Charter News • Oct. 4, 2020

Patience is not passive, on the contrary, it is concentrated strength.
-Bruce Lee

Dear Charter Families,


We had a good turnout of parents who came to our last R & R Coffee check-in.  We are finding themes in what is front and center on your mind and I’ve been told by several that the sharing was beneficial.  There were many who shared the need to discuss the idea of ‘what is enough’ when it comes to learning, when and how to encourage students in their work, how to balance screen time and screen fatigue, time management, and of course loss and grief due to either the fire, the pandemic, or both.  Robin and I hope to see you this Tuesday, Oct 6th at 10 am. The Zoom link can be found below. It is one more way for us to build community when we cannot see each other face to face on the school sites.

Students are getting more into the rhythm of our programs’ weekly routines and I have have been able to review some of the work that is being turned in.  I am seeing a lot of good reflections and thorough work from students. Our teachers are reaching out and having more 1-1 meetings, often with parent and student together. They are beginning to find out what small groups of students would benefit by working together in specialized afternoon Zoom sessions.  We will be able to establish a more regular routine on Tuesdays-Thursdays afternoons come mid-October. First and foremost we are primarily looking at student’s needs individually.  We still have many students and families who are out of their homes, shifting their living conditions, adjusting to their home-schooling rhythms. And our community will continue to work together with the clean-up and repair due to the ravages of the fire.

Thank you for allowing us into your homes and creating a space for your children to work, supporting them to do their best, communicating with us whenever needed.  Please read on to hear from our mental health counselor, as well as reminders for the coming weeks.


Take care,





R & R Coffee Chat Check-in for parents:

You are invited to our

R(honda) & R(obin) 

coffee check-in

This is an open zoom meeting invitation for Charter parents to join Rhonda Schlosser, our Charter Administrator and Robin Bates, our Mental Health Specialist. This meeting is open to all to spend time with us, brainstorm issues, listen to your challenges and successes, and offer support in our road ahead together.

Next meetings are:

  • Tuesday, October 6th from 10-11 (soon yes, but we felt some may be ready!)  
  • Thursday, October 22nd, starting at 10:00 am

We look forward to “having coffee” and conversation with you!



Parent Advisory Committee:  Next Meeting is Tuesday, October 13th at 10:30am.

Thank you for the handful of parents who came and reviewed the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan.  You can find this document on our website.

Now that things are somewhat settled, I would like to continue with our consistent Parent Advisory Meetings.  Everyone is welcome to attend, however, the primary need is to have a consistent group of parents to represent each program in the Charter.  This Committee helps advise on various Charter annual reports, including the budget and Charter renewal.  They then will report out to their various program parent meetings.  At our next meeting we will discuss the construction at the Quail Hollo site and the outdoor spaces for classroom possibilities.  



School Picture Day is Happening! Save the Date!

When: Friday, October 16th

Time: 1:00-3:00pm

Where: Quail Hollow Campus in front of the Multi-Purpose Room


Mask and social distancing protocols will be in place for everyone’s health and safety. Order forms will be emailed out to families next week.



From our Counselor Robin Bates: Finding the Middle Path


Quite often I get reminders in my personal life to “practice what I preach”, and sometimes the reminder is a big lesson that hits me like a sleeper wave!  I woke up this morning feeling incredible gratitude for our new rental house and all it has to offer our family. And by the afternoon, I was in grief and sadness about the loss from the wildfires.  After some reflection, I realized I could hold both opposing thoughts and feelings at the same time! I didn’t need to cancel one out to feel the other.  And, by doing so, it broadened my perspective and deepened my own personal wisdom.  We have room in our minds and hearts for feelings and thoughts that at first appear to be opposite, but when accepted together allow us to have a wider perspective and more freedom of choice towards action.


In DBT, we call this “Dialectics”.  Dialectics teaches us:

  1. There is always more than one way to see a situation and more than one way to solve a problem.  
  2.   All people have unique qualities and different points of view.
  3.   Change is the only constant.
  4.   Two things that seem like or are opposites can both be true.
  5. Trying to honor the truth on both sides of a conflict is the best approach.  This does not mean giving up your values or selling out. Avoid seeing the world in “black-or’white”, “all-or-nothing” ways.  Trying to honor the truth on both sides does not mean compromise.

Practicing these lessons helps us reach what DBT calls the “Middle Path”.  In the middle path, we benefit by expanding our thoughts and ways of considering life situations, being more flexible and approachable, and avoiding assumptions and blaming.  We learn to embrace both ACCEPTANCE and CHANGE at the same time!


Hints for thinking and acting dialectically:

  • Move to “both-and” thinking and away form “either-or” thinking.  Instead of using the word “but” in a sentence, try replacing it with “and”.
  • Practice looking at all sides of a situation and all points of view.  Dig deep!
    1. Remember: NO ONE has the absolute truth! Be open to alternatives.
  • Use “I feel…” statements, instead of “You are…”, “You should…”, or “That’s just the way it is” statements.
  • Accept that different opinions AND feelings can be valid, even if you do not agree with them or if they are conflicts within your own mind!
  • Check your assumptions. Do not assume that you know what others are thinking. 
  • Do not expect others to know what you are thinking

I look forward to making more videos and dropping in on more zoom classes with your students this week! 



Also beginning this week:   -------Support for Families Who’ve Lost Homes------


For parents who’ve lost their homes in the CZU August Lightning Complex fire, please join me for an ongoing weekly group zoom check-in. 

Our first meeting will be:


Thursday, Oct 8th at noon


My hope is to connect families on a regular basis for continued support, sharing of experiences, ideas and hope over the school year as we support our children and navigate the twists and turns of this long journey towards recovery.. 



Some Resources for support:

Facebook:  SLV Support Group for Home Loss - CZU Lightning Complex Fires

This is a great group for supporting families who’ve lost their homes!

Lots of great tips and information for insurance claimants


The Disaster Distress Helpline

1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 or Hablanos to 66746

Those Impacted by recent wildfires and might be experiencing distress and having difficulty coping can reach out to them any time for support!

They have a page specifically devoted to support for those at risk for emotional distress from wildfires and where to find disaster-related resources



My office hours are Tuesdays (8-12) and Thursdays (8-4).  Please feel free to reach out!


Robin Bates, LMFT



CAFETERIA NEWS: SLVUSD Meals. USDA has extended FREE meals to all children 18 and under, through December 31, 2020!!! We want all families to know that you are not taking meals from someone who needs it more, they are for all children. You are providing meals to your students that are comforting and familiar. Participating in the school meal program supports our Student Nutrition Program and helps sustain and grow it. 


Alisia Munoz-Rojas, SNS Manager

Student Nutrition Services

San Lorenzo Valley USD

(831) 335-5384



Water Donation for affected families:  Amber Walker, our very own QHIA teacher, and her husband, Michael, have prepaid an account at Pure Valley Water in Scotts Valley for any of you who are in need of clean water. Please read on for Michael’s personal note:


Hello San Lorenzo Valley Community,

My wife, Amber Walker, is a teacher at SLVUSD Charter. I have prepaid an account at Pure Valley Water in Scotts Valley for any of you who are in need of clean water. This is for anybody who is in the “Do not drink, do not boil” zones listed from SLVWD. Currently, that is north of the Alba Rd/Hwy 9 intersection.

For the custom account name to get water, or to donate to the account for others, one of the following will work:
-Send a personal message on Facebook to Michael Agnew
-Send an email to Amber Walker

If you are in need, please go get up to ten gallons. You can go back and get more as the need continues, or until the account runs out. If you do not have a container, you can inquire with Pure Valley Water if they have any available to donate to you. This can change day to day as they are receiving some container donations.

Stay strong, reach out for help, lift each other up, and take care of yourselves.
With so much love for our community, - Michael Agnew


MISSION: SLV Surf's Up!: From Rosie Hope, Charter Nature Academy Teacher

This mission was started to help support the families of the Santa Cruz Mountains that have been impacted by the Santa Cruz Lightning Fire. My goal is to get surfboards and wetsuits to families in need so that we can get back out into the water to heal the traumas that we have faced in these times. Please answer a few quick questions to help get the process going!


My priority is to get equipment to families that lost theirs in the fires (burn or looted). Next, I would like to lend equipment to any family that cannot access theirs due to the evacuation or for any other reason, Lastly, I would like equipment to go to kids from the SLV that are interested in getting into the water!


If you have never surfed before we can help with that too!!


Take care,  Rosie Hope




Games, Puzzles & Activities Ready for Pick-Up:  This opportunity is from teacher Marcy Reynolds from Coast Redwood Middle School.The materials will soon be at the Quail Hollow site for pick-up 


Dear Charter Families,

In response to our request for games, puzzles, and other family indoor activities there has been a tremendous and loving outpouring of quality materials from the homes of those in our extended community to Rhonda in Santa Cruz and me in Palo Alto.  We are very grateful for this enthusiastic response and now are looking to transfer the materials into the hands of our wonderful charter families for you and your kids to enjoy.


Why, in the age of computers, would you want to play a board game or build a table puzzle?  Besides stemming boredom while staying out of the smoky air, here are some benefits that accrue through engaging in this sort of play:

Development of:  *3-dimensional/tactile intelligence  *Academic skills *Verbal communication skills  *Friendly competition/sportsmanship skills  *Teamwork skills  *Perspective-taking skills *Vocabulary development

Games and puzzles also help support*Sustained, focused attention  *Soothing anxiety  *Family cohesion  *Changing focal length  *Multi-sensory stimulation  *Stimulating imagination  


Why not give some a try?



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

From QHIA teacher, Amber Walker Weekly Curiosity: Check out Martin Molin’s Musical Marble Machine ! - What do you notice? -What do you wonder?



Dates to Remember:

  • Tuesday, October 6th: R& R Coffee Check-in.  10:00 am.  ( Zoom link above)
  • Thursday, Oct 8th: Support group for those who have lost their homes  12:00 pm ( Zoom link above)
  • Monday October 12:  School Holiday
  • Tuesday October 13: Parent Advisory Committee meeting 10:30 am. (Zoom link above)
  • Friday, October 16th School Pictures 1:00-3:00pm, Quail Hollow Campus in front of the Multi-Purpose Room
  • Wednesday, November 11: School Holiday

Key Contacts

Administrator: Rhonda Schlosser:

Administrative Assistant: Danelle Matteson:

Registrar: Jane Hendricks

Mental Health Counselor: Robin Bate

HS Academic Counselor: Mary Zilge


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