Charter News  • January 13, 2019


Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let every new year find you a better man.. ~Benjamin Franklin



Dear Charter Families,


Welcome back after a refreshing Winter break, and Welcome to the start of a new decade. 


Every January each of us gets to decide if we are going to use the step into a New Year as an opportunity to take some time to think about what we want to focus on in the coming year.  We can stop and take stock on the type of person we want to be, on the goals we want to achieve, on relationships, fun plans, as well as on what we want to let go of. Sometimes these types of reflections are fleeting, sometimes families turn this type of reflection into true resolutions that they commit to and work on for a significant period throughout the year.


For us, the staff of SLV Charter, we will continue to work with your student to build their growth mindset, the “Yes, I Can” attitude when working on something initially difficult. We will continue to work with them to strengthen their LifeSkills, and LifeLong Guidelines of Truthfulness, Trustworthiness, Active Listening, Absence of Threat/Nurturing Environment and Personal Best. Our classrooms will continue to help build the academic skills noted in our School-Wide Outcomes of -Developing oral & written communication, -Thinking analytically, critically and practically, -Forming healthy self-awareness and social relationships, of -Exhibiting social responsibility and integrity.


Thank you for standing alongside us as we do so. Thank you for standing alongside your child through all their learning, for scaffolding them, for helping them through their failures, boosting their strengths until they are young adults and more able to stand on their own. May you all have a healthy and inspiring year, full of a love of learning and a caring community surrounding you as you reach toward your hopes and passions.


Read on to hear from our mental health counselor, to find out more about special community events offered, as well as general updates from our programs.




P.S.  Please don’t forget to help your child eat a good breakfast and have healthy food for their lunch with us.  Teachers can definitely tell a difference in a student’s attention and ability to learn when they have had enough healthy food.  It will also help keep their immune system strong during this cold season!



From Our Mental Health Counselor

Happy New Year families! I hope you are all coming out of the holidays feeling rested and inspired for the new year. As a new homeschooling Mom, I am inspired by all of you! I truly believe in what our Charter community is doing for our children and families.


Recently somebody told me that their goal for 2020 is to sharpen their focus - like 2020 vision. I really like this idea as we move into more discussions and activities in classrooms that hopefully sharpen our vision and raise our awareness. As we continue the theme of “Me, You and the World”, we will look at who we are with others. 


Many of our homeschool students do not return to the classrooms until the end of this month, so I will stretch classroom themes into February to ensure I get a chance to be in each classroom. So, during these next two months we will focus on interpersonal skills - including communication, working with conflict, ways to support and listen to others, trust and setting boundaries. We could spend the whole year on this!


Some interpersonal tips to consider for forming healthy friendships:  GIVE

(from “The DBT Deck for Clients and Therapists”)


G - Be genuine in your interactions with others. Be your real self and take the risk of being authentic. Being genuine means being honest and sincere about who you are, detaching yourself from being liked (this can be so difficult in the age of social media - where it is way too easy to hide behind our “digital mask”). 


I - Show interest in other people. Give others space to open up, being willing to accept what they offer.  Try a “show interest” experiment today when you interact with others and observe and describe the effects. You might be surprised to learn new things about people you thought you have known for years!


V - Validation communicates a nonjudgmental understanding of another person’s experience. Consider these questions: What is this person feeling, thinking and experiencing? What is behind the experience for the person? Communicate your understanding, showing compassion and concern for the person. If you’re not sure, don’t forget to simply ask and reflect what you heard in your own words (my most trusted therapist tool!). 


E - Use an easy manner. Be decent with others, showing mindfulness and respect. Consider these questions before you feel an urge to say something to someone: Is it helpful? Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? If the answer to any of these questions is no, it could be wise to pause and rethink your message. Sometimes when we are tired, stressed, anxious or are struggling with overwhelm, we can project these feelings onto others by saying things we may later regret. Take time for self-care!


I look forward to getting back into the classrooms soon and having some great discussions with your students. Thank you for sharing them with me.  Let’s have a great year!


Robin Bates, LMFT



All Charter Play Performance: This year our All Charter Musical features over 60 students in grades K-12 performing The Wizard of Oz: Get Your Kicks on Route Yellow Bricks. It is, once again, an original script written by Janinne Chadwick, our local playwright from Ben Lomond. It is a joyful version of the classic tale featuring classic songs such as "Dancing in the Streets", "Beat It", and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." We are performing in the PAC on Thursday and Friday mornings, Jan. 23 and 24,  There will also be several evening performances.



PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Important Parent Involvement: 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



SLVUSD Student Nutrition Services - TITAN 

New for 2019/20 school year: Student Nutrition Services online payments can be made through Titan School Solutions. Please visit to create your account to make payments and view transactions. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at (831) 335-5384 or [email protected].    


The Community Opportunity Link is provided as a courtesy for parents and students by the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District to receive information of current local events and other student opportunities. These opportunities range from scouting, sports, arts/drama, local community events, as well as other parent resources. In an effort to reduce paper, flyers will not be sent home to students; all approved flyers will be posted to this District-created website.



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

CRHS: Students are off and running this week as they return to their classes both onsite and independent. Now it's time for students to get back to perfecting their organizational skills, course pacing, course unit completion, and attendance. Seniors held their first graduation meeting this morning and Mary imparted sound advice regarding Cabrillo's Running Start. Please make an appointment with Mary to touch base with her your post-high school plans.


CRMS: We started a project with the kids at the end of the fall semester where they each came up with a design that they might enjoy having on the wall of their bedroom at home, they were taught how to scale up their design. Most of the kids are working on the scaling-up process and brought home poster board to do it.  We have an upcoming field trip to Alcatraz and a ski trip in March. We have been meeting with families and going over mid-year plans. Our onsite classes will resume on January 28th.


Nature Academy: 6th- Our class went to Pacific Edge and Beach Clean-Up day with 7 & 8 graders. We went the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose as well . Social Studies: Students chose an Egyptian God/Goddess for the God/Goddess project. In class, we are learning about the different Kingdoms of the Ancient Egyptians and the great achievements of their civilization. PE: We have been playing Ultimate Frisbee. Math: We are working on Ratios and Proportional Reasoning. Language Arts: This week students are working to write an essay about their winter break. We are focusing on formatting. Electives: There are two electives being taught this month. Your children will be rotating through Basic Japanese led by Cathy Lemeshewsky as well as Anatomy and Physiology led by Brandy Dickinson. Our first Japanese class was great! Have your children show you what they learned 7&8th- Our students went to Pacific Edge and Beach Clean up day with the 6th graders. Math: Students continue working on their individualized ALEKS math and working on our Problem of the Month or other problem-solving tasks. History: We will be doing some research on the 13 British Colonies, which became our 13 original American Colonies. We will then parallel this to life in these “states” today. Science: We began a unit on Earth’s Place in the Universe. Our focus is on moon exploration. Language Arts: We are doing some final edits on our Fahrenheit 451 essays this week. We will also be working on how to write anecdotes to incorporate into our conclusion paragraphs.


Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We have had a successful week back with students getting into the swing of our Independent Study format. It has been wonderful to meet with individual families and connect on a deeper level regarding accomplishments, challenges, and goals for the Spring. Thanks to a generous donor, we will have Ceramics class with Jennifer Hennig on Tuesdays, beginning January 21 and going through the end of February. We also have Tandy Beal’s “Dance Around the World” program beginning January 22, also running through the end of February.


Quail Hollow Homeschool: Students are busy with their homeschooling while we have been meeting with families and going over mid-year plans. Our onsite classes will resume on January 28th


Fall Creek Homeschool: Students are busy finishing up their weaving projects and continuing their homeschooling while we have been meeting with families and going over mid-year plans. There is an upcoming field trip to Henry Cowell. Our onsite classes will resume on January 28th.


MtIS: We have been meeting with families and going over mid year plans. Our onsite classes will resume on January 16th.


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.)

  • 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
  • Monday, April 6-10: NO SCHOOL, Spring Break