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Charter News: Oct. 16, 2016

posted Oct 17, 2016, 11:57 AM by Rhonda Schlosser

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.  A dream you dream together is reality”

-John Lennon

Dear Charter Families,

We continue to work with expanding your child’s academic and social-emotional learning as we move farther into the rhythms of the school year.  Students should be building stronger practices of completing their school work on time, with your support when needed, and all of us are continuing to build our communication together on all things that impact students ability to learn at their best.  Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas that you believe may help our work together with your child(ren).

You may have heard from your teacher that Jen Sims, our counselor has come into the classrooms to talk and work with our students about how to manage change and ways best to keep and build communication. Please read further to hear what she has to say about helping your child in Setting Goals.

Also, we will be offering the second of Martha’s parent workshops on November 15th.  This one will be on encouraging children to develop critical thinking skills.  We will continue to offer childcare to make it easier for you to come.  

This time, Jen will begin the evening for the first half hour for any and all who want to meet her and learn more about her services.  She will have a general focus for discussion that she will share.


Note: These newsletters are posted on our Charter website for you and the general public to look back on if needed.

PARENT EDUCATION NIGHT: Date Change.  Tuesday, Nov. 15.

5:30-6 pm

The evening will begin at 5:30 for those who would like to meet and talk with Counselor Jen Sims.  She will share how she works with our students and the themes she notices as relevant in her work with elementary and secondary aged children.

6:00 – 7:30pm

Challenging Students to Develop (Higher Level) Critical Thinking Skills.

"This evening workshop will help parents think about or design questions, tasks and projects that go beyond basic knowledge and comprehension thinking.

Learn ways to challenge your child to APPLY and TRANSFER new concepts, ANALYZE information, form opinions based on EVIDENCE, as well as SYNTHESIZE and CREATE new ideas. Go beyond learning superficial facts and really help your child build DEPTH and COMPLEXITY as they learn."

FALL CREEK Campus – LUDLOW Center (Behind the High School)

RSVP Requested to prepare materials, childcare, snacks, and meeting space.   *This session is the second of a series of future Parent Education opportunities provided by SLV Charter School.


Happy October!  Now that that we are settling into the school year, it’s a good time to get thinking about dreams and goals.  Where does your child want to be in the spring of 2017, next fall, or beyond?  Whether the goals are academic or personal, setting objectives and going for them is a great way for your child to develop resiliency.  Just the process of working toward goals allows your child to practice important life skills such as responsibility, time management, and perseverance while at the same time increasing confidence and self-esteem.  Here are some tips to help get started:

Be realistic.  Let’s face it: if your child is severely allergic to dogs and cats, it’s going to be tough for them to work in a veterinarian’s office - no matter how deep the desire.  When brainstorming goals, help your child understand what’s realistic and what isn’t, while keeping an eye on the underlying need. Working with animals can shows tenderness and caring, and perhaps an interest in biology or science.  Is it possible to find another way to meet those needs and still make the goals feel significant?

Set SMART Goals.  SMART goals are a great way to keep on track.  SMART stands for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound”.  The actual definition can be shared with older children; the language can be adjusted to help your younger child make the connection.  SMART goals can stop a goal from becoming a wandering dream and bring it into focus by pinpointing an objective and ensuring that it is something meaningful for your child’s life.  There is also a time limit, so it can’t become something that could happen…someday. Make sure that the goals, measurement and time limits are age appropriate – a first grader working on putting away toys is going to have different needs than a senior working on getting a job or going to college.  

Make a list with ‘Action’ items.  Make a list of goals, dreams and desires. Suggest that they categorize them as ‘short-term’ or ‘long-term’ – a combination is always good.  Reaching short-term goals can help boost confidence and make long-term goals seem more attainable.  No matter the age of your child, let them choose and help them break down goals into steps.  If your child has a dream of joining the track team, but has so far only watched racing on TV, where should they begin?  The first step is probably not to sign up for a team and compete right away.  Perhaps starting with researching more about running, teams and rules, and then starting a weekly practice.  

Younger children may benefit from fun goals that they can achieve in a short time while they develop stamina for longer-term goals.  Some examples of this are finishing a book or completing a crafts project.  Meeting goals is energizing and motivating; this will leave your child wanting more.  

Make it fun!  Although achieving goals has many intrinsic rewards, things seem more doable when there is a sense of lightness and fun involved.  For younger (or young at heart) students, make a poster of the desired goals with a timeline.  Use stickers, pictures, or anything else you and your child can come up with to mark each benchmark achievement.  If you have an older child, create experiences together to celebrate reaching the mini-successes leading up to the final goal.  When your child has a goal of getting a driver’s license and they ace the permit test, do something special that you decide on together.

What is they don’t succeed?  Great!  There is so much opportunity for growth in failure.  It is actually a fantastic way to build resilience.  Think about the losses in your own life and the lessons you learned from them.  No matter the age of your child, take the time with your child to discuss what worked, what didn’t and come up with a revised plan.  As they say, it’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up and brush yourself off.  

Hope everyone has a great October of pumpkin hunting and watching the rain come in at last.  If you would like to talk further about setting goals with your child, feel free to contact me at

For more information about writing SMART goals:

Resources for making goal setting fun for younger children:

Creating a goal setting worksheet for teens:

The Great ShakeOut:  On October 20th at there will be a district wide earthquake drill.  Our district and many others in the area are participating in this California ShakeOut drill.  You can find more information at

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

CRHS:LEADERSHIP NEWS HALLOWEEN PARTY. On Monday, October 31, the Coast Redwood High School Leadership class will be throwing a Halloween Costume Party during lunch for CRHS. The party will be a costume party, and we will be holding a costume contest. The costumes must be within dress code and we are asking that clown costumes not be worn. Please bring a treat to share. PSAT Sign Ups for PSAT are still available until 10/18/16. Report to the SLVHS gym on Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 am to check-in to take the PSAT. Bring a graphing calculator.

CRMS:Design Thinking: discussed what equipment firefighters use and the obstacles that they face.  pick a firefighting problem and to come up with a design to solve the problem.  They presented their ideas to the rest of the class.  Some groups are at the brainstorming stage, while others are already making prototypes. Mug Making: at the high school art studio. Students looked at a mug or water bottle to identify design features that they liked. Ode to a Mug: introduced odes, and started writing their own.

Nature Academy: 6th grade class are beginning a study on earthquakes and are working on refining their paragraph structure. They had great fun making cider and working on sewing projects, thanks in part to wonderful parent volunteers.  They will be going to the Cal Academy of Sciences this Thursday. 7-8th graders also enjoyed making cider and are completing their elective rounds, which included cooking, typing, and disc golf.  They are working on their construction challenge and are designing their personal coat of arms in their history and science studies.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): The program is registered with the California Student Mock Election, which took place statewide next Tuesday, Oct. 11. They are discussing the election process, while reviewing the escalation of unrest in the early American colonies in their History studies. Many parallels were drawn between that time period and what is happening today. They read excerpts from “The House on Mango Street” that convey personal identity and students wrote Bio Poems; a beginning template requiring self-reflection, which can also be used as an alternative to writing short biographies. Students had Improv class, some worked on their watercolor quote project, some rehearsed dance routines in the dance space, some played piano, some drew sketches, and some participated in Thriller practices after school.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Took a field trip to the Felton Quarry.  They were able to see what is taking place and being used in buildings, roads and construction. This fit in with the Ancient civilization studies. Students worked to complete our guided drawings of the Taj Mahal, outlines are all finished.  At the end of the day was singing and percussion with Freesia.

Fall Creek Homeschool: Listened to a story called Pumpkins in which a man grows and sells pumpkins in order to save a piece of land that he is attached to. Made a “pocket solar system”. Discussed the distances between the planets. Read book Call Me Ahnighito about the giant meteorite that is in the Museum of Natural History in New York. Lisa brought in her large meteorite and passed it around so everyone could feel it and examine it closely. Played with a compass to see if it would show north correctly and it did not while the meteor was near to it! This Thursday is their TELESCOPE NIGHT at the QH campus with the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club. Please arrive at 7 pm with a flashlight – we will be distributing red cellophane to cover your flashlights so they do not interfere with our night vision. A number of very delicate and sophisticated telescopes will be set up. The chance to see 4 planets at the same time is a real treat – don’t miss it!

Mountain IS: They have continued with the focus on Earth Science and introduced the Rock Cycle to the class with this fun video as well as an interactive game that brought the children through the processes of the cycle. As a way to familiarize students with map skills and the state of California, they played a version of Battleship using Latitude and Longitude to locate major cities and landforms on a map of CA. Students given the chance to take surveys and create their own graphs in math this week too!   Wishes for a fabulous week to the 6th graders who are attending Outdoor Science School and hope the 4th & 5th graders are packing and getting ready for Coloma, 10/19-21/16

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.)

  • October 17th: Picture retake day for Nature Academy

  • October 20th: Picture Day:Quail Hollow Homeschool, Quail Hollow Integrated Arts, Fall Creek Homeschool, Coast Redwood High School, Coast Redwood Middle School

  • November 11th: No school  -Veteran’s Day

  • Nov. 15th, Tues 5:30 - 7:30. Parent Education Night: 5:30-6:00 Come meet and talk to our mental health counselor Jen Sims  6:00-7:30"Developing Higher-Order Thinking Skills and Effective Questioning Strategies" (Will also introduce Academic Vocabulary)

  • November 17: Quail Hollow Homeschool Picture retake day:  (time TBD)

  • November 21-25th: No School  -Thanksgiving Break

  • Dec. 13th, Tues 5:30 - 7pm. Parent Education Night: "Using Projects and Problem-solving to Engage Every Learner!"