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Archive DEC 2016

Archive DEC 2016


Here is a Parent2Parent Tip about Official SCUSD emails!


(Parent2Parent Tips are made by parents for other parents. They do not represent official SCUSD communication in any way.)


Did you know that you can sign up for official SCUSD communication emails called "School Days eNews"? You can subscribe at the SCUSD page.


But if you do subscribe and you have a Gmail account, ever wonder why you never see emails from SCUSD? Well, Gmail by default sorts all of the SCUSD emails to the "SPAM" folder!


To prevent SCUSD emails from going to your SPAM folder, you need to add SCUSD Communication as a contact by following these steps:


Add a contact

  1. Go to Google Contacts.
  2. In the bottom right, click Add people Add people.
  3. Type the contact’s name.
  4. Click Create.
  5. Add contact information. Put in this address: communications@scusd.net
  6. Click Save.

Now you will actually be able to see emails from SCUSD Communications!


Parenting Program: Curtailing Whining and Manipulation (for Adults ONLY)

by Santa Clara City Library


Tuesday, January 3, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (PST)

Northside Branch Library
695 Moreland Way
Santa Clara, CA 95054


Learn from our Parent Educator how to view challenging emotional behaviors as a chance to feel close and loving. Discover how you can set firm limits and then listen with empathy without feeling manipulated. With this new approach, you can help your children through their difficult feelings. You will turn times of conflict into times of connection, closeness and cooperation.

For Adults ONLY

This program is sponsored by Parents Place, Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends, and Santa Clara Unified Parents.


Registration at Eventbrite.


Dear Parents and Guardians.

There has been great interest in the Ukulele class, so Mr. Bobias has extended the registration to December 27th. We are adjusting the class as follows:


Class Times:

K-2; 2:30-3:15pm

3rd: 3:15-4:00pm



By creating 2 classes we can accommodate more students. However, if we exceed 20 students in either session we will do a lottery. We expect to hold another session in the spring, so any students that don't get in through the lottery will be put on a list for the second session. Please note that we will expect exceptional behavior from students. If a child needs more than a couple of warnings they will run the risk of being dismissed from the class. 


We are looking for a volunteer to supervise 3rd grade from 2:51pm-3:15pm. They will eat snack and practice. If you are able to support this, you will need to have a Volunteer Application (Level D) on file. Level D requires fingerprinting. Please contact Ms. Kamstra if you are interested in this.


Please either scan the permission slip directly to George Bobias or send him your child's information via email. All questions/clarifications about the class should be to him directly. I am cc'ing Mr. Bobias on this email. The flyer is attached. 


Thank you,

Ms. Kamstra

George Bobias



I've cc'd George Bobias on this email as I forgot to add him to the previous message. His contact info is also on the registration form


Please send forms directly to Mr. Bobias. Our office is closed for the holiday. We will re-open January 9th.




Dear Parents and Guardians,


Ukulele Class:

On behalf of Mr. George Bobias, thank you for the great interest in the Ukulele class. We have filled the capacity for this first session.



Today is a minimum day. Students are dismissed at 1:37 pm


I can't thank everyone enough for your tremendous support this year. I am so proud of our school-- the amazing students, parents, and staff. Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday break. We will see students back on January 9th.


Looking forward to a spectacular 2017!!


Team Chameleon!


Ms. Miakje Kamstra



As part of the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team 2016-2017 FIRST LEGO League competition requirements, robotics students learned more about animals and their habitats by seeing real animals and talking to professionals.


First we had the beekeeper. Then the cow. And this past Friday, December 16th, we had the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center. These are the real life Wild Kratts who go out and save wild animals. They brought an opossum, great horned owl and a gopher snake as part of their program "Fur, Feathers and Scales".


2nd and 3rd graders who were doing project-based learning relating to animals also got a chance to participate in repeat sessions before the animals had to return to their rescue facility.





Dear Central Park Families,


It was great seeing many of you at the PTA/Principal Coffee! We plan to schedule one per month. I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday break. 



Monday is backwards day at school. Students are encouraged to wear their clothes backwards to show school spirit. 



You can wear your sweatshirt backwards, or sweat pants, or shoes backwards. 


This spirit day was planned by the 3rd grade Central Park Leadership Club.



Money can be raised for PTA by bringing in Box Tops. You can turn in Box Tops in bundles vs gluing individual Box Tops to pieces of paper.  Parents just need to cut out unexpired Box Tops and turn in inside a ziploc or envelope.  Below is a link to the list of products where Box Tops can be found and a flyer about a Box Top app.


Have students bring their  Box Tops to the office. We will have a collection box. Thank you to Wendy Matsuda for coordinating this! 






Ms. Miakje Kamstra



Several parents joined the 1st Monthly PTA/Principal Coffee chat on Thursday, December 15th. The PTA had a list of activities from the online survey posted on the wall. Parents put stickers next to the activities that they wished to see happen at Central Park.


Now we just need people to volunteer to run these events! Contact your PTA Officers Terry Flora, Kimberley Williams, Shailesh Dubale or Allison Huang to sign up! CentralParkPTA2016@gmail.com


Also, talk to Membership Chair, Dasha Estes, about joining the Central Park PTA!!! If you don't have time to meet her, just drop by the office across from Ms. Cindy to drop a membership envelope off in the PTA box.

Parents reading the results from the online survey for activity ideas. (above)


Lots of parents showed up to chat! (above)


Talk to PTA Membership Chair, Dasha Estes (left above) or drop an envelope off at the main office to join the Central Park PTA!


PTA Secretary Kimberley Williams (above right) connecting with other parents about activity ideas for the PTA


Principal Kamstra (above left) chatted with parents about a wide range of topics including the upcoming multipurpose room!

Get to know your PTA Secretary, Kimberley Williams (above left) and PTA President Terry Flora (above right)! Have ideas and want to make a difference in your child's education? Start with the PTA! CentralParkPTA2016@gmail.com


Are you interested in some child-free shopping time?  


Here are a couple of upcoming Teacher Treats hosted by some Central Park Teachers:  

(We are requesting Amazon Gift Certificate Donations to get STEAM/PBL supplies in the classroom quickly, but this is optional, and not required for participation.)


Parent Night Out

Hosted by the Central Park Kindergarten Teachers

5-9 pm  on  Friday,  January 13th

Event will be in the Kinder yard and classrooms

Sign up here:


(We have 17 spots left)


Parents can go have a date night!  Parents can drop off their children off in the Kindergarten yard for arts and crafts, pizza, and a movie.  Kindergarten teachers will provide everything for a fun evening with the kids while the parents can go enjoy themselves.

This experience is open to 30 kids in grade k to 3.

*If more than 30 kids sign up, there may be a lottery for spots.


Suggested donation:

$40 Amazon Gift Certificate donated to Central Park Elementary


Central Park staff pulled off an amazing task of integrating coding into every classroom for the Hour of Code. Some classes did multiple hours of code, coding club or robotics coding as well.


A key part of National Computer Science Education Week, the Hour of Code, aims to get kids excited about coding. It also had the great effect of getting teachers exciting about coding! 


Many students and teachers were coding for the first time ever! With a growth mindset and the power of resilience, students and teachers took on this amazing challenge and scored a our first record of an estimated 22,340 lines of code school wide!





Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your generous donations towards Dreambox!!! We received $4,260.!!!

I have another donation request if you are able. Our multi-use room is scheduled to be available in January. The kitchen will be available closer to February. We would like to have a projector installed in the ceiling so that we don't have to rely on portable projectors, cords, etc. The cost of the projector and installation is $3,800. If you are able to help us with this cost we would be grateful. 


Schoolloop Registration:
We would like everyone to sign up for Schoolloop in order to receive news from our website. It is very easy to sign up. Please see the attachment below for instructions.

In addition, PTA will be posting their news and agendas on the website, so this will assure you don't miss anything.

Learning and Leading Team Meeting:

Date: December 13, 5:00pm (note time change)

Location: Library

Agenda Item: LCAP Stakeholder Engagement

PTA Meeting

Date: December 13, 7:00pm

Location: Library

Principal and PTA Coffee Chat

Thursday, December 15

Time: 8:30am-9:15am 

Come by and share your thoughts, ideas, ask questions. This is an informal get-together. We will have coffee set up outside of the Makerspace.  

Minimum Day

December 21

Dismissal, 1:37pm

Winter Break

December 22-January 6

School Resumes January 9. 


Thank you for everything. What a wonderful community!! 

Ms. Kamstra 


Not only is Central Park Elementary STEAM cutting-edge by having coding but, we were innovating a new form of computer science education by creating manipulatives. Just as mathematics has evolved from rote memorization and repetition to a 3-tiered approach leveraging physical, visual and algebraic formats, we brought the same concept to computer science.


Taking the Candy Quest Hour of Code activity from Tynker, we first recreated a physical game board in the class with Mrs. Tang acting as the avatar robot. Students built their code hands-on by grabbing pieces of code off the board and testing them by attaching them to the "start" block.


After practicing, we then moved to visual programming on Tynker using the Chromebooks.



First we built the code using magnetic blocks on the board. Students practiced sequencing simple programs. Then students noticed patterns in the code that could be coded more efficiently by leveraging "repeat" blocks.



Students wrote values into their blocks. Here a student specifies that the "repeat" loop should execute 3 times.


And then with anticipation, students tapped "Start" commanding teacher Mrs. Tang (the robot) to maneuver across the real life game platform. (We were not fast enough with the camera to capture the thrill but when the code worked, the kids were ecstatic!)




We had a great talk at the Tablet Tune-up event. Lots of ideas shared. The Central Park Elementary Launch page with official apps is at bit.ly/cpinspire . Check out all the links Mr. Garcia put together!