April 12, 2020

Dear Carrillo Families,

Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all who are celebrating this week. I hope everyone enjoyed their Spring Break and are ready to start this new adventure of Distance Learning.

Virtual Family Bingo Night This Saturday from 5 pm- 6:30

The famous, Jackpot Joey Lai, isn’t letting the quarantine order keep him from putting on a fun Carrillo Bingo Night! Bingo will take place virtually and will require you to send an email ahead of time and log on early. Please click the following attachment for instructions. The Pope and the Keeton family will be participating, and we hope to “see” your family there too!

Bingo Instructions.docx 

Distance Learning

On Tuesday, April 14th, we will virtually “open our doors” to a new school year in which the bulk of instruction will take place from 8:30-11:30 am via Google Classroom. We know the school closure has disrupted everyone’s lives at home, and we are all struggling to adjust to this new routine and pace of life. No doubt, the Distance Learning plan is not ideal, since the ideal state is to re-open our doors and return to life as it was. I am, however, so grateful to be a member of this Carrillo community, and I know we will be able to get through this together by offering each other (both school staff and parents) grace, flexibility, and understanding. 

Our goal as a school community is to make the most out of this opportunity by exposing students to the remainder of the essential standards at their grade level and offering effective practice, enrichment, and extension to maintain the skills students have already learned. Parents, we realize that all of your situations differ at home and want you to have the flexibility to do what’s best for your children. As I have stated in my previous email, this first week is about establishing routines and procedures that can be consistent every day. Our thinking is that it would not only benefit the children to have a regular schedule, but for you as well that may be trying to manage younger children, working from home, supporting other family members, and a multitude of other responsibilities. We aren’t asking that you, the parents, be the educators, but rather help establish the routines and expectations at home by getting your children up in the morning, ready to log into their classrooms and begin their daily instruction at 8:30 am. At the same time, you need to do what’s best for your family, so please continue to communicate to us how we can support you.

In case you missed my previous email, here are the important details for you to know-

Since distance learning requires a shift in how students will receive their instruction, new procedures, routines, and expectations must be implemented and explained to the students. Similar to how we teach students to line up for class, attend to the bell schedule, raise their hands to share, treat each other respectfully on the playground, etc. we will be training students on how to log in effectively, where they receive their assignments, how to ask questions, how to turn in their completed work, how to behave appropriately in google hangout conferences and so on. I have asked teachers to “start slow to go fast,” meaning fewer curricular materials the first week and more of a focus on procedures and routines. By taking the time to establish work habits and expected behaviors, students will be able to self-navigate their learning with less prompting and support from you as the parent so that everyone can create a consistent routine at home...To help familiarize yourself with all of the resources that students will engage in, the District has created this resource page on the District website. https://www.smusd.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=157433&pageId=26311114.

As outlined in Dr. Garcia’s message this week, “school hours” will be as follows:

All students should be logged onto their device and ready to engage in learning by 8:30 am, have a break between 10-10:30 am, and a second block between 10:30-11:30 am. Teachers will use a combination of pre-recorded lessons, live chats, educational videos, and other forms of media to create their blocks of instruction in ELA and mathematics. Students will also be required to complete assignments independently and navigate learning modules during this time. All instructional plans will be adjusted based on the student’s age and development level, but the times of instruction will remain the same for all students, Kinder-5th grade.


  • Preschool instructional hours will be 1.5 hours per day (3 days per week). The targeted days for preschool will be T, Th, F from 10-11:30 am, but that may change.
  • TK hours may also be adjusted based on what’s best for the students and their families

*Please look out for specific information from your Pre-k and TK teachers. 

In addition to the 8:30-11:30 instructional time, teachers will have “office hours” that will be communicated individually by the teacher and based on their availability. Please note, similar to you, many of our teachers have young children and other family members to care for during this time as well. As a result, the times of these office hours will be different between teachers and may not be a consistent block of time. I know our teachers will respond to emails and questions as quickly as possible and, over time, create more efficient routines for supporting students remotely.

Mondays and Afternoons

"Start with the Arts" (a message from Mrs. O.)  

We are inviting all students to start each week with lessons and family activities brought to you by the SMUSD Visual and Performing Arts Teachers. Students and families are encouraged to explore music, theater, visual arts, and dance each week with new content launched each Monday. Students will find their weekly lessons on the district webpage and in their Google Classroom. Click here to check it out.  

Remember begin your week smart, Start With the ARTS!


Mondays and afternoons are a great day for library activities, PE, art lessons, STEM, and so on. Students in upper grades may also work on extended "passion projects" and other research-based assignments. Again, the goal is to create a structure of protected "instructional time" from 8:30-11:30 Tuesday through Friday. In addition to those hours of core instruction, you have flexible options for the "specials" (music, PE, STEM, library) and can design your schedule for the rest of the day (and limiting the screen time as much as possible).

I am a parent of a 1st and 2nd-grader myself, with both my wife and I now working full time from home. To make this work for us, we are creating a visual schedule for our kids that will be reviewed in advance for each day. We hope to achieve 40 minutes to 1 ½ hour blocks of time occurring several times per day in which the whole family is working on their own simultaneously. We will be training our kids to "stick to the schedule" and have a reward system for great focus.

Sample schedule which will probably fluctuate weekly:


7:30-8:30- Wake up, dress, breakfast, review daily schedule, etc.

8:30-9:30- Start with the Arts! (Music)

9:30-10:10- Library/Reading Time

10:10-10:40- Snack and Outdoor time

10:40-12 pm- STEM/Maker Space/Creative Time

12:00-1- Lunch and Playtime

1-2- art activities (drawing, coloring, crafts, etc.)

2-3- PE


7:30-8:20- Wake up, dress, breakfast, review schedule, etc.

8:20-8:30- Prepare for school, log into google classroom/Benchmark/Clever, etc. and have supplies ready for any off-line work.

8:30-10- English Language Arts via Google Classroom

10-10:30- snack/outdoor time “recess”

10:30-11:30- Math via Google Classroom

11:30-12:30 lunch and playtime

12:30-1:10- Library/Reading Time

1:10-2:10- PE/Music/STEM

2:10-3:10- Free choice creative time (art, coloring, box forts, etc.)

Breakfast and Lunch Distribution

The Child Nutrition Services Department will be continuing their food distribution Monday through Friday between 11-1, including every day throughout Spring Break, at the following schools: San Elijo Middle School, San Marcos High School, Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary, La Mirada Academy, San Marcos Elementary, San Marcos Middle School, Mission Hills High School, and Richland Elementary. Please note, Carrillo is no longer serving food.

Video Message for Day One

Please look out for a video message from Mrs. Keeton and me that will be sent out Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. We want to kick off this new learning with a fun and relaxed tone so that all students get excited about this opportunity and remain motivated to learn from a distance.

Internet Available:

If you are in need of internet in your home, there are a few options to get WiFi:

    - Cox offers Connect2Compete (first two month free, $9.95/month after)

    - Spectrum is offering 60 days of free Internet

    - Free hotspots being offered (Cox / Spectrum)


Remind Links:

Preschool: https://www.remind.com/join/carrillopr

Kindergarten and TK: https://www.remind.com/join/carrilloki

1st-Grade: https://www.remind.com/join/carrillotk

2nd-grade: https://www.remind.com/join/carrillot

3rd-grade: https://www.remind.com/join/4e8cc7

4th-grade: https://www.remind.com/join/carrillo2n

5th-grade: https://www.remind.com/join/carrillo3r


Thank you,


Gary Pope, Principal