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

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