Charter News  • November 8, 2019


"Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul." -- Michel de Montaigne

Dear Charter Families,


We hope  that all of you have a relaxing three day weekend; with time for sufficient sleep so that your health is restored during this time of weather and time change transition, time for family playtime, and time to give appreciation to those veteran’, know and unknown who held true to the conviction that our democracy is one to commit one’s life to. May your days be free of stress, have time without screens, and with plenty of shared smiles.


Thank you to all of you who helped in the Drive for Schools Fundraiser.  This is one of the best fundraisers each of our programs participates in and the money helps with many of our program’s priorities.  The funds received will help with reducing costs of field trips, specialized classes, and added supplies for unique projects.  


Please read on to hear from our mental health counselor, about our crafts fair,


And as always, thanks for all you do for your children and for sharing them with us.



PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: IMPORTANT PARENT INVOLVEMENT: Next meeting will be December 10, at 10 am in the Fall Creek Charter Office  Topics will include Further discussion of move possibilities, Charter renewal awareness, potential district bond.

Hooray!  We have finally found a day and time that works for a good amount of parents.  We had 12 parents, representing every program in our Charter attend our last meeting.  Our meeting included a relook at the LCAP priorities, a reminder of the Charter renewal coming next year, and a good discussion regarding the probable move of the CRHS program and pros and cons of future plans for Charter programs in relation to the District vision and facility upgrades.  Further information will be shared in the weeks to come. 

These meetings are designed to ensure we have parent input into critical documents that are the backbone of the Charter.  Yearly this committee gives input to our Local Control Accountability Plan (includes our school goals and funding) School Safety Plan,  Annual Parent Survey, as well as our 5 year Charter Petition Renewal and Accreditation review.



FROM OUR COUNSELOR: “Oh, the places our thoughts will go!”

Hello Families,

This month we will continue to dive into the second portion of the “Me” in “Me, You and the World” and talk about identifying our thoughts. Thoughts are incredibly powerful.  A single thought can change the chemistry and neural pathways in the brain.  Allowing a thought to run several times in the brain can strengthen neural pathways that can be useful or destructive to our mental health. Our thoughts frame our experience of reality, sometimes narrowing our view of healthy choices and altering our senses. I often tell my children to be very very careful with their thoughts, emphasizing their powerful capability.

Emotional problem solving is a big task as an adolescent! This month I’ll talk to high school students about “dialectical thinking” - which is based on the idea that there is no ONE absolute truth and many different ways to look at any situation.  Learning to get out of “black and white thinking” can help people open themselves to more options and ultimately to solution-based thinking and self-soothing for difficult emotions.

Thinking concepts/tools to consider discussing with your children at home: (adapted from the book, DBT Skills in Schools, by James J Mazzaw, Elizabeth T Dexter-Mazza, Alec L. Miller, Jill H. Rathus and Healther E. Murphy)

  1. Move to ‘both-and’ thinking and away from ‘either-or’ thinking-  The first step toward this goal is to become aware of extreme ways of thinking.  Another helpful way to do this is to notice when you use the word BUT: “I appreciated your help yesterday, BUT what you were saying didn’t make sense to me.” The person is likely to only hear, “what you were saying didn’t make sense to me.” The person may quickly become defensive and not register at all that you were appreciative.  THe word BUT can sometimes function as a giant eraser to anything that came before it! The more effective word to use can be AND: “I really appreciated your help yesterday, AND what you were saying didn’t make sense to me.”
  2. Practice looking at all sides of a situation and all points of view-  What does it mean to find a “kernel of truth”, even if it is small on the other side of an argument? 
  3. Remember: No one has the absolute truth. Be open to alternatives 

We’re off to a great start!

Robin Bates, LMFT


From our Master Gardener Melanie Burgess - In The Garden:

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts 8th:  We discussed what the ABP's (Annuals, Biennials, Perennials) were.  We talked about which plants we have in the gardens and which ABP they were.  We then discussed annual Flowers that act like perennials like Poppies and Nasturtiums.  We then discussed how these seeds are disbursed by the plant and how we should sow them in the soil.  Students then planted poppy and nasturtium seeds throughout the garden. We also harvested mint and made mint tea.


Quail Hollow Homeschool 4/5:  We discussed what makes a fruit a fruit and a vegetable a vegetable. In botanical terms, a fruit is the reproductive part of the plant that develops a flower and produces seed.  A true vegetable is a food that comes from any part of the plant other than the flower. We discussed why tomatoes were changed to a vegetable because of tax rates in 1893. We also talked about social customs that changed some fruits to vegetables depending on what time of day the food was usually consumed.  We planted broccoli transplants which students decided was a fruit and a vegetable because we eat the flower and the stems. 


FC (4th and 5th):  We learned all about vermicomposting, environmental impacts of composting, and life cycle of red worms.  We built a new worm bin for the school and we learned about the worm life cycle, how to take care of worms, and FBI's (Fungi, Bacteria, and Invertebrates).  We learned how to easily shred paper by hand and added the paper and food scraps to the worm bin.    


NA 8th: Students opted to work on various projects in the garden.  Some opted to work on the pond, some brambles, and some weedy beds.  Other students completed planting their potato and garlic bed they had been working on last month. Students also watered plants.  We finished the class writing in journals. NA 6th:  Students opted to continue working on the pond papyrus roots.  They were really successful using Hori Hori tools and removed a large number of rocks.  Students also watered plants. We finished the class writing in journals.


Coast Redwood MS 6th:  We learned all about vermicomposting, environmental impacts of composting, and life cycle of redworms.  I brought back the CRMS worm bin and we explored the bin to find red worms, cocoons, and FBI's (Fungi, Bacteria, and Invertebrates).  We learned how to easily shred paper by hand and added the paper and some food scraps to the worm bin. I will be purchasing a composting bin for classroom food waste.


Coast Redwood HS:  Students checked on our carrot and kale beds. Students then weeded and cleaned up another bed in preparation to plant garlic next week. Students watered everything. We ended the class by making popcorn and students wrote in there journals.



Winter Craft Faire, Friday, December 6, 2019!

It's only one month until our Annual All Charter...

This is an opportunity to share our creative talents and support each other's artistic endeavors by selling and purchasing each other's crafts and/or crafted food items. Both students and parents are encouraged to make and sell their craft items! We have had everything from photo cards, friendship bracelets, and earrings made by students, to essential oil blends and exquisite quilts made by parents. It's great fun for the kids to sell their creations and buy from their friends, bartering is always on hand as well : ) *Please note that this is not a bake sale. Handmade crafted food, such as jams, gift wrapped caramels, fudge, etc. is different than putting out a tray of brownies to sell at your craft table. Please indicate what kind of "food craft" you are making when you sign up.


Please click on the sign up link Winter Craft Faire 2019 to reserve a space (It will be a shared table space, approx. 3ft. X 3ft.)  The deadline to reserve a table is Monday, November 18, 2019.


In addition, email Amber Walker at [email protected] if you would like to volunteer to help set up and/or take down tables and clean up after the event. Four people each to set up and clean up would be fantastic!


When: Friday: December 6, 2019

Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm

Where: Multipurpose Room at the Quail Hollow Campus (up by the charter office, next to the QHIA classrooms.)


Time to get crafting!


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

CRHS: 2nd Grading Period Ends Today The second grading period ends today, Friday, November 8. Eligibility for upcoming sports and drama productions will be declared based on this second Progress Report Grade. All students enjoyed our Career Speaker today - ask them about it! Jamaican immigrant, Winston George Whittaker. Fluent in 9 languages, world traveler, master and instructor in Okinaujan Shorin-ryn Karate-Jutsu, an engineer, an artist, a building designer, and illustrator, came to speak to our students about his profession as an accomplished and industry-recognized commercial and residential architect. A true renaissance individual. It was an amazing experience for all of our students!


CRMS: We shared a brief biography of Alice Ball, the chemist who had her work stolen and heard from the kids about the difference between copying, stealing and elaborating and their feelings about each. We played tag football, medic dodgeball, and Dead Man and discussed and clarified rules of all. The kids continued to investigate water as a heat reservoir, reading and sharing out information from articles on the molecular behavior of water. We also looked at the astronomical source for seasonal changes and completed an activity on climate differences of locations with similar latitudes but different distances from the ocean.  Last week the kids completed a water density lab. Students edited the portraits they took during our class photo day. They are really great! We introduced this session of editing with sharing the story and work of the eccentric photographer, Vivian Maier.


Nature Academy: All of Nature Academy had a great time at the roller-skating extravaganza. We are at the end of our first trimester. Students are working on reflections in class. They will bring these, as well as their favorite pieces of work, home for parents to review. Expect to see these in the next few weeks.7th-8th grade class enjoyed their excursion to the Tech Museum with a lab creating roller coasters as well as exploring  Body Worlds Decoded. Big thank you to Thuy for teaching an Art elective!  Students are moving forward with the projects through the Genious Hour and Service Learning projects.


Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): What an amazing day at Hogwarts we had! Thank you to Heather, Chana, Aura, and Tiffany for supporting the students all day. We always welcome parents in our classroom! We started our Capoeira class with the founder of Raizes do Brasil, Papiba Godinho. We also began our “Design Thinking” process, in which students will come up with long term projects for the semester and year, working in coalition groups. We also had our monthly workshop with Robin on “Nine Thinking Habits” that can throw us off track.


Quail Hollow Homeschool: We had a discussion on Lifeskills.  We talked about what they mean and how they can look in how we act and respond-Responsibility, Integrity, Organization, Flexibility, Caring, Common Sense, Curiosity, Initiative, Friendship, Problem Solving, Sense of Humor, Moral Courage, Resourcefulness, Effort, Pride, Patience, Cooperation, Perseverance, and Joie de Vivre! Robin came in and talked about our thoughts. Friends discussed and shared how our thoughts and mindset can affect our actions and learning. We were gifted with Milo's dad, Colin, coming in to play his guitar and sing with us.  We sang/learned Arlo Guthrie's - This Land is Your Land. This song is so fitting to our learning this year. 


Fall Creek Homeschool: We had a “Measure Adventure” where we split into teams and found things 1, 2, 3, or 4 inches long and then showed them to the rest of the class. We had a “Dimension Question” where each team had to find 3D objects that were rectangular, square(cube), triangular and circular (sphere). We listened to an Appalachian folktale Old Joe and the Carpenter about healing friendships through bridge-building. We had a lesson on the color wheel and opposite colors and had fun identifying them with the use of the optical effect of staring at a square of one color for 50 seconds and then switching one’s gaze to a white wall to see the opposite color. We painted and drew circular mandalas as gifts that can lift up or send love to a person in need of cheer – called “Circles of Love”. The K-2 heard a presentation on how to most safely interact with wild animals in our midst. The 3-6 discussed present attitudes towards barnyard animals and how our impressions are wrong. They heard stories showing how chickens, cows, and pigs are actually smarter than we think.


Mountain IS: We've been really enjoying developing our spatial intelligence with new building materials. Learning how to share limited materials, work collaboratively and build our ideas together has been really engaging at the top day! Thanks, Joanna, Mason's Mom, or donating/loaning the new straws material. We've also been using our Zoom Tools as well. This week we observed and drew some of our favorite seeds on campus in our nature journals. Some of us also got an Introduction to the Carbon Cycle, inspired by the fun conversation that started with our nature journals last week. We are also continuing to work on Tinagleo and other songs for the Winter Sing. A few of the children are really progressing quickly through the Rainbow Boxes, reading/spelling/writing and quizzing up a storm! Two children opted out of the building/game time at drop off just to take a quiz so they could move on!



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.)

  • November 25-29: No School Thanksgiving Break
  • December 6: Winter Craft Faire
  • December 23-January 3: Winter Break