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Spring 2013, Volume XXVI, No. 4 Published by Peterson Middle School PTSA • Santa Clara Unified Council • Sixth District • California PTA Susan E. Harris, Principal • Ruchita Shah, PTSA President • Margit Look Henry, Editor

Principal’s Corner Dear Family and Friends of Peterson Middle School, Happy Spring! This time of year always brings me a sense of appreciation, as I watch the plants and flowers grow, the longer days and sunshine, and our students show their own level of personal growth and maturity. This last quarter of the school year is where our students and staff truly "shine," and it makes me proud to be their principal. We were happy to recently host thirteen Japanese Exchange students and teachers, from Kagoshima, Japan, which is located 600 miles south of Tokyo! Peterson and Kamimura School have been participating in this exchange over the past twenty-two years, and it continues to be a great cultural experience for both sides of the visit. Peterson students are preparing for their upcoming trips to Kagoshima, Japan, and the FHA HERO State Competition in Ontario, CA, in the month of April! A special thank you to Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Asekomeh, and Mr. Fedalizo for all of their hard work, and best of luck as they chaperone our students on these upcoming educational adventures! In addition to Peterson’s domestic and international travel, there have been lots of events taking place here locally…from sporting events in tennis and soccer, to academic challenges in Math, Science, Social Studies, and English, to High School Orientation, and let us not forget CONSTRUCTION! The Multi-Purpose Wing (cafeteria and music room) looks to open in mid-April–– reflecting a five-month delay due to DSA Approval of our "canopies" around the wing, to make sure everything is seismically safe. We are also having work done in our quad, gyms, and locker rooms over the summer. I'm currently working with the district facilities and bond staff to assess our grass fields to see how we can make them safer for students playing sports and participating in PE classes. The gophers continue to make our grass fields an area of concern! Hopefully over the summer we can work on this part of our campus as well.

Mrs. Harris

Open House Thursday, May 2nd 6:00–8:00pm in the NEW Cafeteria Book Fair, Social Studies Faire, Bake Sale

Peterson is hosting the District's Summer School Program in 2013. All middle school students recommended for summer school will be invited through the mail in April (you'll receive something in the mail from our counselor if your child should attend). Summer school will focus on math skills for middle school students, support for our Migrant Education Program (K-12), extended year support for our students with disabilities, high school credit recovery, and the Bridge to Algebra or Bridge to Geometry high school students. Your child's counselor will have more information. STAR Testing is right around the corner…and increased proficiency for each content area is our goal! Our School Site Council has approved of a variety of ways to ensure our underperforming students' needs are being met by supporting the After School Homework Center, Soar to Success programs, ALEKS licenses in math classes, Academic Support classes and Read 180 classes. Because the STAR Testing window was moved back a week, it will coincide with Open House in the first week of May. This will impact what we display on our classroom walls, since everything has to be taken down during STAR testing so as to not influence students taking their test. Our 8th Graders are invited to “History Review Night” (see Leadership article) in preparation for STAR. We are already making preparations for next year’s student schedules, with 6th and 7th grade students having recently selected their elective course request. Parents, please note: students who are not performing at proficient levels in English and/or Math may be required to take an academic support class in lieu of an elective class in 2013-2014. This is a new practice at all of our middle schools, and it's been helpful for our students as they build confidence in academic areas that they need help in. Peterson's Math Department and District Administration have been working hard to plan for the implementation of Common Core Standards in all grade levels. This is going to change the way we offer math to our students next year. Common Core Standards encourage more of an integrated approach to understanding math concepts. Over the next couple of years, we will begin this transition at Peterson. Over the next few months, our math leaders are determining courses and student placement for next year, looking at how we can provide extra support to those students who need it, and preparing all students for high school and beyond. There is a lot to read in this edition of the newsletter! Take care, and I look forward to seeing you at Open House in May!

From the Editor: Every issue of our newsletter comes together with a lot of timely effort from staff and students––from writing articles to helping fold mail outs, every bit of help is appreciated. Thank you to everyone who makes this publication happen five times a year! We are continuing to address technical challenges to bring you the content you love in the best way possible. Thank you for your patience as we learn. There’s a lot of great content in this issue. Where else can you read about nurdles and African Adinkras art? This is also the place to get the information you need about upcoming activities and events. Read on! Margit Look Henry

News from the Vice Principal The Peterson Safe School Plan has been approved by our School Site Council. We have two goals that we continue to work on. Goal 1: A continued area of growth/change for Peterson Middle Ms. Topliff School is in developing responsibility in each student. The end result of this is a safe, orderly environment where students can learn and grow. Objective: To reduce the number of incidents of disrespectful behavior of students at Peterson Middle School and to ensure that students do not feel intimidated or threatened by disrespectful behavior. Result: By the end of the 2012–2013 school year, the number of referrals based disrespectful behavior among students at Peterson Middle School ensuring that students do not feel intimidated or threatened by disrespectful behavior will decrease by 10%. Goal 2: Another area of growth/change for Peterson Middle School is in reinforcing safe habits in each student. The end result of this is a safe, orderly environment where students can learn and grow. Objective: To reinforce the school discipline plan with regards to safe behaviors at Peterson Middle School.

Yours truly, Mrs. Harris

Result: Reduce the number of times students are reminded how to behave in the hallways, corridors,


STAR Testing Information April 22nd–30th

quad and blacktop areas. (i.e. walking instead of running). The Safe School Plan is available in the office if you would like to review it or have any questions. Ms. Topliff

During STAR testing, students should leave their cells phones at home. We are enforcing a new STAR testing cell phone policy for security reasons. Student that do bring their cell phones or any electronic devices to school will be required to turn them in to their teacher before testing, and at the end of the STAR testing period, it will be returned.

Counseling Corner We had a successful celebration for students who made honor roll for both first and second quarter as well as a pancake breakfast for students who improved their GPA by .5 or more.

CST Score Ranges by Subject/Grade and Category English– Language Arts Grade

Navigator meetings with our 8th graders were a great continuation of our conversations about 4-Year Planning and what students will be looking towards entering high school. They answered questions about what they would like to do after they graduate high school, address inquiries they might have for their counselor (What clubs are offered? Do I have to take chemistry? Who do I talk to about being on the football team?), and how classes and club participation can contribute to their future careers.

6 7 8

Far Below Basic

Below Basic

Basic 150–267 268–299 300– 350–393 394–600 349 300– 150–262 263–299 350–400 401–600 349 150–265 266–299 300– 350–394 395–600 349

Far Below Mathematics Below Basic Grade or Course Basic 150– 253–299 6 252 150– 7 257–299 256 General 150– 257–299 Mathematics 256 150– Algebra I 253–299 252 150– 247–299 Geometry 246

Santa Clara High School and Wilcox High School made visits to Peterson to register our 8th grade students for their fall courses. If you have any questions regarding their preliminary schedules, please contact the high school counselors. Mrs. Tavernakis and Ms. Moberg would like to recognize all of the dedicated students who regularly attend our before and after school programs: SOAR Reading, Writing, and Math, as well as Homework Center. Our teachers that lead these programs make such a difference in their education!

Proficient Advanced

Basic Proficient Advanced 300– 349 300– 349 300– 349 300– 349 300– 349

350–414 415–600 350–413 414–600 350–413 414–600 350–427 428–600 350–417 418–600

STAR Sample Questions Math:

Students of the Month Congratulations to our students of the month for February!

1. Which equation is equivalent to 5x ––2(7x +1) = 14x?

6th Grade: Enrico Laoreno, Nate Johnson, Jason Tran, Breanna Ronne, Adam Musaffar 7th Grade: Diana Acosta, Devesh Katta, Kiran Ray, Siddharth Patil, Denise Arellano 8th Grade: Ramya Kantharaj, Aoife Faul, Shannon Reilly, Neha Sharma, Elizabeth Morales


–9x–2 = 14x –9x + 1 = 14x –9x + 2 = 14x 12x –1 = 14x

2. It takes a machine 12 minutes to fill 200 bottles of soda. At this rate, how many minutes will it take the machine to fill 500 bottles of soda? A B C D

25 minutes 28 minutes 30 minutes 40 minutes

3. Andy’s average driving speed for a 4-hour trip was 45 miles per hour. During the first 3 hours he drove 40 miles per hour. What was his average speed for the last hour of his trip? 3


Leadership/ASB News

50 miles per hour 60 miles per hour 65 miles per hour 70 miles per hour

Dear Peterson Families, We are almost done with the year as summer comes closer and closer. ASB and Peterson’s Leadership class have been extremely busy with running school activities. Teen Read Week took place on February 25th–March 1st. Teachers and Leadership students Joe Choe presented a book that they have enjoyed reading. In their presentation, they had a visual and an artifact, or something to remind the audience about the book that they can keep. The week was a huge success, with students reading many books that were presented to them. Pennies for Patients ended on March 22nd. The top three classes that donated were able to pie the leadership class as well as Ms. Tito.

4. Two airplanes left the same airport traveling in opposite directions. If one airplane averages 400 miles per hour and the other airplane averages 250 miles per hour, in how many hours will the distance between the two planes be 1625 miles? A B C D

2.5 4 5 10.8

English Language Arts: 1. Read this passage: “Come on, Christopher!” Laura cried as Christopher continued to scrutinize the menu. “You’ve been looking at the menu all day—just pick something!”

Our upcoming All School Dance on April 5th. The theme is NEON so wear white and bright clothes. Tickets are being sold starting at $3 the week before, $4 the week of, and $5 at the door. Peterson is in the midst of working with Safe Routes to School, an organization that promotes walking and biking to school. Spring Grams are being sold April 15th–26th. We are selling candy, bubbles, and other assorted goods students can send to each other to celebrate the arrival of spring. With STAR testing coming up quickly, Peterson is hosting a History Review Night for 8th graders April 18th and 19th from 3:30pm–5:00pm in the library. Peterson’s Leadership class will continue to create a friendly environment for students to enhance their capabilities as students.

To scrutinize means: A to study carefully. B to read with difficulty. C to skim quickly. D to read carelessly. 2. The biggest earthquake on record is one that happened in 1964 in the city of Anchorage, Alaska. What is the correct way to write the underlined words? A B C D

in the City Of Anchorage, Alaska in the City of Anchorage, Alaska in The City of Anchorage, Alaska Leave as is.

Thank you, Joseph Choe, ASB President

3. Read this sentence: At dinnertime Abuelita said, “It’s time to put the horses back into the __________.”

Aditya Sriram - Vice President Shalin Shah - Treasurer Stephanie Chee - Secretary Tamara Pantic - Member at Large Ms. McCole - Leadership Teacher Ms. Tito - ASB Advisor

Which Spanish word meaning “enclosure” can be used to complete the sentence? A B C D

bronco corral rodeo lasso

More STAR testing questions can be found at: http://

Ms. Moberg, Counselor 408-423-2811

Ms. Tavernakis, Counselor 408-423-2803


PTSA President’s Message

Book Fair Coming Soon! Dear Parents, The time is coming quickly for Peterson's Spring Scholastic Book Fair. We will be open April 29th thru May 3rd at lunch and after school. Also, we will be open the evening of May 2nd during Open House.

Dear Peterson PTSA Parents, Happy Spring time to you all!! As you all know this year SCUSD started district wide Parent Education nights. Thanks to Dr. Plough, our superintendent, it was quite informative and those who attended found them useful. Here is the link for the third and the last series of the parent ed nights:http://

No experience is required. We only need one or two people per shift, but we are open all week, so if you can help, please do! Your children are welcome to hang out and do homework or browse the fair. The shifts are: Monday April 29th, Tuesday 30th, and Friday May 3rd: 11:10am–1:00pm or 2:30pm–3:30pm

A special week is fast approaching for PTSA: Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week from May 6th–10th! This is a time when parents host a luncheon for our amazing teahers and staff who do so much for our kids. The luncheon takes place on Friday May 10th. To donate or volunteer, please contact Kristin Farnham at

Wednesday May 1st and Thursday May 2nd: 11:15am–1:00pm or 1:30pm–2:15pm Also greatly needed is help the night of Open House, Thursday May 2nd. That is our busiest time. We will be open 6:00 to 9:00pm. If you can work one or two hours, that would be great. We need at least four people at all times during that shift.

The PTSA is hosting our bi-annual bake sale in the quad from 6–8pm at Open House on May 2nd and we need donations! All proceeds will go directly to the Peterson PTSA, which will use the funds to benefit the school. We need 3–4 people to help set up, tear down, and sell at the table. Individually wrapped items can be dropped off at the office before 3pm on May 2nd or beween 5:30 and 6:00pm. Thank you for your support! To sign up to volunteer during the sale, please contact Stacy Marshall at

If you are interested in helping please let me know by email or phone. I hope to see you there, if not as a volunteer, then as a shopper! Amy Kent Book Fair Book Fair Co-Chairperson 408-245-4104

Go Pirates!! Sincerely, Ruchita Shah Peterson PTSA President

New Cafeteria Coming April 22nd! The Child Nutrition Department is thankful for allowing us to serve your community. Our kitchen is going through a total remodel and we are getting very close to having a new updated kitchen that will set a new standard in school meal service. We are planning to open the kitchen led by Chef Bob who will WOW us all at Peterson Middle School. The kitchen will feature the latest in food service technology and will work hard to serve amazing food! We will still be challenged with food and labor costs but we have a solid plan. Please know that we promise to adhere to the USDA regulations for schools and we are confident we can satisfy everyone. We are trying new things in the kitchen. First, we will be piloting the use of washable plates for the new kitchen opening. Our hope is to eventually go to washable utensils as well. We welcome the community to visit our cafeteria and try some of the food. We appreciate any feedback and if you have any thoughts on how we can improve our food and service please let us know. Thank you! Juan Cordon Child Nutrition Department

PTSA Membership is Up! Thank you to all of the parents, grandparents, students and staff who joined Peterson PTSA this year. Our 2012-13 membership is up to 435 members which is an increase of over 42% from last year! Let's see if we can reach 501 and beyond in 2013-14! Did you know that our representation as voting delegates at the California State PTA Convention increases as our membership grows? With 501+ members, we would receive an additional voting delegate for a total of 4, thereby giving Peterson PTSA an even stronger voice at the state level. Everyone is welcome to participate in Peterson PTSA; we hope you will join us as we work to support all children. Leslie Kloes 3rd VP, Membership Peterson PTA was chartered on January 25th, 1966. Thank you to our members, leaders and volunteers who have made our organization strong for 47 years!


Department News Grade Level Teams:

Ms. Zassenhaus's 6th Grade Language Arts class is writing narratives to submit to National Public Radio's acclaimed program "This I Believe." Students are exploring their personal philosophies and core values that guide their daily life and crafting essays that have a clear message and lesson.

Eighth Grade Service Learning Project and End-of-Year Activities: The 8th Grade Team is dedicated to helping our students develop leadership skills in their school and local community. Empowering students with the skills and passion to help others will help them succeed not only as students, but also as members of their community, fostering a spirit of generosity. The 8th Grade Team is moving ahead with a service-learning project that will include eight grade students in various roles. Eighth grade students will coordinate and execute a Senior Day hosted at Peterson Middle School in May. Student volunteers will host their guests with hors d'oeuvres and provide entertainment, while experiencing the joy of serving our local community’s most valuable residents.

Our 8th grade will focus on Poetry, Grammar, and Technical Writing this quarter. In Mrs. Johnson's and Ms. Kier's classes, we will also have an "Illustrated Ode Contest," where students will write an ode, create an illustration for the ode, and then recite their ode to the class. It's a great way to have fun with poetry and share the wonderful talent of our students! All of our English teachers are doing an amazing job at looking at the new Common Core Standards in concert with the existing California State Standards. Several members of the department are working diligently to create cross-curricular activities that support students’ reading and writing in content areas. Way to go English!!

Sign up sheets for a variety of positions will be offered in students’ history classes. Please encourage your student to participate. Saratoga Springs/Promotion Dance: Ms. Topliff will be sending home a letter to all 8th grade students outlining end of the year activities. Included in this is our trip to Saratoga Springs, currently scheduled for Friday, May 31st. Assuming grades, behavior, and attendance are all in good standing, all 8th graders will be invited to attend. Financial information, food and other information will be in this letter as well as information about our Promotion Dance, scheduled for Wednesday, June 5th.

Library Read On Peterson! This year’s Tween/Teen Read Week (Feb 25th–March 1st) was a fun and wonderful success! Over 50 presenters gave book-talks in the library to all the English classes on campus throughout the week including almost every teacher at Peterson, both counselors, our by Maya Freeman principal and vice principal as well as parents and retired teachers. Joining the Peterson family to present to the students were faculty members from the district’s elementary, middle and high schools including teachers, librarians, principals and our community resource officer. The leadership class also got on board as every student in the class gave a talk on a favorite novel to all SSR classes during the weeklong celebration. It was a whole community effort, which boosted Peterson’s library circulation to new heights, getting both students and staff excited to read some good books!

Core Subjects: English

by Aaron Wang

your child's counselor.

Honors Applications: During the week of April 1st–5th, 6th and 7th Grade Honors Applications were accepted during class. If your child was absent on the day his/her teacher administered the applications, please contact

Highlights: Mrs. Fries and Mrs. Harris have just finished analyzing persuasive writing in concert with the PBA District writing exam. Mrs. Fries is now conducting persuasive speeches and analyzing poetry. Mrs. Harris is writing compare and contrast essays between literature and media, and developing "Disaster Newscasts" from research conducted in students' science classes on natural disasters. Ms. Joyner is doing mythology-based literature groups, which complement the history curriculum as well as making a poetry-based figurative language book in her classes. 6

Math This past month, the Math Department participated in the California Math League’s Annual Math Contest. Hundreds of students participated in the first round pre-test. Of the entrants, approximately thirty students were selected from each grade level to take the final test. The top five scores from each grade were sent to the Math League, as a representational group of Peterson students. The test had thirty-five questions; scores of twenty-seven and higher are considered excellent. The top students from each grade are:

Our 8th graders are studying Forces and Motion. They find this unit very moving! If you want to know the difference between speed and velocity, ask an 8th grader. Social Studies

6th grade: Neel Gore ( 33), Ryuto Nakatani (30), Natallia Zhamaitsiak (28), and six students tied at 27 points, including,Christian Chiong, Derek Kassem, Shone Patil, Lukas Chang, Venus Li, and Jonah Advincula. 7th grade: Patrick Zhong and William Cao (29), Muhammad Alsharif (28) and Nathan Scheinkman, Shivangi Kar, and Rafael Tolusa (25) 8th grade: Nikhil Gupta (30), Stuart Scolaro (29), Poojita Dasika (28), Daniel Huynh (27), and Mark Guevara and Priyam Mohanty (25) Congratulations to everyone who competed.

Social Studies Faire 2013 Dates: April 29th–May 2nd (Open House) Location: Small Gym at Peterson Middle School Once again Peterson is getting ready for its annual Social Studies Faire. The Faire has been a very successful contest over the past eighteen years at Peterson, as well as in our district. Although this event focuses on history, participating students draw on all of their academic disciplines.

Science Students completed the Science Performance-Based Assessment or PBA. In the PBA, students were asked to use their scientific processing skills to set up and perform an experiment, collecting and analyzing the data. Peterson students have been preparing for by Maya Freeman this assessment by practicing writing a hypothesis, collecting, recording and graphing data, and finally forming conclusions based on evidence and logical reasoning. All science students in the district took the same grade level assessment and all district science teachers will grade the PBA's during the professional development day on March 29th. Scores will be tabulated and results will be given back to teachers in April. We look forward to seeing how Peterson students performed on this assessment.

Students who participate in the Faire choose one of the Social Studies standards from their grade level. They make a 3-D project and write a one-page abstract of their historical research, as well as a detailed bibliography. They also submit a student construction process form describing the process of making their project. Student projects and abstracts are then judged objectively by volunteer teachers and administrators from our district. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to show their creativity, develop a sense of scholarly aptitude, and sharpen their research skills. Be sure to stop by during Open House on May 2nd to view the projects. If you are interested in volunteering at Open House, or during the week of the Faire, please contact me at See you at the Faire!

Our 6th graders are busy learning about plate tectonics and earthquakes with Ms. Teng and things are heating up in Ms. Henderson’s class as they study convection, conduction, and radiation.

Important Dates: April 25th: Summary Due April 29th: Project set-up/Judging May 2nd: Open House Viewing May 3rd: Project Pick-Up

Our 7th graders are completing the History of the Earth unit and will be studying Invertebrate Phyla. This unit will include dissecting earthworms and squid.

Mrs. Martin Social Studies Department Chair


Physical Education Department Preparing Students for Life! Ahhh! Spring is in the air and so is the state of California's FITNESSGRAM® testing for the PE department. With two fitness days a week and weeks of learning various sports and games like swimming, basketball, badminton, track & field, ultimate Frisbee, and more, students have been getting prepared since the first day of school to be more effective and more efficient movers. After enduring three quarters of the school year, we hope our students are ready for the challenge of testing their flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, and upper body/core strength and endurance. The goal every year is to give each student the chance to understand that if they give their best effort day in and day out, then they can go home satisfied regardless of the results. We are not just preparing our students for the FITNESSGRAM® test, but more so for LIFE! Our goal as physical educators is to share our passion for movement and make fitness fun through a variety of sports, games, fitness exercises, dance, etc. The idea is that there is not just one way to achieve an active lifestyle. There is no "One size fits all" thing going on here. Find a sport or activity that you enjoy (or two, three, or several!), and be the best you can be at it. We know getting fit and/or staying fit is not always easy, but it should be fun! Peterson's PE department wishes all Pirates and your friends and families the best in health and happiness! Mr. Gillmore PE Department Chair

Electives: Art Shows and Exhibits: Peterson students participated in the annual District Day Art Show at the Triton Museum on Saturday, March 2nd. Once again, it was a terrific opening day at the museum. A lot of families came to see student work, there were all sorts of fun art activities for children, and Peterson student’s work looked so lovely on display. I was happy to see some Peterson student and families at the show’s opening, so thank you to parents and family for supporting the arts.


work is showcased in the same venue as professional local artists. Bring the whole family out for a day of fun, food and festivities while you take a look at Peterson artwork. Mrs. Branch is accepting art works submissions until midApril. Space is extremely limited, and only 2-dimensional work will be accepted. Pieces not accepted will be showcased at the annual Peterson Variety Show. Stop by E-2 for more details Art 1: Students in art continue to explore the elements of art. Student artists recently completed a Creative Calligraphy project that focuses on using line, color, value and texture to illustrate common words. The projects are beautiful, and selected pieces will be on display at the Peterson Variety Show. Students artists are currently learning about African Adinkra and basic printmaking as they create art pieces that showcase complex and dynamic symbols developed by them. After this unit, students will focus in on basic color theory where they will create beautiful color wheels and a painting that will help students further refine basic observational drawing skills as well as craftsmanship skills in the mixing and application of paint. 2013–14 Art News: I am thrilled to announce that Clay Arts (Peterson’s Intermediate art elective) will be offered again the 2013–14 school year. Clay Arts is an elective art class for students who have already taken Art 1 and would like to further improve their design and craftsmanship skills in the creation of 3-D work. I am looking forward to returning eighth grade students, as well as seventh grade students who have signed up! Ms. Branch Art Teacher Culinary Arts On Saturday, February 23rd, Peterson Culinary Arts' FHA-HERO competitors arrived at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord for FHA-HERO's Region 5 Competition. Our five girls competed in Junior Division Salad Preparation and Menu Planning/Table Display. Through their hard work for the past two months, including coming in to practice almost everyday during February break, our competitors out-shined the competition.

Thank you to our lovely 8th grade student artists: Aoife Faul, Tanya Shrivastava, Selina Feng, Ramya Kantharaj, Nicole Zazkowski, Shashank Dholakia, Irene Pham, Julie Bandak and Emily Orrach; our wonderful 7th grade artists: Katie Leong, Jessica Geiger, and Yue Tong Tsen; and our up and coming 6th grade artists: Elise Hazelton, Abigail Vargas, Jessica Soares, Jacob Elliot Sicat, Abby Pacheco, Israel Moreno, and Ella Thomas. Students whose work was showcase will be receiving a certificate from the Triton Museum of Art.

In Menu Planning and Table Display, Yatziri Arias grabbed FIRST PLACE and Megan Penland took home SECOND PLACE! Our Salad Prep competitors did awesome as well with Faith Chua taking home FIRST PLACE!! Vaheeshta Mehrshahi coming in SECOND PLACE and Angie Villanueva coming in THIRD PLACE! Our competitors will move on to compete at the State Level this month in Ontario, California. GREAT JOB LADIES!!!

Saratoga Rotary Art Show: This will be the second year that Peterson Middle School will be participating in the Saratoga Rotary Art Show held at West Valley College on May 5th. It is the most widely attended art show in Northern California, and a great event where students’


Our FHA-HERO also assisted at the annual Santa Clara Firefighter's Crab Feed with front-of-the-house operations including serving food and bussing tables. Peterson Culinary Arts send much gratitude and appreciation to the Santa Clara Fire Department for their continued support of the program! Mr. Fedalizo Culinary Arts Teacher

Washington, D.C. Trip 2013-2014 Early registration for our 2014 trip to Washington D. C. will begin soon. As an 8th grade history teacher, I’ve organized and led these adventures to Washington D.C. for more than twenty years, taking hundreds of students on an unforgettable fun filled, educational experience. The adventure is planned for Spring Break, April 14th– 17th, 2014 and is open to Peterson students who will be in the 7th or 8th grade in the 2013–2014 school year. Parents are also invited to experience a trip of a lifetime. There will be an evening meeting scheduled near the end of May to introduce the trip, explain scholarship opportunities, and answer questions. This is not a school-sponsored trip and there are no academic requirements for participation. Our trip next spring will be chaperoned and led by Rich “Coach” Narcisso and 6th grade teacher, Daniella Lefer. Please visit my room A-6 during Open House May 2nd, to pickup information and registration materials. I look forward to meeting you. Mr. Penning Social Studies Teacher

FHA-HERO Competition Team

Music The music department is gearing up for CMEA (California Music Education Association), which is a contest for middle and high school bands. This will take place on Friday, April 5th. On Saturday, March 30th, the Peterson Orchestra had practice with the Cabrillo Orchestra, as they will be performing together at CMEA. CMEA will take place at Wilcox H.S. this year. The bands and orchestras are judged on the playing of practiced songs, and also songs they sight read. Beatrix Henry (trombone player) Woods Woods Class: The kids are so close to having the catapults done and ready to fire! I am not sure who is more excited, them or me? Since this is a new project, I am excited to see how well these work for them. We are going to see whose catapult has the most power or the best distance. The power will be tested by firing into a wall of wood blocks. The distance will be measured from the spot of launch to the spot it lands. I will be thrilled with anything over six feet. These projects are going to be done before break and then after break we are going to start the final project. The kids can make projects of their choosing, but many are choosing to make generic long boards, Santa Cruz style boards, Sector 9 Cloud 9, or Old School boards. The money for the boards needs to be in to me, before I give them the boards to work on. Mr. Jolliff Woods Teacher


After School Clubs GAINS (Girls Achieving in Non-Traditional Subjects)

Besides MATHCOUNTS, Peterson mathletes also participated in five Math Olympiad contests. These contests are held once per month and consist of five challenging math problems, requiring lateral thinking and problem solving capability. The following four mathletes tied for first position in the Math Olympiad contest based upon the grand total of all five contests (nineteen correct answers for each).

This year has seen several changes for GAINS. Ms. Lawlor has joined Mrs. Fohner as an advisor and we have over 80 members. The great group of Peterson students is always ready to sign up for fun events. Twenty students went to Success Camp over the Spring Break. Even though it rained, we had an interesting by Maya Freeman tour of U.C. Santa Cruz, spent time learning about game design, and visited the Seymour Marine Lab, among other activities. Forty girls left school to do an on-site job sharing experience at Intel with the women engineers. Recently another twenty girls spent their Saturday up at Skyline College for the Expanding Your Horizons event. Girls attended three workshops each on everything from Bee-ology to Dentistry where they made teeth molds, complete with cavities. Soon twelve 8th graders will accompany Mrs. Fohner to a Science Symposium at St. Andrews School. So many opportunities are available through GAINS. We hope to have one more speaker this year—Ms. Irene Baran, CEO of Speck.

7th Grade: William Cao 8th Grade: Nikhil Gupta, Shivali Baveja, Poojita Dasika Peterson's Math Club has also been organizing a CAMP or CREATE A MATH PROBLEM contest since last year. The objective of this contest is to let mathletes exchange roles and rather than solving problems, to create math problems. The winning entry for this year’s CAMP contest belongs to the following three six grade students: Claire Dong, Rachel Ratnam and Unnati Singh.

The final event of the year will be the End-of-the-Year Celebration, a required event for all GAINS members. This event will be at Cabrillo Middle School on Monday, April 29th from 6:30–8:00pm. Renewals and new applications for next year are due to Mrs. Fohner by April 25th at the latest. Applications will also be open at the beginning of next school year.

All CAMP entries can be found online at Mr. Pankaj Kumar MathCounts Club Advisor and Parent Volunteer Science Club

Finally, we are always looking for more wonderful speakers if you can help us out. Mrs. Fohner Science Teacher

Science Club is Ticking! Currently Science Club is working with pendulum clocks. In understanding how pendulums work, our Science Club members are engaging in a competition which tests their ability to manipulate the pendulum in order to bring about a certain effect. The by Aaron Wang objective for the competition is to be able to adjust your pendulum to achieve a " target period." The target period will be given to each team just before they compete (a different number for each team). They will adjust their pendulum, and see how close they can get. How close do you think they will get?

Math Club Math Counts! Like every year, the Peterson Math Club participated in the MATHCOUNTS chapter competition on February 9th at San Jose State University. The school team did quite well and came in 17th place among a group of forty-five Bay Area schools. Mathlete by Aaron Wang Poojita Dasika (8th grade) had the best individual score and came in at 66th position among 245 mathletes.

Our next project involves soda bottle rockets, and we could use a bit of help from the Peterson Community (anyone please!!!). What we need are the plastic 16oz to


Peterson Middle School Open House Thursday, May 2nd

24oz soda bottles. If you drink soda in those kinds of bottles, could you send us a few empty bottles? We need about forty bottles total by April 12th (the Friday after spring break). You can have your kids drop them off at Mr. Asekomeh's room, D-4. Thanks! Mr. La Fetra and Mr. Asekomeh Sports Corner Tennis Team News: We had 65 students come and tryout for this year’s team. It was a difficult choice, but we selected twenty-eight students, boys and girls, 6th–8th grade for the final team. We have been practicing and look forward to by Maya Freeman the season, which starts April 3rd. Come on out to the courts and cheer the team on. Below is our league schedule. Ms. Johnson Date




Miller Middle



Stratford Middle



Lawson Middle



Redwood Middle



Kennedy Middle



Sunnyvale Middle Home


Brete Harte Middle Home


Graham Middle


Week of 5/15



Everyone is cordially invited to attend Open House. We especially welcome incoming 6th graders, new students and their families. Schedule 6:00–8:00pm: PTSA Bake Sale (Quad) 6:00–8:30pm: Scholastic Book Fair (A-4) 6:00–8:00pm: Social Studies Faire (Small Gym)

Peterson Athletics: We currently have three sports rolling. Coach Narcisso is running a Peterson Basketball League. Intramural Basketball has been a huge success as it always is. We have 80 kids out there everyday, boys and girls of all grades. Tali Fine is leading the Green team, and is undefeated. The playoffs will begin next week. Peterson also has 40 kids participating in Boys and Girls Soccer. Congratulations to both teams who made the playoffs, taking 2nd Place. Mr. Gillmore is coaching the boys’ team while Mrs. Matheou is coaching the girls. Including the Tennis team, that is 160 kids that are currently participating in our SPORTS PROGRAMS.

In the NEW Cafeteria: 6:30–6:45pm: PTSA Meeting and Honorary Service 6:45–7:00pm: Principal’s Welcome & School Update 7:00–7:20pm: Incoming 6th Grade Parent Information

With Spring Break coming up April 6th through April 14th, I hope everyone enjoys the time off. Track and Field for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys and girls will start Wednesday, April 17th at 1:45pm on the track. Events are 100 yard dash, 400 meters, mile run, hurdles, shot put, discus, high jump, long jump, and triple jump. Everyone is able to practice and train. There are no cuts, but only selected kids will be allowed to attend the track meets. We look forward to a great finish to another awesome year of Peterson Athletics. Coach Narcisso

7:00–8:00pm: Classrooms Open


Peterson Staff Profiles Meet Bev Cassidy Health Clerk

Meet Christina Matheou Paraeducator

Birth Month: June Where you were born? San Francisco How many years have you worked at Peterson? Fifteen What do you like best about Peterson? The eagerness of the students to learn and the great teachers and staff that help them do it!

Birth Month: January Where you were born? Toronto How many years have you worked at Peterson? Two and half years What do you like best about Peterson? The friendly students and staff, especially Katherine Favorite Color: Blue Favorite Subject in School: Geography Favorite Book Genre: Suspense and Mystery Favorite Food? Steak Who makes it best? My spouse on the BBQ Where did you attend college? Niagara Your favorite place and why: Anywhere on the beach Your favorite school memory: School sports and school concerts

Favorite Color: Red Favorite Subject in School: English Favorite Book Genre: Mystery and thrillers Favorite Food? Mexican Who makes it best? My favorite Mexican restaurant is gone! Where did you attend college? West Valley College Your favorite place and why: Hawaii, because it is peaceful and beautiful! Your favorite school memory: Meeting and making new friends. I loved middle school. Pets: None presently. We have had a dog and cats and loved them all. Anything else you’d like to share? I have two wonderful daughters, Kim and Karri

Meet Katherine Robinson Paraeducator

Meet Rosemary Jasper Paraeducator

Birth Month: March Where you were born? Richland, Washington How many years have you worked at Peterson? Three What do you like best about Peterson? Friendships formed with fellow staff, especially Christina! Favorite Color: Pink/Black Favorite Subject in School: Art Favorite Book Genre: Historical fiction, non-fiction Favorite Food? Mexican Who makes it best? Locally, La Paloma Where did you attend college? University of Utah Your favorite place and why: Cottage Inn Lake Tahoe B&B Your favorite school memory: Meeting a friend who is still my best friend today Pets? None now. My last one was my cat Cosmo who died at thirteen years old.

Birth Month: October Where you were born? San Jose How many years have you worked at Peterson? Eight What do you like best about Peterson? The awesome staff I work with and helping the students Favorite Color: Blue Favorite Subject in School: Math Favorite Book Genre:True Crime Favorite Food? Sushi Who makes it best? Sushi O Sushi Where did you attend college? Mission College Your favorite place and why: Hawaii because it’s relaxing and beautiful! Your favorite school memory: Friends Anything else to share? I worked in the semi-conductor industry for twenty years before coming to Peterson.


Cuando: Donde:





Calendar Events April 5

All Grades Dance (6–9pm)

April 8–12

Spring Break–No School

April 15

Track Season Begins

April 17

STAR Rally (6th Grade)

April 18–19

History Review Sessions (3–5pm in Library)

April 22–30

STAR Testing

April 26

Nightmare on Puberty Street (7th Grade)

April 29–May 3

Social Studies Faire

April 30–May 3

Book Fair

May 2

Early Out Thursday

May 2

Open House (7–8pm)

May 6–10

Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week

May 10

8th Grade Panoramic Picture

May 16

Spring Concert

May 17

Concert Assembly

May 24

Variety Show (6–8pm)

May 27

Memorial Day–No School

May 28–31

Spring Spirit Week

May 30

Academic Awards Night (7–8:15pm)

May 31

Student Recreation Day/8th Grade Trip

Peterson Middle School 1380 Rosalia Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94087-3763

Change Service Requested

Leadership News Keep These Days Handy! All School Dance: April 5th 6:00–9:00pm

Jamba Juice: Every Tuesday. All year long. $3 in the Quad.

Spring Grams: April 15th–26th

Spring Spirit Week: May 28–31

Let’s Get Together! Dining Out with Peterson: Please join us the second Thursday of the month for dinner at Pizza My Heart, Rubio’s and Pinkberry.

2013 Peterson Spring Newsletter #4  

Peterson Middle School's Spring Newsletter #4