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JAN 2018

JAN 2018


Dear Parents and Guardians,


This week we are celebrating THE GREAT KINDNESS CHALLENGE.

Here are some lunchtime activities we are doing. Please take special note of Friday's activities:




Activity Location: Makerspace

Time: 12:00-12:40 pm



Kindness Wall (students make a heart and write a message about an act of kindness someone did for them or they did for someone else).



Kindness Chain (Students write an act of kindness on a strip and add it to the paper chain).



Write a note of appreciation/thank you to someone at school (teacher, custodian, office, yard supervisor, friend, parent).


Thursday: Parent Helper

Kindness Card (Make a card for someone you care about).


Friday:  Parent Helpers

10:10am recess AND Lunch Recess (Top it off with a Kindness Cap)

Students have the option of making  Kindness Cap at home. For those that don't make one, they can make one at school. Students will wear it at our "Kindness Parade" after lunch, 12:40-12:50 pm (Blacktop). Students will show off their Kindness Caps and Team Spirit (below).

Friday is also TEAM SPIRIT day. Wear your favorite team attire!


In addition, thank you to our PTA for purchasing supplies so that each child can make a Kindness Bracelet in class. 

Check out our website for pics from the week! 


Ms. Miakje Kamstra






Ms. Helen read "If You Plant A Seed," and discussed how being kind helps us grow and prosper. Students wrote down ways they can be kind and made this flower from their "seeds."



Grade 2 wrote a "kindness chant" and will perform it for the whole school.


A message from SANTA CLARA USD

Dear families, 

California has launched a new website designed to help communities across the state access important information about K-12 districts and schools. The California School Dashboard features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success, including test scores, graduation rates, English learner progress and suspension rates. The Dashboard is part of California’s new school accountability system based on 2013’s Local Control Funding Formula. It is the next step in a series of major shifts in public education that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing, and placed the focus on equity for all students.

To learn more about California’s accountability and continuous improvement efforts, visit the California Department of Education's California School Dashboard webpage.

How is the new California School Dashboard different?

Think of it this way: You can’t drive a car by only watching the speedometer. You also keep your eye on the road, check the mirrors, monitor the gas tank and pay attention if the engine light comes on. Similarly, the Dashboard provides information on different aspects of student performance, which will give a more complete picture of a school’s progress. The Dashboard also reports on growth to show a school’s trajectory over time.

In the past, accountability systems for districts and schools relied heavily on test scores. But one test taken on one particular day doesn’t provide a complete picture of all the ways schools are helping students succeed.

What do the colored “pie pieces” mean?

For each cycle and indicator (metric), data from one year were collected to determine status, and data from the following year were collected to determine year-to-year change. The State has assigned performance levels based on the parameters for status and change for each of the indicators.  

There are five (5) performance levels from highest to lowest.  These levels are signified by colored “pie pieces”.  Pie pieces depict the same performance levels in a way that provides accessibility for those who are color-blind.  For example, the highest level (blue) has five pie pieces while the lowest level (red) has one pie piece:


Fall 2017 Update released on December 7, 2017

The CA Dashboard shows two “cycles’ of data collection: Spring, 2017 and Fall, 2017 for the significant student groups for our district.

With the Fall, 2017 update, the State has released criteria to begin to identify districts who may need external support in aligning resources for improving student group performance through the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.

A celebratory highlight of Santa Clara USD’s fall LCAP report is the positive progress on our graduation rate overall and for all student groups, an area of focus for the past two years.   That stated, while our district reports for all students show progress and success, we still have much work to do.  It is important to note that the data points lag a year behind on the dashboard, as the dashboard reports change from 2015-16 to 2016-17.  

Our most pressing areas of concern are our suspension indicator and our students with disabilities indicators. Because these indicators have shown insufficient progress, Santa Clara USD has been identified for differentiated assistance (Level 2).  A district is identified for Level 2 assistance if it is unable to lift the performance of the same student group across 2 or more indicators.

According to School Services of California, 228 school districts (22%) have been identified as having at least one low-performing student group across two of the state priorities, flagging them for differentiated assistance. In two-thirds of the 228 school districts identified for assistance, students with disabilities have been tagged for assistance.

We received a letter from the Santa Clara County Office of Education that outlines what the support will look like in practice:

  • The state will not dictate a specific set of interventions or establish top-down directives for improvement strategies.
  • The County Office of Education (COE) will work with us to identify underlying (root) causes, possible solutions, and resources or expertise that can help. If we are currently working with a partner agency, the COE will ask to be updated as that work continues within the differentiated assistance process.
  • Rather than work with the Improvement Plan process of the past, we now apply the Local Control and Accountability Plan process to strengthen/change our resources and strategies for addressing our areas of concern.
  • Assistance will not be limited to the student group(s) and indicators that led to identification. Rather, assistance will focus on the needs identified through our collaborative work with the local community.
  • Assistance will support the District to identify needs, access necessary expertise, and acquire resources to address those needs. Of course, there is a sense of urgency to begin addressing areas of need. It is also true for us and all districts that there are no quick fixes for developing capacity; such efforts require a long-term commitment to solutions that can be sustained over time.

We look forward to our continued growth in areas of relative strength and to solutions that lead to significant growth in areas identified for necessary improvement.


Santa Clara Unified School District


Dear Parents and Guardians,

We held a PTA/Principal coffee today that included a presentation the the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) updates and goals. 


If you would like to give the school/district some feedback by taking part in the district survey, please go to the link:




Thank you for your participation and feedback.


Ms. Kamstra 


Ms. Miakje Kamstra



Dear Parents and Guardians,


School Site Council:

We cancelled this month's School Site Council meeting since we had added one last month.


Meeting dates are:

Tuesday, January 16th cancelled

Tuesday, February 13th

Tuesday, March 13th

Tuesday, April 24th

Tuesday, May 22nd


Time: 6:00-7:00pm

Location: School Library


PTA/Principal Coffee:

Come join us Thursday morning!

I will review the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) goals and have you participate in a survey.

Time: 8:15 am-9:15am.

Location: Multipurpose Room

Bring a laptop to complete the survey if you have one, otherwise you can borrow a school Chromebook.


Note: I can also send the survey home if you are unable to attend.


Great Kindness Challenge:

Next week schools across the nation will be participating in the “Great Kindness Challenge.”

Our school will be taking part.  For more information, please go to: https://thegreatkindnesschallenge.com/

If you have ideas for participating, or would like to run an activity during recess/lunch, please let me know.



Central Park General Association PTA meeting tonight, January 16





Ms. Kamstra


Ms. Miakje Kamstra



Dear Parents and Guardians,


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. It is so nice to see the kids again--everyone always looks a little taller and more mature. 


I want to thank folks for supporting us with donations towards our lunch time sports coaching program. We have totaled $2,300.00. This will really help keep the program going. 


​Please note the upcoming events:


Open Enrollment/Kindergarten Registration

January 10-February 7 (tell friends with an incoming Kindergartener to register their children at their home school soon)! 


Friday, January 12 

Parent Tour, 9:00am (for incoming new families/ADULTS only)​


Sunday, January 14

Garden Committee Mtg., 1:00-2:00pm, D-5


Monday, January 15

No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday


Tuesday, January 16

PTA General Association Mtg., 7:30pm


Thursday, January 18

PTA/Principal Coffee, 8:15am-9:15am

Ms. Kamstra will review District LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) and ask participants to participate in a district "Needs Assessment" survey.

Bring your own electronic device if possible (not required). 

Location: Multipurpose Room


Friday, January 26 

Parent Tour, 9:00am (for incoming new families/ADULTS only)​


Tuesday, January 30

Vision Screen (Kindergarten and 2nd grade)


Friday, February 2

Comedy Show, 6:00pm


Tuesday, February 13

School Site Council, 6:00pm


Ms. Miakje Kamstra



Please see flyer below. Thank you to Mr. Bobias for providing this amazing class.


Thank you to Valentina Talenkina who will provide childcare for 3rd/4th grade Ukulele students after school while they wait for their class to begin.


Ms. Miakje Kamstra



The ComedySportz San Jose Troupe is returning to Central Park on Friday, February 2nd at 6:30 pm!  ComedySportz is a national award-winning interactive comedy show where two teams of trained "act-letes" compete for audience laughs while improvising scenes, games, and musicals based on your suggestions. Fun for ALL AGES!


Laughter has been known to boost immunity and community.  Proceeds will fund classroom instructional materials and equipment.


Last year’s show sold out.  Make sure to reserve your seat here soon!



Santa Clara Unified School District, School Board Meeting Agenda for 1/11/18 (PDF).