"Don't ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, but what problem do they want to solve. This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for to what do I need to learn to be able to do that."
Dear Charter Families,
Spring Break is over, annual State testing is upon us ...and yes, there are only 8 weeks of school left! Keep encouraging your students to stay on top of their assignments; these last two month are still important .
Each of our programs have scheduled their dates for the Smarter Balanced testing, and I know that they have been sharing these with you through their weekly emails. Many programs will begin next week.
As a public school, it is written in our Charter that we will have at least a 95% participation rate on the State assessments, and we thank you for supporting us in this way. The tests are used as one of the indicators of performance for our school. It is one of many ways your student’s academic progress is evaluated. You may want to take the time to read some of the material suggested in the letter posted from the District. In particular, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. This site provides nearly a plethora of information and resources for parents with students in any grade level.
Please remember that the Common Core Standards are new, and the implementation in the classroom, as well as how the Smarter Balanced State tests integrate with how well your student is doing in applying the new Common Core Standards, is still in it’s early development and will take years to refine. The Common Core Standards are more complex in scope; expecting students to synthesize, apply, and determine for themselves what to do with information in order to determine the answers. This new format is not as easy to ‘take-your-best-guess’ like the STAR tests from the past. The new CAASPP, Smarter Balanced assessment requires a student to often read more than a paragraph before they answer, and stay interested in what is being asked as they reflect on the best answer. It is all online, which is now a child’s natural ‘go to’ method of delivery, but that means it also requires a level of typing comfort as well.
Smarter Balanced California Assessment is only one of several measures used to determine your child’s academic performance. Grade level progress and end of year report cards include multiple sources of information; participation, work habits, group projects, homework, -all of which are important in determining a child’s academic achievement. This is not reflected on the Smarter Balanced test, and there may be some differences in the results of how your student does on this test compared to how they perform in the classroom.
During our testing window, take the time to help your child remember that their performance in the test is only one way that learning is evaluated. Help them to remember to stay curious and relaxed. Don’t spend too much time practicing tests from the Smarter Balanced Website. However, it may be beneficial for younger students to spend some extra time practicing typing.
And remember, the best way to support your child to prepare for the testing is to make sure they get a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast. Help them to remember to stay relaxed and to take their time to do their best. Your teachers know how to make the testing environment the most relaxed and supportive of your child as possible during testing. There will be plenty of breaks for your child during the tests, with reminders to get the body and blood flow moving which can help with concentration.
Many of our programs have already started the Physical Fitness Tests that the 5, 7, and 9th graders take throughout the State. Our District requires our high school students to pass 5 of the 6 tests, as part of their graduation requirements. It is a simple collection of tests to assess strength, endurance, and flexibility. We do hope that all our students have found a joy in at least one way to stay physically fit. Exercise a great way to feed the brain and body as well....may you enjoy your favorite this beautiful weekend.
New Student Online Registration
We want to let you know about an exciting transition the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District is currently going through which will help to streamline your annual registration process. New Registration Link on Powerschool is NOT YET LIVE The new registration link on Powerschool Parent Portal is not yet live. When it is live and ready to accept information, we will let you know and give instruction. Thank you for your patience as we move into this new phase that will benefit both the families and our district alike.
Parent Advisory Committee: A big thanks to the small handful of parents who came to the last meeting. We discussed the annual parent survey, reviewed and revised the questions. I look forward to getting the results this year, knowing that parents helped determine the questions. We will have one more meeting in May to close the year.
COMMUNITY EVENTS: TODAY, SATURDAY
Earth Day: http://scearthday.org/ Earth Day Santa Cruz is an annual event to raise environmental awareness; address concerns; showcase solutions; and present balanced modes of living for the wellbeing of each individual, the community, and the planet. This day is to educate, motivate and activate everyone that attends. Come and enjoy this fun environmental celebration for the whole family on April 16th, 11 am – 4 pm in San Lorenzo Park! SPECIAL EVENT: Paul Fleischman will be there from 12-2 to talk about his book, Eye Wide Open, and his book to action promotion, encouraging youth to take action to support our local environment.
What’s Going on in Our Charter School? ..little snippets of some of our programs.
The 2016 Student Author’s Fair is from 10am-3 pm on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at the Capitola Mall. Many of our Charter school homeschool programs will have a table of our students’ books at the Fair. The Fair is a wonderful event and I encourage all families to go and see all of the books – even if your child did not submit one this year –they may be inspired by what they see to submit one next year. There is a forum set up at the Mall where kids can read their books aloud to a small audience and then entertain questions.
Nature Academy : The 6th grade class had a great hike Thursday to the Lime Kilns. Many thanks to Jeff Emory, Cindy Convisser and Janeen Bond for coming along. They will be going to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in two weeks to close out our Ancient Egyptian studies. The 7-8 grades will start their next round of electives beginning April 19th. The meeting for Tahoe chaperones will be Thursday, April 21st, and the Tahoe itinerary is being finalized. The trip is planned for May 16-19th.
Coast Redwood High School:
What great teamwork everyone! We now have seating for 65+ people! Thank you Mark Becker, Wade Axup, Stephan Weiss, Carl White, and Sebastien Praly. These were our dedicated men-folk who came out on Saturday's with their tools and knowledge. Thank you to our women-folk who came out each Saturday and orchestrated the purchasing of funding, blueprints, our materials and coffee! Kusum Tracy (Charter Booster Club), Brenda Tealer, Kristen Praly, and Kay Mendoza. Shout-Outs to our student volunteers - Katelyn Praly, Stella Maddox, Ben Murphy, Alec Adamson, Viviana Cristallo, Amaya Kay, John Reed, Claire Robertson, Mason Miller, Quinn Becker, Jonathan Weiss. If I left you off of the list, please accept my apologies. A celebration will take place in May and our graduating class of 2016 and their families and friends will be the first class to enjoy the new benches on Friday, June 3, 2016.
Coast Redwood Middle School: Preparation for Class: -Help your child enter your household energy-use data in the Green Ninja Energy Tracker -Help with the yearbook by loading any class-related photos you might have into the appropriate folder in TreeRing.com -Be ready for your project presentations or preview -Practice ukulele songs (for those in the club). Headwaters Outdoor trip is coming up, May 2-6
Quail Hollow Homeschool: The campus was hopping and the kids were giddy and happy to be gathered together again. The weather was perfect for outdoor events, such as Wild Wanders and the Stepping Stones Thursday field trip to the Tide Pools at Natural Bridges. Capping it off with our final Skate Day today was a great end to a great week. Thank you, Lisa Michel, for coordinating Skate Days for us this year! Yearbook Compilation: All students are welcome to join in this day to help create photo collage pages for our Yearbook. Quail Hollow Talent Show: Wednesday, May 18 6:00pm. Students and parents are encouraged to perform.
Here is a list of the classes in this block: -Ukulele Lessons, -Math Adventures, -On Beyond Zebra!, -Climbing at Pacific Edge, -Awesome Oscillators, -Wild Wanders, -Pinhole Photography, -Exploring Geometry, -Middle School/High School Writing, -Lyrical Hip Hop, -Voyager Group, -Gardening, -Chess Club, -Jump into Spring!, -Stepping Stones! Performing Arts Based Learning Community: had a wonderful experience at Natural Bridges, hearing about Tide Pool inhabitants, characteristics and even seeing some giant specimens!
Fall Creek Homeschool: This week there was a field trip on Wednesday to Henry Cowell State Park in Felton. The class met at the Visitor's Center and groups went on a docent-led walk focused on tree and bird identification.
Mountain IS: Started raising silkworms and incubating eggs, learning more about alternative energy sources and celebrating Earth Day festivities, writing poetry, and preparing for our Spring Concert. They are continuing to enjoy art, PE, and family history presentations, and will offer their annual Poetry Recital as well! Tuesday: Games, Silkworm eggs, Library, Art with Mary Beth - underwater scenes, collage, marker, outline Science activity - creations with alternative energy. Friday: Games, Poetry unit begun, PE with Mrs. Fleming, Sharing/Journal writing, Family history presentations
Math Tutor: Aaron Shaw, our math tutor, has scheduled hours at the following Felton locations and times:
Please come with your math homework and questions ready.
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.).