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.

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.

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.

Reboot Camarena 2015


I hope one and all are enjoying Spring Break and ready to return to action on Monday, April 6.  As we conclude our school year this final quarter, we are also looking forward to the coming school year and hoping to hear from our entire Camarena community to make our school better.  Here is a brief introductory video about Reboot Camarena and links to the three steps where everyone can participate:

The question that is guiding our process is, “How do we tap the brain power of our school community to Reboot Camarena to fulfill the promise of our mission, vision and values?” and the steps you can take to contribute are below.

Step One: Reflect on two questions What are we doing well?, What can we do better? In light of the CVESD  LCAP goals, and our mission, vision, and values analyze our current performance. You can put your thoughts online here and here or on butcher paper in the Library Media Center. (April 6-17)

Step Two: Make a Proposal for Improvement, New Initiative, or Discussion Topic by April 17.

Step Three: RSVP to join us on Saturday, May 2 to further discuss these proposals and plan next steps.

Thanks in advance for taking some time to think about the strengths and weaknesses of our school and helping us develop a plan for improvement in the coming weeks.

Questions about this process are welcome and can be left int the comments so that all can follow the thread.

Welcome Kindergarten and New Students for 2015-16

Today is Registration day and here is some information about our space in the coming school year:

Welcome to Camarena Elementary.  We are excited to have you join our community of learners and we want you to understand what space is available for the 2015-16 school year.  Our school has classes from TK through 6th grade and our capacity is approximately 1075.  This current year we are overflowing approximately 40 students to other schools in the CVESD.

For 2015-16, we will most likely be in the position of overflowing a small percentage of students again this year.  We have a total of 40 classrooms.  Here’s how we select students for enrollment/overflow.

Students who already have a sibling attending Camarena will be automatically enrolled.

All other students will be enrolled based on a random lottery of all students who register by the end of our first day of enrollment (March 11, 2015).   Students who enroll after March 11, 2015 will be placed based on the date and time of their enrollment.  Families will be notified of the status of their enrollment by Friday, March 20.




Dan Winters

Hanover Survey for Parents

Sorry for that little mixup.  Here is the link of the Hanover Survey for parents.  And, here is an explanation of the purpose and nature of this yearly survey.

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We want to inform you that we will be conducting an online parent survey starting on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 through Friday, March 20th, 2015.

With this survey, we hope to learn more about your experiences and your child(ren’s) experiences at school during this school year with teachers, administrators, students, and other District staff. All responses are anonymous and will never be connected to you – your answers will be kept strictly confidential. Reporting will rely on grouped percentages only.

If both parents/guardians in a household would like to take the survey, that is fine. However, we ask that each adult only take the survey once, and do so by March 20th, 2015. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the survey, please contact the District’s Operations Department at (619) 425-9600, ext. 1325.

Click on a link below or cut and paste into your browser to complete the parent survey:

 Parent survey link:

 Thank you in advance for your input.