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San Marino Elementary School


                                                                                    Friday, March 27, 2020


Dear CESD Families,

The CESD staff knows that this temporarily school dismissal has a tremendous impact on our students and steps will need to be implemented to support the continuity of learning for our students. 


You may be asking, “How does this school dismissal affect my child’s learning?” For most of our grade levels, by this time of year, most of the essential standards have been taught and we are preparing for the administration of the SBAC state testing.  You are aware that SBAC state testing has been waived this year, making this preparation unnecessary.  For our primary grades, this time is valuable in that we see our children’s developing independence and academic growth.  


Though school has been dismissed for your child, we want to continue to support our students’ review and learning through an extended learning opportunity, something that we will refer to as distance learning.   The State of California defines distance learning as anytime a student and teacher are not in the same location during the learning period. Distance learning can take on many forms, including the use of paper packets, online instruction, television and other external resources (CDE, 2020).   


We are well aware that the high quality instructional program that our families have come to expect from CESD is one that takes place in our classrooms, with a dynamic teacher at the helm, support staff as needed, and energetic interactions between our students and staff.  This is what makes our district a highly competitive and innovative learning system.  Like you, we look forward to the days when we can return to our “brick and mortar” schools, our routines and our dynamic instruction.    Our efforts to engage in this extended, distance learning mode is to help prevent the loss of learning and to help our young scholars stay engaged and motivated during this challenging time. 


For our students in Special Education, we recognize the importance of providing instructional opportunities that address their unique needs.   Please know that our special education staff is exploring options to connect with our students and families during this school dismissal time.  We will do what we can to provide supports to our students during this closure, to the degree that we can, with the limitations that we have.  Please look for further information from your child’s case manager. 


We sincerely appreciate your patience, understanding, and continued support for all of our students as we navigate this change.


As we prepare for a full transition, please be reminded that families can access learning using the following online resources during the week of March 30-April 3.

  • Use thisOCDE resource to engage your child/children in learning during the transition to Distance Learning. 
  • Use our regular CESD online resources available HERE.

Distance Learning Rollout

We are very proud and grateful for our staff who have taken on the tremendous task of transitioning to distance learning within a very short timeframe in order to continue to educate and support our students.  Please view the details in timeline below.




CESD will work with staff and families to focus its energies in this way: 


March 30-April 1:  Ensure that all homes are prepared for distance learning.   During this time, our priority will be to ensure that all homes have access to a device and internet connectivity.  (see below for access to a technology tool survey). 


April 2-3:  CESD will roll out a soft implementation of Distance Learning.  Teachers will be connecting with their class through Zoom in small group and whole group delivery.  Be sure that your email is up to date on our database.   Your child’s teacher will be in contact with you on the details of their daily schedule, how to log on, and how to access resources.  If you do not yet have an email account, we recommend that you get one to facilitate conversation between the parent and home. 


April 6 - May 8:  Students will engage in Distance Learning.  We again thank you for your patience as our plan evolves according to the needs of our students and adjustments are made to help families in the transition.  Our teachers will be providing their students a weekly schedule of the distance learning opportunities, including face to face zoom meetings. 


The purpose of Distance Learning is to provide continuity of learning to all of our students, pre-school-6th grade.  Teachers and administrators have been working hard developing lessons and using Distance Learning platforms.  Teachers will now be able to communicate, teach, connect and provide feedback to students online.  For families who may have difficulties accessing Distance Learning online, alternative plans will be available. 


TIPS to assist your child in a successful experience during Distance Learning Instruction, please be sure to do the following:

  • Watch this video on how to take care of your Chromebook – Click here to access video.
    • Ways to take care of your Chromebook
      • Keep it on a flat surface
      • Be sure not to pile things on top of your Chromebook
      • Keep the keyboard clear
      • Keep food and drinks away from your device
      • Make sure your hands are clean before using your Chromebook
      • Close the Chromebook if you need to move it
      • Don’t carry your Chromebook by the screen
      • Keep it charged
      • Tell your teacher if it breaks
      • Stay on teacher-approved websites


  • Ensure your child has their device ready and is logged in daily. We want our classes to begin with a morning meeting between the teacher and the class. Look for that message from your child’s teacher. 
  • You may assist your child in logging on and support them by allowing students to do the work independently. Students should be able to independently extend their learning with the direction of the teacher.
  • If you and your child need support in joining a Zoom meeting with your child’s teacher, please click on this link: Zoom Tutorial
  • If your child needs support in logging onto Clever (to access online programs such as ST Math, Accelerated Reader, etc.), please click on this link: Clever

Device Access 

Our priority is to provide devices for those students that currently do not have any technology devices at home.  For students that do not have a device or internet access to participate in Distance Learning, you will be able to check out a device and obtain information to gain internet access.  To gather information on your child’s access to a device, CESD is requesting your participation in a tech survey.  To access the tech survey, please click HERE.  Please take this survey by Friday, March 27, 2020 so we can take an accurate inventory and prepare the devices for distribution.  Again, due to the high volume of need in the community, we appreciate the candidness of families who already have a device at home and don’t need one. This will help us get a device in the hands of children with this need.

CESD staff will be disseminating devices at your child’s school on Tuesday, March 31-Wednesday, April 01, 2020.  If you filled out the tech survey, you will receive an email by Monday, March 30 with details on your pick-up date and time, including instructions on how to pick up the device from school.   In order to abide by social distancing guidelines, the device checkouts will be a drive-thru format. You will drive your car into the main parking lot and a staff member will check out a device to you and provide you with information on how to obtain internet access.  You will need to bring your child’s Student ID # to check out the device.  Please read the Chromebook Device Loan form by clicking the links below prior to arriving to pick up a device. 

ENGLISH- Student Device
SPANISH – Student Device
KOREAN – Student Device

Tech Support for Students

If your child is experiencing any technology issues, please submit a Help Ticket for their District-issued device using this email address  This email address will be operational as of April 1st and will also be posted on the District and school websites.

Special Education

Our Special Education and Related Service personnel will be supporting distance learning for students who are on Individual Education Plans (IEPs), as feasible within a distance learning model, starting the week of April 6, 2020. For students with IEPs, special education case managers will communicate with students (as appropriate), parents and guardians the plans for providing instructional support consistent with distance learning. Special education and related service areas will be addressed through planned activities, consultation, and digital support as feasible. This will look different for each grade level and for each student.  Please contact your child’s special education teacher or school site administrator with questions as they arise. You can expect to hear from your child’s teachers and related service providers the week of March 30-April 4, 2020.





Thursday, March 26, 2020


Hello San Marino Rams,


This is your principal, Dr. Lee


Just reaching out to you as our San Marino families are on our minds. As a reminder, we are asking all families to complete the CESD Student Home Technology Survey that was sent from Centralia School District yesterday. Please use the link on the District website or via the link that was emailed to you to complete the survey by Friday, March 27, 2020.




There are many resources available during this time. Please continue to check RAMs News on our web-page.


BPPD will have a virtual reading event with Officer Boyer and K9 Officer Adam on Friday, March 27 at 2:00pm. See link provided:


I also heard that the San Diego Zoo Wildlife cam is up and running and you can see the animals virtually. The Aquarium of the Pacific is also offering virtual viewing.


You may still leave a phone message at 714.228.3280. You can also directly email me at


  Friday Message 3.20.20


Hello San Marino Rams,

Here’s your weekly Rams News,

This message will also be received my email and posted on school website under Rams News.

In light of the information that we have at this time, out of an abundance of caution, with care and concern for the health of our students, our staff and our community, our Board of Education has given the authority to dismiss students from school from March 30, 2020 to May 8, 2020, with an expected return to school date of May 11, 2020.  


This means that we will be moving to Distance Learning. Our priority when we return the week of March 30th will be to ensure that students have access to devices that they will need. Currently, there are many questions and we are working diligently to get those answers. The superintendent will have a follow-up message with details as they unfold. But for now we are prioritizing health and safety for our scholars.


On another note, I hope you have had a nice week at home, spending extra time with family. I know our teachers are in contact with you. I have seen many pictures and videos you are sending teachers. It makes me smile to see our scholars learning at home, cooking from recipes, and doing art projects.

Please save the YOU Tube page to stay in contact. We only have 22 subscribers at this time. Let’s get the whole school subscribed! Here is the most recent:


This is a large change for all of us. We are all trying to adjust to this new way of life right now. Children are used to a more structured day at school during the week and I believe it’s very important for families to help their children adapt to this change by putting some sort of structured day in place. Set a reasonable schedule. Staff is trying to do the same thing from home. 


Feel free to email Dr. Lee at if you have any questions or need anything. We will help in any way possible with necessary resources. We may not be at school, but we are still working. It is imperative that all parents are connected to their teacher during this time. Please be sure that you have signed up with your child’s teacher to receive information via email or ClassDojo or Remind.


If you are in need of more resources please call 211 which is an Orange County Resource Line. It provides information on various community and government resources and agencies.


Here are some resources to help you and your child through their time at home.  First if you are having trouble logging on to Clever. Follow these directions:

Having issues logging into Clever from home? Follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome Browser
  2. Sign in (upper right hand side)
  3. When asked for email, student would then put in their Student ID email used at school, click- Next.
  4. Enter password, click - Next.
  5. Click- Link Data
  6. Click- OK, Got It

From there you can then navigate to the district Educational Links page OR on the upper right hand side of the browser window, click on the little C icon. This will take you to the Clever page. Choose your school and you are logged in!


Issues with Ticket to Read and ST MATH? Adobe Flash Player has been deprecated by Adobe and is no longer being updated and for security reasons, most browsers have disabled it by default. Please visit Adobe’s Flash Support page for instructions on enabling Flash with various browsers.  This info can be found at .


This first link is provided by a teacher in our district who made a tutorial to make sure every parent knows how to access the numerous Educational Links our District provides on CLEVER.


Here is a parent guide to Google Classroom for classes using this.


ABC Mouse is offering FREE MEMBERSHIP now also. CODE SCHOOL1446


Physical Activity is important everyday. Here is the link to Go Noodle which the kids have used at school for years. Students may like to see the characters they are familiar with.


Here's a link to some wonderful virtual field trips: Try to do at least one a week.


Here is a link to storytime by celebrities.


Here are some content websites. Just type the URL's into your search bar. 


Khan Academy: (Sign up/Login in with email)

Math support: and

Reading and Math:


If you have an IPAD at home try downloading some of these apps for your kids:

  1. ST Math Kickboxing    
  2. BrainPOP Featured Movie       
  3. Video Science                                               
  4. Sight Words for Reading HD   
  5. GBrainy
  6. Sight Words for Reading HD
  7. Earth Viewer
  8. Google Earth
  9. PBS Kids
  10. Motion Math Zoom
  11. MineCraft PE
  12. MathCraze

 Free Typing Program



 Math Fun


 Common Core Information


I will be in contact weekly, updating you on school closure information. You may still leave a phone message at 714.228.3280. You can also directly email me at


We miss your students and are very much looking forward to having them back at San Marino as soon as possible. . Thank you for having faith in us as we continue to do what’s best for our scholars. Thank you so much for your understanding as we endeavor to make prudent decisions about the novel coronavirus- (COVID-19) concerns. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes. Thank you for your patience and enjoy your scholar.


Talk to you soon, 

Dr. Lee


November Principal’s Message  

Even though the weather keeps changing and the leaves are falling with brilliant colors of orange, red and yellow to decorate our school grounds the academic process here at the SMES is staying constant.  The teachers and scholars have established their routines and procedures. November is an important time for us to reflect on the many blessings that we receive.  Talking to your child about his or her progress at school can be filled with emotions:  joy, excitement, pride, frustration and disappointment, to name a few.  As report card time is around the corner, I am including information that explains standards based grading as we learn about our new report card.

What is Standards-Based Grading?

Standards-based grading (SBG) is a system which focuses on student learning and grades based on demonstrated understanding of specific concepts. Grades are markers of learning and progress and should help the student improve; however, the simple A B C D F grades are very vague and do little to provide beneficial information to students. This frustration is one of the many reasons that “standards-based grading” emerged and is becoming the preferred method of grading across the U.S. Instead of a simple letter, students receive grades in multiple different learning targets and can see which concepts they understood well and which they need to improve on.

Standards-based grading provides explanations of the concepts and material that students should know at each point in their education. These are called learning standards, which provide a baseline that is consistent across all students at this education level. Teachers’ instruction is guided by these standards and they work to make sure their students learn all of the expected standards they need to before leaving their class. When students receive report cards, they receive a list of learning standards and a grade (normally on a 1-4 scale) on each standard of how well they mastered the material.

How standards-based grading benefits teachers and students

Provides meaning to grades – Students understand why they receive each grade and the breakdown of how they did on each standard rather than receiving a vague letter with no explanation.

Keeps students and teachers accountable – With specific learning standards expected from the beginning of the class, the teacher knows what they are expected to teach. With the use of consistent formative assessments, teachers and students know how well they are doing on these learning targets and can adjust as needed to ensure proficient understanding by the end of the course.

Better feedback for improvement – With grades broken up into different learning standards, students can immediately see which areas of learning they need to improve upon. Teachers can also use this information to improve instruction; if they see that a majority of the class has a lack of understanding in one standard, they can focus on that standard more moving forward.

Provides information to differentiate instruction – With learning standards common to the class and frequent formative assessments, the teacher knows which students are at each level for understanding each standard. Using this information, they can differentiate instruction and give different leveled assignments to different groups of students based on their proficiency level.

Students become more self-motivated – With the goal of SBG being student mastery and understanding rather than getting the most points, students become more motivated to truly understand the material. The “Will this be graded?” question is slowly replaced with earnest questions to better understand the material.

Tracks Standards Mastery – With standards-based grading, teachers are able to focus their instruction and progress analysis around how students are mastering the content required for each standard. Tracking standards mastery helps instructors make sure they are adequately preparing students for the content that will be tested during the state test.

There will be a second meeting to explain the new report card on November 4th at 5:00pm.                                            Yours in education, Dr. Omaira Z. Lee


 October Principal’s Message   

Dear San Marino Rams Families,

As we embark on Red Ribbon Week at the end of the month, I want to take the time to educate our community on the dangers of vaping in our youth. What is it that you should know about vaping?

Governor signs executive order to stop the vaping epidemic order “With mysterious lung illnesses and deaths on the rise, we have to educate kids and do everything we can to tackle this crisis.” Governor Newsome

E-cigarettes are now the most frequently used tobacco product among adolescents — some 2.1 million middle and high school students were e-cigarette users in 2017.

The FDA announced that it will be cracking down not only on illegal sales of e-cigarettes to minors, but also the “kid-friendly marketing and appeal of these products” because “we see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion.” And after recent unexplained illnesses and deaths that have been attributed to vaping, the CDC and the American Medical Association are expressing serious concern, recommending that people should avoid vaping entirely.

Although some of the health risks associated with vaping appear to be less severe than traditional combustible cigarettes (there’s no tar, for example), there are still risks.

Some known risks of vaping are:

  • E-cigarettes contain high levels of nicotine. According to the company’s website, the nicotine content of one JUULpod is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes.
  • Because of these high nicotine levels, vaping is extremely addictive — and teens are already more susceptible to addiction than adults because their brains are still developing,
  • Addiction can impact the ability to focus after JUULing for six months “can’t sit still because she starts craving, can’t think of questions, and just starts fidgeting.”
  • E-cigarettes and similar devices contain carcinogenic compounds, and a recent studyfound significantly increased levels of carcinogens in the urine of teens who vape.
  • There have been several deaths and hundreds of cases of lung illness attributed to vaping. Right now it is unclear if the cause is bootleg cartridges containing THC or CBDoil or legal nicotine cartridges
  • Vaping increases heart rate and blood pressure

Since they leave little odor, e-cigarettes are particularly easy to hide and even use discreetly in public places, including school. Kids are also vaping marijuana at increasing rates, which brings its own health risks.  Parents should start by educating themselves, so they know what they’re talking about. “The most important thing is keeping it as a open dialogue,” “Declarative statements like ‘It’s bad for you’ just end the conversation.” For tips on how to talk to teenagers about vaping, check out this guide from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.


This year, Red Ribbon will be observed October 21-25. San Marino scholars will learn about the importance of saying “no” to drugs through classroom lessons and school wide activities.  Please use this opportunity to speak with your child regarding the dangers of drugs. Red Ribbon Week began after DEA Agent Enrique Camarena was kidnapped and murdered while working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1985. Citizens in his hometown of Calexico, California responded by wearing Red Ribbons symbolizing the need to reduce the demand for drugs through prevention and early intervention. The Red Ribbon Pledge is “No use of illegal drugs, no illegal use of legal drugs!” The Theme for this year is “Send a Message. Stay Drug Free."                                                                                       Yours in education, Dr. Omaira Z. Lee

September Principal’s Message

Thank you for helping us with the opening of yet another Ramtastic school year here at San Marino Elementary School. The beginning of the year is always so crazy! Seasonably warm weather, with new students and parents trying to understand our traffic pattern, this year has been no exception. For those of you driving your child to school each day, you understand that traffic congestion is a real issue here at San Marino specifically on early release day, Thursday. Let me first apologize for the difficulties with this, but you can help.1. Watch for children on their way to and from school. 2. Avoid using your cell phone or driving distracted in the school parking lot. 3. Watch your speed. This will all be very important as we transition to a new parking lot while we are under construction for our new office.


Finally, I encourage each of you to get involved in your scholar’s learning, guide your scholar nightly on homework, and come to school events to stay informed.  I may be contacted in the front office, telephone call, drop-ins are ALWAYS welcome, and by email (  I will also make every effort to return phone calls within 24 hours.  Please note the phone number of the school at the top of the newsletter.  Welcome to a new year!                                                    Yours in Education, Dr. Omaira Z. Lee                                              

                                      September is Attendance Awareness Month!

Throughout the country, we see a growing consensus that improving student attendance is an essential, cost-effective strategy for ensuring student success and reducing achievement gaps. Nationwide, as many as one out of seven students are chronically absent. When students are chronically absent, they are missing on average two or more days a month, or 10 percent or more of school days over the academic year. Chronic absence is a sign that students and families may be experiencing barriers to getting to school or are disengaged because their school experience makes them feel unsafe and unsupported. Attendance reflects whether what happens in school encourages students to show up every day or exacerbates the negative impact of challenges experienced in the community or at home.


Chronic absence is a problem we can solve. And we must because it is a barrier preventing millions of children and youth from benefiting from an education that prepares them for success in school, work and life. When we Attendance Awareness Campaign was launched, chronic absence was an alarming, largely overlooked problem. Today the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires all states to report on chronic absence. The vast majority (36 states plus California) adopted a chronic absence metric in their state plans.


Chronic absence is typically defined as missing 10 percent of the school year – or just two days a month – for any reason. This is not just a problem in middle and high school: It starts in kindergarten and preschool. It is a problem in districts of every size, whether they are urban, suburban or rural.


Together we can nurture a culture of engagement and attendance that encourages showing up every day even when it isn’t easy.

We’re encouraging everyone to remember that students are more likely to attend school if they feel emotionally and physically safe, connected and supported, and believe they can learn and achieve.


Under this year’s theme, We Belong in School! We are emphasizing the role everyone, from educators to health professionals, to local agency and business partners can play in creating welcoming and engaging schools that encourage daily attendance. They should also connect students and families to needed resources to overcome barriers to getting to school. This information can then be used to activate supports to prevent students from missing so much school they fall academically behind.

Working together we will ensure scholar success.  As a staff we are also modeling good attendance!