El Toro Weekly 3/21/2013

Third Quarter Date Change
Portola’s third quarter is now scheduled to end on Friday, March 29, one week later than previously announced. Please check PowerSchool to make sure there are no missing assignments which may affect final grades.

Upcoming Meeting
Everyone is invited to the next meeting of the English Learner Advisory Committee on Thursday, March 28, at 4 p.m. in Room 7

Cookie Dough
Thanks to everyone who supported the cookie dough fundraiser. Please remember to have your order picked up at the end of the school day on Tuesday, March 26, in Room 7.

Join the Track Team
Students are welcome to join the Portola Track Team. Meet on Mondays and Thursdays at 2:35 p.m. in Ms. Baldwin’s room.
Spring Break

A reminder that school will be closed for Spring Break from April 1-April 5.

Volunteer Opportunities
Spring Faire is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, and features games, crafts, food, music and other fun carnival-type activities.  We need your help to organize the event and also to volunteer on the day of the Spring Faire– please contact Evangeline Ireland at emireland@yahoo.com to get involved.

PE: Help is needed for supervision while students are changing clothes for PE. Volunteers are needed to supervise students who have already finished dressing and gone outside, so that the teacher can be free to supervise inside the locker room. The need for help is greatest between 12:30 p.m.-12:50 p.m. and 1:25 p.m.-1:45 p.m. To get involved, please contact Mr. Burnham at mburnhma@wccusd.net or call the school office.

We need a few volunteers to help coordinate Teacher Treat Day.  During Teacher Treat Day, which is held once a month, families provide food for teachers and staff to enjoy during their lunch break. Coordinating Teacher Treat Day is  straightforward and we are fortunate to have a generous community that comes together month after month to show their gratitude to the hardworking Portola teachers/staff.  If you would be willing to help, please let Tre know at trecurran88@gmail.comYou will receive lots of support and info to make this an easy, enjoyable way to add to a positive school culture. 

El Toro Weekly 3/14/2013

Third Quarter Ending Soon
Portola’s third quarter is scheduled to end on Friday, March 22. Please check PowerSchool to make sure there are no missing assignments which may affect final grades.

Expanding Horizons
Female students at Portola are scheduled to attend the Expanding Your Horizons conference at Contra Costa College on Friday, March 15. The program is designed to motivate young women in science and mathematics. It features hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities led by professional women scientists and engineers.

Spring Faire is Coming Up!
Spring Faire is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, and features games, crafts, food, music and other fun carnival-type activities.  We need your help to organize the event and also to volunteer on the day of the Spring Faire– please contact Evangeline Ireland at emireland@yahoo.com to get involved.

Tree Planting
Thanks to students in Mr. Kunz’s 6th and 7th period classes for helping to plant trees at Cerrito Vista Park.

Spring Break
A reminder that school will be closed for Spring Break from April 1-April 5.

Bay Area Science Fair
Students planning to submit science fair projects for the Bay Area Science Fair should please turn in their projects to Mr. Kunz by Monday, March 18. The Bay Area Science Fair is scheduled for Thursday, March 21.

Help Portola buy emergency kits for our classrooms!

Cookie dough salePortola PTSA is raising money to purchase emergency kits for our classrooms by selling gourmet cookies, coffee cakes, cake rolls, cheesecakes, brownies & cinnamon rolls.

Purchases can be made by going to www.funds4all.org/Portola or by downloading the order form here and return to the school main office in an envelope marked Cookie Dough and your student’s name

All orders must be submitted by Monday March 18th. Orders may be picked up at the end of the school day in Room 7 on Tuesday March 26.

El Toro Weekly 03/07/2013

Visit Portola
Please plan to attend the Portola Open House on Thursday, March 14 from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. to visit your student’s classrooms and meet with teachers. Students will have a minimum day on March 14.

Get Involved
Everyone is invited to attend the next PTSA meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 in Room 7. We will be discussing items including the Spring Faire.

*Band parents will meet at 6 p.m. on March 12, while 8th grade parents will meet at 8 p.m.

Spring Faire is Coming Up!
Spring Faire is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, and features games, crafts, food, music and other fun carnival-type activities.  We need your help to organize the event and also to volunteer on the day of the Spring Faire– please contact Evangeline Ireland at emireland@yahoo.com to get involved.

Fitness Tests
Fitnessgram physical fitness tests for 7th graders begin on Monday, March 11 and will be conducted over two weeks.Areas such as aerobic capacity, abdominal/upper body strength and flexibility will be tested.
Volunteer Opportunity
Volunteers are needed to help with a fundraiser by working the concession stands at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday, April 7, anytime between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please contact RulaAdranly at radranly@quest-world.com to get involved.

Help Keep Teacher Treat Day Going
We need a few volunteers to step up and take on the role of Teacher Treat Day coordinators for next year.  During Teacher Treat Day, which is held once a month, families provide food for teachers and staff to enjoy during their lunch. Coordinating Teacher Treat Day is pretty straightforward and we are fortunate to have a generous community that comes together month after month to show their gratitude to the hardworking Portola teachers/staff.  If you would be willing to take a coordinator position, please let Tre know at trecurran88@gmail.com.  You will receive lots of support and info to make this an easy, enjoyable way to add to a positive school culture. 

*On Friday, March 8, Teacher Treat Day will feature a “Potato Bar” — we are seeking contributions of toppings for baked potatoes, such as cheese, bacon, green onions, chili, broccoli or anything else you can think of. Salads and desserts are also welcome. Please contact Tre to get involved at trecurran88@gmail.com

 

Book Battles Coming Up
The Portola Battle of the Books will take place on Monday, March 11. The winning team will go on to compete at the district Battle of the Books, which will be held after school on March 28 at Pinole Middle School. The books for this year’s competition:
The Skin I’m In by Sharon Draper; The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time by Mark Haddon; Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain; Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Congrats to Math Contest Participants
Portola’s team at the MathCounts competition held at U.C. Berkeley finished fourth out of 19 schools. 8th grader Gwennie Gilbert-Snyder finished in the top 5 of all 135 students competing individually and will represent Portola at the state competition in March.
*Thanks to Math Club volunteers, in particular Todd Groves but also Kazue Nakahara, Evangeline Ireland, Chie Haflich and Pamela Gilbert-Snyder.
*Students participating in the competition also included: Athena Lynch, Abdul Mohiz, Raqeeb Chang, Marcelo Monsalve, Nicholas Adion, Muhammad Arsalan, Helen Gilbert-Snyder, Katrina Ireland and Ramon Verdin.

El Toro Weekly 2/28/2013

Visit Portola
Please plan to attend the Portola Open House on Thursday, March 14 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. to visit your student’s classrooms and meet with teachers. Students will have a minimum day on March 14.

Get Involved
Everyone is invited to attend the next PTSA meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 in Room 7. We will be discussing items including the Spring Faire, scheduled for April 20. We need your help to plan the Spring Faire — please contact Evangeline Ireland at emireland@yahoo.com to get involved.
*Band parents will meet at 6 p.m. on March 12, while 8th grade parents will meet at 8 p.m.

Congrats to Math Contest Participants

Portola’s team at the MathCounts competition held at U.C. Berkeley finished fourth out of 19 schools. 8th grader Gwennie Gilbert-Snyder finished in the top 5 of all 135 students competing individually and will represent Portola at the state competition in March.
*Thanks to Math Club volunteers, in particular Todd Groves but also Kazue Nakahara, Evangeline Ireland, Chie Haflich and Pamela Gilbert-Snyder.
*Students participating in the competition also included: Athena Lynch, Abdul Mohiz, Raqeeb Chang, Marcelo Monsalve, Nicholas Adion, Muhammad Arsalan, Helen Gilbert-Snyder, Katrina Ireland and Ramon Verdin.

Testing

On Tuesday, March 5, 7th graders will take a writing test on subjects including fictional narratives and persuasive essays.
*Fitnessgram physical fitness tests for 7th graders begin on Monday, March 11 and will be conducted over two weeks. Areas such as aerobic capacity, abdominal/upper body strength and flexibility will be tested.

Support Student Musicians
On Monday, March 4, the Portola jazz ensemble will perform at Yoshi’s at Oakland’s Jack London Square, together with the El Cerrito High School jazz ensembles. Tickets are $15 per person – please order through Ms. Carrico, with checks made out to “Friends of El Cerrito Music.”
*Volunteers are needed to help with a band fundraiser by working the concession stands at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday, April 7, anytime between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please contact RulaAdranlyatradranly@quest-world.com to get involved.

Get Those Baby Pictures Turned In
8th graders are encouraged to submit baby pictures for publication in the yearbook by Friday, March 1. Please submit your baby pictures to the school office with your name on the back of the picture. Pictures will be returned in April. Pictures without names will not be returned. Pictures may also be emailed to pmsyearbook@yahoo.com

Book Battles Coming Up
The Portola Battle of the Books will take place on March 11. The winning team will go on to compete at the district Battle of the Books, which will be held after school on March 28 at Pinole Middle School. The books for this year’s competition:
The Skin I’m In by Sharon Draper; The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time by Mark Haddon; Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain; Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

El Toro Weekly 2/14/2013

How to Have Fun and Help Portola

Here are a few exciting opportunities to have fun or take care of basic needs, all while helping Portola. If you’d like to participate in any of the following, please contact Evangeline at emireland@yahoo.com

*Wine and Cheese party on June 1, 4:00 pm-7:00 pm, $20/person.
Enjoy wines perfectly paired with cheese in a fabulous garden. Beer and cheddar will also be served.

*Bowling party for students with Spanish teacher Ms. Baldwin and her husband, $15/student, time and date will be set by Ms. Baldwin.

*Dance at the Arlington on April 6, 7pm-9:30pm, $20/person – for current students only, dancing, drinks, food and dessert included

*Fine Dining at the Arlington Cafe in Kensington on March 23, 7:00-11:30pm, $40/person- drinks, 5 course meal, music

*Chiropractic Evaluation by Portola parent at Albany Hill Health Center -valued at $150, on sale for $75

*4 guest vouchers for the Tech Museum and IMAX theater – valued at $80, on sale for $40

*Thomas Fallon Portrait Session and a 12″ print – valued at $495, on sale for $50

*2 Season tickets to the spring 2013 performance series at the JazzSchool – valued at $950, on sale for $150

*1 month unlimited yoga at the Funky Door Yoga in Berkeley – valued at $29, on sale for $15 (20 available)

*3 month membership to California Recreational Sports –  valued at $250, on sale for $125

District Science Fair
The school district science fair is set for Thursday, Feb 28. If your student’s project was selected for the science fair, be sure to return it to Mr. Kunz by Monday, Feb 25.Note that district project winners will only be announced on Thursday morning, with awards presented on Thursday night.  Please keep the night free just in case your student’s project wins an award and is expected to be present at the ceremony.
*The projects chosen to move on to the Bay Area science fair will also be announced Thursday, with information given that night. The Bay Area science fair is open to the public on March 19-21.

Congratulations
Congratulations to 7th grader Raqeeb Chang for winning the school Spelling Bee.  He will move on to represent our school at the district and county Spelling Bee.

Thank You
School librarian Ms. Bogie would like to thank the PTSA for the generous contribution of eight new computers for the Portola Library. The students are already using them and we all appreciate the donation. The computers are used by an average of 70 kids daily and the donation truly supports student learning. Thank you, PTSA, for making the school library a priority!

Reminders

Please remember that Winter Break is scheduled for Feb. 18-Feb. 22 and school will be closed.
*Transfer applications are now being accepted at the district office.  The last day to submit an application is Feb. 15.
*Keep an eye out for progress reports, which are scheduled to be issued onMonday, Feb. 25
*Everyone is invited to the next ELAC meeting, which will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. in room 8
*STAR writing tests are set to be given on March 5
*The Portola Battle of the Books will take place on March 11. The winning team will go on to compete at the district Battle of the Books, which will be held after school on March 28 at Pinole Middle School. The books for this year’s competition:
The Skin I’m In by Sharon Draper; The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time by Mark Haddon; Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain; Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

El Toro Weekly 2/7/2013

Celebrate Portola Recap
Thank you to everyone who supported the Celebrate Portola dinner and silent auction on Saturday, Feb. 2.  The bands sounded good, the food and drink was delicious and the bidding action exciting. The event earned about $9,000 gross that will go towards school programs and band.
*Thank you to all the people who helped make the evening a success! If your name was missed, it was definitely unintentional and we sincerely apologize: Julie and George Yamashita, Faustine Malcampo and Jace Bartholoma, Frances and Miguel Chen, Marc Lajoie and Trish McDermott, Debbie Marshall, Leslie Reckler, Dennis Sakurai and Emily Moya, Sean and Felicia Robertson, Debbie Hayakawa-Wing, Manu Wong, Cass Duggan, Judy Chin and Jeff Walker, Cathy Chin, Natalie Page, Peter Degnan and Barbara McCormick, Andrea Dorn, Diana Yamauchi, Jenny Park, Craig and Tracey Kitaoka, Luisa Valiela, Julie Scully, Julie Brown, Damian Hayden, Emi Sherman, Jackie Lucas, Ying-Tsu Loh, Lori Klumb, Paulina Chotov, Tammy Garretson, Estella Sloan, Elaine Miyamori, Kim Saquing, Saidah Said, Chris Novak, Jensen Wong and Lianne Tsujimoto-Wong, Tre Curran, El Cerrito High School InterAct members, Leon Wong, Kevin Mahoney, Lucas Masch.

Other Fun Opportunities
A few more available spots in parties advertised at Celebrate Portola. Please email Evangeline at emireland@yahoo.com if interested in buying a spot in the game or any questions.

*Wine and Cheese party hosted by Go Portola parents is set for June 1, 4:00 pm-7:00 pm, $20/person.
Enjoy wines perfectly paired with cheese in a fabulous garden in Kensington. Don’t miss the social event of the season. Beer and cheddar will also be served.

*Bowling party for 8 students with Spanish teacher Ms. Baldwin and her husband, $15/student, time and date will be set by Ms. Baldwin. Limited number of slots left, so reply early if you want to go bowling.

Teacher’s Lunch
Show your appreciation for the wonderful teachers and staff at Portola by contributing to the monthly lunch set for Friday, Feb. 8. We’ll be celebrating Black History Month with a Soul Food extravaganza.
*Please drop prepared food in the teacher’s lounge, room 34, between 8 and 10:30 on the morning of Feb. 8. There is a fridge available but no oven. RSVP to Tre at trecurran88@gmail.com if you can contribute a dish or help out by setting up, refilling the table, or cleaning up. If you can spare an hour between 10:30 and 1:30, we sure can use your help!

Valentine’s Day Candygrams and Dance
Leadership students are selling candygrams to e delivered on Valentine’s Day for $1.50-$3.00.
*Valentine’s Day Dance is set for Feb. 14 from 2:30 pm-4:00 pm at the El Cerrito Community Center.  Permission slips will be available at the office or from Ms. Renee and must be turned in before tickets can be purchased. Tickets are $2.50 in advance and $5 at the door. Chaperones are needed – to get involved, contact Ms. Renee at crenee@wccusd.net.

Promoting Gender Respect
Promoting Gender Respect (PGR) has been at Portola for more than two years. and is coordinated by the community organization STAND for Families Free of Violence. In this program, groups of 8-12 boys meet with a trained facilitator. In the weekly meetings, the students discuss gender, violence, respect, and other relevant issues. Some 7th graders who participate are invited to attend a summer institute. These students may then become peer facilitators during the following school year, working with the adult from PGR to co-facilitate groups. The program has helped many boys gain a deeper understanding of themselves, and of relevant community issues. We will be adding additional groups during the second half of the year because the program has had a positive impact.

Reminders
Please remember that Winter Break is scheduled for Feb. 18-Feb. 22 and school will be closed.
*The school district science fair is set for Feb 28. If your student’s project was selected for the science fair, be sure to return it to Mr. Kunz by Monday, Feb 25.
*Middle College High School at Contra Costa College will be coming to Portola on Friday, Feb. 8 to talk to 8th graders about the high school.
*Everyone is invited to attend the next PTSA meeting at 7 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in room 7. We will be discussing the Spring Faire. 8th grade parents will meet at 8 p.m
*Transfer application are now being accepted at the district office.  Last day to submit application is Feb. 15.

Celebrate Portola Recap

Great fun had by all last Saturday.  The bands sounded good, the food and drinks were flowing and the bidding action exciting. The event earned Portola PTSA and Band Parents Group about $9000 gross.

Thank you to all the people who helped make the evening a success! There are many of you, if I miss your name, it was definitely unintentional and I sincerely apologize: Julie and George Yamashita, Faustine Malcampo and Jace Bartholoma, Frances and Miguel Chen, Marc Lajoie and Trish McDermott, Debbie Marshall, Leslie Reckler, Dennis Sakurai and Emily Moya, Sean and Felicia Robertson, Debbie Hayakawa-Wing, Manu Wong, Cass Duggan, Judy Chin and Jeff Walker, Cathy Chin, Natalie Page, Peter Degnan and Barbara McCormick, Andrea Dorn, Diana Yamauchi, Jenny Park, Craig and Tracey Kitaoka, Luisa Valiela, Julie Scully, Julie Brown, Damian Hayden, Emi Sherman, Jackie Lucas, Ying-Tsu Loh, Lori Klumb, Paulina Chotov, Tammy Garretson, Estella Sloan, Elaine Miyamori, Kim Saquing, Saidah Said, Chris Novak, Jensen Wong and Lianne Tsujimoto-Wong, Tre Curran, El Cerrito High School InterAct members, Leon Wong, Kevin Mahoney, Lucas Masch. THANK YOU!

El Toro Weekly 1/31/2013

PTSA Meeting
Everyone is invited to attend the next PTSA meeting at 7 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in room 7. We will be discussing the Spring Faire. 8th grade parents will meet at 8 p.m.

Teacher’s Lunch
Show your appreciation for the wonderful teachers and staff at Portola by contributing to the monthly lunch set for Friday, Feb. 8. We’ll be celebrating Black History Month with a Soul Food extravaganza.
*Please drop prepared food in the teacher’s lounge, room 34, between 8 and 10:30 on the morning of Feb. 8. There is a fridge available but no oven. RSVP to Tre at trecurran88@gmail.comif you can contribute a dish or help out by setting up, refilling the table, or cleaning up. If you can spare an hour between 10:30 and 1:30, we sure can use your help!

Baby Pictures for Yearbook
Please turn in baby pictures of your 8th grade students for publication in the yearbook. Turn photos in at the office with the student’s name written neatly on the back of the picture. You can also send digital copies of photos to pmsyearbook@yahoo.com. Hard copies will be returned if the student’s name is on the back.

From Ms. Bogie in the library
The final dates for the Battle of the Books are now set. The Portola Battle of the Books will take place on March 11. The winning team will go on to compete at the district Battle of the Books, which will be held after school on March 28 at Pinole Middle School. The next Library RATS (Reading and Tech Stars) meeting is during PE on Friday, Feb. 1. And, the next National Junior Honor Society meeting is during 5th period on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Please visit the Portola digital student work gallery at http://portolalibrary.weebly.com/student-work-gallery.html. You can see 8th grade English book trailers and other digital work as it is created. Enjoy!

Seeking Writer Coaches
WriterCoach Connection is back at Portola. The program provides trained writing coaches to help students communicate their ideas with clarity, confidence, and pride.
*We need more coaches of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. Please get involved to truly make a difference in a student’s life. Free training is provided. Contact Mr. Burnham for more information.

Report Cards
Keep an eye out for second-quarter report cards scheduled to be sent home on Friday, Feb. 1.

Vision Screening
Students are scheduled to have a free vision screening on Thursday, Feb. 7