RIP Raymond Robinson

The Redwood Shores Community Association joins students and residents of Redwood Shores in mourning the passing of our smiling crossing guard, Raymond Robinson. We will always keep with us memories of your cheerful wave!

A wall of remembrances has been posted at the corner of Bowsprit and Bridge, where Robinson served. Those who have had their days brightened by Robinson’s joyful time here in the Shores have been invited to share their thoughts, memories, and prayers.

Services will be held on August 1st at True Hope Church of God in Christ, 950 Gilman Avenue, San Francisco, CA. A viewing will be available from 9-10AM, and services will be held at 11AM. The Robinson family (through his daughter Dianita) can be reached for further information about the service; information can be found through a sign at the wall of remembrances (with respect to the family, contact information is not posted here online.)

Sequoia Big Picture High School: Information Night

Parents, students and community members are invited to learn about the Sequoia Big Picture High School (SBPHS), an exciting new charter school option coming to the Sequoia Union High School District!

Tuesday, May 29, 7:00 p.m.

Fair Oaks Community Center

2600 Middlefield Road, Redwood City

FREE Admission and Refreshments

Big Picture Schools are based on individualized learning, where each student explores his/her own passions and affinities (“one student at a time”). Parents play a key role in the Big Picture School experience, and students experience real-world learning through internships in the community.

SBPHS is part of a national network of Big Picture Schools ( There are now more than 100 Big Picture Schools in the United States and abroad. President Obama has called Big Picture Learning a “model for educating students.” Big Picture Learning works!

To learn more about the Sequoia Big Picture High School:

For more information about the event, email: or call 650.868.0590 (Charlene Margot).

A Letter to the School Board

 (This message was sent by the Redwood Shores Community Association to the Belmont-Redwood Shores School Board of Trustees on February 2, 2012.)

February 2, 2012

Superintendent Dr. Emerita Orta-Camilleri and

Members of the Belmont-Redwood Shores Board of Trustees

2960 Hallmark Dr

Belmont, CA 94002


I am writing at the direction of RSCA’s Board of Directors to address the School District’s plans for the use of the more than $8.7 Million in matching State grant funds recently awarded to the District.

As long time supporters of the School District, the Redwood Shores Community Association has a strong interest in how the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District plans to use funds provided by the State of California as a match to the bond funds raised for use in the Redwood Shores SFID by Measure C.

Given that:

  1. When the School District was unable to come up with funds to build the much-needed second elementary school in the Shores, a separate funding district (‘the Redwood Shores SFID’) was created, and Shores residents voted to approve Bond Measure C to provide $25 Million to purchase land and cover building costs for the new Redwood Shores Elementary School.
  2. Funding for land and construction of the new school was paid entirely by the residents of the Shores.
  3. The grant of State funds was to match funding for construction for the new school, again those Measure C bond funds provided entirely by the residents of the Shores.

Therefore we believe strongly that the matching State grant funds should be used ONLY for new construction or improvements at Redwood Shores Elementary and Sandpiper Elementary, or to pay off Measure C bonds.

In the past we asked the School District to provide relief to Shores taxpayers by paying off a portion of the Measure C bonds with matching funds not used for school projects in the Shores. We still favor this plan.

However, should the School District decide to retain the Measure C bond funds for present and future school projects, we feel quite strongly that those funds should be maintained solely for use in the Redwood Shores SFID (i.e., at Sandpiper Elementary or Redwood Shores Elementary).

We were surprised to read yesterday that the School District is planning to spend potentially millions of the Measure C matching dollars at Ralston Middle School, arguing that this would be acceptable because Shores students also attend Ralston. While this may be true, it is also true that the School District recently passed a bond measure within the entire School District (including the Shores) for those Ralston improvements. Rather than spending Measure C matching funds at Ralston, it would be more appropriate for the School District to apply for additional matching funds for Ralston based on the District-wide Ralston bond measure.

We can only hope that the School District will exercise its fiduciary responsibility in the use all bond and SFID Measure C matching funds both prudently and appropriately. You should expect that the support of RSCA and the Shores community for any future School District bond measures and/or parcel taxes will be quite dependent upon the District’s decision in this matter.


Harris Rogers, President

270 Redwood Shores Parkway, PMB 205, Redwood City, CA 94065-1173

RSCA is a proud member of the Redwood City Chamber of Commerce

School Board Meeting

A regular meeting of the School board is on the 1st Thursday of each month, at 7:00 PM. For this first February meeting on February 2, the meeting will be held in Redwood Shores’ Sandpiper Elementary. The meeting is Open Session and residents are, as usual, invited to attend.

February 2, 2012
7PM at Sandpiper Elementary
801 Redwood Shores Parkway


This special Sandpiper Elementary meeting will cover a regular agenda, and is being held here in Redwood Shores on this occasion to help residents who have not been able to make it to a standard session attend. Several times per year, meetings are held at various school sites in the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District. The regular meeting of the School board is on the 1st Thursday of each month, at 7:00 pm and held at the District Office building: 2960 Hallmark Dr., Belmont, CA 94002 [map and directions]. If a second meeting is needed during the month, it is generally held on the 3rd Thursday at the same time and place.

For more information about School Board Meetings, view the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District website.

NASA Ames Exploration Center Hosts 3rd and 4th Graders From Redwood Shores Schools

Over one hundred students from Redwood Shores and Sandpiper Elementary Schools participated in the golden anniversary celebration of first human space flight at NASA Ames on April 8, 2011. The unique learning opportunity commemorated cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s orbit around Earth on April 12, 1961. Students spent four hours to see over fifty exhibits about aerodynamics, aquaponics, astrobiology, cryogenics, fluorescent spectroscopy, gyroscopes, hyper velocity aircraft design, inflatable planetarium, microbial ecosystems, lunar exploration, nanotechnology, robots, search for life on other planets, search for transiting planets in the Milky Way, rocketry, seismology, space walk, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), superconductivity, etc.

Many students also earned posters of STS 133 the 133rd space shuttle flight and the final flight of Discovery that launched on February 24, 2011 and landed on March 9, 2011 (less than 30 days prior to their visit to NASA Ames). Now that Discovery is retired from service, someday those posters may become a collectors’ item. “Maybe some of these third and fourth graders will become the engineers to design the replacement of the space shuttle or the astronauts on future missions into space,” said Andrew Young, who has been responsible for the initiation of this program.

— Andrew Young, Redwood Shores resident

School Sciences Spotlight

Math and Science Innovation entered a new stage on March 23 when all fourth graders and a few third graders in a split class at Redwood Shores Elementary School were treated to live demonstrations of principles of flight and aerodynamics.

Mike Nadler (a former helicopter pilot) and his colleagues, Pete Johnson and Ray Squires first used scale models to teach students the proper nomenclature of various parts of an aircraft. Students in Mr. Mullins’ and Ms. DeStefani’s classes learned the names and functions of fuselage, empennage, aileron, elevator, flap, rudder, etc. in the classroom. They then moved into the spacious multipurpose room and watched Mike using radio controlled aircraft to demonstrate how airplanes take off, fly, and land.


Aeronautics Club: Mike and his colleagues are scheduled to return on April 6 to do similar presentations and live demos for all third graders in Mrs. Lo and Mrs. Norman’s classes. They will return on April 13 to sign up students who wish to join the aeronautics club as an extracurricular activity on Wednesdays after dismissal. The official launch of the club is scheduled for April 27 after spring break.

Yuri’s Day at NASA: One hundred third and fourth grade students at Redwood Shores and Sandpiper Elementary Schools are invited to NASA Ames in Mountain View on April 8 to celebrate the golden anniversary (50th) of first human space flight by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. They will see exhibits on astrobiology, hypersonic aircraft design, search for life in space, etc. All exhibits have been correlated to California Content Standards by a parent in Redwood Shores so the teachers can prepare the students in advance and review the concepts afterwards.

Parade of Planes: Details of this event were presented to Redwood City Council on March 7. Principal Linda McDaniel of Sandpiper Elementary School, Mark Larson, Manager of San Mateo County Airports, Carol Ford, President of San Carlos Airport Pilots Association, and Donna Marie Baldwin of Coldwell Banker attended the presentation to demonstrate their support. Redwood City Police Department subsequently granted permission to hold the event on Saturday, May 21. On that day, aircraft based at San Carlos Airport will taxi on their own power on Redwood Shores Parkway to Sandpiper with police escort in front and back and “wing walkers” next to each moving aircraft to keep spectators at a safe distance. The aircraft will be on static display at Sandpiper all day. Pilots will be on hand to inspire children to learn math and science so they can make their dreams come true. Please look for details of this exciting event here in the May issue of The Pilot.


President’s Message: March 2011

Annual Meeting

A few weeks ago, RSCA hosted our Annual Meeting at the Redwood Shores Library. This is one of our most important regular events as it brings leaders and staff from Redwood City and the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District to the Shores to speak about issues that matter to us.

This year, about 100 community members attended and heard presentations from Mayor Jeff Ira and Council Member Jeff Gee on the state of the City and Redwood Shores and from Dr. Emerita Orta-Camilleri on the School District budget and developments at our Elementary and Middle schools. We also heard from Interim City Manager Bob Bell and Acting Police Chief Ed Hernandez. Their messages were similar — money is tight, and the city and schools will need to approach problems a bit more creatively than in the past. For example, Interim City Manager Bob Bell described how Redwood City is looking into performing some city functions with the help of a corps of volunteers (the Shores’ own Carole Wong is helping to launch this initiative).

While RSCA appreciates that the City needs to live within its budget, we also continue to advocate for basic City services in the Shores, which are our due. For example, we have been concerned for a while about the time needed by Police in Redwood City to respond to incidents in the Shores. Even though the Police Department has had some layoffs, we do not accept that this means that we should accept even slower response times. To the contrary, RSCA is going to continue to press for improved Police response times and coverage in the Shores, as would any City neighborhood. Similarly, we have over the past few months asked the City to replace the many burned-out street lights in the Shores and to smooth the rough spots on our Parkways that wreak havoc on our cars’ suspensions. I am happy to report that the City has recently embarked on a program to address both of these issues — which we appreciate.

Redwood Shores Elementary Matching Funds

Despite the prevailing financial mess, there was one good piece of news – from the School District. As you may have read in our local papers, and as reported by Dr. Orta-Camilleri at our Annual Meeting, it appears that the School District will be awarded $8.75M in matching funds from the State to be used on building projects at Redwood Shores Elementary School.

As a new school with state-of-the-art facilities, Redwood Shores Elementary certainly does not have $8.75 in needs to address. Accordingly, RSCA expects the District to use these funds prudently and transparently, and we specifically want the District to use a substantial portion of these matching funds to pay off some of the $25M in Measure C Bonds that we passed and are paying for with our property taxes. Further, if for some legal reason the District can’t use these funds to pay off Measure C bonds, we want to have a say — before the fact — in how the funds will be spent, to ensure that at least some of the projects will benefit the entire Shores community.

Welcome to the New Officers of RSCA

I have been honored to be President of RSCA for the past two years. It has been a busy and successful two years for RSCA and much of this success is due to your membership support and the outstanding RSCA Board I’ve been privileged to work with. At our February meeting the RSCA Board elected a new slate of officers who will continue to provide strong leadership of RSCA and advocacy for the Shores. Please join me in welcoming our new officers: Harris Rogers (President), Sue Nix (Vice President), Lynn Adams (Secretary) and Ian Gunderman (Treasurer). Godspeed!

— Doug Crisman , former RSCA President

Carlmont High School News

Chamber Music Night
Friday, February 25, 2011 @ 7 PM. Student Union
Carlmont Musicians will perform solos and in small ensembles. Delicious desserts and drinks provided.

Electro-jazz cellist and trombonist, Dana Leong, returns to his alma mater to share his unique “hip hop meets avant-jazz sound”
Friday March 4th @ 7 PM in the PAC.
Tickets at


The Carlmont Performing Arts proudly presents its spring musical:
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Performances: Thursday March 10 – Saturday March 12th @ 7 PM, and Sunday, March 13th @ 2 PM, Carlmont PAC


Important tentative start of school dates for 2011-2012


  • Freshmen Parent Info Night: Tuesday, August 16th @ 7 pm in the PAC
  • Student/Parent Mandatory Registration Check In Day (all grades): Thursday, August 18th TBA Scot’s Gym
  • Freshman Orientation & BBQ: Wednesday, August 24th 8:00 am to 12 noon, meet in football bleachers
  • First Day of School: Thursday, August 25th

Sandpiper Spotlight: February 2011

Health and wellness are very important concerns for all parents and teachers. One of the best ways to instill a lifelong appreciation for good nutrition and exercise is through exposing children to working in a garden. Not only do they learn where food comes from, but they also have an opportunity to be involved in physical exercise that is both enjoyable and relaxing. There is nothing so rewarding as pulling out a carrot from your garden to taste its sweet, earthy flavor, unlike anything you can find in a store (even organic). Each time we dig a patch of dirt it is like a new adventure — what worms and bugs are we going to discover this time? Gardening is an activity that wakes up all our senses and constantly sparks our curiosity.

Sandpiper Elementary is in the process of developing a school garden with these ideas in mind. In order for our project to succeed we will need help from our Redwood Shores community. Are you a landscape designer (or do you know one) who could donate some time and expertise to help us design a useful and beautiful garden that will be the pride of our community? Are you a contractor with some spare time to help us build structurally sound elements of our garden? We will definitely accept all the help you can offer. Do you have untreated redwood or cedar 1x6s, 2x6s, 4x4s leftover from your projects? Are you planning to rip out your old deck and don’t know what to do with all the wood that still can be used? We might be able to use it in the construction of planter boxes, benches, and other structures in our garden. Are you an avid gardener whose garden is too small? This is a project for you, for we will need help and guidance in planting and maintaining our garden. If you are interested in participating in our project, please contact our science teacher Ms. Nicole La Count at

Sandpiper Spotlight: November 2010

Sandpiper students reached out to help children at Crestmoor Elementary School last month who were victims of the San Carlos fire. For over three weeks, the students brought loose coins to school and deposited them in a huge jar in the school office — collecting $800 in total! Crestmoor had five families directly affected by the fire. Principal Linda McDaniel and student council representatives visited Crestmoor and presented them with $800 of gift cards to Safeway and Target stores. Sandpiper students also made cards which were passed around the whole school for the families. The collection effort and presents fit in with Sandpiper’s Character Counts program — focusing on fundamental character traits education, including caring about others.

Over 60 percent of Sandpiper’s 498 children walked or biked to school on International Walk to School Day, October 6th. Sandpiper’s Green Team is offering backpack charms as incentives to walk or bike to school throughout the year.

Sandpiper parent Tracie Pon spearheaded a Halloween costume drive where dozens of costumes were donated to Shelter Network, which provides housing and support services for homeless families. In addition, Sandpiper parent Taneshia Smith and her daughter, Maliya, sewed 16 tutus and stuffed them in princess bags with wands and masks and cards naming each costume a different fairy.

— Bonnie Wolf