Charter News  • December 22, 2019

Dear Charter Families,


I trust that everyone is already more relaxed and enjoying favorite family holiday activities and/or vacations.

The past weeks before the Winter Break included participation in various robotics or coding activities, students working on extended math problems that included reengagements lessons and discussing the various ways that other students got to their answers, sharing their essays, and our high school students wrapped up their semester, turning in the last of their course work on all their classes. Programs also went on a variety of educational field trips with other trips planned for soon after your students return from the break. Many programs also have presentations and individualized projects due soon after their return so don’t forget to check in with your students to see what they need to have ready upon their return to class.

May you enjoy many quiet and happy moments together, with laughter, love, and a sense of family bonding as the lasting reward. I hope you enjoy many activities that express how special your child is during the break. In the event that your student is feeling bored, no need to fret, boredom has its value! It can spark individual productivity and creativity.

Please read on to find out more about special community events offered in January, as well as general updates from our programs.

Remember that school resumes on January 6th. We look forward to welcoming you back!


PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Next meeting will be February 18, at 10 am in the Fall Creek Charter Office:  Topics will include: School Safety Plan, Annual Parent Survey, further discussion of move possibilities

We now have a strong group of parents that are consistently coming to these meetings.  This means that our discussions and plans can more easily deepen and synthesize. Thank you to Kristin Ghbeish, Thuy Nguyen, Chana Landi, Jacquie Spracklen, Kelly Bradford, Lee Dean, Lauren Reedy. Any of these parents are happy to share updates to fellow parents during the parent meetings at the various programs. We would still love to have a consistent representative for CRHS and QHHS.

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 Tech talk Tuesday: Fake Identities and Real Concerns Screenagers: Fake Identities and Real Concerns.

“This weekend I was hit hard by a disturbing article in The New York Times (NYT) about kids targeted by sexual predators via direct chats and in multiplayer video game chat rooms. In a chat, people with bad intentions can pretend to be any age. They can say they are a friend-of-a-friend as a way to enter the chat. Children are susceptible because they are unsuspecting, and by the time they may realize something is not right, shame and threats may already be in place to keep them quiet and scared. 

People have been reporting problems much more frequently than just a few years ago. According to The New York Times article: “Six years ago, a little over 50 reports of the crimes, commonly known as “sextortion,” were referred to the federally designated clearinghouse in suburban Washington that tracks online child sexual abuse. Last year, the center received over 1,500. And the authorities believe that the vast majority of sextortion cases are never reported.”  These predators connect to kids who play games like Minecraft, Fortnite, and any game that has a chat function….. ”

A NOTE FROM OUR NURSE: Please do all that you can to prevent the flu; wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, eat healthily, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep.  We have seen it spread through the classrooms and hope that you and your family do not get affected.



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

CRHS: Congratulations everyone for a job well done! It has been an amazing first semester with so many students engaged in onsite classes mixing their schedules with independent study courses, employment, and Cabrillo.  A special "thank you" to Melanie Burgess for all she does with our high school horticulture interns and with our all charter Master Junior Gardeners. Students have accomplished so much in each of the Charter programs gardens with the help of our high school horticulture interns; making the charter gardens mysterious, enchanting and full of organic herbs and food! Your teens are amazing, talented and we are blessed to be their teachers.

CRMS: Thanks to all of you who helped your students participate in selling Healthy Redwood products at the Charter Craft Faire!  Project Presentations: We were treated to ancient technology presentations on steam power, the compass, dynamite and the telegraph & Morse code. P.E.: In perhaps the rainiest hour of the day we played Dodgeball on the tennis courts. Climate Science: We applied what we had learned about how water moves around the earth to how air moves around the earth through differences in temperature. The kids continued to work in pairs to combine knowledge of the convection cycles with knowledge about the water cycle to explain typical daily weather patterns. Plans for the March Ski Trip are moving forward; students will be planning the meals and will help with the cooking as part of the learning.

Nature Academy: 6th- Students created 3D masks to kick off their unit on Ancient Egyptian God/Goddess projects and will be choosing a God/Goddess of their choice to research and present to their class. They will be presenting a couple of weeks after the break. 7&8th-In addition moving forward with their progress in all the traditional content areas, many of the students also participated in our Service Learning option.  They created crafts and cards for the elderly at the center and then went to the Elderday Excursion where they shared their gifts and time with the elders. It was definitely a special way of giving community service.  Also, just a reminder that Genius Hour Projects (families, please make sure you check in with your child) presentations are right after the winter break. Presentations will be on Tuesday, Jan. 7th. All students also participated in the Winter Carnival as the last middle school campus event of 2019.  

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): All students had re-engagement lessons for their MARS tasks during Math Independent Study, strategizing how to problem-solve together, and had an opportunity to answer their questions again based on what they discovered. We also participated in Hour of Code. Monday, Jan. 6-Thursday, Jan. 23: Independent Study/Homeschool or Classroom Day option. Students have the option to homeschool for these 3 weeks or come to the classroom between 9-12:30 for Independent Study. Both Amber and Marie will frontload work that can be completed at home in all content areas.  *If you have alternate curriculum/studies that you wish to provide for your student during this time, just email Marie and me; that’s great!

Quail Hollow Homeschool: We had our annual talent share and potluck to close the 2019 time together.  Many students shared their personal talents: songs, dance, and musical instruments and spoken word presentations were shared. Each child went home with a folder today.  Inside are interview questions for grandparents and/or great grandparents - both sides of the family! This is the perfect time around the holidays when you spend time with family to ask questions and get answers : )  If you don't get to see them, hopefully, you can set aside some time for a phone conversation or Facetime. There are 2 sets of interview questions, and if you need more, I am happy to provide them. Of course, feel free to ask more questions too!  There are also 2 maps - a world map -to mark where in the world your family "originated" from their journey to America and a map of the USA to mark how your family ended up where you are. You can color code to represent both sides of the family or make an additional copy of the maps if you prefer to keep it separate. 

Fall Creek Homeschool: We listened to and discussed a poem about many species of trees and how they burn for firewood. The 5th and 6th graders worked on their mapping project. We worked on our weavings. We listened to the book The Log Hotel about how a decomposing tree trunk becomes home and resources for forest creatures. We talked about holiday symbols. We painted tablecloths for our Winter Potluck. Our annual Winter Potluck was once again a wonderful way to close the 2019 year together.  Many students shared their personal talents: songs, dance, and musical instruments and spoken word presentations were shared. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart for the absolutely wonderful quilt you all made for me. I was completely overwhelmed. I’ll treasure it always.

MtIS: We began to touch on Light traditions around the world in, Lights of Winter, by Heather Conrad. We revisited how the sun hits various parts of our earth differently as we move around it. We noted that during the dark time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, light became a necessity as the days grew shorter, but also it lifted the spirits of people in a potentially cold and dreary time. When we finish the book, we'll have touched on a wide range of celebrations: Solstice, Yule, Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Teng Chieh, Diwali, Soyal, Las Posadas, Zagmuk, Saturnalia. Our hope is to broaden our view and deepen our understanding of the global family!

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.)

  • December 23-January 3: Winter Break

  • January 6: School resumes

  • January 20: NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

  • Friday, January 31: NO SCHOOL - Professional Development Day

  • Monday, February 10: NO SCHOOL

  • Monday, February 17: NO SCHOOL