• Friday, October 9, 2020

    Posted by Cathleen Rice on 10/9/2020 5:00:00 PM


    Happy Friday CMS Families!

    Happy Fall Break and Happy End of Quarter #1!

    This communication will contain a lot of important information about upcoming events so please make sure to read it thoroughly.  


    Fall Break

    First and foremost, CUSD schools will be closed the week of October 12-16 for Fall Break.  No classes will be held next week Monday through Friday.  Please enjoy the time off and take a break from all that screen time!  Classes will resume Monday, October 19th.  


    First Quarter Grades, Report Cards, and a Fresh Start in Quarter Two

    Today is the last day of the first quarter and grades will be finalized and submitted during Fall Break.  Report cards will be mailed home on Wednesday, October 21st, but finalized grades in Aeries should be posted prior to that date.  We hope that the first quarter went well for everyone and that students were able to meet or exceed their academic goals.  If that is not the case please don’t despair!  The second quarter offers an opportunity for a complete reset.  At CMS each quarter is graded independently. This allows students the opportunity to adjust academic habits throughout the year and see the benefits of positive change.  With the first quarter in the books, the second quarter opens with the opportunity for a fresh start.  This is a great opportunity to engage in positive conversations with your students about their success in the first quarter and how to maintain or improve during the second quarter.  Unlike some grading systems, first quarter grades are not factored into 2nd quarter or semester grades (CMS will not have semester grades - only 2nd quarter marks) so, once again, the 2nd quarter truly represents an opportunity for a fresh start.  Please make the most of this opportunity!


    CMS Spirit Week

    Without a doubt, we have the most spirited sixth graders at Carmel Middle School. At the end of the 2019-20 school year, we invited the incoming sixth graders to participate in the CMS Shelter in Place Family Spirit Week Competition, and they dominated that competition. Now, they once again have proved their dedication to school spirit, because the sixth graders won the CMS Zoom Spirit Week Competition by a landslide. Miss Little's CORE class deserves a special shout out because her first-period class had almost 100% participation each day. Our seventh graders and eighth graders were neck and neck for the second place position, but in the end, the seventh graders have been given the honor of knowing they came in second place. Thank you to all teachers, staff members, and students who participated in our spirit days. 

    Along with the first period daily count, students had the opportunity to upload a selfie for each day of the competition. After pulling participants' names out of a hat, here are the individual spirit winners:

    6th Grade: Charlotte Lawson

    7th Grade: Merielle Flagg

    8th Grade: Brianna Sciuto

    CMS Staff Member: Ms. Magreta

    The CMS PTO and Leadership Class hope you enjoy your gift cards that will be mailed to your homes after October Break! Go Cougars!

    Our next school spirit competition will be held in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week - Oct 26-30th.  We’ll see if the 6th grade can make it three straight school spirit victories! More info to follow!


    First Quarter Rising Stars

    We have successfully completed our 1st Quarter of Distance Learning!

    The CMS teachers would like to acknowledge their "Rising Stars" for this quarter.

    Congratulations to the following students!  

    6th Grade:  Alisa Babenko, Brady Barstad, Pomaika'i Bohannan, Brandon Corro-Guerrero,Yazan Doidri, Dylan Dpenha, Emma Duvall, Maddox Hinze, Dorien Jeffers, Jeane Kim, Myah Koster, Sarah Lo, Zelena Martinez Guttierrez, Payton Mastin, Angelina Ortega, Simon Papazian, Gerladine Solano Jimenez, Juan Soriano-Garcia, Mary Spencer, Giavanna Steacy and Jose Mario Valdez-Paz.


    7th Grade:  Wyatt Babcock, Katherine Blakely, Sebastian Blessing, Alice Bucher, Maria Cannuli, Joseph Davi, Maryanne DiMaggio, Delilah Flores, Josephine Hanson, Russell Jenkins, Bodhi Melton, Donovan Nagai, Biblarz Nili, Dylan Ostrie, Anthony Sandoval Ramirez, Jake Reichert, Laird Welch and Johnny Wiseman.


    8th Grade:  Brielle Bishop, Kai Blackwell,John Cardinalli, Alexander Frederick, Thomas Gardner, Ariana Hernandez, Mason Hogan, Ava Kadosh, Paisley Lambert, Zackary Lander, Chloe LeMaster, Sara Martin, Landon Noble, Maxwell Pierce, Francesco Premutati, Jesse Shu, Maarten Stomp, Kyra Sullivan, Layla Viel and Dannica Watkins.


    CMS 2020-21 Yearbook

    The CMS Yearbook Advisor, Mr. Jason Fosler, has begun work on the 2020-21 CMS Yearbook.  Mr. Fosler is an exceptional yearbook advisory and creator, having produced award winning yearbooks in his time at CMS and we are excited to announce that a yearbook will be available again this year.  In our discussions about this memento we came to the conclusion that a CMS yearbook capturing distance learning and the Covid pandemic could become a unique and cherished memento, something that kids might be able to look back on years later to remember both the struggles and challenges and how they persevered through this unprecedented time.  The yearbook Mr. Fosler envisions will capture the spirit of these times while celebrating our students and their success amidst this challenge.  

    Here is the Yearbook Link which includes all the information you’ll need to contribute personal pictures to the yearbook and place your order.  There is a lot of info here so please read carefully and thoroughly!

    CMS 2020-21 Yearbook Link


    California Junior Scholarship Federation Accepting Applications

    Attention 7th & 8th graders: As we begin the second quarter, please note that if you are interested in applying for CJSF (the California Junior Scholarship Federation) your second quarter final grades will be used for acceptance into this program. If you pride yourself on scholastic achievement and community service, please consider joining CJSF at the end of quarter two. 

     "In 1967, the California Junior Scholarship Federation (CJSF) was founded to foster high standards of scholarship, service and citizenship in the middle school/junior high grades. Like CSF, CJSF emphasizes service to the school and the community while encouraging pride in scholastic achievement. In recent years the rapid growth of the California Junior Scholarship Federation (CJSF) has greatly strengthened CSF."  

     The CMS Counseling Team will provide more information on CJSF applications in the coming weeks. 


    Care Solace and Student Support Signups

    CUSD has partnered with Care Solace to offer student support. Care Solace is an online resource with a live 24/7 concierge meant to assist individuals in finding local mental health related programs and counseling services. Care Solace's web-based system works alongside our multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) as a tool for school staff, students and families to connect with community-based mental healthcare resources and providers. The proprietary care navigation system taps into a vast database of mental healthcare resources to find carefully vetted local therapists and programs in minutes. Care Solace takes into account all types of private insurance including Medi-Cal, Medicaid, and Medicare and those that have no insurance.Care Solace is now available for use by district students, staff, and families at no cost. Care Solace does not require a name, address, phone number, or date of birth. All information entered on the Care Solace tool is completely confidential and securely stored. 

     Students, their families and school district staff can access Care Solace services in two ways:


    • Call (888) 515-0595 to speak with someone from your Concierge team. Representatives are standing by to take your call or email 24/7, 365 days/year and services are available in multiple languages.



    Important Dates and Events When We Return

    CUSD Board Meeting - Presentation on Hybrid Learning: Wednesday, October 21

    With lots of questions rolling in about a return to campus and Hybrid Learning models we’d like to extend an invitation to all families to attend the CUSD School Board meeting on Wednesday, October 21st.  During this meeting a presentation on Hybrid Learning will be provided allowing families to hear about the plans CUSD has designed in the event that our schools will be allowed to return in a Hybrid model.  A follow up CMS Town Hall meeting will be held the following evening, specific to CMS.  CMS Town Hall - Hybrid Learning Model at CMS:  Thursday, October 22, 4-5 PM.  Information on both events will be sent out upon our return to school following Fall Break.  

    Second Quarter Supply Pick Up Day: Friday, October 23

    With one quarter in the books, we’re moving on to quarter #2.  A new quarter means new materials, new books, new supplies, and for some students, new classes.  In order to ensure that everyone has what they need, CMS will be hosting another school supply pick up day on Friday, October 23.  Details for this event will be sent out in another email, but please make a note on your calendars that your student may need to swing by the school to pick up new materials.  Thank you in advance (and again) for your help with this process!


    First Quarter Conferences: October 28th and 29th

    For students who have struggled academically during the first quarter we’ll be reaching out to set up group conferences following Fall Break to see what we can do to help get things back on track.  These conferences are scheduled by the school on an appointment only basis.  If you feel that a conference is necessary for your student and you do not receive an invitation to a conference, please contact your student’s teacher team after October 29th to request a team meeting.  


    Minimum Day Staff Development, Friday October 30th - No Electives

    Friday, October 30th is a CUSD minimum day designed to allow our teachers to participate in professional development.  On Friday, we will only hold academic classes.  Electives and PE will not take place on Friday, October 30 to allow all teachers the opportunity to participate in professional development sessions.  Classes will end at 12:00 on Friday, October 30th.  


    CMS Picture Day

    Behind the scenes we’ve scheduled and rescheduled picture day several times.  At this point we’re locked into some dates and we’ll send out more information on the picture taking process soon.  CMS school pictures opportunities will take place on Monday and Tuesday, November 2nd and 3rd from 1:00 - 6:00 PM.  We’ll provide more information as we get closer to those dates, but, since we’ve had several families inquire, we wanted to get the dates out to you now.  We’ll be arranging some protocols to keep students and families safely distanced during the two day sessions and we encourage everyone to get their picture taken so that we can add your school photo to the grade level portraits in our yearbook.  


    That’s it for the week!

    Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns.  We hope you enjoy the week off and that you take the opportunity to spend some quality time with your family.  

    We’ll see you in a week!

    With warm regards,

    Dan Morgan

    Principal; Carmel Middle School

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  • Friday, October 2, 2020

    Posted by Cathleen Rice on 10/3/2020

    Happy Friday and Happy October CMS Families!

    It seems impossible to say this already, but next week will be the final week of the first quarter.  Once again, if you haven’t done so already, please continue to monitor Aeries throughout the week and spend some time reviewing academic progress with your child.  Doing this together is an important step in guiding your child toward independent academic monitoring and will help your student learn the responsibility, methods, and importance of monitoring their own progress.  Please make sure to keep this experience positive for your child by focusing on positive growth, assignments done well, and overall learning.  Student grades will be finalized by teachers over Fall Break (School is closed for Fall Break the week of October 12-16) and report cards are scheduled to be mailed home on Wednesday, October 21st.  


    Congratulations to this week's Cougar Pride Spirit Day Winners!

    6th Grade: Nicholas Rittermal

    7th Grade: Toshi Cole

    8th Grade: Jaiden Clark

    CMS Staff Member: Mrs. Rambach

    The CMS PTO and Leadership Class hope you enjoy your gift cards that will be mailed to your homes very soon! Go Cougars!

    Next week is our CMS Zoom Spirit Week Grade Level Competition!

     Be sure to dress up each day for your Zoom classes. Your first period teachers will be keeping track of how many of you are participating. At the end of the week, the winning grade level will be announced! For those of you who would like to be entered into a drawing for your chance to win an awesome gift card, you simply need to upload your picture to the Google Form found on the CMS Chromebook Homepage. For more information, be sure to check out the video created by our CMS Leadership Class! 

    Link to video.

    Here are the dress-up days:

    On MONDAY, October 5th, it is Maniac Monday! This means that we want you to dress as wild as possible with mismatched clothes and crazy hair.

    On TUESDAY, October 6th, it is Take Me out to the Ballgame Tuesday where you will Sport Your Favorite Sports. Get ready to cheer on your favorite team and throw on your old jerseys, uniforms, and hats for this day.

    On WEDNESDAY, October 7th, it is Western Wednesday. Grab your cowboy and cowgirl hats and get ready to smile for this selfie! 

    On THURSDAY, October 8th, it is our Thursday CMS Cougar Pride Day. Be sure to wear as much red or Carmel Gear as possible to show your school spirit.  (New Spirit Wear T-Shirts Available Starting Monday!  See Below for More Information)

    On FRIDAY, October 9th, it is the last day of the quarter. So let’s relax and have a Fantastic Friday by staying in our Pajamas ALL day long!

    Inktober is Off and Running - Kids Love It!!!  Still time to join...

    Our staff led Inktober project is off and running and is more popular in the online world than it’s ever been in person!  Students are loving it!

    In case you missed it, Inktober is a one month event designed to encourage students to engage in art and try something new.  No artistic experience or talent is required and the event is lots of fun.  

    You don’t have to participate every day (although you might want to after you try it) and you can spend as much time, or as little time, on the art as you like.  

    Feel free to drop in and check things out!

    • Our class code on Google Classroom is: odfzspk - Watch the video!
    • everyday a new padlet is made and students will contribute their drawings, the links of which can be found on the google classroom page
    • the meetings are held as follows:
      • Monday/Friday: 1:15
      • Tuesday/Thursday: 12:15
      • Wednesday: 2:15


    New CMS School Spirit T-Shirts are In!

    Our order of newly designed school spirit T-Shirts have arrived and they are awesome!

    T-Shirts will be available for purchase starting Monday and cost $15 each.  The shirts are made from an ultra-soft cotton, rayon, polyester blend and have a cool “washed” look.  Sizes run from adult small to 2XL and cost $15 each.  The new shirts are stylish and comfortable!

    No Contact Pick Up: To purchase and pick up your new CMS T-shirts please follow the process below. 

    1.  Contact our office and place your order including number of shirts and requested sizes.  
    2.  Let us know what day/time you’d like to pick up your order.
    3.  Pull up to the front of the school and call the office again to let us know you’ve arrived.  
    4.  Your items will be placed on a table in front of the office for you to pick up.  
    5. Place cash or check in the envelope provided.   

    $15 a t-shirt CASH or check (made out to CMS ASB).  


    PTO Meeting Scheduled for Wednesday, October 7th @ 10:00 AM.  Keep your eyes open for an invitation next week!


    Tech Tip: Turn your Chromebook completely off each night for charging.  This allows all systems to reset and may help you get back on to your classes without issues the next day.  It also improves the overall life of your Chromebook by allowing the machine to rest!


    That’s it for this week.  We hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

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    Carmel Middle School | 4380 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel, CA 93923 | 831-624-2785
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  • Friday, September 25, 2020

    Posted by Cathleen Rice on 9/25/2020 5:00:00 PM

    Happy Friday CMS Families!

    We are now only 2 weeks away from the end of the first quarter of the 2020-21 school year.  There is no better time to begin monitoring Aeries than now (if you haven’t already).  We recommend sitting down with your student, reviewing their academic progress as it relates to your family expectations, and providing a healthy blend of praise for positive achievement and encouragement in areas your child may experience challenges.  Helpful hint - Lean toward the positive... think 70/30% or 80/20%. This process can be a bit challenging, particularly as students get older and want more independence and control over their academic life, but regularly monitoring academic progress with your child helps them learn to do so on their own, an important skill they’ll need in the future.  Please keep in mind that the overall goal in middle school is to help establish positive academic behaviors, personal responsibility, and the habits necessary to ensure positive growth and achievement as they move from CMS to CHS and beyond (this is our way of saying, don’t freak out too much over middle school grades - just keep an eye on long-term positive growth and the actual learning that is taking place!).  Keep up the good work and finish strong over the next two weeks.  

    As a side note, grades at CMS will reset each quarter.  This means that if your child received a grade lower than you/they would have liked in the first quarter, the opportunity to improve begins again starting on Monday, October 19th.  2nd quarter grades are independent of first quarter grades and will represent a direct reflection of student performance from October 19 - December 18th.  


    Congratulations to this week's Cougar Pride Spirit Day Winners!

    6th Grade: Emma Duvall

    7th Grade: Zachary Speakman

    8th Grade: Jewelia Ibanez

    CMS Staff Member: Ms. Elaine

    The CMS PTO and Leadership Class hope you enjoy your gift cards that will be mailed to your homes very soon! Please get your spirit gear ready for next week's Thursday Cougar Pride Spirit Day! Go Cougars!


    CMS Counselors Offering Sessions of Stress Management

    All CMS students are invited to join the CMS Counselors for a series on how to manage stress.  Please join the CMS Counselor Google Classroom for Zoom details.  In addition, our counselors will be hosting some fun social functions and games throughout the year.  Join the CMS Counselor Google Classroom for information on all upcoming events.  


    CMS Student Conferences: Change in Dates from Oct 6-7 to Oct 27-28

    On our district’s master calendar you may have noticed conferences scheduled for October 6th and 7th.  During a normal year, these conferences mark a mid-trimester opportunity to check in with students/families who might be facing challenges.  During the meetings we work as a team to create an action plan for improved achievement.  

    With the transition to distance learning and the adjustment of our academic reporting periods to the quarter system we will be moving the dates of our conferences to October 27th and 28th.  This will allow first quarter grades to be finalized and mailed home so that teachers can speak to a student’s progress during the first quarter of the school year and help guide students/families toward a more successful second quarter.  

    Please keep in mind that if you would like to speak to any/all of your student’s teachers all you need to do is reach out to them and decide on a time that is mutually convenient.   Please don’t hesitate to contact any member of our faculty if your child is struggling or if you have any questions.  

    6th Grade Electives

    6th Grade Electives will continue to be offered on a quarterly basis.  For the second quarter Chinese, French, and Spanish will all be offered.  Art will not be open for enrollment during the second quarter as the class has already been filled based on first quarter sign ups (well over 50 6th grade students signed up for art and approximately half of those students were not assigned the class).  Keep your eyes open for a sign up form if your student is interested in trying out one of our foreign language classes in the 2nd quarter.  Sign ups coming soon!

    Upcoming Event: Inktober

    Inktober is here and we would like to invite any and all folks with any desire to hang out and draw with your peers to join the Inktober crew. The ultimate challenge is to make 31 drawings in the 31 days of October. You might be thinking, "Do I have to draw every single day?" The answer is NO, even if you can only participate one day a week we would love to have you join. You can participate as little or as often you like. You do not have to have any drawing experience, the only requirement is a desire to draw and enjoy the virtual company of your peers. Even if you can not attend any meetings you can still participate by posting on our daily Padlets where we will be sharing our work. If you are interested in joining Inktober please join google classroom by using the code "odfzspk"  We will be having a preliminary meeting on Tuesday the 29th at 12:15 (the zoom link can be found on the google classroom). We will also post a video on Google classroom that reviews the information discussed on Tuesday for those who can not attend. See you all soon. 

    For inquiries about Inktober please contact Mr. Joe Guzzi at jguzzi@carmelunified.org.  

    Final Thoughts

    We hope that you’ve enjoyed the week and we wish you all a fantastic, relaxing weekend.  We’ll see you bright and early Monday morning, on Zoom, at 8:15.  

    Thank you!

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  • Friday, September 18. 2020

    Posted by Cathleen Rice on 9/18/2020 5:00:00 PM

    Happy Friday CMS Families!

    We hope you’ve enjoyed this week of online school and that your students are finding our classes to be fun and engaging despite the obvious challenges created by this format.  Once again, if your student is struggling with school in any way, please contact our teachers directly.  If your student is struggling with social-emotional components of distance learning, please reach out to our counselors for additional guidance and assistance.  

    CMS Distance Learning Portal

    A great way to stay connected with all things CMS is through our Distance Learning Portal.  CMS will continue to add links, videos and other helpful items onto this page. In addition, announcements,  link to clubs and extracurricular activities will eventually be found here as well.  Please take a moment to bookmark this site! CMS Distance Learning Portal


    Congratulations to this week's Thursday Cougar Pride Spirit Day Winners!

    6th Grade: Aspen Ashe

    7th Grade: Ian Lome

    8th Grade: Braulio Beltran

    CMS Staff Member: Mrs. Roman

    The CMS PTO and Leadership Class hope you enjoy your gift cards that will be mailed to your homes very soon! Please get your spirit gear ready for next week's Thursday Cougar Pride Spirit Day! Go Cougars!


    Attendance Procedures: What to do When/If Your Student Misses Class

    There seems to be a bit of confusion out there about how to report absent students in this new world of online school.  To make sure everyone is on the same page, any time a student is absent from a class period/s or a school day, parents should contact Mrs. Cardinalli, our attendance secretary at 624-2785.  Once you have contacted Mrs. Cardinalli, she will ensure that your name is removed from our automated daily attendance system ensuring that you won’t receive a phone call from our school.  

    Any time a student is absent, the student should connect with any/all teachers, notify them of the absence, and find out what work they’ve missed in an effort to remain up to date in their classes. 

    While parents can connect with teachers on absences if they like (and sometimes this is helpful) the parent focus should really be on reporting the absence to our attendance secretary while the student focus should be on communication with their teachers.  

    We hope this helps clarify the attendance reporting process!

    Progress Reports for Quarter One

    Progress reports are in the mail and you should expect to receive these in the next few days.  Students will only receive a progress report if teachers have concerns for the student’s progress in their class.  Progress reports are not sent to students demonstrating positive progress academically, however, if your child is receiving a D or F grade, a progress report has been mailed to you.  In addition, in some cases students may receive a progress report if they have a C in the class and instructors have concerns about their ability to maintain that mark moving forward.  With each of these marks (C,D,F) our teachers have been asked to add comments to help you/your student understand why the current grade has been assigned.  


    Progress reports are one way we attempt to help keep you informed about your child’s educational progress, however, the regular monitoring of Aeries is a much more accurate reflection of your student’s progress.  For example the progress report you receive in the next few days will provide you a look at your student’s progress as of approximately September 11th.  For a “real time” look at your student’s progress, Aeries gradebook is a much more reliable source of information.  If you are unable to access your student’s progress via Aeries, please contact our office for assistance logging in.  


    Progress Reports, Academic Monitoring, Changes in Schedule

    At CMS we actively monitor student progress in a proactive manner to ensure student success.  As such, once progress reports are released, we begin the process of evaluating and tracking student progress, particularly students identified as at risk of failing an academic or required class.  

    If your student has received a progress report we will be evaluating their individual situation and school schedule.  In many cases, students who are failing academic classes are removed from elective courses in an effort to provide more time for homework completion and access to academic assistance.  In order to remain in elective classes students must demonstrate positive progress in academic classes indicated by a grade of a C or better in all academic areas.  Over the next few weeks we will be carefully examining student progress and may be making schedule changes in an effort to better support struggling students.  If your student is struggling in an academic class please evaluate their situation and schedule as a family to determine if elective classes are appropriate for your student at this time.  If students receiving grades less than a C in one or more academic classes want to remain enrolled in elective classes, improvement in academic performance must be evident to allow continued enrollment.  

    In addition, students enrolled in the Independent Study PE program who have failed to complete and submit the required exercise log will be removed from the Independent Study PE program and will be reassigned to a regular PE class within regular school hours.  As PE is a required course at CMS, a failing grade in the course is not acceptable, particularly if the student/parent has agreed to engage in the Independent Study PE program. If your student received a progress report from the Independent Study PE program, please ensure submission of the exercise log on a regular basis to maintain your assignment in this program. 

    CMS Clubs and Extracurricular Programs

    Several members of our faculty who are passionate about providing student opportunities outside the regular classroom have started opening clubs and extracurricular programs.  Currently CMS is offering a cooking club and some social events with the counselors but plans are in the works for the Environmental Club and the Chess Club to make a return in the online world.  In addition, Mr. Guzzi will soon be heading up his annual Inktober art program which has been enjoyed by many students over the past few years.  Keep your eyes open for more opportunities announced in this letter, the CMS Daily Bulletin, and on the CMS Distance Learning Portal.


    That’s all we have for now.  Please enjoy the weekend!


    Dan Morgan

    Principal; CMS

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