Coronavirus quarantine

Wow!  Less than one week ago, I participated in the staff vs. 8th grade student basketball game on Wednesday, May 12th.  Of course, we all knew the cases of coronavirus were growing in number and we had been discussing precautionary measures for over a week.  BUT, DID ANY OF US IMAGINE SCHOOL CLOSURE?!?  When I got home from the basketball game later that night, my son casually said, “Hey, Rudy Gobert has coronavirus and the NBA season is suspended indefinitely.”  I honestly couldn’t believe it, so I looked it up on twitter.  Yep, it was true!  By the next morning, the NCAA tourney had been cancelled and there were rumors about public school cancellations.  My son’s university, WashU in St. Louis, had emailed all students (they were on Spring Break) to tell them to not return and that all dorm materials would be sent home.  Of course, I wondered what this meant for the Cal Young Middle School and started to get the sinking feeling that school would be affected… Well, we got the news late Thursday night that Governor Brown ordered schools to be closed until April 1st.  All of the questions that everyone had… would we make these days up? would we do online schooling? etc. flooded my mind (and my email inbox:) ).  It will take some time for all of these questions to be answered, especially now that the “until April 1st” has become “until April 28th”.  While I cannot predict what this time will bring us, I do hope we are able to stay connected in some way.  I think we are very fortunate to live in a time with technology to bind us together and allow us to see others faces and read others thoughts.  So, please share your stories, your images, and your videos.  It will help all of be a little less isolated, strengthen our sense of community, and build our compassion for others.

A silver lining of all of this is the time spent with family.  We are sometimes so busy with school, work, and rushing to get everything done that we lose connection with our most important people.  So, my family (6 people and a furry friend) have been playing board games, reading, having meals together, etc. and the weather has been beautiful.  I’ll end this by sharing a photo and video of my furry friend, Crew.  I hope to share more updates soon.

Video of Crew – Click to download (IMG_5664 )

CY staff preparing for students

The CY teachers and educational assistants are hard at work preparing for students to return next week.  During August 29 – 31, the staff will collaborate on goals, instructional practice and our shared practices.  To see a few of our great CY staff members, see the photo gallery below….

School is almost here!

We have only two weeks until the CY staff (and WEB leaders) greet 6th grade students on Sept. 5th.  Our staff is eager to welcome students and families back to school.  If you are interested in supporting the office staff during registration on August 28th (noon to 4pm) for 6th graders or August 30th (noon to 4pm) for 7th/8th graders, then please visit the volunteer sign up website at  The opportunity is listed as #24 on the list and we need 15-ish if you would like to invite some friends.

Thank you for any help you can provide.  Have a wonderful last few weeks of summer.



Who is Chris? – Autobiographical Statement

I was raised in Northern Virginia by two working parents who strongly valued education.  My mother was a guidance counselor and her commitment to public schools is what eventually led to my pursuit of a career in education.  I have an interest in life science and, therefore, earned a bachelor degree (VT) and master degree (GMU) in life science and secondary teaching of life sciences (biology).
As a young husband and father, my family made a move to the Pacific Northwest and I was fortunate to land my first teaching job at Springfield High School as a biology instructor.  I taught science at SHS for 10 years (5 full time and 5 part time); After the first five years, I accepted a position as a science TOSA (teacher on special assignment) to teach water and electricity conservation and science topics to students throughout Springfield through an EWEB grant.  After ten years teaching in Springfield, I pursued an administrative career as the assistant principal at Springfield Middle School (2 years), then Springfield High School (2 years).  In 2012, I was hired to be the principal at Roosevelt Middle School in 4j School district and, over the 6 years there, I had experiences that included closing a school after a full school design/re-build, then the opening of a new middle school in 2016.  Now, as the principal of Cal Young, I look forward to supporting the community and staff to meet the CY mission… Cal Young seeks to prepare all students in a safeempowering, and respectful community for 21st century success.
While I have over 20 years of professional learning about high quality instructional practices, promoting positive school climate, and effective school leadership, I have also learned many lessons about educating children through my family experiences.  My wife and I have raised four children who have (or will) attend Cal Young Middle School.  Two of my children are in college and one is at Sheldon High School.  My youngest child, Langston, will be at CY in a few years.  My own experiences with four children in school have reinforced so many lessons of the diversity of students, the social and emotional difficulties of adolescence, and the challenges families experience in supporting their children.

Hello Cal Young!

I am very excited to be moving to Cal Young Middle School for the 2018-19 school year.  Some of you may know that I live in the Cal Young attendance area and my older children (Alexa, Calvin, and Kenneth) attended CY through their middle school years.  I also have a soon to be 3rd grader, Langston, who will be at CY in a few short years.  Additionally, through the experiences of being a CY parent and 4J collaborator, I have fond memories of classes at Cal Young and strong sense of the professionalism of the staff.
I enjoyed meeting many staff members, families, and students over the spring and summer.  I am still learning about the Cal Young program and the community that supports it, so I appreciated the opportunity to get a head start!   There will be multiple events for more introductions through September and October, including a watermelon social on the first day of school, plus our Open House on September 27th.
The 2018-19 school year will be here soon!  I look forward to our journey together.
Chris Mitchell
Cal Young Principal