• Monday Morning Announcement 3/23/20

    Posted by Jay Marden on 3/24/2020 8:00:00 PM
    Good Morning River Parents,

    I would greatly appreciate it if you would click on the link directly below and share this week's announcements with your children. I wish, weekly, to connect with them and there's news that they definitely will be excited to hear!
    Weekly Announcement:
    In my last email, I wrote that I'd very much like to connect with your children to say hello and answer any questions they have or listen to something they'd like to share. If you'd like me to phone your child, please click on the google link below and sign up for a time that I can chat with them. I truly would enjoy it as much as them!
    Principal student calls - sign up!
    Yearbook updates:
    • yearbook - send photos to CarmelRiverYB@gmail.com by March 31st. Fifth grade dedication pages are due that day as well. 
    • yearbook sales end April 10
    Send in your pet trick!
    • share your child's pet trick video described in the announcements by posting it to the link below or email me the clip (clips should be less than 30 seconds) by this Thursday:
    Campus Closed until further notice
    The entire River School campus is currently closed as we address student safety and health concerns amid the pandemic. Playgrounds have also been ordered closed by the state. I will share with parents immediately any change to this order.
    Finally, and with much excitement, we are going forward with the Miss Becca Show on-line! Please read the directions below to learn how to participate:
    Hello Everyone,
    We are excited to announce that the Miss Becca Talent Show will be online this year. We are looking for single, family and teacher acts of all kinds. Everyone can participate!
    We are going to create mini-shows (30 mins each) from submitted videos and will create as many as we need to include everyone. We will post show videos as "unlisted" in the River School PTA's YouTube channel. Videos will only be accessible to River Families through actual links. 
    To participate, please submit 2-minute horizontal videos by March 28th. It is very important that we receive 2-minute (no longer) horizontal videos in order to make good shows. We can accommodate one entry per person and one entry per family. This is not an either/or, your child/ren can appear in both videos.
    OPTION 1. Upload your video to YouTube and send the link to riverschoolpta@gmail.com. This option is for YouTube links only. Video files are too large for email. 
    For Single Acts: Put Grade, Last Name, First Name, Type of act in the Subject Line. (Example: 5, Dpenha, Neisha, dancing) 
    For Family Acts: Last Name, First Name, Type of act (Example: Dpenha, Neisha, Dylan, singing) if different last names (Example: Shaffer, Karey, Dpenha, Neisha, Dylan, tap dancing). 
    The subject line will be used for show credits.
    OPTION 2. Post your videos to https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eUpvfKvWGxPstRN8tw1-mGhbxzidGtBz?usp=sharing. Use the same naming convention as above for the file name.
    We would like to release the first mini-show on April 1st, to do this, we need videos throughout the week, but no later than Saturday, March 28th. We plan to release shows as we complete them.
    Please show your Otter Spirit and join in the fun!
    With warm regards,
    Stacy Meheen & Karey Shaffer
    Take care of yourselves!
    Jay Marden


    Comments (-1)
  • Friday email

    Posted by Jay Marden on 3/20/2020 2:00:00 PM
    Good Afternoon River Parents,

    I hope that you are as well as can be expected during this challenging time. I believe you'll agree that it is rather surreal and uncharted waters. I want you to know that despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the "shelter-in-place" directive from the state, our staff is committed to ensuring that we're providing the best possible education alternative for our students. 
    Student progression
    With that goal in mind, please know that our staff is actively planning for a shift from "maintaining" our students' learning to "progressing" in terms of their education program given the possibility of an extended closure (April 8 currently and possibly longer). This is, of course, a daunting task given that we cannot meet with students, so we are employing different resources and programs that you have access to through "ClassLink," which is the students' education portal. The portal houses all of our on-line programs. With the possibility of an extended closure, we will be relying on these tools as an integral component of our students' education program. If you need assistance with any of the programs that teachers have communicated to you as part of their plan, please don't hesitate to contact your child's teacher. They are on the clock and available to assist and answer any questions you have. 
    Education partners
    Please know that I very much empathize with the challenge of juggling work and your child's education at home. As referenced above, this is an unprecedented time in modern history. Education is now more than ever a partnership between home and school. I'm sure there's frustration and a need for breaks including "me" time to maintain a healthy mindset - in order to take care of our children we must also take care of ourselves. 
    Importance of a schedule
    For now, I hope that you have had an opportunity to establish a schedule for your child's studies. The consistency and accountability reflected in a schedule will be especially important in reinforcing the ownership and responsibility students should internalize if they are to grow during this period. A frequent and valued contributor to CUSD, Dr. Susan Swick, Physician in Chief, Ohana, has put together a sample schedule and some tips for parents to help them navigate this transition with their children:
    Pease know that our staff is continually thinking about ways to best connect with our students during the closure. Whether this is through Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, our website, or other tools, we understand that these connections very much impact our students' lives.  This belief underscores our commitment to socio-emotional wellness.  Do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher, or have your child speak with them directly, if the connection would help your child emotionally.  I too will be communicating with your children through a weekly announcement similar to what they experience at school, in addition to other opportunities. For example, early next week I will send a google doc. for your child to sign up for brief conversation with me to say hello and check in with them; perhaps they have questions for me or wish to share how they are managing this closure. I really do miss their warmth and smiling faces. 
    Survey - please take a few minutes
    Finally, please take a few minutes to take the survey below that will provide us with valuable feedback to improve our technology service after you reflect on the first week of closure. Of course, this is optional and not necessary if you are not experiencing any problems. Regardless of completion, I encourage you to contact me directly if you prefer such communication: jmarden@carmelunified.org
    Take care of yourselves and my best to your children. I'll see you on Monday via email and video link.
    Jay Marden
    Comments (-1)
  • Message to students in closure

    Posted by Jay Marden on 3/17/2020 3:00:00 PM

    Good Morning River Parents,

    While our on-line resources are listed in each student's packet of materials, if you borrowed a Chromebook please remember that to log in you need to enter your child's user name, which is first letter of first name, followed by their last name. Then, for the password, it is your child's lunch number times 2 (e.g. 12341234).

    Also, as I shared in my email yesterday, weekly I will post video links for students and parents to keep connected to our school community.

    Please click on the link below and be sure to share it with your children as I speak to them directly about our closure:


    Take care,

    Jay Marden


    Comments (-1)
  • School Closure

    Posted by Jay Marden on 3/17/2020 2:00:00 PM

    Good Afternoon River Families,


    Before writing about some logistics, I wish to share with you that we truly miss you and your children, and we are aspiring to challenge and connect with your children academically and socially during this school closure. To that end, we have been busily assembling quality schoolwork for your children to complete at home. Pickup is today and tomorrow as you are aware. We ask that you keep the written work and return it when school resumes. You will notice upon inspection of the materials that they comprise work for a four-week period. As of today, we are scheduled to return to school on April 1, but that could easily change given the landscape shifting with COVID-19 updates, hence the extra two weeks of materials/work. The district office will keep close contact with you to notify you of any changes to the calendar. 

    Our expectation is that the school work will be approximately one hour a day for K-2nd students, and 90 minutes for 3rd -5th  students. The work may include hardcover books/texts, consumable texts, worksheets and on-line resources that can be accessed through Classlink and the teachers’ websites.  Directions on how to access your student’s online account with passwords is provided in the each packet for your reference.

    It is very important in this challenging time that students feel safe, grounded and establish a daily routine as much as possible. As a school community, we should not communicate to our students that this is a vacation, but that essential learning needs to take place in order for students to maintain their academic standing. With that goal in mind, I encourage you to establish a daily schedule that communicates expectations you have for your children. The Khan Academy has some excellent resources and examples of schedules for parents to consider; please click on the link to learn more (see the “Daily Schedules for…” under the “Parents” heading):



    Principal and Teacher On-line Communication

    In order for our teachers to continue to connect with their students, they have received instruction on how to access, create and schedule on-line contacts (e.g. Google Meets, Zoom) with the students. While the core content students will be engaged in is in the materials you will receive today or tomorrow, it is our hope that the teacher connections will calm and uplift your child’s spirit. I too will be utilizing such on-line tools and will announce via email opportunities to connect with your children - this is very important to me. Contact of this nature will also allow us to maintain, if not build upon, the close-knit nature of our school community. Also, please know that teachers will be checking their email daily during the closure. Please do not hesitate to communicate with them if you have any questions/needs.


    “Social Distancing”

    In this climate, we are now very familiar with the “social distancing” practice. While challenging for adults, this is especially difficult for children. Here is an article to get us thinking out of the box on how to go about our lives in the midst of social distancing. Many of the suggestions apply to adults and children alike:



    Talking to your Child about Coronavirus

    Here is also a link to an informative article about talking to your child about the Coronavirus:



    What is Happening with Upcoming Events?

    All events on our school calendar up to Spring Break, April 13-17, have been canceled; this includes our Miss Becca (Talent) Show. Our upcoming After School Enrichment program is also canceled. Mrs. Larimer, coordinator, is working on getting refunds to parents who paid their registration fees. If you paid through VENMO, she will contact the PTA to get you a refund. If you paid by check, she will either destroy or return the check to you so please email her at jlarimer@carmelunified.org with your preference. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Julie Larimer at jlarimer@carmelunified.org


    School Counseling during School Closure:

    For helpful school counseling resources, please visit our Carmel River School Counseling webpage during the school closure. You will find a daily schedule sample with links, calendar of SEL activities, recommendations for books and apps that may help your child with any anxiety or stress they may be experiencing, and information for community resources. 


    Be well, stay safe, and I will be in touch!

    Jay Marden

    Carmel River School Principal

    Comments (-1)


By Month