The PTSA Welcomes Teachers and Staff

Teacher Welcome Breakfast_1
Teacher Welcome Breakfast_2

Last week the PTSA welcomed the teachers back to school by providing a light breakfast in the staff room. We appreciate that our teachers and staff come to school each day ready to care for and educate our students – even when we don’t fed them! Thank you 2014-15 KMS teachers!

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A Message from Ms. Bogie, KMS Librarian Extraordinaire

The Korematsu Library will be opening for lunch on Wednesday, August 27. It will open for student and class visits throughout the school day on Tuesday, Sept. 2. 

The Korematsu Library club, the Library RATS (Reading and Tech Stars) will be starting on Tuesday, Sept. 16. It is every Tuesday from 2:30-3:30. The library is open most Tuesdays and Thursdays after school starting Sept. 16. If your child plans to come to the library on Tuesdays & Thursdays after school it is good to have other childcare plans as well because there are weeks when I have meetings or other after school commitments and I am not able to stay late. Most of the time I am here, though.

The best ways to contact me are to stop by, call the school, or email me at I am often out of the library and doing other things on campus so email tends to work well.

For more details about the library, here is a link to a refresher video for 8th graders, and introduction videos for 7th graders. I am visiting all of the 7th grade classes this week to introduce myself and talk about the library.

I look forward to seeing family faces and meeting new families!

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After School Options at Korematsu

After School LogosYou might already know that there is an FREE after school program administered by the El Cerrito Recreation Department. Kids have time to do homework and there are fun activities. You can find more information about signing up here:

There are also two special programs available if enough kids sign up:
After School French Program Spanish
After School Chess Program Spanish
Both of these after school enrichment programs start soon and are dependent on enrollment, so sign up right away!

KMS Cross Country will also be starting later in the Fall. Look for information about the team in September.

These are the official offerings for kids to have a safe, nurturing place to spend time after school. What does your student do after school? Do you have a favorite club, sport, or activity that you’d like to tell other families about? Leave a comment below telling us what your student does after school.

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Message from Principal Burnham

Welcome back to school! Our staff has been working hard to prepare for what promises to be a great school year. Let’s begin the year with a renewed determination to create the most positive and challenging learning environment for our students.

In order to accommodate all students, many scheduling changes have been made. Throughout the campus, there are posted lists of students in alphabetical order. The list provides each student’s first period teacher and room number. Students should make their way to this first period class, and they will receive their new schedule there. Unless there is a glaring error, such as a missing class period, changes to schedules will not be made until Friday at the earliest.

I look forward to seeing all of our wonderful students focused and ready to learn on the first day of school!

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School Starts Monday 8/18

Welcome Back to School
While no one can believe the summer is almost over, we are all looking forward to the coming school year! The first day of school is Monday 8/18. It will be a minimum day. Instruction begins at 8:10 am, so students should aim to be in their seats at 8:05. Minimum day ends at 1:25. Please pick your student up promptly after school unless they are enrolled in the free afterschool program.

Need the bell schedule or map of the campus? Here you go: Bell Schedule Map of Temporary Campus

We’ll see you Monday morning!

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Want to be added to the e-tree?

To be added to the google group etree, please email All of the emails provided at the mixer and registration have been entered. If you did not receive a welcome message, please check your spam folder. If there is no welcome message from us in your spam folder, please email Many of the email addresses were very hard to read, so we want to make sure everyone who wants to be on the etree is included.

You can also get email notification of new posts to this website by clicking on the “Follow” button to the right. You might sometimes receive duplicate messages to your inbox, but you’ll be sure not to miss out on the latest happenings at Korematsu Middle School!

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Korematsu Middle School but Portola PTSA?? Yes! For a while, anyway!

On July 9th the WCCUSD School Board voted to change the name from Portola Middle School to Fred T. Korematsu Middle School, effective for the 2014-15 school year. The transition to the new name will allow students an opportunity to learn about Mr. Korematsu’s struggle against injustice and discrimination.

The Portola PTSA is separate from the school district, so we are working to align with the name change. The transition plan involves changing the name on our California State PTSA charter and bank accounts, securing and migrating all current information to a new internet domain, electronic communications/social media accounts. We do not have a firm time frame for completion, but all components are under way.

What does this mean to you? Official correspondence from the school and district will be from Korematsu Middle School. Correspondence from the PTSA will be from Portola PTSA. Information will still be available at and you can still reach us at We will notify you as we become Korematsu PTSA and how to access the corresponding communication portals.

Questions or concerns? Offers of assistance with the transition? Please contact us at Need to talk to school staff? The number for the front office is still 524-0405.

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Board Votes to Rename Portola Middle School after Fred T. Korematsu

The WCCUSD Board voted unanimously Wednesday night to rename Portola Middle School after Japanese American civil rights icon Fred T. Korematsu. The District has not yet clarified when the name change takes effect. When we have information regarding the transition plan and timeline we will post it here.

During World War II, Japanese-American citizens were ordered to internment camps despite the lack of cause for the detentions. Korematsu was arrested and convicted for defying the internment order. On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his conviction. In 1983, the case was overturned in U.S. District Court and President Bill Clinton later awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. After 9/11, Korematsu spoke out to protect the civil rights of Muslim inmates and U.S. citizens.

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New Campus Information

New Campus_Overall View_2014Thank you to Marcus Hibser of HY Architects and district officials for providing a community update on the progress of the new campus build. The official “move in” date according to the district contract is March/April 2016, but so far the project is running ahead of schedule and the move in date could be as soon as Jan/Feb 2016. The timeline is depicted below. The presentation Marcus shared can be found here. Have a look — it will be a beautiful school. The second half of the presentation is an update and plans on the rebuilding of Fairmont Elementary School, which will commence as soon as Fairmont students are able to move in to the temporary campus currently occupied by our Portola students.

New Campus Timeline_2014

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Save These Dates

Registration and Orientation
Welcome poster
Registration and Orientation is scheduled for the mornings of August 5, 6, 7.  Details will be set home by mail.  Can you help PTSA one of those mornings selling sprit wear, collecting memberships, giving directions?  Necesitamos personas que hablan Espanol! Email us!
Incoming 7th / Returning 8th Grade Mixer
Saturday, August 9, 2-4 p.m.  Come meet new friends and catch up with old. Open to all – Parents, incoming and returning students, siblings and family members. Castro Clubhouse, 1420 Norvell Street, El Cerrito (@ Donal).  We’ll have light refreshments and snacks. Want to Help??  Email us!  Click here for a printable version of the flyer above.  
First Day of School Monday, August 18th
It is a Minimum Day….Dismissal is at 1:25 p.m.
Back to School Picnic
Thursday, August 21st
5-7:30 p.m. Location TBD
Featuring Back to School Bingo!
Pizza, Salads, Dessert!  $5.00 per person.  Open to all…– Parents, incoming and returning students, siblings and family members.  Want to Help??  Email us!
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