Charter News • April 22, 2019


Doubt is important because it suggests progress. Total certainty can mean there's no assessment of things. Doubt, if you don't panic, can allow newness to come in and challenge something that's an established mode.     ~Chris Ofili

Dear Parents,


The teachers in our programs continue to offer a dynamic balance of classroom academic content and field experiences to enrich your students’ learning.  Many of the 8th graders from the QHIA program are heading to Ashland Oregon for the Shakespeare festival with students in the CRHS program. This special collaborative event was organized by CRHS lead teacher Kay Mendoza with Amber Walker from the QHIA program in a supporting role.  Next week, students in the Coast Redwood Middle School (CRMS) will be attending their semi-annual four-day excursion to Headwaters Outdoor School. And then there was the Earth Day celebration put on by Mountain IS families for the Mountain school classes, and theme-based field trips coming up for Fall Creek, as well as Nature Academy 6th grade students attending Headwaters Outdoor School and the 7-8th-grade students heading out to Catalina!


A big thanks to the parents who are helping make these events happen!  Students who are not participating in the optional excursions will continue with their studies with the support of their other teachers.  


I also want to thank the many families and students who have or will be taking the CAASPP testing.  As I mentioned before, we know that for many students and families, this is not their favorite assessment and that many parents disagree with it even. However, I also know that many families participate solely because they know that it is important for the Charter and our many programs to have 95% participation in order to not go into Program Improvement with the State. I have heard from many students in various classrooms that they know that these tests are more of an indicator for the school, the grade levels, and the State’s performance, and not them as an individual.  Thank you! As a small school of choice, we all appreciate this perspective.


Please read on to find out about many opportunities and a message from our Counselor, Robin about communication.




From our Mental Health Counselor, Robin Bates: Communication Styles


Hello families! We are all back and settled in after spring break, and I can feel the excitement and energy in the classrooms as the end of the school year is becoming visible.  I hear kids talking to each other about Summer plans, graduations and the commitment to keep friendships lasting through all of the change.


Part of learning about ourselves is discovering how we communicate and to identify how we respond to the communication styles of those around us.


In this age of technology where kids are using their tablets and phones to communicate even the most delicate of information, it’s easy to lose track of our face-to-face communication skills.  Kids break up, argue, make new friends, shift perspectives, and strengthen bonds digitally. But often tone and meaning get lost in translation over text, and the artful skill of communicating can get diluted.


On the most basic level, even our bodies are communicating in sophisticated ways and often without our awareness! Researchers have been studying something called “mirroring”, which happens between people when they are together communicating and their heart rates and breathing start synchronizing.  In another experiment, called the “T-Shirt Project”, researchers had men wear clean t-shirts for two nights in a row. Women research participants were then asked to smell a selection of shirts and pick the one they most preferred. The findings are fascinating: women often preferred t-shirts from men who had DNA that was most compatible for the immune system! There were several other findings related to everything from the stage of life to fertility. There are so many ways our bodies are responding to each other, which has an impact on how we feel and what we say to others.


As a therapist, I am fascinated by all of the information I get just by simply listening to the tone, volume, cadence, and texture of someone’s voice when they are being vulnerable and the differences when they are not. Have you ever noticed that your voice changes as you near the end of a conversation and say goodbye?  Often we speed up, and our volume and tone change.


For many people, it is uncomfortable to learn new face-to-face communication skills. We can get stuck using our tablets and phones to send messages because it’s just so darn convenient!  I am guilty of texting throughout the day. It’s handy to check in with friends and be available for my husband and kids. But as a therapist, I know the importance of practicing sitting with someone and telling the truth.  It takes work, but it’s a fast track to personal growth!


Passive, Aggressive and Assertive Communication


Have you ever had what you thought was a nice conversation with a person, but afterward you felt exhausted or uncomfortable?  Sometimes people send a “trojan horse” in during conversation that you don’t “open and let the contents out” until after the person has left. You may then start asking yourself, “what did that statement mean and why do I feel so insecure now?”.  Yep, you got ensnared by this all too common tactic.


Generally, there are three types of communication:  passive, aggressive and assertive. I will talk with our kids about identifying these styles of communication in themselves and others.   We will look at examples of each style (and combined styles, such as passive-aggressive communication).


And lastly, and probably most importantly, emotional and relationship problem solving requires that we learn to speak “only from our side of the street”.  When we talk to someone about our own experience, using “I statements”, we invite our listener to disarm and be open to connect.


Whew!  This is a lot.  But I am very passionate about the topic of communication and it is so important for kids to learn as much as they can, especially in a time when it is becoming easier and easier to just pick up the phone or send a text to friends rather than finding the time to be face to face.  


This weather has been amazing;  I wish you all more time with your friends and family to experience it together!


Robin Bates, LMFT



Special ALL Charter Event!   All Charter Talent Show

Calling all acts for our All Charter Talent Show, to be performed at the SLV Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Friday, May 10, at 7:00pm.

Acts should be no longer than approximately 3-4 minutes in length. Solo dancers, group dancers, solo musical artists, bands, monologues, stop-motion videos, short films...any and all visual and performing artists are welcome! - Student/parent collaborations are also highly encouraged!

We will display 2D and 3D artwork in the lobby of the PAC.

*This year we are auditioning Emcee's! If you are interested in being the emcee for our show, please respond to this email.

Please respond to Amber Walker: [email protected] with the following info by Wednesday, April 24:

  • Name and age/grade of student
  • Contact information of parent or responsible adult: email address and phone number
  • Charter Program they are enrolled in
  • what kind of performance or visual art will be presented
  • Staging needs-such as mats, microphones, piano, extension cords, backing musical track, chairs, etc.  OR
  • Interested in being the Emcee.

Thanks so much! We had a fantastic Talent Show last year with performers from all of our charter programs. Let's do it again! Please email me with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,   Amber Walker   Teacher/Quail Hollow Integrated Arts




from our Master Gardener, Melanie Burgess:

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


IN THE GARDENS:  Here are just of few of the things the students did in the gardens.

  • We discussed how to build a scarecrow and then made one for the garden.
  • We discussed how to plant potatoes and then students planted potatoes
  • We discussed how to successfully transplant plants. At the beginning of the year students chose specific plants that were gopher resistant. This month I brought these plants and students planted them.
  • We discussed the components of the plant disease triangle and the steps needed to prevent plant diseases.
  • We discussed chilling requirements for Apple Trees and Seeds.  Then students dissected an apple to retrieve its seeds. Then students placed the seeds in a damp paper towel inside a sandwich bag.  They took their seeds home to place them in their refrigerator to wait for the 1000 to 1600 chill hours required for germination.
  • We discussed the correct way to plant a tree.  Students then planted a pear tree donated by the Reedy family in the garden.
  • Students started the installation of their new drip system.  

PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Please come: Thursday, May 2nd at 3 pm.

This will be the last meeting of this year.  We will discuss the possible ideas for next year and review the LCAP parent survey results.


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.  

Preparing for next year: Applications and Lottery Process: We are still accepting applications for our Hybrid Homeschool programs for next year.  

  • We will hold our lottery for The Nature Academy on May 3 at 3 pm in the Quail Hollow Charter School Office  325 Marion Ave. Felton.
  • We will hold our lottery for Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA) on May 10 at 3 pm in the Quail Hollow Charter School Office 325 Marion Ave. Felton.

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: State testing is coming to a close for Coast High and the students have been working diligently to get it completed. We are busy preparing for the end of the school year with graduation for our seniors coming very quickly. Seniors have been preparing for their next steps after graduation by applying for scholarships and colleges. This next week some of our students will be off to Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival. Be safe and have fun everyone!


CRMS: Our state testing got off to a good start and we will be finishing up this week. The students have been coming to class bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and working diligently to get the testing done. Project presentations have been going well and have been very interesting!  Students worked on the Yearbook, that's coming along and will need more focused work in the next weeks. A few students created some hardware to display our information cards and samples out of redwood logs. We will construct some more to offer to our customers to display hydrosols.  Eighth graders worked with David out in the garden, starting to dig the hole for the pond, prep the deck for painting did some art design, and worked on the logistics for the waterfall. We will be off on our Headwaters trip coming up in the next couple of weeks.


Nature Academy:  6th graders will begin state testing next week. We are continuing with our India unit by visiting Vajrapani Institute soon and will have a Cultural India Day near the end of our unit. We are finalizing plans to go to Headwaters and the excitement is building as we prepare. We have mixed up our electives a bit and students will be working on a variety of electives to include photography, essential oils, Pysanky egg dying and working with polymer clay.

7th and 8th graders began state testing this week. Students will begin their research projects on a Renaissance figure that they actually become, (dress, act like) on our Renaissance Celebration Day on May 10th. Students will present a speech in first-person as Galileo, Michelangelo, Queen Elizabeth and the like. In class, the students have been divided into cooperative teams where they are in a race to become "Master Detectives" going back in time to rescue lost Renaissance artifacts.  This is a simulation where they will be playing a game that simultaneously allows them to earn florins and learn some history.


Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): The 6th graders researched Egyptian Gods and created some amazing block prints from scratch, students continued working with their Social Issues Book Clubs. 7th and 8th graders finished up our unit with Teen Talk. They also completed their Common Craft videos on Causes of the Civil War; this involved voice-acting, sketching and multiple practices. Our 7th and 8th graders got a huge start on our yearbook, and we took the week to work out “Tech Kinks” so we can successfully bring the 6th graders on board. Thank you to Liam and his mom, Kelly, Quinn and his mom, Laura, Darius, Julian, August, and Kaiya for contributing to our Maker Faire this year. It was, again, a huge hit and enjoyed by all. We will start state testing in a couple of weeks. Ten of our 8th graders are off to Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival. Be safe and have fun!


Quail Hollow Homeschool: Morning Math included Place Value Bingo, writing numbers they heard at 5-second intervals. 4th and 5th grades worked on Volume; vocabulary, formula, used manipulatives to construct represented volume. They also spent time in the garden making pots from newspaper and planting seeds.. Country Reports/Presentations were shared on Germany, Scotland, Russia, Thailand, and Peru. After lunch, friends worked on story illustrations, Jr Master Gardeners went to the garden, and 5th graders finished up their PE testing.


Fall Creek Homeschool: We revisited our lesson on large numbers and found that Googolplexian is the largest officially named number. We listened to geology presentations from students. We went to the field and ran a mile, did curl-ups and trunk lifts and push-ups and cheered on the fifth graders to complete the skills test. The fifth graders planned their advancement ceremony. We made handmade blank books for the Author’s Fair. K-2 went to the garden.


Mountain IS: Our work periods have been so joyful & engaging. It seems no one wants to leave Africa! All ages/levels of development were digging into various subjects, working on a variety of content from animal reports & presentations to working with and labeling the 1,000 chains. Snack Math is now becoming less and less teacher-led and more the children's daily collaborative project involving basic addition, subtraction and multiplication, fractions and long division. It's so fun to see and hear them feeling more and more confident, looking for challenges and creatively solving problems! Thanks to all the wonderful parents and students who helped to make our Earth Day a great success this year.   Mountain school students had a great time cycling through our fantastic activities, all within the theme of creating a sustainable lifestyle to help the planet.




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.)

    • May 3rd: Lottery for Nature Academy. 3 pm at the Quail Hollow Charter Office
    • May 6th: All Charter May Plant Sale 2:30-4:30 pm at the CRHS garden. Proceeds benefit all Charter Gardens.
    • May 10th: Lottery for Quail Hollow Integrated Arts.  3 pm at the Quail Hollow Charter Office
    • 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 4th: Coast Redwood Middle School 8th grade advancement celebration
    • June 5th: Nature Academy 8th grade Advancement Ceremony 9:00 am
    • June 6: Last day of school for students: early out: 12:15