I know, gets donated to whomever. There is some “good stuff” in that box. As a parent, I know these clothes can be costly. Replacing lost clothing can be an even greater expense. Therefore, I encourage all parents and students to go through these items now. There is no more room to continue this interesting collection of textiles 🙂

Warmly,
Lucia

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 04/18/2019

Dear Community,

This has been a busy and productive week! As you know a dedicated group of parents has been working hard to plan a fun fundraising event. Please come! Bring friends! The event itself will raise money, so feel free to get lots of people to join! Many people have asked how they can help. The link for the sign up is here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4faea62daafb6-luau
Please sign up for a job using the link. Contact Lola, Marieke or Kelley Westling with any questions.

Monica and I have just completed our Federal Rural education grant. It is only when you tackle a large federal grant that you realize how much institutional memory walks out the door with a retirement. I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that since retirement Gloria has continued to volunteer every Tuesday supporting Monica with the financial software. And Esperanza has continued to volunteer supporting the 678 class, the art program and as a School Board member. I am so appreciative of their work and so grateful that they are still helping in retirement!

On that note, I am delighted to announce that we have a finalist for the 678 position next year! Esperanza and Sequoia helped with screening; Judy, Lily, Kirsten, Jocelyn Bale-Glickman and Cassie Hilaski joined me in the interview process and observing model lessons. As a group we are all very excited to introduce our finalist. Her name is Alix Feinsod. Alix attended UC Santa Cruz where she earned a BA in Computer Science and Computational Science (both with high honors). After which she worked briefly as a software engineer before realizing she wanted to be a teacher. Alix attended the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute through the University of the Pacific. Alix impressed the interview committee with her enthusiasm, positive energy, strong academic background and her love of and experience with theater production. Her model lesson demonstrated an excellent command of class management and creative, engaging curriculum design. Stay tuned for a date soon when we will host a “meet and greet” for parents, Board members and community members.

Speaking of middle school, I am also happy to report that we have continued to recruit middle school students. We have had several visit recently and more in the coming weeks. We hope to have several new kids signed up for next year’s 7th and 8th grades to keep the energy in the 678 room fresh and dynamic.

For anyone celebrating holidays at this time of year, I wish you happy gatherings filled with loved ones and joy.

I include the calendar to help keep you apprised of events at school. If you are new to our community and are unclear about what some of these things are, please ask!

Warmly,
Lucia

4/19 Activated Story Theater
4/23 Costa Rica parent info meeting 3 pm
4/27 Luau night @ school
4/30 & 5/02 ELA state testing grades 3-8
5/02-03 K12 camping trip
5/07 & 5/09 math state testing
5/07 & 5/09 Sex Education for grades 5-8
5/14 & 5/16 Sex Education for grades 5-8
5/14 & 5/16 makeups for state testing
5/14 Board Meeting
5/18 Pancake breakfast at the school
5/18-28 Costa Rica trip for 8th graders
5/23 Sausalito Kayak trip for grades 5, 6 & 7
5/27 Memorial Day, no school
5/30 Open House/Science night
5/31 Kindergarten Orientation
6/06 spring performances
6/11 All School Picnic @ Cull Canyon
6/12 Graduation* (note date change)
6/14 last day of school, minimum day

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 04/10/2019

Hi Folks,

I hope everyone had a wonderful spring break. As you know, after spring break time seems to move at a much faster pace. So, let me share a few items with you as May and June are right around the corner!

As you know, a dedicated band of parents has been hard at work planning the Luau as our big spring fundraiser on Saturday, April 27th. Perhaps you have seen the gorgeous posters and cards? If you purchase tickets before 4/19 there is a significant discount! Prior to 4/19 you can get TWO tickets for $100. After that they are $65 each and $75 at the door. Tickets include food, entertainment and a drink! There will also be an auction. Contact Lola if you have something wonderful to donate!

There is also a raffle to support the school. Kids went home today with raffle tickets to sell. The prize is a brand new ipad! Tickets are $10 each. If each family sells their 20 tickets it’ll make $11,000 for the school! Let’s do this!

State testing will start Tuesday, April 30th. We were going to start next week but decided to push it back a bit. Students in grades 3-8 participate in testing in ELA and math. Students in grades 5 and 8 also have science testing. Here at Canyon, we try not to make state testing overly important. It is a snapshot of your child’s academic performance on a given day. In the aggregate the data is helpful at the county and state level as it reveals patterns of performance that may indicate needs for support in certain areas. For your children, it should feel like an opportunity to wrestle with challenges and show what they know!

You have a legal right to opt your child out of state testing. If you wish to do so, you need to provide a letter in writing indicating this wish. My advice is to just do the testing (but not make a huge deal about it). Kids will be taking online entrance exams for college and graduate school; they might as well get used to them. The most important thing you can do is just make sure they are well rested. State testing is currently scheduled for April 30th, May 2nd, May 7th, May 9th and makeups the following week. Typically we start first thing in the morning and let them take as long as they need to finish each day. Students in K12 do NOT participate in any state testing.

Sex Ed will be starting as well: May 7, 9, 14 and 16. All students in grades 5-8 will participate unless you send a written letter exempting your child. Students in grades 5 and 6 will meet together. Their program mostly focuses on the changes of puberty and self care (like understanding body odor, menstruation, etc). Students in grades 7 and 8 will meet together and have their questions about sexual health answered in a scientific and non-judgemental manner.

Please know that if you request an ISP, your child must complete the assigned work. Our auditor reads each ISP and checks for complete work. If the student does not complete the assignments, we do not get credit for the day.

We have replaced the urinal in the boys’ bathroom. There is still concern from our maintenance person and cleaning person that the boys are not very accurate. If you have a child who uses the urinal, could you possibly discuss urinal etiquette with them? Encourage accuracy.

May 30th is scheduled to be our Open House/Science night. Misty and I are teaming up to try out a fundraising dinner prior to the event. We are thinking of an easy meal that could be served from 5:30-6:45 so that parents coming straight from work could just arrive at aftercare and stay and get an easy dinner prior to the evening. If you would like to help, please let me know! We thought that if this works it could be an efficient regular fundraiser before women’s history night or other non-performance evenings.

Community notes——————————————–
Lily shared that her parents will be bringing their umiak down from Washington this summer to participate in a native canoe journey. More information can be found at the website below. This California canoe journey is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz. Lily thought some of you might be interested in this event happening locally in August.
https://www.canoejourney2019.com

Calendar:
4/09 Board Meeting
4/19 Activated Story Theater
4/27 Luau night @ school
4/30 & 5/02 ELA state testing grades 3-8
5/02-03 K12 camping trip
5/07 & 5/09 math state testing
5/07 & 5/09 Sex Education for grades 5-8
5/14 & 5/16 Sex Education for grades 5-8
5/14 & 5/16 makeups for state testing
5/14 Board Meeting
5/18 Pancake breakfast at the school
5/18-28 Costa Rica trip for 8th graders
5/23 Sausalito Kayak trip for grades 5, 6 & 7
5/27 Memorial Day, no school
5/30 Science fair
5/31 Kindergarten Orientation
6/06 spring performances
6/11 All School Picnic @ Cull Canyon
6/12 Graduation* (note date change)
6/14 last day of school, minimum day

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 02/28/2019

Dear Canyon Community,

Things are busy here at school! Mid-winter is a wonderfully productive time in schools. The kids are hard at work and making strides with the content and not yet thinking about spring break. This is a great focused period with lots of academic and emotional growth. When the kids come back in April, it feels like we get on an accelerator and the pace ramps up until summer.

We have 40 responses to the parent survey. It would be great to hear from the remaining families. Please reply to the survey.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yattSKHZkYGcV2TiOSbiVPoC5QDVCV6nXqsvVox9ylc/edit

In honor of Black history month, Kirsten’s class has been choreographing movement pieces with Jody Powers that accompany students recitation of Maya Angelou poetry. Judy’s class is memorizing and reciting poems by Maya Angelou as well and 678 is conducting research on people. This is all be shared in assembly with buddies over the next few weeks. These projects are great, and at the same time, I feel personally conflicted about the notion of Black History month. It seems like the contributions of Black (and other under-represented groups for that matter) should be a key focus of our curriculum all the time. Once the kids can think abstractly (like 9 years old and up), I think it is important to constantly question whose story are we hearing? Whose voice is not being heard? Which books are we selecting for ourselves and our kids? Are the authors always people who look like us and reflect our experience or are we intentionally seeking out work by narrators with another perspective? It is a good question for all of us. Schools have traditionally taught a dominant narrative, but the history of all groups of people (black, brown, LGBTQ) is AMERICAN history– We are working to actively diversify our curriculum and welcome your suggestions for books, etc.

On that subject, I have been thinking it would be great to have a parent book group. Is there a title (maybe a parenting book) that people would like to read and discuss? Some ideas that are intriguing to me include but are not limited to:

Quiet by Susan Cain

The Parents We Mean to Be by Richard Weissbourd

The Whole Brain Child by Dan Siegel

The Explosive Child by Ross Green

Unselfie by Michele Borba

If you might be interested in a book group or if you have a different idea, please email me.

The Fundraising committee met last night to plan our big party fundraiser on April 27 (mark your calendar! Save the date!)– Lola Leeds has admirably broken up the work into many subgroups. If you are remotely interested in helping in any way, please contact Lola. Many hands make lighter work:)

Finally, as many of you know, we have some budding climate activists in our community. Rena has started an afterschool club to involve kids in the movement to support the Green New Deal. Some of our kids were seen by millions in the now viral video https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2019/feb/23/dianne-feinstein-rebuffs-young-climate-activists-calls-for-green-new-deal-video (this is an abridged 3 minute version). As a point of clarity, I just want to let everyone know that we at the school support the kids’ activism and civic engagement, but it is coming from kids and families. The 678 kids spent some time this week reading parts of the Green New Deal document in an effort to better understand it so they can have informed opinions. If you have any questions or concerns about all of this, please get in touch. If you would like to talk about Earth Guardians, please reach out to Rena.

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 01/30/2019

Dear Canyon Community,

We are enjoying the rain when we get it! Please make sure your kids have warm, dry layers for colder and wetter days.

Thank you to Raphaelle Steinzig who has graciously volunteered to serve on the School Site Council in addition to her role in CEF. We have worked hard to create a parent survey that should help give us valuable information to continue to support and strengthen the school experience for kids and families. PLEASE carve out some time in the next two weeks to complete this survey. Your responses and feedback are invaluable to us. We are asking open response questions on a range of topics to ensure that we capture the most helpful feedback. Please share your thoughts! https://goo.gl/forms/baFLp1w71l7cbDRz2

Sequoia will be starting a PhD program in the fall in earth and atmospheric sciences! Please join me in congratulating her! And this means we will be looking for a math/science instructor for the fall.

John Heylin is planning a community potluck on March 16th– He’s planning to reinvigorate community association support for the building– if you are interested in helping him please let him know.

Ways to get involved–
Suzy McAllister, the art teacher, is looking for yarn donations for an art project. Do you have any random yarn you’d like to get rid of? Please send it in!

We will be waxing the classroom floors over the holiday weekend in February. Can you help move furniture after school on Friday, 2/15? Many hands make light work! If we can get a number of people to help, it will be quick work. Please email Ramona if you can come help with this.

One exciting thing that has happened as a result of the changes in 678 is that we have hired Sita Davis (Ollin’s mom) to teach Spanish. She is also starting a weekly class with the younger students. So far the feedback from all grades has been fantastic! We are really thrilled to be able to offer some Spanish in school this year.

Unrelated to the start of in-school Spanish class, the after school Spanish class seems to be winding down. A few students are needing to leave because of spring sports which makes the class no longer sustainable. There could be an opportunity to offer Mandarin after school if we had a critical mass who was interested. Can you let me know if you’d be interested in after school Mandarin class for your child?

As you may know, Ramona is the primary caregiver of her 94 year old mother. Sometimes she needs to step away from her desk to check on her. If you pop into the office and nobody is available to help you, please just leave a note. You may see Monica Santiago, our Chief Business Official, working in the office. Please resist the urge to interrupt her with questions. She is hard at work managing our finances and each time she is interrupted it takes time to get back into her work.

Mile markers have been put in on Pinehurst. If you were to get stuck or see a stranded motorist on Pinehurst. We can now provide tow trucks and emergency service personnel with mile marker information.

I got some resources from Alameda county and thought I would share them with you.
Tobacco prevention information:
https://med.stanford.edu/tobaccopreventiontoolkit.html

Upcoming Calendar events:
1/31 K12 field trip to St. Mary’s
1/31 345 field trip to the dump
2/04 678 field trip to Cal Performance Kodo drummers
2/11 345 field trip Bay Area Children’s Theater
2/12 Hundredth day of school and kids’ Centennial celebration, Board Meeting @ 7
2/14 Valentine’s Day, CATSS meeting
2/15 move furniture
2/18 No School
2/27 345 field trip EBMUD Valle Vista

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 01/10/2019

Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful break. We spent time with family on the east coast. In addition to spending time in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC we also visited Knoxville and Nashville, TN for the first time.

Though the break was great, it is wonderful to be back to regular routines. I had the opportunity to join the middle school teaching team’s class meeting Monday. I was so impressed with the poise the middle school students showed explaining the Canyon mission statement and their program to new staff. The new team seems to be working well. Please contact me if you have any concerns or wonderings.

If your child is having any issues at aftercare, please contact Camille so that she can work with staff to ensure the issues are resolved. Her email is: camille120@gmail.com Please contact Camille if you anticipate an inability to pay your aftercare bill. Families with bills more than 60 days past due can NOT leave children at aftercare.

Board meeting recap. We discussed the new schedule and staffing for 678. Mr. Day will continue on in the mornings and we are adding Spanish with our very own Sita Davis along with snack and lunch supervision and 6th grade math with Arthur Peterson. Another topic raised by a parent was about getting all families to volunteer to support the school. We discussed why some families may volunteer more than others and strategies to increase volunteerism. Ideas included but were not limited to:
Spaghetti dinner or other community building event
A Volunteer coordinator to call all families and discuss volunteering options that may work within the structure of their families
Website information and handouts specifying ways that families can volunteer
Reiterate to parents importance of volunteerism

The staff discussed parental involvement today and were in agreement that most parents drive on field trips, or volunteer in other ways. And we all understand that sometimes people have a lot on their plate and need to focus on their own health or their loved ones at the moment. However, we realized, that many parents (especially new ones!) may not know all the ways they can help, and how vital that help is to our little school.

Volunteer opportunity. We will be having the floors waxed in February over the holiday weekend. All parents and community members are invited to come and move furniture out of classrooms after school on 2/15/18. Please help! Many hands make light work.

Should you be interested in attending, the next CEF meetings:

Mon Jan 14, 6pm
Wed Feb 20, 6pm
Mon Mar 25, 6pm
Mon App 29, 6pm

It sounds like a lot of halloween stuff has wound up thrown over the railing where the kiln is supposed to go behind Building C. Camille is unclear if this is trash or useful Halloween decorations. It needs to be moved because it is just sitting in the rain getting ruined and the staff has no idea what it is or where it should go. We don’t want it slide into the creek.

Calendar:
1/10 345 field trip Peralta Hacienda
1/10 NO CATSS meeting, rescheduled (new date forthcoming)
1/17 678 field trip Exploratorium
1/21 No school MLK day
1/25 semester ends
1/28 No School Teacher work day
1/31 K12 field trip St. Mary’s Theatre
2/12 Board Meeting @ 7 pm
2/12 Hundredth day of school & Centennial celebration
2/14 CATSS meeting @ 8 am
2/15 Volunteers needed to move furniture
2/18 no school President’s day

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 12/13/2018

Dear Canyon Community,

Before things get too crazy, I want to thank everyone for all their support and community in 2018. It takes a village to run this school. Jim Smith, Board President is fond of calling it a Do-It-Yourself school, and in many senses it is true. We rely on the incredible skill and vitality of our community to make things run. We could not do it without all of you! Our little community has suffered some losses and endured some hardships this year, and I am continually touched and heartened by the way the people in this community show up to take care of each other and support one another. Thank you for that. You are a wonderful loving, kind and resourceful group of people and I am grateful to have you in my proverbial fox hole.

Our new Governing Board met on December 11th. Our current Board members are: Jim Smith, President; Brain Coyle, Vice President; Kaya Westling, Clerk; and please welcome new board members Peggy Lynch and Esperanza Surls. We want to thank outgoing board member, Ian Llewelyn, for his many years of service!

Thank you to everyone who worked on the art faire. It sounds like a good time was had by all. I was so sorry to miss it. I took my kids to see the Raiders before they head off to Vegas. The vendors contributed more than $1100 for the lunch program!

The facilities committee had its first meeting of the year on Saturday, December 8th. I was so impressed by the breadth and depth of skills, talent, commitment and energy we have in our community. As soon as the group stopped talking (and it was just supposed to be an organizational meeting), people started actually tackling tasks. We left the meeting with 12 immediate action items and half of them were done before I got back to school the following week! A huge thank you to Tim Quayle, Juan Juarez, Patrick Riley, Ian Llewelyn, John Heylin, Jeff Pratt, James McNeil, Wendy Avellino, Adam Styles, Kaya Westling and Esperanza Pratt.

The dress rehearsal for the winter performances will be Thursday, December 20th at 9 am. We will start with K12, followed by 345, a brief intermission and snack break and then the 678. I would tell you exact times if I knew them! Anyone is welcome to attend the dress rehearsal! It is especially nice for those who have difficulty getting here in the evening. The actual performance will be that evening at 7 pm.

We were so fortunate to find Mr. Day when Esperanza was preparing to retire. As you may have known, he was in the process of re-certifying in order to accept the position as he had left teaching for a while and his certification had lapsed. We were able to secure a one year emergency credential for the calendar year of 2018. During the intervening time, Mr. Day has both been teaching full time and studying for the extremely rigorous CTEL (which is a 6 hour exam and the last essential requirement for him to gain a new teaching license). Despite great effort, Mr. Day was unsuccessful in his attempts to re-certify before the deadline.

Sadly, this means that he will be finishing out the calendar year with us and then moving on to other opportunities. Mr. Day shared this news with his class on Wednesday. We will all miss his critical thinking puzzles, rigorous teaching, charming personality, fascinating hobbies and wonderful rapport with the students. I know Mr. Day is looking forward to continuing the friendships he has established with kids and families.

He wants you all to know that he deeply appreciates the warmth, support and openness with which he was welcomed into this special community. And that it has been a pleasure to teach your children. He really appreciated the individual efforts by members of the community to make him feel welcome, supported and provided with feedback.

I recognize that this is a challenging and upsetting turn of events. I share your disappointment. It is my goal that we take this crisis and use it as an opportunity to create an even stronger middle school program here at Canyon School.

Warmly,
Lucia

Community notes:
From Miles Jensen: Check out the new Kickstarter for our business! Video made by Clara! Thanks

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 11/15/2018

Dear Canyon Families,,

After a day of worsening air quality, and uncertain forecasts for tomorrow, we have made a decision to close our schools on Friday, November 16. We have been working with the County Office of Education, our partner districts including the Acalanes Union High School District, the Governing Board and our own district leadership to make the best decisions throughout the week on behalf of our students and our district staff. We believe that closing the schools will best serve the needs of all our stakeholders.

We have been closely watching a variety of sources of information, including PurpleAir.com, airnow.gov, and sparetheair.org, tracking both the current status and the forecasts. Based on the current forecasts and the experience of the week, the air quality is not likely to improve substantively tomorrow. There are reports of many other institutions closing their doors today and tomorrow to facilitate healthier options for students and employees of all ages.

I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause for you and your family. I want to assure you that we take this step only after careful consideration and collaboration with a wide circle of colleagues. The safety, health and comfort of the entire school community is paramount. Please contact me with any questions or concerns

Sincerely,
Lucia

A Message from the Principal

by Lucia Sullivan on 11/14/2018

Hi Folks,

The air quality forecasts continue to be in the “unhealthy” range (red) for the next few days. Kids will be kept inside for recess and PE. Kids had an active day today with Capoeira, art and music. Esperanza led a dance party during assembly. I am noticing that people (kids, adults, parents) seem a little out of it, vaguely distracted, and a little sad about current conditions. Many people have friends and loved ones being displaced by the fires. I would suggest everyone just do their best to take care of themselves and each other. Drink a lot of fluids. Rest. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Tomorrow we have Opera a la Carte! Students in 678 need to arrive by 8:15 for their run through. The performance is at 9:30 and all of you are welcome to attend! Friday the 345 class has their field trip to Peralta Hacienda. Thanksgiving week there is no school all week. Hopefully when we all return the fires will have been contained and the air quality will have dramatically improved.

Contact Esperanza if you want a table at the art faire.

Board meeting recap:
The Board met last night and Cassie and Esperanza were in attendance. As you know, Esperanza Surls and Peggy Lynch will be assuming new Board posts at the December meeting. There were recognitions for the walkathon ($28,000!!! Wow! Almost all the kids participated and they fundraised their hearts out!); the Halloween Carnival (amazing, best ever!), Ian for his service to the Board, Aaron Webster for his volunteering with the tech and of course Gloria for her amazing tenure at the helm.

The two main discussion items at the meeting focused around facilities and fundraising. The board will be taking on a greater role in managing facilities. Kaya Westling will be heading up the facilities committee. My hope is that the group will be able to assess the capital improvement and maintenance needs so that we can forecast cots several years out.

We also discussed fundraising within the Canyon community beyond current school parents. The school building belongs to the community and functions as a community center. The whole of Canyon should be invited to take an active part in its upkeep.

Centennial:
Cassie also reminded me at the board meeting that we had discussed a Centennial Party for the kids at the CATSS meeting. The staff discussed this today and we will hold a Centennial Party for the students on the 100th day of school, February 12th. Activities will include but not be limited to:
A time capsule with 100 wishes for Canyon school written by kids, parents and community members/alumnae
Math activities related to 100
Misty’s famous carrot cake

I would like to gather anecdotes for a compendium of Canyon stories. Please let me know if you would like to help with this!

CATSS:
CATSS met last Thursday morning before the 345 field trip. There was a review of the super successful walkathon. Cassie also did a recap with the kids. Everyone agrees that incentivizing the kids to get ten sponsors with an ice cream certificate was wildly successful. All but 6 children attended and/or fundraised! Cassie realized that 30 laps (about 10 miles) was a big threshold and identified the 16 or so kids who met or surpassed that. All those children were recognized at the assembly last week. In total the kids walked over 1300 laps!

Top fundraisers received Fandango gift cards. The top fundraisers in each grade were:
K- Daphne
1-Levi
2-Teddy
3-Jasper
4-Asher
5-Jasia
6- Orion
7-Sebastian
8-Miles

K12 class raised- 9k
345 class raised- 16k
678 class raised – 3 k
(these are rough estimates from my notes:)

The group at the CATSS meeting (Maggie, Cambria, Kelley, Maybelle, Cassie, Melanie, Lisa, Jocelyn, Greg, I know I am forgetting people!) also discussed fundraising with an event. Ideas that were floated (with much enthusiasm!) included a Luau in the grove and a raffle with amazing prizes (like plane tickets for 4 to Hawaii!). Maybelle even discussed the possibility of hosting a fundraising calligraphy workshop.

CEF update:
Currently 58% of families have returned their pledge forms. They have pledged to give $42,330 of the $75,000 target. Please return your pledge forms so CEF knows what they can expect and how much they need to fundraise. Whatever you plan to give (or not give) is helpful for them to know and will avoid having someone call you and ask.

Community notes:
Erika McDaniel could use help with dog sitting for adorable Idgie over winter break. If anyone is interested in hosting a 6 lb dog for the break, please contact Erika! She was at the walkathon; she’s fun, easy, great with kids and adorable!

Calendar:
11/15 Opera a la Carte 9:30 performance
11/16 Field Trip 345 Peralta Hacienda
11/19-23 NO School Thanksgiving week
11/29 Field Trip 345 Del Valle Geologic Park
12/02 Art Faire
12/06 Field Trip 678 Bay Model Sausalito
12/11 Board meeting 7 pm
12/20 Winter Performance
12/21 minimum day
12/24-1/04 No School Winter Break
1/07 Back to school!
1/08 Board meeting 7 pm
1/10 CATSS meeting 7 pm
1/17 Field Trip 678 Exploratorium
1/21 No School MLK day
1/25 Last day of the marking period
1/28 No School Staff Development
1/31 Field Trip K12 Field Trip
2/12 100th day of school, Centennial party!
Board meeting @ 7 pm
2/14 CATSS meeting 8 am
2/18 President’s Day no school