Shona Armstrong

Claremont PTA President

Aug. 3, 2019

Dear Claremont Middle School Family,

Welcome to Claremont Middle School! I am so glad to have you join our community.  I wanted to share a few important dates and invite you to be an active member of the Claremont community.

A little bit about me: This will be my sixth year as a parent at Claremont, and I am an advocate for our public school! My older daughter and son, who both attended Claremont, are now entering 10th and 11th grade at Oakland Tech, and my youngest son will be a 7th grader at Claremont. My husband, Zac Unger, and I began to support the PTA at Claremont way back when our children were in elementary school, and we are delighted to have been a part of such a vibrant community. This is my second year as president. 

I’m proud that this year Claremont was named a California Distinguished School. This award reflects the great work of our principal Jonathan Mayer, the staff he has assembled, and the community’s support for the school. 

The first day of school is Monday, August 12th and I’m looking forward to seeing you all then.Please feel free to email me with questions about Claremont or the PTA. A few key things to know as we kick off the 2019-20 year –

(1) Mandatory Orientation for school will be Tuesday August 6 for incoming 6th graders and Wednesday August 7 for incoming 7th and 8th graders. Orientation will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school gym. (If you can’t make orientation, please contact Larichea Smith ASAP to schedule a make-up appointment).  Forms are available on both your School Mint account, and also on the Claremont website-   Please complete and bring the printed copies with you to expedite your orientation process.  PE Clothes and pre-sales of the yearbook will be available for purchase, so be sure to bring either cash, credit cards, or a money order.  Check out the Welcome Packet that was mailed home at the end of June, it’s also on the website.

(2) Claremont Fund: The Claremont Fund is the way for parents and the community to support the school year-round by making a direct financial contribution. You can make a one-time gift or sign up for a monthly donation. We ask every family to give what they can.

The PTA is making a big ask this year – We suggest $1,000 per family or $125 per month over 8 months. The PTA spends about $600 per student to fund school staff, the library, the music program, school supplies, extracurricular activities, and much more. We recognize that for many families even small donations may be beyond reach, so we are asking those who can give to give as generously as possible to ensure we cover the needs of all our students. No amount is too small. THANK YOU!

You can sign up for the Claremont Fund at orientation (bring a check or credit card) or you can go to the Claremont website to donate online.

(3) Claremont Auction – Save the Date, Saturday Oct. 26 at Temescal Works, and volunteer! As a member of Claremont’s community, you’re invited to our auction, an adult only, costume party event, on Saturday Oct. 26 at Temescal Works. The theme this year is Heroes & Villains – so start thinking about your costume.  Although costumes are encouraged, they are not required. We would love to see as many families from our Clarmeont community come to mingle and enjoy the company of each other, all while raising funds for our school. Please look for opportunities to help out, donate, and volunteer. 

Lastly, a piece of advice: Middle school goes by fast, so get involved as much as you can as soon as you can.  It is a joy to be involved in the cause of public schools, and it will afford you opportunities to get to know the kids, teachers, staff, and families with whom your student is interacting every day.  

How to do it? (1) Join the PTA ($5), which you can do at orientation at the PTA table. (2) Attend PTA meetings, where important decisions are made about how to spend the money we raise. (3) Sign up to volunteer for many of the events we have throughout the year to helping the teachers and office staff directly.  Claremont needs your help!

And, keep up with Claremont news. Check out Claremont’s website, and while you are there, look to the top right corner, and make sure you are signed up for the Knightline, a school newsletter that  goes out typically every Thursday. Directly under the the Knightline subscription box is a link to the Learning Center. There you can view the Homework Calendars for each grade level.  Be sure to also create your parent portal in Aeries to stay up to date with your student’s grades and attendance.  

We are honored and lucky to have you as part of our community, and we look forward to meeting you in person.


Shona Armstrong

PTA President 2019-20 school year