Annual School Forms

Dear Korematsu Community, 

As the new school year is fast approaching we are working to prepare the school for distance learning. A key learning from the Spring experience is that communication is essential. No surprise of course, but at times we struggled with contact information for some students and families. We need to be able to communicate with all families via email and phone. Please take some time to update your information using the link below. Many families have already updated the Annual School Forms and we thank you for that. Having email in particular will allow us to sign parents/guardians up for summary reports from google classroom. These reports will allow you to follow your child’s learning activities. 

Please take a few minutes to update annual school forms here:


Matt Burnham

Instagram: official_korematsums

Twitter: @KorematsuMS

Welcome Back, Principal’s Message, Band Request

Welcome Back

Dear Parents:
Welcome back to the weirdest school year ever! Hope you have practiced your zen and patience skills during the summer! It’s gonna take a little while to get the hang of this year.
In case you did not receive the robocall from the principal today, here is the first of what will probably be many messages over the next two weeks.
Message from Mr. Burnham:

Hello Korematsu Community! As school is fast approaching I know there are a lot of questions. It does appear there is an agreement between the district and union which will hopefully be shared later in the week. You’ll be hearing from me a lot in the next 14 days about next steps and plans. Here are some of the basics: Students will not be taking 6 classes every day. Students will have three classes a day. Students will have a homeroom or advisory class every day for about 25 minutes. More specific information will come forward in the next week. We are developing a plan along with the district on distribution of materials. For now 7th graders can keep the tablet they used last Spring. Any student without a tablet will be issued one prior to the first day of school. We are doing our best to finalize our master schedule within the framework of the new agreement. 

Once the new 3 class a day schedule is completed and loaded we will notify families and provide access to the schedule. Next week I will be hosting an online orientation. As I work with Korematsu staff we will send out an agenda for information and how to access the orientation. While this information is not that specific, please know we are working to support all students during this trying time. Again more to come in the next few days. 

Matt Burnham, Principal
Fred T. Korematsu Middle School

Message for Band Families

Ms. Carrico is trying to collect all the emails of incoming band students, so she can communicate with the parents about a zoom on the first day of school. If you are an incoming band student, please email Ms. Carrico your name, your child’s name, and whether you are a student in band or orchestra.

PTA General Meeting Schedule 2020-2021

Tuesday Sept 15, 2020 7-9pm
Tuesday Nov 10, 2020 7-9pm (Special Black Lives Matter Speaker: Mr. Phillips)
Tuesday Jan 12, 2021 7-9pm
Tuesday March 9, 2021 7-9pm
Tuesday May 11, 2021 7-9pm

Sherrod Blankner, President
Manu Wong, Treasurer
Eleanor Judd, Secretary
Eowyn Mader, Membership

The Phoenix, Thursday, May 28, 2020

Dates and Times have been set to pick up and drop off of items

PICK UP Locker Contents  (Gym and Regular Locker)
DROP OFF TextbooksTeacher classroom library books Anything else belonging to classroomsSchool Library BooksInstruments (see below)
IF LEAVING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT Please return your tablet and cords. 

IF NOT LEAVING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT You may keep your tablet for the summer.
EVERYTHING WILL BE PACKED FOR YOU Stay in the carEveryone in the care must wear a mask. We will either hand you your things or place them in the trunk of your car

Drive around the school in a clockwise direction.Drive down Donal on the school side of the street. Items will only be given out on the school side of the street.

Tuesday, June 2, 20207th GRADERS 
 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

12-2:00 p.m. 

2:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, June 3, 20208th GRADERS
9:00- 11:30 a.m.
1:00 – 3 :00 p.m.

Thursday, June 4, 20208th Graders
9:00- 11:30 a.m.
1:00 – 3 :00 p.m.

There will be makeup times announced for Friday, June 5, 2020 or the following week. Please stay tuned. 


June 2, 20207th Graders
7th graders who are not signed up for band for 20-21 or are not going to Korematsu in 20-21 Come to the back gate on Lawrence by the Cafe ramp. Same times are aboveJust pull up and Tiffany will take the instruments/stands/drums/bells, etc.  Please stay in the car with masks, etc.

June 3, 2020
8th Graders
8th Graders who are not signed up for band at ECHS or are not going to ECHS in 20-21, please turn in your instruments/stands/drums/bells.
Please stay in the car with masks, etc.

If you ARE signed up for band at ECHS for 20-21, you can keep instruments for the summer ad there will be return dates set in early August.
If any of this timing does not work, there will be makeup days. Contact Tiffany

Special note on trumpets:  You can contact Tiffany for instructions on how to clean, valve oil, or you can return next week for cleaning next week and Tiffany will contact you when they are done.  There can also be replacement instruments issued if broken. Please reach out to Tiffany directly. 

El Cerrito High School PTSA Meeting

Election of Officers and Special Guest Principal Crespo will join to give us updates and introduce herself.  Please consider getting involved in the PTSA.
All Welcome.


El Cerrito High School PTSANotice of Special MeetingThursday, June 4, 2020
6:00 PM

1.  Call to Order
2.  Review Zoom Meeting Protocols
3.  Elections
    President: OPEN
    Executive Vice President: OPEN
    Recording Secretary: Bhrett Lash
    Corresponding Secretary: OPEN
    Treasurer: OPEN   
Financial Secretary: OPEN   
Auditor: Leslie Reckler   
Historian: OPEN
4. Record Bank Signers
5.  Presentation: Principal Crespo, School Updates
6.  Announcements
7.  Appreciations
8.  Adjourn

Nominations for positions will also be taken from the floor. If you are interested, please volunteer!
Voting is restricted to those that are dues paying members, and have been members for 30 days or more.

EL Cerrito High School PTSA Needs You




We enrich the school and hold community together in so many ways.  We need your help. There are many positions open, and we especially need a president and a treasurer to continue our work. Some previous experience is helpful, but is not necessary. This need not take up a lot of your time. Training is available. You will be supported, and will find this to be a rich and rewarding experience.Please consider this opportunity to serve.


Website: El Cerrito High School PTSA

El Cerrito High School  Incoming 9th Grade Band Families

I would like to invite parents and students to attend ECHS Band Info Night on Wednesday, June 3rd at 6pm via Zoom. The purpose of the meeting is to provide you an overview of the band program at ECHS, discuss plans for next school year, instrument checkout procedures, what you can expect through online learning in the fall, hear from current band students and parents, and ask any questions you may have. To attend, simply click on the following link:

Also, please consider joining us for our Virtual Recital and Band Awards this Friday, May 29th at 6pm. LIVE performances by members of the ECHS Wind Ensemble and All-Star Alumni. To get more information and register to attend, please visit
We hope you’ll join us for both events!

The Phoenix, May 21, 2020


Gail Simpson is inviting you to a scheduled 8th GRADE Zoom meeting.

Topic: HIGH SCHOOL meeting for 8th grade STUDENTS ONLY (no parents, siblings, etc)
TUESDAY May 26, 2020 12:00



Please come early. In the event the Zoom meeting runs out of room, more meetings will be scheduled.

Gail Simpson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Parents’/guardians’ HIGH SCHOOL information meeting
Time: May 27, 2020 11:00 Pacific Time (US and Canada)


The COST team has created a Go Fund Me with the goal of supporting families in our community during this difficult time. I wanted to shoot out the link in hopes that many of us could share it on social media and any other way you may deem appropriate.

The link for you to share/donate is available here.

Below I have also included what I wrote on my own social media when sharing the GFM if you would like to see an example.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about this. Thank you for taking the time to support our community!!

“Hey all, my school has created a Go Fund Me to support families that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Any support you can provide (whether financial or by sharing this post) would be much appreciated!

My experience in the classroom has shown me how important mental health can be to student success. Financial resources for food and other personal necessities are crucial in this. With 43% of Korematsu families classified as low-income we know there is need in our community and we believe that by providing this much needed financial support we will, in turn, be better supporting the social, emotional and academic needs of our community.

If we meet our goal of $5,000, we will be able to provide 10 families with $500 gift cards to purchase food and other personal necessities. Recipients of this support will be determined by the COST (Coordination of Services Team) at Korematsu Middle School, using data collected through a survey that has been distributed to students and families through email and social media.

Thank you so much for your partnership!”

Alison Schmidt

Social Studies Teacher

Fred T. Korematsu Middle School

M.A. in Urban Education Policy and Administration


During this time of struggle, I’d like to take a moment to thank The Arlington and all that they’ve given to Korematsu and ECHS, and ask you to help show appreciation by supporting them.

The Arlington owners (who are also parents in our ECHS family) have been more than generous to our students and events. Throughout the years, they’ve gone above and beyond – supporting events at cost, and asking very little in return. As the co-chair of the Korematsu auctions, the 2019 Grad Night Committee, the Ultimate Crab Feed, and many others, I can honestly say these events couldn’t have happened without their generosity. We are forever grateful!

Please help show our gratitude by ordering a family dinner with them. I assure you it will be delicious!


(largely adapted from CA State PTA)CA State PTA is urging all members and (non-members) to take action right now to prevent school funding cuts. Use and share the links below. 

Despite efforts by Governor Newsom to minimize cuts to education and children’s services, the revised May California budget proposal leaves schools and other programs facing significant cuts.The largest cut to K-12 funding is a 10 percent reduction to the Local Control Funding Formula ($6.5 billion in 2020-21).Schools throughout the state, already bracing for cuts before the pandemic, now have to cut budgets even further. The financial hurt stretches beyond the coming school year, with even greater economic challenges in the following years.The pandemic has overwhelmed the state’s capacity to adequately support the education, health and welfare of California’s children.

What does that look like her in the WCCUSD? Understand that changes occur daily. So, as of yesterday……

Bracing for cuts before the pandemic:
2020-2021  -$29.8 million Already WCCUSD Board-Approved
2021-2022  -$22.5 million bracing for cuts before the pandemic
2021 -2022  -$18.5 million additional caused by COVID-19 
TOTAL       -$41 million

To put it in terms that we can understand, $1 million dollars = 10 teachers. So, the cuts in 2021-2022 are equivalent to more than 400 teaching jobs.  410 to be exact.

Time for Advocacy
We all must act now to cushion this blow. We need to speak up and advocate for more money: More money from the federal government, more money at the ballot box, and more revenue in the state budget. Even consider local measures.

Contact your state representatives: Let them know what the impact of the proposed budget will be on your school.To find your representatives click here. Let them know in our district $1 million dollars is the salary of 10 teachers.  We cannot afford any more cuts to our district.

Advocate for More Federal Funding: Contact your federal representatives and ask them to support an additional $200 billion in federal funds for schools. It is very likely that CA’s representatives already support this legislation. Send a message to your federal representatives  anyway. Then, share this link with friends and relatives that live in other states and urge them to sign. Unless Congress acts – specifically the Senate – schools will experience major budget cuts triggered by the pandemic.

Help pass the Schools and Communities First ballot initiative which is on the November ballot: This could raise about $11.5 billion dollars each year for our schools and local communities. In an average year with normal business and industry operations, this might mean $18 million for our school district.  Click here to learn more.

Census results affect planning and funding for education—including programs such as Head Start, Pell Grants, school lunches, rural education, adult education, and grants for preschool special education. Your information is secure and won’t be shared. The future counts more than ever!

Be open to the discussion of a local funding measure.
The WCCUSD may well put a local funding measure on the November ballot. Understandably, it is a difficult topic in this unprecedented time. Be open to this discussion. Please remember….. $10 million dollars = 100 teaching jobs. 

It is going to take all of us to change the tide and weather this storm. Thank you for your support. 


Are you passionate about student leadership? 

Want to learn more? 


Announcing the Ed100 Online Summer Academy for California Student Leaders

Student Leaders: Apply by June 6. It’s Free!

California’s student leaders are essential — this year more than ever. So, it’s time for something new: an online conference that prepares California high school student leaders with the knowledge and connections they need to make a difference.

Apply now
 and mark your calendar: July 20-23. We invite California’s high school student leaders to join together at the Ed100 Online Academy for Student Leaders, a new virtual conference for students who in the coming school year will be serving: 

  • on a school site council or ELAC
  • on their school board, 
  • on a PTA board or nonprofit school organization
  • in other student led or student-focused organizations

Students who aren’t yet in these roles but aspire to them may also apply.

Ed100 Student Academy Partners

Spread the Word!

We need your help.

  • Please share this email with high school student leaders in your school community —  especially rising juniors and sophomores. We want to make sure that there is at least one applicant from every single high school!
  • Please share this email beyond your own school community. The price to attend is zero, but we worry that some schools will be left out just because they don’t hear about it. That’s an equity issue.
  • We are not charging students to participate in this event. We are actively seeking donations and sponsors.

We’ve been working with students and organizations around the state to develop a great program. Want to join us to help make it happen? If you have available time and this project speaks to you please email us:

The Phoenix, May 14, 2020



Ms. Simpson is hosting a ZOOM Meeting !!!

Topic: 8th grade HIGH SCHOOL informational meeting
Time: May 15, 2020 13:00 Pacific Time (US and Canada)



This is one you definitely don’t want to miss. Act now.
Since copies are limited and school schedules continue to change, we ask that you please order your yearbook online.


May 12 Closure Update: End of school procedures coming soon; sobering state budget news

Dear WCCUSD Families,

As the weather continues to improve and the shelter-in-place orders are being relaxed, I hope that you are finding ways to keep yourselves entertained and engaged while staying safe and healthy. The last two months have not been easy and this summer will not be a typical summer. But I hope that we can all have a strong finish to the school year. 

We are hearing from a number of students and staff who want to return to their campuses to clean out lockers, desks and classrooms. We are working on arrangements to facilitate this work. We will have a plan in place next week and will communicate it to you at that time.

I also want to share some information with you about the budget situation. While we have come very close to meeting the budget reduction targets we set for next school year, the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has significantly affected the fiscal outlook for the nation, the state and this school district.

As you know, we have worked our way through most of our intended budget reductions. We started the year with a goal of reducing $48 million for next year. We amended that goal to $32 million with the plan to push out that other $16 million in reductions for one more year. 

With a lot of hard work, we have been able to reduce our expenditures by $30 million, coming $2 million short of our target for this year. We have always planned to cover that $16 million shortfall through our last bit of extra reserves. Our hope was that new revenue might help us–additional funding from the state, the Schools and Communities First ballot initiative, new money for Special Education, increased enrollment, or improved attendance. 

We have been implementing our plan and doing so collaboratively with our labor partners but we had no idea what was coming: COVID-19. The state anticipates an $18 billion reduction to education funding. The Governor released his May Revision this week and we may have to reduce $26 million or more for the 2020-21 school year. It is also possible that the State may announce additional cuts beyond this amount in the late summer or fall. 

This is sobering news, but I truly believe that we will get through this crisis, as with all the others, together. As I get more clarity around what impact the economy will have on our work, I will make sure we communicate that with you.

Thank you again for your continued patience and support. 

In community,

Matthew Duffy

En Español


With the help of parent/family leaders we created these Distance Learning Guides for Preschool; TK, K, 1st; 2nd-6th, and Middle and High school.The guides are available in English and Spanish at