White Oaks Weekly - November 7, 2021

From the Principal

Dear White Oaks families,

As I changed my calendar to November, I was surprised to see that the end of the first trimester is upon us. November signals changing weather, the end of daylight saving time, shorter days, and the end of my time as the interim principal. I can’t believe how quickly this school year is progressing. One of the best parts of my interim job is being able to see all of the teaching and learning that takes place every day on our campus. I continually see a focus on the skills and conceptual tools that are critical for 21st-century learners, including the 5Cs: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Communication, Collaboration, Citizenship (global and local), and Creativity & Innovation. The 5Cs embody mindsets that are important for our students. The goal is to incorporate the 5Cs into all learning experiences within each grade level.

Here are some examples of how I saw the 5Cs in action the past couple of weeks:

Communication: 2nd-graders were editing final drafts of their small moment Narrative stories during Writer’s Workshop and sharing “I wonder” thoughts during Reader’s Workshop. Kindergarteners were discussing their thinking when coding Bee-Bots, encouraging and supporting all efforts.

Collaboration: 1st-graders were working together as Word Detectives finding sight words in their independent reading books. Meanwhile, Kindergarteners practiced Powerful Reading Partnerships creating strong summaries of stories using key connecting words.

Critical Thinking: 3rd-graders were finding clues to figure out the mystery, first as a whole class and then in their own individual books during Reader’s Workshop.

Citizenship: 2nd-graders asked to help keep our campus clean during lunch recess. 3rd-graders are teaching the classrooms about empathy and giving as they lead our Samaritan House Donation Drive.

Creativity: The uniquely crafted Gratitude Leaves created by all students on campus warm my heart and add beauty to our school. Come by to see our Gratitude Tree outside the main office.

End of Trimester 
As we approach the end of the trimester on Nov. 12, teachers will be assessing students in a variety of subjects to see the progress they have made since the beginning of the school year. Report cards will be sent out to parents electronically by Nov. 23.

Students complete a math benchmark assessment at the end of each trimester. The questions on the assessment are a compilation of math skills and concepts taught during the trimester.

Within the next few weeks, teachers will be sending home the assessment for parents to review. This is an opportunity for you to see the standards that your child has already mastered and those that need a little more work. This benchmark assessment test is not a “high stakes” test, but it is used as a tool for teachers to guide instruction as we move forward. Teachers use these assessments to make informed decisions on curriculum and instruction, so that students receive work at the “just right” level to continue to progress toward grade-level standards. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your classroom teacher.

It’s incredible to watch the growth of our students here at White Oaks, both academically and socially-emotionally.

It has been an honor to lead our exceptional staff and students at White Oaks. I look forward to welcoming back our amazing Leah Scholer on Monday!

Warm regards,

Kim Norgaard, Interim Principal



November 10

We are so glad that our students are back on campus. Parents played a vital role in educating students last year during distance learning, and we are grateful for your partnership. Not only did you supervise and guide learning at home, but many of you supported our PTA and made generous donations to SCEF. Parent engagement is key to a successful education, and I want to thank you for the many ways you make a difference at White Oaks School. 

Your donations to the San Carlos Education Foundation last year are being put to use at White Oaks in many ways. SCEF helps our school district hire teachers for smaller elementary class sizes, provides funding for student iPads and Chromebooks, learning applications and Tech Associates, supports our school counselor and social-emotional programs, and helps to underwrite Music for Minors and our PE program. Because of SCEF’s successful Fund the Future campaign last year, our new STEMscopes curriculum is being put to work with hands-on learning supplies and materials, and professional development for teachers. Learn more about this exciting new curriculum here. This year I am using my SCEF principal fund to support Artist in Residence, digital subscription services to support personalizing learning, SEL curriculum and materials, and instructional materials to support STEM.

I encourage you to support SCEF this year as they kick off their annual fund campaign this Wednesday, Nov. 10, with SCEF DAY. Encourage your student to wear green on Wednesday to celebrate the wonderful community support that helps keep San Carlos schools strong. If you haven’t already done so, I hope you will consider donating to SCEF. Support from parents like you is critical to help sustain and enhance the education we provide to our students. You can learn more at scefkids.org.

Thank you,
Kim Norgaard

Dates to Remember 

Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 8-10: Scholastic Book Fair in the MU
Monday, Nov. 8: Makeup Picture Day
Wednesday, Nov. 10: SCEF Day
Wednesday, Nov. 10: PTA meeting, 7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Thursday, Nov. 11: Veterans Day, no school
Friday, Nov. 12: End of 1st Trimester
Thursday, Nov. 18: School Site Council meeting, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 23: Report card day
Nov. 22-26: Fall Break 

School News and Events

Book Fair: Monday-Wednesday in the MU this week
The Scholastic Book Fair raises thousands of dollars in books for the school library. We can’t do it without your help! Please consider a volunteer shift at the fair, and sign up here. A reminder that volunteers must complete forms to be cleared to work on campus. The fair continues in the MU, Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 8-10.

  • 8-9 a.m. (8-8:30 kids only, 8:30-9 adults only)
  • 5:30-7 p.m.

Note: Due to COVID there will be no Family Fun Night at the Book Fair.

PTA Meeting: This Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Please join us at our next PTA meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. We are thrilled to welcome Mrs. Scholer back and look forward to hearing from her at our meeting. We will also be hearing about our upcoming Holiday Store! All parents are welcome to attend! We hope to see you there.

Third-Grade Baby Photos for Yearbook
Please submit one baby photo of your child to be included in the Guess Who 3rd Grade Baby section of the yearbook. Please follow the guidelines below and submit your photo by Sunday, Nov. 21.

  • Use this Google form to upload your photo
  • Rename your image file to include the child’s last and first name (smith_bob.jpg)
  • JPEG images are highly preferred

We would love for every 3rd-grader to be included on these pages. Please email any questions to trinity.murphy@gmail.com.

White Oaks Holiday Store 2021!
The White Oaks Holiday Store is a cherished tradition and will be open on Saturday, Dec. 11!

Pick-a-Project will be on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 12:25 p.m. After school dismissal, come to the MU to choose a project to take home and complete. For those new to the Holiday Store: Parents select a kit that has all materials and instructions for assembling a certain number of gifts, and return them by Nov. 30. Then on the day of the Holiday Store, these gifts are sold to White Oaks students to give to family members! Most projects require NO crafty abilities and are very easy to put together.

Seeking help with sewing projects: A few Pick-a-Project kits require certain skills. We are specifically looking for help with sewing projects. Please contact Sara Ting if you have sewing abilities to share! There will be more volunteer opportunities, so look for future sign-ups.

Holiday Store Key Dates
Nov. 10 at 12:25 p.m.: Pick-a-Project in the MU after school dismissal
Nov. 30 at 2:30 p.m.: Assembled projects due back to White Oaks
Dec. 10 at 2:30 p.m.: Event set-up in the MU
Dec. 11 9 a.m.-12 p.m.: Holiday Store open!

PTA Membership Update
Thanks to everyone who participated in the White Oaks PTA Membership Drive! We are happy to announce that 77% of families are now members. Including families, students, teachers, and staff, we have grown our membership since last year! Rooms 1 and A tied to win our class challenge to choose the next Spirit Day with 89% membership! Room C was in 2nd place with 88% membership, and Room 11 was in 3rd place with 86% membership. Way to go, everyone! Mrs. Norgaard generously wore the green wig at the last Welcome Wednesday to congratulate the winning classes. Thank you, Mrs. Norgaard!

Become a PTA Partner: Donate Today!
Have you donated to our White Oaks fall PTA fundraiser? Please help us reach our goal to cover PTA programs and expenses for the 2021-22 school year. Your one-time PTA Partner donation supports amazing programs and activities like teacher stipends and principal site funds, social-emotional educationArt in ActionMakerspaceHoliday Storeartist in residenceRunning ClubMovie Night and so much more. PTA funds are already making a positive difference in the daily lives of our students, but we still need your support! Our goal this year is to raise $20,000, and we are about 15% to our goal. Our donation ask is $125 per student or $250 per family. Please click here to learn more and donate by Nov. 19. Thank you for your support! Donate today and reach out to Jennie Romeo or Taylor Simon  if you have any questions!

Become a Small-Business Sponsor of the White Oaks PTA
Do you own a small business, and would you be interested in becoming a small-business sponsor of our PTA? We need your support! Please reach out to Jennie Romeo or Taylor Simon to discuss how you can contribute and help our White Oaks community thrive this year. We are so thankful for our small-business support!

Holiday Shopping Is Just Around the Corner!
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the White Oaks PTA every time you shop. While shopping this holiday season, use the link smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to our school. Create a bookmark and make it easy to remember. If you use Chrome, click here to activate a redirect that will automatically take you to smile.amazon.com whenever you type amazon.com (so easy!). You'll never miss an opportunity to earn money for our school. Thank you so much!

SCEF News and Events

SCEF Day is This Week!
Wednesday, Nov. 10, is SCEF Day. For nearly 40 years, the San Carlos Education Foundation (SCEF) has been supporting our schools. Wear green to show your SCEF pride!  Wonder why we have an education foundation in San Carlos? Watch this short video to learn how SCEF meets the needs of every student, every day, at every school.

Golden State Warriors Games
See the Golden State Warriors while supporting your schools. Learn more and check out upcoming SCEF events at scefkids.org/events.

District News and Events

SMCOE COVID-19 Vaccination Update
It’s been a banner week for vaccination news, creating both excitement and anxiety. This week’s update provides specific information to help ease concerns about access to vaccinations for children and to help families plan how to schedule appointments for their children. Click HERE to read the full Nov. 4 update from the San Mateo County Office of Education.

Walk Audit Volunteers Needed / Nursing Notes
Health & Wellness Director Ilana Yakubovich is starting to plan Walk Audits at each school site. Please email her at iyakubovich@scsdk8.org if you would like to volunteer to help with a walk audit or with any ideas or questions. She is looking forward to connecting with you soon!

Nurses Notes: The SCSD Nursing Team learned at the county-wide nurses’ meeting last week that respiratory illnesses in schools are on the rise and that a winter surge of the COVID-19 virus is expected. Please refer to this link for suggestions on how to protect you and your family against the COVID-19 virus. Read more from our nurses on our Health & Safety page.

Fall Event for Special Education Families on Nov. 13
SEDAC (Special Education District Advisory Council) invites our Special Education families to an intimate fall event at the San Carlos Youth Center. Come join the fun with arts and crafts, a sensory station, a fabulous balloon artist (2:30-3:30 p.m.), and more!
Who: San Carlos School District Special Education Families
When: Saturday, Nov. 13, 2-5 p.m.
Where: San Carlos Youth Center (Dance Studio), 1001 Chestnut St.

Did you know California is expanding Transitional Kindergarten (TK), making all 4-year-old eligible by 2025-26?
For the 2022-23 school year, parents of students who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Feb. 1 can register their children for Transitional Kindergarten (TK). TK is optional, and parents may choose to keep their children enrolled in preschool or day care until they are eligible to enter Kindergarten. Stay tuned for more information on what TK programming will look like in San Carlos schools and plans for a robust, early learning aftercare program to support families who need all-day care. Visit our Transitional Kindergarten page to learn more about the San Carlos School District TK program.

Here are some key dates for new student registration:

  • Monday, Jan. 10: Virtual TK/Kindergarten Welcome Night, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 11: PowerSchool Priority Registration opens for all new students at noon.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 26: Schools hold Virtual Elementary School Tours for incoming TK/Kindergarten families, 4-4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 11: PowerSchool Priority Registration deadline, 4 p.m.

COVID Reminders: Stay Home When Sick and Get Tested
Staying home when sick and getting tested for the COVID-19 virus are two of the most effective ways to keep our community safe. Find details from the SCSD Health & Safety Plan in this document


If you have any of the symptoms listed above, call your school office to report an illness, stay home, and take a COVID virus test.
If you need to report a positive COVID test, please call District Nurse Page Pollack at 650-632-8300 (Arroyo office) or Human Resources at 650-590-5922 if the nurse is unavailable.

For more information, visit our COVID-19 Resources page and review the SCSD Health & Safety Plan.

Second Location and More Days for Curative COVID-19 Testing 
Please take advantage of the free COVID-19 virus testing provided by the San Mateo County Health Department. Sign up online for your weekly testing.

Central Middle School parking lot, 757 Cedar St.

  • NEW Mondays 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Thursdays 1-7 p.m.
  • Fridays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Book at the Central location here.

Tierra Linda Middle School parking lot, 750 Dartmouth Ave. 

  • Wednesdays and Fridays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saturdays 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Book at the Tierra Linda van here.

Find other community testing sites in San Mateo County here.


Community News and Events

Stand United Against Hate Poetry Slam Entries Are Due Nov. 9 / Save the Date for Nov. 19 Slam
The Community Foundation of San Carlos is joining the United Against Hate Movement (Nov. 14-20) and invites you to be part of the movement to help promote acceptance, inclusion, and equity in our town.

Save the Date: Friday, Nov. 19
What: Stand United Against Hate Poetry Slam
When: Friday, Nov. 19, 5-6 p.m.
Where: Devil’s Canyon Brewery, 935 Washington St.
Why: Come tell your story, use your voice to stand up for what’s right, and share how you combat hate in our community, your experiences with hate, and how we all can become more united. All ages welcome.
How: Deadline for poetry submission is Tuesday, Nov 9. Register HERE. More details via this link.
Prize: $1,500 will be donated to the nonprofit(s) of the winners’ choice!

San Carlos Lions Club Presents Photos with Santa: Nov 13
Prepare for the holidays and get a photo with Santa on Saturday, Nov. 13, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at One Step Beyond (575 Old County Rd., San Carlos). Families, kids, pets, everyone is welcome! No appointment necessary: first come, first served! $20 donation (cash only) for sitting includes one digital photo sent to you via email. Proceeds support Canine Companions and the San Carlos Lions Club. For more information, visit the Lions Club of San Carlos website.

SAVE THE DATE for Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day: Nov. 17
Ruby made a lasting impact on the Civil Rights Movement and paved the way for future generations of students of color. Her courage inspired a group of 5th-graders from South San Francisco, and with the help of San Mateo County Safe Routes to School, they created Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day. Walk with us on Wednesday, Nov. 17, to celebrate Ruby’s courageous action and to show support for social justice, equity, and inclusion in our schools.

Watch the informational video and use this form to sign up for Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day. The California State Senate recently passed a resolution about Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day! Click here to read it.

Help us take this day NATIONWIDE! Questions? Please contact San Mateo County Safe Routes to School at srts@smcoe.org.

City of San Carlos Flag Football & Basketball Leagues
Flag Football: Friday Night Under the Lights!
This coed youth flag football program is intended for boys and girls of all experience levels and emphasizes skill development, good sportsmanship, teamwork, and fun! The 5-on-5 fast-paced games provide the opportunity for children to experience the fun of football and learn the sport. Games are 40 minutes long with a 5-minute halftime, at Highlands Park on Fridays from 5-9:30 p.m., with the youngest playing first. Practices are held one hour before game time. Game schedules will be available online two weeks prior to the first game at www.quickscores.com/cityofsancarlos.

  • Registration deadline: Friday, Nov. 12, at cityofsancarlos.org/register
  • Skills evaluations: Saturday, Dec. 4 at Highlands Park
  • Season: Jan. 7-March 4 at Highlands Park (no games Feb. 25)
  • Cost: $180, $200 for non-residents

Youth Basketball League Information
Recreation basketball is a fun, low-pressure way to learn and enjoy the game of basketball. Equal playing time for all! K/1st grade league is coed; 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th/6th leagues are single gender. Games are at the Youth Center on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., with the youngest playing first. Practices are held one hour before game time. T-shirt uniforms are provided to each participant at the first game. Game schedules will be available online two weeks prior to the first game at www.quickscores.com/cityofsancarlos.

  • Registration deadline: Friday, Nov. 12, at cityofsancarlos.org/register
  • Skills evaluations: Saturday, Dec. 11 at San Carlos Youth Center
  • Season: Jan. 8-March 5 at Youth Center (no games Feb. 19)
  • Cost: $160, $180 for non-residents

Parent Education Opportunities
Parent Venture Series: www.parentventure.org/events

Changing Perspectives Parent Nights for TK-12 Families: First session is Nov. 9, 5:30-7 p.m. The San Mateo County Office of Education invites Sam Drazin, founder and CEO of Changing Perspectives, to lead two virtual family nights on social-emotional learning (SEL) and how to incorporate it at home. He will break SEL down into core competencies and share valuable strategies and resources to support students’ well-being and learning. Learn more.

What are the myths (and truths) about California higher education? Join admission experts from UC, CSU, and CCC for an eye-opening conversation, Mythbusters: The Truth About the California Higher Education Systems (Nov. 9, online).

Eran Magen, PhD, founder of Parenting for Humans, joins us for a new Parent Forum (English), Helping Your Child Build Good Habits (Nov. 12, online).