SCC Weekly Newsletter: Sept. 30 - Oct. 6, 2019
The Chili Cook-Off is coming up in less than a month!
Please see the Cook-Off section below to RSVP, donate, and volunteer!
Director's Spotlight On... Types of Assessments
Parents often ask how we measure what their child knows and how well they know it. How does their child measure up to the grade level expectation or standard? What are their areas of strength and what are their lagging skills? I think it will be informative for parents to first understand the different types of assessments that we use to inform our instruction and gauge learner growth.

Formative Assessment is used for learning as much as it is used to inform instruction. The activity or lesson, or the project itself, is part of the learning process, and educators adapt their instruction (either in the moment or day-to-day) based on the evidence they see in learner work. Educators monitor what learners know and are able to do throughout the course of activities. They adjust their instruction in ways that re-engage learners in a concept or extend their learning. Formative assessment happens in the Improvement Zone (see last week’s Spotlight, “ In the Zone”). 

Diagnostic Assessments use formal strategies or tools to identify specific strengths and weaknesses. These assessments are meant to inform Educators about areas of need in the different learners. These data help the educators gear their instruction effectively and to inform groupings of learners with similar needs. We tend not to share these assessment results with parents because we view these as internal data intended for Educator decision making. Diagnostic assessments fall within the Improvement Zone.

Benchmark Assessments are given at specific times in the school year to compare how a learner is doing relative to a set of standards or objectives (benchmarks). Our benchmark assessments are common within grade levels and are aligned across K-8. We use these assessments to gauge learner progress along trajectories with respect to grade-level expectations. If the results indicate that the learner is not progressing like we expect on the trajectory, this triggers discussions about interventions to help the learner. Parents are often brought in at this point as part of the discussion. Benchmark Assessments are a combination of the Improvement and Performance Zones.

Summative Assessments are what most of us think of when we think assessment. These assessments measure the learners’ knowledge and skill acquisition related to specific standards. Think end-of-chapter or unit exam. The state assessments, SBAC, are summative assessments. Often these cumulative assessments feel high-stakes to both learners and parents. Summative assessments are firmly part of the Performance Zone.

Hopefully this answers some of your questions about how we gauge learning and growth.
Office News
Miriam Peirano , Office Manager
Gwynne Rinker , Data and Operations Manager
Help with Illness Reporting
As with most populations, Charter has several community members who are immune-compromised. This means that, for them, contracting a Strep infection or other serious virus has the potential to be a life-threatening situation.

We ask for your cooperation both in keeping your sick children from attending school, as well as letting the office know without delay if you suspect they have strep. Your notification allows us to let the immune-compromised folks know which areas of campus to avoid, and to step up their hygiene protocols, etc.  

IMPORTANT REQUEST: When notifying the school of your child's absence, we ask that you provide a very brief summary of their symptoms. This allows us to track the types of illness making the rounds, and spot any trends or connections. Something simple, such as, "Joey is home today with a slight fever and runny nose." Or, "Dana will be out tomorrow because she vomited last night." As always, please know that your child's health information will be kept confidential to the very best of our ability, and names will only be used internally. 

See the email that was sent to the Administration List for more in-depth information.
Thank you for your help!
Board of Directors Update
The SCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the results of the recent election and welcome Carolyn Davies Lynch and Melissa Riccio to the Board for the remainder of the 2019-2020 financial year. We were delighted to have so many strong candidates eager to participate in the governance of the school, and are excited about their broader contributions to SCC.

Unfortunately, only 67 out of 263 families voted in the election. We look forward to the community engaging with the current and new Board members as we move forward.
Chili Cook-Off
The 12th Annual Chili Cook-Off
Sunday, October 20, 2019 4pm-7pm, Devil's Canyon Brewing Company

Less than one month to go for the 12th Annual SCC Chili Cook-Off. Time flies, doesn't it? Please donate and RSVP today ($320 suggested per learner).

We still have a good number of volunteer jobs open. Please volunteer now. This event is successful only thanks to the generous contribution of time and energy from the SCC community.

Here are the donations standings by grade as of Thursday, September 26 (Grades 4 and 2 in the lead; 6 and 7 need to step it up!)
This year we are re-introducing the "professional" blind chili tasting to complement the popular vote. We are sporting quite a list of pie and chili judges this year. Here is a partial list:
  • Alice Miller, SCC founder
  • Carol and Steven Drace, retired SCC educator and spouse 
  • Laura Parmer-Lohan, City Councilmember
  • Matt Levin, SCC parent and owner of Refuge
  • Kathy Parmer-Lohan, SCEF Chair
  • Laura Teutschel, LT & Associates PR in San Carlos
  • Jay Anastas, alumni SCC parent and past CCO winner
  • Sergeant Jake Trickett, San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
  • Gwynne Rinker, SCC Data and Operations Manager (and overall SCC goddess)

Keep your eyes peeled for a Wednesday update directly from us, and you can email us at with questions and suggestions. Up and at 'em!

Jailbreakin' Josh Saffren
Cowboy Christopher Kashap
Volunteer Corner
Melissa May , Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteer Help Wanted
We are looking for a technical-minded parent who would like to act as an educator blog liaison for the SCC website team. If you can help or have questions, please contact Melissa May .
Volunteer Jobs Still in Need
There are a few jobs that were not completed at the All School Clean-Up this year. See here for more information.
PRT Update
THANK YOU to the SCC Community for all your voluntary contributions. 
We met our 2019-2020 goal, enabling the PRT to celebrate our community with schoolwide and classroom events and to recognize our staff and educators with appreciation meals and gifts. Watch for messages from the PRT and your room reps highlighting your contributions at work.
Educare Happenings
Katie Hall & Desi Smith , Co-Directors of Educare
Educare Special Day- Friday, November 1st
On November 1, school will be closed to allow SCC educators to participate in a Professional Development Day. Educare will be open for a fun Creative Day with guest instructor Ruth Jacobson from Skyline Ceramics. For more information, click here . Registration is via the Flex Plan on EZChildTrack.

Educare has added two new staff members to our team! In the last two weeks, Cindy Amaya and Xerena Sarria have started their tenure at Educare. Be sure to say "Hi!" to them as you see them around, or check out their pages on our "S'more About Your Staff" board in Educare!
Parent Education
Lorea Martinez , Parent Ed Liaison
According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. This is a big concern for parents and educators alike. If your children are dealing with anxiety, support them by teaching them how to manage their feelings instead of protecting them from their triggers. For other tips to help your children with anxiety, check out this article by the Child Mind Institute. 

The first parent ed event this year will be focused on anxiety. Join us on October 22 for "Breaking the Cycle of Anxiety," an interactive workshop taught by SCC’s school psychologist, Korah Guilar. For more details, and to sign up, click here. And remember to let us know your recommendations for mental health professionals in the area. We’ll be sharing the list with everybody. 

Coming up this week, you can learn about middle school (Tue) and if college makes us or breaks us (Wed). For details and more parent education events, click on the button below. Happy Parenting!
Healthy Cities Tutoring
Healthy Cities Tutoring Orientation & Training for New & Existing Tutors
Join us and make a difference in the life of a child. Healthy Cities Tutoring matches volunteer tutors with students in K-8th grade who are struggling in school and need additional support. Tutoring is just 45 minutes once a week, and timing is flexible with openings before, during, or after school. Tutors select the school(s) and grade-level(s) they prefer and we match them accordingly. Attend one of our upcoming training sessions on Wednesday, October 16, 8:30am-10am or 6:30pm-8:30pm at White Oaks School or Thursday, November 7, 6:30-8:30pm at Clifford School to learn how to help children one-on-one in the areas of reading, writing, math, engagement in learning, and self-esteem.
SCEF Update
A big thank you to the following local businesses owned by San Carlos School District parents who have already committed their SCEF support for this school year.

Absolute Electrical, GDA Commercial, CB Showers, Pope Peninsula Periodontal, Mindful Bodies, John McAfee-State Farm Insurance, Hummingbird Music, Jett Ed, Harvest Furniture, and NorthWall Builders

If you own a business and would like to reach San Carlos families AND make your annual donation for your family, please take a look at our business partners programs here.
Greater San Carlos Community Information
Hot Lunch Information
Akash Bijlani , Hot Lunch Coordinator
  • Copious thanks to the volunteers who helped us manage School Pictures last week: Shibani Joshi, Chloe Bloom, Claudia Wodicka, Kelly Franta, Stewart Robertson, and the fearless woman who stayed ALL DAY to manage the hordes, Kari Barcelo! It was hot and tensions were high but you guys made all the difference!
  • Aarin's room appreciates Paige Hirsch for organizing their library! 
  • Many thanks to Christine Levenson for donating several sets of headphones to Room 213. The learners appreciate the opportunity to have peace and quiet.
  • Thanks to Robert Casamento for speaking to Anke and Sarah's classes about climate change. It was an eye-opening experience!
  • Thanks to Conrad and Adam May for building a roof on the chicken run. The ladies love their larger space! 
  • Thank you to the garden team who have been working behind the scenes on a welcome garden behind the school.  
  • Thank you to the many helpers who have helped source urbanite for the welcome garden, with trucks, muscle power, direct asking and cold calling construction companies.
  • Thank you to parent chaperones for our field trip to the Belmont library Kari Barcelo, Jen Atkinson, and Yao Guo, also our educator chaperones Nathan Sweatt and Martin Smith.
  • Thank you to Jennifer Fung for helping to organize all the K-1 field trips.
  • Deepest appreciations from the 3/4 Team to Caroline Conway for all of her tireless hard work in coordinating the level's seminars for the year! We are grateful for her help, and know it will be an exciting and engaging year ahead for all of the children thanks to Caroline. Our gratitude also to the many parent volunteers and SCC staff members who have signed up to lead or assist with the courses being offered to 3/4 learners this year. We could not do this without you! Thank you!  
  • A big thank you to Helena Wong for donating noise-cancelling headphones to Room 212! The learners love their quiet and distraction-free work time now.  
Quick Links
Have a great week!
-The Newsletter Team at