The Week of April 28

Here are some important dates and information coming up at Camarena.

Follow @CamElementary.  This week our Twitter feed will be curated by 4th grader Jada!  Let’s see what 4th grade is learning at the mighty Camarena Elementary.

Monday, April 28: Teacher Appreciation Day volunteers meeting @ 5:00 PM in the multi-media room

Wednesday April 30: Socia Media Awareness @ 6:00 PM

Wednesday, April 30: General PTA @ 6:30 in the multi-media room

Wednesday one more time: Don’t forget to wear PURPLE in honor of our military children at Camarena and around the globe.

Thursday, May 1 @ 8:30 AM – Yoga class in YMCA

Thursday, May 1:  Zumba @ 6:00 PM in the multi-purpose room

Into the Future

May 12 – 16: Teacher Appreciation Week

May 20:  BBQ Day at Camarena Cafeteria

May 29: Volunteer Appreciation Day

Saturday, May 31: Camarena Color Splash: Sign up Today!

Purple Up for Military Kids!

Military students

April celebrates the month of the military child. On Wednesday, April 30th, please wear purple to show your support of military children because they serve too. Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red, and Navy blue. Let’s show our Camarena military kids that we support and honor them!

The Week of April 21 ** Correction on 6th Grade Promotion Pictures

IMG_3423Here are some important dates and information for the week ahead andy beyond at Camarena.

First of all, thanks to the students who wrote such thoughtful and creative notes of appreciation to Mrs. Orr and me on Friday.  (You can see a few of them behind George Washington and Clara Barton in this photo.)  We truly appreciate being appreciated and loved and will continue to strive to make Camarena better every day.  What a wonderful gift!

Lost and Found – We have TONS of clothing and other items “Left Behind” around campus.  Please stop by this week to reclaim that sweater, lunch box, or other personal item that your child may have forgotten.  We will eventually donate items that are not picked up to local orphanages.  Thanks for taking the time to reclaim your property.

*** Correction Wednesday, April 23:  6th Grade Promotion Pictures.  Please contact your teacher for any details

Thursday, April 24 @ 6:00 PM – Kinder Orientation (2014-15 school year) This event will help our new Kinder parents prepare for the start of the adventure in July 2014.

Into the Future

May 12 – 16: Teacher Appreciation Week

May 29: Volunteer Appreciation Day

Saturday, May 31: Camarena Color Splash: Sign up Today



Another Communication Channel


We are always looking for ways to better communicate with our Camarena Families.  We now have the option of sending text messages to your phone if you opt-in.  Here’s how you do it:

Parents/Guardians may opt into the service at any time. Simply text any one of the following words subscribe, optin, or yes to the number 68453

You’ll know you were successful if you receive the following reply message:
You are registered to receive aprox 3 msgs/mo. Txt STOP to quit, HELP for help.

You’ll want to repeat the opt-in process for any additional wireless numbers that you wish to include.

Follow @CamElementary



Camarena families will control our Twitter feed for one week at a time beginning this Monday.  Our first guest tweeter is Jonathan (1st Grade, Sra. Barrett’s class).   Be prepared for Jonathan to show you has Dual Immersion skills.  Please be sure to follow @CamElementary so you can get a special 1st grade point of view of life on the inside and outside of Camarena Elementary.  If your family would like to sign up for this opportunity, we still have a few more openings later in the year.  You can sign up here:

Camarena Color Splash Postponed

color-run-californiaOur Camarena Color Splash Run has been postponed until May 31.  We postponed because registration was low (perhaps due to it being Easter weekend). Anyone who registered for the earlier date can either 1) join us on the 31st or 2) contact the PTA for a refund. We apologize for the confusion and hope many more will make plans to join us for this fun event at the end of May.

Testing Season Overview

I am providing a detailed explanation of the testing that students will face over the next 8 weeks and include the purpose and nature of those assessments so that parents and students alike have a complete picture of what’s in store.  You should contact your child’s teacher for the specific grade level testing calendar and any personalized instructional goals for your child. Let’s get started:


What:  California Standards Test (CST) Science

Who: Grade 5

When: May 9

Details: This is the only CST test that students will take as the remainder of the tests are based on the newly adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  This is  for grade 5 only and covers Science standards from grades 4 and 5.


What: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Field Test

Who: Grades 3-6


Grade 6 begins April 14

Grade 5 begins April 21

Grade 4 begins April 28

Grade 3 begins May 5

Details: The SBAC Field Test is based on the CCSS.  The Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) and the State of California have adopted and implemented the CCSS this school year.  Since this assessment is a field test, neither the school nor the families will receive any of these results.  The purpose of this assessment is to gauge the effectiveness and validity of the tool and help SBAC create a better test for the 2014-15 school year.


What: Local Measures Reading

Who: Kinder – 6th

When: Varies per grade level beginning week of April 14

Details: The purpose of this test is to determine if our students are reading “at grade level” according to the criteria of the CCSS.    In Kinder and 1st grade students will read a text for accuracy and comprehension (fluency in 1st).  In grades 2-6, students will take an online assessment to determine their readability level (Lexile).  This Lexile system is the metric that the CCSS has selected to guide districts, schools, and students in monitoring student growth in the area of text complexity.  Students who take this assessment (grades 2-6) will receive a number that places them either “below”, “at”, or “below” grade level according to the CCSS guidelines.   The results of this  assessment will be included on your child’s report card.


What: Local Measures Writing

Who: Kinder – 6th

When: Varies by grade level beginning April 21

Details: Every student will write a narrative, expository, or opinion piece in which they cite evidence from a video and short texts.  Students will be given time to discuss the texts and video in their class before writing.  This will mirror the actual work of writers who gather their information before composing.  Students are graded based on a four point rubric with 3 being proficient.   The results of this  assessment will be included on your child’s report card.


What: Local Measures Math

Who: Kinder – 6th

When: Varies by grade level beginning May 5

Details: The Local  Measures Math assessment is a cumulative test of the key math concepts taught throughout the year.  Every student will take this assessment as an indicator of their mastery of the grade level  math content.  The questions are open-ended so that students need to show the process they used to solve the problems.  The results of this  assessment will be included on your child’s report card.


What: Math Performance Task

Who: Kinder – 6th

When: Varies by grade level beginning May 5

Details: The Math Performance Task is a detailed math problem that will challenge students to use all of the math problem solving skills they have been practicing this year.  It is guaranteed to be a multi-step problem and involves tasks that test the ability of students to read a problem carefully and craft a thorough and thoughtful plan to reach the best possible solution.  The results of this  assessment will be included on your child’s report card.


What Can Parents do to Support Students?

The cumulative efforts of students, staff, and parents since July have prepared our students  to demonstrate their best work and they should face all of these measures with confidence. If you would like to review content or skills with your child, contact the teacher for the personalized plan the best suits his or her learning profile.  Otherwise, continue to provide a quite, consistent place to study, ample rest each day, and hearty and healthy meals as always.

These assessments are a snapshot of your child’s ability at this time and the information we gather will help us determine what they have mastered to this point and what we need to focus on in the year ahead.

In conclusion, assessment plays a crucial role in determining the progress that each student, class, and the entire school is making from year to year and we will carefully analyze all of this data on an individual and organizational basis to constantly improve our service to your children.  If you would like to discuss any of these with your teacher or myself don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience.