Special Board Meeting About the New Portola Campus – Thursday 11/19 6:30pm

From an email sent by Charles Ramsey, WCCUSD School Board President:
“The board is having a special meeting on Thursday, December 19th at LaVonya DeJean Middle School at 6:30 PM. The meeting is not televised, since it is a special meeting, but the purpose of the meeting is to get a status report on Portola Middle School. This will enable parents and other interested parties in learning about when the new school will be completed and when students will be able to start school in the new facility. It will also signal when we can initiate the transition for the Fairmont students and staff.  So please make a point to attend.  We need to keep parents notified about this important project.
Further, I will also initiate a conversation about how to start spending some of the 12 Million Dollars that is unrestricted and can be used on programs. I am going to strongly encourage board members to signal how we can use this money. Our kids need programs and we need to get going on the use of the funds.
We need folks to really show up and make it known that we want this money to be used on kids and not seen as a savings account.  We already have a healthy reserve, state requires 3% and we have 6%.  This 12 Million is in ADDITION to the mandated state reserve. …. We could add more rigor, we could have more AP Courses, also more elementary music and support for more counseling to ensure that our kids have an idea about the plethora of colleges that exist in our country.”
Lovonya DeJean Middle School
Multipurpose Room
3400 Macdonald Avenue
Richmond, CA 94805
Can’t make it? You can always email comments to the WCCUSD School Board. 
 Emails found here:

Bayside Council PTA Needs Officers

Have you been looking to get more involved in the PTA and meet people in  the wider PTA district? Volunteer to be an officer on the Bayside Council PTA! The council helps support WCCUSD’s PTA’s! WE NEED YOU!  All positions are available:  President, Executive VP, 1st VP of Reflections Art Program, 2nd VP of Membership, Secretary, Treasurer and Auditor. Anyone interested please contact the Bayside Nominating committee Nominque Chico ronique1527@hotmail.com, Toi Porter toipta@yahoo.com, and  Kathy Guarneri Lamaneri@yahoo.com.

Teaching Excellence Award Nominations Open

The Ed Fund has decided to extend the deadline for nominations for our annual Teaching Excellence Awards! Nominations are welcome from anyone, especially the students who learn from these outstanding teachers.

Selected teachers will receive $500, will be honored at the 26th Annual Ed Fund Teaching Excellence Awards Banquet in May 2014, and will have a chance to compete for the county Teacher of the Year.

Each nominator (including YOU once you nominate!) will be entered in a raffle to win a $300 gift card from Apple.

Read more at www.edfundwest.org/teaching-excellence-awards

Submit your nomination at www.edfundwest.org/nominate

Free Money Through Shoparoo!

Introducing a new California State PTA sponsor: Shoparoo

We are pleased to acknowledge the newest sponsor of our Member Perks program, Shoparoo.

Shoparoo is a free mobile app that turns pictures of grocery receipts into automatic school donations, no matter what you buy or where you shop. More than 7,000 schools and PTAs received Shoparoo checks last year, and the top earners neared $2,000 in donations – all using their mobile phones. Schools can also earn additional donations through Shoparoo contests and bonus checks, and more than $20,000 in total bonus money has been awarded in the past two months.

Shoparoo can be downloaded for free from the App Store or the Google Play store. You can learn more about the Shoparoo app at http://www.benchmarkemail.com/c/l?u=2F09FC0&e=3D9ABC&c=4592C&t=0&l=7C21302&email=xcX3gXG3XaI%2Fx4C14HJfgAif8GG0Zxj9.

Thank you to Shoparoo for its generous support of California State PTA!

For more information about the California State PTA Member Perks program, click here

Barnes and Noble Book Fair

Please support the Portola Middle School Library

Barnes & Noble Book Fair

Friday, November 22nd

El Cerrito Plaza.

Bookfair ID# 11244548

This ID# can be used for in-store and online purchases at BN.COM/bookfairs.

About 15% of the net sales will be contributed to the Portola Middle School Library.

November 22nd is Discovery Friday at B&N too!

A Festive Start to Your Holiday Shopping

And the chance to win a $1,000 Shopping Spree

Visit your local B&N for the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree–plus, enjoy fun activities, events,

 and giveaways, take advantage of amazing one-day-only savings, and get personalized recommendations from our booksellers.


El Toro Weekly November 14, 2013 – Electronic ONLY this week

Math Update

This past Tuesday, Phil Gonsalves, Drew Kravin and two math coaches led over 40 parents from Portola and our feeder schools through ways to help kids with math.

We’re listing five things we overheard:

1.     Laughing.

2.    Grown adults shouting out the answers.

3.    “I know you are running late, but please keep on going.  We’ll stay.”

4.    “That was really fun!”

5.    “Can you come back again soon?”

You can find their presentation online at:  http://www.wccusd.net/Page/3237

Once there, click on the “Portola Middle School November 12, 2013 Presentation” link.  It is a QuickTime presentation and will play automatically and can be stopped and started anywhere within the presentation. Additionally, you will find many guides and resources here:

Content Presentations


General Math Resources


Instructional Videos




Study Guides for Benchmark Testing


WCCUSD Curriculum Guides


Parent Guides


We warmly thank Phil and Drew for their time and insight.  We are already working on a date when they can return!  A special THANKS to Luz Kirsch for Spanish Translation.


Golden Gate Fields Thank You

PTSA wants to extend thanks to all that came out and donated time to work our Golden Gate Fields booth this past Sunday.  We collected about $150 in tips, and are expecting our $1,000 check shortly.  A special thanks to Sally Fraser for organizing.


Portola Information Night Thank You

A special thanks to all that helped with Thursday’s Information Night. We hosted over 150 prospective parents and students from all of our feeder schools!  They listened to our Jazz Ensemble, learned about after school activities, and took mini science and math classes among others!  A warm thanks to our organizers – Renee Hoyer-Nielsen, Alonn Ilan, Becky Jonas and to our Jazz Ensemble (led by Tiffany Carrico), student presenters and everyone else who graciously gave time, hospitality and smiles!  We just keep raising the bar!!


ESCRIP to Benefit Portola!  ‘Tis the Shopping Season!

The shopping season is coming, and ESCRIP is an easy way for Portola’s PTSA to collect funds … And it involves very little effort on your part.  You register your credit cards, and if you shop at preferred providers, Portola’s PTSA gets a portion of the funds.

How to do it:

1.      Get your wallet and your HUSBAND’s wallet.  Corporate credit cards are great too.

2.      Log into ESCRIP.   http://www.escrip.com/

3.      Set up an account and register your cards, or switch (or add) Portola Middle School.  eScrip Group ID – 145162830

4.      If possible, shop providers that support escrip.  If not, at some point, a few pennies will trickle into PTSA anyway.  We hope more than just a few!

5.      You will find a list on online  and brick and mortar merchants here:



Target Card- Take Charge of Education –  The Shopping Season is Coming!

And while you are at it….do you have a Target credit card?  Is Portola Middle School your recipient of Take Charge of Education Funds?  If not, make the switch today!  You do not need a computer.  The voice-activated system will lead you through.

How to do it:

1.      Get your Target Credit Card.

2.      Dial 1-800-316-6142

3.      Follow the instructions.

4.      Check your next statement to ensure Portola Middle School is the recipient of the funds!


Save the Date

Celebrate Portola is Coming!  Please join us for an evening of community, a celebration of our bands, great food and silent and live auctions!  Saturday, February 1, 2014, El Cerrito Community Center. Community members, parents AND YOUR CHILDREN are warmly welcome!  Ticket information and all the details coming soon!