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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.


NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information.  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 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.