Working Together to Ensure All Students Learn
Established 1948

Principal's Message


Welcome to the 2015-16 School Year at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School. 

We are all excited to get started and to meet our students bright and early on Monday morning.

There are many exciting new changes at SLVMS this year: New teachers and staff, new resources in our classrooms, new technology, and new programs. You will find the details on these items, as well as other important information regarding SLVMS in this newsletter.  The Panther Newsletter will go out each Friday of the school year to keep our SLVMS school community informed.

For detailed information about SLVMS, including Bell Schedules, the Daily Calendar for the school year, the Daily Bulletin, and all the rest, visit the SLVMS website at:

Here’s to a great year at SLVMS!


SLVMS Student Planners

Every student will be given an SLVMS Student Planner during their 1st period class on Monday.  They will be used every day in every class to write down assignments, homework, and reminders.  It is a great way for parents to stay on top of what students need to do.

We ask the students to go over the first 8 pages of the planner with their parents.  Those pages discuss the procedures, policies, and rules of the school.  There are two handouts in the planner that both require signatures. The first states that you did go over the planner with your child and is to be signed by parent and student. The second explains the expectations for students in regard to technology and cell phones on campus.  

This requires the student’s signature.

Both signed pages must be returned to school. Students will give them to their 1st period teacher during the first week. We also ask parents to include a $5 donation if possible to help us cover some of the cost of supplying these Planners to the students.



Powerschool will be up and running for parents to check grades and assignments near the end of September.  

Access information will be printed on the back of the first progress report sent home.

2015-16 Bring Your Own Device Initiative Starts Monday


As the 2015-16 school year quickly approaches, we are excited about our implementation of our Bring Your Own Device initiative for grades 6-12. This initiative will allow students to be more personally involved in their learning, gaining 21st century skills with technology as an essential learning tool. We understand that technology is a tool and not a replacement for textbooks and other traditional tools.  Usage of laptops in the classroom will be at the discretion of the teacher. Laptops will be available at school for students who do not own their own laptop to use during class time. If you need financial assistance in purchasing a laptop please contact the SLVUSD District Office at 831-336-9672.

For more information, please see the BYOD informational webpage.

Student Owned Laptops

Students who bring their personal laptop to school are responsible for the safety and care of their belongings. This personal property is the responsibility of students and they should consider the following:

Label the laptop with the student’s first & last name
Keep the laptop with you at all times
When in a backpack or case, handle with care
Consider a case to better protect the laptop
Please store passwords and log-in information in a secure location
Charge your laptops each day before coming to school

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What’s New at SLVMS?

New Staff: SLVMS welcomes seven new staff members to our campus this year:

Rachel Hager joins us from Buchser Middle School in Santa Clara and will teacher 6th and 7th grade Science.
Derek Seymour, an SLV graduate, is coming back home from Austin, Texas to teach 6th grade Language Arts and Social Studies
Marisol Briones returns to SLVMS from Ryan Elementary in San Jose to take over our Special Day Class program.
Tony Purtscher, also an SLV grad, begins his teaching career at SLVMS and will teach 7th and 8th grade Social Studies.
Jessica Curcio from Spring Hill in Santa Cruz will teach 6th grade Science.
Gene Knipe will be the Technology Coach for both the MS and the HS.
Shane Yablonka joins our staff as a Special Education Instructional Aide

New Programs and Classes:
The Bring Your Own Device Program will debut on Monday at SLVMS
A new Honors Language Arts 8 class taught by Matt McMillan
Two new Art classes, taught by Jennifer Lahey and Tamera Smith
Nearly 100 students are enrolled in our three music classes this year.

Attendance Matters!

All SLV Schools put an intense focus on Attendance Awareness.  At SLVMS, we were able to record an overall attendance percentage of 96%.  

While that may seem like a great number, it isn’t where we want to be.  An increase of 1 percent district-wide would mean an increase of nearly $150,000 to be used in our schools.

But lost revenue is not the most important piece of this problem.

Missing just 10 percent of the school year in the early grades can leave many students struggling throughout elementary school. By sixth grade, missing that much school is strongly linked to course failure and even eventually dropping out of high school. That’s just 18 days — or two to three days per month. Every school day counts, and every day can make a difference.  Please remember that family vacations during school are not excused absences, and for absences of more than three days, a school can require a doctor’s note.  Also, many parents do not know that teachers are not required to accept work missed during an unexcused absence.

We will be addressing this important topic in the newsletter, on the website, and at parent meetings throughout the school year.  It is an area of focus district-wide.  If your child is sick, please keep him or her home. But if your child can be at school, your child should be at school.


New MCR After-School Program at SLVMS

Mountain Community Resources’ new afterschool program is set to begin Tuesday September 22nd and Wednesday the 23rd from 2:30-4:00 PM for students of San Lorenzo Valley Middle School.  It will be held on the Middle School campus in Room 11, where volunteers will offer homework help and a safe space for students to go after school.

On the last Wednesday of the month, an outing or fun activity will be scheduled.  Many students face the reality of going home to an empty house after school and this program is an opportunity for these teens to engage in positive activities that are completely free of charge after school. Mountain Community Resource’s Teen Advocate, Courtney Sondreal, will be running the program and also available to meet with parents at the SLVMS Back to School Night which will be held on September 17th at 5:30 PM.

Our hope is that this program will be a fun and engaging place for students to bring their school projects while learning to help each other out as well. We are currently looking for volunteers who are passionate about teaching and helping the teens in our community. Donations of paper, pens, pencils, and erasers are also greatly appreciated! For more information, please contact Courtney at Mountain Community Resources, 6134 Highway 9 in Felton, or call (831) 335-6607.


On September 13, 2015 the SLV Education Foundation will be presenting a concert called Music on the Mountain with the small and intense orchestra, Expressivo. This fund raising concert will donate proceeds to the education programs in SLVUSD. There will also be fruit and cheese plates served at a concession area before, after, and during intermission.  

What:     Music on the Mountain Concert

Where:   SLVHS Performing Arts Center

When:    September 13, 2015 at 4:00pm

Tickets can be purchased at and at the Ben Lomond Market for Adults $35.00, Senior $25.00, and Students $15.00. Please plan to attend and encourage friends and family to support the schools in San Lorenzo Valley.

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After School Art at SLVMS

When: Thursdays, 2:30 – 4:15 pm.

Students may want to bring a healthy snack to eat before class.

Who: For students grades sixth through eighth.

Class size limited to 15 students on a first come first served basis.

Where: Room 11.

How: Please register and pay online.

Cost: $25 per 4-week session.

Sliding scale fee available to families in need. Please call 336-4ART.

Fall Session I: SEPT 24 OCT 1,8,15

Comics Are For Kids! with Brian Bowes

Comics Are For Kids! is a fun four-week workshop designed to introduce young cartoonists and storytellers to the language and inner workings of comics.The class will provide an opportunity for kids to learn how to express their ideas through images and the basics of constructing a story.

Class Registration

awesome clay classes for kids summer art camp

Fall Session II: OCT 22, 29 NOV 5, 12

Hand-building Pottery with Jennifer Henning

We will be hand-building teacups, teapots, small plates, and jars. The last day will be for glazing.

All work will be fun and fantastic!

Class Registration

SLVMS Information

Visit the SLVMS Athletics Page for information on

Athletic Sport Seasons, Tryouts, and Schedules

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SLVMS Panther Club

Get INVOLVED with the SLVMS Panther Club

This is the number one way to support SLVMS students and the school as a whole.

For details, visit the Panther Club Website at:

The Panther Pantry - Help Keep Sports Free at SLVMS

If you would like to support your child’s athletic team this year as a team parent coordinating the Panther Pantry snack bar for your child’s sporting events, please contact Melissa Avilla  Each team needs a team parent to work with the Panther Pantry coordinator(s) in order to have the snack bar open at their events.  We are also looking for a couple people who are interested in helping out as Co-coordinators for the Panther Pantry.  The Panther Pantry is the snack bar program sponsored by Panther Club to support no-pay-to-play athletics at SLVMS.

Shop at Amazon and SLVMS gets money!

Do you shop at If you haven’t already visited and shopped through the SLVMS amazon store, now’s the time to check it out.  It’s easy and SLVMS will receive a 2% to 4.25% commission on every purchase made. To shop through the SLVMS Amazon Store and earn money for our school, you only need two extra mouse clicks.  Start at The Panther Club web site, Then find the “SHOP NOW” button on the right side of the page and click it to enter the SLVMS amazon store.  From there, Just click on ANY part of the multiple AMAZON logos throughout the SLVMS amazon page and you will be taken directly to

As you will see, your information is secure. AMAZON Shopping Cart is used to process orders.  They offer an encrypted, secure Shopping Cart for all on-line transactions. No registration needed! Thank you for supporting SLVMS.

All Adults Coming on Campus Must Check in at the SLVMS Office - EVERY TIME

We welcome parents and family to a be a part of daily life here at school,  but we must require that you follow a few safety procedures:

ALL ADULTS who do not work for the school MUST sign in at the office before coming on campus and then wear a visitor sticker.  EVERY TIME. Even if you are regularly in a room, or your child is part of a different school such as the Nature Academy Charter School or Charter Homeschool, you must sign in EVERY time you come on campus. This is a SAFETY ISSUE and there are no exceptions. 

The inconvenience of signing in each time you arrive on campus is far outweighed by the school’s ability to keep the campus safe. We do not know every parent by sight and while you are welcome here, for the safety of our children, please sign in every time you come on campus.

Thank you for adherence to our safety procedures.

Just a quick reminder about medications at school as we hit cold and flu season.

School employees are not permitted to dispense any type of medication to students without a signed physician's note.  This includes all over the counter drugs such as Ibuprofen and Benadryl. A parent can come to school and give a child medication, but school employees cannot.

Please be aware that ALL District sites are considered CLOSED between Sunset and Sunrise.  Unauthorized personnel are NOT permitted on District school sites between Sunset and Sunrise. This will be enforced by District Security as well as the local Sheriff's Department. Please share this information with all of the members in your household.  This is to ensure the security of our facilities and the safety of our staff and students.  Thank you for your assistance.  

The SLV Education Foundation is an active 501c3 non-profit organization in need of revitalization, new energy and new leadership. 

Serving all SLV students primarily through various community and fundraising efforts, the Foundation has in the past helped fund such student programs as class-size reduction. The Foundation is now looking for volunteer leaders interested in finding ways to help improve and fund classroom improvement, teacher assistance and after-school/summer activity programs; and even a program to ensure that all students are provided technology and instruction on its use as a part of their education.

If you or someone you know are energetic, hard-working, and committed to the idea that our students deserve the absolute best opportunity to excel that our community can provide, then please consider joining as a leader of the SLV Education Foundation. 

Questions – contact George Wylie, 338-0578 or georgewylie@yahoo.com1-

In response to students and members of our community who are highly allergic to fragrances and scents, the SLVUSD Board of Trustees adopted a California School Board Association policy to make all district classrooms and offices fragrant neutral.

SLVMS has parents and/or students with respiratory issues who can have negative reactions to fragrances. Please take care to follow the policy while on campus.  The announcement is below.

Staff and students shall refrain from bringing furred or feathered animals, stuffed toys that may collect dust mites, scented candles, incense or air fresheners and from using perfume or cologne, scented hair spray, nail polish or nail polish remover that are not fragrance-free in classrooms or other enclosed areas or buildings. The public shall be made aware that there is a growing number of people with fragrance allergies or sensitivities that can have mild to severe health consequences, including asthmatic attacks and other respiratory issues.15

Schedule for the Week 

 Monday   August 24       A School Begins at 8:00 am
 TuesdayAugust 25  ASchool Begins at 8:00 am
 Wednesday August 26ASchool Begins at 8:00 am
 ThursdayAugust 27 OSchool Begins at 8:00 am
 Friday August 28ESchool Begins at 8:00 am

Helpful Links for SLVMS Families

Join the Panther Club!
All parents and guardians of our middle school students are welcomed as members of our nonprofit parent/teacher organization. Our members work closely with teachers, staff and students to help provide the highest educational experience, both academically and socially for SLVMS students.

Visit the Panther Club webpage
to learn how we support our students and staff
—and find out how you can help.
And please, join our email list!

Next Panther Club Meeting
To Be Announced

in the Staff Lounge! Come join us! 


 We welcome parents and family to a be a part of daily life here at school.
If you are interested in volunteering for lunch supervision or want to visit your child's classroom, 
we must ask that you follow a few safety procedures. All visitors must come to the main office to sign in, receive a visitors pass, and/or set up a classroom visit.
Click on the Link Below to view SLVMS Adult Safety Rules


Online Student Registration/InfoSnap

English Spanish


Powerschool will be up and running in Late September
Access information will be including with Quarter One Progress Reports


DON'T FORGET to call the attendance line 
when your child will be absent.
SLVMS Attendance Line: 335-3812