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Charter News: September 18, 2015

posted Sep 19, 2015, 9:38 PM by Rhonda Schlosser   [ updated Sep 28, 2015, 11:22 AM by Laurie Becker ]

Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power.

~Clint Eastwood

Dear Parents,

Every once in awhile, there is an educational topic that I believe is important for me to share.  Pardon me if this is something that I have shared before, or a topic that you feel fully versed in, but as we are now supporting greater use of student’s personal computer devices in the district, safety and awareness has also become a topic that I am more involved in as part of my oversight.  

Digital Footprint:  Parent Awareness is Critical.  Students use of the internet is a daily occurrence, used for learning as well as social interaction. I am a proponent of the use of the internet with children, when done with adult oversight and full awareness of what it means to be a global digital citizen, educated in using technology appropriately.  I also count on our parents to use their personal judgement to determine how often and to what extent their children use technology tools and the internet as a resource.  This of course includes every device; computer, iPad, or Smartphone, etc. Students in grades 2-12 who are enrolled in the SLVUSD district are given email accounts that are meant to be used for their academic learning while at school. These email accounts are not meant to be used for a student’s private use.  Unfortunately, many students are not aware of the importance of having more than one email account, and have been using their school email for private use.

The district has oversight of these email accounts, and as part of that oversight, every principal in the district is alerted if any student uses an inappropriate word, such as a swear word or sexual or racial slur, while using their school email account. Due to this special privilege, I have become vastly more aware of what some students share over the internet; through their emails, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. I have become privy to the fact that many students in the district (not necessarily in our Charter programs) are using their student email accounts for their private use - and are sometimes sharing information that is inappropriate and (eternally) linked to their name.  

I strongly encourage every parent to become and remain educated on the various ways that students/children can use the internet.  Their digital footprint lasts forever.  The many uses and misuses of internet resources adds an additional layer of knowledge and responsibility for our students, beginning at an early age.  And unfortunately their maturity level does not always coincide with proper internet etiquette and safety.

Take time to explore what you can find while searching for information. Find out what information is shared through Twitter, Instagram and other social networking programs. Teach your children that they should have different emails for different uses: the school email for school use, a personal email for home use, and perhaps one for gaming and other online uses.

Common Sense Media is a great resource for parents and teachers.  It provides a vast amount of information to help children “thrive in a world of media and technology.”   Please take some time to find out what it has to offer, if you haven’t already. This link will take you to one of their pages on internet safety.


Parent Advisory Committee  / Charter Renewal / WASC committee visit

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, September 22. from 3-4

PLEASE ATTEND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, even if you didn’t come to the first meeting.

Revised Agenda: Discuss Mission statement revisions.  Overview of Charter Action Plan goals.

New Counselor: Jennifer Sims

Our new counselor is fully hired and ready to start!  Her name is Jennifer Sims, and we have her for 20% of her contract.  

She will be coming to visit the Charter’s various programs sometime in the next week to introduce herself to the students. Once this is done, she will primarily be working with our students on Mondays. She and I will be discuss some of her ideas on how to work with our population; by way of specific educational topics and possible group discussions, in addition to her 1-on-1 times with students who request her support.  We will be sending out information on the process of signing up for her 1-on-1 sessions once she and I meet.

Here is a bit about her:

“I have a Master's degree in counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  The majority of my therapeutic work has been with survivors of traumatic experiences and interpersonal violence.  I have also worked with students of all ages around bullying and violence prevention, as well as trained professionals on that subject nationwide. Prior to this work, I provided support to people with disabilities in a variety of capacities, which lead to one of the more interesting things about me: I am really good at sign language.

I have always felt strongly about supporting individuals to remove barriers to success.  Healthy relationships are key.  I work to create safe environments that are supportive of learning about, understanding, and successfully managing emotions, while bringing humor and love to the process.  I am looking forward to our collaborations.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions."

Math tutor: AND!  We now have a math tutor.  His name is Aaron Shaw and he is a former Nature Academy student, currently in his last year at San Jose State.  He will be working for us at the Felton locations; on Mondays from 12-3:30 in portable 5 with Brian; primarily to support students in Math 1 & 2.  He will also be working for us on Thursdays from 1:30-3:30, primarily to support students in grades 6-8.  Right now I have it set as a drop-in process, but if he become too busy, we may have to schedule a sign-up procedure for his sessions.

I will also work to hire additional tutors through UCSC.  They cannot come on board until mid October at the earliest however, due to their school schedule.

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

Quail Hollow Homeschool  (formerly BC & SLV Homeschool): The QH Homeschool Families and teachers came back from their first ever combined campout at New Brighton.  One of their activities was to create tie dye shirts representing their newly formed Quail Hollow Homeschool program.  Everyone had a blast...and need a bit of extra sleep this weekend, I am sure.

FC Homeschool: Began their study of U.S birds and are planning their field trips to support this theme.  Speaking of which, The Monterey Bay Birding Festival is happening next week. Here is their website showing all kinds of local activities and speakers:

Nature Academy: The NA 6/7/8 had a field trip this Friday, walking from the Rincon Parking Lot on Highway Nine to 4-mile beach. Afterward, the parents organized a potluck/bonfire at Twin Lakes Beach for those who wanted to attend.  The parent drivers and coordinators deserve a round of applause for all the planning and time they spent making sure this trip was able to happen without a hitch.  Thank you.

CRMS: Will have their annual Ropes Course for team building activities at Mt Hermon on September 30th.

CRHS: A huge thank you to Melanie Burgess for all the food preparation that she did for the first Farm to Table open house on September 10. All the food was delicious and many of the visitors kept coming back for more.  Another thank you to Quinn Becker, Katelyn Praly and Riley Bingham and their band, who played for us throughout the evening.

Drive for Schools Fundraiser:

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Toyota's Drive for Schools fundraiser is coming next week. Charter teachers will be handing out books for students to sell. Schools keep 100% of the proceeds, which means for our Charter, each Program keeps 100% of the proceeds from the sales.

Drive For Schools, founded in 2005 by Subaru of Santa Cruz and now sponsored by the   Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Capitola Auto Mall Dealer Group, successfully raised over $567,000 in 2014 for local schools and more than $3.4 million total since 2005. Schools sell the $5 tickets and keeps every single penny it raises.

This year the Grand Prize winner will have their choice of a brand new Toyota Prius or Subaru Outback including tax, title, and license. And, if the winner isn’t in the market for a new car, they will award them $25,000 in cash instead! They will also be giving away ten $1,000 cash prizes, plus over 100 additional prizes.

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 by 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.)

  • September 22: Parent Advisory Committee meeting; 3-4 pm. at the, Felton. (Agenda: completing review of mission/vision and reviewing Action Plan)

  • October 30: No School; Professional Development Day