Working Together to Ensure All Students Learn
Established 1948

Principal's Message

Thursday and Friday morning at the Middle School

Yesterday and today, I spent the first two hours of school going to every single class on campus. 

I enjoy doing this from time to time, hitting every room and class in one period, because it gives me a great look at all the different types of learning going on at our school during any given period. And it's fun. And I learn stuff.

So... what did I see?

I saw students in science sharing their experiences with the Scientific Method, working together in lab activities, using scales and working on a penny drop to study mass, creating data tables and learning how to properly graph, making predictions, experimenting, and then writing their conclusions… in complete sentences.

I saw students in language arts taking a reading screening test school-wide, in order to make sure we know the reading levels of all of our students, learning prepositions by working in groups to create dramatic preposition-filled skits, creating who-are-you posters, and starting their first entries in their writing journals… in complete sentences.

I saw students in math getting their new textbooks, working in class with teachers using the new online math resources to review math concepts, exploring ratios and rates, fractions and decimals, and explaining their answers.. in complete sentences.

I saw students in social studies working on map skills of latitude and longitude, looking at where ancient cultures fit on a timeline, creating personal history projects, using geography to look at the climates of the world, deciphering the meaning of quotes about history in order to answer the question, Why do we study history? … in complete sentences.

I saw students in PE getting their locks, lockers, shorts, and t-shirts, hearing about the importance of fitness and health, about how to treat others, learning the proper techniques and structure of active warm-ups, running their first laps of the year, and learning how to bump a volleyball.

But mostly what I saw were a lot of great kids doing an incredible amount of learning on a wide variety of topics from an amazing group of teachers on a few typical mornings at SLVMS.



ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The challenge has been made!  If SLVMS students can raise $200 for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) by next Friday, September 5, Mr. Calden, Mrs. Zilge, Mrs. Hackett, and Mr. McMillan will do the Ice Bucket Challenge in the main pavilion at lunch that day. The collection box in the office currently has $45 in it, so $155 to go if you want to watch us freeze.

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School Picture Day is coming soon

Monday, September 8 is School Picture day.  Order forms will be going home on Tuesday during 5th period. 

Pictures will be taken during PE classes on Monday, September 8

Please be sure to fill out your forms and bring them with you to PE on School Picture Day.

SLVMS Information

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Boys Soccer Tryouts

Tuesday and Wednesday, September 2 and September 3.  

Meet at the SLVMS soccer field at 2:30.


Girls Basketball Tryouts

6th grade girls: Tuesday Sept 2 from 4:15 to 5:45 in the MS gym

7th grade girls: Tuesday Sept 2 from 6:00 to 7:30  in the MS gym

8th grade girls: Tuesday Sept 2 from 2:30 to 4:00  in the MS gym

Come dressed out and ready to go.

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Cross County Practice

The first cross country practice is Tuesday Sept 2.  Meet dressed and ready to run at 2:30 outside the boy's locker room.  

There are no tryouts for Cross Country.  Any student who wants to be on the team is on the team.  Just come to practice.


SLV Music Skate Night

All SLV Music Students - Come to the Skate Night at the Santa Cruz Roller Palladium on Saturday, September 13 from 4:30-6:30 pm

Cost is $10 per student.  Sign up with Mr. Lingenfelter so he knows how many to expect. Money raised goes to SLV Music.

Attendance Matters!

Last year, all SLV Schools put an intense focus on Attendance Awareness.  

At SLVMS, we were able to increase our overall attendance for the year from 95% to 96%.  

While that may not seem like a big deal, an increase of 1 percent district-wide meant 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.



2014-15 SLV Middle School Online Calendar

The SLVMS Calendar is always online at:

There you can find the daily bell schedule (AOE) as well as a calendar of events.

SLVMS Panther Club

Welcome back SLVMS families!  We hope you had a wonderful summer.  

Please join us on Tuesday, September 2 at 6:30 in the Staff Lounge for our first Panther Club meeting of the 2014-15 school year. 

The Panther Club is currently looking to fill the following roles as soon as possible.  

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Melissa Avilla at

eScrip Coordinator: NEEDED ASAP!

Help to get the word out to SLVMS families via Panther Club e-mail and other forms of communication to register (or re-register) Safeway cards with eScrip between August 1 and November 1. Assist a few supporters with online registration if needed. Coordinate the annual Safeway receipt collection effort (in partnership with SLVHS Cougar Club) starting in mid- September and running for no more than two weeks.  This is the biggest eScrip fundraiser of the year and very important to our overall fundraising goals!  However, given the earning potential, it is not a huge undertaking.

Panther Pantry Co-Coordinator(s)

The Panther Pantry is a snack bar program sponsored by the Panther Club and provides a source of income for all after school, Middle School Athletics.  All of the profits from the Panther Pantry help to pay for equipment and uniforms, and officials, and helps to make it possible for SLVMS students to continue to participate in after school sports without paying to play.

The Panther Pantry Coordinator(s) work with the Panther Club and specifically its Treasurer, to ensure the following: Obtain the necessary start-up funding at the beginning of each school year.Properly manage cash box signatory and count (“in” and “out”) processes. Properly manage cash box exchanges.  This includes following regimented guidelines for “storage” of cash boxes needed for later use as well as handoffs of profits for deposit to the PC Treasurer. Keep the Panther Pantry stocked with snacks/drinks needed for prior agreed up sporting events.  This can involve quite a bit of shopping so working with a team of volunteers/Team Parents is the best way to go. Work with the team coaches to verify that each sport has a “Team Parent” to help run the Panther Pantry for their sport. Teach “Team Parents” the processes/procedures. Provide regular reports to The Panther Club on the progress and needs of The Panther Pantry.

Halloween Dance – Lead

Yep, it’s early but we are on the lookout now for a motivated, creative person who can be the lead person to make our biggest dance of the year a great one.  This is one of the few Panther Club sponsored dances.  We really need someone who is ready to coordinate a group of volunteers to decorate the gym with some type of appropriate Halloween theme (we have some decorations but need updates this year) and come up with fun activities for the students.  

Dance Snack Bar – Lead

In order to raise funds for the school and provide snacking options for the students, The Panther Club provides snacks and drinks of one type or another at every school dance.  We would love to have one or two (or more) parents who really know the process (we will teach you) and will take on the job this year.  Panther Club will find volunteers to help staff the snack bar, you will be in charge of the following: Provide a snack/drink donation “wish list” two weeks prior to the dance to Panther Club.Provide a list of types and number of volunteers needed to work the snack bar to PC. Shop for items not donated. Set up the snack bar prior to the dance (this is likely to include “counting-in” the cash box if a PC Board member is not present). Stay (or make sure volunteers stay) to clean up snack bar after the dance. “Count-out” the cash box and follow agreed upon storing procedures or hand off to PC Board member.

Fundraising Coordinator

Specifically, we need a Drive For School Fundraiser Coordinator. We are looking for someone to coordinate/oversee all fundraising for Panther Club but would be thrilled if we managed to get a volunteer to take on a large fundraiser for the Panther Club using the Drive For Schools ticket sales offered in the Fall by The Capitola Auto Mall and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  

Panther Club Secretary

We will be accepting out of cycle nominations for the position of Secretary for the 2014-15 school year beginning today. Please send all nominations to Melissa Avilla at no later than September 22, 2014 by 5:00 p.m.  An out of cycle election will be held on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 via email.  All nominations and the final vote will be documented in the September 2014 Panther Club Meeting Minutes.  We currently have one interested party who will be serving as our interim Secretary until the elections are final.  If you have any questions, please contact any member of the Panther Club Board.  All Board email addresses can be found at the Panther Club website

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Come Stuff the Bus with School Supplies on Saturday, September 6.  This annual School Supplies Drive for all SLV schools will be held from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm in the SLV High School Parking Lot. Bring the basics: pencils, pens, paper, markers, glue sticks, tissue, hand sanitizer, gift cards, and let’s see if we can fill up a school bus for our kids.  


After School Art at SLVMS

Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, four week art classes are provided for $25 to SLV Middle School students,  There will be three sessions of 4-week classes held in Room 11 at SLVMS from 2:30 - 4:15 pm.

The classes are for students grades 6-8, enrolled in SLVMS. Class size limited to 15 students on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $25 per 4-wk sessionThere is a sliding scale fee available to families in need. Please call 336-4ART.

Online Registration is NOW AVAILABLE. For more detailed information about the classes, go to:


Register for this class by clicking here

4 Thursdays, October 2, 9, 16, 23 - 2:30 pm4:15 pm

Students will have an opportunity to explore a variety of cultural artmaking traditions, colorful collage materials and media while examining art techniques used to create compositional mood and the illusion of deep space in the picture plane.


Register for this class by clicking here

4 Thursdays, October 30, November. 6, 13, 20 - 2:30 pm4:15 pm

Learn to make metal do what you just like they did in ancient Egypt, Rome, and Medieval Europe. We will bend, coil, cut, and dent both sheet metal and wire to produce wearable samples of links, chain mail, and forged work.

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 of September 1 - 5

 Monday    September 1  No School - Labor Day
 Tuesday September 2 OPanther Club Mtg. 6:30 pm in Staff Lounge
 Wednesday  September 3 E 
 Thursday September 4 O 
 Friday  September 5 E 

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




Click Here for SLVMS Panther Athletics Page

Click on the Daily Bulletin Chalkboard for the SLVMS Daily bulletin


Click on the icon to go to Parent & Student Powerschool login

Click  to access PowerSchool Parent Portal User Guide


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


A free and easy way to raise money for SLVMS

Click here to Sign Up