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Charter News March 26, 2018

posted Mar 30, 2018, 3:56 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

Dear Charter Families,

We are soon to be embarking on our annual State Testing, also known as the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) using the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System.  CRHS will begin testing the week after our Spring Break and all the other programs will soon follow. The testing window is open through the first week of June. The Charter staff work to create a testing schedule that best fits with their students’ class times in their programs, and give breaks as appropriate in order to create as relaxing an environment as possible.  There are summative assessments in grades three through eight and eleven for ELA and mathematics. The California Science Test (CAST) will be field-tested in spring 2018 in grades five and eight and in grade twelve.

The physical fitness test (PFT) for students in California schools is the FITNESSGRAM®. The main goal of the test is to help students in starting life-long habits of regular physical activity. Students in grades five, seven, and nine take the fitness test. The test has six parts that show a level of fitness that offer a degree of defense against diseases that come from inactivity.

These assessments are just one way that the Charter programs review your child’s progress. As the only assessment at the state level, we are required to have a strong participation rate as the way to show our accountability through the new California Accountability Model and school Dashboard. If you would like more information, please visit the CDE website.

Please read on more information about the dashboard and for a letter from the District on testing.

There is also a link to a parent survey that I would love for all to complete!


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.

Intent to Return Forms: Please turn in your intent to return forms to your teacher or to one of our offices as soon as you can.  Please Note:  It is especially important to receive exiting students' Intent to Return Forms indicating their next school site.  Counselors at SLV High School, CRHS or at other schools start scheduling students for fall classes in May and our registrar needs to correctly set their next school indicator in Power School for this to happen.

Also, a reminder:  Siblings still need to complete an application in order for us to begin their application process. Siblings of NA students need to complete Nature Academy application for the NA 2018-19 lottery to be eligible to attend Nature Academy next year.  

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

LCAP; Local Control Accountability Plan: PARENT SURVEY. “The LCAP is a three-year plan that describes the goals, actions, services, and expenditures to support positive student outcomes that address state and local priorities. The LCAP provides an opportunity for local educational agencies (LEAs) to share their stories of how, what, and why programs and services are selected to meet their local needs.”


As a Charter School, we have our own LCAP report and I am beginning the update to our report and plans for next year.   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 for unduplicated students as part of the update to our Charter LCAP.


Below is the link to a short PARENT SURVEY with questions specific to our Charter goals.  


This survey is similar to Dr. Bruton’s LCAP survey, but more specific to our goals.  I would love to receive feedback from every parent in the Charter!


I will be meeting with staff and parents to discuss our LCAP in person the week after we return from Spring Break. We will be discussing this further at our April Parent Advisory Committee meeting.


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 for the PARENT LCAP survey.

Parent Advisory Committee: Next meeting is Thursday, April 12th, from 3-4 pm in the Fall Creek Charter office.  We will be discussing the LCAP funding and our School goals.

All Parents are invited to attend.

California School Dashboard: The California School Dashboard is an online tool designed to help communities across the state access important information about K–12 schools and districts. The Dashboard features easy-to-read reports on multiple measures of school success. Instead of looking at a single measure (test scores), the Dashboard looks at multiple measures to evaluate a district's and a school's performance. The Dashboard also is based on an improvement model, looking for districts and schools to make improvements, rather than simply comparing them to other districts and schools.

Click here for an easy to read handout that explains the components of the dashboard. You can access SLV district information and information about all schools in the district.

You may also like to review Dashboard FAQs

Note: The indicator data on the Dashboards for smalls schools with low numbers of students in various grade levels or subgroups may have varying significance due to either incomplete information or fluctuating enrollment percentages by grade level.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Information

The following resources are provided as information for our parent / guardian community on our District Website

Safe Spaces for Immigrant Families – English

Espacios Seguros Para Las Familias (Safe Spaces for Immigrant Families) – Spanish

Know Your Rights – English

Know Your Rights – Spanish

Know Your Rights at Home – English & Spanish

Know Your Rights at Work – English & Spanish

Where to Fill Out Forms – English

Where to Fill Out Forms – Spanish

Childcare Safety Plan – English & Spanish

Income Guidelines – English

Legal Aid at Work – English

Redadas En El Lugar De Trabajo (Legal Aid at Work) – Spanish

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

Coast Redwood HS:  Seniors are receiving their acceptance letters into various colleges and those who will begin Cabrillo next year are in the enrollment process and taking assessment tests.  Last Friday, many students went on a team building field trip to Castle Rock. HOLI EVENT March 30 in the garden area. Bring sunglasses and wear tee shirts Facts: Holi marks the passing of winter and beginning of spring and is celebrated each year around the vernal equinox, the first day of the new season on the astronomical calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. DISCLAIMERS: The colors are not dangerous, but we strongly advise that for protection you can wear something to protect your eyes or cover your mouth, such as a T-shirt. And just to note - most of the guests come in white clothes to make the effect of the colors more visible.

Coast Redwood MS: The kids worked in their garden bed design teams to figure out what the materials for their bed designs would cost if we were to pay retail prices for those materials. Thanks to all who came out for our garden family work day last Sunday.  We were treated to our monthly visit from Jen Sims. This month’s theme was acceptance and the effect of put-downs. We also talked about the importance of social-emotional learning as we prepared for and participated in 17 seconds of silence (17 mindful breaths for us)  to honor the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting. Afterward we brainstormed a list of what makes us feel safe and considered what art might have to do with creating safety after watching the inspiring film: A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone. In our class business we started to experiment with trying to replicate the recipe for our Extra Rich lotion. Crystal came in and showed how to distill hydrosols out of plant material.  We made one small batch of redwood hydrosol, which smells amazing and that we might distill down to essential oil to add to our hand and body lotion. The kids participated in a peer review process of their animal stories and practiced giving each other constructive, critical feedback as well as encouragement. We also were treated to a visit from Antonie Del Bonta from Kid Power who taught the kids very important communication skills around setting boundaries and staying safe, physically and emotionally.

Nature Academy:  6th, 7th, and 8th graders are planning Roller Palladium Extravaganza March 30. To add a bit of pizzazz for the 'extravaganza' part, we are asking everyone to come dressed in monochromatic theme. 6th grade class had their Cultural India Day celebration with a festive food event.    They are finishing up their digital photography unit and will begin a unit in watercolor.  7th-8th graders had a trip to the Monterey Aquarium and Cannery Row that tied into their work with Steinbeck’s novel and their ocean studies.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We had a great time at the SF Zoo with CRMS. The weather was gorgeous, and our class, “Close Encounters”, was so cool! We began our study of Human Body Systems with a Stations Lab, which had students walking around to different “skeletal stations”, using critical thinking, and answering questions on their own and in small groups. We also started a new writing genre, letter writing, with a project called Letters of Hope, created by Yes! Magazine. PI day was a tremendous hit with the students baking pies in honor of the day. VAPA week ended with our program putting on a performance fundraiser at the SLV High School,  Performing Arts Center. And the Maker/DIY Fair was a stupendous success. The students worked so hard on their “Letter of Hope” project. We did a practical lab, identifying each muscle group by name as we targeted each through strength training exercises. We then identified them on a diagram using an interactive powerpoint presentation on the muscular system. They had an open art expression activity, which we followed up by “framing” sections of the dried murals with pieces of matte board, identifying elements of art. Finally, we watched the powerful documentary, “A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone”,

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Friends of all ages gathered to work on the comics we wrote starring our clay animal figures, and putting finishing touches on the animals themselves. Jen Sims came and led students in grades 4-6 in a discussion of acceptance and tolerance, accompanied by a reading of Those Shoes, by Maribeth Boelts.  Friends in grades K-3 continued writing and illustrating I Know an Old Lady, and their animal comics. We planted cabbages in the garden, donated by the Bonnie Cabbage Program. We are going to try to grow the biggest cabbages! We are deep in our preparation for our annual school play; props, setting, costumes and lots of practice of the play itself!  This year it is “Wild Ham” We are combining a play based on Where the Wild Things are and Green Eggs and Ham. Dress rehearsal on Monday, morning performances Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30, an evening performance Tuesday evening and a cast party on Thursday! Hope to see you at the PAC.

Fall Creek Homeschool: We enjoyed student presentations on the Great White Shark, Leafy Sea dragons and the sea otter. We watched a demonstration showing how much fresh water and salt water is on the planet. We discussed the hair-raising amounts of water factories need to produce certain common items. We prepared for a homework task of recording how much water our families use for various common tasks. We worked in partners and drew large posters that showed the 4 layers of a typical river. We then cut out and pasted animals, plants and insects onto our posters in the layer or zone where they live.  We listened to the book Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe. We drew the River Layers and discussed how rivers have 4 types of water movement.  We played a group math game using students as manipulatives to solve various operations and equations. We listened to a story called Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean. Students were interviewed about their ocean beach painting/drawing and wrote their story  and we continued our wet on wet paintings of the River's Edge. We ended with a Comment/Compliment Circle. We distinguished between brooks, streams, and creeks; lagoons, marshes and swamps; lakes, ponds and reservoirs. We noted that though we are going to Neary Lagoon it is actually a marsh by definition. We discussed all kinds of wetlands and why they are important.

Mountain IS: In Language Arts most of our students finished editing and are now writing their nonfiction animal group essays. We will be finishing illustrations and adding covers next week . In Art we completed our "gray scale" raccoons and began to create "grumpy cats" in chalk pastel. We also began a weaving project.

Sign Language: Beth taught us some new signs for family members, we are creating books as well about our families. Math/Calendar: We sang our days of the week song and months song in English and Spanish. We also continued discussing shape attributes and some pretty complicated patterns. Sheila is practicing songs with us in preparation of the spring concert. We played Greekafoo in PE, which is a strategic adaptation of capture the flag in which players can send others to jail, or rescue teammates by throwing, catching and dodging foam gator balls, in route to capturing, or while guarding the flag.

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 2nd-6th:  Spring Break!

  • May 17th:  Nature Academy Open House

  • May 28th:  Memorial Day: no school

  • June 14th:  Last day of school