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Charter News October 2, 2015

posted Oct 4, 2015, 11:12 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

Don’t tell me how talented you are. Tell me how hard you work. -Artur Rubenstein

Dear Parents,

Fall is just around the corner; the squirrels around our campuses are busy gathering nuts, leaves are changing colors, and we are even having a little drizzling rain! (Hopefully we will have a wet season) The sunsets have been glorious and with the shorter days, easy for them to mark the time to start the evening wind down, with our focus on family connection before bed. ~

There are several pedagogical ideas that we, as a staff, firmly believe in and work to practice with our students.  The concept of Mindset is one of them.  Once you read about the idea, is seems so logical that it makes you wonder why everyone doesn’t put it into practice right away.  The reality is that practice is much harder to maintain due to the fact that we need to wade through our own upbringing, the immediate urgencies, and lack of time that our day to day existence puts us under.

However, if every parent and teacher actually practiced facilitating growth mindset with our students, I believe their academic and personal possibilities would be guaranteed to grow.

“Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference. Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports.”

‘Mindset’ explains:

  • Why brains and talent don’t bring success

  • How they can stand in the way of it

  • Why praising brains and talent doesn’t foster self-esteem and accomplishment, but jeopardizes them

  • How teaching a simple idea about the brain raises grades and productivity

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

I encourage you to review this concept with mindful attention.  We believe it can make a difference.  And like Mindfulness, it takes time and practice for most of us to build it into a practice that can make a true difference with our students.

This link will take you to a simple animation video explaining the difference between fixed and growth mindset.

The link below shows another video that explains the research that supports Carol Dweck’s theory of Mindset.

Please take the time to review some of the Mindset resources mentioned here. A student’s confidence and ability is built from effort. We praise their efforts, helping to build their growth mindset, not a fixed talent.  

Have a great week-end.  


Parent Advisory Committee

Next meeting: October  13, 3-4 pm in the Felton, Fall Creek office

A big thank you to the parents who have been coming every week.  The meetings have been very productive.   We have agreed on the Charter Mission and Vision statement and are now reviewing the School Wide Outcomes, along with the Charter Action plan goals.  The parent representatives are to report out to their respective programs about our progress, asking for further feedback from other parents in their programs.  


Our next meeting will be to further evaluate and refine the School-wide (Learning) Outcomes.   

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

ALL CHARTER: Skate Days are back! Our first all family Skate is scheduled for October 16, from 1-3 at the Santa Cruz Roller Rink, 1606 Seabright Ave. Free for regular skates for children enrolled in the Charter. Any special skates or other items are extra.

Quail Hollow Homeschool (formerly BC & SLV Homeschool): First block of classes are up and running! In addition to their homeschooling, students are participating in their choice of: -Pinhole Photography. -Explorers: STEAM and Time and Tides, -Wild Wanders, -Jungle Book Rehearsal: already learned our finale group number with choreography, -Improv., -Stepping Stones, -Thrill the World, -Voyager, -Singing,  -Yoga, -Capture the Flag.  

FC Homeschool: Students are making their own knitting needles and have been applying beeswax, creating the friction needed to melt the wax so it could penetrate the wood. This is a great project to combine their current theme on trees with last years theme on bees.  They have a UCSC Arboretum field trip  scheduled for October 21.

Nature Academy:  The 6th grade students completed their ancient tool projects with their end results showing great initiative and creativity. 7&8th class are continuing with their Thematic brain study, which includes sheep brain dissection, along with reading and writing about how the adolescent brain works. Their Sunset Beach overnight and Native Plant restoration project is Oct. 8&9.

CRMS:  Mark Gray came to their class  to introduce the kids to the history and potential of the ukulele.  Many kids will be participating in the after school Ukulele club.  The Book Club has begun, and parent Andrea, had her first meeting with the kids and led a discussion on Holes. Students have begun their project presentations: working to support each other in brainstorming ideas and initial research.

CRHS: Students, teachers and parents participated in a CSU MONTEREY BAY TOUR last week that took them around the campus (2.5 miles) and into the Visual Arts and Technology building, the Business and Technology building, the Cinematic and Theater building, the Library and Technology building and into the student Residence Halls.

PSAT TESTING (Grades 9, 10, 11) Students are supported in taking the Practice SAT test to measure their skills. Students may retake the PSAT each year in order to identify areas on the practice college entrance exam (PSAT) that need particular attention. Students take the SAT in their Junior and Senior year. Practicing helps and raises SAT scores.

Scheduled for Wednesday, October 14 at SLVHS. Come with $25.00 to the SLVHS counseling office on Monday, October 5th to purchase a seat. Wade and Kay will be assisting with the testing. Testing will take place in the high school gym. 8:00am-12:00pm.

Mountain IS:  Their Outdoor Science School for the 6th grade students is the week of the 12th.  There is an in-service day for Mountain on the 23rd (NO SCHOOL at Mountain, but an SLV homeschool day), Their Book Club is on the 27th (Ben and Me by Robert Lawson).

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 will primarily be working with our students on Mondays, but can schedule times to meet in some afternoons if Monday does not work for our student. Please contact her via her email

Math tutor: Aaron Shaw, our math tutor, has begun working for us at the Felton locations;  Mondays from 12-3:30 in portable 5 with teacher Brian Heery; primarily to support students in Math 1 & 2,  and 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.

Drive for Schools Fundraiser: Don’t forget to buy and sell those tickets!

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Toyota's Drive for Schools Schools keep 100% of the proceeds, which means for our Charter, each Program keeps 100% of the proceeds from the sales.

The Final Due Date to return tickets to your teachers is Friday, Oct 15, so that they can be turned in for the drawing on time, no later than SUNDAY, Oct 18th.

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 12:  Lifetouch Photo session for Nature Academy students

  • October 13: Parent Advisory Committee 3-4 pm in the Felton, Fall Creek office

  • October:15: Lifetouch Photo session for Homeschool students

  • October 16: Skate Day

  • October 30: No School; Professional Development Day