• Saturday, January 23,2021

    Posted by Cathleen Rice on 1/24/2021

    Good evening CMS Families!


    I hope that your weekend is off to a great start!


    This week was a busy one for CMS as we provided the CUSD Board of Education our annual site presentation.  This presentation always focuses on the state of affairs at our school and we try to highlight positive accomplishments, identify areas for improvement, and discuss plans for the future during the program.  With this year being so different, we had a lot to cover in our board presentation.  If you missed it live and are interested, click the link below.  Embedded within the presentation are a few links worth checking out including a slide show featuring student art, holiday performances by our chorus and band, and a hilarious skit created by some of our CMS staff members called “Zoombies” featuring all the crazy antics you’ve seen and heard about in the world of Zoom. 


    CMS Site Presentation 2020-21 


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

    6th Grade: Eva Sedillos

    7th Grade: Liam Rodriguez  

    8th Grade: Brianna Sciuto

    CMS Staff Member: Mrs. Ford

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


    CMS Engages in National Random Acts of Kindness Week!

    Recently one of our leadership students came up with the idea of challenging CMS students to look beyond themselves and perform Random Acts of Kindness. We loved the idea and have decided to challenge our CMS students and families to participate. Beginning on February 14, National Random Acts of Kindness Week begins. We will be on February Break, but over the next few weeks, we would like to collect as many stories, pictures, and videos showing our students and families participating in random acts of kinds as possible.  Read on and click the links to find out more about this challenge and how to participate.  


    Random Acts of Kindness Challenge

     Leadership Video Introducing the Challenge: LINK

     In just a few short weeks, the nation will be celebrating National Random Acts of Kindness Week. Although we will be on February Break during this time, the CMS leadership class would like to encourage you all to find a way to make a difference in our community and in the lives of others. We know that many of you have already been doing things to help others. Some of you have taken on extra responsibilities at home. Others of you have helped a neighbor in need or have written a letter to someone you love who you cannot see right now. It is even possible that some of your families have found ways to help the community through donating to the food bank or serving those in need. There are so many ways that we can all make a difference in our community, and we would like to see and hear about the Random Acts of Kindness that our CMS students have been participating in over the past year. If you have not had the opportunity to participate in some sort of Random Act of Kindness, we would like to encourage you to think about how you can make a difference at home, in your neighborhood, or in our community. 


    The leadership class would like to highlight your stories about Random Acts of Kindness to share with the rest of the CMS community. As you participate in Random Acts of Kindness, please document them by taking pictures or videos of yourself performing the act of kindness. We then would like to encourage you to share your experience by filling out the Google Form found on your Chromebook Homepage. Please let us know who you are by providing us with your first and last name and grade level. Then give us a brief description of your experience of what you did and what it was like performing your Random Act of Kindness. Finally, if you have one, upload a picture or video of yourself performing the Random Act of Kindness. 


    We look forward to sharing all of the wonderful things our CMS students are doing to help their families, their neighbors, and our community. Please be sure to check out the Chromebook Homepage for more information about how to fill out the Google Form. We would love to have all of you participate, so we can highlight all of the incredible things you are doing to make our world a better place. GO COUGARS! 


    LINK to the Random Acts of Kindness Form. We will collect stories, pictures, and videos through February 23, 2021.

    LINK to the video explaining how to fill out the form.


     School Accountability Report Card

    At the January 20, 2021 CUSD Board of Education Meeting, the district's 2019-20 School Accountability Report Cards were approved for publication. They are now available to the community and can be viewed on the District's homepage under Quick Links, or the following link: https://www.carmelunified.org/Page/4680. Hard copies of these reports can be provided on request by contacting the CUSD Curriculum + Instruction Department at (831) 624-1546 ext. 2031. 


    Reminder to CMS Students: Please check your email regularly as messages and information are sent to you about upcoming events and opportunities at CMS.  This useful tool can help you engage in some of the fun events offered at CMS!  Don’t miss out!

    That’s all for now.  Enjoy your Sunday and we’ll see you back in classes on Monday!

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    Carmel Middle School | 4380 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel, CA 93923 | 831-624-2785
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  • Sunday, January 17,2021

    Posted by Cathleen Rice on 1/17/2021 7:00:00 AM

    Good Morning CMS Families and Happy Sunday!

    MLK Jr Day on Monday: School will be closed on Monday in observance of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King’s birthday is actually January 15th, but the day is observed on the third Monday of January each year.  

    One of the traditions we have at CMS is to spend some time explaining the significance of the three day weekends we are provided throughout the year so that our students gain an understanding about why certain days are observed.  Given our current circumstances this is obviously challenging and while our Social Studies teachers may have spent some class time reminding students about the importance of Dr. King’s work, I always encourage families to engage in the conversation at home as well.  If you can find the time on Monday, please take a few minutes to engage your middle school student in a conversation about Dr. King and his important work.  We recommend starting the conversation with a simple question… “What do you know about Martin Luther King Jr?”  

    While I don’t typically use this communication to make move recommendations, I’ll make an exception this week.  The film “Selma”, rated PG-13, offers an excellent look at Dr. Kings work and impact.  As a disclaimer, it does contain adult themes and language and I would encourage parents to watch the film prior to sharing it with your middle school student to ensure that it meets the standards and values established in your home.  


    Supply Pick Up Day:  After having to postpone and then alter the supply pick up day program, we hope you found the contactless system somewhat convenient.  In past pick-ups we have tried to provide something of a personal experience as our staff members really enjoy the opportunity to see their students in person, even if just for a few moments, as families come through our supply pick up lines.  We’re sorry to have missed that experience this time, however, as you may know, our cohorts continue to struggle with Covid exposure situations and we have been forced to eliminate as much risk as possible as this pandemic continues to surge. 


    If you missed supply pick up day, don’t worry too much, we’ll be rolling out the carts again on Tuesday morning at 10:00 AM and families can come through and grab their supply bags between 10 AM and 4 PM again on Tuesday.  PTO gifts are still available as well, which leads me to my next topic…


    PTO Gift and Messaging:  It was brought to my attention on Friday that an email circulated to some CUSD parents has targeted the message on the Stress Balls the CMS PTO provided to students as part of their gift in this round of supply pick up.  Specifically, the email stated, “Stop telling your mothers to be quiet. The PTO balls telling parents and children to be quiet were a fail.”  


    To be clear, our PTO has no hidden political agenda behind any of their gifts nor are they attempting to silence any voice.  Our PTO is simply trying to find ways to bring a little joy and happiness into the lives of our students and we hope that you enjoy and appreciate the small gift bags that accompany your school supply pick up.  


    The stress balls contained the following message: Be Quiet.  Be Calm.  Be Kind.  

    The message on the ball refers to the mindful living practices taught in many CMS classes and specifically, the “Be Quiet” portion of the message reminds students to “Quiet the Mind”, a key component of positive meditative practices and mindful living.  


    Our PTO is working hard behind the scenes to find ways to help make the most out of this challenging experience while hoping to bring small moments of joy to our students. They are working mothers and fathers who give their own time to organize events, pack 600 gift bags, and have even come to supply drop off day in person to hand out their gifts.  They have students in our school and are working, just like all families, to juggle the demands of their responsibilities, keep their children plugging away, and yet they still find time to volunteer, hoping to extend some positivity and joy to all our CMS families.  They do not have a political agenda and they do not deserve criticism for their efforts.  It saddens me that I find it necessary to defend their work and gesture in the midst of a global pandemic and I find it reprehensible that their kind gesture to our students was twisted and politicized for a different cause. I hope that the population of parents at CMS is clear that their gift was not a political statement but a gesture of kindness. I hope that you continue to appreciate the efforts they have made to improve our situation as a school community.  


    If you have any further questions or concerns about this situation, feel free to reach out directly to me.  


    CMS Final Cohort Opens Tuesday: We have added one final learning cohort to the CMS campus and students will begin on-campus learning on Tuesday.  Beginning Tuesday, we will have over 70 students on campus with every available learning space in use.  The cohort model was designed to serve students most in need and if your child is struggling and might benefit from learning on campus, please contact your child’s counselor.  As circumstances change we may be able to add students to these groups. We are maintaining a waiting list for cohort assignment and we must prioritize this list according to the needs of all students.  Thank you again for your support and understanding.  


    CMS Board Presentation: On Wednesday, January 20th, CMS will provide our annual site presentation to the CUSD Board of Education.  This presentation is an annual showcase highlighting our success stories, improvements, student achievements, and future goals.  This year will be a bit different, but, we’ll be discussing our distance learning program and taking a look at what the future holds.  If you’re interested in attending, keep your eyes opened for the CUSD invitation to the board meeting on Wednesday.

     That’s all for now.   

     Please enjoy the three day weekend and we’ll see you back in classes on Tuesday morning!

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  • Friday, January 8,2021

    Posted by Cathleen Rice on 1/8/2021 6:00:00 PM

    Happy Friday CMS Families!

    Our opening week for the 2021 portion of the year has been interesting.  Between the incident in Washington DC and dealing with potential Covid exposure here on campus, I can’t say it feels like a great start or a new beginning.  I do know however, that we will continue to demonstrate strength and resolve and that we will continue to rise to meet the challenges we are faced with. With that in mind, it is always important to find and focus on the things we have that are positive during challenging times… to find some beauty in the world, excitement in our lives, or simply find some reasons to smile.  It’s important to focus on the positives in your life and remember that we are blessed with many positive things including family, friends, a wonderful community, and the beautiful area in which we live.  I hope that we can remain focused on these blessings as we continue to collectively work through the challenges placed before us.  


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

    6th Grade: Gia Smith

    7th Grade: Lily Biggs  

     8th Grade: Minna Trokel  

    CMS Staff Member: Ms. Baird

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

    Covid Exposure Protocols

    We received a few questions, particularly from people who have students already on campus, regarding the exposure announcement we sent out earlier this week.  As we continue to work to open additional cohorts and bring more students to campus I want to clarify one important item related to our communication protocols.  

    If your student is in a cohort or any situation in which we know they have been potentially exposed to Covid 19 you will receive a personalized communication from CMS via text and email.  The text will let you know to check your email and the email will provide you with all the details you need to understand our process and procedures.  A general communication will then go out to our entire school community providing an overview of the situation.  This email will usually be sent within 24 hours of the initial situation and will follow the personalized communication sent initially to those students/families most at risk.  

    If your student is on campus and you do not receive a specific email stating that their cohort or group has had exposure AND that the cohort or group is being closed, then your child was in a separate group, isolated from potential spread of the virus, and we do not believe they are at risk of infection due to their presence on campus.  

    In an attempt to communicate more clearly I will include a disclaimer, in bold, on the general letter that goes out to all families.  

    I hope this helps clear up any confusion or misunderstandings now and moving forward.  


    Incident in Washington DC

    Regardless of your personal political views, the incident we watched occur in Washington DC this week was a concerning event that many people are still trying to process.  Our 7th grade social studies teachers conducted a great forum immediately after this event allowing students the opportunity to process and discuss what they witnessed. Our district has put together some resources for teachers, students, and families to aid in any discussions you may be having in your home regarding this incident.  Feel free to follow this link if you feel the need to do so.

    January 6, 2021 


    2nd Quarter Report Cards in the Mail

    Report cards are on the way!  Be sure to beat your child to the mailbox for the next few days if you’d like to see how they finished the second quarter.  (Anyone out there remember when report cards were just handed to the kids and we had to take them home and get them signed).  Anyway, Aeries is still a great tool to keep up with your student’s progress, but, if you like to be surprised and didn’t check Aeries at all during the quarter, final grades should be in your mailbox soon!

    On a positive note, I was just informed that we had 411 students make the Honor Roll this quarter with Grade Point Averages above 3.00.  That’s just over 70% of our students maintaining a 3.00 GPA or better in a very challenging educational environment.  Well done Cougars!!!


    3rd Quarter Supply Pick Up Update

    Take two…

    3rd quarter supply pick up has been rescheduled for Friday, January 15th.  On the 15th we will be cancelling all afternoon classes to allow for the staffing of this event as well as providing a window for students enrolled in afternoon classes the opportunity to pick up supplies without missing their classes.  Supply pick up will now take place between 12:00 and 3:00 PM.  If you are unable to make that window of time, please let us know and we’ll work something out.  

    Thank you!


    Our Next PTO Meeting will take place Wednesday, January 13th beginning at 9:30 AM.  We’d love to have you attend the online meeting if you can make it.  Look for a link in a future email!


    That’s all for today!  Have a wonderful weekend!

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