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"Neuroscience of the Brain" STEAM Education

Ever wonder what we mean by "STEAM education"?  Why is Central Park Elementary focused on a brain-based integrated approach to learning? How does this method best meets the needs of our students?  

 

To dig deeper, join staff and parents to hear renowned neuroscientist and educator, Dr. Kenneth Wesson answer these questions and more.

 

Read an excerpt from Dr. Wesson's article, "Education for the Real World."

 “Brain-considerate” home and school learning environments seek to soften the artificial academic borders that were initially created to make instruction and testing less complicated, making learning more difficult in the process. Ours should be “SMART” schools and homes, where we strategically organize learning experiences underscoring the synergies among Science, Mathematics, the Arts, Reading and Technology...Classroom instruction should occur where each of these topics is applied to the others, emphasizing their interconnectedness and linking them to the larger organizing body of what we call “knowledge.”

 

Dr. Kenneth Wesson

Date: Tuesday, August 22

Time: 6:30pm

Location: Central Park Elem. Multipurpose Room

Adults Only

RSVP to: mkamstra@scusd.net

Go to his website to learn more: http://www.sciencemaster.com/about

 

We have about 100 seats left for our "Neuroscience of the Brain" STEAM education event. Come listen to Dr. Kenneth Wesson discuss how the brain learns. 


 

Ms. Miakje Kamstra

Principal

 

Important Documents to Read: Biometrics

Our school is implementing a biometric finger scanning identification system for our cafeteria meal program in an effort to provide accurate student identification as well as security for our student accounts. This will replace our meal cards and students inputting their pin numbers. We want to eliminate identification errors and clerical errors and provide an easy and accurate way to identify students and be sure no one else can charge items to their accounts. Students will scan their fingers as they come through the cafeteria to account for their meal.

 

Please read the two attachments carefully. If you are NOT in favor of your child having their finger scanned, please complete the OPT OUT form. Keep in mind, this is NOT fingerprinting. 

 

Concerning the Biometrics. If your child was scanned last year they are in our system already, the scan will not need to be repeated.

 

If you signed an opt-out form last year, please do another one. 

 

If they were scanned in the past and you've changed your mind, complete the opt-out form and they will be removed from the system.

 

Email me if you have any further questions. 


 

Ms. Miakje Kamstra

Principal

 

Biometrics Frequently Asked Questions (Print PDF)

 

Biometrics Opt-Out Letter (Print PDF)

 





After School Opportunity Bricks4Kidz

 

Dear All,

Please see the attachment for the after-school program, "Bricks 4 Kidz."

 

If you would like to know the difference between the various Lego/Robotics programs, please note the write-up on the "Robotics Blog."

Go to the website and scroll down. 

 

https://centralpark-scusd-ca.schoolloop.com/

 

You will find it on the right sidebar. Keep scrolling down so that you see the entire write-up. Many parents have been asking about the competitive, parent led team. The parents leading this effort will send out more information soon. It does require a time and equipment commitment since it is a parent run program. 

 

Best,

Ms. Kamstra 

 

Ms. Miakje Kamstra

Principal

Around Town: Cardinal Kids Day 2017


 

Info. and Updates Central Park Elementary 8/18/17

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

We have had a wonderful start to the school year. It is exciting welcoming back familiar faces and meeting new folks! 

 

Please note some important events coming up:

 

Solar Eclipse Viewing:

Date: Monday, August 21:

We have purchased an "approved" pair of glasses for all students. We will hold an assembly in the morning to teach students about the eclipse and to teach them safe practices for using the glasses.  We will then go outside for the viewing.  If you DO NOT feel comfortable having your child view the eclipse, please send your child's teacher an email or note. We will find an alternative activity for them. See below, the guidelines we will be following,

We would love volunteers to assist students! If you come on site, please sign in at the office and get a visitor's badge. Our assembly will be from 9-10am and then we will go outside. 

 

Parent Education Event, Dr. Kenneth Wesson, Neuroscience of how the Brain Works and STEAM

Date; Tuesday, August 22:

Time: 6:30-7:30pm

Location: Multipurpose Room

Adults Only

Please RSVP to Ms. Kamstra if you can attend as seating is limited. 

 

Back to School Night/PTA Member Mtg.

Tuesday, August 29

6:00pm: Kinder-2nd Grade parents attend classroom presentations (no students).

 

6:30pm: Principal speaks to K-4 parents (no students). PTA General Association Mtg. (Budget Approval. open position) .

 

7:00pm 3rd-4th grade parents attend classroom presentations (no students).

Note: Back-to-School Night is a time for parents/guardians to learn about the instructional program for the year. Please arrange for child care. Thank you!

 

Important Dates:

You can access our year-long "Important Dates" at:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_Lc8HBH9kcpYgMcbVGkxq9ySCxY8QOpYq0XYnAck5sQ/edit?usp=sharing

 

SCUSD: Safety Guidelines and Resources for Upcoming Eclipse
Eclipse 101  

It’s easy to get carried away with all of the excitement surrounding the upcoming total solar eclipse scheduled for August 21, 2017, but it’s also important to remember to be safe while enjoying this natural phenomenon. The eclipse begins at 9:01 a.m., the max eclipse is at 10:15 a.m., and the eclipse ends at 11:37 a.m. Below are some guidelines and resources to help you make this a safe experience for yourself and your children.
 

Santa Clara Unified

  • Teachers will be educating students about what an eclipse is and how to view it safely, following the eclipse safety guidelines provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the American Astronomical Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Optometry, the American Optometric Association, and the National Science Foundation.

  • Whether or not a class participates in an outdoor experience is up to each site. Those that do participate will be following the NASA eclipse safety guidelines. Some classes may also view the eclipse indoors by watching the eclipse live at the Exploratorium website.
     

Be Safe

  • Looking at the sun is unsafe except during the brief phase of an eclipse where the moon entirely blocks the sun (totality), which is only visible along a 70-mile-wide path arching from Oregon to South Carolina.

  • Use special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses, to look directly at the eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun — homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.

  • Inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.

  • Review safe viewing practices with children so that they are aware of the dangers associated with looking at the sun without protective eye wear.

  • Always supervise children using solar filters.

  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.

  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.

  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

  • If you normally wear eyeglasses put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

  • More safety tips can be found on NASA’s Eclipse Safety webpage.
     

Resources

 


 

Ms. Miakje Kamstra

Principal

Cub Scout Information

 

Please see the following Cub Scout Flyer (PDF) and Cub Scout Information (PDF) if you are interested in Cub Scouts. 


 

Ms. Miakje Kamstra

Principal

 



 

SCUSD: Safety Guidelines and Resources for Upcoming Eclipse


Eclipse 101  

It’s easy to get carried away with all of the excitement surrounding the upcoming total solar eclipse scheduled for August 21, 2017, but it’s also important to remember to be safe while enjoying this natural phenomenon. The eclipse begins at 9:01 a.m., the max eclipse is at 10:15 a.m., and the eclipse ends at 11:37 a.m. Below are some guidelines and resources to help you make this a safe experience for yourself and your children.
 

Santa Clara Unified

  • Teachers will be educating students about what an eclipse is and how to view it safely, following the eclipse safety guidelines provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the American Astronomical Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Optometry, the American Optometric Association, and the National Science Foundation.

  • Whether or not a class participates in an outdoor experience is up to each site. Those that do participate will be following the NASA eclipse safety guidelines. Some classes may also view the eclipse indoors by watching the eclipse live at the Exploratorium website.
     

Be Safe

  • Looking at the sun is unsafe except during the brief phase of an eclipse where the moon entirely blocks the sun (totality), which is only visible along a 70-mile-wide path arching from Oregon to South Carolina.

  • Use special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses, to look directly at the eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun — homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.

  • Inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.

  • Review safe viewing practices with children so that they are aware of the dangers associated with looking at the sun without protective eye wear.

  • Always supervise children using solar filters.

  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.

  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.

  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

  • If you normally wear eyeglasses put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

  • More safety tips can be found on NASA’s Eclipse Safety webpage.
     

Resources

Central Park Song

 

Parent/Guardian Education Event

Dear Parents and  Guardians,

 

We have a unique opportunity to hear from a renowned guest speaker, Dr. Kenneth Wesson, on STEAM education and the neuroscience of learning. Dr. Kenneth Wesson is coming to Central Park Elementary.

 

Date:  Tuesday, August 22nd

Time:  6:30pm

Location: Multipurpose Room

 

 This was funded by a Donor's Choose grant  Ms. Berger wrote. 

 

We have limited seating (aprox 200) in our multipurpose room. This is for adults only.

 

We hope you can attend.

 

Due to limited seating for our night with Dr. Kenneth Wesson, please RSVP to mkamstra@scusd.net

 

Thanks so much,

Ms. Kamstra 

Very best,

Ms. Kamstra

Ms. Berger and Staff 

Star Kids Academy Robotics After School


 

Calendar

Home of the CHAMELEONS!

     Ever Growing, Ever Changing...

 Meet Newton, Central Park's Mascot.

Curious, Creative, Inspired!!!


 

School Launch Page: bit.ly/cpinspire 


 

Login

Mon. August 21, 2017

Drop Off: 8:30AM All Grades
Pick Up: 12:11PM K
2:26PM G 1-2
2:51PM G 3-4

Student Absences

Email Attendance Clerk, Leanne Konicek at: lkonicek@scusd.net or call 408-423-4411. State the reason for the absence. See Board Policy for details regarding excused and unexcused absences.

Hot Topics

Calendar

IMPORTANT DATES



 

Kindergarten Blog

Nothing Posted
All Notes

1st Grade Blog

Nothing Posted
All Notes

2nd Grade Blog

8/16/17

We had a fantastic first day in 2nd grade. Students were smiling and teachers were happy! As we started our day, we introduced Morning Meeting. Morning Meetings give students and teachers an opportunity to greet each other, share, participate in an activity, and read a morning message, which sets the purpose for the day. We meet in a circle to promote inclusivity! Students were eager, excited and respectful in their participation. We also worked on "Turn and Talks" and how we share with a partner! Thank you so much for supporting your child's learning. 


 

 

more

3rd Grade Blog

Garden Blog

Makerspace Blog

8/20/17

San Jose Mini Maker Faire is Sunday, September 3rd. We will not be organizing a Central Park booth as the timeline is too rushed. More information about the event can be found at the San Jose Mini Maker Faire web site.

 

Please only donate items to the makerspace that have no food crumbs and no food or drink residue. Please do not bring any items that have been stored in dirty garages that could potentially have bug infestations.  When in doubt, send questionable items to your own recycling or garbage bin. We want to keep our school clean and bug free!

 

When considering which items to save, we prefer items that are *stackable* to save storage space and that items are in quantities of 24 or more. This helps teachers ensure all the students in one class have access to the same materials for a project.

 

These are some of the items teachers can use:

12-pack refrigerator soft drink boxes

milk jugs/cartons (CLEAN)

carboard boxes (all sizes that are clean)

tops (water, soda bottles, jars)

Keurig containers

baby food jars

rolls from tape or ribbon

cereal boxes (CLEAN)

egg cartons (CLEAN)

bubble wrap

newspaper/magazines

toilet paper rolls

paper towel rolls

pringle cans (CLEAN)

tissue paper

Kleenex boxes

fruit cup containers (CLEAN)

tin cans

2 liter bottles (CLEAN)

 

The makerspace could also use laptops that are less than 2 years old.

 

Also Makerspace Parent Volunteers, *SAVE THE DATE*, EdCamp Silicon Valley Make is a free meeting/professional development opportunity for teachers on maker topics. It is also a great opportunity for Makerspace Parent Volunteers to learn about many projects and technologies so that you can better support your child's class. Get hands-on learning with things like paper circuits, Raspberry Pi, Makey Makey, etc. . The next event is Saturday, September 30th 9AM-3PM at RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers) in San Jose. It is free. 

more

Robotics Team Blog

8/20/17

Parents have been asking about the difference between Central Park STEAM Robotics Team, Star Kids Academy Senior & Junior After School Class, and Bricks4Kidz Junior Robotics Class. Last year we had many kids who wished to learn robotics but whose parents were working and could not commit to robotics competition. (Over 80 applications!) For the 2017-18 year, we have asked after school providers to help cover these demographics.

 

First, how does this differ from robotics in the Central Park classroom? Activities in the classroom that utilize robotics are integrated into the project-based learning curriculum meaning they have a specific applicable component that aligns with the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. So while classes may have an activity that utilizes robotics, it is not the focus. Because the Central Park philosophy emphasizes engaging hands-on methods of learning, robotics can be a great platform for learning some concepts however it is not the only platform.

 

The Bricks4Kidz Junior Robotics Class is a drop-off program requiring no time commitment from parents. The class has an instructional format designed to teach robotics to kids with zero experience. The equipment used is the LEGO Education WeDo 1.0 kit which is used in Kinder-G2 generally although kids completely new to robotics in G3-4 may be interested in it too. It uses basic icon-based programming blocks thus requiring no reading nor mathematics comprehension level to join. This is a good choice for a child completely new to robotics wanting a single robotics platform that is related to LEGO. If you do not want to invest in robotics equipment, Bricks4Kidz is an option because they provide all equipment. Bricks4Kidz does not have afterschool care beyond the class so it is better for parents who can pickup their child at the end of class. Bricks4Kidz has a 12:1 teacher:student ratio.  Bricks4Kidz registration is open to G1-4.

 

 

The Star Kids Academy After School Robotics Class is a drop-off program *plus* optional extended-day child-care for G1-4 requiring no time commitment from parents. The class is an instructional format designed to teach robotics from the very basics on up. If your child is unsure about what kind of robotics they want to do, then choose Star Kids Academy. Rather than just one type of robotics, they expose children to multiple robotics sets such as BeeBot, WeDo 2.0 and Dash in Junior. In the Senior class they expose kids to the EV3, BeeBot, Sphero, UBTech, and Dash.  If you do not want to invest any money in buying robotics equipment, then choose the Star Kids Academy Robotics Class because they provide a variety of robotics equipment as well as tablets/computers.

They are offering a Junior class (G1-2) Tuesdays after school and a Senior class(G3-4) Wednesdays after school. There are no academic requirements to joining. It focuses on robotics instruction. They do accommodate for special needs in their registration form. Star Kids Academy is an after school provider so they also have options for extended childcare and additional enrichment opportunities such as chess and maker projects to accommodate working parents who need the 5-6:10PM flexibility for pickup. This is the best option for parents who are busy all day. Registration details are on the Star Kids Academy Web Site

 


CLASS TO COMPETITION TEAM ALIGNMENT

 

Participation in the Bricks4Kidz or Star Kids Academy robotics classes is not exclusive to participation in the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team. We have some kids doing both in order to get instruction as well as participate in competition. If your child is interested in FLL Jr. competition, the WeDo 2.0 robotics kit is the required set so instruction for that set would be in the Star Kids Academy Junior Robotics classes. Bricks4Kidz teaches the WeDo 1.0 kit which is not approved for use in FIRST LEGO League Junior. If interested in FIRST LEGO League competition, the aligning instruction would be in the Star Kids Academy Senior Robotics class where they use the LEGO Mindstorms EV3. If interested in the Wonder League Robotics Competition, instruction would be in the Star Kids Academy Junior Robotics class where they use the Dash robot. Currently there is no robotics class instruction from either vendor aligning with our VexIQ Robotics competition team though the most similar instruction level would be in the Star Kids Academy Senior Robotics  class.

 


 

Central Park STEAM Robotics Team is run by parent volunteers. It is focused on competition and expos not instruction. Robotics competition is only 33% on robotics. Another 33% is focused on researching real world problems and developing prototypes of these solutions that could possibly require additional research on other technology, business practices or challenge themes. The final 33% is focused on teamwork, public presentation skills, organization and planning.

 

Robotics competition requires about 2-12 hours per week of time commitment depending on the level of competition. This is time commitment of both the child and the parent. One parent from each team is required to be present after school Mondays 3-5 pm in order to participate in the after school portion. Parents must be *actively* supporting their team, not staring at cellphones nor chit-chatting with other parents. Otherwise teams can be an "at-home" team conducting their own team meetings at their own convenience after school or at home.

 

 

Central Park STEAM Robotics Team does not conduct classroom instruction. Kids must be self-starters with the resilience and growth mindset to troubleshoot and learn as they go. Kids should be self-motivated, not forced to participate by parents. Because students must be able to read materials and create presentation materials, students should be at least at a level "H-J" Scholastic Reading Level. Writing abilities should be at or above a G1 Common Core level. While the Robotics Team is open to all grade levels of students, parents need to properly assess their child's academic abilities as well as the child's ability to focus on tasks.

 

FLL and competition students should complete code.org through the end of Grade 4 (class 3 or equivalent). FLL students should master basic typing skills. VexIQ competitors should have finish code.org through the end of Grade 2 (class 2 or equivalent).

 

 

Parents must commit weekend and after school hours to drive kids to meet with their team members, conduct research and participate in expos. Last year we presented at Santa Clara City STEM Central, Central Park STEAM Expo, Google, FIRST LEGO League Innovation Expo,  LEGOLAND California, Central Park Multicultural Night, Central Park Harvest Fest, Silicon Valley Robotics Block Party and Maker Faire Bay Area 2017. We also visited NASA Ames, Liquid Robotics, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Vista Del Lago Department of Water Resources Center, Lake Oroville Department of Water Resources Center, and the Lake Romero Department of Water Resources Center. At Central Park we also held learning sessions with the Dairy Council bringing 2 cows, the Santa Clara Valley Beekeeper's Association with live bees, and the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center who bought an owl, opposum and snake to our makerspace.


Parents must cover their own equipment costs except in the cases of "free and reduced lunch" students where a deposit may be placed for loaner equipment. Parents must cover all team expenses of registration fees and expo fees. Parents must also contribute to the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team for insurance coverage for SCUSD and other general organizational costs. Total costs per team can range $200-$1100 depending on competition track chosen.

 

 

Parents must commit to investing time into learning the robotics kit and attending a training session. Any team may sign up to be an at-home team however we are limited on the number of after-school teams depending on physical space. Only sign up for the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team if both parent and child are fully committed to investing time into the program. If your child is over-scheduled with activities, this is not a good choice because not only will your child struggle but teammates and parents of teammates will be negatively affected.  Failure to maintain minimum requirements will result in parent/child being dropped from the team.

 

On the flip side, highly engaged and involved families will find their children developing strong friendships with their teammates while working on their projects weekly and playing together. Committed parents will also often find new friendships in the Central Park community after spending many weekends at each others' houses sharing meals and traveling together on field trips.

 

 

All participants in the Central Park STEAM Robotics Team must have signed the technology use approval document from the SCUSD Parent/Student Handbook. All participants must also have checked the box agreeing to the use of pictures or videos on the internet. We will never post children's names. Students make pseudonyms like "BlueBunny". Almost all competition and expo registrations require approval for photography in order to participate as well.

 

A new web site for Central Park STEAM Robotics Team is coming soon along with a Parent Meeting announcement. Make sure you have registered your email with the Central Park office and *READ* your email from Ms. Kamstra in order to attend the parent meeting.  

more

Central Park PTA

Central Park Intro

Sing the Central Park Song!

Support Central Park PTA!

Use PayPal as a "friend" to donate to the Central Park PTA in supporting the resources and activities needed by students and teachers.

Bring Box Tops!


 

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