August/September 2015
Welcome to the 2015-2016 School Year!
Dear Families,

We hope that you are all enjoying your summer break and taking the time to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

We are preparing for the school year and wanted to make you aware of some important dates and
reminders for the beginning of the school year. We are excited to welcome back our 7th and 8th graders and are eager to meet our incoming class of 6th graders.

As many of you know, Mr. Varela will be retiring in August and I have taken over as Principal. I am very
exicted for this new role and look forward to working in this new capacity and being able to continue my work with the amazing students and staff at AMS.

I would also like to welcome Ms. Agregado back to AMS as our new Assistant Principal. Ms. Agregado is a former math teacher at AMS and has spent time working as a math coach and summer school Assistant Principal. Mr. Packham will continue his work as an Assistant Principal partnering with Ms. Agregado. We have new staff joining us this year that I think are going to make a great addition to the AMS staff. I look forward to you meeting them at Back To School Night on September 16th, from 6-7:30 p.m.

Alvarado Middle School will officially be changing our name to honor Larry Itliong and Phillip Vera Cruz, in December. Many more details will be coming regarding this historical change that will allow New Haven Unified School District to have the honor of recognizing two great Filipino leaders who worked side by side with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers to radically change this country’s labor policies.

Please know that I welcome your ideas and feedback or questions and concerns. It is important to me to communicate well with all stakeholders in our school. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

I look forward to a great school year!


Heather Thorner

All 6th grade parents and parents of new 7th and 8th grade students, must attend a Chromebook meeting to receive their child's Chromebook. Meetings will be held on Friday, August 21st at 8 AM and 9 AM and Wednesday, August 26th at 6:30 PM

21st Century Communication
Please make sure your email address is updated with the school. I plan to e-mail parents important information about upcoming activities and many teachers can respond faster to your questions via e-mail. This can be done by updating the enclosed Emergency form.

Be a part of the decision making process…
School Site Council Members needed!
We have 5 open spots this year on our School Site Council. AMS is a community school. We want it to reflect the ideas and values of the people in our community and the children of Alvarado Middle School.

If you are a parent or a community member interested in the education programs, then you are qualified to be a School Site Council Member. I encourage you to submit your name. Please go to http://go.mynhusd.org/AMSssc to fill out a google form if you are interested in being a part of School Site Council. If you cannot access the google form, you can submit an email to DKnupfer@nhusd.k12.ca.us, expressing your interest to be on School Site Council. All names will be collected until September 10th. During Back to School Night, a ballot will be created and all parents attending Back to School Night will be asked to vote for the representatives to our School Site Council.

Even if you are not interested in being a voting member of School Site Council any community member or parent is welcome to join us for monthly School Site Council meetings. Meeting dates will be posted on this website.

Schedule Pick up:
8th grade A-L, Wed, August 19 8:00-9:30 AM
8th grade M-Z, Wed August 19 10:00-11:30 AM

7th grade A-L, Thurs, August 20 8:00-9:30 AM
7th grade M-Z, Thurs, August 20 10:00-11:30 AM

Chromebook Parent Meeting at the MPR
1. Friday August 21, 8am and 9 AM
2. Wednesday, August 26th, 6:30 PM

1st Day of School- August 26th, Minimum Day Schedule, dismissal at 11:42 am

Back to School Night- September 16th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Attendance Counts!

Please make sure your child attends school every day and if for some reason they cannot attend please let us
know. You can call the school to inform us of your child’s absence or you can now email our clerical staff to inform them of a child’s absence. We just need to have the email account listed on the emergency form. You can e-mail acopadojaime@nhusd.k12.ca.us or ssheppard@nhusd.k12.ca.us with an absence

$25 a year, $2.50 a month, 62 cents a week or 14 cents a day

We will be collecting donations at each of the schedule pick up days or you are always more than welcome to stop by the of ice to make your donation. Thank you in advance for your support! 

For planning purposes, if you choose to make a donation please submit it by Friday, September 11, 2015.

For more information: Donate to AMS
AMS needs your input!
To be able to create the most optimal educational enviroment for your students, it is critcial that home and school communicate in a beneficial way. We would like to get your feedback on both our school climate and school communication. We have created a very short survey. This information will be
crucial for AMS to have so we can better serve you as a school. The survey does not take more than 5 minutes to complete.
The survey can be found at this web address:

New Bell Schedule
We will have a new bell schedule for the 2015-2016 school year. School will begin 8 minutes earlier everyday, with the first bell ringing at 8:23 and on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday's school will be dismissed at 2:55. On Wednesdays school will be dismissed at 1:37 P.M. This allows our teachers valuable time within their work day to have the ability to collaborate together, plan lessons, and create opportunities for your child to expand their knowledge. Please refer to the AMS webpage to see the schedule in its entirety.

WEB Day- 6th Graders Only!!!
All incoming 6th grade students should plan to attend WEB day on Friday, August 21st from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. WEB day is for sixth grade students only and is a great opportunity for incoming 6th graders to be partnered with an 8th grader, get a tour of the school, get their schedule and locker and meet other 6th grade students. The day also includes activities aimed to help students learn about AMS through fun activities. Please make every effort to have your 6th grader attend. This is a unique opportunity we are only able to provide for 6th graders.

AT SCHEDULE PICK-UP, students can:
  • Pick up their schedule
  • Buy a Yearbook
  • Buy a spirit shirt
  • DONATE TO AMS (See Donation Letter)
  • Buy PE clothes 
  • Find and practice opening their locker
Students/parents must bring their updated Emergency Form and T-DAP verification (7th GRADERS only) to get their schedule

Chromebook Damage
As some of you may be aware, AMS had the highest amount of damaged Chromebooks last year. We need your help to ensure that this is not the case
this year. Please speak to your students about the importance of being responsible for their Chromebook and please make
sure your student has a case for their Chromebook. The AMS website has a link to the cases we recommend. We genuinely believe that if students have a protective case on their Chromebook at all times when it is not in use, it will significantly cut down on the amount of Chromebooks needing to be repaired. Please keep in mind we have a limited number of loaners, so when Chromebooks do need to be repaired, it is not a guarantee we have a loaner to issue your student. 

In addition, students are also responsible for the loaners checked out to them. Taking proper care of the Chromebook is the best way your student can ensure they
are not without their Chromebook at school or home.