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Charter News: March 11, 2016

posted Mar 13, 2016, 5:37 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

Keep Calm and Spring Forward

Dear Charter Families,

Every year has brought changes to one program or another of our Charter. As the saying goes, change is the only constant, and our little Charter has had its share of change over the years. Luckily, what we hold as most important remains at the center of our programs as they shift due to staffing changes, moves, state requirements, etc.   And it is during the Charter renewal process that we take extra time to consider how best to make changes the we believe will benefit the students and families that we work with, and for. Next year there will be a couple significant changes in a couple of our homeschooling programs. Thank you for sharing the waves of change with us, and for providing your ideas and efforts into making changes the best they can be.

The Quail Hollow Homeschool programing will serve students in grades K-8 beginning next year.  Our 9-12 students, and most of the support classes and activities will be shifted to the current Coast Redwood High School teachers and classes at the CRHS site.  We have tried to keep two high school programs going for years, and the effort has become too great for our small staff, given the amount of work and significant changes required for supporting high school graduation requirement. Uniting the 9-12 students and parents to one program will allow for the programming requirements and homeschooling needs of the students to be more focused. And with this change, the Coast Redwood High School program has been taking more time to listen to the students; reviewing ways to expand parent involvement,  expand students creation of clubs, as well as building greater community interaction and options toward College and Career.

In order to best support families in homeschooling their children, the Quail Hollow Homeschool program will be providing multi-age, ongoing community classes for all who want them, grades K-8.  These will be offered 2 days a week. The program will continue to have a performing arts component, and the ability to bring in community enrichment will be incorporated into the days as well.  We are also beginning a new Visual and Performing Arts program for 7/8th graders on the Quail Hollow site as well.

For more information about this program and all our other hybrid homeschool programs, come to our information night on March 22.  And, please spread the word, invite your friends.


Our Charter will offer a new program for 7th and 8th graders next year!

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA) is a hybrid program within our SLVUSD Charter School, serving students in the 7th and 8th grade, offering an interdisciplinary curriculum and a dynamic approach to learning where the arts are central to academics. Students actively create, communicate through, and respond to their own and others work in the four primary disciplines of visual arts, dance, music, and theatre. Adhering to Adopted California Education Standards, the thematic program enhances the understanding of and connections between core content areas.  Collaboration among students, staff members, parents, and community arts partners enrich the in-depth learning with the arts to develop the skills, and quality of mind and character necessary for 21st Century learning.

QHIA is a hybrid program, with an online component in core content areas, combined with a classroom experience for student collaboration and teacher support. Parents work in partnership with the credentialed teacher to determine the amount of independent study and classroom attendance that best supports their student. Students will have the option of up to 4 days of onsite support, Monday-Thursday, with their classroom teacher, Amber Walker.

Charter Information Nights / Lottery Window:

Please share this information with any families you may know who may be interested.

Nature Academy Information Night:

Date:  Tuesday, March 15   Time:  6pm - 7pm      Location:  SLV Middle School Library

Nature Academy Application Window:

Open:  Tuesday, March 15th    Close:  Friday, April 15th, 3:00 pm.

Lottery will be held on April 22 at 3 pm.

Hybrid Homeschool Programs Information Night:

Date:  Tuesday, March 22 Time:  6pm - 7pm Location:  SLV Middle School Library

Parent Advisory Committee: Next meeting: Tuesday, March 15  3-4 pm  in the Felton, Fall Creek office.   PLEASE come to hear about and discuss the final changes in the Charter Renewal, and begin to discuss plans for next year based on the Charter Action Plan and LCAP suggestions.  

At our last meeting, We discussed the LCAP Supplemental Funding for the Charter next year.  Parents from four of the Charter programs attended and shared their ideas of what they would like the funds to be used for.  Ideas included: • Hands-on science with professional expertise, • College/Career counseling support from elementary through high school, • Ecology program linking programs in some way from K-12, • All Charter events such as a  play, Farm to Table, Community Service days, a Charter band • Keeping and possibly expanding the mental health counseling support, • Maintaining math tutors and parent support in materials, • Writing support for parents and students, • Life skills classes, home economics, credit and finance.

The LCAP is measured according to eight priorities:

1. Student Engagement 2. Parent Involvement 3. School Climate 4. Student Outcomes 5. Student Achievement 6. Course Access 7. Implementation of State Standards  8. Basic Services

Our next meeting on March 15 will continue the discussion on how we can systematically work toward deepening the educational support and options our Charter students have.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Judge backtracks on release of California student records

Responding to overwhelming public protest, a federal judge has decided records of 10 million California student won't be released to attorneys in a special-education lawsuit. Instead, Judge Kimberly Mueller ruled that the huge database will remain solely with the California Department of Education, which must respond to queries from attorneys seeking evidence that the state has failed to ensure an adequate education for special-needs children.

Vickie Bergquist, from the District office  contacted the CDE about this and found out thatt the records will NOT be released from the CDE and that all "opt out" forms will be kept (unopened) in a locked cabinet. They received so many "opt outs" that they most likely will not even be opening them.

PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT: March 23, 5:30-7:30 Please note: this is the second of our series of parent education based on your feedback from our survey.  And as requested, it will have some time for group practice and interaction. PLEASE RSVP through Julie Walker  And please tell her if you will need child care.

2015-16 Notice for Statewide Tests – Smarter Balanced Assessment

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

Nature Academy :   Both classes took excursions into Fall Creek last week.  Mr. K’s class has been focusing on Egypt and really enjoyed their trip to the Rosicrucian Museum.  Last week the 7/8th grade class had the unique training opportunity in natural history art and journaling with John Muir Laws, acclaimed naturalist and a dynamic speaker, gave a  presentation to and instructed studies in both sciences on nature drawing. This past Friday, as part of their studies, the students took a field trip to Cannery Row and the Aquarium.  Next week, the 7th graders will join many other 7th graders on a field trip to UCSC.

Coast Redwood High School: INFORMATION NIGHT FOR INCOMING NEW AND RETURNING PARENTS: Monday, March 14 starting at 6:00pm-7:3​0pm (Room P-3) We are inviting current 8th grade families and friends to our Info Night for extended information about Coast Redwood High School as an option for high school. Please bring your questions with you!

Bench Project Underway: Phase 1 completed :John Reed, Ben Murphy and Alec Adamson have completed Phase 1 of clearing the area for tomorrow's work. A HUGE thank you for your dedication. Phase 2 - marking the area and measuring / digging post holes (with post hole diggers) / pouring cement and installing support bench posts. Thank you to 9th grader Vivianna, and 12th graders Katelyn and Alec, for enduring the rain on Saturday and working so hard! The students involved over the last few days received lessons in engineering and math concepts, thanks to the parent volunteers; Karl, Sebastien, Kristen and Wade.

Coast Redwood Middle School: Partner Writing:  Students watched the video clip, “Austin’s Butterfly” to bring home the importance of critique and multiple drafts.  The kids worked in table groups, offering positive feedback and suggestions for improving the imagery in each other’s poems. Trout Project:  The little alevin are moving swiftly through their baby stage, with an expected release time in the next couple of weeks.  Climate Science: We watched a demonstration of a convection current and how density drives the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt spreading heat and nutrients throughout the ocean basins of the earth. Stress Reduction:  Jennifer Sims gave a fun presentation on many ways we can reduce stress in our lives.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Stormy weather is here again! Many families braved the elements to come to Discovery Play Day today.  Next week Block 4 classes start, which include the on-going classes as well as Awesome Oscillators, Ukulele, Chess, Hip hop, and the ever popular pinhole photography. Thursday, March 17 is the Ano Nuevo field trip. CTF AND PARENT MEETING Friday, March 18

Fall Creek Homeschool: Words include “creative”, and “positive”. Students played a game of matching cities and states to their latitude and longitude coordinates. 3rd graders learned to use the Chromebook laptops and make videos using Animoto.There were math sessions using Cuisenaire Rods. Jan Pitcher, Nature Artist, gave us a workshop on drawing birds. Students are beginning their spring project, where each child will create two books for the County Author’s Fair. One book will be made at home, the second book will be made at school and written into at home.

Mountain IS: Play was a success!


Santa Cruz Mountain Art Center Presents its 19th Annual  Spring Into Art! March 23-April 16

Young artists have their moment to share their artwork with our community. Anyone under the age of 21 is invited to submit artwork of any medium. Pick Up Entry forms in the Resource Center in Quail Hollow or at the Fall Creek Charter Office. Or for more information and entry forms  go to   ** Bring Artwork In: Sunday, March 20 from 2-5pm

Math Tutor: Aaron Shaw, our math tutor, has scheduled hours at the following Felton locations and times:

  • Mondays from 12-3:30  in portable 5 with teacher Brian Heery; Math 1 & 2 emphasis

  • Wednesdays from 2:15-4:00 in portable 28 at the middle school campus

Please come with your math homework and questions ready.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Information from Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Schools.  

Per the request to share with our school communities, the CalEITC4Me Web site at has valuable information about the EITC, including online tools for helping to determine eligibility and guidance regarding where people can file their taxes for free.

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 14: CRHS information night for Charter families. 6:00-7:30, room p3

  • March 15: Nature Academy Information Night. 6:00-7:00, Middle School Library

  • March 22: All Homeschool Programs Information Night. 6:00-7:00, Middle School Library

  • March 23: Parent Education night: Tips for Encouraging the Young Writer

  • April 4-8: Spring Break