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Charter News: April 20, 2018

posted Apr 23, 2018, 2:03 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

Dear Charter Families,

Thanks to everyone whose children are participating in the annual Statewide testing.  While I don’t believe it is anyone’s favorite activity, It is another way that the District and Charter review your child’s progress.  It is a snapshot in time. While no single test can give a complete picture of your child’s progress, having your child take the statewide tests provide additional information about what educational approaches are working and where additional resources are needed. it is also a requirement for all public schools to achieve a 95% participation rate.  Given that we are a small school, it doesn’t take many students to affect that rate. I have been in several classrooms that have begun testing, and while the tests may be somewhat long, the students seem relaxed and fully able to get up and take breaks. Their critical thinking ability is serving them well! Please feel free to contact me if you would like additional information.

I am taking this opportunity to share information from Delaney Ruston, MD; Screenagers' Filmmaker about “ Why three hours is too much”.  I have shared information from her Tech Talk Tuesday before, but this topic is particularly important to me and all the Charter teachers.  We have amazing students who are also great kids in our programs, yet I am noticing more and more that their attention span seems to be shortening and the primary activities that they talk about often involve screens.

Please read her blog below and see if it resonates with you and your family.


NOTE: All newsletters will be archived on our website if you would like to confirm any information.  Specific pertinent information can also be found on our website so if you have an opportunity, please give it a review.

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Why 3 Hours is Too Much.

What happens when you have an active, involved kid with good grades, who wants to play video games for three straight hours a day, every day? A father came to me with this dilemma. He explained, “My son is in 7th grade, plays on two sports teams and is an overall good kid, but I still think three hours is too much time. When he asks me why, I struggled to come up with a good reason.”

What are some good reasons? There are many, and I thought this would be a great time to share this dad’s question with colleagues who I recently spoke with on a panel at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Each of them works with families around curbing excessive video game use.

Psychiatrist and Gaming Addiction Specialist, Dr. Clifford Sussman makes this point, “The more time one spends online, especially in one sitting, the more a process called downregulation causes a drop in the number of dopamine receptors in the reward processing area of the brain. This causes a decrease in our ability to feel pleasure, resulting in a need to seek more stimulation.”

Dr. David Greenfield, Founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction says “Although performing well in major life-spheres is often a key contraindication of Internet or video game addiction there are other issues and neurobiological consequences that may be more subtle, but nevertheless impactful.” He adds, “Heavy use seems to have several negative impacts (including getting less sleep) perhaps the largest imbalance in our use of time which we all have a limited amount of.”

Clinical Psychologist Edward Spector, says “Almost any problem in your life can be overcome with 3 hours per day of effort.  Likewise, almost any hope or dream can be accomplished in 3 hours a day. That gaming habit turns out to be very expensive. It costs you the gold medal you would have won, the musical instrument you would have mastered, the problems you would have overcome, and the dreams you would have realized.”

Let me give two of my top personal responses to this question. One is that there are so many things I want this child to have in his life-skills’ toolbox: Is he learning how to be a helper in a community by helping with house activities? Does he have a couple of dishes he can cook and feed others? Is he gaining emotional resilience by practicing talking about personal things with trusted adults... and the list of tools goes on and on.  

My next response is that his son is playing “THEIR” GAME—not his own. While there can be some creativity in games, it is limited and set within the developer’s boundaries. This youth has a brain, and a brain is the best creation machine imaginable. I want to ensure he has lots of chances to use his creativity in all sorts of ways.

For the Tech Talk Tuesday let’s talk about the importance of setting realistic time limits. Even when your child has a busy schedule full of school, sports and other interests, three hours is still too long to spend on a screen. Engage your children in a conversation about how long is too long. Here are some questions to help get the conversation going:

    • What do you love the most about your favorite game or your favorite app?
    • How do you feel when you spend a lot of time playing it or being on the internet?
    • How many hours per week would you like to spend doing fun things on the internet?
    • Do you agree or disagree with what the experts said?

LCAP; Local Control Accountability Plan: PARENT SURVEY.


A BIG THANK YOU to ALL who COMPLETED the SURVEY. The information you share through the survey is very important to all of the Charter Staff.  So far we have received 58 surveys. This is a small number but I am grateful for any and all feedback we receive.  The more completed surveys we get back, the more we can work with the data.


Every year I review our school plan and ask for input from staff and parents about how they believe we are doing in achieving the goals. I review the use of our LCAP funds and the delivery of the information to achieve our school’s goals based on parent, student, and teacher input.


IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO FILL OUT THE SURVEY!  If you have not already done so, please take a minute to share your opinion with us.


Please click on the PARENT SURVEY Link and share your opinion!  


I would love to receive feedback from every parent in the Charter!


Message from the Superintendent--opportunity for parents to provide feedback:

Each year I share information with parent groups at each school site regarding the instructional program in SLVUSD.  This is an opportunity for parents, to review the district priorities and action plans and provide feedback to the district.  


The LCAP survey is one way that the district gathers input from staff and parents. Please take a minute to take the LCAP survey and add your thoughts and comments. Your opinion matters and services and programs for students are added each year based on many of your responses. We will be reviewing the information on the surveys on April 10, 2018, to write our final LCAP plan and budget for 2018-2019.

Thank you for your support for the SLVUSD staff and students. -Laurie Bruton

Here is the link to the PARENT LCAP survey.

Parent Advisory Committee: LAST MEETING OF THE YEAR:  Thursday, May 10th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.  We will be discussing the LCAP funding and our School goals for next year.     All Parents are invited to attend.

The SLSVUSD School Calender for 2018-19 is finalized here is the link to access the calendar:

All Charter Talent Show: Hello Charter Families. The deadline to RSVP with an act for the All Charter Talent Show is next Wednesday, April 25. We have 3 acts signed up so far, and we need 15-18 for the show to go on!!

Details:  Performance at the SLV Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Thursday, May 10, at 7:00 pm!

Acts should be no longer than approximately 3-4 minutes in length. Solo dancers, group dancers, solo musical artists, bands, monologues, stop-motion videos, short films...any and all visual and performing artists are welcome! Student/parent collaborations are also highly encouraged!

We will display 2D and 3D artwork in the lobby of the PAC.

Please respond to Amber Walker: with the following info by Wednesday, April 25:

  1. Name and age/grade of student

  2. Contact information of parent or responsible adult: email address and phone number

  3. Charter Program they are enrolled in

  4. What kind of performance or visual art will be presented

  5. Staging needs-such as mats, microphones, piano, extension cords, backing musical track, chairs, etc.

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

Coast Redwood HS: Coast Redwood High School will host an information night from 5:30-7:00 pm on  Tuesday, April 24 All prospective students and their families are invited to attend to learn about our campus community, visit our classrooms, and our outdoor horticulture classroom. Families will receive information about the many individualized opportunities high school students have to earn their diplomas, participate in athletics, theater productions, adventure field trips, clubs as well as courses at community colleges and courses through CTEP (formally ROP/regional occupation programs)

Coast Redwood MS: Wednesday, April 25, Trip to the Rosicrucian Museum.Students William and Amelia lead the rest of the class in softball/baseball skills. In the garden, students either finished their bed designs and materials lists, made scale drawings of their beds for the green-board garden map, planted seeds, started building beds or helped stage the deck. Half the group got to go with Tina to the library to work on drawing skills.  Since we had two clay-related student presentations on Wednesday, we pulled out the clay and the kids had some very enjoyable time sculpting items they would like to take with them into the afterlife (based on William’s presentation. Project presentations included Claymation, Terracotta Warriors, and the Mariana Trench.

Nature Academy: 6th-grade class is learning about China and working on their comprehensive Country Report.They are completing their swimming unit and preparing for their week-long stay at Headwaters Outdoor Camp. 7th-8th graders: Nature Academy students are offered extra credit for a write up on their  Interest in bees. Here's a great opportunity to learn more, and offer solutions to enhance the health of our community. Students will need to look into creating bee-friendly habitats within the Nature Academy garden. This could form the basis of an in-depth scientific monitoring project which could sponsor greater community health as well as make you a stand-out when applying for colleges.  Parents and teachers of the 7-8th-grade class are planning a fabulous day of hands-on learning about the Civil War and the more volunteers we get, the better it will be! The event will take place at the Evergreen Cemetery and Harvey West Park. The morning will consist of different stations that students will rotate through. At one station, students will be working with interns and volunteers from the MAH (Museum of Art History) doing tombstone restoration. At another station, students will "Feed the Troops" by participating in some Civil War Era cooking, and at another, students will learn and practice flag signaling as was done by soldiers of the time to communicate with each other.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We had a wonderful week with two community art partners: Chris Howe and Kate Longini-Pratt. Chris gave a unique Bonsai demo, and Kate continued working with students on our mural. Students also worked hard on finishing their Medieval Europe individual projects and we started sharing them yesterday. We learned about the fashion of that time period as well as a handmade, detailed map of the many European tribes. We will finish sharing next week, and we’ll start our Renaissance Unit. We also learned about the Digestive System and are moving on to the Nervous System next week.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: We welcomed a new student into our class after spring break. During math we calculated how many letters in the class had in total for our names, breaking down by letter. We found the most common letter was “A” and that is called the “mode”. The 3-6 grades made estimates of how many of each letter of the alphabet is contained in the collection of all our first names. We then checked our estimates against an actual tally we made.  We are so lucky to have our very own Karla DeLong, expert teacher and beekeeper offer to share some of her knowledge with us. If you would like to participate, please sign up with Katie by May 4th.

Fall Creek Homeschool: We enjoyed student presentations on Elephant seals, Narwhals, and Orcas. We made blank books for the Author’s Fair. We used storyboards to plan what we would write in the blank books. Our K-3 played Scrabble Scramble and the 4-5 grade worked together to investigate and solve a geometry problem. We participated in a  watershed walk at Mt. Hermon with the Outdoor Science School, discussed topography, hiked along Sequoia Trail identifying trees and plants, and investigated stream health of Zayante Creek at its confluence with Bean Creek.

Mountain IS: Students drew watercolor pictures inspired by Drew Brophy (warm vs cool colors). They played hula hut, had life lab lessons observing the changes seen in Spring.  They also worked with activities experimenting with safe landing in their zip lines discussing mass and velocity. The class also wrote about how small moments can be when big things happen.

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.)

  • April 27th: Nature Academy Application Window Closes

  • May 4: Nature Academy Lottery, 3 pm.

  • May 28th:  Memorial Day: no school

  • June 14th:  Last day of school