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Charter News Archives

The purpose of these newsletters is to keep families informed about events and activities that pertain to all programs; such as Board updates, WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), LCAP(Local Control Accountability Plan), All-Charter events, and other pertinent information. It is also the newsletter for the general public to find out some specifics about all the individual programs we serve. We will be sending this newsletter out every other week. You will be receiving regular emails from the teacher(s) of your specific program to keep you updated on homework, classroom activities and specifics on field trips and special events for your child.


Charter News June 15, 2018

posted Jun 16, 2018, 4:41 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


“Where are we? - Here. What time is it? - Now.      

Let’s make the best of it together. Life spent with others is a life well spent.”

~Carter Milhous


Dear Charter Families,


Hooray and congratulations!  Every child, every family has progressed through another year of learning, many making that special advancement or graduation leap to their next step on the ladder, or rung, or river, or whatever metaphor fits for your family style.  We strive to support and create life-long learners and hopefully, your child’s learning will continue through the summer; be it in the form of camps, summer school, junior guards, sports of many kinds, travel, and hopefully reading books and sharing stories and various adventures with family and friends.


As we close the year, I wanted to introduce a few of the new teachers and staff members that will be joining us next year, as well as some new developments in many of our programs.


I have learned to love change...okay maybe not love but definitely, appreciate. Though not always initially embraced, change brings new life, ideas and energy to any situation.  And for our Charter programs, whose educational foundations are strong and whose flexibility has been positively tested, change becomes a fertilizer of sorts to help strengthen our already vibrant education programming for your children.


We are pleased and excited to announce our new teaching staff that will be joining us this next school year. They have written a short bio to introduce themselves to all of you. Please read on to learn a bit about them.  You can also read about a few of the new additions or supports we have added to our programs.


Our teachers have already written a closing email to their families that include initial events for the beginning of the school year.

Expect to receive an email from us in the first weeks of August with a special letter welcome back to school email from your teachers soon after.  Teachers return to work on August 14th.  

The first student school day for the coming year will be August 20.


Until then, have a wonderful summer.


~Rhonda


NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


____________________________________________________________________


Welcome new staff members!

Rachel Hagar: Science teacher for Nature Academy program.  I feel honored to work with this team of fantastic Nature Academy teachers dedicated to providing a rigorous, holistic approach to educating students.  I am also a nature lover and am thrilled to educate students by taking them beyond the four walls of a classroom. Many of my own educational highlights took place doing field studies: from science camp at Onemia, Minnesota looking for wolf tracks in the snow and doing adventure ropes among frozen pine needles; noosing lizards and live trapping mice under moonlight at the Mohave Desert Research Station; mapping wetlands at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory, pursuing my love for rainforest preservation by volunteering at Genesis II Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica, and finally volunteering at Indian Canyon.


My teaching philosophy is to bring a love of science and environment and community to students and to help them believe in their limitless potentials. I choose to think of solutions and not the problems. If there is a problem, I believe in open communication so voices can be heard, and issues healed and resolved, and moving forward in a positive way, together.


I have taught for 15 years; Earth Science, Chemistry, Biology, and Drama. I have also taught Video Production. The majority of my teaching has been teaching science for middle school students. I look forward to working with this fabulous group of students, parents, and educators to see what we can create together!


Rebecca Doty: Math teacher for Nature Academy program: I am thrilled to be joining the Nature Academy team to teach 7th and 8th-grade math and writing. With 17 years of experience teaching both elementary and middle school, I am excited to have an opportunity to work with middle school content yet to get to know the students better in a more intimate setting such as the Nature Academy program. Growing up in the Sierras (Mammoth Lakes to be exact) has nurtured my love of nature, and I am an avid backpacker, hiker, trail runner, indoor climber (with a desire to cross to the outdoors), and dancer. I also enjoy cooking, theatre (I have a degree in Theatre Arts Directing), crafting, and would love to learn more about computer programming this year. My favorite adventures thus far in life have been solo backpacking the John Muir Trail and an epic trip to Turkey. I hope for many more of these types of adventures in my future.


Amanda Bauscher: Teacher at our Mountain IS program.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of such an innovative public school!  Over the past 20 plus years of working with children and adults, both here and abroad, I've seen how unique each of our learning processes can be. Working with children to develop a strong sense of self-efficacy and passion for what they are learning is fundamental to my practice. I've found that by embracing our diverse talents, we expand our understanding of each other and our world, leading to a more compassion and cooperation in general. Mountain Independent Studies program appears to be an ideal environment for each child to shine individually and within a community!


Mary Zilge: Academic Counselor for CRHS and our 8th graders. Charter students and families, I am very excited and honored to be a member of your community.  I am thrilled to be returning to what I originally intended to do in education; supporting students through their educational journey in academic success, social-emotional growth, and career and college exploration.
I grew up and attended school in our wonderful valley.  I moved to San Diego for ten years, met my husband, and once we had two girls, realized where we wanted to raise them and moved back in 2001.  
My career in education began in 1991 as a teacher then as an academic counselor.  I joined SLVMS in 2006 as an academic counselor and in 2009 became the Dean of Students.  I can't state enough how excited I am to be returning to the role of an academic counselor.  I am looking forward to meeting and working with families who embrace education from multiple perspectives and as a team, supporting your students to have all opportunities open to them as young adults.


______ :  Quail Hollow Integrated Arts 60% teacher:  TBA


_______: Quail Hollow Homeschool teacher.  TBA


______ :  Mental Health Counselor.  TBA


______________________________________________


New additions in Our Charter Programs:


Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA) program expanding: We want to share some exciting news about this wonderful program.  The QHIA program, thanks to the efforts of teacher Amber Walker and the support of the District, is expanding. Our student community will grow to 40 students next year.


Of course, this also means that the program will be provided with additional instructional space and an additional 60% teacher. Amber will be closely involved with the hiring process to ensure that the teacher she will be partnering with has rich experience with theater, music, art, and dance: professionally and personally, in some combination. We will also ensure that this new teaching partner understands the importance of cultivating our focus on social/emotional education and homeschool community building.


We feel confident and excited to embrace more students into our QHIA family and Amber is excited to mentor another teaching partner to share in this innovative classroom model.


K-5 Homeschool programs: Next year we are planning to offer a Home-School Parent Forum, open to all parents of K-5 students enrolled in the Charter. The purpose is to establish a consistent place for parents to share great ideas, get help in implementing project-based learning at home, and delve deeper into what homeschooling can be.


The forum will meet twice monthly, the first and third Mondays of each month, from 12:30 to 2, at the Fall Creek Homeschool classroom. Child care will be provided. One of the first ideas we will discuss is the possibility of a parent-led co-op writing group for 3rd-5th graders. Though the writing group would be taught by parents on a rotating basis, the curriculum and lesson planning will be supported by Charter teachers and staff.

Please mark your calendars for these semester 1 forum dates! 9/17, 10/1, 10/15, 11/5, 11/19, 12/3, 12/17


Junior Master Gardening Program offered to All Programs:  Melanie Burgess, Charter parent and certified gardener, plans to expand her work beyond teaching our high school students horticulture lab and will be working with the rest of our programs next year.  She is passionate about spreading the practices of sustainable gardening to all of our students and through her research and practice in Santa Clara County gardening programs, has found that the Junior Master Gardening Program is the curriculum to do just that.


The Junior Master Gardener program is an international youth gardening program of the University Cooperative Extension network. JMG engages children in novel, hands-on group and individual experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind.  The program also inspires youths to be of service to others through service learning and leadership development projects.

Melanie will work with each of the programs, bringing the students into one of our many gardens one time a month, to work them through the curriculum.  Students who complete the program will receive certification awards.

Level 1 Certifications (1st-5th): Plant Growth and Development, Soils and Water, Insects and Plant Diseases, Vegetables and Herbs, Fruit and Nutrition.

Level 2 Certifications (6th-8th) Ecology and Environmental Horticulture, Landscape Horticulture, Life Skills and Career Exploration.


All of our students will have the opportunity to earn a Junior Master Gardener Certification by 8th grade.  


Coast Redwood Middle School: We are pleased to announce that for the 2018-19 school year, Coast Redwood Middle School will be taught by Keidi Lewis and Mark Thomas, as Marcy Reynolds takes a leave of absence to support an elderly family member.  Class hours, days and location will remain the same, our project-based, collaborative focus will remain the same, the inclusiveness and individualized support will remain the same. The only change will be who is teaching.


Both Keidi and Mark are very experienced and excited to work with Coast Redwood Middle School next year.  They are looking forward to working with each other as well as with CRMS families. They have already started brainstorming possible themes for next year.  We can’t think of a better teaching team to facilitate learning at CRMS.

Longtime charter teacher, Keidi Lewis has co-taught CRMS in the past and has been on staff at Coast Redwood High School for many years primarily teaching History, Spanish and Life Skills-related subjects. A lifelong learner, she interested in all subjects… and she loves to teach! Next year Keidi will be teaching at CRMS on Mondays and Wednesdays while continuing to teach and support the students at Coast Redwood High School on Fridays.

Mark Thomas has taught for many years at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School. Ostensibly retired, Mark loves to teach so much that he keeps coming back. He has taught math for much of his career but has also enjoyed teaching woodworking, writing, and drama. Mark really appreciates a project-based, application-focused approach to learning and is looking forward to being able to facilitate that type of learning at CRMS.

Marcy will work side-by-side with Mark and Keidi through the middle of September to help kick off the new school year.  She will continue to be available to check in with the teachers, so you can expect to see her at our Parent Orientation Meeting and at various points throughout the year.


Coast Redwood High School Parent Committees: We are excited to hear from our parents about their interest is supporting CRHS. Here is a preview of where parent interests were noted:  - CRHS Boosters Club - Sunshine Committee - Master Gardeners Program

- Field Trip Coordinator   - Graduation Committee - Headwaters Shasta beginning of the school year field trip. - Ashland Oregon Shakespeare field trip.

_____________

Dates to Remember:

• August 20: First school day of the 2018-19 school year.


Charter News June 8, 2018

posted Jun 10, 2018, 4:10 PM by Rhonda Schlosser   [ updated Jun 14, 2018, 8:41 PM ]


“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.”

~Winston S. Churchill



Dear Charter Families,


The end of each school year always feels like a ride down a river; sometimes rushing, sometimes feeling a bit stagnant, sometimes with a wind shifting the currents so we have to collectively steer against the sudden onslaught - exhilarating, exhausting, and oh so worth it for all those involved once it is over.  Hooray, summer vacation is very near: Thursday, June 14th is our last official day


The academic and social lessons our students learned have been continuous: sometimes hard earned, sometimes learned with a flow that made them seem effortless.  There isn’t any one of our Charter programs where we didn’t have a student - or three or more - whose academic and/or social-emotional needs added an additional layer of work that, in the long run, has given them a greater appreciation to the lessons well learned.  To those students who went the extra mile; we doubly commend you.


I continue to be impressed with the level of commitment and integrity our teachers have for their job, and to the parents who work so hard alongside their students, helping them through the final days. Thank you to everyone. Thank you to the Charter support staff and greater district teams who help our Charter programs.  It has been another rewarding and productive year.


A special thank you to the teachers and support staff who are moving on at the end this year.  It is inevitable that we have to say goodbye to someone nearly each year. As hard as it is, what makes it easier is that 99% of the time, they are leaving for a good reason, never because they are unhappy.  We will miss them all, wish them happy trails, and hope they come back to visit in the years to come.


Jen Sims: Mental Health Counselor.  Though she is not leaving the district, she is transitioning to work full-time at BCE.  We will miss her as a consistent voice and support to our staff, students, and classroom development.  Luckily we know she is just a skip down Highway 9 away.


Kim Fleming: Teacher at our Mountain IS program.  Kim stepped in when the program’s founding teacher retired a couple years ago.  This year, Kim rebirthed the program and solidified it into a place where all students and families feel Safe, Seen and Supported. Under her heart-filled guidance the kids and homeschooling families flourished and the message has been resounding: Mountain IS is a great place to be!


Rory McKee: Academic Counselor for CRHS and our 8th graders.  Rory was hired as our Academic Counselor when Jen was hired as fulltime counselor at SLVHS. Rory was a great fit for us: as a Nature Academy graduate, he shared the values we hold and had a level of scrutiny and personal commitment to connecting to each student that further added clarity and consistency to our counseling systems.  


Gillian Blair: Quail Hollow Homeschool teacher.  Gillian has been working with our K-5 program, team teaching with Katie and working as a collaborative team member with our other K-8 teachers and programs for many years now.  Enough years to leave a lasting imprint for her passion for learning, especially in mathematics! We are grateful that she came out of retirement to share her creativity with so many hands-on activities and to infuse the love of learning into another generation of students and families.


Carter Milhous: teacher and co-founder of the Nature Academy program.  He taught in the district for 30 years, 20 in the Nature Academy.  Words cannot begin to express the imprint he has made on the many many students that his teaching and field experiences has touched, the many many parents and families whose relationships and lens on learning was forever changed by working with the foundational Life Skills he so believed in.  And of course to the teachers and staff members who worked alongside him; we will miss his knowledge, wit, and playful dedication. Not only has he touched the lives of countless students with his caring heart, deep knowledge of a variety of subject areas, and catchy sayings, he also leaves behind a large garden with working solar panel and thriving pond, a greenhouse, and an 18-hole disc golf course.  


~Rhonda


NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


From our Counselor, Jen Sims:  School is where it happens

My reaction upon being hired by the San Lorenzo Valley School district 3 years ago was…surprised. Also relieved, because I had been working at the New Leaf and found it to be way harder than any other job I have had, but mostly surprised. At that point I hadn’t spent too much time with kids since I was one myself, although I had some experience teaching them. Most of my experience in the last ten years was doing individual therapy with adults. I applied for the job because I had been getting interested in mental health at schools, and more specifically student development theory (more on this later). I guess the surprise was that I didn’t realize that I would be the school counselor to younger children. It’s worked out though, and I’ve learned a lot over the years. Most of all I’ve learned that school is where it happens.


Back to Student Development Theory – it has three guiding assumptions:

  • Each student is a different individual with unique needs

  • The entire environment of the student should be taken into account for and used for education

  • Student has a personal responsibility for getting educated


I look at our schools through the lens of student development theory and it helps me to understand the place in a more grounded way. Things can get rough at school and while it’s our job to make sure things don’t get abusive, like bullying, there is something to be said for learning how to manage conflict. It’s painful to watch kids in distress but this is what they came here to do, to push up against each other and the school rules and constraints again and again as they keep learning about their own existence and co-existence with others. If we keep teaching them, I trust that they will keep developing more and more skills to deal with each other and their own emotions. School provides endless opportunities for that, because school – any kind, any classroom, is where it happens.


Every day at school – whether it is a two-day or five day per week situation – every day in that community provides our students with academic demands and challenges. That is what is mostly measured in data and that is what determines a school’s ranking. There’s so much more unofficial learning going on at school, however, things that can never be measured but are important and have lifelong impact. Children come to school to try it all out – who am I? What are relationships? What are my boundaries? What are your boundaries? What offends me? What do I like? How do I feel about my peers, teachers, the world? Do I like people or are they draining? The pursuit of identity is a daunting task and we are their faithful witnesses. School is the perfect stage for the drama to occur because it sets the boundaries that ensure things can’t get too out of hand. Providing a safe place for students to get through this part of life is part of every single staff member at this district’s job – from the principals, to the IT people, to the teachers, to the custodians – all of us. School is where it happens.


This year I had the opportunity to write about, think about and discuss concepts related to empathy every month with staff and students. This gave me the unique opportunity to visit classrooms, nearly all of them, and spend time talking with and getting to know them. I gained a deeper understanding of classroom culture and how each group has a distinct dynamic or flavor. No classroom was conflict-free and all classrooms had beautiful expressions of empathy, compassion, support and understanding. Through this process I gained more empathy for everything we are doing here at school to get along and make it work. I see teachers working to incorporate social-emotional skills into all aspects of learning and being flexible in addressing individual needs, I see parents showing up to work with and advocate for their children, I see students making great choices every day that help us move forward as a community. And even though we focus on the students, in actuality everything we’re doing is part of the bigger picture of all of our growth and development. At school we are all learning a lot from each other, all the time, like it or not. School is where it happens.


Next year I will be transitioning out of the charter school over to Boulder Creek Elementary. Of course I have mixed emotions. I love my work with the Charter School students and staff. I love dreaming and scheming with Rhonda to bring mental health to the charter school in a great way. Moving to Boulder Creek means that I can bring more consistency to one school, and as it turns out I do get along with younger students. I hope you’ll always feel free to contact me about anything - Jen


SLVUSD opportunities: SLVUSD is now hiring for the following positions. Positions are permanent unless indicated. If you are interested, please apply on Edjoin, www.edjoin.org.  Contact the Human Resources Department (336-5193) if you have questions about any of the openings.

Boulder Creek Elementary

Custodian

Special Ed Instructional Assistant (part-time)

San Lorenzo Valley Elementary

Education Specialist Teacher (SDC)

Instructional Assistants (all part-time, hours vary according to position)

K-3 Music Enrichment Teacher (temporary year to year)

San Lorenzo Valley Middle School

Education Specialist Teacher (ED-SDC)

Secondary Dean of Students (Temporary)

San Lorenzo Valley High School

Mathematics Teacher

Spanish Teacher (Temporary-1st semester only)

Girls Varsity Basketball Coach (seasonal)

Girls Varsity Water Polo Coach (seasonal)

SLV Charter

6th-8th Grade Integrated Arts Teacher (60%, temporary)

Mental Health Specialist (40%)

SLVUSD-District

Maintenance Specialist-Electrician

We are also looking for substitute custodians to work at all sites.


Community Events: The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is currently soliciting input from students, parents, and staff at the San Lorenzo Valley schools on the Highway 9-San Lorenzo Valley Corridor Transportation Plan. The RTC is specifically seeking feedback on the area of Highway 9 around the schools.

Please consider taking this survey and providing your valuable input on this important community project:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6TNGT7T.

For more information on this project,  https://sccrtc.org/projects/streets-highways/hwy-9-plan/


 

There is a coupon code for all students of Charter who wish to participate, at SLV it is at runsignup.com for the summer Splash and Dash and the code is “student” it is good for $10 off

https://runsignup.com/Race/Register?raceId=59257&coupon=Student

 



Our popular summer reading program for young adults will run June 1st through September 5th this year. We're challenging teens to read 6 books--at least 3 from our recommended reading list (see below) and up to 3 of their choice. Complete the challenge and not only will you have read some terrific books, but you'll earn excellent rewards: A $5 Bookshop gift card, a free scoop from the Penny Ice Creamery, a free slice from Pizza My Heart, and a special prize from the Santa Cruz Warriors!

How to get started: Come to Bookshop Santa Cruz to pick up a summer reading bookmark from the Young Adult section or download the pdf below. You are going to want to hang onto this because it's also your reading tracking form that you're going to use all summer and turn back to us before school starts. Pick out your first book and start reading!  All summer reading books are on display at Bookshop Santa Cruz.  Download the bookmark!

What you get to read: We have put together a great list of 6 recommended books. To complete the challenge, you get to choose at least three of these recommended books and up to three books of your own choosing--for a total of 6 great books--to read over the summer. See the list below.

How to complete the challenge: Just bring back your filled out bookmark, making sure to note your name, age, and school before turning it in, by September 5th. Then you will get to collect your rewards and proudly post your name on our Summer Reading wall.

Bonus: If you liked the book you read, let us know by writing a short review (50 words or less) about why you liked it. For each review, your name will be entered into a raffle to win a $50 gift card to Bookshop Santa Cruz! Reviews will be posted in the Bookshop for everyone to read.

Extra bonus: The school that has the most students participate will also get a gift certificate to buy new books for their school library!

Recommended Reading List Books:

The Pearl Thief (Paperback) By Elizabeth Wein

When the Moon Was Ours (Paperback) By Anna-Marie McLemore

Lucy and Linh (Paperback) By Alice Pung  

Salt to the Sea (Paperback) By Ruta Sepetys

You're Welcome, Universe (Paperback) By Whitney Gardner

All American Boys (Paperback) By Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely


What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs:

Coast Redwood HS: It has been a flurry of activity the last of couple of weeks as on-site classes have ended and our seniors have been preparing for graduation. Anticipation and excitement has been building and the final crescendo of graduation has come! Congratulations to all of our graduating seniors: Brynna Beddell, Jacob Burgess, Jason Erwin, Justin Erwin, Daniel Halberstadt, Isabella Hayes, Cassandra Heron, Myles Laurin, Ben Murphy, Harmony Perna, Portia Simmons, Cameron Snider. They all have great plans for their post graduate years ahead. We wish you all the best!

Coast Redwood MS: We have ended our year with fundraising activities with the Redwood Mountain Faire,  end of year conferences and wrapping things up in the garden in preparation for summer. The kids did a great job selling their handmade lotions at the faire: articulating information about our classroom business and why we use the ingredients and packaging that we do. They sold $363 of product and distributed all of our brochures and the business cards  It’s been a year of lots of learning, friendship and fun activities for all. Our advancement ceremony and party will be Wednesday the 13th at the Trowbridges.  Thank you Rachel and family. Enjoy the summer!

Nature Academy: All of Nature Academy is buzzing with excitement as the end of the school year ends. Days full of work completion and fun filled year end classroom activities. We are looking forward to our 8th graders Advancement this next week on the 13th. Congratulations 8th graders! We know you will do well, in ay of the schools you are transferring to.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We had a bittersweet week as students are already experiencing all of the emotions that come with the end of the year, and friends transitioning to other places next year. They are such a thoughtful, reflective group of young people. We celebrated our end of the year and advancements with a potluck pool party. Congratulations to the recipients of our 2018 Peer Awards: ~Oral and Written Communication: Julia Deraco ~Thinking Analytically, Critically, and Practically: Naia Cantor-Baker and Amaya Gordon ~Healthy Self-Awareness and Social Relationships: Andy Matessa ~Social Responsibility and Integrity: Elliot Lariz ~QHIA Spirit Award: Abena Reisewitz-Oteng

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Our last days of class have been so much fun! K-2 circled up for walking the number with friends showing off some groovy dance moves. 3-6 shared out their summer plans and talked about their amazing grandparents and great-grandparents and all they have done and shared with us. We all chipped in and became scrubber bees to leave our classroom all cleaned up for the summer and our yearbook was a success, once again.  Our end of year advancement celebration and swim party was so much fun! Have a fabulous summer!

Fall Creek Homeschool: Our end of year meetings are in full swing! Our yearbook has gone to print and is going out to families at end of year meetings. We will be saying our last goodbyes for the summer at our paperwork picnic and pool party on June 13th!

Mountain IS: We are coming to the close of our school year, busy with end of year conferences. We will be saying our final farewells for summer to each other at our pool party. Happy Summer!  A huge thank you to Kim Fleming for creating such a wonderful year.  Thanks to Beth and the parents too. Our upcoming events are: End of Year celebration June 11.


Dates to remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)
  • June 13: Nature Academy (9:30-12:15) Coast Redwood MS (3:00-7 pm) advancements

  • June 14th:  Last day of school

Charter News May 18, 2018

posted May 28, 2018, 2:30 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.  ~Voltaire


“To create is to live twice.”  ~Albert Camus




Dear Charter Families,


We are rounding the last turn and finishing the last stretch of the school year!  Every year I am amazed at all that gets done during this time of year. Teachers and students are working in double time; working both the academic completion path and the final trips and celebration path. Admin staff is busy supporting the classroom efforts, closing this year’s ‘books’ and prepping for next year.


Everyone is simultaneously thinking about the end of the school year and the start of summer. With heartfelt emotion, we are recognizing the contrast between finishing strong in final academic projects and course requirements and saying our goodbyes through final field trips, advancements and graduation celebrations.


Students and teachers alike are feeling mixed emotions about ending their school year.  It is a time that is full of high energy and the finish line is in everyone’s minds. Thus, this is a time for extra rest, extra patience, and extra recognition and appreciation to your children and their teachers for continuing to work at their best. Congratulate them for a job well done, every day.  Everyone in the Charter, every teacher, and every student, and every parent that is supporting the process truly work with their hearts on their sleeves, with best intentions even when the thread feels like it’s close to breaking. Everyone is working at their best and at the same time, respecting that we need to enjoy the relaxing moments in order to savor the final days too.


Thanks for honoring the special end of the school year process.  Thanks for appreciating your students and their teachers. Thanks for encouraging more sleep and at the same time, more push towards your students completing their work to their best ability.


Please read on for news on special opportunities.


Have a great Memorial day weekend.


~Rhonda



NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


LCAP; Local Control Accountability Plan: A BIG THANK YOU to ALL who COMPLETED the SURVEY. The information you shared through the survey is very important to all of the Charter Staff.  So far we have received 69 surveys; the majority STILL from CRHS and Nature Academy.  The number is growing and I am grateful for any and all feedback we receive. I have gathered the data and will use it as I complete the annual LCAP report. (posted on our website under info) http://charter.slvusd.org/charter-info/governance-reports-plans/-lcap

The deadline to use the data for our LCAP plans has passed, but I still want to hear from everyone and so am keeping the survey open. I would love to receive feedback from every parent in the Charter!

Please click on the PARENT SURVEY Link and share your opinion!  https://goo.gl/forms/229cj48X1DsR6VM22  


The SLSVUSD School Calender for 2018-19 is finalized; here is the link to access the calendar: http://www.slvusd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-2019-School-Calendar-Final.pdf


Community Events:


Our popular summer reading program for young adults will run June 1st through September 5th this year. We're challenging teens to read 6 books--at least 3 from our recommended reading list (see below) and up to 3 of their choice. Complete the challenge and not only will you have read some terrific books, but you'll earn excellent rewards: A $5 Bookshop gift card, a free scoop from the Penny Ice Creamery, a free slice from Pizza My Heart, and a special prize from the Santa Cruz Warriors!

How to get started: Come to Bookshop Santa Cruz to pick up a summer reading bookmark from the Young Adult section or download the pdf below. You are going to want to hang onto this because it's also your reading tracking form that you're going to use all summer and turn back to us before school starts. Pick out your first book and start reading!  All summer reading books are on display at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Download the bookmark!

What you get to read: We have put together a great list of 6 recommended books. To complete the challenge, you get to choose at least three of these recommended books and up to three books of your own choosing--for a total of 6 great books--to read over the summer. See the list below.

How to complete the challenge: Just bring back your filled out bookmark, making sure to note your name, age, and school before turning it in, by September 5th. Then you will get to collect your rewards and proudly post your name on our Summer Reading wall.

Bonus: If you liked the book you read, let us know by writing a short review (50 words or less) about why you liked it. For each review, your name will be entered into a raffle to win a $50 gift card to Bookshop Santa Cruz! Reviews will be posted in the Bookshop for everyone to read.

Extra bonus: The school that has the most students participate will also get a gift certificate to buy new books for their school library!

Recommended Reading List Books:

The Pearl Thief (Paperback) By Elizabeth Wein

When the Moon Was Ours (Paperback) By Anna-Marie McLemore

Lucy and Linh (Paperback) By Alice Pung  

Salt to the Sea (Paperback) By Ruta Sepetys

You're Welcome, Universe (Paperback) By Whitney Gardner

All American Boys (Paperback) By Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely


What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs:

Coast Redwood HS: We are finishing the school year strong. Our 10th, 11th, and 12th grade English class Mystery Writers have completed their mystery short stories! Over 1000 pages of mystery and intrigue. As part of the mystery writing we toured the Winchester Mystery House and the students were inspired for writing their next novel. Next year, our creative writers will continue their quest of solving mysteries and dabble in fantasy/science fiction writing. We are closing out the year with conferences and then graduation!

Our upcoming events are; Graduation June 8th, Redwood Mountain Faire Fundraiser June 2 & 3.

Coast Redwood MS: Busy, busy as the school year ends. We just got back from our trip to beautiful Yosemite. Students have completed their yearbook pages o go to print. Our garden re-design project is looking good; planting has been completed and everyone has been working hard to get it done! Thsnk you to the parents giving their extra time! The Jamba Juice fundraiser has been successful in helping to pay for the garden deck portion of our project. The yearbooks is moving forward! Our project presentations are all finished, we had some interesting ones: the history of art materials, optical illusions, marine iguanas, tortoises, types of rock climbing, and mycelial intelligence to name a few. Our upcoming events are: Fundraiser Boulder Creek Music & Art Festival May 27,  Fundraiser Redwood Mtn. Faire June 2&3, Advancement Ceremony June 13

Nature Academy: Our 6th graders just returned from their trip to Headwaters, Mt. Shasta. It was a powerful and fun experience for all of our 6th grade students. The 7th & 8th graders just returned from their trip to Lake Tahoe and had a fabulous time bicycling, hiking, and fly fishing to name just a few of their activities. They hiked Donner Lake imaging what it must have been like to have to travel by foot through this mountainous area and how long it must have taken! Our upcoming events are: June 13 8th grade advancement ceremony

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We have been making our final push on editing our yearbook and getting it ready for print. We wrapped up our CSI Investigation into the many theories surrounding Shakespeare’s true identity. Congratulations to Liam, Miles, Lucas, Seleona, Violet, Julia, and Ruby for their incredible performances in our Charter Talent Show. It was a great evening of dance, singing, music, and art and film displays from all programs!  Our final Capture the Flag event for the year was wonderful with 38 players in attendance! We have had fun with writing exercises around the theme of character development, establishing setting, and creating an ending first. We have spent time discussing and debunking myths and generalizations made about Native American people and watched a video on perspectives from contemporary Native American middle school students. Our upcoming events are: Advancement/Year End Celebration June 7, Great America June 12

Quail Hollow Homeschool: As we wrap up the school year, we have been working on completing our yearbook to get ready to print. Thank you to all who came out to join us for our first Annual Author’s reception. The students get kudos for reading their wonderful work to a live audience! We all got together and brainstormed all the activities we have done this year - what an amazingly long list!

Our upcoming events are: Advancement/Year-end Celebration May 31

Fall Creek Homeschool: As our school year comes to a close we have finished up student projects. We painted the mountains and other geographical features of the 3D map of California. We listened to the true story of Astro, the Stellar Sea Lion who spent time at Long Marine Lab before being relocated to an aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut. From the evidence in the book, we calculated that Astro is probably still alive and could be visited if one happens to be in Connecticut. The end of the year celebration was a lot of fun with students bringing their scooters, skateboards and roller skates to enjoy the day And we made slime to round out the day. We watched videos created by our classmates and made a thank you card for our custodian for all of her hard work this year. And we wrote a page in our rainbow books about our best memory of the year at Fall Creek.

Mountain IS:  Many things are happening as we are winding up the school year. We are getting ready to order our yearbooks and complete the last of our classroom days. We will be enjoying a family beach day and a classroom creek day as our last day of school arrives.

Our upcoming events are: End of Year celebration June 11


Dates to remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)

• May 28:  Memorial Day: no school
• May 31: Quail Hollow  advancement celebration
• June 7: Quail Hollow Integrated Arts advancement celebration
• June 8: Coast Redwood High School graduation ceremony (12:30-2)
• June 13: Nature Academy (9:30-12:30) Coast Redwood MS (3:00-7 pm) advancement celebration
• June 14th:  Last day of school

Charter News May 7, 2018

posted May 8, 2018, 11:36 AM by Rhonda Schlosser


“To avoid trials is to avoid living; the more you go through, the more you learn.”

― Matshona Dhliwayo



Dear Charter Families,


I presume that all of you received the all call from the district regarding the Lockdown that occurred last Wednesday on the Tri-campus. (Please note: while it is mentioned as the Tri-campus, the message also includes Nature Academy, Coast Redwood HS, Coast Redwood MS, Fall Creek HS, and the Ludlow facility)


It was an unnerving event to say the least, but thanks to the wonderful efforts of Ms. Calden at the Middle School and all the supporting staff, the entire middle school campus was secured, our local Sheriff's Deputies responded quickly, and then handled the situation professionally and with great heart toward our schools and our children.  

A huge thanks to the students and staff. The teachers knew just what to do.  And to our very own Danelle Matteson, who managed students that were in our office and fielded calls from concerned parents all of our programs throughout the event. The students handled the situation very well and remained calm and supportive throughout the day.


The district will continue to use the dial out system and the district website to provide information. With every event, we become more efficient and knowledgeable in how to manage the next situation. Here are a few things that we would like to pass along:

  • In a crisis situation, the information immediately available online is often wildly inaccurate.  Once everything was over, we looked online and saw several instances of blatantly incorrect information presented as facts - on Facebook, Twitter, emails, and the websites of local news outlets.  If it isn't coming directly from the Schools or the Sheriff's Office, you should read it knowing it might not be factual.

  • While the schools and school district want to get information out as soon as possible, it may not be right away because we are in an emergency situation where our only concern until it is over is to make sure your children are safe.  

  • At the school sites, we will not be answering phones or emails from the outside. We are on radios and school emails making sure all kids are safe and accounted for.  If we have a minute to put out a quick email to parents to update them on anything confirmed as fact by law enforcement, I will. If we don't have that minute, or if there is nothing confirmed as fact, we won't be using our phones..

  • We want to keep everyone informed, and recognize that in emergency situations it is not enough. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • Law Enforcement specifically asks that people do not drive to the site of a lockdown.  First, it could be dangerous. Second, an influx of vehicles coming to scene could delay or hinder emergency vehicles, and third, once an area is secured, anybody driving or walking onto campus could be seen as a threat by law enforcement.

  • Lastly, it is hard to understand why anyone would intentionally make such a false call and raise such chaos, but it happens.  if you have any information about who might have made a bomb threat to the school please call the Sheriff’s Office.


~Rhonda


NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


From our Mental Health Counselor, Jen Sims:  Social Justice is something we live.


Last Friday I went to see West Side Story, put on by the San Lorenzo Valley High School and including many talented Coast Redwood Charter students. First, let me say that it was excellent! I could go on and on about all the parts that I loved. My next take-away was the reminder that theater is one of the absolute best ways to teach social justice to the world and ourselves. I’ve been trying to talk to kids about this all month and I’m realizing that it’s not just something one can tell someone about and expect them to get it…social justice is something we absorb because it is something we live.


Spoiler alert: I was a drama geek growing up and coped with my life by joining ensembles and performing. I was in Hair and Evita – in their own way each of these shows discussed huge political and social issues. Putting myself in other people’s shoes and acting out their stories changed me, gave me a wider perspective on the world and a lot of insight for a teenager. West Side Story addresses problematic social issues such as racism, violence, and prejudice against immigrants, things that are still relevant today. There is a big message in this show about the futility of that behavior. In the show, they are dreaming that “There’s a place for us, somewhere a place for us, peace and quiet and open air...” I know that just by being a part of this show these student performers, musicians and crew will walk away from this experience with a deeper sense of the human dynamics that lead to these social justice issues, as well as deeper understanding of themselves. All of us who witness the performance will also have this benefit.


The facts of social justice do not matter: it is the stories that evoke feeling that lead to change. As a kid, I was making fun of fat kids until my mother shared a story of how my beloved – and overweight – grandfather had been teased. Believe it or not, I had never before made the connection. The story was way more impactful than just being told I was wrong. It had an immediate long-term impact because suddenly the story became relevant to me. Nope, altruism does not necessarily come naturally. When working with your child around social justice issues, connect it with something they can relate to in their own life and work outward from there. Experiential activities like volunteering will help, as well as books, movies, and theater.


All humans understand that things can be unfair. “No one is free when others are oppressed” - author unknown. Social injustice requires that someone is on the bottom at all times, and therefore there is not one person in this world that has not experienced the pain of oppression. The way our society works, there is plenty of room for someone to always get a turn at the bottom. I think that acknowledging this is as important as acknowledging that we do have privilege. Otherwise, the same dynamic holds and wealthy able-bodied white men get told they have no problems and are to blame for all the social justice problems in the world – so it’s their turn at the bottom. We don’t have to perpetuate that. It is true that some groups and some situations have more unearned privilege than others in America. If people are busy defending themselves for having privilege they might not be able

to acknowledge it at all and use it to even the playing field.


Use your powers for good. Children have so many different skills and abilities. I have the good fortune to see a unique side of them at school where I am more focused on their emotional life than academic talents. I see so much cool stuff and truly earnest uses of privilege for good. I see older kids helping younger kids and kids with stronger voices advocating for those who might be afraid to speak up. In talking with students about it this month, I know that they are paying attention and aware of the issues that affect larger society. I see a brave willingness in them to sit and have hard conversations, come to agreements and stick to them for the good of the community. I see the opposite of all of this too, but not as much. The negative stuff is louder and more worrisome, but small and large heroic acts also take place every day. Certainly, if we surveyed every single student, most of them would say they were against bullying. In the stories students most enjoy, the bully never wins. In our real life, let's keep elevating and recognizing the students that use the privilege of their resilience to stand up for others and make that the social norm.


Children are natural social justice warriors. Children question everything and all authority! I get it; they are essentially one of the most oppressed classes in society. They will nitpick with me over the fairness of how many gummy bears each person gets, but in reality, I see them put up with lots of unfair things and choices they wouldn’t make. For example, being in school and many of the rules they have to follow. The rules make sense to adults but not to them. This is all good practice for their future life and I encourage each child to speak their mind about whatever issue they find unfair and make a good case for change. I am honest and transparent with them about the reality of the rules. As much as students are working on reading, writing and math, they are working on developing their critical thought about the systems they are involved with and this will come with some resistance. It is our responsibility as adults to have good conversations that help children process their own ideas about change and the world.


When a person has empathy, it is almost impossible not to become involved in social justice issues. Empathy is such a hugely powerful emotion that it alone can be an agent of change. It starts from within, but can be easily translated outward to the world. Social Justice is something that can be noticed and discussed every day, from issues within the home (why does he get to go to bed later than me), to issues in the San Lorenzo Valley (when will the highway nine construction come to an end?), to Santa Cruz County (why is housing so expensive?), and beyond. Looking at life with a social justice lens works well with a growth mindset as it encourages action and change as the personal becomes political. It is something we live.


LCAP; Local Control Accountability Plan: PARENT SURVEY.

 

A BIG THANK YOU to ALL who COMPLETED the SURVEY. The information you share through the survey is very important to all of the Charter Staff.  So far we have received 64 surveys; the majority from CRHS and Nature Academy.  The number is growing and I am grateful for any and all feedback we receive.  The more completed surveys we get back, the better we can work with the data.

IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO FILL OUT THE SURVEY!  I would love to receive feedback from every parent in the Charter!

Please click on the PARENT SURVEY Link and share your opinion!  https://goo.gl/forms/229cj48X1DsR6VM22  


Parent Advisory Committee: LAST MEETING OF THE YEAR:  Thursday, May 10th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.  We will be discussing the LCAP funding and our School goals for next year.     All Parents are invited to attend.


The SLSVUSD School Calender for 2018-19 is finalized here is the link to access the calender: http://www.slvusd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-2019-School-Calendar-Final.pdf


SLV CHARTER TALENT SHOW: Please come and support our charter students We have students performances from every program!


What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs:

Congratulations to Markus Spracklin for receiving an award for Environmental Sciences and his work on Solar Panels in the Real World at the Santa Cruz County Science Fair!


Coast Redwood HS: HEADWATERS ADVENTURE TRIP We are continuing to accept Headwaters participants! SENIOR COLLEGE COMMITMENTS The class of 2018 may be a small class, but they are mighty! We are very proud of each and every senior. Come join us in celebrating their graduation from Coast Redwood High School on Friday, June 8, at 12:30 pm, at the Fall Creek Amphitheater. ALL CHARTER TALENT SHOW Thursday, May 10, 7:00 pm at the PAC. Excellent talent and artists - come out and support our students!

Coast Redwood MS: We started our CAASPP testing this week. We have been working on our garden re-design and have received a donation of several yards of organic compost from Vision Recycling for our garden. Our Jamba Juice fundraiser kicked off last week, these funds will be used to help pay for a garden deck. I have been pursuing the possibility of selling our lotion at one of the local festivals. It would be great to have a chance for the kids to do more direct sales and for them to have an event to work toward with our class business. Students have started working on the yearbook as we go toward the end of the year. Our Natural Bridge Yosemite trip is right around the corner and we are all very excited.

Nature Academy: 6th-grade students are working through rocks and gems unit in science and have begun an elective in crochet. The students are almost finished with their year-long country reports. 7-8th grade class are preparing for their Civil War event, completing their causes of the war booklet and writer’s workshop creative writing piece during that time period.  The details of their Tahoe trip are in their final stages.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): Students presented their research on many different aspects of Medieval Europe. We have covered most of the Nervous System for sciences. We looked at many layouts for our Yearbook, which we will spend a lot of time on next week. Jen Sims came and led a discussion on Social Justice, and we participated in some 50/50 Day activities and discussions including short films on Bias and Privilege. 50/50 Day is sponsored by the same group that organized Character Day at the beginning of the year. It deals with gender and racial equity in all areas of our lives. We also finished our mural!  We have had a fun week putting yearbook pages together, we learned how to collaborate with different rhythms using found objects in our STOMP! class, and doing a CSI Investigation: “Did Shakespeare Really Exist”.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Thank you to all of our families who made every effort to attend and participate in our annual state testing. It is so important to our school to have all families participate. We look forward to getting back to our regular routine and seeing all our friends next week. We have our Bee Class field trip coming up next week. There will also be an Author’s Reception to celebrate our writers as they have the opportunity to share with our class and families their wonderful books.

Fall Creek Homeschool: We looked at a poster of our local watershed, discussed how that works and noted many of the animals and plants that live in our local area. We worked cooperatively to learn about the elephant seals at Ano Nuevo in preparation for our field trip.  We used wet paper and watercolors to paint a watershed and learned a technique for “erasing” paint to add a new color. Our field trip to Ano Nuevo State Park was enjoyed by everyone. Students learned about this unique marine mammal as well as the other inhabitants of the park including shorebirds, land mammals, and past human inhabitants such as the native Ohlone and historic light keepers. We enjoyed mini-lessons on Coastal Marine Wetlands, Birds of the Wetlands, and endangered species. Students embraced the opportunity to view actual elephant seal skulls, compare sizing and learn about tracking devices. We helped Natalee with a letter-writing campaign to help the oceans: we wrote letters to local stores and restaurants to ask them to only carry sustainable fish.

Mountain IS:  Students have been busy taking the State tests, preparing for a talent show.  Families took a field trip to the Everett Family Farm and learned all about organic farming.  In class, they worked on Mandalas and a Mexican Train.


Dates to remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)
  • May 22: Fall Creek advancement celebration

  • May 28:  Memorial Day: no school

  • May 31: Quail Hollow  advancement celebration

  • June 7: Quail Hollow Integrated Arts advancement celebration

  • June 8: Coast Redwood High School graduation ceremony

  • June 13: Nature Academy (9:30-12:30) Coast Redwood MS (3:00-7 pm) advancement celebration

  • June 14th:  Last day of school

Charter News: April 20, 2018

posted Apr 23, 2018, 2:03 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


Dear Charter Families,


Thanks to everyone whose children are participating in the annual Statewide testing.  While I don’t believe it is anyone’s favorite activity, It is another way that the District and Charter review your child’s progress.  It is a snapshot in time. While no single test can give a complete picture of your child’s progress, having your child take the statewide tests provide additional information about what educational approaches are working and where additional resources are needed. it is also a requirement for all public schools to achieve a 95% participation rate.  Given that we are a small school, it doesn’t take many students to affect that rate. I have been in several classrooms that have begun testing, and while the tests may be somewhat long, the students seem relaxed and fully able to get up and take breaks. Their critical thinking ability is serving them well! Please feel free to contact me if you would like additional information.


I am taking this opportunity to share information from Delaney Ruston, MD; Screenagers' Filmmaker about “ Why three hours is too much”.  I have shared information from her Tech Talk Tuesday before, but this topic is particularly important to me and all the Charter teachers.  We have amazing students who are also great kids in our programs, yet I am noticing more and more that their attention span seems to be shortening and the primary activities that they talk about often involve screens.


Please read her blog below and see if it resonates with you and your family.


~Rhonda


NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


Tech Talk Tuesdays: Why 3 Hours is Too Much.

What happens when you have an active, involved kid with good grades, who wants to play video games for three straight hours a day, every day? A father came to me with this dilemma. He explained, “My son is in 7th grade, plays on two sports teams and is an overall good kid, but I still think three hours is too much time. When he asks me why, I struggled to come up with a good reason.”

What are some good reasons? There are many, and I thought this would be a great time to share this dad’s question with colleagues who I recently spoke with on a panel at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Each of them works with families around curbing excessive video game use.

Psychiatrist and Gaming Addiction Specialist, Dr. Clifford Sussman makes this point, “The more time one spends online, especially in one sitting, the more a process called downregulation causes a drop in the number of dopamine receptors in the reward processing area of the brain. This causes a decrease in our ability to feel pleasure, resulting in a need to seek more stimulation.”

Dr. David Greenfield, Founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction says “Although performing well in major life-spheres is often a key contraindication of Internet or video game addiction there are other issues and neurobiological consequences that may be more subtle, but nevertheless impactful.” He adds, “Heavy use seems to have several negative impacts (including getting less sleep) perhaps the largest imbalance in our use of time which we all have a limited amount of.”

Clinical Psychologist Edward Spector, says “Almost any problem in your life can be overcome with 3 hours per day of effort.  Likewise, almost any hope or dream can be accomplished in 3 hours a day. That gaming habit turns out to be very expensive. It costs you the gold medal you would have won, the musical instrument you would have mastered, the problems you would have overcome, and the dreams you would have realized.”

Let me give two of my top personal responses to this question. One is that there are so many things I want this child to have in his life-skills’ toolbox: Is he learning how to be a helper in a community by helping with house activities? Does he have a couple of dishes he can cook and feed others? Is he gaining emotional resilience by practicing talking about personal things with trusted adults... and the list of tools goes on and on.  

My next response is that his son is playing “THEIR” GAME—not his own. While there can be some creativity in games, it is limited and set within the developer’s boundaries. This youth has a brain, and a brain is the best creation machine imaginable. I want to ensure he has lots of chances to use his creativity in all sorts of ways.

For the Tech Talk Tuesday let’s talk about the importance of setting realistic time limits. Even when your child has a busy schedule full of school, sports and other interests, three hours is still too long to spend on a screen. Engage your children in a conversation about how long is too long. Here are some questions to help get the conversation going:

    • What do you love the most about your favorite game or your favorite app?
    • How do you feel when you spend a lot of time playing it or being on the internet?
    • How many hours per week would you like to spend doing fun things on the internet?
    • Do you agree or disagree with what the experts said?


LCAP; Local Control Accountability Plan: PARENT SURVEY.

 

A BIG THANK YOU to ALL who COMPLETED the SURVEY. The information you share through the survey is very important to all of the Charter Staff.  So far we have received 58 surveys. This is a small number but I am grateful for any and all feedback we receive.  The more completed surveys we get back, the more we can work with the data.

 

Every year I review our school plan and ask for input from staff and parents about how they believe we are doing in achieving the goals. I review the use of our LCAP funds and the delivery of the information to achieve our school’s goals based on parent, student, and teacher input.

 

IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO FILL OUT THE SURVEY!  If you have not already done so, please take a minute to share your opinion with us.

 

Please click on the PARENT SURVEY Link and share your opinion!  https://goo.gl/forms/229cj48X1DsR6VM22  

 

I would love to receive feedback from every parent in the Charter!

 

Message from the Superintendent--opportunity for parents to provide feedback:

Each year I share information with parent groups at each school site regarding the instructional program in SLVUSD.  This is an opportunity for parents, to review the district priorities and action plans and provide feedback to the district.  

 

The LCAP survey is one way that the district gathers input from staff and parents. Please take a minute to take the LCAP survey and add your thoughts and comments. Your opinion matters and services and programs for students are added each year based on many of your responses. We will be reviewing the information on the surveys on April 10, 2018, to write our final LCAP plan and budget for 2018-2019.

Thank you for your support for the SLVUSD staff and students. -Laurie Bruton

Here is the link to the PARENT LCAP survey.  https://goo.gl/forms/jY18nK3lkO988eZI3


Parent Advisory Committee: LAST MEETING OF THE YEAR:  Thursday, May 10th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.  We will be discussing the LCAP funding and our School goals for next year.     All Parents are invited to attend.


The SLSVUSD School Calender for 2018-19 is finalized here is the link to access the calendar: http://www.slvusd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-2019-School-Calendar-Final.pdf


All Charter Talent Show: Hello Charter Families. The deadline to RSVP with an act for the All Charter Talent Show is next Wednesday, April 25. We have 3 acts signed up so far, and we need 15-18 for the show to go on!!

Details:  Performance at the SLV Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Thursday, May 10, at 7:00 pm!

Acts should be no longer than approximately 3-4 minutes in length. Solo dancers, group dancers, solo musical artists, bands, monologues, stop-motion videos, short films...any and all visual and performing artists are welcome! Student/parent collaborations are also highly encouraged!

We will display 2D and 3D artwork in the lobby of the PAC.

Please respond to Amber Walker: awalker@slvusd.org with the following info by Wednesday, April 25:

  1. Name and age/grade of student

  2. Contact information of parent or responsible adult: email address and phone number

  3. Charter Program they are enrolled in

  4. What kind of performance or visual art will be presented

  5. Staging needs-such as mats, microphones, piano, extension cords, backing musical track, chairs, etc.


What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs:

Coast Redwood HS: Coast Redwood High School will host an information night from 5:30-7:00 pm on  Tuesday, April 24 All prospective students and their families are invited to attend to learn about our campus community, visit our classrooms, and our outdoor horticulture classroom. Families will receive information about the many individualized opportunities high school students have to earn their diplomas, participate in athletics, theater productions, adventure field trips, clubs as well as courses at community colleges and courses through CTEP (formally ROP/regional occupation programs)

Coast Redwood MS: Wednesday, April 25, Trip to the Rosicrucian Museum.Students William and Amelia lead the rest of the class in softball/baseball skills. In the garden, students either finished their bed designs and materials lists, made scale drawings of their beds for the green-board garden map, planted seeds, started building beds or helped stage the deck. Half the group got to go with Tina to the library to work on drawing skills.  Since we had two clay-related student presentations on Wednesday, we pulled out the clay and the kids had some very enjoyable time sculpting items they would like to take with them into the afterlife (based on William’s presentation. Project presentations included Claymation, Terracotta Warriors, and the Mariana Trench.

Nature Academy: 6th-grade class is learning about China and working on their comprehensive Country Report.They are completing their swimming unit and preparing for their week-long stay at Headwaters Outdoor Camp. 7th-8th graders: Nature Academy students are offered extra credit for a write up on their  Interest in bees. Here's a great opportunity to learn more, and offer solutions to enhance the health of our community. Students will need to look into creating bee-friendly habitats within the Nature Academy garden. This could form the basis of an in-depth scientific monitoring project which could sponsor greater community health as well as make you a stand-out when applying for colleges.  Parents and teachers of the 7-8th-grade class are planning a fabulous day of hands-on learning about the Civil War and the more volunteers we get, the better it will be! The event will take place at the Evergreen Cemetery and Harvey West Park. The morning will consist of different stations that students will rotate through. At one station, students will be working with interns and volunteers from the MAH (Museum of Art History) doing tombstone restoration. At another station, students will "Feed the Troops" by participating in some Civil War Era cooking, and at another, students will learn and practice flag signaling as was done by soldiers of the time to communicate with each other.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We had a wonderful week with two community art partners: Chris Howe and Kate Longini-Pratt. Chris gave a unique Bonsai demo, and Kate continued working with students on our mural. Students also worked hard on finishing their Medieval Europe individual projects and we started sharing them yesterday. We learned about the fashion of that time period as well as a handmade, detailed map of the many European tribes. We will finish sharing next week, and we’ll start our Renaissance Unit. We also learned about the Digestive System and are moving on to the Nervous System next week.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: We welcomed a new student into our class after spring break. During math we calculated how many letters in the class had in total for our names, breaking down by letter. We found the most common letter was “A” and that is called the “mode”. The 3-6 grades made estimates of how many of each letter of the alphabet is contained in the collection of all our first names. We then checked our estimates against an actual tally we made.  We are so lucky to have our very own Karla DeLong, expert teacher and beekeeper offer to share some of her knowledge with us. If you would like to participate, please sign up with Katie by May 4th.

Fall Creek Homeschool: We enjoyed student presentations on Elephant seals, Narwhals, and Orcas. We made blank books for the Author’s Fair. We used storyboards to plan what we would write in the blank books. Our K-3 played Scrabble Scramble and the 4-5 grade worked together to investigate and solve a geometry problem. We participated in a  watershed walk at Mt. Hermon with the Outdoor Science School, discussed topography, hiked along Sequoia Trail identifying trees and plants, and investigated stream health of Zayante Creek at its confluence with Bean Creek.

Mountain IS: Students drew watercolor pictures inspired by Drew Brophy (warm vs cool colors). They played hula hut, had life lab lessons observing the changes seen in Spring.  They also worked with activities experimenting with safe landing in their zip lines discussing mass and velocity. The class also wrote about how small moments can be when big things happen.



Dates to remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)


  • April 27th: Nature Academy Application Window Closes

  • May 4: Nature Academy Lottery, 3 pm.

  • May 28th:  Memorial Day: no school

  • June 14th:  Last day of school

Charter News; March 29, 2018

posted Apr 16, 2018, 11:24 AM by Rhonda Schlosser

With the coming of spring, I am calm again.

-Gustav Mahler



Dear Charter Families,


I know we are all thankful for the start of our Spring Break!   May you enjoy the activities that bring your family joy and nourish your well being.


We look forward to having you back with us on Monday, April 9.


If you would please take a few minutes to complete our annual parent survey I would greatly appreciate it!  The link to the Charter survey and the District survey is below.


Take care.


~Rhonda



NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


LCAP; Local Control Accountability Plan: PARENT SURVEY.  As a Charter School, we have our own LCAP report and I am beginning the update to our report and plans for next year.   Every year I review our school plan and ask for input from staff and parents about how they believe we are doing in achieving the goals. I  review the use of our LCAP funds for unduplicated students as part of the update to our Charter LCAP.

 

Below is the link to a short PARENT SURVEY with questions specific to our Charter goals.  https://goo.gl/forms/229cj48X1DsR6VM22  

 

This survey is similar to Dr. Bruton’s LCAP survey, but more specific to our goals.  I would love to receive feedback from every parent in the Charter!

 

I will be meeting with staff and parents to discuss our LCAP in person the week after we return from Spring Break. We will be discussing this further at our April Parent Advisory Committee meeting.

 

Message and a Survey from the Superintendent

Each year I share information with parent groups at each school site regarding the instructional program in SLVUSD.  This is an opportunity for parents, to review the district priorities and action plans and provide feedback to the district.  

 

The LCAP survey is one way that the district gathers input from staff and parents. Please take a minute to take the LCAP survey and add your thoughts and comments. Your opinion matters, and services and programs for students are added each year based on many of your responses. We will be reviewing the information from the surveys on April 10, 2018 to write our final LCAP plan and budget for 2018-2019.

 

Thank you for your support for the SLVUSD staff and students. -Laurie Bruton

 

Here is the link for the PARENT LCAP survey.

https://goo.gl/forms/8XUOrdoW2ujaPT5v2

 


Charter News March 26, 2018

posted Mar 30, 2018, 3:56 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


Dear Charter Families,


We are soon to be embarking on our annual State Testing, also known as the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) using the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System.  CRHS will begin testing the week after our Spring Break and all the other programs will soon follow. The testing window is open through the first week of June. The Charter staff work to create a testing schedule that best fits with their students’ class times in their programs, and give breaks as appropriate in order to create as relaxing an environment as possible.  There are summative assessments in grades three through eight and eleven for ELA and mathematics. The California Science Test (CAST) will be field-tested in spring 2018 in grades five and eight and in grade twelve.


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. Students in grades five, seven, and nine take the fitness test. The test has six parts that show a level of fitness that offer a degree of defense against diseases that come from inactivity.


These assessments are just one way that the Charter programs review your child’s progress. As the only assessment at the state level, we are required to have a strong participation rate as the way to show our accountability through the new California Accountability Model and school Dashboard. If you would like more information, please visit the CDE website. https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/

Please read on more information about the dashboard and for a letter from the District on testing.


There is also a link to a parent survey that I would love for all to complete!


~Rhonda



NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


Intent to Return Forms: Please turn in your intent to return forms to your teacher or to one of our offices as soon as you can.  Please Note:  It is especially important to receive exiting students' Intent to Return Forms indicating their next school site.  Counselors at SLV High School, CRHS or at other schools start scheduling students for fall classes in May and our registrar needs to correctly set their next school indicator in Power School for this to happen.

Also, a reminder:  Siblings still need to complete an application in order for us to begin their application process. Siblings of NA students need to complete Nature Academy application for the NA 2018-19 lottery to be eligible to attend Nature Academy next year.  


The SLSVUSD School Calender for 2018-19 is finalized here is the link to access the calender: http://www.slvusd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-2019-School-Calendar-Final.pdf


LCAP; Local Control Accountability Plan: PARENT SURVEY. “The LCAP is a three-year plan that describes the goals, actions, services, and expenditures to support positive student outcomes that address state and local priorities. The LCAP provides an opportunity for local educational agencies (LEAs) to share their stories of how, what, and why programs and services are selected to meet their local needs.” https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/lc/

 

As a Charter School, we have our own LCAP report and I am beginning the update to our report and plans for next year.   Every year I review our school plan and ask for input from staff and parents about how they believe we are doing in achieving the goals. I  review the use of our LCAP funds for unduplicated students as part of the update to our Charter LCAP.

 

Below is the link to a short PARENT SURVEY with questions specific to our Charter goals.  https://goo.gl/forms/229cj48X1DsR6VM22  

 

This survey is similar to Dr. Bruton’s LCAP survey, but more specific to our goals.  I would love to receive feedback from every parent in the Charter!

 

I will be meeting with staff and parents to discuss our LCAP in person the week after we return from Spring Break. We will be discussing this further at our April Parent Advisory Committee meeting.

 

Message from the Superintendent--opportunity for parents to provide feedback:

Each year I share information with parent groups at each school site regarding the instructional program in SLVUSD.  This is an opportunity for parents, to review the district priorities and action plans and provide feedback to the district.  

 

The LCAP survey is one way that the district gathers input from staff and parents. Please take a minute to take the LCAP survey and add your thoughts and comments. Your opinion matters and  services and programs for students are added each year based on many of your responses. We will be reviewing the information on the surveys on April 10, 2018 to write our final LCAP plan and budget for 2018-2019.

 

Thank you for your support for the SLVUSD staff and students. -Laurie Bruton

Here is the link for the PARENT LCAP survey.  https://goo.gl/forms/jY18nK3lkO988eZI3


Parent Advisory Committee: Next meeting is Thursday, April 12th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.  We will be discussing the LCAP funding and our School goals.

All Parents are invited to attend.



California School Dashboard: The California School Dashboard is an online tool designed to help communities across the state access important information about K–12 schools and districts. The Dashboard features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success. Instead of looking at a single measure (test scores), the Dashboard looks at multiple measures to evaluate a district's and a school's performance. The Dashboard also is based on an improvement model, looking for districts and schools to make improvements, rather than simply comparing them to other districts and schools. http://www.caschooldashboard.org

Click here for an easy to read handout that explains the components of the dashboard. You can access SLV district information and information about all schools in the district.

You may also like to review Dashboard FAQs

Note: The indicator data on the Dashboards for smalls schools with low numbers of students in various grade levels or subgroups may have varying significance due to either incomplete information or fluctuating enrollment percentages by grade level.


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Information

The following resources are provided as information for our parent / guardian community on our District Website

Safe Spaces for Immigrant Families – English

Espacios Seguros Para Las Familias (Safe Spaces for Immigrant Families) – Spanish

Know Your Rights – English

Know Your Rights – Spanish

Know Your Rights at Home – English & Spanish

Know Your Rights at Work – English & Spanish

Where to Fill Out Forms – English

Where to Fill Out Forms – Spanish

Childcare Safety Plan – English & Spanish

Income Guidelines – English

Legal Aid at Work – English

Redadas En El Lugar De Trabajo (Legal Aid at Work) – Spanish


What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs:

Coast Redwood HS:  Seniors are receiving their acceptance letters into various colleges and those who will begin Cabrillo next year are in the enrollment process and taking assessment tests.  Last Friday, many students went on a team building field trip to Castle Rock. HOLI EVENT March 30 in the garden area. Bring sunglasses and wear tee shirts Facts: Holi marks the passing of winter and beginning of spring and is celebrated each year around the vernal equinox, the first day of the new season on the astronomical calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. DISCLAIMERS: The colors are not dangerous, but we strongly advise that for protection you can wear something to protect your eyes or cover your mouth, such as a T-shirt. And just to note - most of the guests come in white clothes to make the effect of the colors more visible.

Coast Redwood MS: The kids worked in their garden bed design teams to figure out what the materials for their bed designs would cost if we were to pay retail prices for those materials. Thanks to all who came out for our garden family work day last Sunday.  We were treated to our monthly visit from Jen Sims. This month’s theme was acceptance and the effect of put-downs. We also talked about the importance of social-emotional learning as we prepared for and participated in 17 seconds of silence (17 mindful breaths for us)  to honor the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting. Afterward we brainstormed a list of what makes us feel safe and considered what art might have to do with creating safety after watching the inspiring film: A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone. In our class business we started to experiment with trying to replicate the recipe for our Extra Rich lotion. Crystal came in and showed how to distill hydrosols out of plant material.  We made one small batch of redwood hydrosol, which smells amazing and that we might distill down to essential oil to add to our hand and body lotion. The kids participated in a peer review process of their animal stories and practiced giving each other constructive, critical feedback as well as encouragement. We also were treated to a visit from Antonie Del Bonta from Kid Power who taught the kids very important communication skills around setting boundaries and staying safe, physically and emotionally.

Nature Academy:  6th, 7th, and 8th graders are planning Roller Palladium Extravaganza March 30. To add a bit of pizzazz for the 'extravaganza' part, we are asking everyone to come dressed in monochromatic theme. 6th grade class had their Cultural India Day celebration with a festive food event.    They are finishing up their digital photography unit and will begin a unit in watercolor.  7th-8th graders had a trip to the Monterey Aquarium and Cannery Row that tied into their work with Steinbeck’s novel and their ocean studies.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We had a great time at the SF Zoo with CRMS. The weather was gorgeous, and our class, “Close Encounters”, was so cool! We began our study of Human Body Systems with a Stations Lab, which had students walking around to different “skeletal stations”, using critical thinking, and answering questions on their own and in small groups. We also started a new writing genre, letter writing, with a project called Letters of Hope, created by Yes! Magazine. PI day was a tremendous hit with the students baking pies in honor of the day. VAPA week ended with our program putting on a performance fundraiser at the SLV High School,  Performing Arts Center. And the Maker/DIY Fair was a stupendous success. The students worked so hard on their “Letter of Hope” project. We did a practical lab, identifying each muscle group by name as we targeted each through strength training exercises. We then identified them on a diagram using an interactive powerpoint presentation on the muscular system. They had an open art expression activity, which we followed up by “framing” sections of the dried murals with pieces of matte board, identifying elements of art. Finally, we watched the powerful documentary, “A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone”,

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Friends of all ages gathered to work on the comics we wrote starring our clay animal figures, and putting finishing touches on the animals themselves. Jen Sims came and led students in grades 4-6 in a discussion of acceptance and tolerance, accompanied by a reading of Those Shoes, by Maribeth Boelts.  Friends in grades K-3 continued writing and illustrating I Know an Old Lady, and their animal comics. We planted cabbages in the garden, donated by the Bonnie Cabbage Program. We are going to try to grow the biggest cabbages! We are deep in our preparation for our annual school play; props, setting, costumes and lots of practice of the play itself!  This year it is “Wild Ham” We are combining a play based on Where the Wild Things are and Green Eggs and Ham. Dress rehearsal on Monday, morning performances Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30, an evening performance Tuesday evening and a cast party on Thursday! Hope to see you at the PAC.

Fall Creek Homeschool: We enjoyed student presentations on the Great White Shark, Leafy Sea dragons and the sea otter. We watched a demonstration showing how much fresh water and salt water is on the planet. We discussed the hair-raising amounts of water factories need to produce certain common items. We prepared for a homework task of recording how much water our families use for various common tasks. We worked in partners and drew large posters that showed the 4 layers of a typical river. We then cut out and pasted animals, plants and insects onto our posters in the layer or zone where they live.  We listened to the book Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe. We drew the River Layers and discussed how rivers have 4 types of water movement.  We played a group math game using students as manipulatives to solve various operations and equations. We listened to a story called Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean. Students were interviewed about their ocean beach painting/drawing and wrote their story  and we continued our wet on wet paintings of the River's Edge. We ended with a Comment/Compliment Circle. We distinguished between brooks, streams, and creeks; lagoons, marshes and swamps; lakes, ponds and reservoirs. We noted that though we are going to Neary Lagoon it is actually a marsh by definition. We discussed all kinds of wetlands and why they are important.

Mountain IS: In Language Arts most of our students finished editing and are now writing their nonfiction animal group essays. We will be finishing illustrations and adding covers next week . In Art we completed our "gray scale" raccoons and began to create "grumpy cats" in chalk pastel. We also began a weaving project.

Sign Language: Beth taught us some new signs for family members, we are creating books as well about our families. Math/Calendar: We sang our days of the week song and months song in English and Spanish. We also continued discussing shape attributes and some pretty complicated patterns. Sheila is practicing songs with us in preparation of the spring concert. We played Greekafoo in PE, which is a strategic adaptation of capture the flag in which players can send others to jail, or rescue teammates by throwing, catching and dodging foam gator balls, in route to capturing, or while guarding the flag.


Dates to remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)
  • April 2nd-6th:  Spring Break!

  • May 17th:  Nature Academy Open House

  • May 28th:  Memorial Day: no school

  • June 14th:  Last day of school

Charter News: March 11, 2018

posted Mar 14, 2018, 3:23 PM by Rhonda Schlosser



The hours of folly are measured by the clock; but of wisdom, no clock can measure. ~William Blake


Dear Charter Families,


I hope you all remembered to change your clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time.

This coming week is a short week with no school on Monday as it is our last teachers’ Professional Development day for the year.  

The week is also the District’s VAPA Awareness week.  Please take a minute to read below about the variety of presentations that you can visit or attend throughout the week on our campuses.  

Jen, our counselor, also has a great article for you to read.


AND!  We have our annual information nights this month.  March 13 is our night to learn about all our various Hybrid Home-School programs.  March 20 is our Nature Academy information night. Come, bring a friend and learn more about our dynamic programs and some exciting changes.  


~Rhonda



NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


From Our Counselor, Jen Sims: Beyond Tolerance

Originally, it was my plan to spend this month talking about ‘Tolerance’, but when I brought it up to the staff at the Charter School last August, I got a groan from one of the teachers.  “Tolerance,” he said. “What is that, like you just barely accept something?” I didn’t have an attachment to it at the time, so I easily agreed to go with ‘Acceptance and Understanding’ instead.

Looking back, he was right.  Tolerant is how my mother asked me to act around my annoying little brother.  With tolerance, the assumption is that we don’t like what’s on the other side.  We build walls to have tolerant relationships with our neighbors. Thinking about it like this, it seems obvious that to achieve empathy we have to go way beyond tolerance.

This is not to say that tolerance doesn’t have an important place.  There’s resiliency building in learning to tolerate something, for example: learning to wait, adjusting to the personality clashes that a sibling brings to your life, or learning to be the loser at something.  Being able to roll with things, be a good sport or develop ways to deal with people are great tools for life. All require tolerance. When it comes to our hearts, however, we need more than that. We need acceptance, understanding and connection.

Acceptance leads to connection and connection leads to acceptance.  It works both ways and we all need both. I often work with students to re-regulate after an upsetting event in their life.  They may be angry or heartbroken, afraid or ashamed – whatever it is, they are stirred up inside. I find that accepting them where they are and finding ways to connect can lead them pretty quickly back to center.   Children, and really all people, want to be seen. They feel better when they are seen because that is a connection. They want to know that how they are being in the world is okay. And most of all, they want to know that even though they aren’t okay in the moment, they’re not kicked out of the tribe.

The need for acceptance is about survival.  It is really hard to disconnect from the group when we as humans are wired to survive in packs.  Students of all ages tell me that they hate certain things they feel like they have to do to fit in; that they are just faking it out there.  It breaks my heart but I also get it – Imagine my surprise when I showed up for my 8th grade year to discover all of my friends now worshipped Duran Duran and I knew nothing.  I ended up faking an entire Duran Duran fandom just to not be cast out of my friend group.  I wish I had that time back. I want all of the students that I work with to have the ability to pursue what they love regardless of how someone else may feel about it.  Unfortunately, kids get rejected for their authenticity all the time and since the need for acceptance is so strong, they end up shifting who they are inside…for a while at least.

How do we help our children withstand this pressure to conform, especially when something inside says their very life may depend on fitting into the group?  I believe that the most substantial way we can help is by working with them to find where in life that they feel accepted and a part of things. Kids who feel accepted for who they are, whether by their families, classrooms, sports teams, theater groups, friends, school club, pets, or even just one single person have a better shot at carrying their truth out into the world with them.

Being connected to something has a positive impact on our mental health and ability to self-regulate.  In 1978, psychologist Bruce K. Alexander created an experiment to look at the causes of drug addiction.  For one subject group of rats, he created a huge ‘Rat Park’ with lots of space and other rats. The other subject group of rats was kept in individual cages.  Both test groups were offered morphine and water; overwhelmingly the rats that lived in the communal rat park chose water over the drug. The rats that lived in cages, however, chose morphine.   When addicted rats were moved from cages to the rat park, they would begin to choose water.   This study demonstrated the damaging effects of social and emotional isolation on rats. Humans as well, when we are isolated either figuratively or literally, we become despondent and can turn to addictive vices to regulate our internal systems.

We need each other.

I see many students at the SLV Charter and Boulder Creek Elementary schools thriving because their teachers have worked to create a caring culture that promotes acceptance.  Teachers coordinate activities both in and outside of the classroom that foster relationships and provide that opportunity for connection, not to mention the discovery of differences in the world.  From my perspective as a school counselor, a student who feels at home in the classroom and mostly accepted by their peers is usually doing okay. This does not mean that there are never problems or disagreements, but the focus on contributing to the greater community provides focus and containment.  The common language of community is what usually transcends the differences between us, allowing us to form real relationships and the connection that we so need. When we get to know each other beyond what we see on the outside, our acceptance of each other deepens.

I can accept you but not this behavior/action. All of this talk of acceptance does not mean acceptance of poor behaviors that harm self or others at an individual or community level. Separating someone’s actions from their basic essence, however, may allow them to confront these issues more clearly and objectively.   

Sometimes I ask a student what their goal is for the day and nine times out of ten they will respond that they want to be good.  I try to remind them that they already are good, but what do they want to accomplish? A child is not their behavior. Being able to follow the rules does not make you good or bad, it means you have a skill to follow rules.   

I like to say, “I did not like your choices, but I still like you.”

Acceptance almost always means seeing something good.  I think we can teach our students about lots of different cultures and the sameness and differences between us until the cows come home, but the bottom line is that we usually start to accept something or someone when we perceive something good about them.  It could be a heroic act that they perform or something familiar that they do that makes you feel connected to them. Work with your child to see the good in others (and themselves), what makes them special and interesting. What things make us the same and connected?  We all want to be noticed for the things we do that are unique and feel accepted when they are seen. This is a skill that can be applied across all situations!

What if we spent as much time accepting ourselves as we do criticizing ourselves?  I know what my brain is like and I can’t imagine anyone reading this has never struggled with self-judgment or doubt.  It would be pretty revolutionary if we all strove toward self-acceptance as a practice and really, what’s stopping us? Therefore, the real step one in teaching children how to be accepting is for us adults to be accepting of others and ourselves.  Practice acceptance every day. Bravely accept who you are and get so busy with that that you no longer have the need to change anyone else! Let acceptance be the message that we pass along for our future communities.

Read more about the Rat Park experiment here:

https://www.summitbehavioralhealth.com/blog/overview-rat-park-addiction-study/   


SLVUSD Charter Information Nights:

Hybrid Home/School Programs: SLVUSD Charter School is hosting an Information Night on Tuesday, March 13 at the SLV Middle School Library (second floor) from 5:30-7:00 pm located in Felton.

Nature Academy: Tuesday, March 20 at the SLV Middle School Library (second floor) from 6:00-7:00 pm located in Felton.

Questions regarding Charter Information Nights? Email Danelle Matteson at dmatteson@slvusd.org or call 831-336-5167 or 831-335-0932





Opportunities in our Community:

VAPA Awareness Week

SLVUSD Visual and Performing Arts Awareness Week

  • Tuesday, 3/13 - Friday, 3/16: Art display: HS Multi Purpose Room (MPR).  Bring your classes through to see 2D and 3D art displays from all schools in the district.  All adults/staff are also welcome to walk through. The MPR will be open after school from 3-4 on Tuesday through Thursday.

  • Tuesday, 3/13 – Friday, 3/16: Charter Art Display at District Office

  • Tuesday, 3/13 - Friday, 3/16: Performances in Performing Arts Center

--Movie showing: A New Color—for MS and HS (description below) (Email Amber Walker awalker@slvusd.org to attend)

--Rehearsals: West Side Story: Tuesday-Friday from 3 to 6 in the PAC (Drop in and observe our talented students in this classic musical! Students should be supervised.)

--SLVE Dance performance: Thursday, 3/15 from 12:30 to 2 in the PAC (Email Katie Feickert (kfeickert@slvusd.org) to attend)

--Classical Evening of Violin, Ballroom Dancing and Opera, performed by current and past SLVUSD students. Thursday, 3/15 at 7:00 in the PAC. Donations accepted.

  • Musical Showcase Rehearsal: Weds, 3/14 and Fri, 3/16 at room 25 at the Middle School. 10:05 to noon, and 12:50 to 2:41. Students will be rehearsing various Broadway songs and dances. (Email Will Guilford (wguilford@slvusd.org) to attend)

  • Mini-Maker Space/DIY: Friday, 3/16 at Quail Hollow Site from 10-1. Come see students create projects and do hands on activities with tech.

 

Film Story: A New Color

“You can’t change your beginnings, but you sure can put a nice, beautiful ending to the story.” - Edythe Boone

Long before Black Lives Matter became a rallying cry, Edythe Boone embodied that truth as an artist, an educator, and a great-grandmother. When a personal tragedy ignites a national outcry, everything that Edythe has worked so tirelessly for is at stake.

From humble Harlem beginnings herself, the indefatigable Edy has for decades introduced underserved youth and seniors to the transformative power of art. Filmed in an observational style over three years, A New Color creates an opening to see the world through Edy’s eyes and her artistic legacy commemorating the great events of her time.  Those events keep coming, as we see when the death of Edy’s nephew becomes a national symbol of racist policing.

The persistence of racial inequality in this country evokes for activist artists like Edy powerful and deep questions: Have Edy’s nearly eight decades of social justice work meant something? Has it been worth the sacrifice? Can building multicultural bridges through art bring about positive change? Who will carry on her civil rights legacy?

Edy’s reaction shows the depth of her clear-eyed, compassionate commitment to building a just and peaceful community. A New Color illuminates timely social issues and shows how the work of one resilient woman reverberates throughout a community to inspire a powerful chorus: “Our lives matter and we will not be disempowered by those who judge us for our age, gender, or the color of our skin.” An intimate portrait of somebody extraordinary, Edythe’s story shows not what it is to be Black or to lose a loved one, but what it is to be human.


Parent Advisory Committee: Next meeting is Thursday, April 12th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.  All Parents are invited to attend.


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Information

The following resources are provided as information for our parent / guardian community on our District Website

Safe Spaces for Immigrant Families – English

Espacios Seguros Para Las Familias (Safe Spaces for Immigrant Families) – Spanish

Know Your Rights – English

Know Your Rights – Spanish

Know Your Rights at Home – English & Spanish

Know Your Rights at Work – English & Spanish

Where to Fill Out Forms – English

Where to Fill Out Forms – Spanish

Childcare Safety Plan – English & Spanish

Income Guidelines – English

Legal Aid at Work – English

Redadas En El Lugar De Trabajo (Legal Aid at Work) – Spanish


What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs:

Coast Redwood HS:  Coast Redwood High School will host open school nights from 5:30-7:00 pm on the following dates on: Tuesdays April 24 and May 22. All prospective students and their families are invited to attend to learn about our campus community, visit our classrooms, and our outdoor horticulture classroom. Families will receive information about the many individualized opportunities high school students have to earn their diplomas, participate in athletics, theater productions, adventure field trips, clubs as well as courses at community colleges and courses through CTEP (formally ROP/regional occupation programs). Location: 7105 Highway 9 (room P-3, off the main SLVHS campus) in Felton. Questions? Email Kay Mendoza kmendoza@slvusd.org

Coast Redwood MS: We continue to work on re-designing and building our garden area. We have received a donation of wood from a former parent alum for rebuilding our planters. Our field trip to the San Francisco Zoo was great fun. We were able to make lots of incredible observations about animal communication and gather tons of data to help us with our stories.

Nature Academy: Second trimester has ended and students are working on their self-reflections as they begin to prepare for a portfolio review of their work. 6th grade parents had their meeting about the annual  week long trip to Headwaters. Students are continuing their studies in the book Tangerine and they are working on the economy of their individual country reports as well as their informational writing  on a topic of their choosing. 7th and 8th graders are working on their Whirligig projects, are in their new round of electives, and are compiling their portfolios..among other activities.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We explored Feudal Japan with mapping, note taking, short videos, and a focus on Kabuki theater! This got the students extremely engaged (they challenged me to teach for a whole day speaking with the Kabuki inflections/tone of voice). Students also came up with their Maker/DIY ideas for our Fair on Friday, March 16. We began our study of Human Body Systems.We started our letter writing genre  with a project called Letters of Hope, created by Yes! Magazine. I will enter student writing in this annual competition; winners will be published!

Quail Hollow Homeschool: We worked on making clay animals in class. They turned out amazing! This ongoing project will be finished and springboard us into our next project of story in comic book form.. We had guest readers that read various wonderful, silly stories or poems. Students are busy memorizing and practicing their lines at home for our upcoming play.

Fall Creek Homeschool: In Science we have been learning more about our ocean crisis and how the middle school students are taking this mission into their own hands. We learned about ocean acidification, "plastics pollution", how microplastics pose as false food source to marine life. We were encouraged to be citizen scientists to protect our oceans. Using students as manipulatives, students completed math exercises to organize themselves into groups, then played addition and subtraction games within those groups. Natalee led an election for Class President, including "campaign speeches" and voting. Lisa led a guided rivershed watercolor painting.

Mountain IS: We researched animal facts in a variety of informational text. We looked for similarities and differences in animal storybooks and non-fictional text. We worked in teams to develop a paragraph structure   to express what we found during our animal research. We read a new fable about how the bear came to have a short tail, then retold the story in small groups using transitional words.


Dates to remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)
  • March 12th:  No School--  Professional Development Day for Teachers

  • March 13th: Charter Information night:All Hybrid Home/School Programs 5:30-7pm MS Library

  • March 20: Nature Academy Information night 6-7 pm. Middle School Library

  • April 2nd-6th:  Spring Break!

Charter News: February 23, 2017-18

posted Feb 24, 2018, 2:24 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

     To prepare for the future, we must be willing to test new concepts. This means we must acquire enough information to evaluate these concepts and not be like travelers in a foreign land who compare everything with their own hometown.      ~Jacque Fresco


Dear Charter Families,



We will be hosting a visit from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) beginning this Sunday through Tuesday, February 27.  


The SLV Charter school is accredited by the WASC organization and it is time for our mid-cycle review. Accreditation is the process for evaluating and assuring the quality of educational institutions and programs.


Schools, (particularly high schools) use the WASC process to monitor student learning and set school improvement goals. Accredited schools conduct a self-study and host a self-study visit in a six-year review cycle. The self-study process culminates in the refinement of a schoolwide action plan. Throughout the accreditation cycle, schools are expected to address the schoolwide action plan and demonstrate evidence of student achievement and school improvement. A variety of reports and reviews throughout the six-year cycle of accreditation support this process.


This mid-cycle review consists of a team of two WASC representatives. During their visit, they will be visiting classrooms and talking to our teachers, parents, and students as part of their review.  They will report out on their findings on Tuesday at 1 pm in our Fall Creek Charter office.  Everyone is welcome to attend if they would like to hear from them first hand.


Please read on for further information about our Charter programs and events.



~Rhonda


NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


Parent Advisory Committee: One of the parents on our Parent Advisory Committee sent me a thank you letter that describes our Comprehensive Safe School Plan in a way that I thought other parents might like to read.  Sally has been a representative on our Parent Advisory Committee for nearly three years now and so has seen and participated in many developments in the Charter School. Thank you, Sally.  You have been an important reflective voice in our strategic plans.

 

Dear Rhonda,

I would like to thank you and your staff for going above and beyond to take steps to secure the safety of the students in all programs under the charter umbrella.

As a member of the Parent Advisory Committee, I have had the opportunity to see and work on the updated safety plan that covers all number of emergency situations if they were to arise at one of the schools. A part of this safety plan that may not be immediately evident is the time and effort you and your staff have put into, not just securing the physical safety of our children, but into securing the emotional safety of our children.

Having small classrooms, a warm friendly staff, meaningful curriculum and an enthusiastic group of parent participants goes a long way to securing an emotionally safe school environment, but with the complexities of the world we live in confounded by the ever unfolding problems of technology, screen time and social media, it is not enough.

Your efforts to secure a counselor, Jen Sims, and to have her work in each classroom helps provide students and staff with an understanding and appropriate vocabulary/context to deal with issues such as cyber-bullying, social media and suicide and is a powerful component of the school safety program. Right now, Jen is focusing on having compassion. Her article in last Charter News bulletin called: "Let Compassion be the Bridge to Action" is packed with useful information and tools to help families better cope with the difficult issues we are faced with. Jen also recently facilitated a 15-hour training program and now, some of the high school students are certified Coast Redwood Peer Counselors capable of providing additional support to their peers. This is really exciting.

Here are some more ways you and your staff have taken steps to make emotional well being an integral part of the school’s safety plan:

• A school-wide effort to help students and parents manage social media such as this week’s section on "Homework Hygiene" from Tech Talk Tuesdays in the newsletter.

• Teachers committed to making time in their, already busy, classrooms to explicitly (and age appropriately) address these issues resulting from social media and screen time in their classrooms in a meaningful way as part of the curriculum.

• Last year’s showing of Screenagers, and the discussions that followed and this year’s joint showing with the SLVHS Cougar Club on 3/7 at pm in the PAC.

• Encouraging parents to attend the district-wide Triple P Parent Education Night: “Coping with Stress Workshop for Parents” held on 2/5.

• Encouraging parents to attend the SLVHS Cougar Club sponsored presentation by the National Alliance on Mental Health: ”Parents and Teachers as Allies" Thursday, on 2/15.

• Facilitating the upcoming Drug and Alcohol Advisory for 9th and 10th grade students on 2/23.

As schools and districts scramble to find solutions to the current challenges they are facing, especially the mass shootings occurring on campuses, and the idea of arming teachers is being seriously entertained as a possible solution, I am profoundly thankful to the administrators and staff at SLV Charter School who are already fully committed to, and actively engaged in, many activities and programs to promote the mental health and safety of their students. I am thankful not just as a parent who has a child in the charter, but also because I am a teacher myself and know how hard it can be to start and implement new programs at a school when we are already so busy trying to teach.

So, to you and your staff: THANK YOU for making the students' safety a priority and for having the foresight, vision and follow-through to put these innovative programs into action.

Yours sincerely,

Sally Munro

 

Next meeting is Thursday, March 8th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.  All Parents are invited to attend.


SLVUSD Charter Information Night: Hybrid Home/School Programs.

SLVUSD Charter School is hosting an Information Night on Tuesday, March 13 at the SLV Middle School Library (second floor) from 5:30-7:00 pm located in Felton.

Questions regarding Charter Information Night? Email Danelle Matteson at dmatteson@slvusd.org or call 831-336-5167 or 831-335-0932


Opportunities in our Community: Screenagers coming to the PAC:  We have partnered with the SLVHS Cougar Club to bring Screenagers to the SLVUSD Performing Arts Center March 7.  If you did not get an opportunity to see it last year when we offered it, please consider coming to see it this time. You can see a trailer and order tickets through the link below.  Tickets are limited so it may be best to order them online. https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-slv-high-school-and-slv-charter-school-7156


DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA) information has been placed on the SLVUSD website : http://www.slvusd.org/parent-student/. Once you are on the website scroll to the bottom of the page to find all the information regarding DACA. There will also be hard copies available to parents in our Charter office.


What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs:

All Charter programs: Jen Sims came into the classrooms for our monthly workshop/discussion; this time the topic was Compassion. The students were very honest with each other regarding their feelings and opened up to one another in thoughtful and heartfelt ways.  In the younger grade levels, Jen played a guessing game about curiosity. It awakened us to the idea that we may not know much about each other and that it feels good to have someone show interest and be curious about us.                                                                                                                                                         Coast Redwood HS:  Kay has scheduled their 3rd annual clothing swap for girls grades 8-12 on Friday, March 16. The more girls, the more clothes, the more fun. Kids may bring their clothing exchange bags of items on the Thursday before or the day of. Clothes that are not grabbed up will be donated to charity.  CRHS will host information nights from 5:30-7:30 pm on the following dates on Tuesdays: April 24 and May 22. All prospective students and their families are invited to attend to learn about our campus community, visit our classrooms, and our outdoor horticulture classroom. Families will receive information about the many individualized opportunities high school students have to earn their diplomas, participate in athletics, theater productions, adventure field trips, clubs as well as courses at community colleges and courses through CTEP (formally ROP/regional occupation programs) Questions? Email Kay Mendoza at kmendoza@slvusd.org Contact: 831-336-5167 or 831-335-0932 for enrollment forms. Coast Redwood MS: Students have been teaching each other, we’ve had guest speakers coming in, we’ve been attending all-charter events. The students are working on re-designing our class garden and have been busy digging and sifting the soil and removing gopher wire in preparation for planting. Thank you to David Blavin for helping the students re-design the sitting area for the upper garden and Melanie Burgess for coming out and helping the students.  Our upcoming Field trips: March 7th, San Francisco Zoo, April 25th, Rosicrucian Museum. The next round of research projects and presentations are underway.                                                                                                                                                                                  Nature Academy: 6th-grade class has completed their volleyball unit. Their current elective is sewing; pouches and little creatures are two of their projects. Ask your child about the "Tiny Watermelons" and see if you can come up with some to use at home. They are continuing with the focus ancient civilization focus and moving into ancient China.  The 7th-8th-grade classes took a field trip to San Francisco to combine art, history, and science. They went to the Japanese Tea Garden to do some scientific illustration, then to the DeYoung where they sat down in front of various paintings to emulate in watercolor pencil some key paintings from the Hudson River School.                                                                                      Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): Valentine’s Day, was Positive Post-It Day Students viewed a video about a Canadian teenager who was bullied via social media. Instead of staying home from school, the next day she flooded her campus with positive messages on Post-Its. The mayor of the town actually declared a Positive Post-It day upon hearing her story, and it’s been happening ever since. Our students made positive messages and put them in every child’s cubby next door at QHHS, and even walked through the District Office giving them to every staff member. Students presented their science research topics to their peers; well researched, great graphics on the slides, and clear delivery of the content.Upcoming field trips: March 7th-SF Zoo, April TBD-Art related field trip in Santa Cruz, May 5th-STOMP! at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts.                   Quail Hollow Homeschool: K-2 is working on finishing the illustrations for our class book, There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Cup, 3-6 plans to work on place value, factors and multiples for morning math. We are beginning practice for our upcoming play. Students art for the week was inspired by Salvador Dali. Coming events: March 7th 12:30-2pm  Parent Math Workshop on how to teach geometry in fun and creative ways, March 9th 1-3pm All Charter Skate Day.                                                                                                                                                                                       Fall Creek Homeschool: Our K-2 group has been working on drawing scenes from an original 3 part story and writing narrative sentences below each scene. The 3-5 group worked on a more complex version of this by answering a questionnaire and transferring the ideas to a storyboard in preparation for composing a video. We listened to the classic story Miss Rumphius and then discussed the idea of doing something to make the world more beautiful. We drew and wrote our ideas onto long paper that we prepared for eventually binding all of our drawings and writings into a class book. We split into 4 stations set up with water experiments lead by four 4th and 5th graders and explored the concepts of air pressure, suction, surface tension, and capillarity. At two of the stations, the leaders looked up the pertinent vocabulary in a dictionary and read aloud the definitions. Coming events: March 7th Parent Math Workshop on how to teach geometry in fun and creative ways, March 9th.All Charter Skate Day, March 14th 1 Riverwalk, March 28th Neary Lagoon.                                                                                                                                                                  Mountain IS: Completed and presented their original play ‘Wheel of Fables”. Students created the script and used the theme of Wheel of Fortune to lead the audience around the 7 continents to learn about various fables with the use of song lyrics and endearing skits.  Each student played several parts in the various skits. What a great performance and collaborative event. Their Science Fair is March 7. Their book club is reading “Misty of Chincoteague.”


Dates to remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)

  • March 12th:  No School--  Professional Development Day for Teachers

  • March 13th: Charter Information night: all Hybrid Home/School Programs

  • April 2nd-6th:  Spring Break!

Charter News February 9, 2017-18

posted Feb 11, 2018, 6:54 PM by Rhonda Schlosser



My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion,

some compassion, some humor, and some style.       ~Maya Angelou



Dear Charter Families,


I hope you are enjoying a lovely three day weekend, thanks to our Presidents Day holiday this Monday. It’s always nice to have an additional day to relax and make special with your family.  We are still seeing bouts of illness affecting students and teachers, so perhaps using this holiday as an additional day of rest and focus on health is in order as well!


Please read on for an interesting article from the blog, Tech Talk Tuesdays.  This one is titled 3 ways to improve Homework Hygiene and it discusses the importance of learning how to manage the distractions that may affect (homework assignments) getting completed without straying down the ‘rabbit holes’ that the internet can so easily lead us down.


Our Charter students have varying amounts of homework depending on their age. Many may need the support of a computer/Chromebook to either complete their work or to learn more about topics they are studying.  I thought the article was worth sharing, as it has some great ideas of how to discuss good study habits with your child....and it begins with having a compassionate perspective. The suggestions that are offered are ones that we could all benefit from!


Speaking of compassion, our counselor Jen Sims has written another great article about the use compassion with yourself and your children.  I think you will appreciate her article.


~Rhonda


NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information. http://charter.slvusd.org/.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.


From Our Counselor, Jen Sims: Let compassion be the bridge to action.    

As far as I can tell, the children at the SLV charter and Boulder Creek Elementary schools are loaded with compassion.  I see acts of kindness and concern among students of all ages, all the time.  This is a huge perk of my job, to get to see them at their best or struggling to come back to their best.  When we are all doing our best, compassion is usually present.

Ninety-eight percent of the time, compassion is one of my foundational approaches and a way that I build a bridge to students.  They want to be heard, seen and understood within the context of their experiences.  It’s mostly not too difficult, but it also doesn’t mean that I always agree with them, that there won’t be a discussion of expectations, or that the conversation will be comfortable.  However, compassion can be a cushion that allows someone to try out their best self and take emotional risks that ultimately heal a situation.

The other 2% of the time, I am getting it wrong.  I can be firm and compassionate, annoyed and compassionate, even angry and compassionate.  When compassion is out the window, however, the bridge gets thrown out too.  Since this makes it hard to do my job, I have learned to use compassion as a reflexive response.  But there are days when compassion and me just don’t see eye to eye, and I’m sure there are those days for you as parents as well.  I definitely see it among the students – some moments are more hard-hearted than others.  This has all got me wondering, even though we've got plenty of compassion, what is happening when our compassion heads for the hills?

Self-compassion is key.  Lack of self-compassion can be a huge barrier to showing up for others.  Kids can be so hard on themselves.   All of childhood can be an out of control time for many reasons, and the tween to teen years can be an especially difficult limbo.  This is the ideal environment for the inner critic to thrive – the inner critic tells kids that if they can change something about themselves, be stronger, get better, do and say the right thing that it will give them some control over what is happening in their world.  This usually ends up being an exercise in frustration and further fuel for the inner critic’s ire.   The best way to combat this is to stop and get compassionate for yourself.  It doesn’t really seem to make sense according to societal norms, but there’s no way anyone is going to feel like building a bridge to others if they feel depleted within themselves.   Self-compassion is giving yourself what you need to stay grounded.  Work with your child to develop a response to painful situations or emotions that is soothing – exercise, baths, massage or comforting touch, breathing, nature, playing with a pet, cooking – anything that regulates their nervous system.  Come up with some thoughts and ideas that combat what the inner critic might be saying to them.  Keep practicing and this pause for regulation will become an automatic go-to for your child.

Put on your own oxygen mask first.  As adults, we have so much power over children’s lives that we owe it to them to practice what we preach when it comes to self-care and compassion.   They hear and absorb all the times we are self-critical and they are often the undeserving recipients of the results of our own lack of self-compassion.  If you have learned that putting yourself first is selfish, you can reframe this as actually putting the children first:  If they see you being nice yourself, taking time for yourself, caring for yourself, then they will do the same.   When you are full up on self-compassion, giving it seems pretty easy.  You will have a greater capacity to build that bridge.

Fear blocks compassion.  So often fear gets in the way of compassion, and by ‘gets in the way’ I mean chases it down and tackles it like a quarterback.  Whether it is the fear of the unknown, the fear of getting physically or emotionally hurt, the fear of something changing or the fear of something not changing enough, I have seen it time and time again – fear blocks out all other emotions like an eclipse.

If you notice yourself or your child struggling with a compassionate response, look at what fears are arising.  This is a good time to do a reality check.  I really like Byron Katie’s “Four Questions” for this:

1. Is it true?

2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?

3. How do you react – what happens – when you believe that thought?

4. Who would you be without this thought?

Being cognizant of the fear can be helpful, and sometimes it is even warranted.  We should be limiting our compassion toward those who wish us ill will or pain.  In that case fear is giving us a helpful message.  Other times, however, we make up parts of the story to fill in the blanks and we’re not exactly on the mark.

Compassion is relational.  I’ve learned a lot about others through technology and social media, and even the movies.  This has truly raised my awareness around many different issues.  None of that compares to the power of my face-to-face experiences, however.  I worry about how the way we can isolate ourselves behind screens can impact our capacity for compassion.

Compassion is a participatory exercise.  For this reason, it is important to look for opportunities for your child to have live group interactions outside of school.  Working together toward a cause – winning a game, putting together a theater production, learning a skill or helping something – is a great chance for them to get to know people they might not normally interact with.   Meeting and working with different kinds of people can expand their world and help them be more confident in getting to know people in general.  When we have actually met and interacted with someone, it makes it harder to dismiss our compassion.

As with any emotion, it is our job as adults to help students develop a relationship with compassion that is safe and manageable.   With all that is going on in the world, it feels like we could either sink under a mountain of compassionate feelings or turn them off completely.  Neither of those responses will help us survive – we must be able to use compassion appropriately to our needs. The Dalai Llama said, “It is not enough to be compassionate, you must act.”  Let compassion be the bridge to action.


Parent Advisory Committee: Next meeting is Thursday, March 8th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.  All Parents are invited to attend.


Cinder-Idol: What a Fun and wonderful show! Thank you to all the students and parents who spent so many hours and creative energy into making the show such a great success.  And a Huge Thank you and appreciation to Amber Walker, and her terrific team, including:




SLVUSD Charter Information Night: Hybrid Home/School Programs.

SLVUSD Charter School is hosting an Information Night on Tuesday, March 13 at the SLV Middle School Library (second floor) from 5:30-7:00 pm located in Felton.

Questions regarding Charter Information Night? Email Danelle Matteson at dmatteson@slvusd.org or call 831-336-5167 or 831-335-0932


Tech Talk Tuesdays:  3 ways to improve Homework Hygiene A major reason I started filming Screenagers in the first place was that I saw how homework was going to be more and more on computers. I was thinking, "wow, being a kid or teen trying to stay on task for homework when the tech world is so entertaining, how is that going to work?" I compared it to my trying to ignore a plate of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies while doing a writing assignment—and I can tell you how that went 9 out of 10 times.

As much as I feel for kids and teens, I also feel for us parents. It can really suck thinking about how our teens are switching tabs when they should be on task. According to psychologist Larry Rosen’s study, middle school, high school, and university students focus on average for six minutes before they switch off of homework to a technological distraction. For the study, students were in their home and instructed to study something important while a person observed their activities for 15 minutes.

I have some suggestions for improving study habits that I call Homework Hygiene. Sleep hygiene is something we talk a lot about in medicine because sleep problems, particularly insomnia, are so common. We help people set up practices and habits to increase a good night’s sleep such as going to bed at the same time each night, setting an alarm for earlier wake-up times to reset their internal clock, and other techniques. Homework Hygiene is all about helping kids develop effective practices around homework such as writing to-do lists, developing the habit of prioritizing the list and checking things off.

It is a top priority to engage our kids in conversations in which they become aware of the challenges they face in having good homework habits.

Delaney’s super-duper 3-part conversation tactic for helping kids gain insight and ideas for optimal homework hygiene:

1. Empathize: Start by saying you have empathy for all kids about homework—you understand that after a full school day how difficult it is to do repetitive or hard work. Validate that having to do homework can feel tortuous at times, and now with distractions at our fingertips, there is a new, unprecedented level of challenge.

2. Get curious: Have one good conversation about homework that is calm and curious, not personal and judgemental. Here are two good ones to consider:

Talk about the science of homework. For example, mention the study I described above and ask for their guess about the average time it took before people went off task.

Discuss the difference between external distractions vs. internal distractions. How often do they experience an external distraction, i.e. they have their phone near them and see that someone has pinged them and they feel the need to check the message? Internal distraction is a psychological pull towards doing something other than homework—like a sense of a need to check into social media or to switch to a favorite website.

3. Explore effective strategies: After the non-personal conversations, get your kid to talk about their current homework strategies and habits. Ask questions like, “Do you start by writing a list of what needs to get done?" Now is a good time to throw out ideas.

Examples of good Homework Hygiene:

  1. Do homework after physical activity because the body is physiologically primed to learn more efficiently in this state.

  2. Start with the task that they least want to do and set the alarm for 10 minutes. That helps get over the hurdle of doing it. Then, after the 10 minutes, coming back to it will be much easier.

  3. Have a rule that all tech is off by a certain time so homework cannot be done late at night.

  4. Put phones out of sight and decide when it is reasonable for a tech or phone break. My 10th grader takes a short phone break about every 30 minutes.

  5. Put in place other breaks, not just checking phone, such as playing with a pet, or doing part of a crossword puzzle with them.  

  6. Get a system that monitors what the student does on the computer, i.e. how often they check other sites. If they know this is on the computer, it can help keep them stay on task until they get a break. Check out our website for computer monitoring systems. Another way to do this is to tell your child that the two of you will check their browsing history from time to time. It is vital to be upfront about this because kids can easily erase their history.  

There are many other strategies that I will be sharing in upcoming TTTs. I hope you will tell your friends about TTTs so together we increase the number of calm conversations happening in our communities. Meanwhile, I always love hearing from you!

For this week’s TTT try the 3-part conversation tactic I described above:

  1. Express your empathy around why doing homework can suck

  2. Talk about the science and internal vs. external distractions

  3. Ask kids about their current homework strategies and brainstorm new ones

For more discussion ideas, you can peruse past Tech Talk Tuesdays.


Opportunities in our Community: NAMI Presentation on Adolescent Mental Health

The SLVHS Cougar Club is sponsoring a presentation by the National Alliance on Mental Health "Parents and Teachers as Allies," Thursday, Feb 15, 7 PM, Multipurpose Room, SLV HS. This 1-hour presentation focuses on helping families and teachers better understand the early warning signs of mental illnesses in adolescents and how best to intervene. It also covers the lived experience of mental illnesses and how schools can best communicate with families."

For more information on the program, see: https://www.namiscc.org/school-presentations.html

All are welcome. FREE, no registration necessary.


Screenagers coming to the PAC:  We have partnered with the SLVHS Cougar Club to bring Screenagers to the SLVUSD Performing Arts Center March 7.  If you did not get an opportunity to see it last year when we offered it, please consider coming to see it this time. You can see a trailer and order tickets through the link below.  Tickets are limited so it may be best to order them online. https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-slv-high-school-and-slv-charter-school-7156


Santa Cruz County Fashion Show FashionTEENS will once again take place at the Civic Auditorium on April 20, 2018. This year, they are partnering with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education to help support the program. Last year they gave away over $1000 in cash prizes to students. The 120 participating students came from 16 Middle and High Schools in Santa Cruz County. We hope your students will join them!  Please contact your teacher or Danelle Matteson if you would like to participate! dmatteson@slvusd.org

Details:

  • Open to all current middle and high school students in Santa Cruz County

  • The garment must have been created after June 1, 2017

  • All applications must be received by February 16, 2018

  • Applications are online and hard copies will be available in the MS, HS and Charter school offices

  • Students will be notified by February 26, 2018 if they will be participating in the show

  • The Fashion Show will be held on April 20, 2018


What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs.

K-8 Homeschool Science Fair: Thank you to Katie Parmenter, our charter teacher next door, for organizing another wonderful science fair.  There were many great experiments or research science boards and one student will move on to the Santa Cruz Science Fair.  A highlight for me was listening and watching a young 1st grader talking to a middle school student about her study on the bobcat visiting her backyard.

All Charter Programs: Students will be gathering at the PAC to watch the documentary “Straws”. STRAWS is a 32 minute documentary by filmmaker Linda Booker released Spring 2017. Half a billion non-recyclable plastic straws get used every day in the U.S., ending up in landfills and on streets and beaches. Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins narrates and turtle researchers, community activists and business owners discuss a sea of change happening, one straw at a time. More information at strawsfilm.com

Coast Redwood HS: PARENT SUNSHINE COMMITTEE - Needs HELP in the fall Cayenne's daughter will be graduating in June and she is looking for a few volunteers for next year to take over for her. An important aspect of our Sunshine Committee, coordinated by the staff, sets-up "food trains" for charter families who are surprised by life's unexpected challenges. When we rally together we can do great things! If you are interested in participating in the Sunshine Committee starting in the fall please email Cayenne at mothertravel@gmail.com  CRHS will host information nights from 5:30-7:30 pm on the following dates on Tuesdays: Feb 20, April 24 and May 22. All prospective students and their families are invited to attend to learn about our campus community, visit our classrooms, and our outdoor horticulture classroom. Families will receive information about the many individualized opportunities high school students have to earn their diplomas, participate in athletics, theater productions, adventure field trips, clubs as well as courses at community colleges and courses through CTEP (formally ROP/regional occupation programs) Questions? Email Kay Mendoza at kmendoza@slvusd.org Contact: 831-336-5167 or 831-335-0932 for enrollment forms.

Coast Redwood MS: The annual yearbook is underway. Students brainstormed questions to ask each other, including both closed and open-ended, internal and external questions. They interviewed each other, took notes to write a paragraph describing their partners.  We worked in the garden, beginning the process of dismantling some of the garden beds.  The kids all chose several plants they would like to grow and researched information about the needs of those plants. In PE we ran stair laps, ran a relay race, practiced frisbee-throwing skills, and played a beginner's-level version of Ultimate Frisbee. Our upcoming Field trips: March 7th, San Francisco Zoo, April 25th, Rosicrucian Museum.

Nature Academy:  7th and 8th graders received feedback for their Elder Interview Report. They are still working on their Westward Expansion map and are busy reading and discussing the Whirligig.  Their next field trip will be to the DeYoung Museum.  6th graders are busy working on their history section of their country report and are learning volleyball during PE.  their next  field trip will be to Main Beach for beach volleyball.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We continued our discovery of Medieval China, as well as the 3 Perfections: poetry, painting, and calligraphy. Students are completing their Research Papers. Congratulations to our Science Fair participants on a diligent job well done!  We began our practice of “The 3 Perfections”; students took some time to write nature poetry outside using personification in spaces they chose to sit alone. We shared these with each other, and also practiced some pastel and watercolor painting in the medieval Chinese style. Most of our students performed brilliantly in the Charter Play: Cinder-Idol: What the World Needs Now, and those that weren’t in the cast saw the play Thursday morning. Congratulations to all of the performers and Tech Crew. Here are some links to photos of our Charter Play!

https://snoopycurtis.smugmug.com/Theater/Other-Shows/2018-SLVUSD-Charter-Cinder-Idol/

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmaq1eUu

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Our K-2 group built a repeating pattern for the month of January-they are making them quite complex these days!  We counted and skip counted to 100 in various ways:  by 1s, 10s, 5s, and 2s. With each number chanted, there was a coordinated hop or jump that went along with it. We are working on our original story,There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Cup.  Our 3-6 group caught up on news from over the break during Welcome Circle.  We moved into a stair-building problem for Morning Math.  We had a mini civics lesson in how to make a democratic choice between options.  Students spoke persuasively on their preferred option.  We then voted between three options, narrowly avoiding a run-off vote with a majority. Our chosen activity, which we did until lunch, was to finish our pages of If You Give a Horse a Hug, while listening to Gary Paulsen's Hatchet read aloud. Jen Sims visited our class and discussed "Curiosity".  This is such an important life skill as we want children to want to learn, ask questions, and hunger for more.  We played a quick game of curiosity, wanting to know about someone and then asking questions to find out the real information.  We will introduce our QH Homeschool play this coming Tuesday. Practices will begin on Thursday, the last hour of class - we only have 7 weeks of class rehearsals before we perform!

Fall Creek Homeschool: We welcomed three new classmates to Fall Creek. We used an impression method to trace and cut out sets of tangrams. We solved tangram puzzles and then made tangram puzzles to try and stump our partners. We listened to the true story of Humphrey the Humpback Whale who was rescued by scientists and many concerned citizens. We painted with watercolors using the wet-on-wet method. We discovered that in the 6 weeks we were gone from the play yard thousands of acorns began sprouting. These are now worth 10 times the amount of a regular acorn in a few play yard businesses. We played some math games involving grouping ourselves into pods of various numbers and expressing it with addition and multiplication. We began weaving a fence in the play yard to protect the flowers that are beginning to come up. We discussed the water cycle and sang the Water Cycle Boogie along with a video of the Banana Slug String Band preforming the song. We drew the water cycle in our rainbow books and included key words evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Our upcoming Field Trips: February 14, 2018: Seymour Marine Center, March 14: River walk with Jane Mio of San Lorenzo Stories

Mountain IS: We are dedicating this month's music to a solid grasp of all the songs from our class play. We read through our lines with partners as well as with the whole class. The students our improving so rapidly. it is very exciting. We used oil pastels to add color to our African masks which we will be using during our play. In PE we went hiking to the creek and it was the perfect way to enjoy the sunshine and get a quick cardio workout after lunch.


 

Dates to remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)

  • February 12th:  No School-- President’s Holiday

  • February 19th:  No School-- President’s Holiday

  • March 12th:  No School--  Professional Development Day for Teachers

  • March 13th: Charter Information night: all Hybrid Home/School Programs

  • April 2nd-6th:  Spring Break!

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