This month's column needs to begin with some special thank you's to our generous school community. In particular, we are grateful for your participation in last month's Baked Goods and Hot Dog Sale fundraiser. If you would like to continue to donate to the Zaragoza-Northrup family, you can do so through the Talbert Family Foundation. www.talbertfamilyfoundation.org
On a more serious note, the administration and staff at Sumac L-STEM have high expectations for all of our students. We believe that strong work habits are probably the most important factor in determining school success.Recently, a good number of students have not been completing and turning in homework on a regular basis. Homework is an integral part of the instructional program, as the California Standards and new Common Core State Standards are rigorous and students need the opportunity to apply and practice what they have learned at school. Additionally, all grade level teachers require students to read for 15 - 20 minutes nightly (younger students may be read to or read along with you). Please know that we don't want you to do your child's homework for them (as homework should be tasks your student is able to do own his/her own), but it's important that you monitor and assist them as they work. Please check those homework sheets/websites/Minder Binders to ensure that all assignments have been completed. We all need to remember that they are still children and they continue to need our guidance.
Lastly, attendance (which is part of work habits) is a school goal this year. We believe that regular attendance, which includes being to school on time (school begins at the 8:15 bell), is a lifelong habit that students begin to develop in Kindergarten. Even arriving just those few minutes tardy sends a message to our children that promptness to school is not a high priority. Please take into consideration that there is ALWAYS traffic on Kanan Road, so that shouldn't be used as an excuse. Think of working somewhere where there is a time clock - even 2 minutes late is frowned upon and such an attendance pattern could result in termination. While we understand that there is an occasional emergency that prevents you from having your child on time, we are striving for punctuality. Please remember that the playground is open at 7:45 with full adult supervision. There is NO traffic before 8:00, so come early and enjoy the "winter" weather. Teachers and I will be tracking attendance over the next few weeks - wouldn't it be great to not have to issue ANY tardy slips?? Thank you for your help with this.
Please note the Minimum Days for optional Parent Conferences are March 13 and 14. These conferences are primarily for parents of students who are not performing successfully in school. At these conferences, the teachers will work with you to develop a "plan of action" to assist your child.
We look forward to an event-filled Spring that includes a Talent Show, Engineering Fair, Chorus performance and more!!! Please note that the date for Open House has been changed to May 15!
Sincerely, Carol Martino
Pride Awards: There have been several inquiries regarding Pride Awards for this year, and I apologize that our change of past practice was not shared with you much earlier in the school year. The staff had wanted a different approach this year and with most classrooms featuring "Student/Citizen of the Week" and/or regular student incentives for positive behavior, strong effort/work habits, and achievement, we questioned the impact of the schoolwide awards program that awards each child annually. We are considering an alternative "pride award" program for implementation in the fall.
The Challenges and Positives About Sharing a Campus:
Results of everyone's efforts to resolve issues:
Shared Campus Information:
A shared campus is our reality. While we may have gotten off to a rocky start several years ago, we have worked hard to create a harmonious, positive relationship. Our teachers have no issues with our shared campus. Yes, there are inconveniences and some challenges, but we are working through them. Children learn what they live, and if we all (teachers, administrators and parents) model positive, collaborative behavior, our children will follow our collective lead. Sumac is healthy, growing slowly, and is here to stay!
I will be meeting with each classroom to discuss PE and recess activities/guidelines in response to an "anonymous" student inquiry/letter. In the future, please encourage your children to write or speak with me or their classroom teacher directly, as we are always open to thoughtful discussion and input. If you have any concerns, please call or e-mail me directly, and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.
A Mid-year Update
As we move to the 2nd half of the school year, we'd like to take this opportunity to give you an update on the PFA fundraising progress to goal. We would also like to provide opportunities to participate in making our school a better place to learn.
This year's annual fundraising budget is $89,100.
It is put in place by your PFA Board at the beginning of the school year and covers the bare minimum of expenses for the 2014/2015 school year. Funds raised from the families are used to support and enhance our programs at Sumac L-STEM Elementary. Your children benefit daily from the money raised. The PFA supports and funds the following programs: Art/Science, Music, PE, library, enrichment classes, technology and software in the classrooms, teacher and staff supplies, and assemblies.
At mid-year, Sumac L-STEM Elementary families have contributed nearly $64,000.
As you may note, we are currently $25,000 short of our fundraising goal. You can help meet our goal. If you haven't participated in the Direct Donation Campaign, it's never too late! Remember, every donation you give to the school is a tax donation! And if your company matches, please submit the paperwork for the match.
We have some great fundraising events coming up that we hope you will participate in to help us meet our year-end goal. The remaining fundraising activities for this year include the following:
Please keep in mind, that if we don't meet our budget this year, we will have to cut some of the programs next year. It is our goal to add additional resources as we move forward. In fact, we would like to add a media specialist to support our teachers and staff.
On a final note, we are looking for new faces to join the PFA Board for the 2014/2015 school year. We have many 5th grade PFA parents who will be leaving Sumac as their kids head off to middle school, so we would love to see parents with kids in Kinder and primary grades join the PFA.
Both Ana and I, who are full-time working moms, have found this position to be very rewarding. We are not only active in our children's education, but we have a better understanding of how the education process works, from the elementary school level, to the District and the State levels. We also get to work with the amazing teachers, staff and parents here at Sumac. For us, we can't be on campus each day, so this has been a great way to stay involved.
We hope you will join us! Please come to our next meeting. Wednesday, March 12th at 6:30 pm in the Teacher's Lounge.
Thank you again for your continued support and participation for making these valuable programs and materials available for our students and our school!
All the best,
Andie Kallinger & Ana Velia Santos, Co-PFA Presidents
Did you know that we are in full swing with our school's largest fundraiser of the year?
Apex Fun Run Kick-off
The kids had an energy filled kick-off Monday and every day the Apex team visits each classroom teaching our students great character lessons. Ask your child to tell you the Power Up chant and what POWER stands for.
It is very important that every student login and pick their t-shirt size. Every student will receive a free t-shirt to wear on the day of the run! Just go to www.apexfunrun.com
Look on the front of the Apex brochure for your child's personal login ID.
We hope to see you out cheering on the students next Wednesday, March 12th for the actual run.
Kindergarten - 2nd grade 8:45-9:15
3rd - 5th grade 10:45-12:15
If you can help volunteer at the event please email Jenn Kurtz at
Sumac students shine in front of school board
March 6, 2014
Click here to read the article online.
Eric Tally, a third-grade teacher at Sumac LSTEM Elementary School in Agoura Hills, and three students spoke to the Las Virgenes Unified School District Board of Education meeting about the school's technology programs on Feb. 25.
Tally and the students gave a presentation on computer coding, frames and Minecraft applications and how these systems could be incorporated into the everyday classroom curriculum.
Kasey Tarbet, a Sumac fourth-grader, spoke about how he used the virtual world Minecraft to design and replicate the Santa Inés California Mission.
Faith Hughes, a fifth-grader, displayed the life cycle of a frog through the Frames program and coding application.
The school board applauded the Sumac teacher and his pupils for their cutting-edge programs.
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!
LABELS FOR EDUCATION
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 www.ralphs.com. (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!!
VONS / PAVILIONS
FRESH & EASY
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.
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 – www.sumacelementary.org
Las Virgenes School District Website – www.lvusd.org
City of Agoura Hills Webs Site - http://ci.agoura-hills.ca.us – 818.597.7300
Lost Hills Sheriff Station - http://la-sheriff.org/stations/for1/malibu_lhill/ – 818.878.1808
Report Dangerous Driving – 1.877.310.STOP
Agoura Hills City Library - http://www.colapublib.org/libs/agourahills/index.php , 818.889.2278
Busing Information – Durham Transportation – 818.880.4257
LVUSD Bus Pass – 818.878.5236
YMCA – 818.707.9622