SCC Weekly Newsletter: Oct. 7 - 13, 2019
Save the Dates!
Read-a-Thon : Monday, October 21 - Friday, Nov. 15
Scholastic Book Fair : Monday, Nov. 4 - Thursday, Nov. 7
Director's Spotlight On... Productive Struggle
As the ideas in Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset and Angela Duckworth’s Grit were gaining traction in schools, we started hearing a lot about the importance of resilience and perseverance in the process of learning. Elizabeth and Robert Bjork (UCLA scientists) have been researching learning for many years. They talk about the importance of “desirable difficulties" and how their research indicates that the brain needs to be pushed to do things that are difficult. If there isn’t some struggle involved, then you probably aren’t learning anything new.

In the wake of this work, the concept of “ productive (or meaningful) struggle” is being discussed in educational literature. The Bjorks' research suggests that significant learning benefits result when learners are given the time and space to do difficult work on their own and struggle with ideas they do not quite yet understand. Struggle can be incredibly useful when it helps learners grasp and retain key concepts and ideas.

That said, it is important to understand that struggle itself is not the desired outcome! Struggle is only productive when learners are engaged in a task that captures the central idea of the lesson. This is at the heart of the craft of what our educators do. Designing challenging tasks that do not frustrate learners but require just enough stretch, takes nuanced and continuing assessment (see formative assessment from last week) and judgment. Getting the right balance can be difficult, and educators are constantly looking for ways to provide just enough stretch and strategic guidance to enhance learning.

How do you as parents teach or reinforce to your child that productive struggles are a valuable part of learning? The first step is simple: You have to be willing to let your child struggle. Resist the temptation to swoop in and “fix” their discomfort. We all have the tendency to reduce the challenge so that the learner can feel more successful. But here is your chance to reiterate that faster doesn’t always mean smarter. You can encourage your child to think about what resources, knowledge, and skills that they need (and most likely probably have) to be successful in the task. Learning what to use/not to use is an important part of the learning process. Reward their effort and progress. Sometimes the journey is just as valuable as the destination. When learners reflect on the process, they learn important lessons that they can transfer to the next lesson (what went well and what they could have done differently, for example).

Finally, none of this is meant to imply that we have to step back and let our children flounder or become excessively frustrated. Instead, I am urging you to become more of a facilitator by guiding your child with questions rather than statements, not jumping in when they make mistakes, and showing your confidence in their ability to uncover their own understanding.
Office News
Gwynne Rinker , Data and Operations Manager
Miriam Peirano , Office Manager
Freshschools Directory
We are super excited to announce that an online directory solution has been found! We are getting set up with to provide not only an online directory, but also a new place to put photos, communicate with your class, learn about events at SCC and more! Please be on the lookout for an email from Freshschools inviting you to join sometime this week.
Chili Cook-Off
The 12th Annual Chili Cook-Off
Sunday, October 20, 2019 4pm-7pm
Devil's Canyon Brewing Company

We are at 31% of our limit. Please donate and RSVP today ($320 suggested per learner). If you wish to donate but can't attend, simply enter zeroes when asked how many family members are attending.

Just a few more volunteer slots left. Please volunteer now

We have a live band this year! Thanks to John Rethans and his band Meatless Mondays

A special word on safety and a call for Sheriff's Posse  
We are looking for a handful of parents to wear a Sheriff's badge and help guide kids that may be getting a little on the "too-energetic" side. Please email us if you're interested in joining the Posse.

Here's some background: Last year we were alerted by Twin Pines staff that the learners were overstepping their bounds on the premises. Children were jumping off recycling bins, many plants and trees were damaged from inappropriate play, etc.

To all: We are especially sensitive this year because we want to be able to hold the CCO at Devil's Canyon for the foreseeable future. To ensure that, please be sure to help guide your children at the event to ensure safety and an enjoyable time for all.

Here are the donations standings by grade as of Thursday, October 3
(Go 1, 2, 3!! 7, 8, K...please make that push now).
Jailbreakin' Josh Saffren
Cowboy Christopher Kashap
Volunteer Corner
Melissa May , Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteer Help Wanted
If you can help with any of the following or have questions, please contact Melissa May.
  • The Lost and Found Team is looking for additional team members. If you are on campus regularly, the team is looking for volunteers to help keep the lost and found tidy each week by hanging up/folding clothing and emptying lunch boxes into the compost/draining water bottles.
  • The Garden Team needs urbanite, cinder blocks, and rocks for building a retaining wall. Any amount is helpful. If you have any of those materials at home you'd like to donate or if you know of a great free source, please let us know.
  • The 5-8 rocket seminar is looking for supplies to be borrowed and donated. Please make arrangements with Diana Smetters.
Volunteer Jobs Still in Need
There are still a few campus jobs that need to be completed. See here for more information.
Educare Happenings
Katie Hall & Desi Smith , Co-Directors of Educare
Enrollment Reminder
As a reminder, same-day drop-in attendance at Educare is NOT guaranteed! You may submit a request for same-day care, but please do not assume it is happening until you receive confirmation. Educare enrollment is higher than usual right now, and we are sometimes having to close enrollment to same day drop-ins. In order to guarantee enrollment, please remember to set your weekly schedule every Sunday after reading the newsletter. This allows us to look at our numbers for the week and plan activities, snacks, and most importantly, the staff! SAME DAY DROP-IN REQUESTS SHOULD ONLY BE USED UNDER EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES! For more details on Educare's attendance policies please refer to the 2019-2020 Terms & Conditions, and as always, questions can be directed to Desi

November 1 Special Day
Educare will be hosting a crafty Special Day on November 1 (PD Day - No School), complete with an on-site ceramics class run by Ruth Jacobson of Skyline Ceramics. For more details, please click HERE . Registration is available via the Flex Plan in your Parent Portal. This day is likely to fill up quickly, so do not hesitate to get your name on the list! If spots are still available, the price will jump from $85/learner to $100/learner at 12:01 PM on Wednesday, October 23. 
Hot Lunch Information
Akash Bijlani , Hot Lunch Coordinator
Parent Education
Lorea Martinez , Parent Ed Liaison
Many parents would agree that their self-sacrifice for their kids is totally worth it. However, research shows that people who care about others and neglect themselves are more likely to become anxious and depressed. On the other hand, generosity is not about sacrificing yourself for others — it’s about helping others without harming yourself. Adam Grant suggests in this New York Times article to consider giving as something joyful you choose to do for the benefit of others. 

Coming up this Monday, you can watch the movie Screenagers to learn about stress and resilience. And remember to sign up here for our SCC parent ed event on anxiety, October 22. For details and more parent ed events, click on the button below. Happy Parenting!
SCEF Update
The Friends and Faculty concert is coming soon!
Come see San Carlos School District music teachers perform with other professional musicians at the 14th annual Friends and Faculty concert on Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7pm at St. Charles Church in San Carlos. This is an amazing opportunity to enjoy many local talents as they play a variety of selections to be appreciated by an audience of all ages. All proceeds benefit the music programs in our district’s middle schools. To purchase tickets, please visit
Check your mailbox for the new SCEF brochure.
The new SCEF brochure provides an overview of the organization as well as answers to the BIG questions: What is SCEF? What does your donation support, why are donations needed for public schools, and how can we build strong schools together? A big thank you to Wendy Wood, a SCSD parent, for donating her design services once again!
Greater San Carlos Community Information
  • Read about ROPES, Healthy Cities Tutoring, Chickens' Ball & more by clicking the blue button below.
  • Three Cheers for all the K-1 Seminar Leaders, Assistants and Subs for their first, successful week!  
  • A HUGE thank you to Ava Hristova and Michelle Belanger for rapidly responding to all of our Google account and group setup requests. They've been knocking them out left and right, and we are SO grateful for their time!
  • Ongoing thanks to Maryam Rostami and Hadi Hosseini for the gift of the landscaping plants in the entryway. As they fill in and grow they're such a lovely addition to our campus, and folks often remark how much nicer it looks!  
  • Outer space, here we come! Thank you to Shital Manjee Kadakia and her mother for making a perfect cuddly weighted space blanket for Charter learners. The learners will love it. Thank you. 
Quick Links
Have a great week!
-The Newsletter Team at