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Archive - Nov 2017



The Hour of Code is coming December 4-8th. Anybody can learn!




Students! Come have a little after-school fun with the Central Park Robotics Team to kick off Computer Science Education Week!


Code with Robotics!

Monday, December 4 

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The Robotics Team is helping kick off Computer Science Education Week by leading their fellow students in a fun, interactive game to learn coding!

Free - just come and learn!

Kindergarteners, 1st graders, and 2nd graders will meet in the Maker Space.

3rd graders and 4th graders will meet in the Multipurpose Room.

(Students must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver)

Ms. Miakje Kamstra



Get ready for the 1st Annual Code-a-Thon celebrating National Computer Science Education Week and The Hour of Code!


With Central Park's Code-a-Thon, we aim to jumpstart the resources necessary to integrate computer science.


Check your gold and green packets that went home on Tuesday, November 21st, or head to https://centralpark.walkstarter.org to setup your student's avatar!


Are you part of Silicon Valley's tech community? Volunteer in a classroom! Contact your child's teacher or contact cpcodeathon@gmail.com to get matched up with a teacher in need of support!



Dear Parents and Guardians,


I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful holiday with family and friends.


Just a reminder, tomorrow, November 21st, we will be conducting a "Run, Hide, Defend" drill at 9:00am. We will lock the office and won't be answering phones for a bit. If you have an emergency, please call our district office at: 408-423-2000.


Students will be dismissed at 1:37pm. If an after school bus picks up your child, please let them know.  


The office will close at 2:30pm. 


There is NO SCHOOL  Nov. 22-24.


Ms. Miakje Kamstra



My students need meditation equipment like yoga mats and bolsters to help them become more self aware and learn to better "manage the moment".

My Students

I teach in a STEAM/Project Based Learning school, with an emphasis on the Whole Child. I truly love these curious students and their families, so we continually trying to provide ways to better help everyone learn important foundation skills.

'Mindfulness' is the basis of meaningful self awareness.

One way that we foster family this concept is to have innovative ways to support students' social and emotional skills. Research shows a regular mindfulness practice will both develop self awareness and promote productive peer interaction. Rather than staff telling students what to learn, this project would help students calm themselves and provide the direction of their learning.

My Project

Students are asked to do so much these days. They work hard, play hard, and work hard some more. When we throw in the stress of achieving so many academic goals, we are often left with students that need permission to just "be".

Mindfulness and emotional health is just as important as everything else they learn in school.

With this pilot project, we will purchase high quality yoga mats and bolsters that will serve our school for many years. Students (and staff!) will use this equipment inside during more structured lessons and outside in our garden areas to learn and practice ways to 'manage the moment', teach us all the kinds of emotional and mental strategies and strength that will teach ways to both persevere through the challenges and celebrate the successes.


"Empathy Supports Effective Educators" is fully funded on DonorsChoose!


Thank you: Brickman Family, Shilpa Petrim, Vindya & Tanay, Kathryn Curtis, and James Berg!!!


Dear Parents and Guardians,


Please note that tomorrow, November 14th, there will be a General Association PTA  meeting at 7:00pm. All members are invited to attend.

Location: Library 


Rules and Procedures at School:

We are struggling with students not following school rules/procedures after school. We need parent/guardian help in reinforcing our rules. Many of these behaviors are occurring while parents are waiting for 3rd/4th graders to get out of school. We've noticed children walking on/jumping on/leaping off the cement seat walls in our quad area. We also find ourselves reminding students to stay out of /not throw the tanbark in the dirt areas.  We also notice students swinging/hanging on poles next to the lunch tables. In addition, students are walking up the slides on the playground structures. These are behaviors we do not allow during school. We need your help reinforcing them after school.


Thank you for your support,

Ms. Kamstra 

Ms. Miakje Kamstra



Central Park 3rd and 4th graders pulled off an amazing win at the Google FIRST LEGO League Robotics Tournament this past Saturday, November 11th bringing home 2 trophies for the Robot Performance Award as well as the Robot Design Award.



The Robot Performance Award reflected the highest ending scores of the teams at the tournament, Central Park's team "Cats Love Mars" managed to beat every single team at the robotics game including 3 teams from Juan Cabrillo Middle School's 49ers STEM Leadership program. Central Park made a resounding win scoring 150 points with a 45 point margin above the 2nd place team.  (Photo of ending scores has schools and cities added.)


The Robot Design Award showcased the amazing effort and learning our students had put into coding, engineering, and design thinking. They fielded questions from a judging panel of professional engineers on their code modularity, automation/navigation, mechanics, physics, design choices and strategy. The judges commented "Great use of sensors, control blocks and myblocks with feedback loops. Modular attachments were very good".

Our students had a great foundation with engineering concepts from the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team as well as the 2016-17 Coding Club run by Ms. Cary and Hour of Code with Mr. Garcia. Our students had the Central Park spirit of taking ownership for their own learning spending the summer continuing from where Ms. Cary left off on code.org and completing entire courses on their own. They also spent the summer and this fall building, testing and iterating on their robot design using the same design thinking taught by Central Park's teachers.


Our students had a great jump on applying mathematical concepts to engineering solutions from Central Park's use of a 3-tiered mathematics methodology of kinesthetic, visual then algebraic. Learning math conceptually rather than algorithmically helped students apply concepts to real world situtations such as addition partners of a sum from Mrs. Tang's class to construct stronger robot walls. They also calculated the circumference of wheels, motor rotations and coded proportional line following from multiplication and division concepts taught by Ms. Berger, Ms. Cary, Mrs. Oyola and Mrs. Stauter. Using a suggestion from Mrs. Stauter, the team practiced math concepts by cooking croissants, cupcakes, brownies, pizza, cookies, tacos and biscuits.



The Google FLL Robotics Tournament also included a judging session on Hydrodynamics projects that our students developed from February to November of 2017. In Central Park's PBL (Project-Based Learning) spirit, our students traveled into the real world researching hydrodynamics with a "driving question" of solving problems in the human water cycle. They asked questions and proposed ideas to professionals from the California Department of Water, Santa Clara Valley Water District, U.S. National Parks Service, NASA Ames, and Made in Space.


They then developed an innovative solution of 3D printing water purification systems on the International Space Station, Mars and in Puerto Rico using moon rock, Mars sand and volcanic ash . Their proposal would give people a low cost and easily manufactured method for creating safe drinking water in new worlds as well as communities devasted by natural disasters lacking access to reliable power sources. Our students performed an experiment distilling water as well as building prototypes iteratively with feedback from NASA Aerospace Engineer Tara Samuels and Made In Space Vice President of In-Space Operations, Matt Napoli. As in Central Park's PBL programs, our students felt empowered and passionate about their ability to innovate and make the world a better place.



Our team "Cats Love Mars" failed to win the overall Champion's Award due to gaps in Core Values teamwork communication challenges however, as we know at Central Park, a growth mindset always leaves room for lifelong learners to be resilient and improve in the future!


Fantastic work Chameleons! 


This Saturday, November 18th, Central Park's "Lego Masters" will travel to Folsom, CA to take on 15 teams at Intel's FLL Robotics Tournament.


Good luck!!!


Dear Parents and Guardians,


Please know that we have moved into our new administration building. We are still unpacking so we thank you for your patience as we get organized. The front of the building is not finished in terms of landscaping, etc., so we ask that students stay out of the dirt areas and stay on the concrete walkways. 



Tuesday, November 14th: 

School Site Council, 6:00-7:00pm (see agenda attached).

PTA Meeting (Executive Board), 7:00pm

Location: School Library


November 21st: Run, Hide, Defend Drill. 9:00am. Law enforcement will be on site. If you are available to volunteer for the drill, please let your child's teacher know.


Mark Your Calendar:

Parent Education Night: December 13th, "Digital Citizenship" with George Garcia. 6:00-7:00pm, Multipurpose Room

Childcare provided (sign-up sheet coming soon)


Ms. Miakje Kamstra




Dear Parents and Guardians,


I hope everyone is doing well and adjusting to the time change!


Please welcome our new lead day custodian, James Covarrubias, or Mr. C, as the kids call him. 



Tonight (November 8th) is a free parent lecture: Love & Logic, How to Get Your Child to Listen. 

We will start at 6:30pm in the Multipurpose Room.

Childcare is for SCHOOL AGE children only and will be in the Makerspace (D4).

In addition, if you eat out at "Islands" in Cupertino tonight, our PTA will receive 20%. See flyer attached. 


Tomorrow (November 9th) we will be moving into our new administration building. Please know that phones will be offline while we make the move. If it is an emergency and you need to get a hold of us, please call the district at 408-423-2000. You can still leave messages in regards to absences. Since we will be in-between spaces, please refrain from coming to the office unless absolutely necessary.


Friday, November 10th: No School in observance of Veteran's Day


Saturday, November 11th: Veteran's Day


Tuesday, November 14th: School Site Council, 6:00pm, Library

Agenda items: Nominating/Voting in Secretary, Technology in the Classrooms and School Safety Plan


Tuesday, November 14th: PTA, 7:00pm, Library


Thursday, November 16th: Last Football Game, Central Park vs. Don Callejon (Home Game) 3:30pm on field. 


Tuesday, November 21st: Dismissal, 1:37pm, Report Cards go Home


November 22-24: No School, Thanksgiving Holiday


Ms. Miakje Kamstra



Ms. Berger's DonorsChoose campaign "Empathy Supports Effective Educators" is currently being matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Every dollar we donate will be doubled!


Empathy Supports Effective Educators


I need effective training to become an impactful instructional coach.

My Students

I teach in a STEAM/Project Based Learning school, with an emphasis on the Whole Child. I truly love these curious students and their families, so we continually trying to provide ways to better help everyone learn important foundation skills.


'Exploring' is the basis of meaningful learning.

Our staff has worked so hard to learn new ways to reach our students. Research shows both adults are motivated by people that spark their minds. Our school staff needs someone who knows how to customize this learning so everyone feels empowered. Rather than me telling them what to learn, my goal is to learn ways to invite others into becoming a better teacher.

My Project

I am requesting funds to attend an institute on Transformational Coaching. Teachers need someone who knows how to enter their world- meet them at their level- to help them be the best educator possible. I need to be better able to create roadmaps that best support the learning of each teacher. This three-day institute will provide me with invaluable information and hands on practice I will take back to school to improve my coaching practice with my colleagues.

Empathy is an essential coaching practice if all teachers are to have equal opportunities to grow.

The different lens a coach uses allow them to dig deeper to identify the needs of the teacher they seek to support. This institute will allow me to learn and practice new questioning and coaching strategies that help identify the ways each teacher uniquely needs to drive their learning. The knowledge that I learn will allow me to help countless teachers increase their self-awareness and classroom efficacy by providing them with custom instruction suited just for them. Thank you for considering


Our first game at Laurelwood. Our rookie team of 4th graders lost against the experienced Laurelwood School team of 5th graders, but we managed to score 2 touchdowns. 


The next home game is after school on November 16th vs. Don Callejon. Come and cheer on Team Chameleons!


Join leading authority on work-family issues Ellen Galinsky as she shares key findings from the research on children’s learning, including descriptions of seven executive function based skills and how to promote them in everyday fun ways. 


EVENT REGISTRATION: https://cardinalatwork.stanford.edu/events/author-event-mind-making-and-vroom-evening-ellen-galinsky-general-public