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Charter News: October 22, 2017-18

posted Oct 22, 2017, 3:01 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

“Individual Commitment to a group effort; that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” -Vince Lombardi

Dear Charter Families,

“It takes a village”  This phrase is used to signify that it takes more than one person, one effort, one avenue to make a difference. It is a phrase that we believe is a critical way of working in our Charter, within all our programs, in order to ensure the best for our students.  For us, this phrase means that families need to keep in relationship and communication with other friends and family members who can help them to support the positive growth of their children.  Your children are our children, and we are there for you as well.

Academics and a healthy social-emotional life work hand in hand.  What we have found is that sometimes we are working with another element that can be subtly working against our united village: social media and screen time sometimes takes precedent in our student’s development beyond what we initially perceive.  

Social media and excessive screen-time use among children and family members can sometimes create an environment that can negatively alter the face to face communication skills and/or attention span capacity needed for an active engagement with studies and/or with friendships.  It may beneficial to reflect on the use of screen-time, social media sites, and apps in your family.

This is not a black or white answer. It is important to take the time to reflect on what level of screen time and social media is appropriate for your children and household.

If you are interested to learn more about how to support a healthy use of media in your family, here are a few articles and videos you may like to review. (A big thank you to our teacher, Melissa Stockton for sharing these links.)

Media Use in School-Aged Children and Adolescents -American Academy of Pediatrics

"15 Surprising Benefits of Playing Video Games –  Mental Floss Magazine" (article)

"5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now" Asap Science, Sept. 7, 2014 (Video)

Another resource that I subscribe to is Tech Talk Tuesdays from Screenager’s filmmaker, Dr. Delaney Ruston.  The blog subscription emails conversation starters about social media, video game use, tech tips and more.  Here are a couple of the latest examples:

The latest app to join the social networking roster, TBH (To Be Honest) is meant to share positive vibes. Users anonymously receive and can send superlatives, such as “Best person to get a cup of coffee with?" or "Who is most likely to keep in touch with friends after ten years?"

Questions to bring to the table.

  • What are some other ways to foster positivity online that is anonymous? That is not anonymous?

  • What do you think the pros and cons are for anonymous apps?

  • What are the ways you feel that you most authentically give people positive feedback? Give yourself positive feedback?

  • Most of us are our own harshest critics. Do you have tricks to help you notice when you are putting yourself down? What compliments do you ever give yourself?

Are our kids losing their in-person communication skills? Discusses communication skills with our children or students. Including a communication tool that comes from a field of therapy, called DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), created by Marcia Linehan. It’s called DEAR, and it is great to use when anyone is about to ask for something that they are nervous about.

D = Describe the situation   

E = Emotion you are feeling about the issue

A = Ask for what you want

R = Reiterate how it will benefit both of you if this can be worked out

How do we improve our face-to-face communication skills? Here are some questions to get the conversation started:

  • Who do you know that is an excellent communicator? What makes them so good?

  • What do you do when you are experiencing conflict with a person? Do you communicate about it only online, or both online and offline?

  • Do you think people can learn to be better communicators?

  • Can everyone try to do DEAR once in the coming week—perhaps with another family member so that it feels less awkward trying it?

For more discussion ideas, you can peruse past Tech Talk Tuesdays.

Please read on to learn more about what is happening in the Charter programs and the district.


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.

A huge THANK YOU to the CalFire crews, local fire departments, and Hot Shots who came to fight the Bear fire and  protect the homes and structures in and around Boulder Creek.  I have heard many stories of how our community rallied together to help those in need during this emergency. We hope that you all came out unscathed!  

What happens when a disaster strikes? Our district has systems and procedures in place. For more information about District Emergency Information please click on this Emergency Procedures Link to access the SLVUSD Emergency Information Page. You will find a lot of handy information in pages that you can print and have readily available.  

Toyota Drive for Schools: Fundraiser! A big thank you to everyone who participated in this fundraiser.  Maybe this year, we will have a big winner!

Message from the Parent Advisory Committee: Thank you to the parents who attended. We have representation from nearly all programs now. We discussed Charter and District three main goals in Math/Literacy, SEL, College & Career and discussed ideas and concerns. Next meeting will focus on reviewing the Charter WASC report and Charter board presentation.

Next meeting is Thursday, November 9, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.

After School Performing Arts opportunities

Thrill the World! 2017 (Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Event)

Preparation and counting down worldwide is part of the fun, but the feeling of being connected to others and dancing together as one is a Thrill like no other! This year the event will be held in Santa Cruz on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at the Louden Nelson Center lawn at 3 pm sharp. LAST REHEARSAL Oct. 27 from 3-4:30 pm at the Quail Hollow site room 29,

All Charter Musical: Cinder-Idol-What the World Needs Now! Once again, it will be an original script written by Janinne Chadwick, which Amber directed and choreographed in 2005 with LPRT (Little People's Repertory Theater.) It is the classic tale twisted together with today's reality talent show craze, with step-sisters resembling the Spice Girls, Motown fairy godparents, 80's big hair rockers, and music ranging from pop, rock n' roll, Motown, and the Beatles.

  • Auditions: 3-5:30pm, Mondays/Tuesdays, Oct. 23, 24; Rm 29

  • Rehearsals: 3-5:30 pm, Mondays/Tuesdays in November and December; Rm 29

  • January Rehearsals: 3-6pm at the SLV PAC, Jan. 8, 9, 16, 22, 23

  • Tech Rehearsals: 3-6pm, Mon. and Tues. Jan 29 and 30 at the PAC

  • Dress Rehearsal: 3-6pm, Wed. Jan. 31 at the PAC

  • Performances for SLV classes: Thurs. and Fri., Feb. 1 and 2 at 10:30 am

  • Evening Performances: Thurs., Fri., and Sat., Feb. 1, 2, and 3

If you have any questions about any of these dates, feel free to email me;  I look forward to sharing my love of performing arts with your students!

Sincerely, Amber Walker  - Charter Teacher -Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA)


November 9th: Picture retake day for all homeschool programs :  (time TBD)

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

It's time to start planning your ideas for our 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! We have had everything from photo cards, friendship bracelets, and earrings made by students, to essential oil blends and exquisite quilts made by parents. 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 table space, approx. 3ft. X 3ft.)  The deadline to reserve a table is Monday, November 27, 2017.  When: Friday: December 1, 2017      Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm   Where: Rooms 14, 15, and 16 (and maybe 17) at the Quail Hollow Campus

Coast Redwood HS: Classes are in full gear with learning and projects taking place daily. In our classes this past week we opened up a dialog for students to share their feelings and emotions about what was happening in their community and beyond. We were all happy to have our first sprinkle of rain which brought us a sense of renewal. Continuing with this month’s theme of Communication, Advisory spent the first hour with students divided in groups to problem solve a task through communication. The field trip to the Garden of Eden was lots of fun with a scavenger hunt as part of the fun. It was an active day searching and exploring, which rejuvenated many of our students. Not one computer or phone was in sight! Rory McKee, our counselor, spoke to our students in English about the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the background for obtaining aid for college. Also successful was our student enrollment taking the PSAT. Rory will assist you understanding your results when they arrive. Friday 10/27 - Field trip to CSU Monterey Bay Monday 10/30 - College & Career Night at Cabrillo College! 6:00pm-8:00pm COAST REDWOOD ANNUAL HALLOWEEN PARTY: Tuesday, October 31 starting at 11:00 with a costume contest, potluck luncheon, and more!

Coast Redwood MS: A brief update on classroom activities: Presentation Preview Meetings:have your CRMS student present their research and project to me to receive my suggestions for improvement a week before s/he presents it to the class. - Circle Check-In: we focused on the Bear fire and neighbors and friends who were in danger. -PE: Students filled out the game description template, hammering out the rules to Capture the Flag, using supporting evidence to convince others of their points of view.  When we actually played the game, we saw the need for even more rules. -Art: -Logan’s mom Tina talked about her background in art, including attending art college. She showed some of her paintings asking what feelings they evoked.  We drew a simple figure, first upside down and then right side up and we compared the difference in our experiences.  We then took that drawing and scaled it up, using a grid. -Marketing: Willow’s dad, Jimmy Pezone came in and talked to us about important considerations when marketing our Healthy Redwoods products.  We’re hoping that he will return to help us with next steps. -Mindfulness:  We took a minute to turn our attention inward and focus on the simple experience of hearing sounds.

Nature Academy: 6th graders are studying the book “The Little Prince”, with literature analysis in preparation for a final essay assignment. They are also working toward making their personal cuneiform as part of their Mesopotamian studies. 7th-8th graders are continuing their in-depth study on the Brain, integrating charting data in spreadsheets as part of their science studies and reading, analyzing, and integrating information about brain development in various writing assignments. There will be a Nature Academy Skate Day on Friday, October 27th from 10:30-12:30.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): Here is a brief recap of our academic activities: -Students completed their Science packets on Genetics. -We ended our study of the Byzantine Empire by watching a really well done documentary on how engineering helped build this golden era: -The students sorted skittles and worked on the computer-art program, Pixlr, learning the tools to edit and pixelate portraits and paintings. This is an extension of our Roman/Byzantine Mosaic study. -Students worked on their individual myths, and we did some reader’s theater with the play, “Escape from Ilium”. -We clarified next steps the students are working in math. Thursday, Oct. 26: First Book Club Meeting at 3pm in the Resource Center (organized by Miles...yay!)

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Younger students used a lot of movement working on personal space, holding our own, following directions, and counting together. We practiced an emergency earthquake/fire drill, read, Last Stop on Market Street, and discussed their experiences with sharing empathy.  Older students ordered decimal numbers down to the hundredths place,  created equivalent fractions and ordered proper fractions. Together, we had a Pumpkin Activity: we conducted scientific observation skills and games with our miniature pumpkins, ending the activity with a balancing pumpkin relay race. We read aloud the poem ‘Jabberwocky’ in unison. Drum Circle - older students did a terrific job leading the circle with their own beats and adding improvisation.

Fall Creek Homeschool: Our field trip to the Monterey Aquarium was wonderful! We listened to a news story about how scientists are tracking incidents of humpback whales helping other marine animals escape from Orcas. We drew detailed illustrations of life at the beach and along the shore onto their watercolor paintings from last week. We used a new book from the Aquarium to follow step by step directions for drawing marine creatures. We drew them and cut them out in preparation for making a mural of the Monterey Bay. We listened to three more chapters of Buoy.

Mountain IS: We practiced sign language for feeling vocabulary. We had a class brainstorm about things that make you happy, sad and mad. In Life Lab we weeded and observed signs of Fall. We played many math games; domino, and  Mexican Train with the older students. We created a multi media starry night watercolor and created covers for our feelings books. In music the older students played ukuleles and the younger students sang songs and chants with creative movement.

Dates to remember:

October 27th:  End of Quarter 1 grading period

November 9th: Picture retake day for all homeschool programs : (time TBD)

November 10th:  No School-- Veteran’s Day

November 17: End of First Trimester

November 20th-26th:  Thanksgiving Break

December 22nd- January 7th:  Winter Break

January 25: End of first Semester