We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging. -Patch Adams
Let’s hope that we don’t have any more school closures due to evacuations or power outages!
Our teachers continue to send out Go-boxes or Go-bags for students so that they have activities they can do off-line and with a bit more creativity to their assignments. We believe that educational opportunities off-line and using their hands is critical! I so enjoy the pictures I receive from our teachers showing the innovation and creativity our students are demonstrating in their work.
And thanks again, teacher Amber, for running our All Charter Musical Theater Choreography Workshop. Over 50 students from all of our programs are taking advantage of this Virtual opportunity.
Please read on for dates for Robin’s and my Zoom meetings, (two are coming up this week). Robin also has another parent article in this newsletter; this one on awareness.
The Charter is in the process of reviewing foundational documents that define the Charter, our goals, and our activities. This includes the Charter Petition Renewal, the Local Control Accountability Plan, our annual review of the Safety Plan, as well as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation review, which has a 6-year cycle of reflection and review. Fortuitously, the LCAP is starting a new cycle of 3 years in reviewing data and determining goals at the same time we begin our WASC cycle of review. All of these reports are designed for parents to have input and review before finalizing. Our Parent Advisory Meetings are one key way to get involved. Our next meeting is on February 9th. Please plan to attend if you would like to learn more.
Also coming up are our annual Information Nights in March. We have attached our flyers. Please share the information with anybody you may know who is interested in enrolling with us next year.
Due to a slower than expected move on the construction, we have decided to postpone the Town Hall meeting regarding the Charter consolidation onto the Quail Hollow site. Stay tuned for further information as the construction at Quail Hollow moves further along.
And please continue to read the emails from Dr. Bruton regarding the steps toward expanding our on-site opportunities for students and the steps required to fully open schools back up.
Don’t forget that we have two Monday Holidays this week; Feb 6th and Feb 15th.
All the Best,
From our Mental Health Counselor: Awareness without Judgement
Hello Families! Wow. Really? I guess you know how I’m going to start this article to you - with a big “we are going through some major craziness” statement! There have been moments when I’ve had to narrow my mind to a single task at a time in order to not get overwhelmed! I’ve also had to practice cutting myself some slack - we are ALL doing the best we can with the cards we’ve been dealt these past few weeks (and months). I’m so proud of all of us.
We may all be experiencing moments of big thoughts and feelings these days. The name of the game for mental health is awareness. And when we can be aware of our thoughts without judgment, we remove many of the obstacles that restrict our options and resiliency to change.
In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, it is believed that by not judging, and not immediately believing our thoughts and feelings as fact, we can move into our wise mind and get to a better understanding of reality. This is no easy practice, but when kids start observing their thoughts, feelings and behaviors they open a door to a much wider range of options and possibilities! In times like these, it is very easy to slip into black-or-white thinking and start believing our reactive thoughts to be totally true! For example, believing thoughts like, “this lockdown is going to last forever” can lead to feelings of anger and despair. Now is a good time to practice “responding” rather than “reacting”, by investigating and challenging our thoughts and expanding our perspective.
Here are some useful and fun ways to practice observing thoughts:
Ways to Practice Mindfulness of Current Thoughts from the book, “DBT Skills in Schools”
- Practice awareness of current thoughts by using words and voice tone. Say a thought or belief out loud, using a nonjudgemental tone, over again in different ways: as fast as you can, as slow as you can, in a different voice from yours, as a dialogue on a TV comedy show or as a song.
- Practice awareness of current thoughts with opposite action. Relax your face and body while imagining accepting your thoughts as only thoughts, or sensations of the brain. You can also imagine things you would do if you stopped believing everything you think. Try loving your thoughts as they run through your mind!
- Practice awareness of current thoughts by observing them. Notice thoughts as they come into your mind. As a thought comes into your mind, say, “A thought has entered my mind.” As you notice thoughts in your mind, as, “Where did the thought come from?”
- Practice awareness of current thoughts by imagining that your mind is:
A conveyor belt; and that thoughts and feelings are coming down the belt.
A River; and that thoughts and feelings are boats going down the river. Imagine sitting on the grass, watching the boats go by.
A railroad track; and thoughts and feelings are train cars going by.
A leaf that has dropped into a beautiful creek; flowing by you as you sit on the grass.
Each time a thought or image comes into your mind, imagine that it is written or
Pictured on the leaf floating by. Let each leaf go by, watching as it goes out of sight.
The sky, and thoughts are clouds; Notice each thought-cloud as it drifts by, letting each drift out of your mind.
And here is a wonderful breathing exercise for managing stress and overwhelm by directing your attention right back to the moment:
Step 1: Sit comfortably and evenly in a chair or lay down on the floor. Close your eyes or gaze softly at the ceiling or floor.
Step 2: Take a deep cleansing breath.
Step 3: Breath the way you normally do, and start counting your breaths. However, make each breath the number “one”. Your mind might attempt to count to two and three and so on. If this happens, gently bring yourself back to counting “one” with each breath until you notice you become more centered and relaxed.
In times like these, it is too easy to be fretful of the future or regretful of the past. This is a wonderful exercise in quieting your mind and bringing yourself back to this moment, which is really the only one that counts.
Robin Bates, LMFT
I’m happy to announce that the High school “Unwind” group will continue on Thursdays at 3. This is a great group to drop in and connect with fellow students, listen to some problem solving (or just good ol’ venting), talking about current events and of course, bringing in some humor. I hope to see all of you high schoolers there!
Also - stay tuned for a group for K-5 students to have their own group! We hope to connect and have some fun. Details will come soon!
As a reminder, my days in the “office” are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Feel free to reach out!
~Robin [email protected]
Parent Advisory Committee: Next Meeting Date: Tuesday, February 9th at 10:30am.
Join Zoom Meeting https://slvusd-org.zoom.us/j/86865665362
Charter Renewal: At our last meeting the Charter petition was shared and reviewed with the parents who have attended. Our Charter Petition can be found on our website under Governance Reports & Plans » Charter Petition. https://charter.slvusd.org/apps/pages/charter-petition
The Charter Petition needs to be approved by the District Board no later than April. We hope to have it ready to going to Superintendent Bruton in February.
Our next meeting will focus on our LCAP; Local Control and Accountability Plan. It is important that our Charter parents are informed of the reports and processes that our Charter is held accountable to. Please attend this meeting if you are wanting to step up for a more active role in the growth of your student’s Charter school.
Everyone is welcome to attend these meetings, however, please remember that it is important to have a consistent group of parents to represent each program in the Charter. This Committee helps advise on various Charter annual activities, reports, including the budget and Charter renewal. They then report out in their various program parent meetings and gather additional information from the parents in the programs.
Zoom opportunity: Reflections on Homeschooling. 10:30 am Every 1st and 3rd
Our last session had to be canceled due to the evacuation and lack of power. Please attend our next one, this Wednesday, February 3. Last time we met the discussion was more about the writing process. This time, I’d like to share more around math..unless there is another topic that others would prefer.
This will be a time to discuss critical questions on your minds and various learning strategies for all age groups. The idea may have been initiated for those new to the homeschool process, but based on my 30 + years of experience, I know that this forum will be a great opportunity for more veteran homeschoolers as well. I’d love to hear the voices of old and new on these Wednesday Zoom times.
Please join me. This Wednesday, February 3 at 10:30
Join Zoom Meeting
Reflections on Homeschooling: 10:30 Every other Wed of each Month
R & R Coffee Chat Check-in for parents:
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.
We look forward to “sharing coffee” and conversation with you!
Robin’s Consistent Meetings: In addition to classroom support and 1-1 sessions, Robin is holding regular group support meetings.
For more information, contact Robin Bates,LMFT [email protected]
- 2x times monthly - R & R coffee parent meeting
- Thursdays at 12 - support group for parents with CZU home loss
- Thursdays at 3 - support group for highschool students - "The Unwind"
- Tuesdays at 12- home loss support group for middle schoolers
Parents' Support Group for Home Loss
Thursdays at noon
Hi families. I'm learning first-hand that losing a home is a major major loss. The experience of grief can be unexpected and overwhelming at times. I created this group for us to come together to support each other, share our struggles and successes in hope that we don't feel alone in this long process of healing.
Coast Redwood High School Students, you are invited to...
45-minute zoom group with Robin Bates
Join any week! Thursdays at 3 pm
We will take some time to check in, explore mental health topics,
support and unwind together in a weekly group for 6 weeks. This is not a psychotherapy group, but simply a place to check in, unwind, learn and connect with the counselor and your peers. I hope to see you all there!
Support for Middle School students
who’ve lost their homes in the CZU Lightning Fire
Tuesdays from 12-12:45, starting Nov 10th
The SLV Charter Move:
The Charter consolidation onto one school site is becoming more of a reality. We are very excited about the future opportunities that this move is giving us. And how fortuitous that our next chapter as a Charter School is happening during this time of flux and change in the world. We have the flexibility to change as the world is changing around us! We get to ride the wave of transition and focus on what’s best for students and teachers as we step forward.
We look forward to the opportunities we’ll have when all of the teachers and families, with all of their passion and expertise together in one location. We will have all our unique and creative elementary and middle school programs within working distance from each other, with CRHS right up the hill from us (in the current Ponderosa building). Mountain School will remain at their Soquel location, as our satellite program. I am so excited and curious to see how we can solidify as separate and unique programs while sharing strengths and creative activities that will expand our students' horizons.
Phase 1 of the construction is still in progress. This is working with the ‘hardscapes’; making a drive-through student drop off behind the District Office, redesigning the parking lot and adding more spaces, adding portables, a shade structure, and upgrading the basketball courts. As always, there have been delays and issues to work through (like needing to upgrade the electrical more than expected). The plan is for Phase 1 scheduled to be completed by the end of February, barring other complications. Phase 2 begins right after and will include reviewing the needs for any upgrades to the interior of the buildings, fixing up the play field, the asphalt, paint, etc.
The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) has been meeting about this move for quite some time now. They have discussed the work of sub-committees to ensure that parents are helping staff with the design of the outdoor spaces, gardens, library, and any transition support around the Campus culture. We realize many of you may have some questions or concerns. We want to make sure that we know what is most exciting for you, and what concerns you may have.
More to Come!_________________________________
From the Santa Cruz County Office of Education:
Parents/Caregivers to register now at:
Or by contacting our office at:
(831)-824-0406 or [email protected]
NAMI Basics is a free, 6-week education program for parents and family caregivers of youth (11-17) who are experiencing mental health challenges or who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition. This course is a highly recommended resource for parents who are looking for information and support for themselves and for their children who experience challenging behaviors and/or moods. The curriculum focuses on facts about mental health and how best to support children at home, at school, and when they're getting medical care.
The course is taught by a trained team with lived experience—they know what family caregivers go through, because they've been there themselves, and are compassionate to unique challenges.
Charter Office Contact Information: The Charter office is open Monday through Friday from 8am-4pm. To reduce COVID19 exposure we ask that parents call or email the office before physically coming to the office in order to make arrangements to make contact with us in person. We will have a pick up/drop off box outside our office for parents to pick up/drop off items that need to be returned to office staff. Our office phone numbers are 335-0932 or 336-5167. You may also email us at [email protected] or [email protected]
We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in helping us keep office staff healthy and safe during this time so that we can continue to support our families.
Attendance: We need to know when your student is sick.
The Charter registrar needs to know when your student is sick and not participating in any schoolwork for the day. If your student is enrolled in the Nature Academy, please call in to the registrar attendance line; 831-336-8527. If you are in one of our Homeschool programs, you do not need to call in, but you do need to mark your absence in your attendance ledger as well as on your planning sheet. If your student has symptoms of COVID, please have them tested. If they (or you) test positive, we would like to know. While you are not obligated to tell us, we are requesting you to contact the Charter Administrator. The request is to support the broader awareness of the span of the outbreak in our district and community. Any information regarding positive cases is private and confidential.
How You Can Help the Students from the CZU Fire
The SLV Booster Clubs, in partnership with SLV Ed Foundation, will be accepting donations for our SLV families that have lost their homes to the CZU Fire. There will be ongoing needs as they work through the process of rebuilding their homes and coming back home.
Please use this link to place a donation: https://www.slvfoundation.org/slv4kids
The “SLV 4 Kids” PAW is posted to the homepage of the SLV website to accept ongoing donations for our SLV Families.
Thank you for your generous support for students and staff in SLV. Be well - Laurie
CRISIS MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
In Case of Immediate Emergency Dial 9-1-1
Santa Cruz County 24-Hour Suicide Crisis Line- 1-877-663-5433 (ONE LIFE)
Santa Cruz County 24-Hour Crisis Line- 1-800-952-2335. Immediate crisis support to assess for hospitalization in a psychiatric crisis.
NAMI Santa Cruz County Help Line- 831-427-8020 x7 For individuals and family members affected by mental illness interested in learning more about local resources and navigating the mental health care system. Leave a message and receive a call back within 24 hours.
National 24-Hour Disaster Distress Helpline- 1-800-985-5990 Free counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters (COVID-19 included).
Santa Cruz County 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline- 1-888-900-4232
Santa Cruz County 24-Hour Child Abuse and Neglect Report Line-1-877-505-3299
Suicide Prevention Services of the Central Coast
Crisis Text Line-Text 741-741 for 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Support
What to do in a Mental Health Crisis
If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away: Call your doctor’s office, 911 for emergency services, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.
Ask a family member or friend to help you make these calls or take you to the hospital. If You Have a Family Member or Friend in a Crisis: If you have a family member or friend who is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek help immediately from an emergency room, physician, or mental health professional. Take seriously any comments about suicide or wishing to die.
Even if you do not believe your family member or friend will actually attempt suicide, the person is clearly in distress and can benefit from your help in receiving mental health treatment. If you are not in imminent danger but need immediate crisis support call: (800) 952-2335 / (24-hours a day for Santa Cruz County residents to assess for hospitalization in a psychiatric crisis.)
Dates to Remember:
- January 29th, Friday: No school: Professional Development for Teachers
- February 8th, Monday: No school: Holiday
- February 15th, Monday: No school: Holiday
- March 12th, Friday: No school: Professional Development for Teachers
- April 5th-9th: No school: Spring Break
Administrator: Rhonda Schlosser: [email protected]
Administrative Assistant: Danelle Matteson: [email protected]
Registrar: Janet Hendricks [email protected]
Mental Health Counselor: Robin Bates [email protected]
HS Academic Counselor: Mary Zilge [email protected]