Charter News • February 25, 2019

“A person’s mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimension.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes


Dear Parents,


Thank goodness that it appears that the rash of illnesses we have been experiencing is receding some, though we are still noticing that many students and adults may not be feeling their best.  I’ll take this time to talk a bit about the importance of sleep! We all agree on the importance of a good night’s sleep, and it is important to remain dedicated to making sure that our students are getting the best sleep that they can.

Yes, getting school work completed and turned in on time is important. a good routine and discipline without procrastination can help ensure that work can be completed AND good sleep patterns can be maintained.

Research has shown that good sleep is linked not only to good health but also to a positive sense of well-being, a healthy brain, and the ability to attain good ‘grades’ and positive participation in the classroom and in their learning. There are many, many articles on the subject. Here is a checklist that I created that has the primary strategies found in many articles.  This one is geared toward teens, but the recommendations work for adults and younger students alike.   


Help your teenager to:

  • Establish a regular, relaxing routine to unwind at night, just before bedtime. This will help signal your teen's body that it is time to sleep.
  • Establish a regular exercise routine and healthy diet.
  • Avoid all products containing caffeine (including soda, chocolate, etc.) after 4 p.m.
  • Avoid late afternoon and evening bright light, and open blinds first thing in the morning.
  • Keep away from stimulating activities in the late evening such as heavy studying, computer games, and violent or frightening television shows, videos, or books.
  • Promote calm family atmosphere surrounding bedtime.
  • Do not let your teenager fall asleep while watching television or videos.
  • Go to bed later on weekends, but make sure he or she wakes up within two hours of his or her usual weekday wake time.  If allowed to "sleep-in" on the weekends, your teen's body clock will be disrupted, and he or she will have a very hard time waking up on Monday morning. It is important to establish and maintain a consistent sleep-wake schedule.
  • Avoid napping. If your teenager is very sleepy, a short nap is okay, but limit it to 30 or 45 minutes.

Here are a couple of articles on Sleep that you may enjoy:

AND!  If you haven’t already done so, please don’t forget to return your  INTENT TO RETURN FORM to your student’s teacher so that we can plan next year to the best of our ability.


ALSO!, Our Information Nights are just around the corner.  Please read on to learn about our application process and the lottery process and admission preferences in the case that applications exceed the number of spaces available in a program.





Notes from our Master Gardener, Melanie Burgess: Melanie is still busy working in our gardens with our students.  She shared her Garden Wish List. Perhaps some of you could help out!

- QH, NA, and CRHS gardens need Harvest Supreme soil and Compost or Steer Manure

- NA Garden needs a few dripping faucets to be fixed and some goldfish to eat up the mosquitos in the black pond.  We also need to pull out some of the Papyrus plants that are taking over the pond.

- All gardens can use food grade (blue) 55-gallon barrels that will be cut in half or whole wine barrels or anything else we can grow something in that is about this size.  

- All gardens need at least one Macabee "Mole" Traps to trap our CA Gophers.  

Don't Forget:  All Charter May Plant Sale will be Monday, May 6th 2:30-4:30 pm at CRHS



PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Please come: Wednesday, March 27th from 3:00-4:00 pm.  It is time to start looking at the priorities for next year.  As part of our LCAP priority review, we send out a parent survey.  Each year the Parent Advisory Committee reviews the survey with me to review and edit the questions asked.  We will be focusing on the LCAP goals and review of the parent survey at our next meeting.

Please attend this meeting to discuss what is important to you for the coming year.  If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me directly. [email protected]  The Parent Advisory Committee is a critical component to ensure that parent input has a consistent say in the development of our programs that make up the Charter school.  



Information Nights coming in March.     Please share with your family and friends!


Lottery Application Process: Nature Academy and Quail Hollow Integrated Arts

In accordance with our charter petition, student enrollment will be on a first-come, first served basis at the beginning of the predetermined application window unless applicants exceed space available by the predetermined lottery cut-off date at 3:00 p.m. of that date. Should applicants exceed space available, a lottery will be held at 3:00 p.m. on a predetermined date, in the Charter School Office located at 325 Marion Avenue room 27, Ben Lomond. Our most recent Charter petition and additional information may be found on our website. Charter Information Nights & Applications

Charter Petition (2016 board approval)



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


CRHS: With the help of our academic counselor, we have been busy with our seniors helping them prepare for college entry this next fall with applying for grants and FAFSA applications. Our mental health counselor continues her workshops with students broadening their perspectives for college and career choices and preparing themselves for life during and beyond high school. The yearbook class is busy preparing all the pages for our annual yearbook. Students are gearing up for Shakespeare Field Trip in Ashland.


CRMS: We revisited Growth Mindset, talking about how important it is to not put limits on ourselves, with our ideas about our abilities or with low expectations. We also practiced hanging out in the space of unknowing, allowing that our brains are working hard and strengthening themselves in the process of trying to figure something out. In the afternoon we started individual government design, looking at the basics of a government. We will keep expanding this project, developing our governments and looking at how each type of government will handle new situations that arise. We made hydrosols!! Students were amazing, working in groups to: sanitize the bottles and spray nozzles, handwrite and decoratively paint the labels, create a flyer explaining the hydrosols and CRMS for posting at each retailer, and research the phone numbers of and call the possible shops around the valley who might be interested in selling our product.


Nature Academy: 6th graders have wrapped up Egypt, with students completing a mini book explaining e Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom. They are working on an informational essay and are excited to prepare for their trip on the O’Neil Sea Odyssey in March. 7-8th graders completed their final assessment and their Touching Spirit Bear projects; each student choosing from a few options.  They have completed their mobile project in Science and are beginning another extended unit on forces and motion. Both classes had a field trip to the Marine Sanctuary in Santa Cruz that included clean up at the nearby beach.


Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We had a fantastic field trip to Cal Academy of Sciences, continued work on our nonfiction writing and research papers, and continued our study of magnetism. We celebrated our annual “Positive Post-It Day”. As we walked into the district office armed with positive messages, a member of the staff leaned back in her chair, smiled, and said, “This is my favorite day of the year.” We had a Commonsense Media Workshop called “Digital Media Balancing Act” Thursday was choreography day: We have been learning about Movement Vocabulary and Phrasing, Students and many parents also attended the Berkeley Rep Theater to see Paradise Square. The historical context of Irish Immigrants, Free African Americans, and runaway slaves living together amidst the Civil War was incredibly profound.


Quail Hollow Homeschool: Our 1-3 graders played the game of 1-4-24 with partners, working on quick adding and adding on, looking for patterns in adding pips. Our 4 and 5th graders started a "tiny house" project where student design their own space and figure out the area and perimeter of everything. 3rd, 4th and 5th Graders Once again we have the opportunity to attend a free concert of the Santa Cruz Symphony! We are beginning our annual play; Cinderella, A Modern Makeover lease practice lines with your child.  Our goal is for everyone to have their lines memorized by this next week! Performances Dates for our Play: Morning Performances: March 25, 26, and 27 Evening Performance: Tuesday, March 26th


Fall Creek Homeschool: Grades K-4 played spelling games, 3rd graders went to the garden and 5th graders worked on their timeline poster by reading about the Eons and Eras in the geologic record and making lists of the life forms appearing in each era. We watched a puppet show of a classic Grimm’s tale (I was the puppeteer). We discussed the process of making a “stand up” puppet. Each student chose a color for their puppet’s body, measured the rectangle, marked and cut it out. Then they traced, marked and cut out a base for the puppet. These puppets will eventually lead us into a puppet playwriting unit. 3rd, 4th and 5th Graders Once again we have the opportunity to attend a free concert of the Santa Cruz Symphony! We had a visit from Robin Bates, our school counselor. She read us a book called Stripes, about being your authentic self. 5th  graders worked on their geologic timeline by labeling and painting each of the 4 eras.


Mountain IS: Our time was dedicated to performing arts this last week. We made a heart for each child and had each person think of a kind behavior or quality about each person.  A single word was fine, but a sentence was ok too (ie. kind, you're giving, You make me smile, etc.) Then each person wrote the descriptive word/sentence on a heart designated for the child that the words described. Our play will be presented on Thursday, Feb 28 with a morning and evening performance. What a great job they did Thursday! Thank you so much for all your hard work in preparing them for the show! The show seems to have gotten rave reviews in the MT community and I feel the children really have something to be proud of. This took our focus, cooperation and team effort to another level. A big thank you to Micha and Beth who helped make to play process a joy for the children. We are so lucky!



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.)

    • March 12: Information Night: All Hybrid Homeschool Programs
    • March 19: Information Night: Nature Academy
    • April 1st-5th: No School-Spring Break
    • April 16th: Coast Redwood High- 8th Grade Information Night 6-7pm
    • May 3rd: Lottery for Nature Academy, if needed.
    • May 10th: Lottery for Quail Hollow Integrated Arts, if needed.
    • May 6th: May Plant Sale Monday 2:30-4:30 pm at CRHS: Proceeds benefit all Charter Gardens.
    • May 7th: Coast Redwood High-Open House 5:30-7 PM
    • May 16th: Fall Creek Homeschool Advancement/End of Year celebration
    • May 23rd: Quail Hollow Homeschool Advancement/End of Year celebration
    • May 27th:  No School-- Memorial Day
    • May 30th: Quail Hollow Integrated Arts 8th grade Advancement Ceremony
    • May 31st: Coast Redwood High Graduation Ceremony 12:30-2:00 PM
    • June 5th: Nature Academy 8th grade Advancement Ceremony