Charter News • February 6, 2022

“If transition isn’t painful then you aren’t making progress.” Anonymous
“Any transition is easier if you believe in yourself and your talent.” Priyanka Chopra

 

Dear Charter Families,

This is a longer newsletter with important updates on 

  • WASC visit update 
  • Summary of results of our Parent and student surveys. 
  • A special LCAP presentation with our District Superintendent during our PAC meeting.
  • Our Student Council update

There is also an article from our Counselor, Robin Bates about Transitions.

 

We are fully into the second semester of our 2021-22 school year. Our teachers are especially focusing on the standards or skills that we believe to be essential for the students to learn in their given course/academic level.  We are especially cognizant of students who will be transitioning into another academic grade span: 5th-6th, 8th-9th, and of course ensuring that our seniors are ready to graduate and transfer to their post-secondary College or Career of choice.

  • We have started writing groups for some of our students in grades 4-8 whom we agree would benefit from some additional support.
    -Thank you Barb, our IS teacher who is supporting our students in this way.)
  • A Study Hall is now available Thursday afternoons 2:15-3:45 pm in the Charter Library.
    -Some students who are having a difficult time turning in their work on time may be asked to attend, others may come if they want to use it as a time to stay caught up and work with their peers.  Parents will need to pick up their students before 4 pm. Limit to 15 students.
    Please ask your 6-8th grade teacher if you are interested in having your student make use of our afterschool Thursday Study Hall.

Additionally,  our Intent to Return Form will be sent to you soon!  We want to make sure that our staffing is correct to support the enrollment of our Charter programs and now is the time to begin that preparation.

We have programs that have a lottery if there is not sufficient space available.  Our Current Charter students have priority of enrollment for the coming year and we want to make sure your space is reserved for you.

 

Information nights will be held in the first weeks of March! Unless there is another COVID surge, we will have them outside and in-person here at Quail Hollow. We have one for our various hybrid-homeschool programs and a separate one for Nature Academy. The information night for Nature Academy initiates our application and lottery process.  The same goes for the QHIA program. 

 

Thank you for continuing to be vigilant in keeping your kids healthy and monitoring the COVID protocols.  We do still have some positive cases but are able to keep a tight control thanks to our collective efforts.

 

We are grateful that the students are enjoying their time together in our classes; it is evident.  

 

~Rhonda

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Parent Advisory Committee:  Our next meeting will be: Tuesday, February 15th at 10:30.  We will meet in the Charter Library as well as Zoom.  

 If you would like to join via Zoom here is the link: Join Zoom Meetinghttps://slvusd-org.zoom.us/j/83590158060


Mr. Schiermeyer and his LCAP team will be joining us to discuss the Charter LCAP goals. We will be asking for parent input.

 

Thank you to the parents who attend these meetings.  In our last meeting, we reviewed the parent and student surveys, the School Safety Plan (which the PAC helps in reading), The Jan 19th Charter board presentation, and clarified how the Charter LCAP relates to the Districts.

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.
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From our Counselor Transitions
Hello charter families! 

Life is full of transitions - we wake up, and we carry out the tasks we need to transition out of sleep to the tasks of the day.  We are experiencing and reacting to transitions throughout the day until we end up back in bed again, our bodies transitioning into the stages of sleep. Meanwhile, there are bigger transitions happening - stages of life, family, and careers as well as emotional and cognitive growth spurts.  


Although there is seemingly an infinite variety of transitions through life, they all have a few things in common. They all involve us to respond to a change, and they all involve us letting go of something (or lots of things!).  In other words, we are always coping and adapting to change and managing some form of grief/letting go at the same time. Sometimes this means letting go of an entire stage of life, along with identities, roles, and relationships.


Remember when your child was a toddler?  When they started walking and transitioning into their new freedom of mobility, they continued to look back to be sure a safe adult was there.  The unknown can be painfully scary for any human, and regardless of our stage in life, we need reassurance.  So we rely on our support cast to be there so we can continue to take steps out into the unknown. 


For adolescents, transitions can be particularly difficult. Teens are experiencing daily changes within the backdrop of change. Their bodies are changing, social hierarchies, identities, norms and even their relationships with their parents are changing.  Common transitions for adolescents could be:  new schools (i.e.- middle school to high school), new bodies, changing friendships due to varying levels of maturity and coping skills, a first break up (this can be devastating for a teen), a change in relationship with parents and new responsibilities in and out of school. 


From the website, Ambre Associates, I found this handy little list for helping adolescents through transitions:

  1. Allow for feelings. Teens are going to have a lot of feelings—and they’re going to have a lot of big feelings. It’s important to let them have these feelings.
  2. Listen. One of the most helpful things you can do for your adolescent is to listen to their stories, hear their concerns and empathize with their feelings — without judgment.
  3. Preserve routines. As much as possible, try to keep the same morning, after-school, evening, and bedtime routines in place. Routines lend familiarity and predictability, which can be threatened during times of transition.
  4. Ensure self-care — for both you and your teen. Nutritious meals, quality sleep, exercise, and stress management allow you to stay strong, especially during trying times. A lot of teens begin to buck breakfast and push the limits on bedtime; while respecting the changes in their needs and wants, maintain a focus on healthy habits.
  5. Maintain boundaries. It’s tempting to loosen the discipline when your child is going through a hard time, but rules and boundaries build trust. Kids know what they can count on, and what they can push against. Be consistent in your parenting, allowing natural consequences and imposing logical consequences when their behavior crosses the line.
  6. Offer choices. Teens often feel a lack of control, and even more so during times of transition. Where possible, allow them to voice their opinions, form their own likes and dislikes and make choices.
  7. Stay realistically positive. Remind your teen of past accomplishments. You might remind them about the time that they were really anxious about their performance in a school play that went really well, or about a new friend they made on their first day of camp. By doing so, you’re giving your child tangible examples to counter their anxiety in facing this change.
  8. Separate your anxiety from theirs. Recognize that you may have unresolved “stuff” from your adolescence that gets triggered by your teen’s experiences. Stay in your own lane, using caution not to blur your journey with theirs. Take an honest look at your feelings, and try to pinpoint the cause of your anxiety — without making it theirs.
  9. Don’t project your worries. Like a mama lion (or papa bear), you want your child to avoid discomfort—and to succeed. But your concerns about any given transition may not be theirs. Even if you’re worried about your teen making new (and the right) friends, they might not be the least bit concerned—until you plant seeds of doubt by asking anxiety-provoking questions (“Are you nervous about making new friends?”).  
  10. Ask for help. If you feel like things are getting out of control, or you see that your teen is so anxious that they’re not sleeping or if you’re worried about drug and alcohol use, reach out to a professional, who can help guide your teen—and you—through a challenging transition.

One of the greatest tools for transitioning and change is practicing acceptance. Acceptance is the task of the grieving process, and also in my opinion the most powerful tool we can have in our psychological toolbox!  We can model this practice in front of our children and hopefully can find some grace through all of the uncertainty of transitioning through change.

Robin Bates, LMFT

Office hours Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays from 8-4

[email protected]

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From our Student Council: Dear Recipentants of Charter Newsletter,

All of us at the Student Council wish you had a safe and healthy month of January. We have updates and information about upcoming Spirit Days for you. January was a fun month for all of us at Student Council as we spent time planning farther off All Charter fundraiser events; such a pleasure! At this time none are quite ready to be put into action just yet.  


That being said we do have a fun Valentine's day themed Spirit Day coming up. On this Spirit Day we will be wearing the colors red and pink and celebrating friendship. There is also a contest of which grades are wearing the most red and pink! There will be a First place prize, the prize is going to be a surprise, so dress your best and try to win! We hope that y’all have a great Valentines day and don't forget to encourage your student(s) to participate! 


Happy February and all the best this month,

Olivia Hernandez, Trevin Schorovsky 

Student Council Members 

7th, 8th Grade Nature Academy 

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From Dr. Faris Sabbah and the SCCOE. 

Dear Families, I don’t know if you all receive this email from Dr. Sabbah at the SCCOE, but I thought it was a good resource to share with you in case you don’t get it..or didn’t read it.   This is a wealth of resources available for anyone who would like to delve deeper. ~Rhonda


Prioritizing Wellness

Fatigue or frustration is entirely understandable at this stage of the pandemic, which is why it is so important to take time to check-in with our children and ourselves and create space for wellness.

The COE’s Social-Emotional Learning and Wellness portal is one resource that families and educators can look to for ideas and support. It includes more than a dozen virtual wellness experiences, many led by local practitioners, as well as a directory of behavioral health supports. We hope you’ll find these resources useful — and please don’t hesitate to share any additional resources you have found beneficial by replying to this email.

Yours in education and equity,

Dr. Faris Sabbah

County Superintendent of Schools

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WASC Information:  Visit postponed. Due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak and spread, the upcoming accreditation visit to SLVUSD Charter School will be moved to the Fall of 2022. In order to accommodate this change, the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) has extended the accreditation status of SLVUSD
Charter School, through June 30, 2023.

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Parent and student survey results

This year we had 110 responses from our Charter Parent survey, and 145 responses from our secondary students.  Within each survey, there was equitable representation for each program and grade level.  Thank you to everyone who participated. 

Our Staff has been able to review the data in summary and individual form, including the individual comments. We appreciate the information and are glad that we can add it to our WASC and LCAP review as we determine our next steps in supporting our students and their families.

Based on these survey results, parents have a high overall satisfaction with the Charter support of their student's academic and SEL growth. Strongly agree/agree percentages are noted below.

  • Curriculum materials and/or assignments address learning styles and needs: 94.5%
  • Have a good sense of my student's academic progress: 92.7%
  • Comfortable communicating with my teacher(s) if academic concern: 97.2%
  • Comfortable communicating with my teacher(s) if behavior or SEL concern: 95.5%
  • Administration team available supports student's learning needs: 95.4%
  • Mental Health Counselor available, supports student's social-emotional health: 97.3%
  • The student feels challenged academically and has opportunities for enrichment: 94.5%
  • Student and I know how to obtain extra help on coursework if needed: 90.9%
  • Curriculum allows student choice in how they demonstrate understanding: 96.4%
  • Students enjoyed and/or gain benefit from the enrichment activities/field trips: 96.4%
  • I am welcomed to be an active participant in my child's education: 96.4%
  • My child feels safe and included in their Charter program: 96.3%

Students answers on school support, academic readiness and School-Wide Outcomes are below:

  • I feel comfortable talking to my teacher(s): 82.1%
  • A staff member in school that feel comfortable bringing concerns to: 84.8%
  • Safe and supported in your classroom(s): 86.3%
  • Safe and supported outside during lunch and breaks: 89.0%

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From Melanie and the Gardens: Hello! What a beautiful January it was with February looking just as good!  CRHS students have been working hard on propagating Redwood seeds in hopes to start a bonsai project. They also planted strawberries and thornless blackberries.  We started repairing the broken planter beds, one down and one to go.   Teachers and students have been enjoying eating peas, lettuces, radishes, and the beginning of carrot harvesting. We had a sad crop failure but this is expected as we learn where the sun is in the Fall and Winter months versus the Spring and Summer months.  We also tried a new fruit, gooseberries, which students described as tropical like a passion or kiwi fruit with the same looks and exploding bite as a cherry tomato.

All other programs are heading back to the gardens this next week and here is the schedule for next week.  I am looking forward to seeing all of your students!

Next week's schedule...Tuesday: QH K/1st  Wednesday:QHIA 6th, CRHS, NA 6th

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COVID-19 Testing Information: We have had very few cases at our school site and I attribute this not only to our small numbers in the classrooms but also to your diligence in working with our protocols and doing all you can to keep your children safe and healthy.


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


  • We still have a supply of at-home rapid antigen tests for students in our office if you have not picked any up yet.  Our office is open from 7:30-4:00.

 

If you would like to take a PCR test, here are all the sites and times for the week. 

We highly recommend you test your student once a week. 

The SLVUSD Inspire Diagnostics Testing Dates and Times are as follows

 COUNTY TESTING OPTIONS: Three drive-through COVID-19 testing sites are now open to the entire Santa Cruz County school community -- students, staff, and family members. These sites utilize the PCR tests and are available for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. There is no out-of-pocket cost, regardless of insurance status, and most results are returned within 24 hours.

 

To get tested, fill out one-time registration at [email protected] and go to any site. (If you have already registered for our Inspire testing there is no need to register again)

 No appointment is required. The sites are located at:

  • Santa Cruz COE Annex, 399 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz
  • Cabrillo College in Aptos, Parking Lot P
  • PVUSD District Office parking lot

For days and times, please reference the Santa Cruz COE COVID-19 Testing For School Community.

 

Mountain Community Resources (MCR) is also hosting a testing site in a bus parked behind MCR, from 10am - 6pm, Friday - Tuesday.

 

We appreciate and rely on your continued support in:

    • Daily screening by parents of their students, as well as staff screening protocols. 
    • Staying home if your student has any signs of illness. (Symptoms include: fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle/body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea/vomiting, and/or diarrhea.)
    • Reporting to us at the Charter office if your student is symptomatic and/or has had any exposures to a positive COVID-19 case in your household. [email protected]  attendance line, 336-5167 office number, 335-0932
  • For more information, you may access the California Department of Public Health website.
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From our Charter VAPA Booster parents: All Charter Play Update

Due to many obstacles related to Covid protocols, the All Charter Play will, unfortunately, need to be canceled this year. There have been lengthy discussions between the district theater teachers, including Amber Walker, the Charter Theater Booster Club, and Rhonda, that have led to this decision. Amongst the many, the primary obstacle is the large K-12 cast. Historically, the All Charter Play has had a cast of 70-90 performers from all charter programs, which is just too large a group with current Covid restrictions. To hold auditions and cut any performers in order to reach a smaller cast size goes against the spirit, culture, and legacy of our wonderful All Charter play. We look forward and are hopeful that this tradition can return during the 22-23 school year. In the meantime, we are optimistic regarding the All Charter Talent Show in May.

Sincerely, Your Charter Theater Booster Club, Amber Walker, and Rhonda Schlosser

All Charter Talent Show: Friday, May 20, at 7pm  Coordinator: To Be Determined

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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. An important element 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.
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

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Community Opportunities:

The district has transitioned the Community Opportunities site to the new platform that Google will continue to support. Here is the LINK to the website...

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Dates to Remember:

  • Monday, February 14: No School, District Holiday
  • Monday, February 21: No School, Presidents Day Holiday
  • Friday, March 4: End of second trimester 
  • Friday, March 18: No School, Professional Development day for staff
  • Sunday March 17-Wednesday, March 30: WASC visit
  • April 4-8: Spring 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

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