• Quarter Three Ends Friday April 3

    The end of this most memorable quarter is coming. This Friday April 3rd is the day that teachers will wrap up this ten week grading period that began in late January. We will be collecting all old work, all late or missing work. Students can email or screenshot their work and send it in to school via email. If students and families want to check powerschool, they can get a sense of where they are. The work will be evaluated and recorded and then turned into a letter grade. For students, this is a great time to reach out to teachers and seek help, advice or strategies. We will take the week of April 6-10 to give everyone a week off and prepare for the start of Quarter 4, which will commence on Monday April 13. On that day we will roll out a more "regular" schedule where students can interact with their teachers on the daily. We will determine eligibility and honor rolls based on third quarter grades as per usual and we will use the marks earned in quarter 4 to combine and continue to make the all important semester grade in June, whether we are in school live or online. We urge you to reach out if you need help with our teaching crew who can help direct you and solve your knotty academic queries. Report cards for quarter three will be made available on powerschool during the first week of Quarter Four. Finish up strong, Spartans

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  • Free Website of the Day

    What's the story with the Periodic Table? Maybe you had a moment to look at it on the teacher's wall or in the back of your textbook, and maybe you got assigned one of the elements to do a report on. There are numbers, many numbers, and they don't stay in order. What about the symbols and their weight? Their names? The table grows, but what does those Roman numerals on the top tell us? H2O good right? What about H3O? Take the time to hear from the people who make it their lives' work to understand. Pinole Valley students have two physical science courses to select from: Chemistry and Physics. Both have resources online that will help unlock some of the secrets of the elements. This video series will enlighten and entertain. And while each element has its champions, it is easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm.. Given time enough to explore. Go to https://www.youtube.com/user/periodicvideos and begin the process of seeing scientists talk about EVERY element with video as well. Get the story from the start--where the Element was first discovered, how it got famous and what its uses and abilities are. The Periodic Videos give you an opportunity to now learn all of the ins and outs of the gases, the rare earths and the heavy metals. This would be a great time to get ahead and get started on the study of physical science and if there was ever a time to answer questions about the world around us, the time is now

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  • Spartan Lesson of the Day: Genetic Isolation

    What would happen if the same fish in the same sea got separated over time? Ms. Tabbutt's AP Biology class were asked that very question in a most creative way. Students were tasked to create a diary that had them go back in time and every fifty years see what had changed using the scientific vocabulary of the process. We love the imagination that resulted, as students took seriously and also hilariously what it means to do a super long term investigation--here's a bit from Andrea Perez who is just at the start of this story--"I traveled to Saginaw Bay and repeated the same measurements on the trouts and found that nothing had really changed about them. I noticed that the locals were taking some of the trouts to another Bay because there weren’t that many fishes to eat there. It was a fishnapping! This change in habitats reminded me of something called the Founder’s Effect. It is when a small percent of a population is taken away from its original habitat and it forms its own population elsewhere. But, the two groups of trouts were still the same species so this hadn’t happened." What happens next? Well, that is between Andrea, Ms. Tabbutt and her fish diary. Results may vary. But not if biology has anything to say about it

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  • Free Website of the Week: Nepris!

    Who better to teach our students what it is like to be in the "real world" than somebody already immersed in it. We have a unique opportunity this week to connect. The Nepris model is simple: Put a person working in a given profession on a video feed to schools and have them interact, engage and then do some follow up. Pinole Valley had the program and found the results to be very positive. Just check out the line up for this week: A guide through a wetlands with a naturalist, then there is a scientist speaking about the value of art and music on their career. There is a small business owner who wants to share her insight with students about how to get to where she got. Then we have an Olympic athlete explaining what it took to get him to that level, a professional musician talking about the life and then an epidemiologist who is on the front line vs. the Coronavirus. Later there is going to be a speaker on the subject of the "Dreaded College essay" with the following teaser text: Since we're all shut down in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, I figured now would be a great time to lend my expertise and help out anyone who needs to write a descriptive, memorable, and unique essay. During this session, I’ll give students a brief overview of myself and my work, show a quirky PowerPoint on writing college admissions essays, and then open it up to questions so that most of the time will be a Q&A. In short, students can join these lectures live or go to the archives and find some past talk that might speak to you.

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  • Spartan of the Day: Library Services

    Librarian Ms. Carlile knows that one way to turn a negative into a positive is to keep your mind and imagination active. Which is why she is launching stayhome&read as a way to expand your world during this time that you are closed in with four walls. She is asking any student or staff person to post online or send to her an image of you with what you are reading. It doesn't have to be War and Peace, it could be the newspaper, a recipe book or the textbook that you are digging into. We are hoping that this inspires others to share what they've got between the covers. We are thinking that classic that you never had the time or courage to try (and then once you do--guess what, it's pretty good!) the series that you are embarrassed to show in public (what public?) or something you never thought you had the patience for (now better than ever). Read on Spartans, we will share some of our favorites here throughout the Corona Break. It all starts with page one

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  • Senior Scholarships are a Thing

    The Retired Teachers scholarship has extended its deadline to April 15 and want you to get all of your information copied to both your school counselor and to pattyahalonen@comcast.net. The Pinole Valley PTSA is also accepting applications for its scholars, make sure that it get in to pinolevalleyptsa@gmail.com. We have the prompt for it linked on our next page if you click onto this page. Jerry Deuker scholarship for great senior citizens (you know what we mean) has an April 15 deadline as well and should be submitted to kkleiman@wccusd.net. The Richmond Promise is happening and Ms. Stephanie is here to reach out to at szambrano@berkeley.edu. And keep on checking on the scholarships.com page, this is the time, and for you, take the time to complete the application and get the letters you need. We are going to host a Senior Awards night later in the year and we still know there are many scholarships in the running that would fit our students perfectly. We will use this space to announce and create links, so keep posted or reach out. Teachers and counselors will be available for letters of support and we will be able to provide virtual transcripts. It's up to you, class of 2020 to make sure you get your applications complete and to ask for any help you may need. Going forward is what we do best, And we recommend you take the time to craft your best pitch to get the financial aid you need for your next academic steps. Time is money

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  • Spartans of the Day: Clubs!

    The best of times in high school is bonding with people and exploring shared and gaining new interests. Some of our clubs are going all out even during this shut down. 'We want to commend our Earth Team that hasn't missed a beat or a Thursday since we have been out. Looking toward raising awareness and celebrating the earth and nature, the crew is strategizing about what they do best--focusing on ways to improve the planet. And today is the Women's Empowerment Club meeting day (Friday) so it is no surprise that the club is meeting to continue their work. While this is going on, a number of student groups strategize about keeping their lives and interests going. We look forward to hearing about your club and your interest and how you keep that going forward even when we cannot be face to face. Culinary club, we turn to you for inspiration about the best way to make the at home kitchen work as well as you do our school cafeteria. We figure that nothings as fun as being in the same room with your friends, but if we can make something special of the time we are separated then maybe we can come back together even stronger

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  • Lesson of the Day: Accent-uate the Positive

    Ms. Elliot is the teacher who bridges the gap. Teaching both English to Spanish speakers and Spanish to English learner, we are blessed to have an instructor who knows how important it is to be able to communicate. And yes, the way that you speak influences those who hear it. And how they respond to you. One of the truisms of language acquisition is that while you can learn a new tongue through books and writing, the real test comes when out in the world (keeping six feet distance) and speaking to a person in your new language. The accent marks make certain that you have the emphasis and exact sound closer to right. The chant which Ms. Elliot has assigned works remotely, since you can make the sounds accurate as long as you know what each accent mark does. Which is not to say it would be better or more efficient to learn in a classroom with your teachers and your peers, but in the short term, you can say it aloud or to a fellow student online on a conference call. Love the interactive approach to learning. She posted a great lesson yesterday which we will replicate a tiny bit of here. (You should find the original source , Jazzchants for Interrogatives to get it right, because accents of course, matter. Here's a couplet: De donde eras tu? Soy de Malibu. Adonde va Pepito? Va a El Cerrito. Como se llame el? Se llama Rafael. For more check in to google classroom. We have now finished our second week of online school and glad to have you with us. If you have finished your work in one class or want to work on a curriculum outside your own, reach out and we can let you in. Gracias Ms. Elliot for the fun chants and learning

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  • Website of the Day: Everybody Dance Now

    Between Spartan Take Over, K-Pop and the seniors in the Band, dance is a big part of how we move it move it at Pinole Valley. Go to skillshare today or this weekend to master virtually, steps that will help you shine IRL. Everything from Dominican Bachata to Ballet 101, to the latest viral moves (too soon?). You can learn at the pace and with the ability to start over and do it all again. Who knew Groundhog Day was going to be such an instructive movie? The fact is that we are getting ready for our own Virtual Talent Show in the next few weeks. And you can sign up at https://flipgrid.com/a7d28e7d. We are excited about the creativity and spirit that we are seeing. Check out Spartan news on Instagram, keep up with us at Spartan Ink and send any tips or suggestions into us via the website. Keep on dancing, Spartans!

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  • Spartan Lesson of the Day: Virus and Taxes

    Ms. Wood's Economics class is working daily to complete the curriculum to prepare the class of 2020 for the next big steps. So what happens when a global pandemic comes to hijack the Spring semester of the school year? How about bringing relevance and the news into the classroom. Just check out this thought provoking query: I asked you Day 2 how Coronavirus was going to affect the US Economy From what you have learned about taxes, what do you think would be the best tax to increase the US Government's revenue to help pay for the government spending on the coronavirus. Give a reason for your answer Agenda P. 416/417 Impact of Taxes on the Economy 1.Resource Allocation a)How would lacing a heavy tax on something affect the demand for a product. b) Think of something the government deliberately puts high taxes on so people will buy less of it? These kind of questions are the type that calls on students to do the sort of higher level thinking of applying knowledge that is exactly where our seniors ought to be. Keep the good work, coming

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  • Spartan of the Day: Science Folk

    A moment for our science team, doing everything from online Office Hours to participating in Flinn Scientific's distance laboratory lesson. Oh, also getting their students to partake in live lessons, watch recorded lessons and attend AP lecture too. The school's Earth Team comes out from work being done by our Science teachers and it is also the host of our Ocean Conservation club too. The Health Academy is science based and gets our students multiple opportunities to develop their skills. We have expanded our offering to have way more Physics (at two levels) and are looking to introduce as skills section for grade 9 going forward soon too. Also if you like seeing pets in a classroom, guess which discipline is likely to host them. And for their generosity in sharing (giving away) our UV goggle sterilizer. Our teachers literally took the matter into their own hands. Thanks team. And also, being the font of all information. We are relying a lot on our colleagues who went beyond Astronomy 10, to ask them to explain again about viruses, transmission and what's going on. This moment is for you, Science teachers we are grateful for you

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  • Lesson of the Day: Number Sense

    It's fun to play with numbers, and number sense is one of those skills that keeps paying off. We like to keep manipulating and playing with numerals here too. Mr. Jeff Wright challenges his math students today with a kind of mathematical scavenger hunt. And you don't have to know a lot of math to partake. What is the only number between 0 and 1000 with an "A" in it? Or want to move onto higher level math--try this query on for size--You see a top you want to buy for $97, but you don't have any money so you borrow $50 from your mom and $50 from your dad. You buy the top and have $3 change, you give your mom $1,your dad $1, and keep $1 for yourself. You now owe your mom $49 and your dad $49. $49+$49=$98 and you kept $1. Where is the missing $1? Or go to https://www.prodigygame.com/blog/math-puzzles/ and find a math question at your level or beyond. Just like reading boosts vocabulary, playing with numbers improves your skill in percentages, fractions and big money too! (And no the answer to Mr. Wright's question is not One hundred and two

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  • Spartan of the Day: Aerial Photography

    What's your perspective? Photography teacher, Mr. Pinto has asked students to do what seems counterintuitive to start Corona School. But it works! Aerial photography is the name of this game, with the assignment being to have students create an image from up high. So how do you get to the top, when you are grounded? Challenge accepted! We have above a photo from Anthony Schell who figured out how to capture a unique look. Students still have time to submit their photos, and we will continue to feature some of the best. (There were a lot of good ones). Mr Pinto is also our yearbook editor and the crew is still working to make the deadline--any and all images that show Spartan year 2019-20 have a place. No matter where you are standing

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  • College Board provides the lesson of the Day

    Everything has changed for the Advanced Placement Exam this Spring. The test usually assess students on the college level material that they learn through late April. With school out, the test makers instead made the call to have the exam cover only material covered through the first week of March. The test, ordinarily a stamina-created three hour block is going to be only 45 minutes long. The test, usually a blend of objective, multiple choice content questions is being converted into an essay based question instead. Of course some of the exams, like that for AP Art and Math will not have essay components but other rigorous requirements. Starting today and going through the rest of the week, AP is hosting free 45 minute review sessions which are guaranteed to give students a sneak peak in what to expect. Don't slack, you might be missing your Calculus Review right this moment!

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  • Spartans Deliver!

    We bought a lot of N-95 masks for the wildfires in the Fall and then realized that they are potential life savers again in the Spring. So here is a local hospital welcoming much needed supplies brought to them by our own Ms. Dibble. The next call going out is for safety goggles and our Mr. O'Shea and Mr. Heyward have found our cache and preparing to send them out into the world as well. The Pinole Valley High School staff is ready to help where we can. We are at the very least preparing lessons, both daily and weekly. We are offering tutoring support through our math specialists (email Principal Kibby Kleiman for particulars). We are here via video, google classroom, canvas and one-on-one. Don't hesitate to reach out to any or all of us, who would like to spend this time providing homework support, review help and supplemental material as well. Stay safe, Spartans to the rescue!

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  • Spartans of the Day: Artists

    Claire Bird is sharing with us Art at its best. This is a hydroflask she has been working on. Very cool, right? Here's what we like even better--the dialogue that she is able to have with her Art teacher, Ms. Shokrai. So Claire had a question, and used our online capabilities to get some pro tips from her teacher. Here is a snippet: I would seal it with Modge Podge and use very thin coats, 2 to 3 tops. Once it has dried completely, you will be able to hand wash it. It will dry in a couple hours, but let it set for a couple days before the first time you wash it or handle it. Cool, right? This is the hope we have for all of our students, that this is a moment in time, where you can get some one-on-one time with your teachers and produce solutions, music, essays and Art!

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  • Lesson of the Day: Dot Dot Dash

    Mr. Madden, physics teacher has created lessons that bring the past into the present. A Morse Code message is sent to the Pinole community via yesterday's presentation. The point of introducing today's student to a technology of the past is to show that the spirit of invention is as relevant and needed today as it was in the 19th century. That the motivations are the same and even the process. Mr. Madden has even embedded a message to be deciphered along with his video. So if you are one of the fortunate to have Mr. Madden as your instructor, share your best ideas and send him a message back! Other science teachers have posted lectures, hosted forums and look this week for links to experiments conducted online. We are hoping that those who are freaked out at the crisis itself, use it as an opportunity to become better informed and we have posted and will have over the next few weeks links to some online laboratories and some lectures and experiments done by the pros. But we get Mr. Madden's main lesson, which is that anyone can be a creator and invention is sometimes just need and desire wrapped together in one student or one class

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  • EXAMPLE - Need Tech support?

    OK, we get that it is a little ironic to be asking if you need tech support on what is a web page, BUT, if you know a family in need or can relay this information to them, all the better. Here is the page that was published earlier today [Click the headline to view more.]

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  • Spartans sparkle on the first day on the Diamond

    Softball and Baseball started the TCAL season in high style, The Blue and Gold girls had a home game at Ellerhorst and fell behind 2-0 early before righting the ship with a seven run second inning and routed the Jesse Bethel Jaguars 12-2 and are now 1-0 in league and 3-0 overall. Kailani Tatro earned her third straight win on the mound and Giselle Perez hit a three run homer. Meanwhile in Albany, the baseball boys blasted the Cougars 12-2 and started their title defense. Both squads are back in action Friday with the boys hosting the same Albany team and the girls are going to be home too to play St. Mary's. The boys jumped all over Albany with a nine run inning. Highlights included starting pitcher Cole Montano going the distance for the complete game, Caleb Castanchoa going two for three at the plate, as did Mateo Tahsini, both drove in runs, while Tom Reed launched the big inning with a run scoring double to spark the Spartans. Make sure that you bring something to travel by so you can go back and forth and see both teams roll

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  • Picture this!

    Step one in a multi-step process in Ms. Tremor's art class, we know that students love their opportunity to create. Here is an assignment that started with a photograph, then went to tracing with a Sharpie, then came a light board (OK, maybe we are getting our order confused) the page is then exposed to vellum and then comes collage. OK, it's clear we haven't truly figured out every step of the way, but walking through our row of art classes gives us some insight into why Art is so significant in student life. We are seeing photography class first learn the work of the masters, both classic and contemporary. Then they create their own versions of the same. Really fun and provocative. Ms. Shokrai's students excel at both 2-D and 3-D art, and she provides a space after school for our ceramics crew who then take their best creations out for sale at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays. We will be showing our art at the District Art Show, the Contra Costa and Alameda County Fair and we will put on another evening or two on campus to show off our works. The piece you see above may look entirely different by the time it is complete. Perhaps it will be put on display and it is also just as likely to go on a refrigerator door and be transformed into something entirely new. We do know art when we see it. We like what we see.

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