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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; 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!

Charter News: January 25, 2017-18

posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:50 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


“We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond.”

Gwendolyn Brooks




Dear Charter Families,


I hope you had a lovely Friday off and that it helped to launch a relaxing weekend for you and your family.  The Charter staff worked together on strategic planning for the coming year and beyond.  It is always so invigorating to work together as an entire Charter staff, with teachers thinking and planning for the best needs and practices for their programs supporting students across all grade levels.  We have such a wealth of knowledge and such dedicated teacher learners.  This professional development day in particular reminded us all how well we collaborate and inspire each other to become even more reflective and creative in our educational plans.


Our All Charter play, Cinder-Idol begins their performances this week. Cinder-Idol: What the World Needs Now. It is, once again, an original script written by Janinne Chadwick, our local playwright from Ben Lomond. It is the classic tale twisted together with today's reality talent show craze, with step-sisters resembling the Spice Girls, Motown fairy godparents, Elvis, Prince, and music ranging from pop, rock n' roll, Motown, and the Beatles.  There are 72 of our students on the play from 6 of our 7 programs!  I hope you come to see it.  It is a treat that I know you will enjoy!


Enjoy the 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.


CRHS Peer Counseling training a success!: !2 of our high school students, grades 9-12,  spent their Friday off with our mental health counselor, Jen Sims in an intensive all day training on peer counseling.  This was the initial day of a 15+ hour training that will end in a certificate.  Students learned about confidentiality and consent laws for students under the age of 18, they had discussions around values, active listening, building rapport, attending, reflective listening, paraphrasing, open and closed questions, neutral goal setting. There will be additional follow up meetings where the students will learn more about the craft of peer counseling as well as having time to practice their skills.  Each student will also have a mini internship during the school year in support of the various schools in our district.  We are excited to have this opportunity to train our high school students through a professional counselor.   The students talked about a variety of ways to incorporate their skills into working with and for their peers and the younger grades in our schools. This is a fantastic way to help deepen our commitment to building and ensuring a safe and supportive social emotional environment for our programs.

Thank you, Jen!


Parent Advisory Committee: Next meeting Dr. Bruton will be joining us to talk about the State of the District. All parents are invited to come.

Thursday, February 8th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.  

This meeting will be a follow up on what we did not cover this last meeting and will be on the new California School Dashboard online tool.                               




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 5:30-7:30 pm located in Felton.

Questions regarding Charter Information Night?

Email Danelle Matteson at dmatteson@slvusd.org or Holly Thomas

at hthomas@slvusd.org. Contact: 831-336-5167 or 831-335-0932



Staying healthy during this flu season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Opportunities in our Community:


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.

Coast Redwood HS: All students and parents are welcome to attend SLVHS College night on January 31st  at 6:30 pm in the HS MPR (Multipurpose Room). This informational meeting features the discussion and questions on the following topics, presented by our teachers and representatives from UC and State Universities, as well as Community Colleges.

Coast Redwood MS: Upcoming Field trips: March 7th, San Francisco Zoo, April 25th, Rosicrucian Museum.

Nature Academy:  6th grade is wrapping up their Egypt mini project and continuing with their novel Tangerine. They finished their native plants elective with homeschooler Levi Glatt. Levi is only 17 and has already written,illustrated, and published a  book: ‘Medicinal Plants of Santa Cruz County.’   7th and 8th graders are working on their Elder interview project and continuing with their  History unit.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): Students researched and created flyers on an invertebrate that we’ve studied, creating “selling points” to persuade the class that theirs is, indeed, the most awesome. We studied the speeches of MLK and how they reflected his beliefs and their relevance to today’s social and political climate. We began our 6 week unit on Tahitian Dance, Music, and Culture with our very own Yolo. Last Monday our Charter Academic counselor, Rory McKee spoke to our 8th graders to hear their High School options.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: We were wrapping up our mid year meetings with each of our families and are looking forward to on-site classes resuming on Tuesday, January 30th. We will be preparing for our Charter Science Fair on Friday, February 9th.

Fall Creek Homeschool: The Parent Math workshop on teaching math through games was fun! The feedback from participants was that the games were very adaptable to multiple ability levels and a good way to practice math skills without resorting to workbooks. We look forward to resuming on-site classes on Tuesday, January 30th.

Mountain IS: We had Mountain IS spirit day wearing our green and gold to show our Mountain pride. We learned a chant about the seven continents and created cardboard cut outs to represent each one. In art we created a fox using watercolor crayons. We began to learn the Kookaburra song. We used a buffet of math tools to solve the problem of how to divide our “wheel of fables” into 7 even pieces to represent each of the seven continents.


 

SLV Foundation for Education is Raising Money for our Schools

San Lorenzo Valley Foundation for Education is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. We provide an easy way to support a broad or specific tax deductible donation to the SLV schools and clubs, including Charter and Homeschool groups. One can donate directly to any of the groups listed below, without needing to buy or sell products. For more information or to donate, please visit slvfoundation.org

*High School Cougar Club  *Drama Boosters  *Music Boosters *Art Boosters

*High School Stadium Lights  *Patron of the Arts *Middle School Panther Club  *BCE parent club  *SLVE Bobcat Club   *SLV Charter School Booster Club    *The Nature Academy


 

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 1st - 3rd: All Charter Play, “Cinder-idol”

  • 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!

 

 

 



Charter News January 12, 2017-18

posted Jan 22, 2018, 1:35 PM by Rhonda Schlosser



“Democracy transformed from thin paper to thick action is the greatest form of government on earth.”

Martin Luther King Jr.


“We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond.”

Gwendolyn Brooks




Dear Charter Families,


Happy New Year and Welcome back!


We hope that your winter break has been relaxing and time was well spent with family and friends. It’s hard to believe that we are on the second half of the school year already! There is still so much more learning to do. As we move into this three day weekend in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we should take time to reflect on his contributions that have helped make our country a more unified and democratic nation.


For those of you who may want to honor his contributions by supporting a volunteer activity, here is a link to some activities planned in Santa Cruz County.  Learn More and Register.  Or perhaps you’d like to see a parade?  Martin Luther King Parade


Enjoy the 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.


From Our Counselor, Jen Sims: Curiosity leads to connection


Where would we humans be without curiosity?  Sitting in a cave somewhere, that’s for sure.   For better or worse, it is curiosity that has advanced our society to where we are today.  It is such a natural emotion and this becomes obvious when I spend time with kindergarteners.  Five and six year olds will outright ask the questions that adults might wonder, but keep to themselves: ‘What is that in your nose?’ (I have a nose ring), ‘What did you look like when you were a kid,’ (Braids and overalls)  ‘What does your breath smell like?’ (Followed up by, ‘Here, smell mine!’).  I can see that they are only just now in the process of learning about filters and sending their curiosities into the shadows.  Because they’re little kids, I indulge them and answer as honestly as possible because, why not?  They are learning and growing.  But something happens as kids mature – while they might be encouraged to pursue intellectual curiosities, it seems to me that there a subtle message to slow down or stop all together questions about people’s feelings or internal experiences.  It’s just not polite!

What happens when we start to learn that people might not want us to know everything about them?  When I visited my 5 year-old niece last year, she used the words ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’ over and over again, which told me that she had gotten too curious and asked too many questions.  I could hear my brother’s voice, “Molly, that’s not appropriate!” I also couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of all the uncomfortable situations she may have caused.  They don’t say “Out of the mouths of babes” for nothing!  Children are so often our reality checks about who we are and how we feel about things.  It can be uncomfortable and it doesn’t make for polite society, but is it really inappropriate?

How many times a week do you tell other people, including children, that you are fine when you are really and truly not fine?  I do this quite a bit myself, for all of the same reasons as you.  Children, with their fresh perspectives and beginner’s minds, are tuning into all aspects of us – body language, facial expression and felt energy.  When we give them a cognitive response that does not match any of these other aspects, it is confusing!  When it happens again and again from multiple sources, we just become tired and immune to the interaction.  Thus, “How are you?,” an open ended question supposedly motivated by curiosity, gets an auto-response of “Fine.”  No real information has been imparted, ‘fine’ is not a satiating response to one’s curiosity, but this is the accepted starting point for most of our current conversations.  A not-really-connected connection that we’re so used to that the incongruence doesn’t even bother us anymore.

When I think about how different the world would be if we were able to be more honest with each other about our feelings, it is overwhelming.  Things would have to change so much, the cultural shift would be massive.  As it is now, we use these pleasantries as a way to keep each other safe and it works.   It saves time and helps us stay focused on the things we need to accomplish.  But what it can also look like is lots of people floating around on little islands wondering what in the heck other people are thinking and feeling.   What we do next is fill in the blanks and make up stories about others that may or may not have anything do with reality.  With the advent of the Internet, the ultimate curiosity machine, we can even look for information about someone to confirm or deny our theories without ever talking to them.   The curiosity will always be there and when we aren’t able to talk about it, it comes out sideways.

Curiosity about emotions is counter-cultural.  This is important to remember when working with your child to develop a curious stance around emotions.  Unfortunately it seems to me that judgment is more the cultural norm around emotions, rather than curiosity.   Many of the children I talk to seem to believe that if they are not feeling happy, they are doing something wrong.  Some will ask me at the end of a session if they did a ‘good job’ because they didn’t cry or show emotion.   Some struggle not to feel what they are feeling and turn to self-injury or addictive behaviors.  They all feel like they are doing something wrong if they aren’t feeling a certain kind of way.  But feelings are like the weather – they just change all the time.  They aren’t out to get you; they just give you information on how you need to care for yourself.  When we look at a weather forecast, we don’t take it personally, we say hmmm…will I need an umbrella?  A sweater?  Oh, I should layer because lots of changes will be happening today.  We look ahead at the ten-day, the whole month even because we are so curious and want to know how to prepare.  What if we took the same approach to emotions and worried less about why they were happening and more about how to healthily cope with them as they arise.  Some days are just sad days.  Some days we worry.  At any age, the only way out is through.  To sit and feel the feeling until it passes without resistance.  And just like the weather passes, no emotion has stuck around forever.

Curiosity, not judgment. In discussing curiosity with the students this month I am relying heavily on the quote; “Don’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides.”  I work with children who get tripped up by this all the time.  They think that because someone looks a certain way, they ARE a certain way and then start a comparison game.  That kid looks happy all the time, but I don’t feel happy all the time!It’s a downward spiral, but curiosity can put and end to it pretty quickly.  In my groups, students have the opportunity to share about their lives and someone will usually exclaim, ‘I was wondering that about you!!’ or ‘Hey, that happened to you?  Me too!’  Every time this happens something shifts and relationships deepen.  Curiosity almost always leads to connection, whereas judgment lends itself to isolation.   So often this is gets in the way of the empathy we are working toward.

Encourage your child to develop Empathetic curiosity.  A great way to do this is any opportunity to explore what it is like to be in other people’s shoes.  Group situations usually lead to this kind growth, as do books, movies, friendships, travel, and the ability to process all of these experiences with a trusted adult.   Most of all, if you as a parent work to keep your own feelings in alignment with your words, your child will learn first hand not to be afraid to speak their own truth about what is happening inside.   They will not be afraid of your emotions if you aren’t.  This will also help them to be unafraid of learning about the thoughts and emotions of others.  Fear shuts down curiosity, again acting as a barrier to empathy.

Help your child get curious about their feelings.  Very curious.  When you remove fear and judgment about emotions, it opens up a world of possibility.  I, like every other living therapist, love Pixel for giving us “Inside/Out.”  What a great way to talk about emotions.  So often emotions can feel random and out of control, stuck in the past, or missing the part of the story that would change things and we just can’t figure it all out.  At any age you can start working with your child to flesh out their own internal life – I know this to be true because this is what I try to do with people at any age.  Some questions you can ask to help your child get to know their emotions are:

-       What is the name of the feeling?

-       Where do you feel it in your body

-       What color is it?

-       How big is it?

-       It is solid or liquid?

-       Is there a movement that represents this emotion?

-       Is there a posture that you do that makes it feel worse?  Is there one that makes it feel better?

-       When this emotion arises, what do you believe about yourself?

-       Draw, dance or write about the emotion

-       Does the emotion have a name?

As you can see, there are endless ways to get curious about emotions.   This is a great time for you to model curious emotional exploration, and if you have a teenager that might make fun of you just say, ‘I know, I’m totally wacky.  But go with it.’ The more comfortable your child is with their journey through their internal experiences, the less anyone will ever be able to rock their boat. They will also deeply understand that others are having their own internal experiences.

We need every kind of curiosity.  There are things that I’m not too curious about that I’m very grateful others figured out.  For example, I wouldn’t have thought it up, but wow do I love the Internet.  I’m grateful for teachers and parents who provide so much of the action behind our student’s desires to learn and know and grow.  What a game changer it would be if in addition to all of this, we were able to approach one another with the true wonder and curiosity that is in our hearts.

~Jen


A unique opportunity from our Counselor: There is an exciting new opportunity for Coast Redwood High School students coming up at the beginning of next year!  

We will be offering a 15 hour Peer Counseling certification to students who are interested in learning more about being listeners, providing support to others, and furthering their own personal growth.  Not only will this be interesting and helpful, students will be able to put this on a resume or college application and it could count toward community service hours.  As an added bonus, some teachers may offer extra credit for completing this certification.  Read the information below for more information and contact Jennifer Sims at jsims@slvusd.org with any questions or to sign up today!




 

Opportunities in our Community: “Race to Nowhere” documentary

 

To start the coming year, the SLVHS Cougar Club is sponsoring the "Race to Nowhere" movie, a timely and provocative film exposes a silent epidemic plaguing America’s educational system. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion.

Called a "must-see movie" by The New York Times, Race to Nowhere was the first education film to uncover the epidemic of unhealthy, disengaged and unprepared students caught in the rat race of an obsessive achievement culture. Through heartbreaking stories of students from across the country, the film explores how high-stakes testing, runaway school schedules and relentless pressure to achieve has pushed our children to the brink.

Note: You must register through the eventbrite page in order to attend.

Date: Wed, January 17, 7 to 9 PM, PAC

Register for this free event on the Eventbrite registration page.

Movie trailer: http://www.racetonowhere.com/videos/theatrical-trailer

SLV students will get extra credit for attending.


Parent Advisory Committee: Next meeting will be Thursday, February 8th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office. This meeting will be a follow up on what we did not cover this last meeting and will be on the new California School Dashboard online tool.

 


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

Coast Redwood HS: This week was spent getting back into the groove of school life. We meet with students and parents to clarify schedules and stay on track for the second part of the school year.

Coast Redwood MS: As we come back from winter break we have this month to take stock of how things have been going, to make adjustments and to set a clear direction for second semester. A semester long Spanish class is in the works for the students when they come back.

Nature Academy: 6th grade class closed up thier Egypt unit by going to the Egyptian Museum in San Jose.  7yh-8th grade class is

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): Our mid year parent meetings were this week. Students took this time to start out the new year with some independent study. This can be a challenging and rewarding week for the students, as they really need to step up and own their work, their time management, and self-reflection.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: This week was our mid year parent meetings. Next week we will be enjoying a Discovery play day on January 19th with our friends with indoor and outdoor activities.

Fall Creek Homeschool: We welcomed back the new year with parent meetings. And in the next couple of weeks we will have a Parent Workshop on Math skills themed around math games on January 24 from 12:30-2pm.

Mountain IS: Our class parent meeting will be Tuesday, January 16th.


 

SLV Foundation for Education is Raising Money for our Schools

San Lorenzo Valley Foundation for Education is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. We provide an easy way to support a broad or specific tax deductible donation to the SLV schools and clubs, including Charter and Homeschool groups. One can donate directly to any of the groups listed below, without needing to buy or sell products. For more information or to donate, please visit slvfoundation.org

*High School Cougar Club  *Drama Boosters  *Music Boosters *Art Boosters

*High School Stadium Lights  *Patron of the Arts *Middle School Panther Club  *BCE parent club  *SLVE Bobcat Club   *SLV Charter School Booster Club    *The Nature Academy


 

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.)

 

  • January 15th:  No School-- MLK Day

  • January 25: End of first Semester

  • January 26th:  No School-- Professional Development Day for Teachers

  • February 1st - 3rd: All Charter Play, “Cinder-idol”

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

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

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

  • April 2nd-6th:  Spring Break!

 

 



Charter News: December 21, 2017-18

posted Dec 31, 2017, 12:13 PM by Rhonda Schlosser



How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before

starting to improve the world.   ~Anna Frank

~~~

The question you should be asking is, "Can I do one small thing tomorrow to make things a little bit better?"And the answer is almost always yes. --Dan Pink




Dear Charter Families,


We have officially started our winter break.  I hope all of you who wanted to were able to sleep in, are having relaxing mornings, and are beginning a fun, restful, and rejuvenating holiday.


The holiday season is shared in so many different ways, depending on the age of children, extended family, holiday traditions, traveling possibilities. My holiday specifics have significantly changed as my children grew older and currently my time can be spent much more quietly and with little flurry or expectations.

No matter how it is spent this holiday is a special time for family fun and togetherness. And likely with the holiday rush, the to-do list seems to grow exponentially by the minute.

In the busyness of the season, I hope that you can keep learning and quality time with family at the top of the list while your kids are home on break from school. Research shows that families who spend quality time together and connect activities at home to what children are learning or are interested in have a stronger emotional bond and better communication—and the kids do better academically.

The holiday season provides great opportunities to expose children to new ideas and information, reinforce skills and knowledge, and encourage creativity, which supports their long-term happiness and overall success.

May your winter break be full of love, peace, and rejuvenating days and nights. May you learn something new about your child, play and share in creativity and inquisitiveness together.


Please read on to hear about a special opportunity for our high school students and to


We look forward to being with you in 2018.  


Enjoy!

~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.


A unique opportunity from our Counselor: There is an exciting new opportunity for Coast Redwood High School students coming up at the beginning of next year!  

Starting in January we will be offering a 15 hour Peer Counseling certification to students who are interested in learning more about being listeners, providing support to others, and furthering their own personal growth.  Not only will this be interesting and helpful, students will be able to put this on a resume or college application and it could count toward community service hours.  As an added bonus, some teachers may offer extra credit for completing this certification.  Read the information below for more information and contact Jennifer Sims at jsims@slvusd.org with any questions or to sign up today!




Social Media Learning opportunity: 6 Media Resolutions Every Family Should Make in 2018. Whether or not you're a "resolution person," approach the new year as an opportunity to bond, to be mindful, and to learn something new.  https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/6-media-resolutions-every-family-should-make-in-2018

 

Opportunities in our Community: “Race to Nowhere” documentary

 

To start the coming year, the SLVHS Cougar Club is sponsoring the "Race to Nowhere" movie, a timely and provocative film exposes a silent epidemic plaguing America’s educational system. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion.

Called a "must-see movie" by The New York Times, Race to Nowhere was the first education film to uncover the epidemic of unhealthy, disengaged and unprepared students caught in the rat race of an obsessive achievement culture. Through heartbreaking stories of students from across the country, the film explores how high-stakes testing, runaway school schedules and relentless pressure to achieve has pushed our children to the brink.

Note: You must register through the eventbrite page in order to attend.

Date: Wed, January 17, 7 to 9 PM, PAC

Register for this free event on the Eventbrite registration page.

Movie trailer: http://www.racetonowhere.com/videos/theatrical-trailer

SLV students will get extra credit for attending.


Parent Advisory Committee: Thank you, Lauren Reedy for stepping into the Parent Advisory Committee role.  Lauren came to the last meeting and reviewed the Charter Action Plan with me.  I want to emphasize the fact that Charter schools often exist due to parents interest in wanting to support something different from a traditional school format or structure.  We need to hear your feedback and have your involvement in our programming. Next meeting will be

Thursday, January 11, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.

 


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

 

Coast Redwood HS: First semester Leadership class is transitioning to second-semester Yearbook. Field trip to the MOMA on Friday, January 12 is POSTPONED. Students who were dual enrolled at Cabrillo College first semester must obtain their college transcripts noting their course(s), grades and credits so that they will be applied to their high school transcript and before dual enrolling the second semester Community Service Thank you to all of our students who worked at the Outdoor Science School. Feedback has been exceptional! Cabin Leaders (students) are being accepted for the spring. You will receive 60 hours of community service, recognition certificate and volunteer hours applied to the President's Volunteer Service Award at the end of the year. Courses in Schoology are now unpublished. Courses and second-semester assignments will open Friday, January 12 unless you receive an email from the teacher of the course.

Coast Redwood MS: The kids have crreated a spreadsheet in Google sheets to track lotion sales.. In writing, the kids edited their peers product decriptions, using standard editing marks. They worked on product descriptions and promotional materials. Those who brought cameras worked on taking product photos both indoors, outdoors, with props and without. The kids also worked on getting their photos into Google photos and sharing them with each other. We had a wonderful week of student presentations on: Rubriks cubes, bat rays, multiple sclerosis, synesthesia, dog breeds and jelly soap.  Thank you presenters!

Nature Academy: 6th grade: Students presented their Gods/Goddess projects on Tuesday this week. They have been working hard and I am excited to see their presentations.  We have our next field trip after the break to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. 7-8th grades: Students are working on their grandparents interview and beginning their Giver project. Our final day ended with our traditional, student driven, Secret Snowflake gift giving. The students had a great time at the SLVMS Holiday festivities..

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We had fun this week as students acted out each other’s original scripts. Students gave great feed back, and recognized the importance of writing accurate stage directions, etc. which are unique to scriptwriting. They also worked hard on their slideshow presentations of individual projects on Medieval Africa. What a wonderful potluck today! The kids shared their gratitude for each other in a circle before we ate.Check out this cool video on the Science of Gratitude: The Amazing Effects of Gratitude Seleona and her dad come to our potluck today and give a drumming demonstration of African, Brazilian, Middle Eastern, and Tahitian rhythms (check out the video on our FB page)! Shauna, Abena’s mom, and Abena’s sister, Akuia, also came to class this week and shared some sculpture and cloth from Zimbabwe and Ghana.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Our Annual Holiday Crafting Day!  We made miniature sleds, strung popcorn and cranberries to feed the birds, and made some cute handprint art.   We had a practice fire drill in which the real bell was rung!   After lunch, we finished up crafting and heard some wonderful stories. For our last Nature Wednesday class, we met at the beach to get out of the trees and into the sun!  We enjoyed hot cocoa

and cider and enjoyed the beautiful day. Our children did a FABULOUS job sharing their talents and generosity of spirit today. We wish you great happiness this holiday season to you  and your family.  Thank you for sharing your children with us.  We look forward to seeing you "next year"

Fall Creek Homeschool:  We had a wonderful visit from Sophie Webb, a nature illustrator. She treated us to a stupendous slide show of many of the marine mammals that frequent Monterey Bay as well as some more unusual ones that live in other parts of the world. We used thin, colored beeswax to decorate white candles. We wrapped them as presents. We examined our recent watercolor paintings and saw how landscapes often reveal a second scene when turned upside down! We listened to a book called Whale Shines, about a whale who realizes he can contribute to an art show by swishing his tail through bioluminescent plankton. We heard two ocean creature presentations – one on the Pyrosome by Justice and one on the Megalodon by Avery. We had a whole group session with Jen Sims, school psychologist, on self-awareness.

 

Natalee Thomas, a fifth grader at Fall Creek Homeschool, conceived of wonderful way to deepen the class's study of the three major zones of the ocean. She guided her classmates, in groups of 2 and 3 to draw sea creatures and attach them to the correct zone - the sunlight zone, the twilight zone or the midnight zone. The midnight zone is where the bioluminescent diatoms and plankton dwell and so the kids painted them with dayglow paints. Then she added constellations to the ceiling and oriented them to the overhead light, making that the North Star. As a final surprise she showed the kids their work under a black light and all were wonderfully surprised to see all of the midnight zone creatures glowing as well as the constellations above.
Mountain IS: We read a new fable from India about a buffalo and a monkey. We continued our “fill the bucket” compliment activity. In art we learned how to create snowflakes with radial symmetry and we created our December memory book pages. Math was a blast using tracers to create shapes in our journals and wrote about shapes and polygons. There were songs from around the world, line dances and percussion instruments along with a ukulele.

 


 

SLV Foundation for Education is Raising Money for our Schools

San Lorenzo Valley Foundation for Education is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. We provide an easy way to support a broad or specific tax deductible donation to the SLV schools and clubs, including Charter and Homeschool groups. One can donate directly to any of the groups listed below, without needing to buy or sell products. For more information or to donate, please visit slvfoundation.org

*High School Cougar Club  *Drama Boosters  *Music Boosters *Art Boosters

*High School Stadium Lights  *Patron of the Arts *Middle School Panther Club  *BCE parent club  *SLVE Bobcat Club   *SLV Charter School Booster Club    *The Nature Academy


 

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.)


  • December 22nd- January 7th:  Winter Break

  • January 8: First Day back

  • January 11: Parent Advisory Meeting from 3-4 pm

  • January 15th:  No School-- MLK Day

  • January 25: End of first Semester

  • January 26th:  No School-- Professional Development Day for Teachers

  • February 1st - 3rd: All Charter Play, “Cinderidol”

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

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

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

  • April 2nd-6th:  Spring Break!

 

 



Charter News December 10, 2017-18

posted Dec 11, 2017, 7:02 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”

- African Proverb




Dear Charter Families,


The December days ahead are sandwiched between the Thanksgiving holiday and the coming Winter Break.  Our high school students will be completing their projects and finals with the semester coming to an end, our younger students continue to work through their various units and themes of studies.  But the shift toward the winter season sometimes needs an additional hug or nudge of encouragement for some students as the shortening days can sometimes slow down one’s energy.


An important skill that we teach and reteach our students is to edit and revise their work.  Very few things in life can be done well without a second, third, and maybe a forth look to ensure we have done our best work. The more we have trusted peers and adults to support us in critically taking time to help students to do their best, the better they will be able to do their best in the future. This pertains to any academic or soft skill endeavor.


It’s called Scaffolding; like bracing a building as it is built or refurbished; we do the same to support the growth of a child.  And don’t forget that a child’s prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until well into their twenties!  That means it is important to support them in all ways possible for as long as you can.  Ask them guiding questions, review their homework, remind them that is it okay to have a second or third set of eyes and ears or to give themselves the second or third time to review their work before turning it in.  Very few things in life need to be done completely alone, thank goodness.  And the more support students have, the more they will be ready to take their tasks solo when the time comes.


Please read further for Jen’s article on self-awareness and special events within our community.


Thanks for all you do.


~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: Self-awareness.

 

Happy holidays! I am hoping that this is the most wonderful time of year for you all, but acknowledge that for many it’s not always ideal. This time of year can bring about a very special kind of self-awareness – for instance, we might be with loved ones more than usual and thus more deeply examine our relationships. This season brings on the pressure to perform: decorate, shop, give, visit, hug and pay attention to other people in ways that are beautiful but also exhausting. All of these can really hold up a mirror to who we are and how our connections are holding up which, to be honest, is not always a relaxing process.

 

What is self-awareness? Working with students this month we have defined it in many interesting ways – awareness of one’s body and how we look, awareness of what we say and how it can impact someone, awareness of rules that apply to you – both overt and covert. While all of these are accurate, the kinds of awareness that I wanted to promote with my students in the SLVUSD school district are related to core values, beliefs and things that we would fight for. The ability to have awareness and roots in what we most value gives us access to a very secure part of ourselves. In this way, self-awareness can bring us a lot of peace that has a rippling effect out into the world.

 

Something I think about a lot is how do we help children develop this self- awareness in a positive way that nurtures rather than shames? Shame is a powerful emotion that is important, but uncomfortable. It helps steer our moral compass, but so often it can become a toxic guide, whispering bad news into our ears and taking up space in our minds. I see a lot of shame happening in this society in general and it’s hard not to fall into the trap. I can remember many of the shaming things that my parents said to me, and half the time I’m grateful because some of those words stopped me from doing stupid things, while the other half of the time it creates a lot of fear and other noise that gets in my way. Growing up, in order to get me to eat food my mom concocted a woeful tale about poor orphan children who wandered the street and pressed their little faces against the glass of fancy restaurants and homes while diners feasted on lavish meals. I could practically see these poor orphans standing outside of my kitchen window while I tried to choke back my mother’s undercooked Uncle Ben’s rice, burned spaghetti, and hard as a rock pork chops. How could I even think of turning away from my own abundance when poor children had nothing, nothing at all! Obviously I cared, I cared so much that I ended up making a career of empowering people to rise up out of the situations that keep them down. I wonder, however, if I could have been alerted to the needs of others without learning to deny my own out of shame?

 

I know my mom had good intentions, like we all do. She’s a good person and does not agree that she was a bad cook, by the way. But this is a trap we can fall into, to use comparison or other shaming tactics to guide behavior. It can be effective and sure, at times appropriate to be critical and comparative. The problem is that when it’s used too much or at the wrong time, it can inadvertently contribute to our self- awareness in negative ways. As a result we become wobblier, rather than more

stable and rooted. Or, according to a student at Coast Redwood High School, we become more self-conscious than self-aware. This makes it hard to achieve the kind of self-awareness that comes as a response rather than a reaction.

 

When promoting self-awareness in your children, use shame sparingly. It’s too important of an emotion to go unchecked, although I once read an article that said there was an underwhelming amount of research on shame because people don’t want to talk about it, don’t recognize it, or won’t share honestly. As yucky as it feels, we need shame to get us to act right in the world - from pitching in with cleaning up after dinner to refraining from murder, it is so effective in giving us that pause necessary to make the right decision. I love shame for that. But it needs to be controlled and match the situation in weight so that it doesn’t impair one’s ability to vision their internal values, beliefs and truths.

 

I wanted to address the issue of shame deeply because this is a major component of my work with clients, including my students here at the Charter School and Boulder Creek Elementary. I see all around me that our society is riddled with shaming messages, and we already have so much to deal with. Shame can really get in the way of our understanding of who we are, what we want, and the ability to move forward in life. One technique I remind myself to use when I find myself getting too

negative is the Five to One ratio – I will make five positive comments to one critique. It seems like a lot, but it’s pretty magical, can be used immediately and gets an instant response. It helps to keep both the kids and I on track, and the more I practice, the more natural it becomes to constantly be noticing and giving positive feedback about good decisions. In the ideal situation, this opens up the path to intrinsic motivation with no shaming necessary. I am always hoping for this, though as a human being I do get flustered and frustrated by some situations and things don’t go as planned. I try not to live in shame about it though, or else how could I move forward with my vision and value to give kids the best access to education possible? The less shame I heap on myself, the less I pay it forward. I encourage you to do the same.

 

Let your child go through tough times. (Within reason, of course.) The defining moments of life often arise from painful experiences. I’m just the school counselor and sometimes I want to throw down my walkie-talkie or my pen so that I can run out to defend a child who has been hurt in some way. I need to remain that supportive ally on the sideline, however, and send them back out into the fray to work things out on their own. (Note: this does not apply to situations where there is true threat to physical or emotional safety, chronic bullying or harassment, violence or abuse, or serious mental health concerns). I encourage students to find their words and use their voices because me sticking up for them would only work out until the next time there was a problem. The pain and sadness that arises from dealing with it all, while heartbreaking to witness, is going to help them grow and inform future decisions. It will teach them that pain passes and that they have the grit to deal with hard things. The process will lead to greater awareness of who they are in so many ways. We just need to keep reassuring them that we are on their side and give the best, most honest direction possible.

 

Empathize, communicate, and listen. These skills are the subjects of my previous three articles for a reason, as these are the skills necessary to be an effective mirror for someone. With parenting, I suspect that some kind of mirroring is happening all the time, whether you’re intending it or not. So often I will see a student say something or make a gesture that makes me think, wow, they must have gotten that from their parents! It’s usually amusing and endearing, or I’m impressed at some of your thoughtful ideas. When we are empathetic, communicating and actively listening, we can create a safe container for children (or anyone) to express themselves and explore their identity. They can experiment and take risks, try new things on for size. When I was a vegetarian for two years in college, my parents - to their credit - didn’t complain, they respectfully rearranged every meal I had with them to accommodate my new way of eating. Eventually I learned that I am not a person who wants to live without a hamburger and although they didn’t say anything at the time, later they told me they were relieved. The time and support I received from them to explore a new ways of living, my ideals and values, and ultimately what best supports my health has always been a good spot in our

Relationship.

 

Mindfulness, meditation, breathing, spirituality, movement. I think it was Timothy Leary who said, “To lose your mind you must get out of your head” and I think it’s true - we can’t think our way to who we are, we must incorporate some non- cognitive experiences. One of my most powerful moments of self-awareness happened during an exercise in a low ropes course in graduate school. I was being ‘taught’ nothing at the time, the pure act of the movement associated with participation sparked such a connection that I still reflect on it often. To this day, when I put something emotional together I will think, “Yes! I rope-coursed it!” This can really look like so many different things, well beyond what I have listed above. The important thing is taking time away from cognitive process and grind of life to have experiential moments. It could be travelling, horseback riding, art, running –opportunities to spend time with yourself, have your thoughts quiet and turn your attention to your felt and emotional sensations. Don’t think of it as an indulgence, think of it a developmental task necessary to awareness and moreover, resilience.

 

As I’m sure you know, children are super absorbent and if you model these behaviors, practice empathy and real listening, create a safe space for self- exploration and use shame for only the most serious of situations, they will take this in learn to do it for themselves. It will become a never-ending resource, which is great because uncovering the layers of self-awareness is one of the main jobs of life, whether we like it or not. You don’t always have to like it, some days you may sit inside eating Cheetos or whatever, and there is a place for days like that too if you can swing them. It’s about knowing what you need.

 

It all comes back around to empathy. When we are aware of who we are, what is important to us and what we like and dislike, we don’t have to be as invested in the content of other people’s beliefs. When we are rooted, we cannot be easily swayed. This allows so much more room for empathy and understanding. Throughout life there are non-stop opportunities to practice self-awareness. One of

the reasons I love working with students is the opportunity to be a part of that with them at school. Every day they are working just as hard at developing themselves as humans as they are at any of their academic subjects, and sometimes even harder. It is very rewarding to be a part of building these safe places for students to become aware of who they are, what is important to them, what they value and what they will fight for.

 

I hope you all enjoy the holiday season, the time off, and all the gifts of awareness that you may receive.

 

~Jen


Opportunities in our Community: “Race to Nowhere” documentary


 

To start the coming year, the SLVHSCougar Club is sponsoring the "Race to Nowhere" movie, a timely and provocative film exposes a silent epidemic plaguing America’s educational system. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion.

Called a "must-see movie" by The New York Times, Race to Nowhere was the first education film to uncover the epidemic of unhealthy, disengaged and unprepared students caught in the rat race of an obsessive achievement culture. Through heartbreaking stories of students from across the country, the film explores how high-stakes testing, runaway school schedules and relentless pressure to achieve has pushed our children to the brink.

Note: You must register through the evenbrite page in order to attend.

 Date: Wed, January 17, 7 to 9 PM, PAC

 Register for this free event on the Eventbrite registration page.

 Movie trailer: http://www.racetonowhere.com/videos/theatrical-trailer

 SLV students will get extra credit for attending.





SLV Foundation for Education is Raising Money for our Schools

San Lorenzo Valley Foundation for Education is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. We provide an easy way to support a broad or specific tax deductible donation to the SLV schools and clubs, including Charter and Homeschool groups. One can donate directly to any of the groups listed below, without needing to buy or sell products. For more information or to donate, please visit slvfoundation.org

*High School Cougar Club  *Drama Boosters  *Music Boosters *Art Boosters

*High School Stadium Lights  *Patron of the Arts *Middle School Panther Club  *BCE parent club  *SLVE Bobcat Club   *SLV Charter School Booster Club    *The Nature Academy


Parent Advisory Committee: Thank you to the parents who came and reviewed our WASC report draft.  You gave me good feedback that was added to the report.  It is a tremendous help to have parents who are educated on the systems and reports of the Charter meet with me regularly so that I can gain a parent perspective.  I really appreciate it (probably more than you realize).

Thursday, December 14, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.


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

Coast Redwood HS: Our students in our Horticulture classes are busy pruning, cultivating, propagating, preserving, composting, engaging in planter bed preparation, and so much more to put to sleep our garden for a long winters' rest. However, Melanie has other plans and isn't ready to place the garden entirely to sleep! The Horticulture students and Melanie are readying the beds for winter crops! Thank you to EVERYONE for your contributions to our Annual Thanksgiving Feast. It was the most abundant feast we have presented in 17 years! It was a beautiful day all around for everyone. It was refreshing to step away from academics, electronics, and activities to sit with each other, catching up with "old" friends, and opening up new conversations with new friends. Thank you! Academy of Sciences field trip was a huge success! A chilly day in the City but we quickly warmed-up with exploring, reading, and experiencing so many wonders at the Academy.

Coast Redwood MS: The Chico Bag fundraiser was a great success. Our lotion sales at the craft faire were better than expected as well. During Business math the kids worked on figuring out the real cost of materials used to make each container of lotion. This is a challenge because each step is actually composed of multiple steps and multiple operations. In Business writing the kids read and analyzed different project descriptions and then wrote two different original product description drafts. The kids worked in teams to build a Wordpress website, create a brochure, finalize product description copy, paint and hand-write product labels, enter material cost data on a spreadsheet and determine pricing and to make a bath of the lotion. We had a sign language lesson with our friend Katreen. Katreen taught us about the anatomy and physiology of hearing loss and shared her personal story.

Nature Academy: 6th grade had a wonderful day connecting with nature and learning with Tim Corcoran. The students are working on their Gods/Goddess projects over the next few weeks. Students will be dressing up like their god and presenting next week. The rough draft of their essay is due this Thursday, December 7th.  The Winter Carnival is coming up on Thursday, December 21. Please check in with your student if they want to do a booth. We spent some time in class today going over what that includes.  Mark your calendars!!! Our next trip is on January 12th to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose. 7-8th grade classes went to the tech museum and participated in the DNA lab and saw Body Worlds exhibit.  The next round of parent and teacher led electives are underway!

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): This week we explored the Hour of Code. Click on the link below to try out the solar eclipse animation that Abena put together the coding for. Drag the moon with your mouse and see the environment darken, and then brighten up again! Solar Eclipse Animation by Abena We studied Mary Zimmerman’s writing/directing process for her award-winning production of Arabian Nights, watched a clip of the performance from Berkeley Rep., then researched familiar tales to write our own scenes. Students have been working on their scenes and will choose actors to perform them next week. We also dove into the 7 Medieval African Kingdoms with a focus on Ghana, Mali, and Mansa Musa.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Next Tuesday, 12/1​2 will be our Annual Crafting Day.This last week we spent a morning doing our Hour of Code. The Hour of Code started a few years back as a one hour introduction to computer science, to demystify "code", and to show that anybody can learn the basics and broaden the participation in the field of computer science. Code.org​  We have been participating each year since the beginning and it is a fun day enjoyed by friends. (K-2)​  We learned a new math game, Race to 50 in  which students worked with the concept​of "adding on" and​ strategy.(3-6)​ We followed Welcome Circle with a grammar lesson focused on contractions.The mornings in the park are chilly!!!  We went on a visual scavenger hunt for items in nature, walked the river trail, and played a couple games of hide and seek.

Fall Creek Homeschool: This week we were treated to our friend Katreen playing her ukulele and teaching us to sing Octopus’s Garden by the Beatles. Our friend Maclaine read his notes on the adventures of Phokey, our sea otter puppet. We rotated through 4 stations of experiments with water. We explored solutions; vacuums and pressure; surface tension; density; and gas formation.  We listened to more chapters from the book Phokey. We finished painting the ocean zones on our mural-in-progress. We listened to a news report on how scientists are now using techniques used to count and identify stars to identify the patterns of dots on whale sharks and thus follow and study individuals.

Mountain IS: We have been writing and illustrating a class book about what we are thankful for. We glazed our ceramic owls. Students danced and sang folk and African songs. Throughout the month, students have been using a variety of instruments including shakers, guiros, hand drums, maracas and xylophones. Sheila also incorporates a variety of rhythm pattern practice, giving students opportunities to create and lead their classmates.  We collected new books for our independent reading bags and continued to read Aesop's Fables. If you have a favorite one from a book at home that you would like to share, please feel free to bring it in. We are beginning to plan our class play which will be based on Aesops fables. Our students will be helping to dissect the fables for possible characters and settings in addition to writing some of the dialogue over the next two weeks. I am hoping to have a portion of our script available to send home for practicing over the break.


Dates to remember:

  • December 22nd- January 7th:  Winter Break

  • January 25: End of first Semester

  • February 12: Holiday

  • February 19: Holiday


 


This is a reminder that San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District policy, as set by the Board of Trustees, declares that we are a fragrant-neutral district. Please take care to follow the policies below for the sake of the students and members of our community who are highly allergic to fragrances and scents. The SLVUSD Board of Trustees adopted a California School Board Association policy to make all district classrooms and offices fragrant neutral. SLVHS has parents, students, and community members with respiratory issues who can have negative reactions to fragrances. Please take care to follow the policy while on campus.  

Staff and students shall refrain from bringing furred or feathered animals, stuffed toys that may collect dust mites, scented candles, incense or air fresheners and from using perfume or cologne, scented hair spray, nail polish or nail polish remover that are not fragrance-free in classrooms or other enclosed areas or buildings.



Charter News, November 19, 2017-18

posted Nov 20, 2017, 10:13 AM by Rhonda Schlosser


"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

- John Fitzgerald Kennedy




Dear Charter Families,



We hope you and your family have already begun a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday.  A week off with family and possibly special events is a great way to recharge the brain, take the focus off of solely progressing through learning materials and rather take the time to look at something with a fresh perspective.


Recently I was reminded of the importance of having strong soft skills for happiness, resilience, and even future long-term employment. These skills are often referred to as the Habits of the Mind in academic literature. There are 16 habits, and as habits are, they are in constant development.  I love looking at learning through the lens of developing these habits; all of the programs and staff make use of these habits in their work with their students.


I know that all of you support (many, most, all of) these habits naturally in the home.  The more that our students understand the value of these habits, the more that they too can help to develop them in themselves as they get older.  


I have listed the Habits of Mind for you here for those who are interested. Perhaps you’d like to use one of them as a lens when doing something enjoyable with your children this week.


-Persisting, -Managing Impulsivity, -Listening with Understanding and Empathy, -Thinking Flexibly, -Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition), -Striving for Accuracy, -Questioning and Posing Problems, -Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations, -Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision, -Gathering Data through All Senses, -Creating, Imagining, Innovating, -Responding with Wonderment and Awe, -Taking Responsible Risks, -Finding Humor, -Thinking Interdependently, -Remaining Open to Continuous Learning.



Again, thanks for all your help in developing these important skills at home. Thank you for loving and caring, laughing and playing and exploring new learning with your children, -- and thank you for sharing them with us.  

 

May your week be full of good food, good company, and happy moments.


~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: Thank you to the parents who came and reviewed our WASC report draft.  You gave me good feedback that was added to the report.  It is a tremendous help to have parents who are educated on the systems and reports of the Charter meet with me regularly so that I can gain a parent perspective.  I really appreciate it (probably more than you realize).

Thursday, December 14, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.


Opportunities in our Community:

Substance Abuse: A Conversation with Educators and Experts - Nov. 30 SLV High School

We welcome parents from all SLV schools to join us Thursday, November 30 at 6:00 pm in the SLV High School Multi-Purpose Room for a discussion about substance abuse among teens. Sergeant Nicholas Baldridge from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department will be presenting on current drug trends in our youth population and within Santa Cruz County. Mary Clark, Adolescent Admission Counselor from the CAMP Recovery Center, will follow with a presentation on drug treatment options and resources for adolescents in our area. She will be available to field questions and provide follow up for any families that have concerns and possible immediate needs. We will close with Dr. Amy Solomon, Board Certified Addiction Specialist and Family Doctor serving the San Lorenzo Valley since 1996, to discuss the risk factors leading to substance abuse and handouts to help you start collecting your own thoughts on the subject.  Whether you are working through these types of issues with a teen or just want to be more informed, please come and get some useful information.


Congratulations to our Charter Student winners of the Air Quality Art Contest:

Fall Creek Program: Aydria Cruz; 1st grade, Ivan Cruz; 3rd grade, Justice Armstrong; 4th grade, Natalee Thomas 5th grade.Nature Academy: Haven Wallace Menge; 8th grade. They were honored at the November 15th board meeting. We send out a job well done to all the participants!!


SLV Charter Current Fundraisers:

The Fall Creek Booster Club will be at the "Santa Comes to Town and Tree Lighting" in Boulder Creek on 11/24/17, behind the IOOF building on Hwy 9 from 4-630pm. We will be selling hot cider (from Gizditch Farm juice) and homemade baked goods. Come join us and support our program!

 

Nature Academy and Coast Redwood Middle School Parent Clubs are currently running their ChicoBag Fundraiser. Chico Bags fit our environmental theme, they are not very expensive, they are easy to transport, and our programs get to keep 40% of the proceeds.  Here is a digital copy of the catalog to share with family and friends who might be interested in purchasing bags and supporting the school:  ChicoBag Fundraising Catalog. Please contact the teacher or PArent club lead for deadline information.

 

All Charter Winter Holiday Craft Fair, Dec. 1, 2017

This is an opportunity to share our creative talents and support each other's artistic endeavors by selling and purchasing each other's crafts and/or food. Students and parents are encouraged to make and sell their craft items!  It's great fun for the kids to sell their creations and buy from their friends, bartering is always on hand as well : ) Please email Amber Walker at awalker@slvusd.org if you would like to participate and have a space to sell your wares (It will be a shared tablespace, approx. 3ft. X 3ft.)  The deadline to reserve a table is Monday, November 27, 2017.  When: Friday: December 1, 2017,      Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm   Where: Rooms 14, 15, and 16 (and maybe 17) at the Quail Hollow Campus


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

Coast Redwood HS:This past week has been yet another busy week of science and history exploration, benchmark writing, mystery solving, and math computation with new insights into the many functions of numbers. Students have also been actively engaged in their music, sports, art, theater, culinary arts, physical education, martial arts, and dance! It has been amazing to observe the many individual accomplishments of our students in their elective areas of interest. Super Stars! We celebrated our annual Thanksgiving Potluck Feast, the food was phenomenal and the turnout and companionship was a warm way to begin our Thanksgiving Break.  College acceptance letters are coming in ~Congratulation to Portia Simmons - University Colorado at Denver.

Coast Redwood MS: We debated fair rules for Dodgeball, tried them out in play and then revised. Most of the kids completed writing their blender reviews, revising and editing. Jen talked with the kids about listening.  Afterward, I led the kids in a mindful listening exercise and had them write about what was easy and what was challenging about it. The kids worked on figuring out the real costs of materials used to make each container of lotion; a challenging process as each step is composed of multiple steps and multiple operations. Kudos to our first presenters!  We heard wonderful presentations on raising ducks and on autism.  We went over the criteria for evaluating the presentations and each audience member gave their feedback in writing to each presenter.

Nature Academy: The trimester closed at the end of this week.  This is the first trimester of our non-graded pilot  The teachers have worked at length together to develop comprehensive student self-reflection assessment sheets for each academic content area.  The students took time in the classes this week to look back through their work thus far, reflect on what they did well in, where they could have done better, and where they wanted to focus their goals for improvement in the coming trimester.  Kudos to the students as they really took an honest look at the efforts and made realistic goals that the teachers can work with them on when we get back from the holiday.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): Students have spent part of each day in the afternoons exploring watercolor techniques to choose which themes to create a body of work to sell at our Winter Craft Fair. What a lovely evening we had at our first “World Foods Potluck”. The menu was incredible with foods from Persia, Japan, Ghana, Scotland, Cuba, Sweden, and more, and some wonderful personal family favorites. Students worked on their self-reflections of their academic progress, organization skills, and personal responsibility.

Quail Hollow Homeschool:  We discussed similarities and differences after reading 2 different version of Stone Soup. Our friends made a wonderful Stone Soup everyone contributed and had fun doing it. During our Wednesday Nature Day, we learned the differences between moss and lichen and gathered and examined specimens on our walk through the park. We Tie Dyed socks for the Holiday Craft Fair.

Fall Creek Homeschool:  We have been discussing and exploring sea creatures and working on a mural for our classroom. We took a field trip to the UCSC life lab to help the students make the important connection between farms and the food on their dinner table. This included hands-on exploration of the 25 acre UCSC farm. We had two visitors from Seaquoia Seaweeds who led us in an activity of drawing the food chain in a kelp forest. We saw how the sea otter is a keystone species. Then we felt and tasted 4 types of seaweed.

Mountain IS: In art, we added gourds and glitter to our harvest collages so that they could glow under their starry nights and harvest moons. In theatre, we watched a fabulous musical inspired by Greek mythology put on by our own Mountain 5th and 6th graders. We practiced our African chant and dance for music in preparation for our upcoming school performance in December and we sang a song using American Sign Language. Students created words for a familiar song by adding their own emotions and verbs and body parts in Language Arts.


Dates to remember:

  • November 17: End of First Trimester

  • November 20th-26th:  Thanksgiving Break

  • December 1: All-Charter Craft Faire 10-2:00 pm

  • December 22nd- January 7th:  Winter Break

  • January 25: End of first Semester



This is a reminder that San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District policy, as set by the Board of Trustees, declares that we are a fragrant-neutral district.  As we begin to have our drama performances and other site-based activities and meetings, please take care to follow the policies below for the sake of the students and members of our community who are highly allergic to fragrances and scents.

The SLVUSD Board of Trustees adopted a California School Board Association policy to make all district classrooms and offices fragrant neutral. SLVHS has parents, students, and community members with respiratory issues who can have negative reactions to fragrances. Please take care to follow the policy while on campus.  

Staff and students shall refrain from bringing furred or feathered animals, stuffed toys that may collect dust mites, scented candles, incense or air fresheners and from using perfume or cologne, scented hair spray, nail polish or nail polish remover that are not fragrance-free in classrooms or other enclosed areas or buildings.

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