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A California and National Model Middle School to Watch

A California Gold Ribbon School

Dear SLVMS Families:

It’s Thanksgiving time so here comes my Thanksgiving newsletter.  Many of you have seen it before. But every Thanksgiving I start to think about what I am thankful for, and then I pull this out, and then it still fits.  

I am thankful for our teachers… they are truly exceptional.  It is easy to take for granted that all teachers work as hard as ours do, and are as dedicated to students as ours are.  All teachers are not committed to kids over their own well-being and time like our teachers are. Ask someone who comes from another school...teachers here work harder and do more than many other places.  We are lucky.

I am thankful for Kelly, Natalie, and Shelley in the office for keeping the trains running on time and making sure we have what we need to succeed.

I am thankful for Mary Zilge, our academic counselor, Mitzi Poetzinger, our school psychologist, Deborah Mitchell, our social/emotional counselor, and Sarah Dahlen, our District Nurse for all their work in helping to keep our kids healthy and happy.

I am thankful for Renee Rice, my Dean of Students, who cares as much for the well-being and safety of kids as I do.

I am thankful for all the support staff, including (but not limited to) our instructional aides, our custodians Jeannine and Randall, Ms. Morris our librarian, Paul Owens our super tech guy, all of the maintenance staff, the nutrition staff, and the bus drivers for all their time in supporting our children’s learning and making sure the school is at its best.  Without them, the school couldn’t be what it is...

I am thankful that we have a District Office that supports the learning of the kids, and puts the kids first in making decisions.

I am thankful to our families for allowing us to work and play with your children every day, and for your continued support of this school and all that we do.  I recognize that it is not easy to just trust and have faith that your kids are cared for, and you all do.

I am thankful for the Panther Club and all their efforts to secure funding for all the extra learning our kids have available.  They help us to live our vision of providing more than just the 3 R’s for our students.

I am thankful for my family who love me and support me, even though my job sometimes makes me a really tired and cranky mom.  They don’t even balk anymore when the answer to the question “What’s for dinner?” is answered with “I don’t know. It’s fend for yourself night.”  And I am serious.

I am thankful that we are not torn apart by natural disasters or fires burning down our Valley or dealing with war and crime in our front yard on a regular basis… I remind myself of that every time the traffic on Hwy 9 gets irritating or the parking lot is crowded or things don’t go my way.

I am thankful that I get to spend every day with our students. Their curiosity and zest for life is what keeps us all young and makes working at a school the BEST JOB in the whole world.  There is nothing like middle school are amazing. Keep it up!

And I am thankful to be a part of the SLV community.  I vow to never take for granted all the gifts that we have here in our valley.

I wish you and your family all the best in the next week.  Enjoy each other and be thankful for all that you have.

Take care,

Shannon Calden

Dates to remember:

November 19-23rd:  No School-- Thanksgiving Break

December 21st-Jan 4th:  No School-- Winter Break

January 21st:  No School-- MLK Bday

February 1st:  No School-- Professional Development Day for staff

April 1st-5th:  No School-- Spring Break

May 27th:  No School-- Memorial Day

May 31st:  8th grade Dance- 5-7 PM

June 5th:  8th grade Advancement Ceremony-- 11 AM

June 6th:  Last day of school for the 2018-19 school year

Schedule for November 26th-30th:


November 26th


Boys Basketball @ SLV


November 27th


Girls Soccer @ SV (Skypark)


November 28th


Boys Basketball @ Notre Dame


November 29th


Girls Soccer @ B-40


November 30th


Bye Bye Birdie opens 7 PM-- HS PAC

Visit the SLVMS website at

Or the District Facebook

Visit the Community Links webpage for information on non-school sponsored activities that may be of interest to your family at

Daily Announcements

You can read the daily announcements that are read and emailed to the kids at this link if you are interested:

Daily Checklist

Be you walk out the door to go to school, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did I eat breakfast?
  • Did I bathe, brush my teeth, and put on deodorant?
  • Do I have my backpack?
  • Do I have my homework in my backpack?
  • Do I have my charged chromebook/device  in my backpack (you need it everyday!)
  • Do I have my lunch or money to buy lunch?
  • Do I have my PE clothes?
  • Do I have what I need for after school activities?
  • Did I give my grown up a hug and say thanks for taking care of me?

If you answer yes to everything, then you are ready for school.  If not, take care of it quickly! You don’t want to be late! Have a great day!

Student of the Week

Positive Referrals

These students have been recognized this week for going above and beyond...

Maiya Armstrong

Ruby Evans

Samuel Kelly

Kayla Mendoza

Jack Bingham

Nicholas Jacques

Adria Mikolyski Coulson

Box Tops and Shoes

Box Tops and Shoes!  We need Box Tops and Shoes!  

We are almost at the end of our shoe drive, so let’s make one last push to clean out those closets over Thanksgiving Break and bring them in.

We are collecting Box Tops, so cut them off your boxes and have your child drop them in the box in the office.

Alert from the AVID class:

For College and Career Readiness Week, the SLVMS 8th Grade AVID Class is working on College Research posters, focusing on post-secondary schools which have alumni on the SLVMS staff.  Students have spent the last week assembling research, interviewing staff members on their experiences, and even contacting schools to get recruitment merchandise to add to their posters.  When completed, posters will be given to staff members to display in their classrooms and express some pride in their previous educational experiences!

In addition, the AVID Class is looking for career-based field trip ideas (tours of workplaces, career exploration activities, etc) so if anything comes to mind, please don't be shy about sending an email to Mr. Olivieri ( with your idea!

School Site Council Election

School Site Council is a group of parents and staff members that work with the administration to approve and monitor the Single School Plan for Student Achievement.

In September, we asked for nominations of interested parents to fill the one vacant spot on council this year.  As is required by Ed Code, members must be voted in by our parent community. Please take a moment to click on the link below and vote.  Thank you for your time!

School Site Council Election Ballot

7th grade Trip to UCSC-- January 14th

On January 14th, the 7th grade class will be taking a field trip to tour UCSC.  Students will be transported by bus, and will be gone all day. We are in need of parent volunteers to join us.  If you are interested in volunteering, please email Mary Zilge at

Have you ever wanted to play tennis?

Interested in tennis? Come check out the after school tennis club. The club will meet Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-4:0. See or email Mr. O'Brien at for more details.

Mark your calendars...Bye Bye Birdie is coming!

It’s never to early to start thinking about summer!

Summer Experiences Presentation- Dec. 6th @6:30 pm in the HS MPR

  • SLVHS is hosting a presentation on planning out different summer activities / opportunities! Come find out about all the local opportunities, programs, internships and more. Many of these programs have early registration dates in the Spring, so don’t miss out!
  • To RSVP, Click Here.
  • We will have Cabrillo College’s Extension here to talk about their summer programs, along with presentations on different College-based learning opportunities students can apply for and local internships in Santa Cruz.


Get your Coupon Book for great discounts all over the County!

The Music Department is selling coupons books for $20.  They are the kind that have two for one coupons for restaurants and business all over the county….great ones for the Valley as well.  Interested? Check in with Shannon in the office or a band or choir student.


Board Meeting Summaries

The SLVUSD Board of Trustees meets on Wednesday nights, usually twice a month.  We will be providing a “Board Briefing” after every meeting so families can be better apprised of what is happening in the district.  Click the link below to read the most recent.

November 7, 2018

We need LEGOS!

Do you have legos sitting around your house gathering dust?  Please bring them to the office. We are setting up a lego wall and building space in our Maker’s Space and want to have lots of bricks to build with!

Wanted:  Talented Parents with some time to work with students

SLVMS would like to set up workshops for students after school in our library/Maker’s Space.  Do you have a creative skill that you would like to share with kids? Consider teaching a 3 or 4 week class on your hour, one day a week, and the school will pay for the materials.

Need ideas?  Jewelry making, knitting, legos, crafting, rocketry, building...whatever is of interest to you I bet we can get kids interested too.

If you are interested, please contact Shannon Calden for more information.

GED classes available for adults

SLVUSD is sponsoring GED classes for adults in the the San Lorenzo Valley at the district office.  Please click here to see the flyer and more information.

Click here for flyer for GED class


SLVMS Attendance Policies

The beginning of the year is a good time to review existing and new attendance policies so that everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises!  This stuff is never fun to talk about. We do not want your children to come to school when they are ill, but if they aren’t sick, they need to be here.


THE RULES: California Education Code recognizes only the following reasons as excused absences: personal illness; religious holidays; medical or dental services; serious family emergencies; and/or school suspension. All other absences will be recorded as unexcused. This also applies to tardies.  Oversleeping and Traffic are not excused tardies. These are not our rules. We can’t bend them, change them, or ignore them.


CLEARING ABSENCES: There are two methods for clearing absences

Option OneCall the Attendance Line and Leave a Message

Please call the attendance line, preferably the day that your student is absent, at 335-3812.  This phone line is available 24/7.

Please leave the following information when you call:

  • First and last name of the student
  • Date and period of the absence(s)
  • The specific reason for the absence
  • Phone number where the parent can be reached


Option Two – Send Your Student Back to School with a Note  

You may also send your student back to school the day they return with a note that includes all information listed above.

Failure to clear absences will result in absences being marked as unexcused, and after 3 unexcused absences, you start receiving attendance letters.  You should also not that family vacations or going out of town are unexcused absences, and as those accumulate, you will received letters, and can possibly be referred to the District Attendance Review Board or the County Attendance Review Board.


If you have any questions regarding any of these policies please contact Dean of Students, Renee Rice at 335-4452.

Visit the SLVMS website at

Or the District Facebook Page

Visit the Community Links webpage for information on non-school sponsored activities that may be of interest to your family at

This is a reminder that San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District policy, as set by the Board of Trustees, declares that we are a fragrant-neutral district.  As we begin to have our drama performances and other site-based activities and meetings, please take care to follow the policies below for the sake of the 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. SLVHS has parents, students, and community members with respiratory issues who can have negative reactions to fragrances. Please take care to follow the policy while on campus.  

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.