In This Issue
- Principal’s Message
- SCEF Bash at the Canyon
- Rock Band Summer Camp
- Spring Break Tennis Camp
Hello Parents and Guardians,
In recent weeks I have received a lot of questions about student ‘placement’ for next year. The questions typically fall into three categories: 1) What does math placement look like for next year?; 2) How will you determine class placement for incoming 4th graders?; and 3) How does class placement work for 4th graders moving to 5th grade? I’d love to address all of these areas in this message, spending the majority of time on the last question.
What does math placement look like for next year?
The answer to this is pretty easy for students moving to 5th grade. It will be very similar to what the students have experienced in 4th grade. Differentiation to meet the varied learning needs of our students will happen within and across collaborative classrooms. For students moving on to Central, we shared a lot of information at the Math Pathways night, which outlined the various pathways for student placement. Placement within a given pathway can shift and change as students grow and develop, so these pathways are not ‘tracks’ that students remain on throughout their middle school years. The 5th grade teachers are working on the various placement tests now and will be sharing the recommended 6th grade math pathway placement by the first week of June. In May we will also provide a form for parents to provide input as well. Thanks for your patience on all of this!
How will you determine class placement for incoming 4th graders?
The 3rd grade teachers and their principals will provide us with detailed information about their students and the recommendations that they have for their outgoing students. We look closely at a number of data points which include student academic needs as well as social needs. If students need to be separated from specific children or placed together, we certainly honor those requests. Our goal is to create balanced classrooms with the supports that are needed to serve all students. We do not take requests for specific teachers because this would make the balancing process very difficult. This process will start towards the end of this school year and continue to be refined until the class placements are announced in August.
3) How does class placement work for 4th graders moving to 5th grade?
This question actually points to our vision and design of the 4th-5th schools. Our vision, since the inception of the 4th-5th schools, has been to create teams of 4 teachers plus 1 special education teacher to share approximately 120 students. The goal of this type of structure is for the adults to know the students very well and for the students to have the opportunity to get to know each other very well. We felt that this was a critical decision to make for the school design because we only have the students for two years, so the relationships and sense of belonging were really important to develop and solidify quickly. With this approach, our plan has been to keep the students in their team, moving from 4th to 5th grade as a unit, while mixing the classrooms up a bit so that the kids have a different configuration.
I do want to state that vision is sometimes different from current reality. Our teachers have done an incredible job this year learning new curriculum, collaboratively teaching, and trying out new approaches to teaching and learning that they had not done before. We have just begun to look at how we can increase the ways that our students and teachers can work together in deeper and more personalized ways. So, our vision might not yet be achieved but we are taking steps to get there and will certainly refine our process next year and in years to come. With that said, we will always need to make some changes to student placement, based on the needs that crop up. We know that some students will benefit from being separated from each other and ratios of boys and girls may need to be balanced, etc. So, although the teams will mostly stay the same, we will make some shifts as needed and I anticipate that this will be the case every year.
Some parents have raised concerns about mixing the students even more, or finding ways to increase the mixing within the teams. In 5th grade, students naturally mix across the grade level due to their elective choice (Band, Orchestra, or TBD). Students are also mixed together for their PE classes. They no longer travel as a classroom unit from one experience to the next like they do in 4th grade. All students also have less structured ways to mix together, through lunch time activities, leadership opportunities, and student run clubs. But, I think we can do better with this and I plan to actively seek input about structures that we can build which will help us to achieve our vision of creating a community of caring and belonging, where students feel known and connected at a very deep level.
Marie Crawford, Arroyo Principal
Thank you to our staff appreciation team who treated our teachers to a coffee cart this past week.
Thank you to Danika Stanley and her team of volunteers who threw an amazing Arroyo Dance on Friday night. Demand was so high that many families paid at the door! Everyone had a great time dancing the night away and another terrific Arroyo tradition was born. Thank you!
There are many volunteer roles open for next year. If you are interested in learning more or know someone who might be a great member of our Arroyo team, please contact Megan Miller at email@example.com.
5th Grade Music Concert
Tuesday, April 4, Mustang Hall, 7pm
5th Grade Band Students need to arrive at 6:15pm to the band room, Orchestra students need to arrive at 6:45. Music teachers have already sent home information about dress code, etc.
SCEF Bash at the Canyon – Bash tickets are almost sold out. Don’t miss out on your chance to party at the community event of the the spring! Many thanks to our band sponsors for the event: Bolar Painting and Drywall and Scenic Scapes Inc.Get your tickets now at www.scefkids.org/bashtickets.
SCEF Silent Auction – New this year–SCEF Silent Auction featuring our very popular parent parties is open to all for online bidding. Auction starts April 19! More information coming soon.
San Carlos Night at AT&T Park – June 9th is San Carlos night at AT&T park. Watch the SF Giants take on the Minnesota Twins. Tickets available now at the San Carlos Youth Center. $50 per ticket, cash or check only. All proceeds benefit San Carlos Parks and Rec and SCEF.
Rock Band Summer Camp
Explore the world of music this summer! Hummingbird Music School, in partnership with SMART-E, is offering Rock Band Summer Camp at Arroyo through the month of July. Campers will together form a band, attend daily instrument lessons and band rehearsals, participate in music workshops, and perform with their band in a live showcase at the end of the week! Sign up to learn either guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, horns/woodwinds, or vocals. More info at http://hummingbirdmusicschool.com/summer-camp/
Spring Break Tennis Camp – April 10-April 14
Hey parents the weather is looking better and we are hosting a spring break tennis camp April 10 till April 14.
9am-12:30pm Monday -Friday
$275 by check /$288 credit card
300 Phelps Road ,San Carlos
For questions splease call 650-419-5505 or email us a firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign up please go to www.svtennisacademy.com. Click sign up for class then look for the scroll down tab for programs and click – specialty/holiday camps.
Hope to see you all there!