CRMS Update for 2/27/17

posted Mar 7, 2017, 8:06 PM by Marcy Reynolds   [ updated Mar 7, 2017, 8:06 PM ]

Dear CRMS Families,

Dates to Remember:

Wednesday, 3/1, Monterey Bay Aquarium Field Trip. Please see attached permission slip for details.


Thursday, 3/2:  Month 7 Attendance Due to your child’s green binder.


Wednesday, 3/8, 7-9pm, Screenagers film showing for parents at the Performing Arts Center.  Please see information in the Announcements section of this email.


Tuesday, 3/14: Charter Info Night. SLVMS Library 6-7:00pm.  Please encourage anyone you know who might be interested in Charter programs to attend.


Wednesday-Friday, 3/15-17, Ski/Snow Trip (See Parent Meeting below)


Wednesday, 3/22, 2:15-3:30pm, CRMS Parent Meeting


Thursday, 3/30:  Month 8 Attendance Due


April 3-7, Spring Break.  There will be no district classes this week.



To Do/Homework


1.   Start on Project Presentation Research (See Summary below)

2.    Complete Media Release and RWS Liability Waiver, if you haven’t already.

3.   White binders go home on Thursday, and return on Wednesday…though this week they’ll return Thursday because of the field trip.  I’d like to get back into this binder-travel routine so that you can see what the kids are working on in class.


CRMS Parent Meeting

Parent Advisory Council: Rachel gave us an update on what was talked about at the Parent Advisory Council meeting.  It turns out that there is LCAP funding to help support arts and sciences, so she asked for ideas of how CRMS parents might want to use such funds.  I inquired whether the funds could be used toward hiring Peggy Edwards to do a botanical illustration class for CRMS and Rhonda thought that might be possible.  The group at the meeting expressed that they felt they were being well supported in arts and sciences.  Rachel encouraged any parents who have any ideas, concerns or questions to contact her so that she can relay those thoughts at the next Parent Advisory Council meeting.  Rachel’s email address is:


Ski/Snow Trip

It’s official…our snow trip has now received school-board approval!

Costs: Now that we know more of the real costs, it looks like the trip is going to cost $100 per student.  This includes chipping in for gas, housing, a day of skiing/snowboarding with equipment rentals and a lesson, and entrance to Yosemite National Park.  This total does not include food.  The kids will figure out approximate food costs this week and I should be able to provide you with a final cost in the next update.

Gear: Thanks to all of you who have sent me information on what gear you have, need, can loan.  I have started a grid (attached to this email) to organize all of the information.  Please dig through your boxes and bins that of snow gear to see what you might have that can be used by you or loaned to others.  Please add information to the document so that families can contact each other to arrange loans.  Soon I’ll be needing more information from those of you who need to rent ski/snowboard equipment. Please also post on the document whether you need or can loan a sleeping bag.  In order to keep costs down, each participant will need to bring a sleeping bag and towel. 


Smarter Balanced Assessments:  We are scheduled to participate in the state-mandated annual standardized testing as part of our class time on April 12, 13, 19 & 20.  Working on the tests as part of class time helps give the days a more natural rhythm which most students enjoy.  My priority for the testing is to create the most stress-free environment possible so that the kids can relax and focus.  For those who were interested I handed out a list of vocabulary words that would be commonly seen on the tests.  I have attached a copy of that list to this email.  Sometimes as homeschooling parents we are in the habit of explaining things in kid-friendly terms to help support understanding, but sometimes this means that we forget to introduce the academic language that students might see on a test or in a more structured academic environment. Looking over this list and including these terms in discussions with your children will help them feel more comfortable and competent come testing time.   For those of you interested in even more vocabulary than is on the attached sheet, here’s a link:



Summary of Class Activities:




Jen Sims, our school counselor came and gave a presentation on self-esteem and how to work with the voice of the inner-critic.  The kids all identified what their behaviors were like when they were not feeling good about themselves and what their behaviors were like when they were feeling good about themselves.  They listed things that they could do to help themselves feel better and to help build up self-esteem when it is low.  They have the sheets they worked on in their binders, if you’d like to talk with them about their ideas.


Project Presentations:
The kids worked in pairs to help each other brainstorm ideas for their project presentations.  In your child’s binder you should find the broad topic web graphic organizer for that brainstorm.  We will touch on it again in class, but please continue the brainstorming and moving forward at home.  Our first presenter will present next week.  I will be contacting those of you who I know are further along in the process to meet with me for a preview meeting next Monday and Tuesday, then I will send out a list to everyone with their scheduled preview dates with me and their final presentation dates with the class.


Class Business:

After digging into values, priorities and strengths, writing a personal mission statement boiled down to one question: “How can I manifest what is most important to me through what I like to do best?”  It was a challenging writing task to go from the expanded view down to one or two sentences, but we did it.  Once the kids completed their personal mission they declared them aloud in front of Sandra’s phone’s video camera.  If your child was absent from class on Thursday, I would love if you could complete this part of the project at home and share the video clip with me (preferably via Google Drive).  I’d love to show you all the clips at our next parent meeting.


The kids participated in a reading jigsaw exercise looking into the research behind chemical toxicity in body care products.  I pulled articles from the Environmental Working Group website because they seemed accessible for the kids’ ages and reading levels. Groups of kids read and discussed one article and then presented their understanding of the article with another group.  We discussed the credibility of the different articles based on supporting evidence (i.e. citations).  I explained the role of footnotes and endnotes.  We then looked at the EWG website to evaluate its credibility based on its mission, its bias, the missions of its funders, and how they allocated their funds.  The general consensus was that the group leaned toward alarmist, but was generally trustworthy.


We completed our third lotion trial with the support of April and Sandra, both experienced body product makers.  Thank you to those who sent in coolers, blenders, mitts, saucepans, etc.  I think we’re beginning to get it down to a “science”.  We found that the oil-wax mix needed to cool to at least 90 degrees in order to emulsify completely.  In the process the kids are learning a lot about how to work with the equipment and ingredients and are getting great practice using the triple-beam balance to weigh ingredients and convert ounces to grams.


Gardening:  We harvested the kale in the garden that is starting to flower.  I’m hoping to make kale chips with the kids soon.  We did more weeding of the paths and we planted bush snap peas in flats.



Those who wanted to played Banana Tag and Dodge Ball.




Wish List:


Thrift Store Items:  We still need blenders and small (two quart or smaller) non-reactive saucepans.  Oven mitts/gloves would also be helpful.


Parent Help:  Please sign up for a day, if you haven’t already: Thanks!





Dream Big Film: Karen (Evan’s mom) sent along the link to the inspiring movie, Dream Big, about engineering showing at the IMAX theatre at the Tech Museum.  It looks great!

Crocheted Coral Reef: UC Santa Cruz and the Seymour Marine Center are sponsoring an astounding show of a crocheted coral reef! It is travelling the world and will be on display at the college from now through spring.  There is a local crocheted coral reef being made right now which anyone interested can join! Crochet a little fish and you are in! This coral reef will be displayed at the Seymour Center this May. Here is a list of the crochet circles they are holding so you can crochet alongside other ocean enthusiasts! I’m planning to go up for the session tomorrow night: Tuesday, February 28, 7:30 -9:30 pm, Stevenson College, Silverman Conference Room.  They have crochet hooks and yarn there, but you are also welcome to bring your own.

Young Women in Science:  This is a program sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium for 6th & 7th graders who are interested in: learning about sea otters, meeting female scientists, boogie boarding and kayaking.  It sounds great to me!  Students who are interested in finding out more can attend a meeting at lunchtime next Thursday, March 2 at 12pm in the SLVMS, Room 16 (Nature Academy 6th grade).

New Makers Club:  SLVMS teacher Rebecca Doty has started a weekly makers club after school on Mondays, 2:30-4:00pm.  In addition to adult input, the kids will also be teaching each other.  It sounds like a great club!  She has invited any CRMS students who are interested to join.  Please let me know if your 6-8 grade child is interested.  Once I have everyone’s information I will contact Ms. Doty and get the details to you.

SPECIAL EVENT: SCREENAGERS! NEW DATE: Wednesday, March 8, 7-9 pm. at the Performing Arts Center on the Tri-campus. 7105 Highway 9, Felton, 95018

We have rescheduled our  hosting of the film of SCREENAGERS.

A brief discussion of the film will be offered right after the film.  We will be sending out a parent discussion guide closer to the date of the event for parents to use at home with their students after the screening.  We will also have hard copies at the event.

“This special screening probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.”

Tickets previously purchased will be honored.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10.  Please note:  We have opened up the ticket sales to families of the other schools in the District, so please buy your tickets right away! There are only 210 seats available. Tickets and trailer for the film available at this link:   

You will receive a confirmation back from impact flow, which you need to bring with you to the event.  If you prefer to not purchase them online, they can also be purchased through your teachers or by contacting Danelle Matteson at 335-0932.



Environmental Art Contest:  Monterey Bay Air Resources District Calendar Art Contest to help bring awareness to the importance of clean air in our county.  Winners receive $100 cash award!  Deadline for submissions mid-March.  Please let me know if your K-8 student is interested and I can send you more details.