Charter News  • December 12, 2021

“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.” –John Boswell


Dear Charter Families,

This is a short 4-day week: there will be no school on Friday, December 17 which marks the start of our Winter Break.  We will return back to school on January 3, 2022!

The last few weeks have had celebrations and some special classes and electives: chess, watercolor, ceramics, basket weaving, acrostic letters, mushroom prints, students participating in various Coding activities, field trip to Elkhorn Slough, the CRHS Winter party, and of course the creation of the many crafts that the students sold at our Holiday Craft Fair.

Thank you to the many parents who are helping with these activities.  

Please read on to hear from:
-Robin Bates, our mental health counselor,
-Olivia Hernandez with an update from our Student Council,
-A note about our Craft Fair,
-A special Free Book Download opportunity.

We have had only 41 parents complete the Charter Parent Survey so far.  I am asking everyone to please fill out the survey for us.  This information gives us a sense of whether or not we are doing a good job in supporting your child in many areas.    Charter Parent Survey; WASC 2021 Verification of how we are doing is especially important to us after going through so many difficulties over the last couple of years with the Pandemic, CZU fire, evacuation, and now with the programs all on the same site.  The questions are focused on the key areas that schools reflect on to ensure that we are doing our best in supporting students. Charter Parent Survey; WASC 2021 

When we get back, Teacher Kenda Landers will be starting The Fashion Club, we will begin our Science Fair Projects, and continue with more electives to excite our students' creativity and critical thinking, and our Student Council will be creating more Spirit Days and all program activities.

Have a wonderful Winder Break, and thank you for sharing your family and children with us.  



Student Council Update! Dear Recipients of the Charter Newsletter,

This month Rhonda Schlosser, our Charter administrator has been working hard along with teachers Alex Loevic and Rosie Hope, to come up with a Student Council. They wanted to unite all the programs and get students involved in coming up with events and fundraisers for our charter as a whole. This month alone the student council has gotten up and running, planning and putting into motion Winter Spirit Day for ALL the K-8 Charter programs. Tues Dec. 14th we are encouraging all students to wear holiday themed, pajamas, hats, red and green, ugly sweaters and anything else holiday related! We hope that you encourage your student(s) to participate! 

Have a lovely last week before break,

 Olivia Hernandez 

Student Council Member

             7th Grade Nature Academy


Parent Advisory Committee:  Our next meeting will be: Tuesday, January 18th at 10:30. Please try to attend!  If you would like to join via Zoom here is the link:

Thank you to the parents who attend these meetings.  In our last meetings we have review the parent and student survey, reviewed our new library’s mission and collection policy and selection criteria.  I shared about our WASC visit that will be on Marcy 28-30 and who the committee will want to talk to.

 We will meet in the Charter Library or Zoom.  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.


From our Mental Health Counselor: Have a Merry Mindful Holiday!

Well, here we are again -  it’s holiday time in full swing!  Unlike last season, it seems things are opening up and happening, and I’ve been busy shopping and planning and “momming” all over the place!


Recently, the pressure to wrap presents was too great to ignore. So, I sat on the floor in my bedroom and decided to “power wrap” as many as I could before going to pick up my kids from practice after school.  I fell in love with this new wrapping paper I found. It was a print of this elaborate etching, and even the texture of it was nice. I had to take my time to pick the ribbon, and suddenly I was in another headspace. I was carefully folding and lining up the edges of this one present.  My heartbeat slowed, my focus narrowed, my breathing was steady and in sync with my movements. I forgot about my busy schedule at that moment. It was purely enjoyable to take a moment and simply focus on wrapping a present! When it was time to go, I noticed my pace had shifted - I was slower and more aware of my surroundings.  


To me, this is self-care - leaning into these small mindful moments in the middle of the hustle and bustle. It’s difficult sometimes when we have a list a mile long and an “inner drill sergeant” shouting out orders throughout the day. But those little moments are so very important - some people say they are the most important.  Children are so incredibly good at doing this!  They stop and marvel at things, and pick things up, and get excited about simple pleasures. We could learn a thing or two from them.


Things to practice for self-care by finding “mindful moments”:

  • Take a minute to notice how you’re breathing while you’re doing a chore (cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, typing an email, etc).  Make your movements sync up with your breathing. Notice how you’re feeling while doing this. Syncing your breathing to movement is an ancient practice that is now known to have numerous health benefits to your brain and body.
  • Do a “body scan” while waiting in line at the store, doctor’s office, etc.  You can start at the top of your head and work your way all the way down to your toes.  Take a moment at each section of your body and pay attention to how you feel in each area. Just simply paying attention to your whole body can heighten your sense of well-being. Sometimes I like to imagine I am “breathing warmth” into the different areas that I am focusing on.
  • Wherever you are or whatever you’re doing - take a long, deep, cleansing breath. Bonus points for making a noise when you exhale (like a long sigh). With this, create a simple mantra that works for you.  Mine is, “it’s all going to work out”.  The simpler it is, the better.
  • Think of three things you are grateful for in this tiny moment.  Gratitude is now known to have huge mental and physical benefits - both immediate and long-term.
  • Sing!  Singing releases pain-relieving endorphins, helping you to forget those aches and pains, as well as relieving stress. To add a deeper level of mindfulness to it, pay attention to where your voice is vibrating in your trunk and head. Play with notes and tones to change what you’re noticing.  

These are all things you can practice with your whole family or practice in front of your whole family (sometimes these practices are “contagious” on their own). I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and winter break. 


Robin Bates, LMFT

Office hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays from 8-4

[email protected]


P.S. By the way, that present that I enjoyed wrapping so much - it was a present I bought for myself!  It’s a fun self-care tradition I started a few years ago, as a practice of being “self-ish” during a time of year when I’m always thinking about others.



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

This week we focused on reading music from page 7 of the Standard of Excellence, and the students worked on refining how they play Bop Bop and All Blues together.  On Thursday we began to learn all four phrases from the first section of Moanin’. 

Our students should practice reading the music on page 8 of the Standard of Excellence, and playing the four phrases of Moanin’, or drumming to the recordings found on google classroom for our next rehearsals.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Warm Regards,  Mr. Gonzalez

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.)


The Gift of Literacy Initiative: Free Online Books using MyOn Digital Library Book Downloads through January: The state Gift of Literacy Initiative is offering free unlimited book downloads for all students through the end of January. Here is the link to the site with directions on how to access the books and flyers for families. Instructions for Family access 

From December 1, 2021, to January 31, 2022, any California student can benefit from access to thousands of myON books in English and Spanish. Students can easily browse or search the digital library to find books to match their interests and grade level. There are also options for students to read books online or offline, even in low-bandwidth environments.  

Go to: and click on the purple myON Login button:

Enter the following information on the login screen:

Click the green Sign In button, select a book from the Library or an article from News, and start reading! Once you get in, the best place to start for fiction is the Genres button on the top middle.   Then you can click what type of books you want to download. 

The books are listed by age level. So when you open up Genres and pick one, you will see little kid books.  Keep scrolling down, through the middle school books, and the ones at the bottom are more high school books.  They also have a ton of graphic novels that tend to be located between the middle and high school books.


Fashion Club Opportunity: Students in grades 6-12 are invited to join teacher Kenda Landers, in fashion club once a week from 3-4 PM on Thursdays in room 15 on the lower campus of Quail Hollow. The first meeting will be soon once we return. So far there are students from all programs, even CRHS students signed up! We are excited to have another opportunity for students from various grades and programs working together.  Interested students are encouraged to fill out this form.
-Thank you, Kenda.

This will be an opportunity to receive support in creating a fashion line or just a single garment to submit to participate in Fashion Teens 2022. You do NOT need any experience in sewing or creating garments!


Fashion Teens Santa Cruz is a production of Pivot: The Art of Fashion in partnership with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The focus is on the environment and the impact we have on it, often with pieces including up-cycled items and/or recyclables such as cardboard and bottle caps.



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.



What’s happening in our Charter Programs:     Winter Holiday Craft Fair 

Our Winter Holiday Craft Fair was a Huge Success!!!  Thank you to all of the participants - your crafts were amazing!  I believe that many students sold out of their crafts.   Our new library received $120.00 in donations as well.  

Thank you to all of the parents for your support and volunteers for your help - It was much appreciated!    A thank you also to the Nature Academy students who supported their fellow students by coming to shop. Word is this was one of the best ones yet!  People seemed to like it held outside.  We look forward to having the Nature Academy students and even more CRHS students join us next year.    Thank you everyone for being safe!  Happy Holidays

From our Gardens: Here is some of what we’ve been doing…
Students have been working extremely hard and I am very proud of their accomplishments thus far.  The K-5 garden is behind the MPR room is coming along from nothing to something really great with seedlings sprouting, painted rocks, compost bins full, and a new pathway through the St. Johns Wort. 2nd and 3rd Graders: Students learned about the 4 types of insect mouthpart, how they are specialized, and how their bites might look on a plant.  We looked at close up photos of mouthparts and identified each type.  Students then looked for plants that had been damaged by insects and identified which type of insect may have caused that damage. 
4th and 5th Graders: We discussed composting FBI's (Fungi's, Bacteria, and Invertebrates) to identify organisms that are a part of the composting process. Students looked at the FBI's in our school worm bin.  We found egg sacs, worms, pot worms, worm cocoons, lots of tiny insects, and a lot of fungi. 
NA 6th Graders: Students learned about several reasons to use mulch in a garden. We then discussed how we use mulch in our own school garden in the Fall/Winter/Spring for weed suppression in the pathways versus in the Summer as a water retainer and to also attract worms to the surface where they add nutrients for the next years school garden.
NA 7th, QHIA 7th, CRMS 6th/7th: We discussed Nature's color wheel and found items in the garden for every color on the wheel.  Students will use the color wheel again in the Spring when we expect to see more colors from all of the drought-tolerant and edible flowers we have planted this past Fall. Students weeded the pathways and beds.
CRHS Environmental Horticulture: Students learned about growing "spicy greens" and the many varieties of mustards and arugula, and we discussed endive and mizuna as well.  We are getting prepared to repair a broken bed so we moved soil from the broken bed to another bed that needed soil.


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 making 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 the 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 2-5 pm 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


From our Charter VAPA Booster parents: Below you will find the updates for All Charter VAPA after school enrichment opportunities:

Charter Play: The current Covid restrictions require social distancing and mask-wearing, as much as possible, for all performers during rehearsals and performances. 

Our Charter Play has always been an opportunity for our entire community, K-12, to perform together in a large cast of 60-80 students. 

At this time, this is too large a group to manage and maintain proper social distancing, particularly backstage in the PAC. In keeping with the spirit of the Charter Play, we want all actors who audition to be included. Therefore, here is the current plan:

  • Change the Performance week from the first week of February to the last week of April (Monday, April 25-Sunday, May 1). 
  • Auditions will be the week of January 31-February 4
  • We will explore the option of an outside performance venue if current Covid restrictions still inhibit proper social distancing in the PAC in April
  • If Covid restrictions continue to be too prohibitive, a Musical Review, instead of a full production, may be considered as an option. This would enable more social distancing and grouping of students.
  • Instructor: Amber Walker and others To Be Determined

All Charter Talent Show: Friday, May 20, at 7 pm Coordinator: To Be Determined
Thank you!
Your Charter Theater Booster Club


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:

  • Friday, December 16: End of first semester for CRHS students.
  • Friday, December 17: No School-Winter Break begins
  • Monday-Friday, December 20-31: No School-Winter Break
  • Monday, January 3: School resumes

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]