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Charter News Archives

The purpose of these newsletters is to keep families informed about events and activities that pertain to all programs; such as Board updates, WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), LCAP(Local Control Accountability Plan), All-Charter events, and other pertinent information. It is also the newsletter for the general public to find out some specifics about all the individual programs we serve. We will be sending this newsletter out every other week. You will be receiving regular emails from the teacher(s) of your specific program to keep you updated on homework, classroom activities and specifics on field trips and special events for your child.


Charter News: Feb 12

posted Feb 15, 2017, 1:52 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving. -Paulo Coelho


Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu



Don’t forget, no school tomorrow, February, 13th


Dear Charter Families,


The rains have subsided for a spell and I hope that your homes and roads will have time to dry and stabilize some. Our sympathies go out to those whose homes were flooded or who now have an extended commute due to road closures.


Unfortunately we needed to cancel our viewing of Screenagers due to the District’s storm closure. We have rescheduled it for March 8th, same time, same place.  Our students have now watched it with their teachers and the overwhelming response is that, while they had some criticism of the film, the majority of every class felt it very important that their parents view the film as well. We love it when our families can engage in important conversations with each other and their children.  There is no doubt that the topic of screen time is an important one to ponder and make some decisions about. Parent involvement and support is so important to your students success and events like these are a good way to support your children’s education.


I have listed some salient points that our teachers heard from their students through their discussions after the film.

  • The kids were quite attentive during the film and authentically interested in how something so much a part of their lives was being portrayed.  

  • Many kids felt that the examples used in the film were extreme.  Many felt that they could (and do) drop using their electronics for a week or more without any trouble, if they are away or have other activities.  

  • Some kids saw themselves reflected in the film more than others.  

  • Discussions were had about the characterization of computer use based on gender and class presented in the film and whether evidence from their own lives supported those characterizations.   

  • Almost everyone felt their parents should see the movie. About 75 % think their parents really need to see the movie, mostly because they perceive their parents as using a lot of screen time. Students thought that their parents were addicted to social media, and that they needed to see the film.

  • Students also unanimously thought that they had a good relationship with their parents regarding screens and social media. Many kids felt like they had a clear idea of how the parents should handle limits on computer use the situation and didn’t quite understand why the parents in the film were having such a hard time.

  • They referenced what they had learned last year about the brain and entertainment screen time.

  • Many expressed concerns that parents be made aware that the documentary seems biased and in their perception somewhat "fake."  They are concerned that their parents may disregard the benefits of the internet and media and curtail use without considering the benefits.

  • They expressed that the film spent too much time on video games and not enough on social media, admitting that the social aspect of screen time; relationships, bullying, being safe on the internet etc. was what they were dealing with most of the time, and should have been more of a focus of the film.

  • They recognized that many of the scenarios of the students presented in the film matched those of people that they know.

  • The majority of students did not think that violent games had an effect on student behavior, with a brave minority claiming the opposite. This was a big part of our discussion time.

  • They also discussed how many of their parents had completely different opinions regarding screen time and social media.

  • All students thought that children under 5 years old should not be using screens as much as they see them do.

  • One student noted that as soon as we were out of the PAC, half of the students immediately pulled out their phones : )

Again, Please take the time to read further about Screenagers.  If you are able to make it to the parents’ viewing, I think you’ll enjoy it, and also enjoy talking with your kids about it afterward. This is a very important topic for our staff and we hope that you will attend the viewing on March 8th, at 7 pm, in our Performing Arts Center on the SLVHS campus. Many of our high school students were not able to attend due to the conflict with a scheduled class.  It would be great if they could come with you to the evening show.

~Rhonda


SPECIAL EVENT: SCREENAGERS! NEW DATE: Wednesday, March 8, 7-9 pm. at the Performing Arts Center on the Tri-campus. 7105 Highway 9, Felton, 95018

We have rescheduled our  hosting of the film of SCREENAGERS.

A brief discussion of the film will be offered right after the film.  We will be sending out a parent discussion guide closer to the date of the event for parents to use at home with their students after the screening.  We will also have hard copies at the event.

“This special screening probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.”

Tickets previously purchased will be honored.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10.  Please note:  We have opened up the ticket sales to families of the other schools in the District, so please buy your tickets right away! There are only 210 seats available. Tickets and trailer for the film available at this link:  https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-slvusd-charter-school-1315   

You will receive a confirmation back from impact flow, which you need to bring with you to the event.  If you prefer to not purchase them online, they can also be purchased through your teachers or by contacting Danelle Matteson at 335-0932.



Parent Advisory Committee: PLEASE COME, This Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 3-4.

We will be discussing the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP):  

• What are the goals, • how are we moving forward, • What are the next steps for the coming year.  This is an important discussion and hearing from our parents is important.

Our WASC visit is planned for Feb. 27-28.  We will review the schedule for this important visit.


NEXT MEETING:  March 15, 2017. We will be discussing more about the LCAP goals, as well as testing preparation.


Information Nights:  Come learn more about in of our programs!  Please invite others who may be interested.

  • If you’ve ever wondered if a different curriculum delivery model would benefit your student.

  • If you’re a parent or caregiver looking for more involvement in your child’s education.

Our Information nights are coming in March. The information nights open the application window for the Nature Academy and Quail Hollow Integrated Arts Program.  A lottery will be held if there are more applications than seats available in either of the programs.  All other programs are filled based on the date the application is turned in as are the wait lists.


Nature Academy program March 7  5:30-6:30 MS Library

NA application window March 8-April 21       Lottery: Friday, April 28


Homeschool Charter programs March 14  6-7:30 pm MS Library

QHIA application window March 14-April 27       Lottery: Thursday, May 11


Campus Video Surveillance for greater safety: The SLV tri-campus now has video surveillance; 50 cameras are now running 24/7.   Video surveillance is also at the entrance of the Quail Hollow Campus as well.  This is a reminder of the importance that all visitors must have a badge when they are on campus.  Badges are given to visitors through the Fall Creek Charter office. Please contact your teachers or Danelle if you have any questions.


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

Coast Redwood High School: Here we are in second-semester and running strong. Our continued message to our students and to their Learning Coaches (parents) is to stay organized, check your emails, check the web page, open Schoology several times a week, check PowerSchool on a weekly basis, be on time with attendance and assignments, and ask questions! CRHS GRADUATION - Save this date and join the families and students of the class 2017 in celebrating their graduation at the Fall Creek Amphitheater on Friday, June 2 at 12:30p.m. This year's graduation also marks the 20th year Coast Redwood HS has been an education choice for hundreds of students! SENIORS: FIELD TRIP TO CABRILLO COLLEGE.Jennifer Kelly will be taking 10 students to Cabrillo College to take the readiness assessments in math and English. The results of these two assessments determine which classes a student is eligible to enroll in, in the fall. WHEN: Friday March 3, 2016  Assessment Time: 9:30  Leaving CRHS at 8:00 CONGRATULATION TO LILLIAN BUSNARDO who reached 6th place in Saturday's quarterfinals at the CCS Girls Wrestling Championship in San Jose.  PARENT SUNSHINE COMMITTEE  Thank you Cassie and Cayenne for the wonderful once-a-month teacher appreciation lunch! It is always a special treat to take a break and enjoy a ready homemade lunch!  The entire staff also wishes to thank everyone for your gifts "from the heart" at winter break and for your year-round donations. Thank you!

Coast Redwood Middle School:Chabot Space and Science Center:   In addition to exploring the museum exhibits, we participated in a Lego Robotics lab where the kids were encouraged to think like programmers, using programming blocks to troubleshoot different parts of a wheeled robot.  The most fun was when the kids got to explore programming the vehicles on their own.  Our day ended with watching a planetarium show on Ancient Mayan Astronomy and culture.  Thanks all for making the trek up to the Oakland hills! Class Business Kick-Off: Last week we started moving forward with our natural body care product class business. The kids brainstormed body care products that they would like to make, ideas for jobs that needed to be done to run the business, and how they would like to spend the profits (if there are any).  Starting with April’s lotion recipe, we did some product testing.  The kids worked in their table groups to describe the qualities of four different potential base oils that we might use.  They then made a small batch of the recipe using the various oils. Small containers of the lotion are now placed in different environments to test the effect of the oils on shelf-life and product characteristics.

Nature Academy: The 6th grade class has completed their Egyptian studies and are putting in a lot of great work on refining their writing skills.  A parent meeting will be held to prepare for their annual Headwaters Outdoor School Field Trip.  The 7-8th grade classes are continuing their work in science on the take apart project, working on their Africa Unit and preparing for the Sequoia Field Trip.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts: We reviewed Grammarly revision suggestions to student research papers, using some student examples on the big screen. Please refer to a detailed email regarding how I’m using Grammarly as a teaching tool for students to improve various components of their writing.

The focus on CK12 Science was Acids and Bases. We individually and collectively researched a long list of Revolutionary Era women who accomplished remarkable feats, yet many of whom are not well known. We were surprised to learn how many women fought during the American Revolution disguised as men.

Quail Hollow Homeschool:We discussed the impacts of the recent stormy weather on us and our families, friends and neighbors.  We shared some new Wonders of Me posters brought in by friends - we still have a few out there, so finish them up and bring them in.  Friends who participated in the Science Fair shared about their projects.

Fall Creek Homeschool:The Santa Cruz Astronomy Club has agreed to come do another telescope night with us! We’ll be focusing on the constellations and the Messier Objects (galaxies, nebulas and star clusters). We’ll also see Venus and Mars! Come dressed warmly and bring binoculars! Wednesday, February 22 at 6:30 pm

Mountain IS: We are continuing with our play practice  both Tuesday and Friday. We finished our tall tale figures and painted the backdrop for our play which looks fabulous. Thank you Alex for helping to put that up for us.  We also practiced some Chinese jump rope games in PE. There are only 3 class days left to practice.  On Valentine’s day, we will have a themed art time and will be welcoming our loved ones for a " healthy for your heart picnic" from 12:20-1:00. We ask that each family bring a healthy snack to share. We will be sharing valentines after our picnic. Our day with conclude with a parent vs student game of hula hut.



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.)

  • February 13th: No School--Presidents day

  • February 20th: No School--Presidents day

  • February 24: End of Second Trimester

  • March 7: Nature Academy Information Night.  5:30-6:30

    • Lottery application window: Mar. 8-April. 21

  • March 8: SCREENAGERS Special parent Screening. 7 pm at the PAC on the SLVHS campus.

  • March 14: All Homeschool Programs Information Night.  6:00-7:00

    • QHIA application window Mar. 14-April. 28

  • April 3-7: Spring break

  • May 29th:  No School-- Memorial Day

  • June 8th:  Last day of school


Charter News: January 27, 2017

posted Jan 29, 2017, 4:49 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the

excitement of the moment has passed.    -Cavett Robert




Dear Charter Families,


We ended last week with another one of our professional development days.  And once more I am led to express how appreciative I am to work with such a dedicated staff, who continually show their professionalism and love for what they do. They love to share and learn new aspects of education. They don’t get to work together very often, but when they do, the conversations are rich and full of sharing ways to interweave their expertise with each other. Please read on to hear from Jen Sims, our mental health counselor.  She has been leading such wonderful proactive, preventive discussions in our programs with the students and with our teachers.


ALSO: Please take the time to read further about Screenagers.  This is a very important topic for our staff and we hope that you will attend the viewing on February 8, at 7 pm, in our Performing Arts Center on the SLVHS campus.  


~Rhonda


Notes From Our Counselor: Some thoughts on change and New Year’s Revolutions.

I hope everyone has had a restful holiday season and is ready to take on 2017.  The new year brings new hope, and this is the time of year when many of us decide to try something new or make a big life change.  I’ve been thinking about the differences between Resolution and Revolution.  Resolution means to “firmly decide to do or not do something.”  Revolution means to “overthrow one system in favor of a new system."   So, it seems that the first is to change what you do, and the second is about transformation.  Transformation, I believe, is the key to lasting change and something to think about when setting intentions for the New Year.  Don’t just resolve to do something, start a revolution!

Of course, you’re going to need a lot of resolve to get to revolution.  Resolution and Revolution really need to work together to help us make permanent shifts.  Without resolve – that day-to-day push to keep momentum – revolutions are impossible.  And without revolution, what’s going to keep you interested in this change?  

Ninety percent of New Year’s resolutions fail because there is truly a limit to willpower.  Humans can also be downright resistant to change, especially if the current situation is in some way beneficial to them (i.e., it’s comforting and familiar).  Lasting change has really got to be worth your while. It must become intrinsically more valuable than what you might have to give up in the process.

Think about a habit that you have been able to develop successfully – any habit, good or bad, no judgment!  How did you get there?  Why that habit? What needs are met by this habit? What did it take to become ‘proficient’ in this habit?  What are the factors that keep you excited about this habit?  Who supports you in this habit?  What are the benefits that you derive from this habit?  Does it work for or against the goals you have for your life? What gets in the way of doing this habit and how do you deal with that?   

These questions can help uncover true motivations and desire.  For example, smoking is an unhealthy and deadly habit, yet people continue to do it with full knowledge of the risks.  Why?  Well, besides the physical addiction, smoking meets a lot of needs – it staves off emotions, it’s a reason to take a break, it gives someone something to do with their hands, there is companionship in smoking breaks…these are huge and unless these needs are also addressed, the mere act of stopping smoking won’t have as much of a chance.  Developing this compassionate awareness can help us see the bigger systems, and this is the only that way that we can overthrow them. Compassionate awareness leads to revolution.

When it comes to parenting, working with your child to develop this kind of insight is an ongoing process.  There is no age limitation.  As soon as a child starts asking “Why?” is as good a time as any to help them start exploring why they do what they do.  As they grow, you can ask more sophisticated questions and help them learn to connect their thoughts and feelings to their behaviors. By the time they are teenagers, they will have an understanding of their emotions and an increased ability to self-reflect.   These are the skills that a person needs to even begin have the capacity for transformational change, and it's something you can easily work on every day.

If you have any questions or want to talk more about this subject, don't hesitate to contact me at jsims@slvusd.org


SPECIAL EVENT: SCREENAGERS! Wednesday, February 8.  &-9 pm. at the Performing Arts Center on the Tri-campus. 7105 Highway 9, Felton, 95018

We are proud to announce that we are hosting the film of SCREENAGERS.

“This special screening probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.”

Students in our secondary programs are scheduled to discuss and view the film on February 2. Our teachers will be facilitating a discussion with the students after they view the film together.  

Screening for Parents will be on the evening of February 8, at 7 pm.

Tickets will be a suggested donation of $10.  Please note:  We have now opened up the ticket sales to families of the other schools in the District, so please buy your tickets right away! There are only 210 seats available, total.

Tickets and trailer for the film available at this link:  https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-slvusd-charter-school-1315   

You will receive a confirmation back from impact flow, which you bring with you to the event.

If you prefer to not purchase them online, they can also be purchased through your teachers or by contacting Danelle Matteson at 335-0932.

We will be sending out a parent guide closer to the date of the event for parents to use at home with their students after the screening.  We will also have hard copies at the event.





Parent Advisory Committee: Notes from the meeting: The county has asked for an updated extensive safety plan to be put in place for all of its schools. The plan includes an assessment of the school’s current status; an action plan for people, programs and place and listed procedures for complying with school safety laws. We met with Rhonda to review and approve the Safety Plan before the school board meeting on 2/15/17 when they will approve the plan. Teachers and a representative from the Sheriff’s will review it as well. Rhonda and staff have streamlined a safety plan that is inclusive of all programs under the Charter’s umbrella. The safety plan is in a binder at the Charter Office and is available anytime to review once it is approved.

In making an assessment of the current status of safety, Rhonda reviewed data from a variety of sources including parent surveys, teacher surveys, and a 2016 Gallup Poll taken by our Charter students and found some fabulous data:

  • The charter school saw no crime in the 14-15 or 15-16 school year!!

  • The charter school saw no drop-outs in the 14-15 or 15-16 school year!!

  • The high school graduation rate is 100%!

  • 93% of parents report confidence in the safety of their kids while at school!!

  • The school is in compliance with all laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to hazardous materials and earthquake standards.

The action plan for going forward includes: Building greater compassion and self-esteem with a specific focus on proactive instruction and interventions, including education on Digital Citizenship.   

~ from Sally Munro

NEXT MEETING: Feb. 15, from 3-4.  We will be discussing the upcoming WASC visit, as well as testing preparation, and further questions.


ALL CHARTER PLAY INFORMATION MEETING. THIS TUESDAY, Jan. 31 at 3pm for students and parents. The meeting will be held room 17 at the Quail Hollow Campus.


This is a special event that has become a favorite for many of our students who love the theater.   Amber Walker is a dynamic teacher who encourages every student with her excitement and performance expertise.  Last year we had a great turnout with 64 students from each and every program participating in our All Charter musical.


You will get a synopsis of the script, hear about characters and musical numbers, and get detailed info on the rehearsal schedule/requirements.  *Rehearsals will be on Mondays and Tuesdays from 3-5. Attendance requirements will depend on casting.


This year, the play will be, "The Little Mermaid: A Westside Story". Once again, it will be an original script written by Janinne Chadwick, which Amber directed in 2006 with LPRT (Little People's Repertory Theater.) It is the classic tale with a twist, containing mermaids who are Dancing Queen's, working class sharks who sing Bruce Springsteen, a mermaid girl falling for a surfer boy, and so much more! Music ranges from pop, rock n' roll, motown, and funk.


Come to our meeting to find out more details!


Information Nights:  Come learn more!  Please invite others who may be interested.

  • If you’ve ever wondered if a different model of teaching would benefit your student.

  • If you’re a parent or caregiver looking for more involvement in your child’s education.


Our Information nights are coming in March. The information nights open the application window for the Nature Academy and Quail Hollow Integrated Arts Program.  A lottery will be held if there are more applications than seats available in either of the programs.  All other programs are filled based on the date the application is turned in as are the wait lists.


Nature Academy program March 7  5:30-6:30 MS Library

Application window

NA application window 3/8-4/21/17

Lottery: Friday, April 28


Homeschool Charter programs March 14  6-7:30 pm MS Library

QHIA application window 3/14-4/27/17

Lottery: May 11


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

Coast Redwood High School: Second semester is in full swing and all classes have resumed, with students busy in their various classes.  Even through the storm, the Meeting of the Tribes meeting was well attended.  

Coast Redwood Middle School: The class will be going on a field trip to the Chabot Space Center on Feb. 1 where the students will participate in a Robotics Lab. The students went to the San Francisco Symphony with the QHIA students last week.

Nature Academy: All grades had a great day at the Pacific Climbing Gym. 6th grade students have completed reading The Outsiders and are beginning discussion of the themes in preparation for writing a response to literature paper.  They are still studying Egypt and will soon begin a new science unit.  7th-8th graders are working on a science unit that involves taking apart machines.  They will begin reading Touching Spirit Bear and have begun their next round of electives.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts: Students listened to a few songs from “Hamilton” that correlated with events that took place around the time of the Treaty of Paris, breaking down the lyrics and discussing those historical events. Arindam Krishna Das, Charter parent, and local musical director/instructor, worked with the students on the physicality of singing, recognizing notes in your body, and creating harmonies to “Alexander Hamilton” for our showcase on Feb.10. We previewed excerpts that we would hear at the SF Symphony, and discussed the various composers and pieces that would be presented. The kids gave great feedback after our field trip commenting on favorite pieces and expressing appreciation for the preview lesson.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Students are working on their Science Fair projects.  The Charter Science Fair is February 3, where the students will present and share their science projects to parents and teachers who will interview them about their topic.  They will introduce their QH Homeschool play this coming week and begin practice. Many of the students went to the Santa Cruz Symphony along with the Fall Creek students.

Fall Creek Homeschool: Students are working on their Science Fair projects.  The Charter Science Fair is February 3, where the students will present and share their science projects to parents and teachers who will interview them about their topic.  They will introduce their QH Homeschool play this coming week and begin practice. Many of the students went to the Santa Cruz Symphony along with QHHS students. A Field trip to MAH, The Museum of Art and History, is on Feb 1.

Mountain IS: As part of our study of Tall Tales, the class retold a story about PE using outlandish attributes, adjectives, and exaggeration. It will eventually be written (and illustrated) into a "published" Tall Tale. Students are continuing work on our weaving project.  The work on our classroom play based on Tall Tales is running smoothly. We will begin working with Micha next week who will choreograph the dancing and help direct our class play (thanks to the Parents Club for funding this amazing choreographer!).



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.)

  • February 8: SCREENAGERS Special parent Screening. 7 pm at the PAC on the SLVHS campus.

  • February 13th: No School--Presidents day

  • February 20th: No School--Presidents day

  • March 7: Nature Academy Information Night.  5:30-6:30

    • Lottery application window: Mar. 8-Mar. 21

  • March 14: All Homeschool Programs Information Night.  6:00-7:00

    • QHIA application window Mar. 14-Mar. 28

Charter News: January 13

posted Jan 16, 2017, 1:06 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until

you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.     

-Martin Luther King, Jr.


Dear Charter Families,


Welcome to 2017!  Already the year has begun in ways that contrast the year that just ended; lots of rain, a new president and government (to name the most obvious).  Both have had their share of press and impact, and both are significant reminders of the inevitable changes that come our way, of how we need to learn to adjust and work with change. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great model in the strength of character, of upholding the value of working together and standing up for what one knows is just, loving, and for the betterment of all humankind.

I believe his holiday comes at a good time in January when the New Year is a reminder of the importance to take time for reflection and renewal. We all need an honest time to reflect on what we are doing and how well it is working; for ourselves, our families, our communities, and of course for our children. The staff will have another Professional Development Day on January 27th.  This is one way that we re-calibrate together on specific academic issues.  And as most of you know, we are always reflecting on how best to support you and your students in the social-emotional realm, as well as on our teaching and facilitating best practices for the whole child.  


There is one issue that has come more and more to the forefront of our discussions together. That is how to find the right balance between the effective uses of screen time for learning versus the over saturated involvement that we see happening with some students. Overuse of screen time with our students and the greater society has made drastic changes in how we interact.  And so...


We are proud to announce that we are hosting the film of SCREENAGERS in order to further the discussion of this important topic.

“This special screening probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.”

Many of us have been in the education field for many decades, and are thus on the ‘front lines’ of seeing how the increased screen time has impacted our students, your children, our citizens. We would like you to join us in the screening of this film, to extend the conversation both within our school and in your homes.  As Martin Luther said, ‘Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly’. Our intent is to always work as a collective team: parents, teachers and students together.  We look forward to our continued journey together and hope to see you at the Screenagers screening night.  Please read on to learn more.


And don’t forget, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., we have a holiday this coming Monday. Have a great three day weekend!


~Rhonda


SPECIAL EVENT: SCREENAGERS! Wednesday, February 8.  7-9 pm. at the Performing Arts Center on the Tri-campus. 7105 Highway 9, Felton, 95018

Tickets will be a suggested donation of $10. (There is a cost to host this film, though we don’t want to turn anyone away, we would appreciate anyone who is able to pay the suggested amount.)  Please note: If there are extra tickets after Charter parents have a week to purchase, we will be opening up the ticket sales to families of the other schools in the District as of Monday, January 23rd, so please buy your tickets right away! There are only 210 seats available.

Tickets and trailer for the film available at this link:  https://impactflow.com/event/presented-by-slvusd-charter-school-1315

You will receive a confirmation back from impact flow, which we ask you to bring with you to the event.  We will be sending out a parent guide closer to the date of the event for parents to use at home with their students after the screening.  We will also have hard copies at the event.


Students in our secondary programs are scheduled to discuss and view the film the first week of February.  The student target audience is generally noted as ages 10 and above. Our teachers will be facilitating a discussion with the students after they view the film together.  



Parent Advisory Committee: January 25, from 3-4 PLEASE COME

This is a particularly important meeting as I will be sharing our SAFE SCHOOL PLAN, which needs to be reviewed by our parent committee, and our final WASC Report.  All parents are welcome to attend.

Next Meeting Date: Feb. 15, from 3-4



ALL CHARTER PLAY INFORMATION MEETING. Tuesday, Jan.31 at 3 pm for students and parents. The meeting will be held room 17 at the Quail Hollow Campus.


This is a special event that has become a favorite for many of our students who love the theater.   Amber Walker is a dynamic teacher who encourages every student with her excitement and performance expertise.  Last year we had a great turnout with 64 students from each and every program participating in our All Charter musical.


You will get a synopsis of the script, hear about characters and musical numbers, and get detailed info on the rehearsal schedule/requirements.  *Rehearsals will be on Mondays and Tuesdays from 3-5. Attendance requirements will depend on casting.


This year, the play will be, "The Little Mermaid: A Westside Story". Once again, it will be an original script written by Janinne Chadwick, which Amber directed in 2006 with LPRT (Little People's Repertory Theater.) It is the classic tale with a twist, containing mermaids who are Dancing Queen's, working class sharks who sing Bruce Springsteen, a mermaid girl falling for a surfer boy, and so much more! Music ranges from pop, rock n' roll, Motown, and funk.


Come to our meeting to find out more details!


Information Nights: Please invite others who may be interested.

Our Information nights are coming in March. We have one for our hybrid-Homeschool programs, and another for our seat-based Nature Academy Program.  The information nights open the application window for the Nature Academy and Quail Hollow Integrated Arts Program.  A lottery will be held if there are more applications than seats available in either of the programs.  All other programs are filled based on the date the application is turned in as are the wait lists.


Nature Academy program March 7  5:30-6:30 MS Library

Application window

NA application window 3/8-4/21/17

Lottery: Friday, April 28


Homeschool Charter programs March 14,  6-7:30 pm

QHIA application window 3/14-4/27/17

Lottery: May 11


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

All programs are getting into the grove after a refreshing, though storm-ridden break.  We are excited about our All Charter activities that are being offered and encourage you to participate in the All Charter Musical Play and the viewing Screenagers.


Santa Cruz County Drug Awareness: Note: this is a notification that I was given from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff Department.  This message does not pertain directly to the San Lorenzo Valley area, but we felt it was worth sharing for families who may have an interest in being informed of such activities.


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.)

  • January 16th: No School--Martin Luther King’s Birthday

  • January 20th: End of 2nd quarter

  • January 27th:  No School--Professional Development Day for teachers

  • February 9: SCREENAGERS Special Screening 7 pm at the PAC: Tickets available  

  • February 13th: No School--Presidents day

  • February 20th: No School--Presidents day

  • March 7: Nature Academy Information Night.  5:30-6:30

    • Lottery application window: Mar. 8-Mar. 21

  • March 14: All Homeschool Programs Information Night.  6:00-7:00

    • QHIA application window Mar. 14-Mar. 28



Charter News: December 16

posted Jan 9, 2017, 7:00 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless.      ~Terri Guillemets



Dear Charter Families,


The winter season is upon us, with our longest day, the Winter Solstice on December 21. We begin our Winter Break this Friday and Thursday, December 22 is our last day of school.  Many of the classrooms have been having special events together over the last couple weeks with gifts making and/or exchanges, festive parties, and potlucks; all of them marking the excitement of our coming two-week vacation and the close of 2016.  


Winter’s long cold nights are a good time to take the opportunity to slow down our pace and to take extra time for introspection, rejuvenation, and general tending of the hearth and home.  


Please read on to hear more about Gratitude, the theme our counselor, Jen Sims has for this month.  She has some good ideas to share with your child(ren), ideas that you may want to add to your holiday routine.


Also note that our Parent Advisory Committee meeting is this Wednesday, Dec. 21 from 3-4 pm.  I have important information to share about our Safe Schools plan and we will talk more about our LCAP and WASC plans.


May you all find joy in the Winter holiday, and may you have time to enjoy that which nourishes your hearts and souls best.


Have a great last week of school, and see you Monday, January 9, our first day back in 2017.


~Rhonda


From our Counselor, Jen Sims:  THE CASE FOR GRATITUDE


November and December are months when we count our blessings.  My Facebook feed is full of it, with hash tags like #30daysofgratitude or #thanksgivingblessings.  It’s nice and possibly uplifting to spend a certain amount of time acknowledging the good things that come to us, but what might change if we make it a daily practice?   


Quite a lot, according to Dr. Christine Carter, a Berkeley researcher who has dedicated her career to studying the science of happiness.   Her work has shown that individuals who practice gratitude tend to lead happier, healthier and more satisfied lives.  They also show greater resiliency.  Children who practice gratitude are less likely to have behavior problems at school or become teenagers who abuse drugs and alcohol.  They show less entitlement and are not as bothered by small problems.  Much of this can be attributed to the very real impact that gratitude practices have on human brains.  Studies have shown that subjects who show more gratitude have more activity in their hypothalamus, an area of the brain that controls, among other things, your metabolism and stress levels.  Thus there is a connection between increased gratitude and better self-care, getting more exercise and sleeping better.   Gratitude also stimulates the release of dopamine, a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter that makes you say, “hey let’s do that again!”  This can help establish a pattern of positivity.


The best part of developing a gratitude skill and practice is that the human brain is so adaptable that it doesn’t take long at all to set the course.  Here are some things you can focus on to get started.


Focus on the here and now: Take the time with your child to point out things that you find beautiful every day.  The changing colors of the leaves, the fog raising up over the trees, a loving interaction…it doesn’t have to be a big deal.  What are the small things that bring you joy?


I’m grateful for this…you’re grateful for that?: You might be surprised at what kids are grateful for.  In my small groups, children have expressed gratitude for things like video games and chicken nuggets.  Not what I would choose, but practicing gratitude requires authenticity and consistency; it does not have to match a certain ideology.


Give credit where credit is due: Help your children see and acknowledge the people that are helping them succeed in life.  Teens can be especially myopic and may attribute successes to themselves and blame the bad things that happen on others.  


Volunteer:   Not only does volunteering enable you and your children to give to others, it opens their eyes to the experiences and realities of other people.  This can help them expand their worldview and learn from others.


When it comes to teens, don’t be super serious: Teens may enjoy gratitude but may not enjoy a ritual of holding hands and earnestly announcing what they are thankful for.  Be flexible and keep it light enough for teens to want to participate, and also help them recognize their everyday gratitude through language, actions and involvement in school activities.


I’m hoping everyone has a beautiful holiday season!  


~Jen Sims


For more information about practicing gratitude and it’s effects: http://www.christinecarter.com/


Parent Advisory Committee: NEXT MEETING: December 21, from 3-4 PLEASE COME

Please ask your program representative about the presentation Dr. Bruton shared at our last meeting about the State of the District.  At our next meeting with will be discussing:

  • Safe Schools Plan  • LCFF/LCAP: Supplemental funds  •  WASC report update

  • Questions/ Interests/idea

Next meeting date: January 11, 2016  Jan 25th from 3-4


TRAVEL ADVISORY:  As a public health agency, Santa Cruz County Mosquito and Vector Control would like to make sure our residents are informed and travel safely.

Zika virus is still spreading throughout many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, including Mexico. Click here: (English, Español) to check your destination for Zika precautions.

Zika is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, so we urge travelers to take precautions to avoid becoming infected:

-  Use insect repellent (including DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus—needs to be reapplied often)

-  If using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first, then put on repellent.

-  Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if weather permits

-  Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside, or use a bed net if these options are not available.

- Help reduce the number of mosquitoes outside your home or hotel room by dumping standing water from containers like flowerpots or buckets.

Here (English, Español)  is the recent notice regarding Zika and Travel from the California Department of Public Health, released  on 12/13/16. They include links with more information.

Thank you for your help. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Travel Safely!

Sincerely, Amanda Poulsen, M.S.

Vector Ecologist

Santa Cruz County Mosquito and Vector Control

Website: agdept.com/mvc.html


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) As part of the new accountability requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the U.S. Department of Education is requiring school districts nationwide to identify students who are armed forces family members.

Is either parent/guardian on active duty in the US armed forces: Army, Navy, Air Force,  Marine Corps or  Coast Guard or on full-time  National Guard Duty?   


If so,  please let us know by emailing hthomas@slvusd.org or calling Holly Thomas at 336-5167.  

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated!


COMING SOON: SCREENAGERS.  SLVUSD Charter will be hosting the screening in early February. "SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists' solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world."

Students' screening and classroom discussions will be scheduled for the first week of February, with a screening for parents on the evening of February 8 at 7 pm. Tickets will be a suggested donation of $10.


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

CRHS: Students are completing their semester courses and final assessments.  The Leadership class is leading preparations for their holiday party this week. The Yearbook Committee is busy gathering pictures for their various page. January is the time for end of semester conferences and students are making sure that they are ready for their second semester coursework.

CRMS: Presentations on Inventions continue in the classroom. Going out with Tim Corcoran and his co-teacher Julie to Gazo’s Creek is always something special.  We hiked, investigated the geology and biology of the of the beach, listened to stories about local history, collaboratively created sculptures out of found objects, and talked about earth stewardship.

Nature Academy: 6th grade students had a wonderful field trip to Gazos Creek last week with Tim from Headwaters.  They are beginning their unit in Egypt, which will continue when they get back in January. Art lessons continue using a variety of mediums.  7th-8th grade students are beginning their work on creating a children’s story, currently reviewing and dissecting their favorite picture books they will use as a guide when writing and doing artwork for their own. Choices in electives include wire bending and improv.  And Ms. Ragir continues to design math lessons and activities to expand their math interests and fluency.  Please make sure you ask your child to explain what they are learning in her class.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA):The students dissected the text of the Declaration of Independence! This is another daunting task, yet we approached it as a scavenger hunt; looking for keywords and concepts, and had an incredible discussion regarding whether or not the ideals on which this Declaration was conceived are being practiced today. It really is an outstanding piece of writing.  

Jen presented a Cyber Bullying Workshop: The discussions could have gone on for another hour. They revealed that students are fully aware of and are, in many cases, subjected to bullying via social media on a daily basis. The kids were so grateful to Jen, and are looking forward to her coming back next week. Quail Hollow Homeschool: Winter Holiday Potluck and Talent Share Thursday, December 22nd 10-1 We will begin with the talent share component and then share a meal together before friends exchange gifts with their Secret Santa.  In class we worked with different ways we know how to write numbers -standard numerals, tally marks, pictures, and the kinds that are on some clocks! Roman Numerals. We worked on two math puzzles.  One we solved easily.  The other, which still needs to be cracked, is how to make $1.09 using exactly 30 coins. We discussed how Rome absorbed traditions, holidays, foods, architecture, gods and goddesses from the regions it conquered, especially from Greece.  

Romans then modified these pieces from other cultures to fit their own ideas and needs.  We read the myth of Jupiter, Juno and Io, and matched up Greek and Roman deities. We made Roman gladiator sandals.  Students were encouraged to find a style that worked best for them.

Fall Creek Homeschool: We had a visit from Officer Koenig – the school’s safety officer. He explained his job and answered myriad questions about his work and his role at the school. We listened to an old Swedish tale, The Tomten and the Fox by Astrid Lindgren. A parent told us her mother grew up in Finland and thus she knew of the Tomten and did some of the same things that happened in the story. We used rulers to make a 10” box and  divide it into 8 equal parts. We then drew a small octagon in the middle and traced 8 circles in the wider parts. We turned this into a Moon phase chart, relating each phase of the Moon to a step in the life of a plant – from seed to compost. This was very challenging and yet they all did a very good job due to the previous work we have done this fall with rulers and geometric drawing.

MountainIS:We had a great week in IS, a visit from Santa Lucia, Greek Mythology, and more!  In Math we played a game "fishing for tens" using ten frames. We also did our first "Excellent Equation" for the number 13 (based on the date 12/13/16) which led to some great conversation about composite and prime numbers. The tradition of Santa Lucia was continued with some tasty homemade saffron rolls from Tenaya as she shared a little of her family history and personal connection to the festive event. The 5/6 class put on a fabulous performance of "Theseus and the Minateaur" - many of our students have great background knowledge of Greek Myths so it was fun to discuss the myths afterward. Mountain Holiday Sing is also on Thursday, 12/22 and all IS students are encouraged to come and participate.


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.)

  • December 23rd- January 8th: No School--Winter Break

  • January 9:  First day back in 2017.

  • January 16th: No School--MLK Bday

  • January 20th: End of 2nd quarter

  • January 27th:  No School--Professional Development Day for teachers

  • February 13th: No School--Presidents day

  • February 20th: No School--Presidents day

  • March 7: Nature Academy Information Night.  5:30-6:30

    • Lottery application window: Mar. 8-Mar. 21

  • March 14: All Homeschool Programs Information Night.  6:00-7:00

    • QHIA application window Mar. 14-Mar. 28





Charter News: Dec. 5, 2016

posted Dec 15, 2016, 12:44 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


"
Creativity is especially expressed in the ability to make connections, to make associations, to turn things around and express them in a new way." -Tim Hansen


Dear Charter Families,


As you know, our charter programs are based on a shared commitment between our teachers, the parents, and their children.  A student can only do their best if all three stay interconnected in a consistent, positive and supportive way.


Whether you have your student enrolled in one of our K-8 homeschool programs, in our 9-12 homeschool based high school, or in the Nature Academy, your positive, nurturing involvement makes all the difference in your student’s overall success.


This success includes not only doing well academically, but also in learning how to positively support the learning environment, to stay curious, happy, and to find value in what they are doing.


One of the strengths in the Common Core standards is the focus on digging deeper, looking at things in more than one way, and understanding different perspectives. Students are asked to show a deeper understanding of what they are learning than has previously been required of them, demonstrating greater critical thinking and analytic skills. These skills take practice and need to be supported between the teacher-parent team.  Hearing about these skills just at school is often not enough.

I decided to reschedule the topic for our second Parent Education night that was canceled for a couple reasons: first and foremost because the topic is foundational in providing the support your child needs to become a lifelong learner. Secondly because many parents emailed after it was cancelled stating they were interested and were planning to attend!


The evening is designed for parents who want to encourage their children to think more critically. It will help parents design questions, tasks, and projects that will help students go beyond basic knowledge and develop critical thinking strategies.  If a child is stimulated and curious, then engagement follows.  This cannot happen without the ability to question and think critically.  This is a skill that all students and their parents will benefit from.  


Tuesday, December 13 is the date for our next Parent Education Evening with Martha Kaufeldt. She is a dynamic, professional educator who packs a lot into her presentations.  Everyone who has attended her sessions in the past have said they learned a lot as a result of attending.


ALSO!  The evening will begin with an opportunity to meet our Mental Health Counselor, Jen Sims.  Come at 5:30 and learn more about how she works with our students, learn about the themes she focuses on in order to support our elementary and secondary aged students.


There will be light, healthy snacks for both parents and students.  We have put a deadline on the signups of December 9 this Friday!  The previous parent night had to be cancelled due to lack of sign-ups, but after it cancelled, several parents called to sign-up!  I know that everyone’s lives are busy, but please, don’t wait until the last minute to sign up. Please RSVP Danelle dmatteson@slvusd.org or me rschlosser@slvusd.org to sign up for this special and important opportunity.  


~Rhonda



PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT: Tuesday, December 13.   Come early for a special opportunity with our Counselor, Jen Sims.


Parent Advisory Committee: NEXT MEETING: December 21, from 3-4

Please ask your program representative about the presentation Dr. Bruton shared at our last meeting about the State of the District.  At our next meeting with will be discussing:

  • Safe Schools Plan  • LCFF/LCAP: Supplemental funds  •  WASC report update

  • Questions/ Interests/idea

Next meeting date: January 11, 2016


Math Tutor available for Secondary math support

-Mondays, from 12:30-3:30 in CRHS Portable 5 for High school students.

-Thursdays from 2:15-3:30 in the CRMS classroom P28 for middle school age students.

Mark is excited and ready to help any student who comes to work with him.  No need to sign up ahead of time.. Please make sure your student comes prepared with their math homework or questions about skills.


In Our Community:  A Letter to the public from our County Sheriff


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November 17, 2016


Dear Santa Cruz County Community:


With the conclusion of the presidential election I know there is a lot of fear and confusion  in our immigrant  communities  regarding  statements  that  the  federal  government  intends on dramatically increasing deportations in the near future.  I have been contacted recently by several school districts  who  report  that  children  are  expressing concern about being  detained and deported at school.


It is the practice and policy of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office to not entangle ourselves with  federal  immigration  policies. Sheriff's Office personnel do not and will not investigate immigration  status. As your elected Sheriff, I believe it is imperative that we continue to build trust and we continue our practice of fair and impartial  policing with all of the communities we serve.


Enforcing  federal  immigration  policy  at  the  local  level  erodes  trust  and  causes  fear  in  the immigrant communities  we serve,  resulting in victims under reporting or not reporting crimes to local law enforcement.  I am deeply committed to ensuring this does not happen.  It is the job of local  law  enforcement  to  make  sure  our  community  members  are  safe  and our  children  can attend school without fear.  This is our job and this is what we will continue to do.

Sincerely,

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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) As part of the new accountability requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the U.S. Department of Education is requiring school districts nationwide to identify students who are armed forces family members.

Is either parent/guardian on active duty in the US armed forces: Army, Navy, Air Force,  Marine Corps or  Coast Guard or on full-time  National Guard Duty?   


If so,  please let us know by emailing hthomas@slvusd.org or calling Holly Thomas at 336-5167.  

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated!


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

CRHS: This past week was filled with college and career conversations, multiple intelligence assessments, figuring out the over-the-lifetime value of a high school diploma, of a two-year (AA) degree, of a (BA/BS), and the value of a graduate degree. They also discussed various careers, entrepreneurship, and internships.     Meeting of the Tribes #2 went very well. Our emotional/mental health counselor, Jenn Sims stepped in to give our students a health lesson, as did our college counselor, Jen Kelly, who discussed Cabrillo Night. Wade, Keidi, and Kay discussed school business and other pertinent information. Keidi gave a lesson on friendships and nurturing the CRHS culture and continued respect of one another.

CRMS: Project Presentations: The next four weeks will be filled with wonderful presentations by the students.  Partner Bios:  Students brainstormed interview questions and conducted an interview with their partner to find out more about them.  They took notes on their interview and have  started writing a biographical paragraph about their partner. Art: With Leean’s help the kids made prints from their original photos, using two colors of ink this time.  They also mounted their black and white prints from the previous week.  Freedom vs. Safety Discussion: Discussing school rules and lockdowns gave us a great opportunity to discuss the Freedom vs. Safety continuum. Students were asked a dozen different questions and they responded by placing themselves along the continuum –were they more toward the safety side or more toward the freedom side?  It was great to hear some of the discussions that arose as the kids shared their perspectives with each other.

Nature Academy: 6th graders are gearing up for their  trip this coming Tuesday to Gazos Creek with Naturalist Tim Corcoran from Headwaters Science school.   Students in 7th-8th grade are refining their response to literature essays based on Freak the Mighty.  They are working on their crank boxes their unit project in Science and had an art lesson in Chinese Ink drawings.  

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA) Amber will be presenting an update on this program to the school board on Dec. 7, and they asked if our students wanted to perform something. The majority of the students wanted to perform the opening number of “Hamilton” in a spoken word format! Art analysis “Paul Revere’s Ride” Direct Art Instruction-alcohol inks on tile: this is a wonderful, fluid, art process that uses “floating” ink on top of isopropyl alcohol that is poured on the surface of the tile before it evaporates. Lots of science concepts involved too They came out beautifully, and were sold at the Craft Faire. Line Dance-learned the Wobble and students worked in groups to add original choreography and teach each other.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Music: All together we​ reviewed and sang the 12 Days of Christmas and began a special song to perform for the Winter Holiday potluck. History:They learned and discussed Roman contributions to architecture - specifically arches and watched a brief video and then had our own challenge to complete; Sugar Cube Arch Challenge Science: Participated in an experiment on surface tension.  What floats and at what point will it begin to sink?  What causes that to happen?  There was emphasis on making a hypothesis and the scientific method. Typing:  Students were shown how to log on to chromebooks with their school account information and given an account on typing.com They began to practice proper typing form.  Art: Read Mr. Seahorse by Eric Carle and took advantage of the

lovely weather to do a tissue paper collage of a seahorse.

Fall Creek Homeschool: A unit on the moon began by singing the song ‘Moonshadow” by Cat Stevens/Yusuf. They had a general discussion about what we already know about the Moon and were awed at some Moon statistics.  They looked at a photo of a full Moon projected onto the big screen and identified some key geologic features and discussed what could have caused them. They marked these features on hard copies of the full Moon photo. They listened to a book called Stargazers by Gail Gibbons. They split into groups and worked with drawings of pentagons and pentagrams. A number of children made the discovery that if you use a magnifying glass you can continue to subdivide the figures into infinity. The used various items to create craters in pans of simulated Moondust (regolith). We varied the size and weight of the impactors and the angle of direction from which the impactor hit the “Moon”. We measured the craters’ diameters, depths and patterns of ejecta rays. They reviewed related vocabulary: crater, impactor, ejecta, debris, regolith, ray, angle, lava, basin, velocity, and terminator.

MountainIS:. In art they used chalk pastel to create an organic abstract. They read Straga Nona by Tomie de Paola. And, students worked with their "buddy up" pairs to build as many words as they could using the letters T-H-A-N-K-S. Also, in music they were introduced to the Peter Piper tongue twister. They had a great field trip to the Aquarium. It was so neat to hear the kids talking to each other about the interesting scientific facts they learned while checking out the amazing exhibits. We got to see the sardine feeding in the deep sea aquarium, visit Baja with its reptiles, scorpions and tropical fish and even see the bat rays getting fed! They are learning about earthquakes - the kids are full of great facts about the natural disaster and were excited to put to test their engineering skills with a fun STEM activity. Using just a few materials and jello as the 'earth material' groups of 4 built 3 story structures to withstand the trembles and shakes of a 15-second earthquake. They also wrote or illustrated stories about earthquakes using the elements of a story. It was a great way to see how they could implement their newly learned facts into a creative story while working with a partner.


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.)

  • Dec. 13th, Tues 5:30 - 7pm. Parent Education Night: "Using Projects and Problem-solving to Engage Every Learner!"

  • December 23rd- January 8th: No School--Winter Break

  • January 16th: No School--MLK Bday

  • January 20th: End of 2nd quarter

  • January 27th:  No School--Professional Development Day for teachers

Charter News: 2016-17 November 10

posted Nov 10, 2016, 8:59 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.

~Marcus Tullius Cicero




Dear Charter Families,


We have a new Administrative Assistant to support our Charter programs. Welcome to Danelle Matteson!  She now has nearly two weeks working at the Fall Creek office and is happy to be with us, as we are happy to have her. It’s a quick learning curve to step into an already running school year, but she is eager to learn all that she can and get to know all of you that step into the office or need her support.  Julie Walker has taken a position at the District Office, so will not be too far away.  


We have our second Parent Education night next Tuesday, November 15th.  Martha Kaufeldt is a dynamic, knowledgeable professional who packs a lot into her presentations.  Her topic is on designing questions, tasks, and projects that will help students go beyond basic knowledge and develop critical thinking strategies.  This is a skill that all students and their parents will benefit from.   ALSO!  The evening will begin with an opportunity to meet our Mental Health Counselor, Jen Sims.  Come at 5:30 and get to know how she works with our students, and learn about the themes she notices are relevant in supporting our elementary and secondary aged students.

Please RSVP Danelle dmatteson@slvusd.org or me rschlosser@slvusd.org to sign up for this special opportunity.  


Tomorrow is our holiday to honor the soldiers of our country, past and present. My father was a pilot in WWII, serving 20 years before retiring.  Please take some time to honor those who choose to bravely step forward to protect our country in this way.


Enjoy the extended weekend.

~Rhonda


PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT: Tuesday, Nov. 15.   

Come early for a special opportunity with our Counselor, Jen Sims.


Parent Advisory Committee: Next meeting: Wednesday, November 16, 3-4pm at the Charter Fall Creek office.  Dr. Bruton will be with us to share the State of the District.  Additional focus will be the WASC report, and learning more about LCAP goals and supplemental funds. All parents who are interested are welcome, but we particularly need representation from the Quail Hollow programs.  Here is a note from one of our parent representatives:

First it was Common Core; then it was WASC and now it is LCAP. There have been so many recent policy changes. Along with the frustration that comes with change, these new laws and policies have turned out to have some exciting silver linings. The charter needs YOU to be a voice in establishing and maintaining the vision and goals for this awesome Charter School. Come and join us!  There will be chocolate. :)


Math Tutor Now available for Secondary math support

-Mondays, from 12:30-3:30 in CRHS Portable 5 for High school students.

-Thursdays from 2:15-3:30 in the CRMS classroom P28 for middle school age students.

Mark is excited and ready to help any student who comes to work with him.  No need to sign up ahead of time.. Please make sure your student comes prepared with their math homework or questions about skills.


In Our Community:  San Lorenzo Valley Little League Spring 2017 Sign Ups

Ages: 4-12      Online registration: https://secure.leaguepilot.com/go/2641/

Walk-in registration at the SLV Middle School Board Room:

  • Wednesday 11/16, from 5-7 PM

  • Wednesday 12/7, from 5-7 PM

If a child has not played for SLVLL previously, you will need to provide a COPY of your child's birth certificate, which will stay on file as long as your child plays in our league.  Please also be prepared with your child's insurance information, as well as the date of his/her last tetanus shot.


We are looking for Managers for all divisions.  If you are interested in managing your son or daughter's team, please note it on your registration form.


Please check the SLVLL web site for complete details on all forms of registration, including cost. http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=slvll


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) As part of the new accountability requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the U.S. Department of Education is requiring school districts nationwide to identify students who are armed forces family members.

Is either parent/guardian on active duty in the US armed forces: Army, Navy, Air Force,  Marine Corps or  Coast Guard or on full-time  National Guard Duty?   


If so,  please let us know by emailing hthomas@slvusd.org or calling Holly Thomas at 336-5167.  

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated!


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

CRHS: This past week was filled with college and career conversations, multiple intelligence assessments, figuring out the over-the-lifetime value of a high school diploma, of a two-year (AA) degree, of a (BA/BS), and the value of a graduate degree. COLA was discussed. Lots of surprised expressions! We also discussed careers, entrepreneurship, and internships.     Meeting of the Tribes #2 went very well. Our emotional/mental health counselor, Jenn Sims stepped in to give our students a health lesson, as did our college counselor, Jen Kelly, who discussed Cabrillo Night. Wade, Keidi, and Kay discussed school business and other pertinent information. Keidi gave a lesson on friendships and nurturing the CRHS culture and continued respect of one another.


CRMS:Design Thinking: Students presented their designs and gave and received constructive feedback.  It was great to see how attentive the groups were to hearing about each other’s designs and how they jumped right in to support each other with relevant suggestions.  The kids also answered some process questions about how they felt they and others in their group contributed to the project and ideas that they had for ways that they could have worked better together.  I had them take their responses to these questions and write them in the form of a letter to their teammates.  

Nature Academy: The First Trimester is ending and all assignments and grading is being completed for the 6th grade class took a trip to the Cal Academy of Sciences last week and are gearing up for their Kayaking excursion on November 3rd to Elkhorn Slough. They finished up their  basketball unit just in time for the SLV Hoops registration. Big thanks to Coach Paul for helping out!  7th and 8th graders are getting set for their trip to the Exploratorium and Tactile Dome this Friday, November 4.  They started illuminated letters in the style of medieval illuminations. Students will create a final project on an 8.5x8.5 card stock format.  Students are completing their assignment based on their personal choice Science reading book or articles.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA) Amber will be presenting an update on this program to the school board on Dec. 7, and they asked if our students wanted to perform something. The majority of the students wanted to perform the opening number of “Hamilton” in a spoken word format! We began practicing. I got goosebumps already! Causes of the American Revolution We are finishing up our unit on Causes. Students completed activities around the theme of “Sons of Liberty: Patriots or Terrorists”. Most importantly, we discussed how perspective has everything to do with how we view historical events.

Students listened to an audio version of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” narrated by Christopher Lee.

They also worked on how to transfer information from their notes into cohesive, properly formatted paragraphs. Art Each week I show the students a video “Inspiration”. This week was from Japanese artist, Chie Hitotsuyama, and her recycled newspaper sculptures.

Quail Hollow Homeschool:  Students discussed the structure of our democracy, other selections besides president; senators and representatives, and the two houses of congress.They shared our Wonders of Me posters - practicing public speaking so everyone can hear. Students made Greek pottery called "lekythios" (plural) lekythos (singular). For this they learned techniques to make pinch pots,coils, scoring and "gluing" their pieces together.  They are wonderful and unique, and the children are very proud.  After lunch, there was chess and rotations. Science: the class investigated  how well balloon rockets travel along string (thrust) and applied the scientific method by making a hypothesis, observation, and conclusion. Art: Used special water colors to paint owls from the last class.  Read "Owl Diaries" and just for fun read "Dragons Love Tacos" Garden: (Math, Science) looked at actual numbers of pumpkin seeds compared to estimations as well as adding larger numbers. We pulled weeds, ate carrots, and are making great progress in getting the garden cleaned up.

Fall Creek Homeschool: Mars Day was celebrated at Fall Creek!  We had two distinguished visitors, each with a different perspective on mars. Jon Neff, Rosie's Dad, has worked for NASA and been on teams for Mars and Jupiter exploration missions. He helped with one of  the rover deliveries to Mars. He helped with the Juno probe that arrived at Jupiter this past July. Jon showed us many photos and a short video about the work his teams have done and also what is happening now at NASA. The kids asked and answered many questions and showed how much they know about Mars and how excited they are to learn more.  After lunch, Brendan Mulhall, Logan's brother who is enrolled at CRMS, came to talk with us about a project he did concerning Mars. He showed us a presentation concerning what it would take to travel to and live on Mars, to establish a base for humans to live there. You could hear a pin drop in the room - they were riveted to the presentation and information Brendan gave us.

Mountain IS: Students had fun playing a new class made a taboo game.  The students worked with buddies to create game cards for a water form or landform which included 5 taboo words. Then in teams , students tried to guess the mystery word with a description that could not include any taboo word choices.

With our guest parent, Simon's mom Robin, students used ballots to vote for their choice of Tomie de Paola book. "The Night and the Dragon", was the clear winner. Robin then did a fabulous read aloud.

In art students created awesome mixed media geodes. In music, students learned some new words and movements to a folk song. The class took a walk through the school garden looking firsthand at the role that decomposition plays in the world. They followed up by starting an indoor experiment comparing the decay of chunks of pumpkin with and without yeast to an intact pumpkin.


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.)

  • November 11th: No school  -Veteran’s Day

  • Nov. 15th, Tues 5:30 - 7:30. Parent Education Night: 5:30-6:00 Come meet and talk to our mental health counselor Jen Sims  6:00-7:30" Developing Higher-Order Thinking Skills and Effective Questioning Strategies"

  • November 17: Picture retake day:  beginning at 8 am

  • November 21-25th: No School  -Thanksgiving Break

  • Dec. 13th, Tues 5:30 - 7pm. Parent Education Night: "Using Projects and Problem-solving to Engage Every Learner!"

  • December 23rd- January 8th: No School--Winter Break

  • January 16th: No School--MLK Bday

  • January 20th: End of 2nd quarter

  • January 27th:  No School--Professional Development Day for teachers




Charter News: Oct. 30, 2016

posted Oct 30, 2016, 9:49 PM by Rhonda Schlosser



“The best way you can cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up”   

~Mark Twain



Dear Charter Families,

One of the items our teachers work together on during our professional development days and late start days are the writing assessments that we use as a benchmark review to see how our students are progressing in their writing.  Teachers review and discuss ways to work in their classrooms and with individual students to increase their writing skills. You can help too, by reading what your child writes, appreciating their word choices, reading and discussing favorite stories or news articles, and expressing your own ideas and appreciations through the written word. Here are a few reasons, found in various articles, on the importance of writing.

• Writing builds communication and thinking skills.

• Writing expresses who we are.

• Writing is critical to becoming a good reader.

• Writing is an essential job skill.

• Writing makes thinking and learning visible and permanent.

• Writing fosters the ability to explain and refine our ideas to others and ourselves.

• Writing is the primary basis upon which one’s work, learning, and intellect will be judged—in college, in the workplace, and in the community.

• Writing preserves our ideas and memories.

• Writing allows us to understand our lives.

• Writing allows us to entertain others.

Which reason resonates with you and/or your student most?


Have a happy and safe Halloween!


~Rhonda


PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT: Tuesday, Nov. 15.   

Come early for a special opportunity with our Counselor, Jen Sims.


Parent Advisory Committee: Next meeting: November 16 from 3-4 pm at the Charter Fall Creek office.  

Dr. Bruton will come to share the State of the District. Additional focus will be the WASC report, and learning more about LCFF goals and LCAP supplemental funds.


Our first meeting quietly came and went.  Our next meeting is November 16, for, 3-4 at the Charter Fall Creek Office. It is the one committee that the Charter has where parent representatives from every program meet to learn more about the details of the Charter and provide input to me regarding pertinent program needs requests  We meet once a month, (sometimes more) so that we can collectively discuss the guiding documents of the Charter School and so I can hear from you about the Charter program you and your child is involved in.  

All parents who are interested are welcome, but we particularly need representation from the Quail Hollow programs.  Here is a note from one of our parent representatives:

First it was Common Core; then it was WASC and now it is LCAP. There have been so many recent policy changes. Along with the frustration that comes with change, these new laws and policies have turned out to have some exciting silver linings. The charter needs YOU to be a voice in establishing and maintaining the vision and goals for this awesome Charter School. Come and join us!  There will be chocolate. :)


Math Tutor Now available for Secondary math support

-Mondays, from 12:30-3:30 in CRHS Portable 5 for High school students.

-Thursdays from 2:15-3:30 in the CRMS classroom P28 for middle school age students.

Mark is excited and ready to help any student who comes to work with him.  No need to sign up ahead of time.. Please make sure your student comes prepared with their math homework or questions about skills.


Fundraising Thank You: A Bit THANK YOU to all who sold Drive for Schools tickets.  The funds generated go directly to your students program to support enrichment activities.


Reminder: Checking for lice: We tend to get more reported cases of lice the first couple months of the school year.  It is important that you periodically check your student's head for lice once or twice a week during these few few months as a precautionary measure.  If we catch cases early on, they are so much easier to get rid of!!!  

Head Lice 101

https://drive.google.com/a/slvusd.org/file/d/0BzVV2YWLc4T0cXRxVVh4VFlzRjdWODBwNjhaQXI0bmRQdGlJ/view?usp=sharing

Lice Treatment Checklist

https://drive.google.com/a/slvusd.org/file/d/0BzVV2YWLc4T0Q3NjMmVHZVJKVjNMZy1seW9COG1wbDh1WDhB/view?usp=sharing


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

CRHS: College and Career Week is this week and teachers will be presenting information, handouts, and activities to students in their classes. A culmination of activities will be presented on Friday at the Meeting of the Tribes!  Meeting of The Tribes Friday, November 4 from 10:00-12:00. This is a mandatory meeting for all students to attend. Extra credit activities will be presented and offered! Snacks as usual!  Keidi took her Spanish class (and other CR students who wanted to come) to Watsonville to see the Pajaro Valley Arts Council's Dia De Los Muertos exhibit.

CRMS:Friend John Rible engaged the kids some brain gymnastics through a math riddle to figure out his age involving adding, multiplying, exponents.  Then he led the kids in shifting seats and shifting again, making and remaking partners using his color-season system. Students are continuing with their Invention Research Projects: During their field trip to the Hornet Museum they were guided in creating and improving the flight of straws! There was also a lot of history of technology content shared on the USS Hornet, as well as information about how airplanes take off and land on an aircraft carrier.

Nature Academy: The First Trimester is ending and all assignments and grading is being completed for the 6th grade class took a trip to the Cal Academy of Sciences last week and are gearing up for their Kayaking excursion on November 3rd to Elkhorn Slough. They finished up their  basketball unit just in time for the SLV Hoops registration. Big thanks to Coach Paul for helping out!  7th and 8th graders are getting set for their trip to the Exploratorium and Tactile Dome this Friday, November 4.  They started illuminated letters in the style of medieval illuminations. Students will create a final project on an 8.5x8.5 card stock format.  Students are completing their assignment based on their personal choice Science reading book or articles.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA):What a fun week! So many highlights: *watching the PBS Documentary, “Hamilton’s America” *PAC Tour with Kylan Thureockes, measuring the stage for their scale model building project. *PE with Coast Redwood Middle School *Halloween celebration: A big thank you to the parents who helped with Halloween festivities. The kids had a great time together, and played an enormous game of banana tag with the younger students when their programming had ended, and also invited them into the classroom for a dance party  Students entered their artwork for the “Give Us a Hand” logo artwork contest through the SC Mountain Arts Center in Ben Lomond.  Three of the students’ artwork, (Julian Hughes, Sylvia Slaven, and Julia McCartney) was chosen to be incorporated into the new logo! Honorable mention were given to Gabe Mitchell, Cyrus Hurst, Taya Stockton.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: A big "THANK YOU" to all parents and families who participated in our Halloween Costume Parade and Extravaganza!  Friends from Fall Creek and QH Homeschool had a wonderful time playing games, listening to stories, and making wonderful crafts.  This is just one example of what an amazing, supportive, and fun community we have to make such a great day for our children!

Students learned more about Greek Myths - discussed what they were and had explains the origins of something, natural phenomena, have morals or themes, include gods, goddesses and/or monsters.  We read the myths of Midas and Pandora.  Having the opportunity to work in small groups or individually, friends began to write a myth using graphic organizers. Congratulations to Ayla Penny, whose artwork was chosen for the “Give Us a Hand” logo artwork contest.

Fall Creek Homeschool:The class had their first telescope night with the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club! It went really well - so clear and warm! Students saw Saturn with 3 of its moons, Mars looking very big and orange, Venus super bright, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Crab Nebula, the Dumb Bell Nebula, Cassiopeia, the North Star, the two Dippers, Sagittarius, the Milky Way, the Swan with its two famous stars, Deneb and Albireo, the Eagle with Altair, the Lyre with Vega, and the Summer Triangle!

Mountain IS: students had a " get to know our partners” activity. It was so cool to find out many of us had several similar interests that we hadn't known about!  they also had their first STEAM project - building towers with pipe cleaners in small groups. Students painted rocks into funky pumpkin/jack-o-lanterns and creating a silly story of the "fortunate" and "unfortunate" incidences of their trip to a pumpkin patch. It took a lot of loving hands and shared supplies for every student to participate in their baking day. Students were able to use apples from the trees on campus, peel, slice, and nestle them  in their choice of flour or gluten free crust, and of course enjoy them. A big thank you to the parents who worked like busy elves while students were in art class to ensure that they could enjoy their own warm pie with a fresh dollop of cream for lunch.


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.)

  • November 11th: No school  -Veteran’s Day

  • Nov. 15th, Tues 5:30 - 7:30. Parent Education Night: 5:30-6:00 Come meet and talk to our mental health counselor Jen Sims  6:00-7:30" Developing Higher-Order Thinking Skills and Effective Questioning Strategies"

  • November 17: Quail Hollow Homeschool Picture retake day:  (time TBD)

  • November 21-25th: No School  -Thanksgiving Break

  • Dec. 13th, Tues 5:30 - 7pm. Parent Education Night: "Using Projects and Problem-solving to Engage Every Learner!"

  • December 23rd- January 8th: No School--Winter Break

  • January 16th: No School--MLK Bday

  • January 20th: End of 2nd quarter

  • January 27th:  No School--Professional Development Day for teachers

Charter News: Oct. 16, 2016

posted Oct 17, 2016, 11:57 AM by Rhonda Schlosser



“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.  A dream you dream together is reality”

-John Lennon




Dear Charter Families,


We continue to work with expanding your child’s academic and social-emotional learning as we move farther into the rhythms of the school year.  Students should be building stronger practices of completing their school work on time, with your support when needed, and all of us are continuing to build our communication together on all things that impact students ability to learn at their best.  Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas that you believe may help our work together with your child(ren).


You may have heard from your teacher that Jen Sims, our counselor has come into the classrooms to talk and work with our students about how to manage change and ways best to keep and build communication. Please read further to hear what she has to say about helping your child in Setting Goals.


Also, we will be offering the second of Martha’s parent workshops on November 15th.  This one will be on encouraging children to develop critical thinking skills.  We will continue to offer childcare to make it easier for you to come.  


This time, Jen will begin the evening for the first half hour for any and all who want to meet her and learn more about her services.  She will have a general focus for discussion that she will share.


~Rhonda


Note: These newsletters are posted on our Charter website for you and the general public to look back on if needed. http://charter.slvusd.org/charter-info/charter-news/




PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT: Date Change.  Tuesday, Nov. 15.

5:30-6 pm

The evening will begin at 5:30 for those who would like to meet and talk with Counselor Jen Sims.  She will share how she works with our students and the themes she notices as relevant in her work with elementary and secondary aged children.

6:00 – 7:30pm

Challenging Students to Develop (Higher Level) Critical Thinking Skills.

"This evening workshop will help parents think about or design questions, tasks and projects that go beyond basic knowledge and comprehension thinking.

Learn ways to challenge your child to APPLY and TRANSFER new concepts, ANALYZE information, form opinions based on EVIDENCE, as well as SYNTHESIZE and CREATE new ideas. Go beyond learning superficial facts and really help your child build DEPTH and COMPLEXITY as they learn."

FALL CREEK Campus – LUDLOW Center (Behind the High School)

RSVP Requested to prepare materials, childcare, snacks, and meeting space.   *This session is the second of a series of future Parent Education opportunities provided by SLV Charter School.


From COUNSELOR JEN SIMS

Happy October!  Now that that we are settling into the school year, it’s a good time to get thinking about dreams and goals.  Where does your child want to be in the spring of 2017, next fall, or beyond?  Whether the goals are academic or personal, setting objectives and going for them is a great way for your child to develop resiliency.  Just the process of working toward goals allows your child to practice important life skills such as responsibility, time management, and perseverance while at the same time increasing confidence and self-esteem.  Here are some tips to help get started:


Be realistic.  Let’s face it: if your child is severely allergic to dogs and cats, it’s going to be tough for them to work in a veterinarian’s office - no matter how deep the desire.  When brainstorming goals, help your child understand what’s realistic and what isn’t, while keeping an eye on the underlying need. Working with animals can shows tenderness and caring, and perhaps an interest in biology or science.  Is it possible to find another way to meet those needs and still make the goals feel significant?


Set SMART Goals.  SMART goals are a great way to keep on track.  SMART stands for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound”.  The actual definition can be shared with older children; the language can be adjusted to help your younger child make the connection.  SMART goals can stop a goal from becoming a wandering dream and bring it into focus by pinpointing an objective and ensuring that it is something meaningful for your child’s life.  There is also a time limit, so it can’t become something that could happen…someday. Make sure that the goals, measurement and time limits are age appropriate – a first grader working on putting away toys is going to have different needs than a senior working on getting a job or going to college.  


Make a list with ‘Action’ items.  Make a list of goals, dreams and desires. Suggest that they categorize them as ‘short-term’ or ‘long-term’ – a combination is always good.  Reaching short-term goals can help boost confidence and make long-term goals seem more attainable.  No matter the age of your child, let them choose and help them break down goals into steps.  If your child has a dream of joining the track team, but has so far only watched racing on TV, where should they begin?  The first step is probably not to sign up for a team and compete right away.  Perhaps starting with researching more about running, teams and rules, and then starting a weekly practice.  

Younger children may benefit from fun goals that they can achieve in a short time while they develop stamina for longer-term goals.  Some examples of this are finishing a book or completing a crafts project.  Meeting goals is energizing and motivating; this will leave your child wanting more.  


Make it fun!  Although achieving goals has many intrinsic rewards, things seem more doable when there is a sense of lightness and fun involved.  For younger (or young at heart) students, make a poster of the desired goals with a timeline.  Use stickers, pictures, or anything else you and your child can come up with to mark each benchmark achievement.  If you have an older child, create experiences together to celebrate reaching the mini-successes leading up to the final goal.  When your child has a goal of getting a driver’s license and they ace the permit test, do something special that you decide on together.


What is they don’t succeed?  Great!  There is so much opportunity for growth in failure.  It is actually a fantastic way to build resilience.  Think about the losses in your own life and the lessons you learned from them.  No matter the age of your child, take the time with your child to discuss what worked, what didn’t and come up with a revised plan.  As they say, it’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up and brush yourself off.  


Hope everyone has a great October of pumpkin hunting and watching the rain come in at last.  If you would like to talk further about setting goals with your child, feel free to contact me at jsims@slvusd.org.


For more information about writing SMART goals:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/smart-goal-setting-with-students-maurice-elias

Resources for making goal setting fun for younger children:

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/goal-setting

Creating a goal setting worksheet for teens:

https://www.verywell.com/printable-goals-setting-worksheet-for-teens-2608797






The Great ShakeOut:  On October 20th at there will be a district wide earthquake drill.  Our district and many others in the area are participating in this California ShakeOut drill.  You can find more information at www.ShakeOut.org



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

CRHS:LEADERSHIP NEWS HALLOWEEN PARTY. On Monday, October 31, the Coast Redwood High School Leadership class will be throwing a Halloween Costume Party during lunch for CRHS. The party will be a costume party, and we will be holding a costume contest. The costumes must be within dress code and we are asking that clown costumes not be worn. Please bring a treat to share. PSAT Sign Ups for PSAT are still available until 10/18/16. Report to the SLVHS gym on Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 am to check-in to take the PSAT. Bring a graphing calculator.

CRMS:Design Thinking: discussed what equipment firefighters use and the obstacles that they face.  pick a firefighting problem and to come up with a design to solve the problem.  They presented their ideas to the rest of the class.  Some groups are at the brainstorming stage, while others are already making prototypes. Mug Making: at the high school art studio. Students looked at a mug or water bottle to identify design features that they liked. Ode to a Mug: introduced odes, and started writing their own.

Nature Academy: 6th grade class are beginning a study on earthquakes and are working on refining their paragraph structure. They had great fun making cider and working on sewing projects, thanks in part to wonderful parent volunteers.  They will be going to the Cal Academy of Sciences this Thursday. 7-8th graders also enjoyed making cider and are completing their elective rounds, which included cooking, typing, and disc golf.  They are working on their construction challenge and are designing their personal coat of arms in their history and science studies.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): The program is registered with the California Student Mock Election, which took place statewide next Tuesday, Oct. 11. They are discussing the election process, while reviewing the escalation of unrest in the early American colonies in their History studies. Many parallels were drawn between that time period and what is happening today. They read excerpts from “The House on Mango Street” that convey personal identity and students wrote Bio Poems; a beginning template requiring self-reflection, which can also be used as an alternative to writing short biographies. Students had Improv class, some worked on their watercolor quote project, some rehearsed dance routines in the dance space, some played piano, some drew sketches, and some participated in Thriller practices after school.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Took a field trip to the Felton Quarry.  They were able to see what is taking place and being used in buildings, roads and construction. This fit in with the Ancient civilization studies. Students worked to complete our guided drawings of the Taj Mahal, outlines are all finished.  At the end of the day was singing and percussion with Freesia.

Fall Creek Homeschool: Listened to a story called Pumpkins in which a man grows and sells pumpkins in order to save a piece of land that he is attached to. Made a “pocket solar system”. Discussed the distances between the planets. Read book Call Me Ahnighito about the giant meteorite that is in the Museum of Natural History in New York. Lisa brought in her large meteorite and passed it around so everyone could feel it and examine it closely. Played with a compass to see if it would show north correctly and it did not while the meteor was near to it! This Thursday is their TELESCOPE NIGHT at the QH campus with the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club. Please arrive at 7 pm with a flashlight – we will be distributing red cellophane to cover your flashlights so they do not interfere with our night vision. A number of very delicate and sophisticated telescopes will be set up. The chance to see 4 planets at the same time is a real treat – don’t miss it!

Mountain IS: They have continued with the focus on Earth Science and introduced the Rock Cycle to the class with this fun video as well as an interactive game that brought the children through the processes of the cycle. As a way to familiarize students with map skills and the state of California, they played a version of Battleship using Latitude and Longitude to locate major cities and landforms on a map of CA. Students given the chance to take surveys and create their own graphs in math this week too!   Wishes for a fabulous week to the 6th graders who are attending Outdoor Science School and hope the 4th & 5th graders are packing and getting ready for Coloma, 10/19-21/16



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 17th: Picture retake day for Nature Academy

  • October 20th: Picture Day:Quail Hollow Homeschool, Quail Hollow Integrated Arts, Fall Creek Homeschool, Coast Redwood High School, Coast Redwood Middle School

  • November 11th: No school  -Veteran’s Day

  • Nov. 15th, Tues 5:30 - 7:30. Parent Education Night: 5:30-6:00 Come meet and talk to our mental health counselor Jen Sims  6:00-7:30"Developing Higher-Order Thinking Skills and Effective Questioning Strategies" (Will also introduce Academic Vocabulary)

  • November 17: Quail Hollow Homeschool Picture retake day:  (time TBD)

  • November 21-25th: No School  -Thanksgiving Break

  • Dec. 13th, Tues 5:30 - 7pm. Parent Education Night: "Using Projects and Problem-solving to Engage Every Learner!"



Charter News: Oct. 2, 2016

posted Oct 2, 2016, 9:50 PM by Rhonda Schlosser



There is nothing like a dream to create the future.  

-Victor Hugo




Dear Charter Families,


For those of you who are new to the Charter and its programs, I would like to briefly share some of our underlying foundational principles.  Regardless of the program, we carry the same School Wide Outcomes.  These outcomes  are developed in the classrooms in a variety of ways while the teachers are facilitating students’ learning, both in the classroom and on their many excursions.  All of the Charter staff are trained and continue to develop their understanding of Brain Based Learning, Mindfulness, Reflective Listening, and Bloom’s Taxonomy that are now linked to Depths of Knowledge. We use these principles regularly in the classrooms. We have planned Parent Workshops throughout the first semester in order to share some of the key principles that we firmly believe in.  By coming to these workshops you will gain a better understanding of these ideas, and thus can work in better partnership with your student’s teachers. We are partners in your child’s education.  The more knowledgeable that everyone is in these areas, the better we can work as a cohesive team.


Please sign up for the parent workshop that is offered THIS TUESDAY.  It is not too late.


~Rhonda



Begin with the Brain:

Three Things Parents Need to Know!

   Presenter: Martha Kaufeldt



Do you often wonder what is going on inside your child or teen’s developing brain? What are some things that parents can do to encourage and motivate learning and curiosity in their children? Come and learn from a veteran “neuro-educator,” author, presenter, parent educator, and charter teacher!

  1. Discover how stress levels, too much pressure and over-scheduling can often minimize learning.

  2. Learn how multi-sensory first-hand experiences can promote brain growth and development at any age!

  3. “Use It or Lose It” is true! To maximize learning, 21st Century students need to actively process in a variety of ways!

No matter if your child is in elementary or high school, you will find these ideas thought provoking and leave with several new parenting strategies. This 90 minute presentation begins with a thought-provoking overview of how too much stress and pressure can hi-jack children’s brains and minimize learning. This entertaining session will also encourage quick reflections and discussions.  A short Q & A will follow the presentation.

Co-parents, spouses and partners are encouraged to come together!


Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016     5:30 – 7:00pm

FALL CREEK Campus – LUDLOW Center (Behind the High School)

RSVP Requested to prepare materials, childcare, snacks, and meeting space.         jwalker@slvusd.org

*This session will launch a series of future Parent Education opportunities provided by SLV Charter School.



PowerSchool Registration Reminder

Parents - We still have a significant number of families who have not completed their students registration! It is a matter of safety.

  • We need to have the current and correct contact information via phone or email in order to contact you if your child becomes ill or has a medical or some other type of emergency while at school.

  • We need to have the current and correct information for your emergency contacts in case you are not accessible.

How do you know if you’ve submitted your student’s PowerSchool Registration? If you log into PowerSchool and click on the link for “PowerSchool Registration” and you do not see any forms available to you, then you have done an update. If, however, there are links to your child’s online form, then your registration has not been updated.


If you need assistance setting up your parent PowerSchool account, you can come into our school offices and we can assist you in creating your account. Or, you can email Gail Heagerty at gheagerty@slvusd.org for assistance.


Special Community Event: Highway 9 Plan - Meeting Oct 11, 6PM, SLV Performing Arts Theater: Santa Cruz County is making a plan to improve safety and traffic flow along Highway 9.  The Regional Transportation Commission and the County Supervisor's Office wrote a grant and have funds for transportation engineers to design improvements to Highway 9 and adjacent roads. Most importantly, Caltrans is a partner, so the plan will have their buy-in from the start. Come share your thoughts: where does Highway 9 need some improvements? What improvements would you recommend? The planning area runs from South Felton to north of Boulder Creek, and focuses on town centers and schools. Intersections and nearby roads that can be bypasses or bike routes are also included in the plan.



Huge Fundraising Opportunity: Toyota Drive for Schools

This is our biggest fundraising opportunity of the year. Every program in the Charter participates. Please get some booklets from your teachers and sell as many as you can - all money raised stays 100% in your student’s program!  (And you can win some amazing prizes too!)  Last day to turn money and tickets - Friday October 14 at 2:30pm      Tickets are $5 each or a book of 6 is $25


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

ALL CHARTER OPPORTUNITY.  Thrill the World! 2016 (Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Event)

Mondays and Thursdays from 3:00-4:00pm on the Quail Hollow Campus and the Tricampus Cafeteria (the cafeteria adjacent to the SLE parking lot).

  • Mondays in Rm. 29 (the dance room) at the QH Campus: 9/26, 10/3, 10/17, 10/24

  • Thursdays in the Tricampus Cafeteria: 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27

You can come to learn the routine just once a week, or as many times as you like! No need to sign up ahead of time. Just show up.

CRHS: The Senior Internship Class has openings. Seniors will be mentoring Fall Creek students 1x month, participate in being an Outdoor Science School (5/6th grade science camp) cabin leader, and develop a year-long project that will be viewed by the community. We meet on Fridays within a reserved block of time between 10-12:00. Wednesday was Club Day at the comprehensive high school and the turn-out was amazing. Several Charter students jumped right in and showed interest in several after-school clubs. It is not too late to join a club! Creative Writing Club, - Santa Cruz Mountain School Surf Team, - Video Game Production, Environmental Club, -  Fashion Club, - Makers Club, - Gender and Sexuality Awareness (GSA),- Book Club, - Badminton, - Future Business Leaders of America, - Ultimate Frisbee, - The Anime Society, - Marine Life Matters, - SLV Fishing, - ACA Cougars (Acappella group), - Ukelele Club,  NCBI, - Interact Club, - Key Club, - Psychology Club, - and Ham Radio. If interested in joining, ask your Supervising Teacher to assist you with contacting the club lead teacher/supervisor.

CRMS: One of the dangers of homeschooling in an area where there are so many activity options is that it is easy to become overscheduled and then it is hard to find time to do any school at home!  Having an established homeschooling routine to fall back on will support you in maintaining a satisfying and productive homeschooling experience even on days when you tired from the busyness of classes, sports teams, etc.Thursday, 9/29, 3pm-4pm, Thrill the World: The class will take place in the Tri-Campus Cafeteria (which is most easily accessed through the Elementary School (SLE) parking lot).  Bring water to drink and your dancing shoes!

Nature Academy: 6th grade are class are completing their Ancient Tools Project.   They are working on taking Cornell Notes, and have begun an Earthquake Research assignment. 7-8th graders have begun their first elective wheel which includes, typing, cooking, and disc golf.  They are beginning their work of the middle ages with a timeline project and comparing facts between primary sources and movie clips.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA):Phantom of the Opera was an absolutely mind-blowing theatrical experience! Thank you to all of the parents who rallied and provided transportation for our kids so we could take advantage of this incredible opportunity. History Project: Students should have settled on a topic, and have begun outlining, gathering sources, etc.  This will be ongoing throughout the semester. In Physical Sciences we have been working on the topics of solutions, colloids, suspensions, and physical vs. chemical changes in matter. Students completed their coil ceramic mugs, ready for the initial fire.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Students have a weekly rotation that includes a Science Rotation where they made electromagnets​ by coiling copper wire around  a nail and running a current through it.  The scientific method was used to record a hypothesis, data and conclusion.  Art Rotation: Story Stretchers class read 2 books about art supplies that have a mind of their own: Little Red Writing Hood and The Day the Crayons Quit.  They began phase one of a chameleon watercolor art project inspired by the book, A Color of His Own. Garden Rotation:  Students observed and discussed the garden and the state of it. Weeds were pulled and students made some predictions about a pumpkin and seeds and cleaned it out.

Fall Creek Homeschool: Discussed weekend activity of trying to find the constellation Cygnus the Swan in order to report how clear it is in our night sky. This is part of a world-wide effort to both study and promote dark skies. This weekend there is a chance to be a ‘citizen scientist” and submit your observations online at the Globe at Night website.www.globeatnight.org.

Lisa demonstrated how one can draw intersecting circles to get a shape known as the vesica piscis and how all of the primary shapes can be geometrically constructed out of the original circle. Students split into groups and worked on various lessons – some using rulers to subdivide interlocking circles to reveal triangles; others found the geometric relationship of the orbits of Earth, Mars and Jupiter; others used rulers to subdivide existing triangles to make a pattern.

Mountain IS: We’ve been working with bar graphs, collecting and organizing data, and learning some content vocabulary. As student geologists, we’ve compared rocks and minerals, learned about birthstones, discussing vocabulary such as luster, streak, cleavage, buoyancy, color, texture, weight and hardness. Writing descriptions about rocks, creating “Guess Who?” books - to be sent home next week. Reading Kevin Henkes’ books and evaluating and discussing his writing “voice”, and comparing/contrasting the character traits. And finally, letter writing to the 4th grade class regarding their play.  We look forward to seeing you at our newly scheduled first Parent Meeting on Wednesday, October 5 from 5:30-6:30pm.


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.)

  • Oct. 4th, Tues 5:30 - 7.  Parent Education Night: "Begin With the Brain: Three Things Parents Need to Know." Repeated from last February.  Flyer sent to you.

  • October 10th: No school--Professional Development Day for teachers

  • October 17th: Picture retake day for Nature Academy

  • October 20th: Picture Day: Quail Hollow Homeschool, Quail Hollow Integrated Arts, Fall Creek Homeschool, Coast Redwood High School, Coast Redwood Middle School: (time TBD)

  • October 29: Thrill the World event in Santa Cruz.

  • Nov. 8th, Tues 5:30 - 7. Parent Education Night: "Developing Higher-Order Thinking Skills and Effective Questioning Strategies" (Will also introduce Academic Vocabulary)

  • November 11th: No school  -Veteran’s Day

  • November 17: Quail Hollow Homeschool Picture retake day:  (time TBD)

  • November 21-25th: No School  -Thanksgiving Break

  • Dec. 6th, Tues 5:30 - 7. Parent Education Night:"Using Projects and Problem-solving to Engage Every Learner!"



Charter News: September 16 , 2016

posted Sep 22, 2016, 10:31 PM by Rhonda Schlosser


“Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier. “

-Charles F. Kettering




Dear Charter Families,


I have really enjoyed going to all the programs and seeing your students happy at work, hearing from the teachers of their plans for their lessons and activities with their classes, and reading about the activities that I can’t see first hand.  Recently I was able to meet the many parents from the Nature Academy who came to Back to School Night, visit the Coast Redwood High School’s quarterly Meeting of the Tribes academic and social check in, and see our new Quail Hollow Integrated Arts program work on their Improvisation skills. I can’t wait to see the other programs in action in addition to hearing about them from teachers and parents.


This is a packed newsletter with various events that I hope you will take note of.  Please read below for important information on:

  • Ensuring full registration your student, if you have not already.

  • Changes in the District Volunteer practices

  • A Parent Education opportunity that would benefit parents with children of all ages

  • A special Community Event opportunity

  • Our biggest Fundraiser of the year


I for one am glad to have a little bit of our traditional Indian Summer weather this weekend. I hope you are enjoying the outdoors with family or friends and reconnect to the beauty and calmness that rejuvenate our bodies, brains, and soul.   


P.S.  With the reintroduction to school and it’s faster and busier routines, illnesses are being shared as well.  Please make sure your kids rest well, eat a breakfast with some protein, drink plenty of water, and wash their hands regularly throughout the day.  We don’t want anyone to get sick!


~Rhonda



Volunteers in the classroom:  Please read the statement below from our superintendent.  Additional details about these new changes and how we will implement it into our various programs will be coming soon.




It’s All About Student Safety - PowerSchool Registration Reminder

Parents - If you have not submitted student online registration via PowerSchool, please take a few minutes to do so.  

It is a matter of safety.

  • We need to have the current and correct contact information via phone or email in order to contact you if your child becomes ill or has a medical or some other type of emergency while at school.

  • We need to have the current and correct information for your emergency contacts in case you are not accessible.


This is why we ask you to complete the annual on-line registration for each of your students every year.  If you haven’t checked to make sure all of your information is current and correct, please complete the PowerSchool Registration for each of your students as soon as possible.


How do you know if you’ve submitted your student’s PowerSchool Registration? If you log into PowerSchool and click on the link for “PowerSchool Registration” and you do not see any forms available to you, then you have done an update. If, however, there are links to your child’s online form, then your registration has not been updated.


If you need assistance setting up your parent PowerSchool account, you can come into your school office and the Registrar can assist you in creating your account. Or, you can email Gail Heagerty at gheagerty@slvusd.org for assistance.



Begin with the Brain:

Three Things Parents Need to Know!

   Presenter: Martha Kaufeldt



Do you often wonder what is going on inside your child or teen’s developing brain? What are some things that parents can do to encourage and motivate learning and curiosity in their children? Come and learn from a veteran “neuro-educator,” author, presenter, parent educator, and charter teacher!

  1. Discover how stress levels, too much pressure and over-scheduling can often minimize learning.

  2. Learn how multi-sensory first-hand experiences can promote brain growth and development at any age!

  3. “Use It or Lose It” is true! To maximize learning, 21st Century students need to actively process in a variety of ways!

No matter if your child is in elementary or high school, you will find these ideas thought provoking and leave with several new parenting strategies. This 90 minute presentation begins with a thought-provoking overview of how too much stress and pressure can hi-jack children’s brains and minimize learning. This entertaining session will also encourage quick reflections and discussions.  A short Q & A will follow the presentation.

Co-parents, spouses and partners are encouraged to come together!


Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016     5:30 – 7:00pm

FALL CREEK Campus – LUDLOW Center (Behind the High School)


RSVP Requested to prepare materials, childcare, snacks, and meeting space.         jwalker@slvusd.org

*This session will launch a series of future Parent Education opportunities provided by SLV Charter School.



Huge Fundraising Opportunity: Toyota Drive for Schools

This is our biggest fundraising opportunity of the year. Every program in the Charter participates. Please get some booklets from your teachers and sell as many as you can - all money raised stays 100% in your student’s program!  (And you can win some amazing prizes too!)  Last day to turn money and tickets - Friday October 14 at 2:30pm      Tickets are $5 each or a book of 6 is $25


SPECIAL COMMUNITY EVENT: FREE



“Most Likely to Succeed” at Louden Nelson Sept 26th at 6:30.  Most Likely to Succeed examines the history of education in the United States, revealing the growing shortcomings of conventional education methods in today’s innovative world. The film explores compelling new approaches that aim to transform learning as we know it. After seeing this film, the way you think about “school” will never be the same.  

Film Trailer: https://vimeo.com/122502930     


This film shares many of the practices that the Charter programs work with and aspire to do more of. Project-based, problem-based, Inquiry-based learning are elements of all of our programs. Refreshments and a guided discussion will follow. I don’t think this will sell out but it would be great for people to register so we know how many to expect.


Here  is  the link to Eventbrite to reserve a ticket https://www.eventbrite.com/e/most-likely-to-succeed-tickets-27243556210?aff=ehomefriend.


   I hope to see you there!



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

CRHS: Coast Redwood High School Held their “Meeting of the Tribes, with support from their leadership class.  These quarterly meetings are designed to share important information to the students such as ROP announcements, College and Career opportunities, scheduling, field trips, clubs, teambuilding and lots more. The students from the leadership class talked about CRHS culture which included:Be Kind!:We are all about acceptance and positivity and kindness • Give people the benefit of the doubt (give them a break) • Respect each other, yourself, your teachers • Embrace individuality.• No Bullying (ever!) • No harassment /Sexual harassment • No put downs, none. Ever. • Stand up for people • Work Hard • Work together

CRMS: There was a photography field day last week. Students learned how to photograph movement and flow through diagonal lines, the rule of thirds, and  examples of pattern and texture, before we headed out on the trail.  They worked on partner trust and a photography and then went to Fall Creek to take photos. We stopped at several good spots along our hike to look for line, texture and contrast. Back in class, some kids had time to learn how to upload their photos to their Google Photos account.

Nature Academy: The 7-8th graders had their annual ropes course excursion on Friday, and the 6th graders will follow soon.  Writing topics in each group include an autobiographical poster that includes a self reflection.  The 7-8th Physics/Balancing the Components of their Lives project is complete and evaluations are in process. The 6th grade class are learning flag football, and will soon begin their Ancient Tools project.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): The class is beginning their “Hamilton” unit using the musical soundtrack and video clips as a primary resource for the study of causes of the American Revolution and beginnings of our government. Afternoon Theater and Art Electives have begun with students split to learn ceramics and improvisation skills, or working with chess from guest master chess teacher.  Students have begun their Solo History Project.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: They had a great campout at New Brighton.  In addition to fun campsite activities, they met with the Park Ranger to learn about the history of Seacliff and the Cement Ship. They took a 3+ mile beach walk from New Brighton to Seacliff. They will  begin their onsite classes next week with their theme of Ancient Civilizations and Wonders of the World

Fall Creek Homeschool:  They had a great first week of onsite classes and the group seems very harmonious already; working hard and staying focused. With their astronomy unit, they are starting with the Sun and will continue through the solar system and all of the planets. They discussed our breathing and heartbeats and the rhythms they produce, played a listening game, and  participated in a comment and compliment circle.

Mountain IS: Their onsite classes have had a great start. Their parent meetings have gotten off to a fabulous start. There are several new families joining the class this year and are still looking for a few "mentor parents" to help welcome them into the program. The Annual Coloma overnight trip is in the planning stage.


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.)

  • Oct. 4th, Tues 5:30 - 7.  Parent Education Night: "Begin With the Brain: Three Things Parents Need to Know." Repeated from last February.  Flyer sent to you.

  • October 10th: No school--Professional Development Day for teachers

  • October 17th: Picture retake day for Nature Academy

  • October 20th: Quail Hollow Homeschool, Quail Hollow Integrated Arts, Fall Creek Homeschool, Coast Redwood High School, Coast Redwood Middle School Picture Day: (time TBD)

  • Nov. 8th, Tues 5:30 - 7. Parent Education Night: "Developing Higher-Order Thinking Skills and Effective Questioning Strategies" (Will also introduce Academic Vocabulary)

  • November 11th: No school  -Veteran’s Day

  • November 17: Quail Hollow Homeschool Picture retake day:  (time TBD)

  • November 21-25th: No School  -Thanksgiving Break

  • Dec. 6th, Tues 5:30 - 7. Parent Education Night:"Using Projects and Problem-solving to Engage Every Learner!"



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