May 8, 2014
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Fri 5/9  Engineering/Science Fair
5/12 - 5/16  Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week
Wed 5/14  PFA meeting @ 6:30 pm in the Teacher's Lounge
Thu 5/15  Open House (Teacher Raffles & Silent Auction)
Sun 5/18  Mother/Son Hiking
Fri 5/16  All School Field Trip
Fri 5/23 - Mon 5/26  No School (Staff Development & Memorial Day)
Fri 5/30  Talent Show @ 8:30 am
Mon 6/2  Islands Restaurant Family Night Fundraiser
Wed 6/11  Last day of School

Dear Parents:


    I hope everyone had a wonderful spring vacation with family and friends.  I know our 5th graders had a fabulous week at King Gillette Ranch for Outdoor Education earlier in April. They returned to us a bit tired, but happy, and a "bit" more grown up!  And now we're in the "homestretch" of this school year.  It's amazing how quickly time has passed!
            By the time of this publication, we will be almost done with the Smarter Balanced Assessment (pilot testing) for Grades 3 through 5.  Please know that the only "STAR" test left this year is the Science test for Grade 5.  The Smarter Balanced testing is a pilot run for this new State test to work out the glitches with test items, formats and infrastructure in Districts throughout California. There will be NO scores/results generated for these tests; Districts will not receive any scores this year!    
May brings several exciting events:
Friday, May 9th is our first Engineering Fair! Come experience multiple engineering centers and see the many amazing engineering projects our students have created! 
May 12 - 16:   Staff Appreciation Week, sponsored by our amazing PFA!
May 15th is Open House:
5:30 to 7:00 pm:  Jersey Dogs, raffles and more, MPR
7:00 - 8:00 pm:   Classrooms open for visits
Please take the opportunity to celebrate  your children's many accomplishments.  You are also welcome to visit classrooms of teachers in the upcoming grade to familiarize yourselves with grade level expectations.  However, please remember that we balance our classes based on several factors and we do not accept parent requests. So, please refrain from pressuring your child's current teacher as to placement.  We have not yet determined staffing. Thank you!
Thursday, May 16th 8:30 am: Wizard of Oz - school wide walking field trip to AHS Performing Arts Center
Sunday, May 18th:   Mother-Son Hike
Friday, May 30th:  Talent Show, 8:30 am
There are also classroom field trips and other exciting events happening school wide this month!   Looking forward to seeing you soon! 
Carol Martino, Principal
1st Engineering Fair

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.


In the MPR, Friday, May 9th  


K & 1st
8:15 - 10:15 am
2nd & 3rd
10:15 - 12:00 pm
12:45 - 2:00 pm
1:45 - 3:30 pm
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, May 14th at 6:30pm in the Teachers Lounge.
Open House - Thursday, May 15th

 5:45 pm  Hot Dog Cart  (Percentage of proceeds goes back to Sumac)

and Teacher Opportunity Raffle and Parking Spot Auction
7:00 - 8:00 pm Classroom Visitations
Walking Field Trip "Wizard of Oz"
Friday, May 16, 2014
Students leave at 9:15 am
All School Walking Field Trip.  "Wizard of Oz" is performed by the Theater Experience of Southern California.

Mother/Son Hike
Mother/Son Hike 
Paradise Falls
in Wildwood Park
Sunday, May 18th
in Thousand Oaks

$3.00 per child
$6.00 per adult
Shave It will be available for $4.00 each. 
The cost of the hike will cover the Nature Guide who will lead us and teach us to track animals, build a fire, etc.
Weekend Family Fun
Something for everyone
Community Safety, Economics, Recycling, Theater...
Today - July  Blueberry picking in Somis (Underwood Family Farms)
May 8 - 11  Conejo Valley Days (Thousand Oaks)
May 16-18  Busytown the Musical (Thousand Oaks)
May 17   Family Swap Meet (Dos Vientos Center, Newbury Park)
May 17   A Day at Fire Station 89  (Agoura Hills)
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)
Online Learning
Learn Spanish with Duolingo

Duolingo is a FREE website and app where you can learn languages in a fun way.  


Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese.

My 9-year-old daughter is learning Spanish at home with Duolingo.  (Editor)
Helpful website: Spanglish Baby:  Raising Bilingual Kids
Learn Geography with Stack the States
Available on the App Store on  iTunes or Android Apps on Google Play.
My daughter learned all the States on my iPhone in the 2nd grade.
Thank You!

We want take this time to acknowledge the many volunteers who plan, coordinate, and staff the various events throughout the school year.  We are so lucky to have fabulous parents here at Sumac that are constantly bringing new ideas to the PFA.   Our goal is to raise funds for our school programs and we are always looking at new and creative ways to fundraise. 

Family Comedy Night, 5/2/14 

These parents have been instrumental in planning and managing our biggest and best school activities!   We could not have done these events without your blood, sweat and tears and we greatly appreciate all your hard work!  THANK YOU ROCK STARS!!!


Kick Off - Lisa Schwartz

Used Book Sale - Kay Howell

Fall Festival - Mary Kusnier

Book Fair - Darci Brust

Daddy Daughter Dance - Ana Santos, Carmel Porras, Gary Clausen

Food Truck Events - Lance Chiernet

Gift Wrap Campaign - Holly Umann

Ice Skating - Tanya Fox

Apex Jog-A-Thon - Jenn Kurtz

Mother Son Hike - Jamila Dulan

Family Comedy Night - Erin Stein

Bingo Night - Erin Stein, Jen Tarbet

Baskin Robbins Nights - Ana Santos

Open House Raffle/Auction - Darci Brust
Teacher & Staff Birthdays
Carol Martino - 1 
Tracy Taylor - 5 
Catherine Crisman - 7 
Kara Burns - 23 
Kelly Bransky - 25 
Robin Frank - 31 
Linda Jacobs - 11
Angie LaFazia - 29 
Edna Sandoval - 21 
Steffi Brantley - 21 
Richard Nuno - 26 
Michael Dabach - 27 
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 Mathematics



The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics 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 them. 


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


1.  Greater focus on fewer topics

The Common Core calls for greater focus in mathematics. Rather than racing to cover many topics in a mile-wide, inch-deep curriculum, the standards ask math teachers to significantly narrow and deepen the way time and energy are spent in the classroom. This means focusing deeply on the major work of each grade as follows:
  • In grades K-2: Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to addition and subtraction
  • In grades 3-5: Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions
  • In grade 6: Ratios and proportional relationships, and early algebraic expressions and equations
  • In grade 7: Ratios and proportional relationships, and arithmetic of rational numbers
  • In grade 8: Linear algebra and linear functions
This focus will help students gain strong foundations, including a solid understanding of concepts, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply the math they know to solve problems inside and outside the classroom.


2.  Coherence:  Linking topics and thinking across grades

Mathematics is not a list of disconnected topics, tricks, or mnemonics; it is a coherent body of knowledge made up of interconnected concepts. Therefore, the standards are designed around coherent progressions from grade to grade.


Learning is carefully connected across grades so that students can build new understanding onto foundations built in previous years. For example, in 4th grade, students must "apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction by a whole number" (Standard 4.NF.4).


This extends to 5th grade, when students are expected to build on that skill to "apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction" (Standard 5.NF.4). Each standard is not a new event, but an extension of previous learning.


Coherence is also built into the standards in how they reinforce a major topic in a grade by utilizing supporting, complementary topics. For example, instead of presenting the topic of data displays as an end in itself, the topic is used to support grade-level word problems in which students apply mathematical skills to solve problems.


3. Rigor: Pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application with equal intensity

Rigor refers to deep, authentic command of mathematical concepts, not making math harder or introducing topics at earlier grades. To help students meet the standards, educators will need to pursue, with equal intensity, three aspects of rigor in the major work of each grade: conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application.


Conceptual understanding: The standards call for conceptual understanding of key concepts, such as place value and ratios. Students must be able to access concepts from a number of perspectives in order to see math as more than a set of mnemonics or discrete procedures.
Procedural skills and fluency: The standards call for speed and accuracy in calculation. Students must practice core functions, such as single-digit multiplication, in order to have access to more complex concepts and procedures. Fluency must be addressed in the classroom or through supporting materials, as some students might require more practice than others.

Application: The standards call for students to use math in situations that require mathematical knowledge. Correctly applying mathematical knowledge depends on students having a solid conceptual understanding and procedural fluency.

For more information on Common Core:

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.
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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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