Charter News  • May 4, 2020

Part of the issue of achievement is to be able to set realistic goals, but that's one of the hardest things to do because you don't always know exactly where you're going, and you shouldn't.

  • -George Lucas

Dear Charter Families,


School ends June 4. Distance Learning with your teachers will end and hopefully we will all be breathing a little easier, the State and Country will start opening up, and we will begin to work more towards the next steps in refining our new normal.  


I want to quote something one of our Charter teachers shared with her families: 

“It has been so inspiring to see the kids helping each other (and me!) overcome technical hurdles.  Each of us seems to hold a different piece of the puzzle and we are all needed!  Whether they may have chosen it or not, the kids are going to come out of this period with much greater technical skills which will serve them well for years to come.  Even more important are the life skills they are developing: patience, perseverance, fortitude, communication, empathy, emotional, physical and mental health awareness, balance… that are laying the neural pathway underpinnings that will support them in any future pursuit.  Wow!”


The life we are currently living is certainly not one that any of us could have imagined nor can we fully imagine what will come next. But what I do know is that we have a great community with intelligent, resourceful, caring teachers, and that your children’s learning and well-being is foremost in all of our minds, now at the end of this year, and in our plans for the beginning of next year.  We are all looking forward to, and are beginning to think of various ways to open the new year in a safe way that can highlight each program’s specialty.


For the close of this year, teachers will be slowing down their online meetings in the weeks to come in order to focus on grading or assessing their students’ work, cleaning their classrooms, and preparing for their programs' end of year events. You can begin to imagine that the last week of school will be for catch-up work, teacher conferences, social zoom meetings, and celebratory activities as much as we can.

Grading/assessments: We are in alignment with the other SLVUSD schools, adopting a “hold harmless” grading policy. We will continue to make every effort to provide appropriate instruction and learning opportunities for students. 

 For our Nature Academy and CRHS programs:

“The high school and the middle school Distance Learning courses are required and students will be issued credit for successful completion of each course and credit awarded on each student transcript. This means that students who continue to work in the online classes and complete assignments will continue to improve their grade.


Students who are not able to participate in the online coursework will be offered alternative assignments and may earn credit. Students who do not attend classes and do not complete assignments will be issued an incomplete (INC) and required to attend summer school, intervention courses, or additional classes when school resumes. Seniors will be provided with assistance to complete coursework, but are required to participate and turn in work. School Counselors will make online appointments with students and parents to discuss options.”

For our K-8 Hybrid Homeschool programs: 

Teachers “will provide feedback on academics and participation in their end of year conversations/meetings with each family. Students are required to participate in online meetings, to complete assigned work, and attend online small group sessions.”


The ‘progress towards standards,’ will be assessed within the ‘Hold harmless’ understanding that the students' progress towards standards could not be fully accessed during this time of Distance Learning.

As a small school, specializing in supporting our students in a personalized manner as much as possible, you know that we support you based on the program you are enrolled in and that each program has its own way of sharing student's grades and/or assessment and progress with families.  


Graduation & Celebrations for June 2020 

Coast Redwood High School Graduation:

In a specially designed ceremony, CRHS will offer an online, individualized high school graduation that recognizes the special contributions of each graduating student. CRHS teachers will offer an individual comment about each student that captures the student’s unique qualities and talents.

CRHS students may also participate in the SLV Graduate Parade of Achievements. 

5th and 8th Grade Advancements:

All K-8 Charter programs will develop their own unique appreciation recognizing student accomplishments. The teachers within the Individual programs will provide specific information about their events very soon. 


Take care, everyone.

Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns you may have. 



Measure S Passes - SLVHS School Bond Approved

The final election results for Measure S have now been certified and the bond passed 55.12% to 44.88.

The District will be moving forward with a variety of projects on the various campuses.

Construction and renovations will affect the SLV Charter programs as well as every school in the District. 


Look for a special email with more detail on how the bond and construction and renovations will affect the SLV Charter.




From our Mental Health Counselor: Remembering Wise Mind

Hello families! 

My sons both go out on the deck to start their school days in the morning light, breathing in that morning mountain air. I suppose it’s their “coffee”.  Friday morning, Ollin was having his morning class meeting and the class got a glimpse of me as I walked behind him (in my PJs with my actual coffee!).  Ms. Hope said, “hey! There’s Mrs. Bates!”.  So, I joined in the meeting for a bit.  Seeing all of those sweet and smiling faces on my son’s laptop screen brought up such an overwhelming feeling of pride in me.  


Throughout these years -  all of the circle check-ins, field trips, overnights, beach days, charter plays, craft fairs and events, lunch bunches, celebrations, -all the work we’ve put in to creating this tight-knit charter community has really paid off. We work hard on these relationship connections so that we can still hold each other up through the most difficult circumstances, and why we always feel attached to our Charter family, no matter how physically distant we may be.  During a pandemic emergency, we get a glimpse of just how connected we all are. This is why community building and social-emotional learning is truly woven into the core of what we all believe is best for our children to support their growth and learning. I believe our collective Charter Wise Mind is working!  


In DBT, the part of our mind that is able to calm and connect our emotions to our logical reasoning is called our “Wise Mind”.  In this part of our minds we can feel connected and guided. What ways are you finding to get into your Wise Mind?  Gardening? Watching insects? Hiking? Painting? Playing an instrument? Listening to music? Spending time with a pet?


Below are some fun brain activities you can use to practice Wise Mind:

  • Stone flake on the lake.  Imagine that you are by a clear blue lake on a beautiful sunny day.  Then imagine that you are a small flake of stone, flat and light. Imagine that you have been tossed out onto the lake and are now gently, slowly, floating through the soft, clear blue water to the lake’s smooth, sandy bottom.  Notice what you see, what you feel as you float down.
  • Walking Down the Spiral Stairs.  Imagine that within you is a spiral staircase, winding down to your very center. Starting at the top, walk very slowly down the staircase, going deeper and deeper within yourself.  Notice the sensation. Rest by sitting on a step, or turn on lights on the way down if you wish.  Do not force yourself further than you want to go.  Notice the quiet!
  • Breathing “Wise” in, “Mind” out.  Breathing in, say to yourself, “Wise”; breathing out, say, “Mind.”  Focus your entire attention on the word “Wise,” then focus it again entirely on the work “Mind.”  Continue until you sense that you have settled into Wise Mind.
  • Asking: Is this Wise Mind? Breathing in, ask yourself “Is this (action, thought, plan, etc.) from Wise Mind?” Breathing out, listen for the answer.  Listen but do not give yourself the answer.  Do not tell yourself the answer; listen for it. Continue asking during each inhale. If no answer comes, try again another time. 

One more fun exercise for smaller children and the family:  light a scented candle. Watch it for a while.  Observe what you are experiencing with your senses:  the smell, the movement of the flame, temperature change, shadows on the wall, etc. How many different things can you observe and experience all at once?  Watch what happens to your mood and mind in this moment. This type of exercise is called an “Open Focus” activity.  Training the brain to widen its experience of a small task, item, or activity has a huge amount of physical and mental health benefits! (Instead of a candle, you could watch a bee, or feel the texture of a favorite blanket or even practice this while washing your hands.)


After this morning, I am committing to diving into more Zoom classrooms to say hi and experience the rush of seeing all of those sweet faces.  Please don’t forget that we are all still holding our charter community in our hearts, and all of the work we’ve done to connect during the past years is paying off now. We are guided by our individual and collective Wise Mind!


Robin Bates, LMFT

I am still holding “office” hours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays



From our Master Gardener: Greetings from Melanie!

I have uploaded new videos from this week in the gardens for all 5 gardens.  I have heard from a few students on these videos and via email.  They have told me what they would like me to do and grow in the gardens.  It has been really heartwarming to connect with them in this way.  Please encourage your students to interact with me.  

Here is the link to the videos:


My schedule at the gardens for the past few weeks has been:

  • Tuesday's between 8 - 12 pm at QH, NA and FC Gardens 
  • Thursday's between 8-12 pm at CRM and CRHS Gardens

I have hundreds of extra seed packets to share with Charter families from our Coast Redwood High School Seed Co-Op. The seeds are a few years old but still viable.  The majority of seeds that I have are the "three sisters" (Beans, Squash, and Corn). I also have a lot of lettuces and flower seeds.  Please contact me if you need any.  I can have them ready and available for families to pick up in bags on the garden gates.


I will be focused on NA and CRHS gardens next week as they need several hours of weed-whacking.  So there won't be any video updates next week.  


I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy.  I miss the students in the gardens!  





OPTIONS FOR OUR FAMILIES:  Virtual Talent Show:  The show must go on....Zoom!

We will have a Virtual Talent Show for all charter students, parents, and teachers on  

Friday, May 8 at 6 pm

Participants must be available to have a "Dress Rehearsal" on Thursday, May 7 at 6pm


Practice your talents! Songs, poetry readings, rehearsed skits, sleight of hand, dance creative!   *Parents and Teachers are welcome to perform too!

Questions: Please email Amber Walker [email protected]   


From our Student Nutrition Department:  SLV Food For Families On Friday, April 17, 2020, SLVUSD and the SLV Foundation for Education launched SLV Food for Families to help families in SLV feed their children. In one week the SLV Food for Families campaign raised over $14,000.00. This money will go to purchase grocery gift cards (as funds are available) for families currently on the SLVUSD Free & Reduced Lunch Program. 

Who is Eligible to Receive Food Cards?  Any student who is enrolled in the SLVUSD Free/Reduced Lunch Program is eligible.  Families who are currently enrolled and are struggling to purchase food for their family may pick up a Safeway Card at the following Location:

Quail Hollow Campus, 325 Marion, Ave. Ben Lomond. Ca. Friday, April 24, 2020: 1:00pm to 3:00pm


Click the link to apply to the SLV Free/Reduced Lunch Program


How You Can Help? If you are currently employed, please consider helping the families in SLV feed their children. This is a disturbing time for all of us, but for those who are struggling to feed their children, it is terrifying. Please help us take care of our kids and our families for a better tomorrow for all of us.

If your company or business participates in matching donation programs, please consider supporting SLV Food for Families. Every penny of this money will go to SLVUSD families who are struggling.


SLVUSD Students Participating in Lunch School Breakfast/Lunch Program

We have numerous families who have applied for assistance with food for their children and the number is increasing each week.  Since March 16 move to Online Distance Learning:

Week 1: 133   Week 2: 249   Week 3: 295   Week 4: 346   Week 5: 443   Week 6: 426

SLVUSD CONTINUES TO PROVIDE STUDENT MEALS DURING SCHOOL CLOSURE  FOOD SERVICE  Student Nutrition Services will be providing breakfast and lunch to all K-12 Santa Cruz County students. 

Food Service will maintain the new schedule of meal pick-up only on Tuesdays and Fridays at BCE and the Tri-campus from 9:00 am to 11:00 am with multiple days of food being provided each day. The drive-through is clearly marked and the food will be delivered to your car for this takeaway option.


You may contact the Student Nutrition Services staff at 831-335-5384 with any questions.    SLVUSD offers many THANKS to the SLV Nutrition Services Team for their outstanding service, dedication and commitment to students.


Dates to Remember: 

  • Monday, May 25: No SCHOOL, Memorial Day
  • Thursday, June 4: Last Day of School