May 2 Reboot Cancelled

We have cancelled our Parent Input session this Saturday morning for lack of RSVPs.  You can always provide your input through e-mail or face to face on any issue anytime.  Thanks for making Camarena a great place for students to grow and learn.

This Week at Camarena April 27 – May 1

Here are the big events at Camarena Elementary in this final week of April.

Monday, April 27: 3rd grade kicks of CAASPP state testing.  You can read all about it here.

Tuesday, April 28: Jr. Soccer vs. Los Altos and Basketball @ Heritage (Both games at 4:00 PM)

Thursday, April 30: Soccer vs. Heritage (4:00 PM)

Camarena Color Splash

Don’t forget to sign up for the Camarena Color Splash for May 30.  Here’s the link for registration.  This is the last week for early bird prices.

PTA Fundraising

Our PTA, thanks to the generosity of our Camarena community, has steadily raised money for the benefit of our school community.  Here are some of the items that have been funded by our Camarena PTA this year.

Field Trips: Transportation costs have been covered for the 4th grade field trip to the Star of India.  With the success of our PTA fundraising, we will insure that transportation costs for one field trip per grade level are included in coming years.

Events: Movie Nights, Spring Dance, Family Game Night and Literacy Night were all free events.

Teacher Appreciation: Every teacher has been offered a mini grant of $175 to defray the cost of out-of-pocket classroom supplies.  Welcome Back Breakfast to staff and Staff Appreciation Luncheon (coming in May)  have been provided.

Scholastic Book Fair: On account of the purchases our families and staff have made at the Scholastic Book Fairs this year, our school has been the recipient of $5,000 of books and supplies for clasrooms and our library.

Stay tuned to this space in the coming weeks as we will announce even more expenditures that will benefit all of our Camarena students because of our successful fundraising.  Thank you Camarena community for your generosity and trust.

Camarena Broadcast Team

And, here is our Camarena Broadcast from Friday, April 24th.

Copy of School Visibility Initiative - Social Media Flyers

State Testing 2015 Starts Week of April 27

2015-03-15 19.37.48

On April 27 we will begin our State testing after a year’s hiatus since the state of California has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  These tests have been called various names, however the official name is the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) – because we never met an acronym we didn’t like!  Below you will find the schedule for testing, the amount of time estimated for each grade level, and the subjects that will be tested.  Finally, I’ve shared the Camarena philosophy of assessment to set the proper tone.

We will begin with 3rd grade during the week of April 27 through May 1 and we will test one grade level at a time.  The amount of time for each test is an estimate as these are NOT timed tests, so students can take as long as they need, however they need to finish each portion of the test on the day they begin that portion.


Grade Level

English Language Arts


April 27 – May 1

3rd Grade

4 hours

3 hours

May 4 – May 8

4th Grade

4 hours

3 hours

May 11 – May 15

*5th Grade

4 hours

3 hours

May 18 – 22

6th Grade

4 hours

3.5 hours

*5th Grade also takes Science California Standards Test (CST) on May 7

Adaptive Testing

There is one unique feature of the CAASPP tests that our students have never experienced.  These tests are adaptive, which means, that as students answer questions the tests will get easier or harder depending on whether they get the answers correct or incorrect.  This will mean that students  who struggle, will find that the test will get easier and students who do well will find that the tests get progressively more challenging.  This is certainly an improvement from the one size fits all approach in years past.


Assessment is a natural and important part of any educational setting.  Our philosophy is that this testing should not be approached as more significant than any other day for our students.  We expect students to bring their best thinking to school every day and testing should be no different.  There should be NO PRESSURE placed on students to perform at a certain level.  The effort  they have extended since July  and the instruction that we have carefully designed has prepared them to show what they know on these assessments and that is all we can ask.  Therefore, we will learn from how our students perform this year in order to improve our practices and strategies in the coming years.  Please contact your teacher or administration directly if you have any questions about the testing at the end of this school year.  Thanks for your partnership in creating the best possible testing environment – and indeed – the best possible learning environment all year long.

This Week at Camarena April 20-24

Here are the big events for this week:

Monday, April 20 – Garden Composting Class at lunch

Tuesday, April 21 – Jr. Soccer @ McMillin; BB @ Feaster

Wednesday, April 22 -Trash to Treasures Art Show; PTA Meeting (6:00 PM) *** Kinder Orientation postponed until May 13

Thursday, April 23 – Soccer @ Heritage

Friday, April 24 –  ELAC Meeting (8:30 AM) Board Game Night (6:00 PM)

It’s Earth Week at Camarena.  Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22 and we will be celebrating with the Trash to Treasures Art Contest. Students can create art from pieces of trash or recyclables they find around the house. Please bring the art to school by Tuesday, April 21. The art will be on tables in the garden area all day Wednesday and students will vote for their favorites.

Here are some amazing creations made from trash at Sea World.

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And, here’s an example made out of water bottles by a Camarena 5th grader.
For more information about Earth Week activities, check out our blog:

If you have a few minutes, please fill out this survey regarding school climate.

California Healthy Kids Survey

You will need our School Code RT63ZP

I think you’ll enjoy this collection of tweets from our last week of school here at Camarena:

Family Game Night – Noche de Juegos

Hello Camarena Families! We are having our very first Family Game Night this Friday, and we invite you to join us for some board game fun! Hope to see you there!

Family Game Night English

Familias de Camarena, los invitamos a nuestra primera Noche de Juegos Familiar este viernes! Los esperamos para una noche divertida disfrutando de los juegos de mesa.

Family Game Night Spanish

Planning for 2015-16

We are making plans for our 2015-16 school year and have been asking families to notify us if they have moved or plan to move before the 2015-16 school year.  If any families move from now until the end of the year, they will be able to remain at Camarena through June, however we will not be allowing any Zone Transfers in 2015-16 so that we can make room for all the families that live within our attendance boundaries.  If you have not already provided written notification to your child’s teacher, please fill out this form so that we can plan accordingly.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation.