REMINDER PARC meeting today at 6:30 in Room 7

Everyone is invited to attend the next meeting of the Parent Academic Rigor Committee (PARC) on Monday, Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 7
*Principal Burnham will fill us in on the latest academic trends at Portola. From there, he will lead a discussion to seek input from parents on strategies for continuing to improve academic success at Portola.
*PARC strives to improve academic rigor for all students. For more information, contact Sally Fraser, sally@frasermeacham.com, 510 295-8041

El Toro Weekly 1/24/2013

Get Your Tickets Now for Celebrate Portola
Seating is limited for the Celebrate Portola event on Sat. Feb, 2, which features a dinner, silent auction and entertainment from student musicians. Order tickets now for $20 per adult, $10 per student and $5 per performing band member by sending an e-mail to CelebratePortola@gmail.com Prices for tickets sold at the door will be $5 higher. Order forms are available in the school office. Tickets may also be ordered online at PortolaNews.com/auction.
*A number of desirable items have been donated for the silent auction, including Oakland A’s tickets, Disneyland tickets and a ukulele – check out portolanews.com/auction for a sampling

Help Keep the Board Game Club Going
Students are having a great time playing board games but the school library is no longer able to accommodate the activities of the Board Game Club. The club would like to relocate its gaming sessions to a new location and is desperately seeking a parent volunteer to moderate . If anybody is available during lunch periods on a weekday of their choice, please let school librarian Ms. Bogie know by contacting her at abogie@wccusd.net, or calling the school and asking for Ms. Bogie.

Update on Academics at Portola
Everyone is invited to attend the next meeting of the Parent Academic Rigor Committee (PARC) on Monday, Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 7
*Principal Burnham will fill us in on the latest academic trends at Portola. From there, he will lead a discussion to seek input from parents on strategies for continuing to improve academic success at Portola.
*PARC strives to improve academic rigor for all students. For more information, contact Sally Fraser, sally@frasermeacham.com, 510 295-8041
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.

Middle College High School to Visit Portola on Feb. 8th.
Middle College High School at Contra Costa College will be coming to Portola on February 8 to talk to 8th graders about the high school. Middle College High is a high school within Contra Costa College that provides an academically challenging environment for at risk youth.  For more information, visit their website at  http://www.contracosta.edu/mchs/about.html

More Important Dates
Jan. 24 –  ELAC Meeting 4:00 pm in Room 7
Jan. 30 – Lockdown Drill
Feb. 1
– Report cards sent home
Feb. 7 – Vision Screening
Feb. 8 – Teacher Treat Day
Feb. 12 – PTSA Meeting

 Get Your Tickets Now for Celebrate Portola
Seating is limited for the Celebrate Portola event on Sat. Feb, 2, which features a dinner, silent auction and entertainment from student musicians. Order tickets now for $20 per adult, $10 per student and $5 per performing band member by sending an e-mail to CelebratePortola@gmail.com Prices for tickets sold at the door will be $5 higher.
*A number of desirable items have been donated for the silent auction, including Oakland A’s tickets, Disneyland tickets and a ukulele – check out Portolanews.com/Auction for a sampling

Visit the Science Fair
Family night at the science fair will be on Thursday, Jan. 17, from 6:30-7:30pm. Everyone is welcome to come support our students and appreciate their hard work on their science projects.

Every Penny Helps
The Portola National Junior Honor Society is organizing a coin drive to support school programs. Please contribute any loose change that is cluttering up your life and help students gain a sense of responsibility and community. See Ms. Bogie in the library for questions.

Help Keep the Board Game Club Going
Students are having a great time playing board games but the school library is no longer able to accommodate the activities of the Board Game Club. The club would like to relocate its gaming sessions to a new location and is desperately seeking a parent volunteer to moderate . If anybody is available during lunch periods on a weekday of their choice, please let school librarian Ms. Bogie know by contacting her at abogie@wccusd.net.
Get Ready for Battle of the Books
Battle of the Books is a school district-wide competition where teams of students from middle and high schools compete to see who can remember details from the books, and understand the author’s usage of different elements of language.
*District librarians have chosen the following 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

*A school competition will be held in late February to see which team moves on to the district competition in March. Encourage your students to participate by signing up in the school library.

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.

Update on Academics at Portola
Everyone is invited to attend the next meeting of the Parent Academic Rigor Committee (PARC) on Monday, Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 7
*Principal Burnham will fill us in on the latest academic trends at Portola. From there, he will lead a discussion to seek input from parents on strategies for continuing to improve academic success at Portola.
*PARC strives to improve academic rigor for all students. For more information, contact Sally Fraser, sally@frasermeacham.com, 510 295-8041

El Toro Weekly 1/10/2013

Science Fair
Science fair projects are scheduled to be due on Monday, Jan. 14, unless specified differently by your student’s teacher.

*On Jan. 15, volunteers are needed to help set up projects in room 7 and 8 right after morning drop off. Thank you to the people who have already emailed regarding judging. I will email you more details in the next few days.  We still need a couple more volunteers to judge the projects and select the finest to represent Portola at the district science fair. To get involved, email emireland@yahoo.com
*Family night at the science fair will be on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served

National Junior Honor Society’s Coin Drive
NJHS is currently running a coin drive. Funds collected will be donated to charity so let’s support them in their efforts.

Second Quarter Is Ending Soon
The second quarter will end on Friday, Jan. 18. Please check PowerSchool to ensure your student has no missing assignments to avoid any unwelcome surprises on the report card.

Celebrate Portola is set for Saturday Feb. 2
Celebrate Portola Dinner Show and Auction will be at the El Cerrito Community Center. We need your help to set up decorations and arrange the silent auction. A VolunteerSpot site is set up for you to sign up for the different jobs that need to be filled. Just click on the button below.

We also need help soliciting donations for the silent auction. Please see attached flyer for ideas.

To get involved, or contact Evangeline at emireland@yahoo.com

It’s also time to place your orders for tickets for this event. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students, $5 for performing band members. Prices go up $5 at the door.  Seats are limited so order today! There are three ways to place your order:

1)      Return the attached flyer with your payment to the school office in an envelope addressed to “Celebrate Portola Tickets”.
2)      Email CelebratePortola@gmail.com with your name and order. Confirmation reply email will instruct you where to mail your payment.
3)      Go to PortolaNews.com/auction. All online sales are processed through Paypal.

Reminder: School Closed on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22
Monday, Jan. 21 is a district holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Tuesday, Jan. 22 is a secondary work day and there is no school for middle and high school students.

PARC Meeting Monday Jan. 28

El Toro Weekly 01/03/2012

Everyone Is Invited
Start off the new year by getting involved! Please attend the next PTSA meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8, in Room 7, to help plan the Celebrate Portola event and the Spring Faire. Band families will meet at 6 p.m. 8th-grade families will meet at 8 p.m. to discuss fundraising.

*Celebrate Portola is set for Feb. 2 at the El Cerrito community center. We need your help to set up decorations and arrange the silent auction. We also need help soliciting for donations for the silent auction. To get involved, contact Evangeline at emireland@yahoo.com

Science Fair
Science fair projects are scheduled to be due on Monday, Jan. 14, unless specified differently by your student’s teacher.

*On Jan. 15, volunteers are needed to help set up projects in room 7 and 8 right after morning drop off. We also need volunteers to judge the projects and select the finest to represent Portola at the district science fair. To get involved, email emireland@yahoo.com
*Family night at the science fair will be on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

English Learner Advisory Committee

Everyone is welcome to attend the next committee meeting on Friday, Jan. 18 at 9 a.m. in Room 7.

Second Quarter Is Ending Soon
The second quarter will end on Friday, Jan. 18. Please check PowerSchool to ensure your student has no missing assignments to avoid any unwelcome surprises on the report card.

Reminder: School Closed on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22
Monday, Jan. 21 is a district holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Tuesday, Jan. 22 is a secondary work day and there is no school for middle and high school students.

El Toro Weekly 11/29/2012

Science Fair
It’s time to remind students to start working on science fair projects. Final projects are due on January 14, which is only about six weeks away. With the holiday season coming up, please try to set aside time to work on the projects. Parents Night to view the science fair will be on Jan. 17th at 6:30-7:30. A few more judges are needed to help pick the projects that will represent Portola at the school district science fair. To get involved, please email emireland@yahoo.com.

Celebrate Portola
We need volunteers to help solicit auction items from local businesses for the Celebrate Portola event on Feb. 2, which will feature dinner, a silent auction and performance by Portola musicians. To get involved, please contact emireland@yahoo.com
See a sample solicitation letter.

Next PTSA Meeting
Everyone is invited to participate in the next PTSA meeting at 7 pm on Tuesday, Dec. 11. We’ll be discussing the Celebrate Portola event and other school news. For more information, contact emireland@yahoo.com

Box Tops
A quick and easy way to help raise money to support school programs without costing you anything extra is to cut out the “Box Tops for Education” logos that you will find on the package of many consumer products. Each Box Top is usually worth 10 cents, and they can add up quickly. We have collection cans for Box Tops at the office and library. Check through your pantry, you may find that you already are buying many products that contain the Box Tops for Education logo.

Gift Card Sales
Need to find a present for that hard to buy for person? Try one of these gifts cards!  With hundreds to choose from, there is bound to be a store or restaurant that the special someone will like. Or buy the gift cards for yourself for a store you make purchases at regularly like Safeway, Lucky or Target. Last day to order is December 7th. Gift cards will not expire. Gift cards will be delivered before Dec. 14th. Find order forms here.

We Will Miss You Mr. Elijah!

In Memoriam


It is with great sadness that we inform you that one of the Portola custodians, Elijah Collar, passed away on Friday Nov. 23rd. A graduate of local schools, Mr. Collar worked for the school district for 32 years, including serving as the Portola day custodian for the last three-and-a-half years. Mr. Collar was a loving husband to his wife of 30 years, Maria, and is also survived by his mother, two brothers, two sisters, and in-laws. We’d like to offer our condolences to his family and co-workers.