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Charter News September 4, 2015

posted Sep 7, 2015, 3:41 PM by Rhonda Schlosser

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” 

 ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Labor day weekend!  Don’t forget: No school next Monday, September 7th.

Dear Parents,

I want to thank the parents who came to the first Parent Advisory Committee meeting on September 2. We were able to address the overall goals of the committee this year and begin the review of our Charter’s mission and vision. The primary focus of this committee for this year will be to review the Charter petition document and to help in the review and revisions necessary as we prepare to bring our Charter to the board in May for another 5 year approval. Every Charter School needs to present their Charter Document to their sponsoring board for renewal consideration every five years. It is an important time to critique the document and make sure we meet the specific State and District  requirements, as well as specify the unique elements of our Charter that we want to maintain.

There were representatives from nearly every program and I greatly appreciate the attention each of the parents gave to the task at hand. Each of the members will be sharing more about the Charter renewal process to their respective programs during their monthly parent meetings.  I am also encouraging each of them to bring an additional parent from their programs to the next meeting on September 22 at 3 pm.

Throughout  the year, I will be sharing some of the underlying themes and practices that all of our programs have in common.  We also are committed to teaching with research-based best practices.  For the Charter staff, this includes not only best teaching practices to ensure learning and understanding of the core content areas, but it also includes broader based best practices, such as brain based learning, and life skills that support the desire and ability to be a life-long learner.  Here is one of the underlying best practices we are implementing Charter-wide this year.  

Mindfulness: The Charter staff began this year with a professional development train in Mindfulness with Amy Saltzman  As a staff, over the last several years, we have become more and more aware of the importance of supporting the practice of being mindful; present with the moment at hand in both our emotional and mental state.  

Our training included mindfulness practice, and inquiry and dialogue focused on using mindfulness to decrease stress, burnout and compassion fatigue, and increase empathy, efficacy and well-being in staff. We also discussed how staff can begin to share mindfulness skills with students to decrease stress, anxiety, depression, upset, and problematic ADHD behaviors, and increase attention, focus, resilience, emotional intelligence, compassionate action, and wise decision making. Research regarding the benefits of offering mindfulness to staff and students was also briefly reviewed, and we discussed how can we continue to incorporate mindfulness into our school.

We have committed to practice our own mindfulness as part of our staff meetings, and each teacher has intentions to slowly bring it into the classroom; when they are ready and find the right avenue.  We are lucky to have one of our teacher’s, Marcy Reynolds who is a professional mindfulness trainer, to help us with this practice through the year.  I invite you to learn more about Mindfulness by reviewing Amy’s website and any others you may find.  I also have Amy’s book and CD’s in my admin. office that can be loaned out if you are interested.

Enjoy the three day weekend with your family and friends.


2015-16 BYOD Laptop Initiative: We have begun the 1:1 BYOD initiative for grades 6-12. This initiative is to support students to be more personally involved in their learning, gaining 21st century skills with technology as an essential learning tool. Technology is a tool and not a replacement for textbooks and other traditional tools, and the use of laptops in the classroom will be at the discretion of the teacher. Laptops will be available at school for students who do not own their own laptop to use during class time. If you need financial assistance in purchasing a laptop please contact the Charter office at 831-335-0932.  For more information, please see the District’s BYOD informational webpage.

Student Owned Laptops

Students who bring their personal laptop to school are responsible for the safety and care of their belongings. This personal property is the responsibility of students and they should consider the following:

  • Label the laptop with the student’s first & last name

  • Keep the laptop with you at all times

  • When in a backpack or case, handle with care

  • Please store passwords and log-in information in a secure location

  • Charge your laptops each day before

Parent Advisory Committee  / Charter Renewal / WASC committee visit

Our Primary Focus for this committee at the beginning of this year will be to be the lead in the process for the Charter Renewal and WASC committee visit.  This means that I would want you to learn more about the Charter Action Plan and to help review the Charter document in preparation for the Renewal coming up in May.  

Our next meeting will be Sept 22, from 3-4pm, at the Charter Administrative office in Felton.  The focus will be to complete the review of the Charter Mission and Vision statement and work on the School Wide Outcomes.

If you are interested in participating in this committee, please email me and/or just come to the meeting.  

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

ALL CHARTER PLAY: New this year! All Charter Play with Charter Teacher-Amber Walker

This year, our full musical production, open to all students in our charter will culminate in a performance in the new Performing Arts Center on the SLV High School campus! We are excited to present, “The Jungle Book: Welcome to the Jungle, An Original Rock Musical” written by Janinne Chadwick. Janinne Chadwick, script writer and executive director of Little People’s Repertory Theatre, has adapted some of her scripts for schools, and Amber has had the pleasure of directing two previous versions of this musical adaptation. The production combines pop culture (Gilligan’s Island, Lost, and more), pop music icons (The Jackson 5, Axl Rose, and more) a variety of classic and contemporary music, and classic Jungle Book characters with a twist!

*Performances will be Wed., Dec. 16~10:00am and 7:00pm, and Thurs./Fri., Dec. 17/18~10:00am

Quail Hollow Homeschool  (formerly BC & SLV Homeschool): Will be going camping for their community building and enrichment activities at New Brighton Beach, Sept 15-17.

FC Homeschool: Their theme this year is Birds and Trees as they study the Geography of the United States.

Nature Academy: Both Mr. Kiersted’s 6th grade and the 7/8th grade class will be on their annual Ropes Course for team building activities at Mt. Hermon on September 14th.  Back to School night will be September 17, from 5:30-7:30

CRMS: Will have their annual Ropes Course for team building activities at Mt Hermon on September 30th.

CRHS: Their Open House will be Thursday, September 10th from 6:00-7:30pm.

This year they will have their first ever Farm to Table extravaganza with appetizers fresh from our garden, salads, farm bread and refreshments. Parent Melanie Burgess, their master gardener has been working with CRHS students in the development of their organic garden (Environmental/Horticultures).

They are also beginning their annual fundraiser Growing Green bulb orders. They make wonderful gifts as do our succulent plants and garden seeds (1/2 price).

Mountain IS: Their theme this year is Words and Pictures: Exploring Ways of Communicating.  Their annual parent-led book club begins at the end of the month.

Picture Days

SLV Middle School - 9/14, make-up day is 10/12

  • NA 7th-8th grade

Charter Annex - 9/30, make-up day TBD

  • NA 6th Grade

  • Coast Redwood HS

  • Coast Redwood MS

  • Quail Hollow Homeschool

  • Fall Creek Homeschool

We are arranging to have group pictures and student ID pictures taken for the programs listed on 9/30.  I will follow up with a more detailed schedule for the day.

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.)
  • September 7:  School Holiday

  • September 10: CRHS Back to School night. 6-7:30

  • September 13: SLV Education Foundation concert: Expressivo, PAC. 4 pm.

  • September 14: Nature Academy Ropes Course: Mt Hermon

  • September 17: Nature Academy Back to School night.5:30-7:30

  • September 15-17: QH Homeschool Family Campout at New Brighton Beach State Park

  • September 16-20: Santa Cruz County Fair (

  • September 22: Parent Advisory Committee meeting; 3-4 pm. at the Admin Office, Felton.

  • September 30: CRMS Ropes Course: Mt Hermon

  • September 30: Picture Day

Community events and opportunities:

On September 13, 2015 the SLV Education Foundation will be presenting a concert called Music on the Mountain with the small and intense orchestra, Expressivo. This fundraiser will donate proceeds to the education programs in SLVUSD. Tickets can be purchased at and at the Ben Lomond Market for Adults $35.00, Senior $25.00, and Students $15.00. Please plan to attend and encourage friends and family to support the schools in San Lorenzo Valley.