Charter News • November 10, 2021


"Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don't know

how far we can go."

-- Bernard Malamud


Dear Charter Families,

Don’t forget! Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day.  There will be NO SCHOOL.  School will resume on Friday, November 12.

This is a short newsletter.  Inside is an article from Robin, our mental health counselor, a reminder of our Parent Advisory Committee meeting, WASC, Pandemic and Covid testing, and a band update.

We are more than midway through the semester and the first trimester has ended for Nature Academy.  It is a time to encourage their academic and social-emotional progress. Quarterly grades are posted for our CRHS students, report cards and self-evaluations are getting completed for Nature Academy, and for our various homeschool programs and independent study programs, teachers are assessing progress and determining pacing with each family they work with.  Please make sure you read your teachers' emails and reply back to them when necessary. They put so much work into your students learning and we want to make sure that you are reading all that they are doing. 

We have another Parent Advisory Committee meeting coming up next week. Last time we met we talked about our WASC report and committee visit coming up in the Spring. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges supports the accreditation process of schools and colleges throughout the world. The process includes school staff and constituents to reflect on various criteria: Organization: Vision and Purpose, Governance, Leadership, Staff, and Resources, Curriculum, Learning and Teaching, Assessment and Accountability, School  Culture and  Support for  Student  Personal Social-Emotional, and  Academic Growth.

Be on the lookout for a parent survey that will be sent to you next week to support this WASC school reflection process. The PAC group helped to vet the questions on this survey along with the staff.

Another current special interest is that we are in a big push with our library.  It is nearly ready and we are still asking for parent support to complete getting the books onto the shelves.  Students are very anxious to use the library and some have also come in to help barcode books to support the efforts. A Big Thank You to all the terrific volunteers!  And a special thanks to Clara Elliot who has devoted so much time to consolidating all the various programs books into our library and getting it fully online!  She has helped create selection criteria and vision for our library as well as exploring various data of our books to help us determine where/what we should focus future purchases on. For instance, the average year of publication of our over 4,000 titles is 1998 and there are more books in the 4th-grade range.  Yes, we are currently updating our collections and are happy to take monetary donations, not necessarily book donations currently as we are needing to purchase for specific age ranges and genres.

Also, I want to remind everyone that we are still in a Pandemic. There has been an increase of positive cases in our area and the Department of Health is working with the Santa Cruz Office of Education to help ensure that School Districts are doing all that they can to help reduce any increase.  I have added an update on how to sign up for the  Inspire testing available at our school site as well as vaccination opportunities for those who are interested.

Thanks for sharing your family and children with us.  



From our Mental Health Counselor: Looking at Relationships

Hello families!  Well, we made it through the first trimester!  I’ve enjoyed walking around our beautiful campus and spending time with all of the students in various ways: from talking, playing some basketball, four square, hool hoops, to making slime at the picnic tables!  Watching and interacting with them helps me put my thumb on the pulse of our community.  I get to hear, see and feel what’s happening in their day-to-day interactions with their peers, teachers and staff. All of their boundaries, forms of communication and interactions, relationships with teachers and peers are all changing and developing so quickly after experiencing such a long time of distance and isolation from their normal worlds. 

I’ve decided to move on to the next area of our theme “The Rebuild”. We will examine and learn about who and how we are in our relationships. For younger children, I have started talking about social skills and making new connections, as well as using their “social superpowers” (seeing/hearing/feeling) in order to know what to do in various social situations. For middle school and up, we are talking about communication - and how our behaviors, attitudes, and words can be perceived differently in different situations.


In the coming months, we will try to raise awareness about boundaries, communication styles, active listening, empathy, and expectations. School is a time when children are constantly “colliding” emotionally into each other and learning how to navigate new worlds as they enter new stages of development. Their ability to grow and learn quickly in relationships is amazing to watch!


Things to consider for all ages…

As a therapist, I am always “listening” with my eyes, ears, and feelings as someone is talking to me. This is what true communication is. I talk to the students about the difference between communication and just talking. Just talking is allowing the words to spill out, but without much engagement in what is being said.


Ask your students to slow down and pay attention with all of their senses in a public space to the people around them - like a park or event. (Remember, “social superpowers” are seeing, hearing, and feeling emotions).

  • What do they notice with their eyes? With their ears? With their feelings (empathetic feelings can come from seeing or hearing someone else’s feelings and then feeling them yourself). 
  • Watch one or two people interacting from a distance and use their “social skills superpower” senses to determine what is going on.  What do they notice?
  • Ask them what “social superpower” sense they would use if: (hint - it's okay to use all 3) 
  • A student on the playground was sitting alone and crying
  • They misunderstood a set of directions and made a mistake
  • A fellow student was asking around to borrow a pencil
  • A group of students nearby were talking about their favorite video game
  • They notice a student was left behind by a group of friends

Cultivating this practice of awareness can go a long way in seeing how our behavior communicates and impacts others, as well as how to determine what to do in various social situations. It is the first step in any relationship. Learning to slow down and pay attention to others in their surroundings is a valuable skill that will benefit them for a lifetime!


Robin Bates, LMFT

[email protected]

Office hours:  8-4 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays


Parent Advisory Committee:  Our next meeting will be: Tuesday, November 16th at 10:30. Please try to attend!  If you would like to join via Zoom, please email me and I will create a link! 

After a long wait, we will be starting our bi-monthly Parent Advisory Committee meetings. They will be held every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 10:30 on-site (with an online opportunity for parents requesting to participate via Zoom). Our current focus is the completion of our WASC report, and further completion of Quail Hollow site projects.

The Parent Advisory Committee is open to any and all parents who would like to learn more about the inner workings of the SLVUSD Charter School. We want to have representatives and hear perspectives from every Charter program.

 We will meet in the Charter Library.  This is an important year to be involved!
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 Western
Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation review.


Charter Middle School Charter Band: Hey Band Families, Here’s our band update:

The students have gotten our 3 note Bop Bop tune under their belts!  This week we kept slowly chipping away at Moanin’ by working on the chromatic triplets that appear in the A section phrases.  The students were also introduced to the Miles Davis tune All Blues.   Let me know if you have any questions.

We meet in the Multipurpose room Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8am-8:40am.  There is a modification of the lesson for beginners and the more intermediate musician.

If you haven't signed up but would like to join us, band instrument options are: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bb Trumpet, Trombone, and Percussion (Snare drum and Mallets.)Here's our informational pdf and a link to our Band google classroom.


From our Superintendent: COVID-19 Update and 5-11 Year Olds Voluntary Vaccination Opportunity Please read his update here to find out about COVID vaccinations available through the district. Parent Communication


COVID-19 Testing Information: The District provides testing in partnership with Inspire Diagnostics. By registering your student(s) with Inspire Diagnostics, your student(s) can test for weekly screening or for exposures as necessary. When your student(s) participates in this weekly screening and/or exposure testing, he/she is eligible to remain in school during a "modified" quarantine.


To register your student(s), please click on INSPIRE DIAGNOSTICS REGISTRATION


If you prefer that your student(s) only participate in exposure testing, please contact Kelly McWaid at [email protected] or your site principal.

If your student is currently registered and you would like to make adjustments or corrections to the registration, please contact Inspire Diagnostics at [email protected].

The Inspire Diagnostics Testing Dates and Times at Quail Hollow are Monday & Thursday 10:45am - 11:45am


Charter Library Help needed: If you are interested in volunteering in the library, please contact Clara Elliott at [email protected]. Help is needed bar-coding, entering books into our system, and shelving. Your help is greatly appreciated!
Here is a link to the library to give you a little taste of what is being developed:


Charter Parent Volunteers:

Volunteer opportunities will be available on a limited basis at each school site. The registration process for volunteers is as follows:


New Volunteer:  You will be required to pick up and fill out the volunteer paperwork from your school site and obtain a signature from the school site administrator. Once complete, please bring your signed paperwork to the Human Resources Office. You will also be required to provide verification of a full COVID-19 vaccination* and a current TB result. 


Returning Volunteer: You will be required to provide verification of a full COVID-19 vaccination. This documentation can be provided to your child's school site. The school site will forward proof of vaccination to the Human Resources Office. You may also bring the proof of COVID-19 vaccination* documentation directly to the Human Resources Office.


*Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required regardless of where the volunteers are on campus, inside or outside.


Registration packets are available in our Charter Administration Office.


The Human Resources Office hours will accept volunteer registrations on Tuesdays from 7:00-11:00 am and Thursdays from 12:30-3:30pm. The Human Resources Office is located at 325 Marion Avenue, Ben Lomond, CA 95005.



Student Nutrition Services: New online ordering system: Parents and Students need to order meals using this link to the online ordering system: Orders are due by 9 am the day before. This means Monday's meals need to be ordered by 9am Sunday. You will need your student’s school ID number to create an account if you do not already have this, please call the Charter office at 831-335-0932 or email us at [email protected] or [email protected].





Transportation: (further clarification)

Students in grades 6-8 can use the District’s bus transportation to get to and from the campus. There is one bus schedule for all routes, designed around the Nature Academy’s 5-day requirement that is aligned to the other schools in the district. Bus information, fees and schedules can be found at this link. Bus Transportation; SLVUSD

Thank you to all families who have signed up their children and bought a pass.  It is important that your student carries their bus pass card with them to show the bus driver every time they ride the bus.

Covid Protocols to All Families who come on-site: When your child is sick
Important for all of our students enrolled in our programs. We are committed to make sure that we are doing all that we can to mitigate the COVID virus so that we can keep our programs open for those who want to attend classes on our site. One piece that is important is to make sure that we trace any positive case.  This is done by accessing any student who comes on site and shows symptoms that may be signs of the COVID virus.

If your child comes on-site for classes. Please call our Charter Attendance Line at 831-336-8527 to report when your student is ill.  If your student has experienced any covid-like symptoms:

*Cough *Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
*Fatigue *Muscle or body aches
*Headache *Congestion or runny nose
*Sore throat *New loss of taste or smell
*Diarrhea *Nausea or vomiting

You will either need to:

  1. Receive a negative PCR Covid Test, be free from vomiting, diarrhea or fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and have had an improvement in symptoms.
  2. Isolate at home for 10 days from symptom onset. OR
  3. Be seen by their physician and provide a medical evaluator note to verify that an alternative diagnosis has been made and the symptoms are not due to COVID-19.

Parents who have further questions can contact Nurse Sarah Dahlen at 831-335-4452 x142.

Thank you so much to all of you who are wearing your masks properly while you are in the classrooms and outside, close to others. It is by doing so that we can keep the virus at bay and keep learning together in classrooms and on campus. 

Proper mask-wearing includes the following:

  • Wearing your mask properly, over your nose and mouth, whenever you are inside and there is another person present in the room
  • Not pulling it down or taking it off in order to be better heard when speaking in class
  • No eating or drinking in class.  Breaks during class or stepping outside to take a drink are time to take a drink or eat..  
  • We have plenty of masks in every room if you need one.


Pandemic Updates, and information on power outages on school days:  Here are some good links to perhaps bookmark regarding Covid Safety protocols: RETURN TO SCHOOL POLICY.  

DRIVE THROUGH COVID-19 TESTING: Exciting News!  The County Office of Education is now offering symptomatic & Asymptomatic PCR testing. Cabrillo College in Aptos, Parking Lot K Mon-Fri 2-5pm and Sat 9am-5pm.  PVUSD District Office, Parking Lot Mon, Wed, Fri 9am to 5pm. Santa Cruz COE Annex, 399 Encinal St, Santa Cruz Mon-Fri 3-6 pm. Drive Through Covid-19 Testing Sites


Employment Opportunities at SLVUSD: Are you looking for part-time or full-time work? Interested in joining the SLVUSD Team? We have several job opportunities. You can review SLVUSD job opportunities at


Dates to Remember:

  • Thursday, November 11: School Holiday, Veteran’s Day
  • Monday-Friday, November 22-26: Thanksgiving Break
  • Friday, December 17: No School-Winter Break begins
  • Monday-Friday, December 20-31: No School-Winter Break

Key Contacts

Administrator: Rhonda Schlosser: [email protected]

Administrative Assistant: Danelle Matteson: [email protected]

Registrar: Janet Hendricks [email protected]

Mental Health Counselor: Robin Bates  [email protected]

Resource Specialist: Melanie Entner[email protected]

HS Academic Counselor: Mary Zilge  [email protected]

 SLV Charter Website