Outdoor Science Camp
Each year all the 5th grade students attend Walden West Science Camp, located on 32 acres in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains near Saratoga, California. During the one week long program, students and teachers live and learn outdoors with guidance from experienced field instructors. Walden West promotes hands-on science learning that emphasizes life sciences and sustainable living practices. Lessons in the natural sciences come to life, helping students better understand and appreciate their world.
During their stay, students will have full access to the wooded trails in Sanborn County Park, which provides an additional 6,000 acres of study area. They will enjoy learning about the forest, meadow, and stream communities through the use of games and other activities. Qualified naturalists will use their expertise to help children see the interrelationships between plants and animals as well as the effect we have on the environment.
The Walden West site provides everything needed to assure your child's comfort. The facility includes a dining hall, shower room, infirmary, as well as cabins that are carpeted, heated, and furnished with wooden bunks and mattresses. The students will be eating nutritional and tasty food. Students serve themselves during family style meals and are encouraged to eat as much as they would like. The cooks are experienced in preparing and serving balanced meals and help make sure your child's needs are met.
This experience is social as well as academic. Students also develop their social and leadership skills at Walden West living 24 hours a day with other students requires your child to cooperate and work together with others toward common goals. Friendships that are made during this week will last a lifetime.
The Math Olympiad program at Matsumoto started in 2010. It was supported by PTA and run by parent volunteers. The Math Olympiad program runs from September to March and is open to our 4th – 6th graders. Our team of over 100 students meet once a week every Tuesday or Thursday morning to learn different problem solving techniques and practice solving non-typical math problems.
Odyssey of the Mind
Odyssey of the Mind (OOTM) is a creative problem-solving competition for students. Teams solve one long-term problem and one spontaneous problem. Each Team (comprising of seven members) must work together to solve the pre-defined long-term problem and present their solution at the Regional competition. The teams must also participate in the Spontaneous competition at the Regionals where they will generate a solution to a verbal or hands-on problem that they have not seen before. Winners of the Regional competition go on to the State and World level competitions.
This is an after-school program that starts mid-September and runs through March. Team meetings need to be held off-campus, usually at a Team member’s residence or any other venue mutually agreed to by Team members. This program is run entirely by parent volunteers.
Schools integrating the arts into the curriculum as part of a comprehensive education strategy are documenting positive changes in the school environment and improved student performance.
4th - 6th graders
Through the Evergreen Elementary School District, art teacher Allicyn Brengard teaches weekly hands on art lessons to our 4th through 6th graders.
Art in Action
Art in Action, is a fee based after school program for first through sixth graders. This program is designed to teach each child how to express themselves through art and see and experience the world in different ways. The language of art, like the language of words, requires the learning of skills and concepts that will allow the free flow of expression. The goals of Art in Action are to teach the elements and principles of art and drawing in a developmental and sequential way, as well as to study the art of other artists, cultures and historical periods.
Music During the School Day
Evergreen District School Band
Band is an optional part of the curriculum offered to all 5th and 6th grade students. Class meets for approximately 45 minutes once a week during the school day and is a “Performing Arts” class. Instruction will be offered on flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, and trombone.
There is no cost for this program. However, all students may need to rent or buy their instrument and are expected to purchase a cleaning/care kit for their instrument of choice. Students choosing to learn Clarinet or Alto Saxophone also need Reeds.
Performances are important and all students are expected to perform in the three concerts in December, May and a combined program concert at Quimby Oak Middle School at the end of the school year.
After School Music Programs
Fall Choir (Grades 1 - 6)
Our Musical Mustang Choir is an 11 week program open to all students in grades 1- 6 who want to share their singing talents. Practices are weekly right after school. The fall choir culminates with a Holiday Choir Performance in December. See After School Programs for more information on this PTA sponsored program.
Walk n' Roll
As a part of the city of San Jose's Walk n' Roll program, Matsumoto families are encouraged to walk or bike to school to promote daily physical activity, reduce traffic congestion around the school, and learn critical skills that enhance biking and pedestrian safety.
This program is funded through the city of San Jose's Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Climate Initiative grant to increase the number of students who walk or bike to school. Since the program began in 2012, there has been a 53.5% increase in the number of students who walk and bike to school at least three times a week. To learn more visit the Walk n' Roll website.
Physical Fitness Test
The physical fitness test (PFT) for students in California schools is the FITNESSGRAM®. The main goal of the test is to help students in starting life-long habits of regular physical activity. In elementary school, students in 5th grade take the fitness test usually in the spring. The test has six parts that show a level of fitness that offer a degree of defense against diseases that come from inactivity. To learn more about this test, visit Physical Fitness Testing on the California Department of Education website .
Students in grades 1-6 have the opportunity to participate in theater arts through our school play. The after school drama program allows students to fully experience being a part of a theater production from auditions, to rehearsals, to the excitement of the performance, and finally, the reward of applause for a job well done. Every student who auditions is guaranteed a part in the play. Students work hard to hone their acting, singing and dancing skills over the course of a 3 month period. In recent years, we have had the benefit of the directional talent of "Starting Arts", a nonprofit organization whose mission is the promotion and preservation of quality arts education in public schools. (Visit startingarts.com) The program also relies heavily on parent volunteers in order to run smoothly.
There are one production each year. In the spring, students in grades 1-6 start work on the play culminating in a week of performances in March. This is always a wonderful experience for the children so be on the look-out for details about each play.
Matsumoto students are superstars and the Talent Show in April is the event where they can showcase their talents. All students are accepted and allowed to perform after auditions.
Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. At Matsumoto, our first through sixth grade students learn computer science fundamentals by participating in the Hour of Code classes with a Computer Science specialist from our school district.
What is the Project Cornerstone ABC Program?
The ABC Program is a literature-based program addressing important issues like respect, tolerance, honesty, peaceful conflict resolution, taking a stand against bullying behaviors, and refusing to participate in gossip. Volunteers read specially selected books then lead discussions and activities that help teach valuable lessons related to these issues.
The program's goal is to help school communities achieve the following:
- Create a common language and vocabulary about student respect and behavior expectations among all members of the school community — students, parents and caregivers, teachers and staff.
- Help students develop skills to handle physical, verbal, relational and digital bullying and to STAND UP if they see someone else being bullied.
- Increase the number of caring adults on campus so that all students feel that there is at least one adult they can turn to if they have a problem.
- Contribute to a positive school climate where every student feels valued and supported to achieve and thrive.
ABC Program Books
During the school year, 8 books are read, once monthly (skipping December and June.) The ABC program is a cumulative program spanning 3 years, so books are repeated every three years.
Get Involved – Become a Volunteer Reader!
Become a volunteer and empower a life. For more information, contact the school front office. More information can be found on the Project Cornerstone website.
Accelerated Reading Program
Accelerated Reader (AR), created by Renaissance Learning, Inc., is an individualized reading program used to assess and improve each student’s reading skills and to increase reading enjoyment. To find out more about the AR program, read the Parent's Guide to AR BookFinder (PDF)
Students in grades 4-6 have the chance to showcase their talents in this classic spelling bee. Daily spelling activities begin in January. Finalists of the written spelling bee advance to the oral spelling bee at the end of January. All words are chosen from myspellit.com. This website has practice word lists and more information about the Scripps Spelling Bee.
Matsumoto is a participant in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The winner of this event goes to the Bay Area Regional rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle. The winner of the Bay Area Regional rounds continues to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.
National Geographic Bee
This school competition is held in January and is open for students in Grades 4-8. If your child has shown interest in learning more about the world and how it works, National Geographic Bee is a great venue to channel this curiosity. National Geographic Bee is a competition, but no matter whether the student wins the championship or not, the process of learning about various landmarks that dot this world and various cultures that inhabit it, enriches them. Contact Matsumoto PTA to learn more.