“Your breathing is your greatest friend. Return to it in all your troubles and you will
find comfort and guidance.” ~Unknown
Love yourself first, and everything else fall in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~Lucille Ball
Dear Charter Families,
It appears that the rains have stopped, at least for a while. I hope you are all enjoying time to dry out and spend time outside.
We continue to have had a lot of extra activities in our programs. Amber has begun working on our All Charter play with over 50 students from all of our programs, ranging in age from 5-16! QHHS began practicing their play, and Mt.IS just finished theirs. Nature Academy’s 7-8th grade students just came back from their trip in the snow, and several other programs are beginning to plan their end of year trips. Students from CRHS have been working on their front garden area, moving much appreciated donated mulch to help soak up the excessive standing rainwater. And this week, Monday and Tuesday, I will be hosting a WASC (Western Association for Schools and Colleges) committee that will be here to review the CRHS program as part of the process needed for our accreditation.
Please read on to hear from our Counselor, Jen Sims, and about more special events.
Notes From Our Counselor: Teaching your children to love themselves…and their inner critic.
During February, the month of love, we often make Valentines and give them to the special people in our lives to remind them of our appreciation and care. I am curious if anyone out there has ever spent this time reflecting on self-love and compassion? Sometimes saying “I love myself!” can provoke negative feedback – others can view it as selfish or conceited. Self-love does not have to equal self-involvement, however, and I believe it is absolutely a key protective factor when it comes to all of the societal pressures and danger that the children in our lives are facing today. If you love something, you take care of it; you spend time with it, you stand up for it and see it as important. We can work to teach children that that “something” can actually be them.
It seems like self-love should be a natural occurrence, and maybe it is. Many (but not all) of the younger children I work with seem to feel great about themselves and face life with confidence. As life goes on, it seems like the “Inner Critic” – that voice inside your head that tells you you’re not being careful enough, or that you didn’t do something right, or everyone’s outfit/grades/life is better than yours - becomes more prominent. Louder. Meaner and more sarcastic. Most of all, the Inner Critic can sound totally believable, and that makes it very hard to turn away from.
I think the first step to self-love is taming that Inner Critic – but how? The Inner Critic will surely tell your child that getting rid of it will make life worse – they need it to survive! It is important at this point to help your child understand the function of the Inner Critic. Our Inner Critics are actually an important part of our internal self and are there to protect us from shame. Think about it – we need critical thought to make sure we show up on time, wear the right clothes for the right situation, make decisions that lead to connection and ultimately survival. But sometimes the Inner Critic can get out of control and become badgering and hammering through unwanted thoughts that are intrusive and uncomfortable. Taking the approach that the Inner Critic is kind of like a misguided friend can be very helpful and make it a little less scary.
This might be hard for your child to wrap their head around – how could something so mean be my friend? Here are some ideas that can be tweaked to be developmentally appropriate to your child:
Don’t believe everything you think! On average, we humans have about 60,000 thoughts per day and 95% of them are the same as yesterday. When your child presents you with a negative belief that you think sounds suspiciously like the Inner Critic, help them investigate this against reality. “What makes you think that is true?” “What is your evidence?” “Is there anything happening that could support a different reality?”
Embrace your Inner Critic. This can be a very disarming move. Instead of encouraging your child to ignore the Inner Critic, help them to listen more closely. Get to know the voice very well yourself so that you can listen for it and hold a mirror up for your child when it starts to overwhelm them. The goal is to be able to distinguish the voice of the Inner Critic from their own voice, and thus begin to develop a compassionate response. “Sounds like your Inner Critic is worried that you won’t make friends, how can you reassure it that you have the skills and have made friends in the past?”
Draw your Inner Critic. You can help your kid take the Inner Critic from inside to out by having them draw their Inner Critic. They might find that it doesn’t end up being as scary and unmanageable as it sounds in their head. Or it is scary, but now they can look at and deal with it with your support.
Dialogue with your Inner Critic. This is especially applicable for older children. They can use paper and pencil, or the computer to generate a dialogue with their Inner Critic. This is great practice and may result in reduced anxiety through having faced what’s happening inside their head. “You’re not good enough!” “Says who?” “Says everyone!” “You mean everyone as in you?” “uhhh….”
Be your own cheerleader: Work with your child to understand that loving and speaking well of yourself is not the same as being conceited. This was some surprising feedback I got while talking to students about Self-love and the Inner Critic. I would hate to think that any child is not polishing their shine in order to appease the egos of others. Come up with some positive language to replace negative thought loops. “When you can fly with the eagles, don’t let the turkeys get you down”
When it comes to self-love, it’s nice to think about it as a twist of the Golden Rule – Treat others as you would want to be treated, and also treat yourself the way you expect others to treat you. Take care of yourself, spend time with yourself, stand-up and advocate for yourself, and let go of the things that get in your way. I’m sending all Charter Parents well wishes for this endeavor and please know that I am here to support the beautiful journeys of self-development we are all witnessing. -Jen
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. 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.
Community Event: Cabrillo College Community Forum- March 9- 7 PM Cabrillo College will be holding a community forum on March 9, 2017 at 7:00pm in the SLVHS multi-use room for the SLV community. Cabrillo’s mission is to be “a dynamic, diverse and responsive educational community that is dedicated to helping all students achieve their academic, career, and personal development goals.” To achieve this, they will convene community forums and Cabrillo College focus groups that will enable the college to refine its understanding of community perception. The intent of this forum is to hear from a broad range of constituents. Come and make a positive contribution to the future strategic planning for Cabrillo College.
Parent Advisory Committee: PLEASE COME, March 15, from 3-4
At our last meeting, we discussed the Charter LCAP funding, what the goals our, how our supplemental funding was allocated, what was spent, and ideas for next year. We also reviewed the coming WASC visit.
NEXT MEETING: March 15, 2017: More about the LCAP goals and funding.
Information Nights: Come learn more about in of our programs! Please invite others who may be interested.
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
Please plan to come to of these two opportunities to hear from our superintendent.
What’s Going on in Our Charter School? ..little snippets from some of our programs.
Coast Redwood High School: SENIORS: FIELD TRIP TO CABRILLO COLLEGE TO TAKE THE ENGLISH (ELA) AND MATH ASSESSMENTS Jennifer will be driving 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. **Extra bonus points on your senior exit portfolio will be granted for attending and completing the assessment test(s) WHEN: Friday, March 3,
MEETING OF THE TRIBES Friday- March 17 STUDENT VOLUNTEER UPDATES: Horticulture students and volunteers worked hard to move mulch into the swampy areas of our compound. Well done everyone! You made a HUGE difference keeping our outdoor classroom clean of mold and bacteria!MESSAGE FROM OUR LEADERSHIP CLASS: On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, Coast Redwood Charter High School is hosting our very own Coast Con. Every student is invited to dress up as their favorite, book, movie or anime character. Superheroes are welcome! Please make sure that all costumes are school appropriate. This includes no fake weapons or normally inappropriate clothing. We will be giving prizes to students who participate. Everyone is encouraged to participate and have fun! Questions? Emily and Bella are ready to answer your questions!
Coast Redwood Middle School: We spent some time talking about the “why” of circle check-in time. I shared with them excerpts from a blog post by Chad Fowler, CTO and software developer about how even though it is not easy for him, and it seems unnecessary for his very technical job that empathy is the most important skill he practices, both for success in his professional and his personal life. Class Business:The kids watched part of a video of a TED talk by Simon Sinek, about how great leaders inspire action, and took Cornell Notes to write down the main points of the talk. To begin visioning our own mission statement, the kids started working on a process of developing their own personal mission statement. The process included drawing and answering questions to investigate what they most value and admire, and what circumstances bring out the best in them. Once each child has their own individual mission statement, then we can see if we can pick up common threads to form a mission statement for our group. Table groups completed a second lotion trial with the same oil they used before. They worked on more accurately measuring weight and volume of ingredients and we were more sensitive to the role of temperature in the emulsification process.
Garden: Students worked in pairs to map the garden (including measuring the paths and the existing beds) and weeded the paths to help identify beds in greatest need of rebuilding.
Nature Academy: 6th grade parents will be meeting this Tuesday evening at 6:30 for the first Headwaters Trip meeting. We are moving into our next PE Unit this week, Softball. This means I am looking for a parent to help me during PE. This is a shorter 3-week unit and a great opportunity to help with volunteer hours as well as get to know the class. 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 came back from a great snow trip to the Sequoias. They are continuing their work in science on the take apart project, working on their Africa Unit.
Quail Hollow Integrated Arts:We focused on acceleration, force, gravity, and orbital velocity. Students used ratios to determine the appropriate scale and size for their models. I also shared the current topic of NASA discovering 7 planets in the constellation, Aquarius, that all orbit around a single star; 3 of which are in the “habitable zone” possibly having surface water, and all 7 are rocky and earthlike. This began an extremely exciting conversation sharing so many exciting theories about what this could mean. We continued to work in our History notebooks, adding information about governmental checks and balances between the 3 branches of our government, and gave examples of instances when these checks and balances have occurred during the last 5-8 years.We listened to Hamilton tracks comparing lyrics to historical events; primarily Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists. We continued with our short story genre, using another writing strategy to effectively show characters’ primary traits without saying it, such as “she was brave.”
Quail Hollow Homeschool: We had a great first play practice today - all participants seemed to
thoroughly enjoy themselves and had wonderful, creative ideas to share. We discussed different strategies friends use when determining a given number - counting the number, counting on, or subtracting from 10. We discussed the 4 dimensions: length, width, depth and time. We defined and calculated perimeters and areas of various figures. Working on a STEM Activity students had the challenge to make the tallest pyramid possible with their group using only toothpicks and clay in 30 minutes. We reviewed different 3D structures: triangular pyramid, square pyramid, and rectangular pyramid. We related some prior knowledge from our Greek Column building to what makes a strong, successful structure - a strong foundation. Jen, our counselor came and worked with the K-2 classes around friendship. They watched a short video called "Partly Cloudy" (available on youtube) and talked about the unique needs we all have when it comes to making friends. Not everyone likes the same things! At the end they did a self-esteem mad lib which the kids wanted to hear 3 times!
Fall Creek Homeschool: Stargazing! 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. We’ll also see Venus and Mars! We had a parent meeting yesterday. We had a good discussion about the winter break, the benchmarks, the research reports and the Science Fair, parent workshop ideas, testing and fundraising ideas. We had a visit from Jen Sims, our school counselor. She led the children in a discussion and activity about nurturing ourselves. The children brainstormed ideas for these categories: ways to care for myself, ways to calm and soothe myself, ways to believe in myself, and things to let go of. We listened to the myth of why Artemis asked Zeus to put Orion into the stars. We went down to the big field and played Cranes and Crows and Octopus – it was great to have a dry day to run around like crazy!
Mountain IS: Wow! Bravo to our wonderful actors for their fabulous performances this week! We couldn't be more proud of the kids. Thank you again for your support and help. Please remember that the Science Fair is this Wednesday with the projects due on Tuesday. We're looking forward to the student presentations and touring the school projects.
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.)