Determination, energy, and courage appear spontaneously when we care deeply about something. We take risks that are unimaginable in any other context.
~ Margaret J. Wheatley
Dear Charter Families,
Mr. Shiermeyer shared in his message on March 11 that I believe is important to emphasize.
“Across all schools, it is important to remind our students, staff, and families of the importance of the words we use and the impact those words have on others.
He was talking about an incident of racism at the tri-campus.
While I have not heard of any such racist comments in the Charter programs, I am aware of incidents where students are insensitive to others’ feelings, speaking without first thinking about how people might receive their comments. We have had incidents that have thus far been addressed through deepening education, restorative practices, and tiered levels of consequences.
We integrate Social Emotional Learning into our programs and classrooms. We teach students the value of using lifeskills and lifelong guidelines both directly and indirectly in the classrooms. Life skills /lifelong guidelines We believe this helps to maintain positive relationships between our students, teachers, and parents and helps to build a healthy community.
Our students are still maturing, they still make mistakes, still sometimes say and do things that are not appropriate and that can erode the positive culture that we work to maintain. Please continue to help us by communicating with teachers and me when an incident needs to be addressed.
The Charter and our programs remain strong because we work with the lifelong guidelines of Truthfulness, Trustworthiness, Absence of Threat/Nurturing Environment, Active Listening, and Personal Best. We appreciate you supporting these guidelines with your children.
We are grateful for you and your students. Thank you for being with us this year and for all that you do for your children and their friends.
We have Sprung forward this Sunday and all clocks should be moved forward an hour!
Please read on for info about:
-Mask Mandates, COVID testing updates -Tuesdays Information night, - Grad Night Fundraisers,- Fun Library Data, - PAC meeting, -CAASPP testing,- Elementary book fair, and - an article from our Mental Health Counselor
P.S. No school this coming Friday. We will be having a Professional Development Day.
From our Mental Health Counselor: Thinking about Thinking….
Recently, I auditioned and acquired a very small part in a local play. It’s something I’ve wanted to do my entire life and I’m finally putting my feet where my dreams are! As I rehearsed with these amazing and talented cast members, my anxiety would show up and my thoughts would sometimes turn on me. Feelings can do weird things to our thoughts sometimes, and we can start to create statements about ourselves or our situations that simply aren’t true (like, “I can’t do this” or “I just know the director regrets picking me”). I have to “practice what I preach” and keep a healthy habit of watching these thoughts and “taking the heat out of them” using my own DBT tools.
One of the most important things students can learn is to observe their thinking. If one can observe what they are thinking, then there becomes an opportunity to introduce new thoughts and quite literally “change our minds”.
Without awareness, our thoughts can become “the man behind the curtain” and lead us into believing our distorted thinking as facts. These “cognitive distortions” happen in all of us! When our emotions get intense, our prefrontal cortex can short out a bit, and thoughts easily get twisted into things that don’t have a lot of logic involved.
Sometimes we judge someone for a mistake they made and then overgeneralize them to be a “bad person”, or do the same thing to ourselves! Other people might receive lots of feedback after a performance and one negative can outweigh or even cancel out all of the positives. We might make assumptions that people do or don’t like us with very little real evidence to support this. Or, we may think our mistakes are much bigger and more impactful than they really are! More often than not, students come to me with a grievance that began with some form of a cognitive distortion. Sometimes it feeds upon itself and causes suffering for multiple people.
Some examples of cognitive distortions are:
- Magnification and Minimization: Exaggerating or minimizing the importance of events.
- Catastrophizing: Seeing only the worst possible outcomes of a situation
- Overgeneralization: Make broad interpretations from a single or few events
- Magical Thinking: The belief that acts will influence unrelated situations.
- Personalization: The belief that one is responsible for events outside of their own control.
- Jumping to Conclusions: Interpreting the meaning of a situation with little or no evidence
- Mind Reading: Interpreting the thoughts and beliefs of others without adequate evidence.
- Fortune Telling: The expectation that a situation will turn out badly without adequate evidence
- Disqualifying the Positive: Recognizing only the negative aspects of a situation while ignoring the positive.
- “Should” Statements: The belief that things should be a certain way.
- All-or-Nothing Thinking: Thinking in absolutes such as “always,” “never”, or “every”.
It takes some detective work to determine if a thought you or a loved one is experiencing a cognitive distortion. Here are some questions to help break the distortion down.
Answer the following questions to assess your thought:
- Is there SUBSTANTIAL evidence for my thought?
- Is there evidence contrary to my thought?
- Am I attempting to interpret the situation without all the evidence?
- What would a friend think about this situation?
- If I look at the situation positively, how is it different?
- Will this matter a year from now? How about five years from now?
This takes practice. Don’t be too discouraged if it doesn’t “fix things” the first time! But, it’s a practice worth pursuing because the reward is great. Freedom from our harmful thoughts opens our minds to new possibilities and perspectives we might not have had access to before.
Robin Bates, LMFT
Parent Advisory Committee: Our next meeting will be: Tuesday, March 15th at 10:30. We will meet in the Charter Library as well as Zoom. We will be talking about ideas for special events for our programs next year.
Thank you to the parents who attend these meetings. 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.
Next year’s school calendar is out! 2022-23 SLVUSD District School Calendar
As you see, next school year will be starting and ending a bit earlier than this year. Take note, for those who are planning summer trips.
A Request: I would greatly appreciate it if some of you would be willing to email me testimonials about how you and/or your student feel about the Charter school and specifically the program you enrolled in.
We have a page on our website devoted to testimonials, and I appreciate it when parents send them to me. Now that all programs are on a new site, I would love to hear from those who are willing to share your feelings about how we support your student and you.
Planning for Next Year
Nature Academy Information Night: March 15th. Flyers can be found on our website; Charter Information Nights Please help spread the word to friends and acquaintances that may be interested. I also had Drew Penner from the Press Banner interview me about the Charter programs. His article mentions the information nights as well. SLV Charter Info Nights Upcoming.
Intent to Return Forms: You should have received an Intent to Return from our Admin Office last week. We are asking you to return it by March 7th. Returning them before our Information Nights helps to ensure your spot in our programs before we receive applications from new students. It also helps me determine our staffing needs as I plan for next year. After our Info Nights, Program openings will be filled from our waitlist or via the lottery process. The information night for Nature Academy initiates our application and lottery process. The same goes for the QHIA program. Siblings not currently enrolled in Charter must also complete a pre-enrollment application and intake form. Thank you for your quick support in returning these to your teachers or our office.
Author’s Book Fair: Grades 1-5
3/16, 3/23: Join us in person (QH Room 25) or on zoom to begin our Book Publishing Process!
* Bring your story to be published * Choose Binding and Formatting * Begin Process of Binding Books
We have the opportunity to publish and share our writing at the Young Author's Fair!
During the next online Jump Into Writing classes, we are going to focus on the publishing process!
Student’s books can be on display at the Young Author's Fair on Saturday, May 7th from 10 am-3 pm at Del Mar Elementary School.
Library Fun Data: Clara runs a weekly report to see how the library is doing, Maybe some of you will enjoy this as much as I do.
- Current Books Out; 180
- Overall “top” patrons: Camila Mascarenhas, Viola Steele, John Burns, Bridgid Hultin, Ramona Hughs, Kaya Giannini King, and Tanner Higgins.
- Over the last month, fourth (4th) graders have had the most checkouts with 28 titles, and second, (2nd) graders came in second with 27. Quail Hollow and Fall Creek have had the most circulations this month.
- The “top” patrons are this month; Bridgid Hultin, Tanner Higgins, Emily Fauss, and John Burns.
- The “Dog Man” titles are very popular, as are the Mo Willems books.
- And, overall, our graphic novel section is the most frequented for checkouts, with fantasy being second.
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: https://bit.ly/3yCnPlY
Mask Mandate and COVID Update: from Chris Scheirmeyer’s District update
When we return to school on Monday, March 14th, the mask requirement changes from required to strongly recommended. With this change, we do understand that families, students, and staff are at varying levels of concern regarding COVID. As a result of the “strongly recommended” mask change, some individuals may continue to wear a mask, while other individuals may choose not to wear a mask. Please respect each individual in the decision they make based on their own individual circumstances.
For more information regarding the new CDPH K-12 guidelines, please find the Community Letter from all County Superintendents.
SLVUSD has partnered with Inspire Diagnostics to offer an outdoor walk-up PCR testing site that is open to the entire school community at the SLV District Office, Quail Hollow school site, Ben Lomond and is offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (excluding holidays) from 1-5pm.
Families are welcome to utilize this free service. The site is available for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Those needing a test simply need to fill out the registration once at http://sccoe.link/inspiresc, no appointment is required. Our weekly and exposure testing will continue at the school sites for students and staff.
In addition, COVID-19 vaccinations are still available through our county drive-through locations. If you would like your child to get vaccinated, you can register and make an appointment at https://santacruzcoe.org/vaccines/ or contact your student’s doctor or healthcare provider.
Help Support our Grad Night This Year. Here are two ways to assist us to fundraise for our graduating seniors' Grad Night event! A safe and sober FUN event!
Visit Togo's on Saturday, March 19th, and order a sandwich or two
CAASPP Testing You may be hearing about the required State testing from your teachers. This will be the first year since the Pandemic and Distance Learning that students will be required to take the test. The tests will be shorter in length than in previous years. We are firming up our schedule for each grade and test but in general, programs will begin testing at the end of April through May.
Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 Student Participation: All students at the designated grade levels are required to participate with the following exceptions: -Students who participate in the alternate assessments. -ELA only—English learners who are in their first 12 months of attending a school in the United States. Content and Format: The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, which are delivered by computer, consist of two sections: a computer adaptive test and a performance task (PT) based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA and mathematics. The computer-adaptive section includes a range of item types, such as selected response, constructed response, table, fill-in, graphing, and so forth. The PTs are extended activities that measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards—a key component of college and career readiness.
California Science Test (CAST) in grades 5, 8, and once in high school. Student Participation: The CAST is required for all students in grades five and eight and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve) unless their IEP indicates assessment with an alternate test. The CAST includes stand-alone or discrete items and PTs. The discrete item types consist of selected response, constructed response, table, fill-in, graphing, and so forth. The PTs measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards through extended activities.
- The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) for students in California schools is the FITNESSGRAM®. The main goal of the test is to help students in starting life-long habits of regular physical activity. Students in grades five, seven, and nine take the fitness test. The test has six parts that show a level of fitness that offer a degree of defense against diseases that come from inactivity. The test results can be used by students, teachers, and parents. The PFT - CalEdFacts page provides a more detailed overview of the test.
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.
On-site COVID testing will continue: Our weekly exposure testing will continue at the school sites for students and staff. 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. The Inspire Diagnostics Testing Dates and Times at Quail Hollow are Monday & Thursday 10:45 am - 11:45 am
To register your student(s), please click on INSPIRE DIAGNOSTICS REGISTRATION.
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 7 pm Coordinator: To Be Determined
Charter Parent Volunteers: 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 12:30-3:30 pm. The Human Resources Office is located at 325 Marion Avenue, Ben Lomond, CA 95005.
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 www.edjoin.org/slvusd.
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.
Dates to Remember:
- Friday, March 18: No School, Professional Development day for staff
- April 4-8: Spring Break
- Monday, May 30: District Holiday, Memorial Day
- Tuesday, June 7: Last day of school for students
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]