Charter News•November 18, 2022

“The more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for.”  

– Norman Vincent Peale

"Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind." 

– Lionel Hampton

Dear Charter Families,


I trust you are all busy relaxing now that our Thanksgiving Break has started.  We all wish you a safe, healthy, and happy week off.  We wish you good times with family and friends, with an opportunity to give thanks to all the large and small joys and aspects of your life.  May your holiday be filled with playful moments, sounds of laughter, and times to slow down and appreciate all that is good around you.  Personally, I always enjoy reading during any break. This break I am reading ‘Klara and the Sun’ in addition to  “Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain” 

I hope each of you have time to enjoy what relaxes you most.


We have our Annual Holiday Craft Fair coming up on December 2.  This will be the first year that all our programs, even Nature Academy and Coast Redwood High School students have signed up to sell their crafts. It will be a big event! 


Before that, on December 1, we have our ugly sweater day from our Student Council.


We have had some concerns about our traffic safety. Please read more about this so that you can learn what not to do.


We also have our Parent Advisory Committee meeting coming in December as well as news about our canned food drive and play. 


Thank you for allowing us to work with you and your student.




COVID Home Test Kits - Have gone home with every student.

The District received additional home test kits to provide to our families. Although not mandatory, we have provided each student with a home test kit during the week of November 14th with the recommendation for each student to test the weekend before returning to school on Monday, November 28, 2022. 

As a reminder, home test kits are always available for pick up in all of the school offices, as well as the District Office.


All Charter Winter Craft Fair: Friday, December 2, 2022  Time to get crafting!

It's time to start planning your ideas for our All Charter Winter Craft Fair! Friday, December 2, 2022


This is an opportunity to share our creative talents and support each other's artistic endeavors by selling and purchasing each other's crafts and/or food (must be individually wrapped.)  Students and parents are encouraged to make and sell their craft items!  This event also helps many students to build on their Entrepreneurial Skills!!  We have had everything from photo cards, ornaments, friendship bracelets, earrings, rearranged stuffed animals and other handmade objects made by students, to essential oil blends and exquisite quilts and wreaths made by parents.


Many families make their crafting a collaborative activity. I’ve bought many gifts during these events in the past.  I am hoping that there with be wreaths again this year. It is great fun for the students to sell their creations and buy from their friends - and bartering can be done as well : )  


Spaces will be a shared table space, approximately 3ft. x 3ft.  Plan to make your space have an eye-catching presentation!


Please mark your calendars and perhaps invites family and friends to attend the event.

When: Friday, December 2, 2022    Time: 10:00am -2:00pm

Where: MPR and Outside on the Main Level at the Quail Hollow Campus 


The deadline to sign up and reserve a table is Friday, November 25th  

Winter Craft Faire 2022 - Sign Up


If you have any questions, please email: [email protected]


Valley Churches Canned Food Drive: The annual Holiday Food Drive is here until December 9, 2022.

Drop your food donations in the big barrel near the front door of Coast Redwood High School, at your classroom doors, or in the Charter office.. Let's fill up the pantry and support our community.


What to donate:

Yes - unopened canned foods, box foods such as tuna helper/hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese mix, cake mix, frosting, boxed dry pasta, boxes of dried cereal/oatmeal, canned pumpkin, boxed turkey dressing, etc., (Mainly cupboard staples)


No - fresh foods, fruits/vegetables, frozen foods, pet foods, expired cans of food. 


Please read your can labels for expiration dates and toss it away at home if already expired.


Thank you from Valley Churches United, your Community, and the Charter Staff!


Pick-up and Drop-off Safety: Safety Expectations and Warning of Accidents.

As we increase activities at our site, we are having more and more drivers dropping off and picking up their students at various times in the mornings and afternoons.   We have seen a concerning downturn in safety awareness, also seeing parents pick their children up in precarious locations.


For any K-8 pick-up or drop-off. Please drive down and either park in front of the District Office building, or drive around the back of the building to drop off your middle school student, or wait in your car for your student to come to you during pick-up times.

Please drive slowly when going around the District Office building. Please show some patience and wait in line for students to fully get in the cars. I have been supervising students waiting for their parents, and have seen some parents become impatient and zip past cars in front of them to speed by.  I had to try to slow down those passing by in order to allow the car to finally continue on.
If you plan to wait an extended period of time for your child to get their things ready, please pull over to the far right side while you wait.


For CRHS families: The Coast Redwood High School parking lot is only large enough for Charter staff.  To help ensure safety, we are requesting that parents drop off and pick up their students outside of the CRHS gates and not to utilize the staff parking lot as a turnout. 

Parents and student drivers are encouraged to utilize the lower campus parking lot to park their cars and to walk up the stairs to CRHS.  Your student may also meet you down at the lower parking lot, descending from the stairs from CRHS to the lower campus. Or if space, park off the road, along the wooden fence on Marion along the side of the CRHS  building,  outside of our gates. Please do not use the top of the drive down, or the small CRHS parking lot to make a U-turn.  There have been a few close calls between students, bicycle riders, skateboarders, and vehicle drivers navigating in and out of the staff parking lot. And recently there have been some actual fenders benders,

High school students are directed to wait for their rides at the bus stop or along the wooden fence outside of the CRHS gates, or at the lower campus parking lot.  

Please do not park in front of the school bus stop. (at the top of the drive down, adjacent to the weed benches and signage.) Our wonderful bus drivers pull out of the district office driveway and turn right into their first bus stop at 12:00 and again at 1:15 or 2:10, based on the day. 

-Thank you


Parent Advisory Committee meeting; Tuesday, December 13 at 9:30.  We will meet in the Library.  For those who cannot meet in person, you can connect via Zoom  


This meeting will be focused on supporting the Winter events planned and other various ways to further unite the various programs: academic, social-emotional, and general school activities.


These meetings are designed to ensure we have parent input into critical documents  that are the backbone of the Charter, as well as supporting the growth and development of the campus activities and culture of the Charter as a whole.  Yearly this committee gives input to our Local Control Accountability Plan (includes our school goals and funding) School Safety Plan, Annual Parent Survey, and our 5 year Charter Petition Renewal and Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation review.


All Charter Play Information: This year we are thrilled to present, Peter Pan: Somebody to Love. It is, once again, an original script written by Janinne Chadwick, our local playwright from Ben Lomond. All the familiar characters will be in this tale; the Lost Boys, warrior girls, dastardly delightful pirates, motown mermaids, and more! Classic songs from disco, rock, motown, and pop are rewritten to fit the script and move the plot along.

Amber has shared that this year there are over 70 students signed up for the play, with all the programs represented. All students who auditioned were cast in the show! We are all excited to see your students on stage at the PAC, singing and dancing together in this original and entertaining musical.

  • All January Rehearsals, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 10, are mandatory.
  • Performance Week: January 30-February 5

Rehearsals: 2:45-5:15pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, *beginning Nov. 15 All auditions and rehearsals through December are held in the library and multipurpose room on the Quail Hollow Campus.

Please email Amber directly with any questions at [email protected].


What’s growing in the Gardens:

Here is a link to information regarding the The Seed Co Op located in the Charter library and instructions on how to collect seeds and give back to the co-op.


We have had several days of very cold weather this week! Even though our afternoons were sunny and warm, our mornings saw temperatures in the low 30's on Monday and Tuesday.  Our frog ponds froze over and our Summer plants are all of the sudden seeing the end of their days.  Ben Lomond is in Zone 9a and 9b which usually have freezing temperatures from December through April.  Although, freezing temperatures can be seen before or after these dates but they are less likely.  It will be interesting to watch how the garden's continue to respond and grow after these early cold spells. 


FC & QHHS 4th/5th - Students talked about critters that we might find in our worm and compost bins.  They then explored our garden bins to find some of these critters. Students then used the last of the High School's yukon, purple, and red potatoes they grew last year to plant with. Students ended the class spreading the worm castings they harvested back in September around all of the plants in our garden.

CRHS - Students briefly discussed their propagation projects and then reviewed our conversations on biennial root vegetables.  We cleaned up two planting beds, added the debris to our compost bins, and harvested cucumbers and radishes.  Students then mixed in composted manure and planted onion and beet transplants. While cleaning our beds we discovered several strawberries that were completely shaded by mexican primrose plants that had self seeded tiny plantlets all over the strawberries. This is a strawberry! Every seed on the outside sprouted into a tiny plant!

QHIA & CRMS 8th - Continuing on our composting journey 8th graders took a look at how much food waste we produce and the global effects of how it decomposes in our landfills. We used a watermelon to see that there was over 75% food waste from one watermelon. We then weeded the garden beds, and added worm castings they harvested to the soil around their plants.  Students also learned about the native blue flax plant and tasted the golden flax seed.  They planted some in their garden beds and around campus, ending  the class collecting zinnia, sunflower, and marigold seeds.


Parking Lot DROP OFF/PICK UP of Students: (Nature Academy/QHIA) 

When dropping off and picking up students please pull over to the right side of the parking lot in order to give room to vehicles that need to pass on the left to exit. Families please be aware of students and staff coming and going in the parking lot.          -Thank you

Coast Redwood High School Information: Get to Know Cabrillo presentation and Cookies 

Friday, December 2nd, at 11:00 for the "Get To Know Cabrillo" presentation to all CRHS students.

Attending this presentation counts towards your advisory points!

Come say hello to your classmates, celebrate the almost end of the semester, and learn about all of the programs and opportunities Cabrillo has to offer.

Accessing Ms. Sims our counselor. or Ms. Geist our RSP teacher:  For family confidentiality, if you have individual appointments with Ms. Sims or Ms.Geist during school hours (8:00-3:00) please park outside of the CRHS staff parking lot gates and walk around to the right of the building (flag pole side), and access either of them through their outside office doors rather than walking through the high school Center room.


This notice is to inform you that Santa Cruz County has dropped to a lower status as it relates to COVID-19. While the County COVID rates may go up and down there is still a higher exposure potential in a school setting. Due to the potential of being exposed to someone with COVID-19 (both in and out of school), we encourage ALL students to follow the actions below to protect one another:  


  • CDPH recommends that students wear a mask while in indoor settings to protect themselves and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. High-quality masks with a good fit and filtration provide the best protection.  


  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, stay home, email your school site’s Health Office and get tested. You may pick up home test kits from any school site or the District Office. In addition, students can be tested at one of our Inspire testing locations.  


  • If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate at home and notify your students’ school site Health Office right away. 


This general notification will be sent each week in this Charter News in lieu of providing individual exposure notifications for COVID-19. Note that infections diagnosed in students and school staff are not necessarily the result of exposure at school, and when safety protocols are followed in schools, COVID-19 transmission remains more likely to occur outside of school settings. 


Thank you for considering this important information. We consider the health and wellbeing of our community a priority. Additional information can be found at 2022-2023 SLVUSD Students: General Protocol for Symptoms and Positive Test Results. 


Health Office Contact Information  Charter – [email protected] 



San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District


Student Nutrition Services: FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH

  • All SLVUSD students are eligible to receive a free breakfast and lunch through the cafeteria.
  • Complete the Free/Reduced Lunch Application at
  • Although a meal application is not necessary to receive free meals during the 2022-2023 school year, households are encouraged to complete a meal application to ensure that your school receives accurate funding. As well, your child’s eligibility for free or reduced lunch could qualify you for additional outside services or benefits including Free/Reduced Bus passes, student fee waivers, P-EBT, discounted utilities, and more.
  • Meals will be served from our Multi-use Room in the central area of the campus. 
    • Mondays: 11:45-12:15 
    • Tuesdays, Thursdays and a few Mondays  12:10 - 12:40
    • Wednesdays: 12:00-12:30
    • Fridays: 11:50-12:20
    • Breakfast will be available in the mornings from 8:00-8:30
    • Lunch will be served as followed:
    • CRHS students can order lunch and they can pick it up from the Charter multi-use room.
    • More details are coming from our Student Nutrition department. SLV Student Nutrition Services.


Volunteer Opportunities:

Volunteer opportunities are available at all school sites. Parent volunteers are especially important for the Charter programs. The registration process for volunteers is as follows:

Ø  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 be required to provide verification of a current TB result.  Also, all new volunteers will be required to be fingerprinted.


Ø  Returning Volunteer:  You will be required to provide verification of a current TB results. This documentation can be provided to your child's school site. The school site will forward current TB results to the Human Resources Office. You may also bring the proof of current TB results directly to the Human Resources Office.


PLEASE NOTE:  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.

Student Absences: REMINDER

For Nature Academy families, everyday that your child is absent from school you need to call our attendance line at 831-336-8527 to report their absence. Please leave your child's name, your name, and the reason for the absence.

For Homeschool families if your child will be absent from enrichment classes please contact your teacher of record to report their absence.

Parent Resources: Free online live tutoring now available. 

Students can now have 24-hour access to various resources, including live 1:1 tutors. This is a fantastic resource for our students and families. Here is the link to check it out: