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Charter News: October 18, 2015

posted Oct 18, 2015, 2:14 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”      ~ Confucius

Dear Parents,

Here is another educational piece that I thought would be valuable for you to be aware of.  The Common Core Math standards were adopted a few years ago by our district. A piece to the new CC standards is the concept of ‘best math practices’. These practices specify the mathematical ways of thinking students should develop while learning mathematics content.   There are eight practices that I will share in two parts. Here are the first four.   

I like these practices because I believe they are good practices in general, that can often be implemented in a variety of learning experiences. See if you can find ways that these ideas can be used in other ways to support your child’s learning. 


#1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them

What it means: Understand the problem, find a way to attack it, and work until it is done. Basically, you will find practice standard #1 in every math problem, every day. The hardest part is pushing to solve tough problems by applying what they already know and to monitor themselves when problem-solving.

To develop students’ capacity to “make sense of problems and persevere in solving them” develop ways of framing (mathematical)  challenges that are clear and explicit, and then check in repeatedly to help them clarify their thinking and their process.

#2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively

What it means: This is the ability to contextualize and decontextualize. If students have a problem, they should be able to break it apart and show it symbolically, with pictures, or in any way other than the standard algorithm. Conversely, if students are working a problem, they should be able to apply the “math work” to the situation.   

To develop students’ capacity to "reason abstractly and quantitatively" help learners understand the relationships between problem scenarios and (mathematical) representation, as well as how the symbols represent strategies for solution.

#3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

What it means: Be able to talk about math, using mathematical language, to support or oppose the work of others.  

To develop students’ capacity to "reason abstractly and quantitatively" help  learners understand the relationships between problem scenarios and (mathematical) representation, as well as how the symbols represent strategies for solution.

#4 Model with mathematics

What it means: Use math to solve real-world problems, organize data, and understand the world around you.

To develop students’ capacity to "construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others" require students to engage in active mathematical discussion. This might involve having students explain and discuss their thinking processes aloud, or signaling agreement/disagreement with a hand signal.


Parent Advisory Committee

Next meeting: October  27, 3-4 pm in the Felton, Fall Creek office

And now a word from some of our parents…..

Hi families! As members of the parent advisory committee, we represent you and want to hear from you!

Our focus is to review the elements of our Charter document to help prepare it for petition for renewal with the District board and to learn about and review the school’s action plan. In order to do a thorough job, we’d like your input (both positive and constructive), suggestions. Also, any questions you may have about these two projects are greatly appreciated.

Please feel free to contact either Jennifer Thiede at (daughter at Coast Redwood Middle School) or Rachel Trowbridge at (students at Coast Redwood Middle School and Fall Creek) or Helid Largay (student at Nature Academy) at , or Christie Hertig (student at CRHS) at  

Working together to keep our charter programs great!  

~ The Parent Advisory Committee

New Counselor: Jennifer Sims Jen has been visiting the Charter’s various programs, introducing herself to the students and parents as well as meeting with individual students. She primarily works with our students on Mondays, but can schedule times to meet in some afternoons if Monday does not work for you. Please contact her via her email  

She is also in the process of developing a weekly group class for our secondary students. Teen Wellness & Empowerment Group.

“Teens!  No pressure, but you are responsible for the future of the world!  Good grades help, but what about your ability to take care of yourself emotionally?  To protect and stand up for yourself in those not-so-safe situations?  To know what you believe in and the choices that you  want to make for your life? It’s hard to figure out alone.  Teen WE can help you deal.”

Stay tuned for more information on the time, place and first meeting date.

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; primarily to support students in Math 1 & 2,  

  • Thursdays from 2:00-4:00, primarily to support students in grades 6-8 in portable 28 with teacher Marcy Reynolds.  

It is currently set as a drop-in. Please come with your math homework and questions ready.

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

ALL CHARTER: African Library Project: This year the Quail Hollow Voyager Group is spearheading a community service partnership with the African Library Project; founded by a homeschooling friend of many of our staff members, Chris Bradshaw.  ‘The African Library Project changes lives book by book by starting libraries in rural Africa. The grassroots approach mobilizes U.S. volunteers, young and old, to organize book drives and ship books to a partner library in Africa, making a concrete and personal difference for children on both continents.’

We will need to collect 1,000 books and raise $500.00 to start a library in Africa. Please click on the following links for more information and the types of books that can be donated:  At this point, the only component that we are focusing on is collecting books. More details will follow in November/December. To find out what types of books to donate, click on the link below. Link to document with more info about types of books to donate: ALP Book Donation Info  Book donations can be dropped off at the Quail Hollow site, room 14, or at the Fall Creek Ludlow office.

Quail Hollow Homeschool (formerly BC & SLV Homeschool): Thrill the World Global Dance Event! Come support your charter students, parents, and alumni as we dance with the greater Santa Cruz community in this event coordinated by time zone in 6 continents! Our "Thrill Time" this year is 10:00am sharp Saturday, October 24 at the Louden Nelson Center lawn in Santa Cruz. See you there, funky zombies!

Oct. 29~All our K-8 homeschoolers and teachers are invited to join in the Costume Parade and Fall Celebration/Craft Day.

FC Homeschool: Students are continuing with their knitting projects, sewing bags to keep their materials.  They have also devised a makeshift game that they have been developing during their free time where they have a business selling clay “gold” that they dig from the digging pit and sell for acorns.  They also have three field trip visits to the Arboretum, Aquarium, and Life Lab in the near future.

Nature Academy:  After several excursions and larger projects, it is business as usual in their classroom assignments and activities.

CRMS:  For their theme, students are looking at data from NASA showing sunrise and sunset times for Felton at various dates this year.  With help, they worked together to figure out the average daily rate of change in day length for the period the were assessing.  They ended up with some very interesting data at the end which showed a dramatic difference in the amount of daylight lost or gained at different times of year.

CRHS: Their first ‘Meeting of The Tribes’ brought students together for the first time since orientation 6 weeks ago. There was lots of laughter and reacquainting with one another on Friday. The staff values these opportunities for our students to get together. As homeschoolers, not everyone is enrolled in on-site classes. "Tribal" meetings are valuable links to parent education, important messages to students, 2nd quarter writing benchmarks, progress reports, PowerSchool troubleshooting, as well as a forum for asking questions about college, career and technical schools, applications, etc. This year there is an emphasis on applying a growth MindSet. Keidi gave a talk and demonstration on MindSet, explaining what a Fixed Mindset is over a Growth Mindset. All students watched a Ted Talk together, and participated in an exercise they could easily demonstrate at home.

Mountain IS:  This satellite program continues to flourish, with many additional parent led activities adding to the richness of their two day weekly classroom experience. Their Book Club is on the 27th (Ben and Me by Robert Lawson).  Thier life-lab component has added worm composting bins. Their Halloween Parade is October 30th.

Hicklebee’s Book Fair!  Announcing our first ever book fair with Hicklebee’s Bookstore.

Hicklebee’s is a great book store that offers high quality books and educational items that fit with our parent/student interests. There will be items for grades K-9.

Please come and browse.  Think Holiday and Birthday gifts!  

Dates: November 2nd – 6th

Hours: Mon – Thurs 9am – 3pm  Fri 9am – 2pm

Location: Quail Hollow Campus 325 Marion Ave. Ben Lomond.  Room 12 (follow the arrows)

A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR PURCHASES WILL BENEFIT enrichment activities for SLV Charter School programs.

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.)

  • October 30: No School; Professional Development Day

  • October 29: End of first Quarter: Homeschool programs

  • Nov. 2-Nov. 6: Hicklebee’s Book Fair

  • November 6: End of first Trimester: Nature Academy

  • November 11: Holiday -Veterans Day

  • November 23-27: Holiday -Thanksgiving Break

  • December 18: End of first Semester

  • December 21-January 4: Holiday: Winter Break