Monthly Archive: April 2014

Camarena Color Splash Postponed

color-run-californiaOur Camarena Color Splash Run has been postponed until May 31.  We postponed because registration was low (perhaps due to it being Easter weekend). Anyone who registered for the earlier date can either 1) join us on the 31st or 2) contact the PTA for a refund. We apologize for the confusion and hope many more will make plans to join us for this fun event at the end of May.

Testing Season Overview

I am providing a detailed explanation of the testing that students will face over the next 8 weeks and include the purpose and nature of those assessments so that parents and students alike have a complete picture of what’s in store.  You should contact your child’s teacher for the specific grade level testing calendar and any personalized instructional goals for your child. Let’s get started:


What:  California Standards Test (CST) Science

Who: Grade 5

When: May 9

Details: This is the only CST test that students will take as the remainder of the tests are based on the newly adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  This is  for grade 5 only and covers Science standards from grades 4 and 5.


What: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Field Test

Who: Grades 3-6


Grade 6 begins April 14

Grade 5 begins April 21

Grade 4 begins April 28

Grade 3 begins May 5

Details: The SBAC Field Test is based on the CCSS.  The Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) and the State of California have adopted and implemented the CCSS this school year.  Since this assessment is a field test, neither the school nor the families will receive any of these results.  The purpose of this assessment is to gauge the effectiveness and validity of the tool and help SBAC create a better test for the 2014-15 school year.


What: Local Measures Reading

Who: Kinder – 6th

When: Varies per grade level beginning week of April 14

Details: The purpose of this test is to determine if our students are reading “at grade level” according to the criteria of the CCSS.    In Kinder and 1st grade students will read a text for accuracy and comprehension (fluency in 1st).  In grades 2-6, students will take an online assessment to determine their readability level (Lexile).  This Lexile system is the metric that the CCSS has selected to guide districts, schools, and students in monitoring student growth in the area of text complexity.  Students who take this assessment (grades 2-6) will receive a number that places them either “below”, “at”, or “below” grade level according to the CCSS guidelines.   The results of this  assessment will be included on your child’s report card.


What: Local Measures Writing

Who: Kinder – 6th

When: Varies by grade level beginning April 21

Details: Every student will write a narrative, expository, or opinion piece in which they cite evidence from a video and short texts.  Students will be given time to discuss the texts and video in their class before writing.  This will mirror the actual work of writers who gather their information before composing.  Students are graded based on a four point rubric with 3 being proficient.   The results of this  assessment will be included on your child’s report card.


What: Local Measures Math

Who: Kinder – 6th

When: Varies by grade level beginning May 5

Details: The Local  Measures Math assessment is a cumulative test of the key math concepts taught throughout the year.  Every student will take this assessment as an indicator of their mastery of the grade level  math content.  The questions are open-ended so that students need to show the process they used to solve the problems.  The results of this  assessment will be included on your child’s report card.


What: Math Performance Task

Who: Kinder – 6th

When: Varies by grade level beginning May 5

Details: The Math Performance Task is a detailed math problem that will challenge students to use all of the math problem solving skills they have been practicing this year.  It is guaranteed to be a multi-step problem and involves tasks that test the ability of students to read a problem carefully and craft a thorough and thoughtful plan to reach the best possible solution.  The results of this  assessment will be included on your child’s report card.


What Can Parents do to Support Students?

The cumulative efforts of students, staff, and parents since July have prepared our students  to demonstrate their best work and they should face all of these measures with confidence. If you would like to review content or skills with your child, contact the teacher for the personalized plan the best suits his or her learning profile.  Otherwise, continue to provide a quite, consistent place to study, ample rest each day, and hearty and healthy meals as always.

These assessments are a snapshot of your child’s ability at this time and the information we gather will help us determine what they have mastered to this point and what we need to focus on in the year ahead.

In conclusion, assessment plays a crucial role in determining the progress that each student, class, and the entire school is making from year to year and we will carefully analyze all of this data on an individual and organizational basis to constantly improve our service to your children.  If you would like to discuss any of these with your teacher or myself don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience.

DASH applications are available

DASH applications are now available at their website or at a South Bay Family YMCA facility.  Applications for the lottery will be accepted from  April 14 through April 25 and can only be turned in by fax or in person at the following facility:
South Bay Family YMCA
1201 Paseo Magda, Chula Vista  91910
Hours:  M-F 4:30 AM – 10:00 PM, SAT 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM, SUN 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Fax No.: 619-421-8012
Please do not turn in applications to DASH or the school office.

The Twitter Challenge


Social Media has the potential of creating more connections between school and families and we are eager to tap into that potential here at Camarena.  Therefore, we are opening up a challenge and an opportunity to interested Camarena families.

We would like to offer the opportunity for several Camarena families to control our Camarena Twitter feed for one week at a time.  Your job will be to post comments and photos about your life at Camarena Elementary from  your unique perspective.    The posts will go out through our Twitter feed of @CamElementary and will be cross posted here on our sidebar at

If your family would like to be considered for this opportunity, please fill out the entry form below and you’ll be notified of your week of Twitter control.  And, for the rest of you, please start following us @CamElementary to see the amazing stories of learning and life here at Camarena.

Yearbook Dedications Deadline 11April

Dear Parents,

For all those who ordered dedications for the yearbook and have not yet submitted them yet, please send them to by Friday, April 11.   Late submissions will not be included in the yearbook, and NO REFUNDS will be given.

Please email your dedications as soon as possible.  Please make sure to include name of the student, and your message, in 25 words or less. 

Thank you very much!


Camarena Yearbook Committee

Vote for Camarena’s Amazing Volunteer Mrs. Corie Tyler

You can vote for here on the donor nation site. Here’s why she was nominated:

Corie Tyler is an amazing community member. She is the mother of one of my students, and from day one, she offered her services and expertise to me, my students and the school community. Corie splits her time on Mondays and Wednesdays between my classroom and the classroom of her other son. She is willing to do ANYTHING. She makes copies, checks papers, gets projects ready, works with students, etc. There isn’t a single thing she wouldn’t do. For Read Across America Week, she volunteered to read to the class.  When our school’s garden club meets, she is out there in her boots shoveling mulch. I think that the best thing about Corie is that she does it all with a smile on her face and doesn’t expect recognition or even a thank you. She does it all from the bottom of her heart, for her kids and her community. I couldn’t have survived this school year without her! Thank you, Corie!

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