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News Item: Homepage

Principal's February Message

February 7, 2018


Dear Los Cerros Families,


We are in February and this month is packed with exciting events. I would like to thank everyone for supporting Los Cerros by eating at Dos Coyotes! On Monday, February 26th, we will have staff serving dinner at Gianni’s Italian Bistro in San Ramon to help raise money for the school. Please make your reservation ASAP to guarantee a seat! Students are beginning to plan for their classes next year and the 8th to 9th grade transition begins with MVHS Incoming Freshman Night in early March and course selection sign ups.


The district’s Personalized Learning Initiatives, PLI, will be taking effect in the upcoming school year. Our district has created a website that will be launched later this month with more information regarding each initiative. The website is We will send home more information regarding scheduling and ways you can utilize the PLI’s for next year.


Key Reminders:

  1. Students should be dressed appropriately with proper fitting clothes and nothing that suggests offensive material.
  2. Lunch time trash: Please remind your students to throw away their trash when they are finished with lunch. 7th and 8th graders are leaving a lot of trash outside which may result in loss of outside seating.
  3. Drop off/Pick up: do not enter the bus lane after the trash dumpsters until every bus has left in the morning and afternoon; the buses have priority in the bus lane.
  4. Check the calendar and Panther Press for upcoming events.


Some of our teachers are beginning to incorporate Standards Based Grading, or SBG, in their lessons or units. SBG is used to eliminate the stress from A-F grades on daily assignments and focuses solely on each subject’s standards. The difference between SBG and regular grading is that students will see how they do with state standards and have an opportunity to prove proficiency, even after not yet making proficiency. The reason why SBG is important to students and families is that everyone will know if a student is meeting the standards in each grade through instruction and assessments. Assessments are the important aspect of SBG and homework/classwork is done to benefit the student in studying prior to assessments. The focus of learning is really instilled in SBG and students who do not do their homework/classwork will see more extensive work, as their assessment results may not be proficient. If your student’s teacher is doing a unit with SBG, you will be contacted and given information on what it will look like. I want everyone to know that our goal is to ensure proficiency in learning at Los Cerros and we will take time to develop best practices that lead to learning.


Lastly, your student has been taking part in the interim assessments for CAASPP state testing. Last year, Los Cerros made significant gains in Math and stayed the same with ELA and Science. We look forward to our students continuing this upward trend and scoring well on CAASPP along with understanding where our students are for college and career readiness. The CAASPP assessment will take place after spring break with more information to come.




What’s Happening on Campus?


Core 8:

Students are in the Reader’s Workshop unit studying character traits in student selected novels. Students will transition into connecting character to themes and analyze how authors communicate the theme. This deep study of character and theme will be the backbone to their literary thematic analysis essays that they will develop in the next writing unit. In History, students have begun studying the concepts of continuity and change to guide their thinking about the Early Republic. This unit will cover the first five presidents, the decisions they made and the major events during this time. Using timelines the students will track continuity and change and will push themselves to make conclusions about the reasons that prompted continuity and change. 


Core 6:

Students are finishing up learning about the Hebrews and are moving into India.  Some novels being read in 6th grade are Maniac McGee and The Egypt Game. Sixth graders will continue to take interim CAASP tests to be well prepared for the actual tests in the Spring. We are honoring Black History month by doing various activities in our classrooms.


Science 7:

Students are exploring how to use the Periodic Table to understand the basic building blocks of life; where elements are located in the table, how they exist in families and categories, what common characteristics they have, etc. Students are finishing the element cubes that they selected - detailed information about their chosen element and a diagram showing the atom and all its electrons. Later in the month, we will conduct experiments to understand the three States of Matter, Conservation of Mass, and how substances undergo changes of state.


Science 6:

The sixth graders have been busy in science answering the question, what causes weather?  We are wrapping up our unit this week with student created weather forecasts.  We will then be in the library with Ms. Carter completing a Human Impact project on pollution in the environment.  After that, students will begin investigating Living vs. Non Living things.  All students are working hard this quarter and we are challenging ourselves to be independent learners and critical thinkers.


Physical Education:

Students have begun the Olympics unit. They have created their own flag which is displayed in the gym and will compete through various events over the next few weeks.


Spanish 1A:

7th graders are learning how to talk about their schedules and classroom objects. They are learning how to describe their classes, and say who teaches them. They also can say where something is located in the classroom using "estar" and prepositions. Soon, 7th graders will be starting the unit on food, likes and dislikes. They will learn how to name many food and drink items, and what foods they prefer to eat, and what is good for their health.  


Spanish 1B:

8th graders are finishing the unit on ordering food in a restaurant. Ask your son or daughter about his or her dialogue! They are starting to learn how to name household objects. In this unit, they will be able to name rooms and chores, say who does what chore at home, and say where objects are located. Students will also be able to describe household objects, and to compare and contrast. We will also talk about cultures perspectives on different types of housing.   




Evan Powell


Los Cerros Middle School

Posted by: Cecilia Brear Published:2/11/18
Audience: Homepage and Homepage

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