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Weekly Message from Principal Takimoto

May 31, 2020

Hello Harding Community,

We must come together to affect change against the plague of racism.  If you haven’t already, please take time to learn, reflect, and commit to taking action from one or more important books.  Additionally, talk about race with your children.  There are books that can start and guide conversations with your children in addition to many other resources to help you learn how to raise antiracists.

Many thanks to our PTA, School Site Council parents, and the City of El Cerrito for working closely with school staff as we navigate these difficult times.  We will continue the work and I will continue my communication through the summer.  If eNews takes a vacation, look at the school website for updated information. 

Farewell and best wishes to our sixth graders.  They are truly a resilient group of unique and lovable individuals.  We will celebrate them at 11am on Friday June 5 with a socially distant viewing of their posted self portraits outside the school on Fairmount and Ashbury Avenues… six feet apart of course;)

Take care and stay safe, 

Mrs. Takimoto

Weekly Message from Principal Takimoto

May 24, 2020
Hello Harding Community,
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond made it somewhat official, districts will be making up their own plans for next year in accordance with health and safety guidelines.  In any plan, access for all students and adequate funding will continue to be issues.  State school funding cuts and our own district budget issues do not support the higher cost that the safety guidelines will require.
Draft scenarios include: 

  • All students coming back for partial time staggered schedules assigned to a smaller cohort of about ten classmates supported by work at home.
  • Only younger grade levels returning on partial time schedules with older students continuing on all distance learning.
  • All continuing distancing learning at home in the current model.

In any case, principals are pushing for more definite plans to be communicated to all by the end of June.

My priorities are to keep the students and staff healthy and safe while addressing emotional, social, and academic needs.  We hope to provide consistency of service and know that a number of factors could have any onsite learning plan fall apart like a house of cards.  No matter what scenario we come back to, teachers have been learning about and practicing distance instruction and will plan for the most effective use of any time that we may be with students onsite.  We also want to figure out how to support community from a distance because we feel connectedness is an important aspect of learning and mental health. 

The teachers and I have been collecting and incorporating the family feedback we’ve been receiving throughout the shelter in place but want to be sure we hear from as many of you as possible.  Please complete this survey (teachers will also be sending this out via REMIND):

Distance Learning Parent Survey or Distance Learning Parent Survey, Spanish

Our goal is to address student and family needs as best we can throughout next year and all information will be important for creating workable plans, support, resources, and materials. Thank you for your time.

Take care and stay safe.


Mrs. Takimoto


May 17, 2020

Hello Harding Community,
Well, I have no new news.  Please plan on a variety of scenario speculation for how school might look in the August, throughout the summer. Ultimately, each district will make its own plans in accordance with health and education guidelines within the increasing budget constraints. At Harding, I am working with teacher leaders on our Instructional Leadership Team to be prepared with social, emotional, and academic plans for a number of scenarios.
Please expect less live and/or recorded time with your child’s teacher over the last few weeks. A lot goes into closing out a school year. Teachers will have to take time to create classes for next year, write a narrative of each child’s current academic standing (the revised third trimester report card), and pack up their classroom for summer school use.
Please help us with closing out this year and getting the building ready for its next use by picking up your child’s desk and personal items if you have not already done so.  Teachers have been sending REMIND messages when student materials are ready for pick up. We will continue to have the front door of the school open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am to 12 noon for item pick up in the entryway. The lost and found rack will be rolled out as well, for all to check for misplaced items. Please be wearing a mask and practice social distancing at all times when outside of your home.
Finally, the office will not be open for the rest of the year. If you have any office needs or will not be returning to Harding next year, please email Dorene Pinkston, Harding Secretary, at dpinkston@wccusd.net.
Take care and stay safe.
Mrs. Takimoto


May 10, 2020
Hello Harding Community,
We are coming up on the end of the third trimester and our first shelter at home.  We appreciate everyone’s involvement and support.  We can make it!
We are solidifying plans to wrap up this year and starting to sketch out the next.  Nothing will be set for next year until we are right on top of it; early August if we are lucky.  We should all plan on it being different.
Superintendent Duffy has shared an initial plan that supports continued social distancing.  This type of plan involves students in cohorts no larger than ten attending school for partial days two or three days a week.  Additionally, the City of El Cerrito has reached out so they can try to coordinate childcare in locations around the city with whatever the plan may be. At this time, this seems like a best case scenario. All of us will continue to follow state and county mandates and guidelines throughout the planning and implementation processes, informing families when we can.
In any case, we should expect some form of blended learning; daily learning activities both at home and in the school building.  During this shelter in place, Harding teachers have been learning, practicing, and evaluating a variety of remote learning practices and resources. We seek to be thoughtful about the instructional program in any scenario, and continue our learning about effective instruction in a pandemic.
I have asked and received permission for students to keep their tablets over the summer. Student PowerSchool records will not be rolled over into the next grade level until August allowing student access to online learning in Clever and their google classroom through July.  Families will still have access to the general learning guides and resources that teachers have compiled for continued learning and study.
We look forward to working with your children in person next year.  If you know that your child will not be returning to Harding next year, please email dpinkston@wccusd.net or tell your child’s teacher as soon as possible.
Take care and stay safe.
Mrs. Takimoto

Public Safety Power Outage

PG&E has announced that it may shut off power to certain schools in the District as part of its public safety plan to help prevent wildfires due to the expected high winds and dry conditions.

We want to assure you that Harding is not one of the schools affected, and we do not anticipate an outage affecting school schedules.

For more information, visit www.wccusd.net

Come one, come all to the Harding Carnival!

Bring the whole family and have a great time at this year’s annual Harding Carnival!

  • Free entry for Harding students and younger siblings!
  • Bakers! Please bring a home-baked item to donate to the bake sale.
  • PTA Members! Collect your 5 free game tickets at the Lemonade Stand! Limit one set per family. Not a member yet? Join here.
  • Facepainters Needed! If you are available to do a shift, please contact volunteering@hardingpta.org.

Join the Korematsu Band!

Sixth graders are invited to join the Korematsu Wednesday Night Band, starting on October 16th. The band meets 6-7pm weekly in the Korematsu band room. This is a great opportunity to get to know a little bit about the middle school band program and to play music with other 6th graders in the area.

Fifth graders will also have their own band starting in January – more information will be available closer to the start date.

Questions: please contact Korematsu Band Director Tiffany Carrico at scrappyslap@hotmail.com.

Gardners Wanted!

Calling all nature lovers! This year, in lieu of a school gardener, the Harding garden will be run by the Garden Committee: a group of parent volunteers dedicated to making our garden available to and fun for all our students.

The garden is a great educational and enrichment space for the Harding community, so come join us! There are projects for any/all time availabilities and skill sets.

Our next planning meeting will be on Thursday October 10th from 8:30-9am in the Harding Library. For questions or to get on the committee mailing list, email hardinggardencommittee@gmail.com. See you in the garden!

Parents Night Out

Drop the kids off at El Cerrito Martial Arts for an evening of pizza, dodgeball, and fun martial arts games!

When: Saturday October 19th, 5:00-9:00pm 

Where: 10400 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

Ages: This event is for children 4 1/2 – 12.

Cost: $25 per child with the discounted price of $20 for the third child and on in each family. All proceeds go to Harding PTA.

Register: You must register in advance here
Questions? Contact hardingptafundraise@gmail.com.

Picture Day

Picture Day is on Tuesday, September 24. Now you can pre-pay online for your pictures through Dorian Studios.

Don’t want to pay online? Simply return the envelope you received in your student’s Wednesday folder.

If you miss Picture Day, there will be a makeup date on November 8.

Donate to Harding PTA: