6th and 7th Grade Families Blast Off!

Within the past month, 6th and 7th grade families have taken flight into the 2014-2015 school year. Ms. Michelle Mazza and Mr. Don Howard visited our feeder schools, making presentations and passing out registration forms. On April 26th, the PTSA sponsored an family day in conjunction with Discovery Education's international Spring Virtual Conference. Northern California educators joined 6th and 7th grade families in a game of exploration, learning about how fun the rigors of Common Core can be at Christa McAuliffe Middle School. To cap off the month, 6th grade families got a grand tour of the school at 7th Grade Orientation Night on May 1st.

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PTSA Officer Nominations Open Through Friday, February 27th

Next PTSA Meeting, Wednesday March 4th at 4:30pm


Each school year the Christa McAuliffe Middle School PTSA nominates and elects its officers for the next school year. To that end, nominations for the 2015-2016 school year are now open. The officer positions include: president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and historian. The only requirement to run for an office is to be a current member of the Christa McAuliffe Middle School PTSA. However, sixth grade parent/guardians at our feeder schools are welcome to apply. Also, those who are part of our Christa McAuliffe family yet not yet members of the PTSA may join so that they are eligible to run for officer position. To nominate potential candidates for any of officer positions, please submit the names with the position for which they are nominated via email to Nominations close Friday, February 27th. 

The next PTSA meeting is Wednesday March 4th at 4:30pm in the school library. 

“Let’s Play Common Core” A Photo Story

By:  Martha Snider, Christa McAuliffe Middle School PTSA Secretary

Photos By: Lisa Johns, Christa McAuliffe Middle School PTSA Vice-President


The Christa McAuliffe PTSA would like to thank the entire Christa McAuliffe family for making the “Let’s Play Common Core” event on November 14th a huge success. We also appreciate our surrounding community supporting the event. We offer a special thanks to Keith Reid of the STOCKTON RECORD who shared our success in his article, “School Changes Testing Standard,” If you were unable to attend “Let’s Play Common Core,” we hope you will participate in our FREE online event at Please enjoy the photo story below.

GosmsPhoto1384573441609.jpgWhat is the “Common Core?” To start the evening, attendees, aka. game players, gathered in the Multi-Purpose Room. As Ms. Kathryn Yeager’s Leadership students helped seat participants in three balanced teams, the Christa McAuliffe Step Stars under Ms. DeBrae Bownes’ direction entertained everyone. At 6pm, principal, Randy Malandro, started answering the Common Core question. He explained the evening’s agenda and three “game” 20-minute sessions. Mr. Malandro announced that Mrs. Raquel Perez would meet in a classroom with anyone who wished to participate in the Spanish “game.” Attendees were invited back to the Multi-Purpose Room at the end for a cookie and additional conversation about the Common Core.

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How does the State of California determine if a student is successful in the “Common Core?”

Mrs. Andrianna Gervais and Ms. Melinda Davis took attendees on a thrilling ride through the through the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Practice Test. Through a 7th grade English Language Arts question, everyone was amazed by the rigor of the new test. Gone are the days of the #2 pencil and a scan sheet. Students will take the test online using a computer. Students cannot pretend they have mastered the Common Core Content Standards; they have to show what they know in an essay.



How does your student’s school help all students become successful in the “Common Core?”

Before to the “Let’s Play Common Core” event, parents and guardians had heard about some of the program changes at Christa McAuliffe Middle School. On November 14th, Ms. Theresa Randall, Mr. Charles Taylor, and Ms. Kathryn Yeager showed attendees why the classroom activities had to change as we implement the Common Core State Standards and prepare students for the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Mr. Taylor and Ms. Yeager reviewed the Minute Paper and explained why it’s important for students to read critically and express themselves through writing in every subject area. Then, Ms. Randall showed what our Common Core Math Program is. She also talked about the importance of teaching students to think critically.

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How can families help students become successful in the “Common Core?


20131114 182432.jpgMrs. Martha Snider and Mrs. Tonya Bonifay provided families and community members with resources from the event. At another location on campus, Mrs. Perez presented similar information in Spanish. Mrs. Snider thanked everyone for getting in the game. She asked that attendees share what they learned at the event with others, noting that the Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment impact all Californians. She emphasized that by working together, ALL students have a better chance to be academically successful. To wrap up the session, Mrs. Snider and Mrs. Bonifay shared three things any adult can do to help a student be successful in the Common Core. 


1. Continue encouraging your student become a “lifelong learner.” You can learn about what other parents do in this article.

2. Help your student access the tools the school uses every day: Google Apps, Edmodo, Discovery Education, and Brainpop

3. Challenge your student to think every day. Strategies At Home


For additional information about this article, please contact: Martha Snider,; CMMS PTSA,

For additional resources about this story, please see: “Let’s Play Common Core Resources” at: or