2020-2021 School Year
New Student Orientation Guide

Chaboya Middle School
3276 Cortona Drive, San Jose, CA 95135

Main Office: 408-270-6900
Fax: 408-270-6800

School Website: chaboya.eesd.org

Dr. Marena Doxie

Assistant Principals:
Gina Ornellas gornellas@eesd.org
Sara Spacek sspacek@eesd.org

Front Office:
Cathy Ackard, Attendance Clerk
Marla Najam, Health Aide
Susan Grassi, Secretary

Counselor: Beatris Fernandez bfernandes@eesd.org

Librarian: Tammy Minicelli tminicelli@eesd.org

Welcome Incoming 7th Grade Students and Students New to Chaboya Middle School

Dear Parents and Future Chaboya Colts:

It is with great pleasure that our teachers and staff welcome you and your incoming seventh grade student or new to Chaboya student to a wonderful year of learning at Chaboya Middle School. Our goal at Chaboya is to continue to create self-sufficient and independent citizens with an enthusiasm for learning and respect for themselves and others. Together we work with our families, community, and staff to strive for excellence for all our students.

This orientation handbook introduces parents and students to Chaboya’s programs, answers frequently asked questions about Chaboya, and provides advice to new 7th graders and new to Chaboya students and to parents. All 7th grade students take English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Physical Education as well as an elective class each semester. So, this handbook serves as an initial guide for students as they select their elective classes for the 2020-2021 school year.

Every 7th grade student has the opportunity to take one elective during the fall semester and another elective class during the spring semester. Elective classes are assigned on a space available basis. An email message will be sent in the spring to incoming 7th grade parents that includes a link to an online elective request form that all students must complete. Once selected and scheduled, elective classes will not be changed, so please choose carefully.

In addition to our teachers, we have an excellent group of support staff members that include our front office staff members, our school counselor, and our assistant principals. We look forward to the start of the new school year and the opportunity to work with you. The entire dedicated Chaboya staff looks forward to partnering with parents in helping ensure that the 2020-2021 school year is a year of growth for all students.


Dr. Marena Doxie
Chaboya Middle School Principal

What Every Incoming 7th Grade Student Should Know

●Get involved (teams, clubs, academics, electives).

●Don’t procrastinate.

●Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

●Be open-minded and maintain a growth mindset.

●Get help from your teachers.

●Don’t worry about fitting in right away; you’ll be fine.

●If you fall…learn to laugh about it. We all have made mistakes.

●Learn how to manage your time wisely.

●Challenge yourself, and be YOURSELF.

●Don’t always worry about a bad score on a test or homework. It will eventually even out.

●Meet new people, and put yourself out there.

●Go to school events.

●Learn from your mistakes and move on.

●Surround yourself with others who support you.

●Meet your principal, assistant principals, and counselor.

●Work hard; it will eventually pay off.

●Dress up for Spirit Days.

●Don’t stress about middle school.

●Have fun.

Sample 7th Grade Schedule

Period Time First Semester Class Second Semester Class

1st Period 8:20–9:10 Language Arts Language Arts

2nd Period 9:14-10:02 Physical Education Art (elective)

Break 10:02-10:12

3rd Period 10:16-11:04 Mathematics Mathematics

4th Period 11:08-11:56 Social Studies Social Studies

Lunch 11:56-12:26

Advisory 12:30-12:50

5th Period 12:50-1:38 Chess (elective) Physical Education

6th Period 1:42-2:30 Science Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Typically, the day before the first day of school on August 19, 2020, students will be able to view their first semester schedule through PowerSchool. Additional information on the first day of school and PowerSchool schedules will be posted on the school’s website. There are four minutes between classes, and adults and Leadership students will be on campus to assist students in locating their classes. The first week of school, teachers will not count tardies. However, as the second week approaches, a student must be seated in their seat before the tardy bell rings.

Middle school teachers see approximately 170 students daily. Every parent needs to register for PowerSchool, an application that will inform parents of school events. Progress reports and quarterly report cards go home with students eight times a year. All report cards are mailed home. Two assistant principals, along with our school counselor, provide academic counseling to those students having difficulties.

Throughout the week, new information is posted on our school website(chaboya.eesd.org) and each Friday the principal’s newsletter is emailed to parents and students. A weekly calendar is posted on the school website that includes all school activities, in-service dates, sports events, and special schedules. Every student receives a FREE Chaboya Student Handbook at the beginning of the year with basic school procedures and rules.

School starts at 8:20 a.m. and dismissal is at 2:30 p.m. Gates to the school open at 8 a.m. Unlike elementary schools, middle schools do not have a minimum day every Thursday. Please see the principal’s weekly newsletter and website calendar for occasional minimum days or special schedules.

In order to be successful, students are expected to arrive at school with binders, paper, pencils, books, and assigned instructional materials. Our dress code is designed to be comfortable, without causing any distractions. Students should be dressed for learning. Skirts and shorts should not be shorter than the student’s fingertips when their arms hang by their side. Undergarments should not be visible. Our full dress code policy is further described in the Student Handbook and should be reviewed. Also, a student’s backpack is to remain the way it was purchased with no writing on them, except for the student’s name.

Items such as cell phones, iPods, gaming devices, laser pointers, scissors, knives or any item that might disrupt classroom instruction, distract or harm others are NOT to be brought to school, nor should they be furnished to others or in students’ possession while at Chaboya.

For state audit purposes, parents must call or write a note to resolve any tardy or absence. After an absence, it is the student’s responsibility to come to the attendance desk in the office (with a note or after parent call) to get a re-admit slip BEFORE going to class. Parents who drive students to school and are late, need to walk in with their child to clear the tardy. When a student leaves school for an illness or appointment, a parent or guardian must sign out the student.

There will be a school-wide assembly within the first two weeks of school. Administrators will present the rules, policies, and expectations to the entire student body. PARENTS ARE WELCOME. Our primary focus is SAFETY AND LEARNING. The Chaboya policy defines harassment as ANYTHING YOU DO OR SAY THAT RESULTS IN ANOTHER PERSON FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE OR UNSAFE. Other topics discussed include: handling conflict resolution, confrontations, rumors, seeking adult assistance, dress code, possession of unacceptable items, care for valuables, suiting up for PE, and school programs.

Our assistant principals handle all student matters and are visible and available throughout the school day. A pro-active, preventative approach coupled with discretion and respect for individuality is used to encourage students to seek out counseling and assistance. Ms. Fernandez, our school counselor, is located in room, H-4. Students are welcome to come to her room anytime to speak with her.

Students learn that they are responsible for making positive choices not only while on campus, but also at pick and drop off zones, nearby elementary schools, on sports fields, and in the neighborhood.

The only time a student uses a locker at Chaboya is during Physical Education (PE) class. Students are expected to change into their PE clothes daily. They must store the clothes they wear to school in their PE lockers. All valuables should be removed from their backpack and locked up with their street clothes, as backpacks do not fit into the lockers. Locks for PE are issued through Chaboya. Physical Education clothes are sold during PE classes the first week of school.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of competitive sports teams throughout the year. Students who participate on sports teams must maintain a 2.0 grade point average with no Fs, and must have a signed permission slip indicating parent permission and appropriate insurance coverage. We offer the following competitive sports teams:

August-October Cross Country & Girls’ Softball

October-December Wrestling & Girls’ Basketball

December-February Boys’ Basketball

February-April Soccer & Volleyball

March-May Track & Field

Extra-curricular activities at Chaboya include opportunities to participate in clubs, dances, noontime activities, intramural events, and Spirit Days.

How Can I Help My New 7th Grade Student?

Attendance is a priority.
Ensure that your son or daughter is arriving at school every day on time and is ready for the day. If he or she is sick, they need to stay home and bring an excuse note from you the day they return to school. You may also call the day of your son or daughter’s absence to report their absence. Your son or daughter needs to turn in the note to the Attendance Clerk before they report to their class on the day of their return.

Help your student create a system that will keep their homework and classwork organized and turned in on time.
Your son or daughter will have homework on most evenings. Encourage them to write their homework assignments in their Chaboya Student Planner or calendar, and ask them to check PowerSchool to stay updated on assignments. As a parent, ensure that you have signed up on Parent Portal to receive Chaboya’s electronic newsletter and have access to PowerSchool as well.

Make sure your son or daughter has a quiet place to study free from distractions such as electronic devices.

Encourage your son or daughter to contact teachers directly if they have questions or concerns.
Teacher’s email addresses can be found on the Chaboya website and included in their course syllabus.

Encourage your son or daughter to use school resources such as the library, and the school counselor and administrators.

Get to know your son or daughter’s friends and their parents or guardians.

Help your son or daughter get involved in school.

Encourage them to get involved in extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs. Help them find a passion that will help them enjoy middle school.


At the end of each school year students select their elective class choices. Elective classes are assigned on a space available basis. Priority is given to eighth grade students first and if there is not enough interest to warrant an elective, that course may be dropped from our master schedule.

If you are a new student to Chaboya Middle School, here are some links to review:

Here are the elective classes offered at Chaboya:

Animal Lore

Teacher: Trent, Scott

Room F3

This class is all about animals-their anatomy, special characteristics, predator/prey relationships, and eating habits. The class is basically a zoology class. Many drawing and labeling assignments are backed with discussions and videos. Students investigate myths, legends, facts, fiction, and skills of animals. Emphasis is on details of insects, sharks, spiders, wolves, lions, snakes and venomous creatures.

Art and Design

Teacher: Meacham, Marie
Room F2

A variety of art concepts are explored in Fine Art and Design. You will learn to draw buildings, people, places, still life objects, and cursive/calligraphy. We mix colors with paint/pigments/pastels and learn various painting techniques as we discuss careers and discover how art influenced cultures, society, and history throughout the world.

AVID - (Year-long elective)

Teacher: TBD
Email tbd
Room A4

AVID is a college-focused program designed to help students develop necessary skills such as; organizational techniques, critical thinking, note-taking, and additional strategies that improve learning. Twice a week students take part in tutorials where they work in collaborative settings alongside tutors to persevere through challenging academic roadblocks. AVID students are taught to self-advocate, speak with confidence, and be leaders on the Chaboya campus. The AVID elective is available to eighth grade students with a 2.5-3.5 G.P.A. Students must have the desire to do well academically, attend college, commit to a year long elective, and a willingness to invest time and effort to excel in their studies. Priority is given to 1st generational college hopefuls.

Band - (Year-long elective)

Teacher: Kolber, Karen

Room G4
  • Beginning Band is open to all students who play a band instrument or who want to learn to play one. This band gives students the opportunity to explore music making and prepares them to play in the Advanced Band. Students play from the book, “Traditions of Excellence” levels 1 and 2. Students play at concerts and top music festivals. Students learn new skills every day.
  • Advanced Band is a top award-winning band. Entrance is through audition or permission by the director only. The band plays from, “Traditions of Excellence” levels 2 and 3, as well as many selected pieces from standard band repertoire. Students learn technical skills, musical independence, musical artistry, and mastery while they play in top-level competitions, music festivals, concerts, and assemblies.


Teacher: Gemellos, George

Room J7

Chaboya is always searching for the next Bobby Fischer. If you have ever wanted to beat your friends at chess or your brother or sister, Chess is the elective for you. If you do not know the difference between the Dragon Variation and a Poison Pawn Sicilian, this is the class for you. We will study the games of past world champions like Anand, Capablanca, Kasparov, and Tal. Anderssen’s Immortal Game, Lasker’s famous double bishop sacrifice, and The Game of the Century played by a 13 year-old Bobby Fischer, and you will see them all. Along the way, you will improve your writing and presentation skills, organization, and critical thinking.

Drama Class

Teacher: Jones, Sharon

Room A5/A6

If you like being in plays, then this class is for you. Students perform one play per semester. Also, students learn voice projection, acting skills, public speaking skills, listening skills, and singing and dancing (sometimes), depending on the play. There are major parts and minor roles for those not so adventurous. Backstage students help with lights, sound, curtain, and props. A $25 donation is encouraged for this class to help cover the costs of costumes and set designs.

Guitar /Ukulele

Teacher: Kobler, Karen

Room G4

Music is for everyone. In both guitar and ukulele classes, students learn to read staff notation and tablature, as well as chords and bass charts. Students learn how to accompany themselves and others on the guitar or ukulele. Basic tuning concepts are also introduced. Students are invited to perform before a live audience in either the winter or spring concert.

Introduction to Computer Science

Teacher: Khor, Irene

Room J3

This is a general computer science course that acquaints students with problem-solving methods, structured programming, and modular design. Students will learn how to program in Scratch, an easy to use visual programming language, to create innovative artifacts. The aim is to use computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun.


Teacher: Spacek, Sara

Room D1/D2

Chaboya's Student Body Leadership is an elective class that is primarily for 8th graders, however, students in 7th grade may also participate if they have a teacher recommendation from their elementary school. Students that participate in Leadership are committed to being helpful and spirited to make the school a better place for all the students attending Chaboya. Leadership class holds many activities for our students. Spirit rallies, noontime activities, fundraisers, the student store, special events days, and dances are provided for all students in good standing.

Life Skills

Teacher: Steinberg, Susan

Room F1

Skills learned from core subjects (math, science, social studies, and language arts) are applied to real-life situations in order to better prepare students for their futures. Personal and social cooking is highlighted. The program includes: Food Science, Nutrition; Food Preparation; Multi-cultural Cuisine; Consumer Education and Personal Budgeting; Goal Setting and Independent living; job applications; interview techniques; and check registers. A $10 donation is encouraged and appreciated, and all donations go towards the purchase of groceries for the cooking section of the class.

Spanish - (Year-long elective)

Teacher: Spence, Wendy

Room B5

This introductory course is designed to immerse our 8th grade students in the Spanish language and culture through a variety of activities. By participating in this course, 8th grade students will have the foundation needed to succeed in the next level of high school Spanish.

Yearbook / Journalism

Teacher: Bryan, Julieann

Room B1

Using your excellent writing, photography, design, and communication skills, work to produce Chaboya's annual yearbook and quarterly newspaper. Develop skills to: write news articles; interview students and staff; take beautiful, well-composed photographs; create graphic design; and market your product.

Teacher Assistant / Office Assistant / Library Assistant

Teacher: You select the Teacher

Office Assistant: Grassi, Sue

Library Assistant: Minicelli, Tammy

Students must request an application from the teacher/secretary for whom they intent to be a teacher/office assistant. Student must have parent/guardian and administration approval. Students may not be a TA/OA for more than one semester. Teachers/Secretaries are limited to five TAs per semester. The goal of this course is to improve reading, writing and numeracy skills, and effective communication skills. Increase the ability to build good relationships with children and adults. Develop excellent organizational skills, flexibility, and creativity.


Chaboya Middle School is a community built upon universal rules, which we call the 3 Cs. The 3 Cs represent the core values that a proud Chaboya student should display at all times before, during, and after school, and while at school, home, and in the community.

Chaboya 3C's Distance Learning Matrix for Spring 2020

Chaboya Middle School

  • 3276 Cortona Drive | San Jose, CA 95135 | Phone: 408-270-6900 | Fax: 408-270-6916
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