April 2, 2014
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APRIL:  Giving Tree Campaign
Mon 4/7 - Fri 4/11  5th Grade Outdoor Ed
Wed 4/9  PFA board meeting @ 6:30 pm
Fri 4/11  Family Bingo Night 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Fri 4/18 - Fri 4/25  No School - Spring Break
Mon 4/28 - Thu 5/1  Spring Book Fair
Thu 5/1  Dads & Donuts
Fri 5/2  Family Comedy Night
Fri 5/9  Engineering/Science Fair
Thu 5/15  Open House (Teacher Raffles & Silent Auction)
Sun 5/18  Mother/Son Event
Mon 6/2  Islands Restaurant Family Night Fundraiser

Dear Parents:


March was certainly a very busy and exciting

month.  Many of you attended parent-teacher conferences and worked with
teachers to develop plans to ensure success for the final trimester of school. March also included our annual Dr. Seuss Pajama Day/Pancake Breakfast, our Apex Fun Run (Jog-a-thon), many field trips, and the Great Race of Agoura!

A special thank you to Ms. Hilary Boss (5th grade teacher) and Chef Lalaour parent chefs, servers, pancake flippers, and 

dishwashing crew for our Pancake Breakfast!  

And a shout out to David Jaureguy for loaning us the Fire Department's "mother of all grills," then spending 2 hours scrubbing it clean with Ms. Boss!  And a thank you to everyone for your attendance - it was a great morning, enjoyed by all!  


Another special thank you goes out to hard-working parent, Jenn Kurtz, for working hand-in-hand with APEX this year to put on an amazingly successful Apex Fun Run. What a wonderful experience for our students to have APEX's young staff members on campus for 2 weeks, modeling healthy living and providing daily classroom lessons on perseverance, working together, and putting others first.  Then, a fun race day and a handsome profit for Sumac to help support our PE, Music, Art-Science and Library Programs.

We appreciate the many of you parents (and our teachers) for making these events memorable for everyone.  So much school spirit by students, staff, and parents throughout the month! 


Thanks to the many of you who participated in the Great Race of Agoura this year. Another fun day of exercise, fun and friends!


Regrettably, despite all my "nagging" 

students are continuing to arrive late to school.  This begins their day on a 

negative note, as well as sending them the unintended message that it's not that important to be punctual.   Students need to be in line by the 8:15 bell!  After 8:15, your child will be directed to the Office to get a tardy slip and may be asked to make up the missed time during recess. We really need your support with this, so thanks in advance.


In closing, I wish all of you a wonderful Spring Break.  Our last day before break is April 17 and school resumes April 28.  Thank you for not taking "extra" days for vacations.  We have 10 consecutive days of break, so enjoy!


Sincerely, Carol Martino, Principal

New PFA Board Members Needed
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.



Sumac LSTEM Elementary logo


The Sumac L-STEM Elementary PFA Board is an active group of volunteers made up of parents, teachers and staff that work together to make Sumac the best school it can be.  We meet once a month, in the evening to accommodate working parents.  We cover a wide range of topics, but no matter the topic, our central focal point is always what's best for the students and what's best for our school. Being a part of the PFA Board gives you a voice and forum to introduce ideas and at the same time it's a great learning opportunity to see how Sumac works.  


We have many current board members whose kids are moving on to middle school, so we are actively looking for new members with new ideas.   Many positions do not require a lot of time or any special skills.  


If you are interested in joining the board, please contact Andie Kallinger, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Ana Santos,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


We look forward to hearing from you.  Our next board meeting is Wednesday, April 9th at 6:30pm in the Teachers Lounge.
Engineering Fair

 Sumac L-STEM Elementary presents


Engineering Fair


In the MPR

Friday, May 9th

8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Students will be able to display their creative engineering projects on that day, along with the opportunity to explore engineering games and materials provided by the PFA for our Art/Science Program.


There will be student made displays and exciting activities to participate in.  Engineering Design Proposal papers were sent home on Monday, March 31st to all students in 3rd -5th grade.


K-2 classes will be doing a whole class project in school with their teachers.  If your K-2nd student would  like to do their own design or individual project, please ask your student's teacher for the form.


We will be looking for parent

volunteers to control the games and materials through

out the day.  Please let Mrs. Crisman or Mrs. Argano know if you are interested.  


Thank you so much for your support of this Educational Engineering Day! 

Family Bingo Night!
Pre-sale available till Friday 4/4/14 and pick up at the event.  Click here for the form.

Sumac's 1st Bingo Night will be fun for the entire family!

Friday, April 11, 2014
5:30 - 7:30 pm
in the MPR
  • Raffle winner:  large basket of great stuff!
  • Each game winner:  small basket of great stuff!

Jersey Dogs Food Cart 
5:30 - 7:30 pm

Any questions?  Please contact Jennifer Tarbet This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Erin Stein This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Yearbook order forms due
$30 per yearbook

If you are not sure you purchased one at Back-to-School Kick-off, please call and ask Judy Lowenstein in the office at 818-991-4940.

5th Grade PDA's
Tuesday, April 8th is the deadline for 5th grade yearbook tributes.
Lupin Carnival
Lupin's Carnival
Sunday, April 13
11am - 5pm
Wristbands at the event 
will cost $25.
Food trucks
Lots of games & rides
Silent auction
CHLA Maxmobile Bloodmobile
will be there.  Please call Sherill in their office (818) 880-4434
if anyone would like to donate blood.
Weekend Family Fun
Something for everyone
Art, Agriculture, Music, Nature, Science...
Today - July - Blueberry picking in Somis (Underwood Family Farms)
April 5 - Arbor Day/Earth Day (FREE - Conejo Creek Park, T.O.)
April 12-13 - LA Times Festival of Books (USC)
April 26 - Santa Monica Science Festival (FREE - Paramount Ranch)
May 17-18  Maker Faire (Bay Area)
May 18 - Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival (Paramount Ranch)
May 24-26 - I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival (FREE - Santa Barbara Mission)
Library - Reading Counts

Sumac students were honored at our

bi-annual Reading Counts Ice Cream

Party.  Students whreached the required number of points are invited to attend, and the top three point earners in each grade receive a prize of a Barnes & Noble gift certificate.  

We are very proud of our 
Reading Counts champs!  
Add a description
Teacher & Staff Birthdays
Hilary Boss - 5 
Laura Ekizian - 5 
Ashley Cecil - 17 
Dawn Siggard - 21
Carol Martino - 1 
Tracy Taylor - 5 
Stacie Pitillo - 6 
Catherine Crisman - 7 
Kara Burns - 23 
Kelly Lauron - 25 
Robin Frank - 31
Kristen McCurdy - 8
Linda Jacobs - 11
Angie LaFazia - 29
If you would like to acknowledge your teacher's birthday (with kind words, a flower from your garden, or a handwritten card) it would be a lovely thing to do for the people who work day after day in our classrooms.
Principal Martino's Column

Learning More about Common Core

Key Shifts in English Language Arts



The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy build on the best of existing standards and reflect the skills and knowledge students will need to succeed in college, career, and life. Understanding how the standards differ from previous standards-and the necessary shifts they call for-is essential to implementing the standards well.


The following are key shifts called for by the Common Core:


1.  Regular practice with complex texts and their academic language


Rather than focusing solely on the skills of reading and writing, the ELA/literacy standards highlight the growing complexity of the texts students must read to be ready for the demands of college, career, and life. The standards call for a staircase of increasing complexity so that all students are ready for the demands of college- and career-level reading no later than the end of high school. The emphasis is on reading comprehension with the goal that as students advance through the grades, they are able to gain more from what they read.


Closely related to text complexity and connected to reading comprehension is a focus on academic vocabulary: words that appear in a variety of content areas (such as ignite and commit). The standards call for students to grow their vocabularies through a mix of conversation, direct instruction, and reading. They ask students to determine word meanings, appreciate the nuances of words, and steadily expand their range of words and phrases. Vocabulary and conventions are treated in their own strand not because skills in these areas should be handled in isolation, but because their use extends across reading, writing, speaking, and listening.


Because the standards are the roadmap for successful classrooms, and recognizing that teachers, school districts, and states need to decide on the journey to the destination, they intentionally do not include a required reading list. Instead, they include many sample texts to help teachers prepare for the school year and allow parents and students to know what to expect during the year.

The standards include certain critical types of content for all students, including classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, famous works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare. The standards appropriately leave most decisions about what and how to teach to states, districts, schools, and teachers.


2.  Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and informational


The Common Core emphasizes using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Rather than asking students questions they can answer solely from their prior knowledge and experience, the standards call for students to answer questions that depend on their having read the texts with care.


The reading standards focus on students' ability to read carefully and grasp information, arguments, ideas, and details based on evidence in the text. Students should be able to answer a range of text-dependent questions, whose answers require inferences based on careful attention to the text.


Frequently, forms of writing in K-12 have drawn heavily from student experience and opinion, which alone will not prepare students for the demands of college, career, and life. Though the standards still expect narrative writing throughout the grades, they also expect a command of sequence and detail that are essential for effective argumentative and informative writing. The standards' focus on evidence-based writing along with the ability to inform and persuade is a significant shift from current practice.


3.  Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction


Students must be immersed in information about the world around them if they are to develop the strong general knowledge and vocabulary they need to become successful readers and be prepared for college, career, and life. Informational texts play an important part in building students' content knowledge. Further, it is vital for students to have extensive opportunities to build knowledge through texts so they can learn independently.


In K-5, fulfilling the standards requires a 50-50 balance between informational and literary reading. Informational reading includes content-rich nonfiction in history/social studies, sciences, technical studies, and the arts. The K-5 standards strongly recommend that texts-both within and across grades-be selected to support students in systematically developing knowledge about the world.


Next month's Voyager will include an article on the Key Shifts in Math.


For more information on Common Core:

Dr. Seuss Pajama Day & Pancake Breakfast
Support Sumac Daily!


BOX TOPSBox Tops Logo

Collect the pink "Box Tops" label on products like Duncan Hines, Pillsbury, General Mills, etc. Bring them to class or drop them off at the office. Each label is worth 10 cents!   



Collect "Labels for Education" found on products like Campbells, Post, Glad, Pepperidge Farm, Pop Secret, etc. Bring them to class or drop them off at the office.    




Renew or sign up for the Ralphs Reward Card. Call (800) 660-9003 or on-line at (Sumac NPO# 81784) or a scan bar will be given to your child at the beginning of October. YOU MUST SIGN UP EVERY SCHOOL YEAR!!



Sign up your Vons Club Card number at (Sumac ID# 136559395) or call (877) 723-3929. 


Fresh and Easy FRESH & EASY

Collect all Fresh & Easy receipts that total $20.00 or more September 15 - December 31. For every $20 spent per visit, Sumac will receive a $1 cash donation. For example, a single receipt for $40.00 is worth $2.



Bring your used ink cartridges, toners and cell phones to the library or front office. We earn money while at the same time helping the environment.



Reyes Adobe Car Wash and Calabasas Auto Spa give you "WashBucks" for every visit. We make a dollar for every WashBucks you bring to Sumac.
Sumac L-STEM Elementary * 6050 Calmfield Ave. * Agoura Hills, CA  91301 * (818) 991-4940
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School Principal * Carol Martino *  (818) 991-4940
Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.
This email was sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it |  
Sumac PFA | 6050 N. Calmfield Avenue | Agoura Hills | CA | 91301

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Kindergarten/ Dual

Contact Us

Sumac School
L-STEM Academy

6050 North Calmfield Ave.
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

School Office – 818.991.4940
School Principal – Carol Martino

Office Manager – Cindy Taylor

Office Clerk – Judy Lowenstein

Health Clerk – Edna Sandoval

Sumac L-STEM Academy Website –

Las Virgenes School District Website –

City of Agoura Hills Webs Site - 818.597.7300

Lost Hills Sheriff Station - 818.878.1808

Report Dangerous Driving – 1.877.310.STOP

Agoura Hills City Library - 818.889.2278

Busing Information – Durham Transportation – 818.880.4257

LVUSD Bus Pass – 818.878.5236

YMCA – 818.707.9622


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