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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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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New Campus Update

New campus_Entry

WCCSD Facilities Subcommittee will present a neighborhood update on Portola rebuilding Saturday, May 31st, 11 a.m. at Castro Clubhouse, 1420 Norvell Street, El Cerrito (@ Donal). Marcus Hibser, Architect, will be there along with other WCCUSD notables involved in the new construction.

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Your 2014-15 PTSA Needs You!

PTSA Needs You!
Portola PTSA and Portola Parents Music Association 
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer.  However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous, and we need you!  All the kids, our entire school community, and you will reap rewards!  We can help you to be more involved in your child’s life.  Study after study has shown that when parents are involved in school, kids do better!  You can learn new skills and share your own.  You’ll make friends too. And, it is fun!
Please consider signing up for something for our 2014-2105 school year.  We are recruiting now.  We are looking for chairs to head most committees and volunteers to staff!
Portola PTSA Board Positions
Need to attend PTSA Meetings the second Tuesday of Sept, Nov, Jan, March and May, 7:00-10:00 pm.
PTSA Exec. VP Year Round
PTSA Membership
PTSA Volunteer Opportunities
Registration and Orientation
Back to School Picnic
Garden Work Party/Back to School Beautification Day
El Cerrito Citywide Yard Sale Coordinator
Fright Write (Oct. 31 release date)
Fright Fest
Information Night
Jenny K Shopping Day Coordinator
PARC (Parent Academic Rigor Committee)
Celebrate Portola Auction, PTSA Representative
Grant Writers
El Toro Weekly Newsletter
Parent Librarian
Math Club
Golden Gate Fields Fundraising
8th Grade Committee
Teacher Treat Day Coordinator
Portola Music Parents Association
Meetings:  The Second Tuesday of the Month, 6:30 p.m.
Financial Secretary 
Bake Sale Coordinator 
Celebrate Portola Planners
To find out more, email us at:
View Volunteer Opportunities Here:
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Textbook Collection Starts Monday 5/19

It’s time to return the textbooks that the kids have been using at home this academic year.
How it works is this:  Kids will bring their books back one subject at a time, one day at a time. The schedule is below and attached here.  Each day has its own subject.  Monday is for English books, Tuesday for History, and so on.  The teacher, according to the time on the schedule, will bring their entire class to the textbook  room where the kids who have HOPEFULLY brought the right book with them will turn them in to the interim textbook clerk, Ms. DeArco, will check them back in.
FYI, this schedule covers the bulk of the students.  Those in smaller, more specialized classes have their own separate instructions, to be implemented by their teachers.
Please help your student bring the correct book to school on the correct day.  Have a wonderful summer and best of luck to your kids!
Textbook Returns_2013-14
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It’s time for Spring Faire!

Portola Spring Faire
Saturday, May 17, 2014
11:00 to 3:00
Come for games, prizes, food, friends, and FUN! This event is open to the public.
We need more volunteers (parents and students) and store-bought cakes and or cookies for the cakewalk.

Please sign up at

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Congratulations to Mr. McCormick, Teacher of the Year!

Teacher of the Year

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Portola Night (Open House) Thursday, March 27 6-8pm

The Portola Middle School students, teachers, and staff would like to invite you to the 1st annual “Portola Night”, which will be held on campus on Thursday, March 27th from 6 to 8pm. Instead of the usual Open House structure, the students and teachers have come together to organize a night of student projects and presentations, along with performances by the jazz band and drama class. Please join us in a fun-filled and informative evening to celebrate Portola Middle School!

1021 Navellier St., El Cerrito, CA 94530, (510) 524-0405

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