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Charter News January 15, 2016

posted Jan 18, 2016, 3:05 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Dear Charter Families,

I trust that all of you had a relaxing holiday break and are back in the school rhythm.  Hopefully you came back to school healthy and refreshed. We are halfway through the year!  What an exciting place to be.

January is a new beginning, whether or not we start the year with resolutions to work harder on our learning, health, relationships, and personal goals.  Every New Year holds the glimmering expectation that something will be better, will be looked on with a new light, worked on with new energy and commitment.  I am a firm believer that optimism that can lead to stronger effort, and that is what the month of January means to me.

Mid-way through the year, high school students are discussing progress toward graduation and preparing grant and college applications.  For our fifth and eighth graders, may you continue to make fond memories in your classes and with your classmates; you are halfway to a new academic and developmental transition.  And so welcome to the second half of the school year!  Don’t forget to focus, and enjoy every moment you can. The next five months are guaranteed to fly by.

AND please read on.  This email has many time sensitive updates and opportunities to support your student’s learning.

Have a great three day week-end.



Refined Class Definition from Counselor Jennifer Sims

“2016!! A new year means new choices and opportunities for growth.  In my time as the school counselor for the Charter school, I've come to learn that the students here are savvy, strong, independent thinkers with a drive to understand themselves in an authentic way.  My Wellness and Empowerment for Teens program,TEEN WE, is here to be a part of that process.  Starting Tuesday, January 26, this weekly, education and discussion group will cover topics that are important to you! We will meet every Tuesday from 2:30-3:30 pm, in P3, until school's out in June.

Topics will be covered in three week cycles.  The first cycle of three classes we will learn how to manage stress: What it is, where and how it manifests in our lives, and we will end with experiential activities that will help us cope with it.  THIS WILL BE A DROP-IN OPPORTUNITY.

I've got a lot of ideas to share, and I'd love to hear yours.  If you are in 8th - 12th grade, contact me at to ask questions or give feedback.   See you soon!”

You can always contact Jen for any reason via her email


The Charter staff would love to expand our parents education nights to help with your students education and your support in their learning process.  We expect these evenings to be 90 minutes long, ending with a brief Q & A time.  However, we do not want to plan without first getting your input. Before we plan the best topics, times and locations, we would appreciate you taking a few minutes to complete this brief, 6 question survey.

Our First Parent Education of the New Year is specific to parents homeschooling students in grades K-8.

Parent Education: Moving with Math curriculum using manipulatives:  The dates and times have been set for Susan Bagby from the Moving with Math program to come and show parents and teachers in the homeschool programs how to better use the math materials and the new manipulative sets we purchased to go with the Foundations workbooks.  You may feel that your child has outgrown manipulatives, but we would still encourage you to attend one of the workshops.  Even college-level math students use manipulatives to help them think through and understand concepts!  Additionally, there are deeper layers of application to be found in the Teacher’s Manuals and Susan is adept at guiding parents and teachers alike through practice lessons using manipulative to support the instruction.  I know that Susan will adapt her presentation to fit the needs of the parents in attendance. Our homeschool teachers will be in attendance too! There are two workshops to choose from:

  • Tuesday January, 26th:  5pm - 7pm

  • Thursday January, 28th:  1pm - 3pm

Both sessions will cover the same material, both will be held at the Quail Hollow site, and childcare will be provided.


Charter Information Nights / Nature Academy’s Lottery Window: Dear Parents, Please share this information with any families you may know who may be interested.

Nature Academy Information Night:

Date:  Tuesday, March 15

Time:  6pm - 7pm

Location:  SLV Middle School Library

Nature Academy Application Window:

Open:  Tuesday, March 15th

Close:  Friday, April 15th, 3:00 pm.

Lottery will be held on April 22 at 3 pm.

Homeschool Information Night:

Date:  Tuesday, March 22

Time:  6pm - 7pm

Location:  SLV Middle School Library

8th grade Parent Night at the High School:  Thursday, January 21st, from 6:30 to 8:30 in the high school multi purpose room.  For parent those who have students entering SLVHS next year, please come learn what is next!  

Charter high school options will have their information shared at our Information Night; March 22.

Parent Advisory Committee:   We are getting deeper into evaluating the entire Charter petition.  Keeping with the timeline, the document and the District evaluation check sheet is due to the District office on March 4.  Part of what we will be working on during the next meeting is discussing measurable student outcomes.

Next meeting: Tuesday, January 26th, 3-4 pm  in the Felton, Fall Creek (annex) office.  

(Chocolate and tea are always in supply)  

Math tutor: Please don’t forget that Aaron Shaw, our math tutor, has scheduled hours at the following Felton locations and times:

  • Mondays from 12-3:30  in portable 5 with teacher Brian Heery; Math 1 & 2 emphasis

  • CHANGE in DAY:  This semester, Aaron Shaw will be offering his math tutoring in portable 28 at the middle school campus on Wednesdays starting January 20, from, 2:15-4pm.

Please come with your math homework and questions ready.

SLVUSD is now hiring for the following positions:

  • Grounds/Maintenance Specialist II

  • Office Assistant

  • Food Service Assistant II-substitutes

Please contact Helen Sullivan-Thompson at 336-5193 for additional information.

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

Nature Academy:   The 7th and 8th graders are starting a special history project which involves your child interviewing a grandparent or a "grandfriend."    Mr. Kiersted’s 6th grade class are working on their country report historical timeline and completing their volcano project.  

This Friday, January 15  Nature Academy 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are going to Pacific Edge Rock Climbing Gym and then to Seabright Beach to eat lunch and participate in a beach clean-up.  8th grade students will be having a high school orientation next Wednesday (January 20)

Coast Redwood High School:   In addition to 1-1 conferences:  Today, Friday the 15th, CRHS held their mid-year Meeting of the Tribes, where all students get  together and important information is shared, which includes tips on Growth Mindset.  A Community Service Amphitheater-Project Bake Sale helped secure matching funds for materials for the Fall Creek Amphitheater Project.

AND! the local organization of Modern Woodman announced their 2016 Hometown Hero, Kay Mendoza. The Hometown Hero award was presented to Kay in recognition of her dedication to the CRHS program, and for her 10 year dream to reinstall benches at the outdoor amphitheater. The amphitheater has been the location for the CRHS personalized graduation ceremonies for many many years, and is also used by all tri-campus students.  It will be fantastic to finally have benches installed.  Kay also received a check for $1,000.00 from Modern Woodman and another $500.00 from the Charter Booster Club. A special thank you to Kusum and the Charter Boosters for matching funds in order to move the bench installation closer to reality!  

Hometown hero.JPG

Coast Redwood Middle School:  In addition to 1-1 conferences: Ukulele Club: Jan. 14 & Jan. 28, 2:15-3:00pm. This will be a student-led club.  The kids will decide what they want to do and support each other in making it happen.  Marcy (or a parent) will be available to support group process, if requested. Book Club: Next Meeting Thursday, January 21, 2:15-3:15pm. This month’s book is Dragonflight.

Quail Hollow Homeschool:  In addition to 1-1 conferences: Will be hosting Middle School & High School Movie/Game Night:  In honor of David Bowie, Amber has chosen Labyrinth for our movie, Tuesday, January 19 - from- 6-8:30 pm, in room 14 on the Quail Hollow Campus.  For those more interested in games than movies, the room next door will be devoted to board games. Please bring favorite board games and snacks to share.

Fall Creek Homeschool:   In addition to 1-1 conferences: On Tuesday, January 19 from 10-12 we will meet at Fall Creek class to play together in the play yard and to work on the play yard.  Parents please bring tools (rakes, hammers, loppers, garden clippers, shovels) and a lunch/snack. Rain postpones. The parents agreed on the next field trip to San Francisco to the DeYoung Museum to. see the Hawaiian Kings’ capes made from rare bird feathers, and a visit to the Ancient Plant Garden in the SF Botanical Garden. Students are continuing with their knitting at home.

Mountain IS: Science studies will continue in light and sound, and in language arts they are refining the script for their class play "We Come From Everywhere". Parents are working with their child on some lines for the play that reflect their ancestry.  Mary Beth Duncan will be our art teacher this month.  Kim Fleming and Paula Bliss will continue to teach PE and Music. We are so fortunate to work with all of these incredible professionals at Mountain School!

Community Events

Santa Cruz Mountains Surf Club:    Were you aware that there is a surf club available to students who are interested?  One of our very own Charter parents, Joni Martin, has been involved with this organization for quite some time and is inviting students to come and check it out!  There is a club team for high school and another for middle school age students. Please read the attached flyers for more information.  

Bookshop Santa Cruz Special Children’s Book Event: Nick Bruel, the author of the New York Times Bestselling, Bad Kitty books will be in Santa Cruz on January 21st at 4pm.

Fashion Club: SLV High School teacher (and fellow Charter teacher) Tamera Smith is inviting all students who are interested to join the Fashion Club.  Meetings are held in the Ceramics room, E3 during the Lunch hour, January 20, and 27th.  For more information, please email Tamera at

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 18: Holiday, Martin Luther King Day

  • January 19: Teen Movie night. 6:00-8:30 at the Quail Hollow Campus room 14

  • January 26: Parent Advisory Meeting, 3-4 pm at the Felton, Fall Creek (annex) office.

  • January 29: No School Professional Development Day for teachers

  • February 5: All Charter Science Fair

  • February 8: No School, District Holiday

  • February 22: No School, District Holiday

  • February 26: End of Second Trimester

Middle School Surf Team and Club Flyer.jpg

High School Surf Team Flyer.jpg