Charter News • February 10, 2019



“There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” ― George Shinn

Dear Parents,


Don’t forget! There is No School this Monday, February 11.  


Many of you may not remember that Master Gardener Melanie Burgess is taking every grade level in every Charter program into the garden related to their program and teaching them from the Junior Master Gardener curriculum. “The Junior Master Gardener program is an international youth gardening program of the university cooperative Extension network. JMG engages children in novel, “hands-on” group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind.”  The students are doing and learning fabulous life/gardening skills with Melanie. Hopefully, they have been sharing their activities with you throughout the year. The Jr. Master Gardening program is one of the additional curriculum opportunities Charter parents (through the Parent Advisory Committee) and teachers voted to have funded this year.


Please read further about some of the specific activities our students did with her the last couple week.


There is also an article from our Counselor as well as information about our upcoming information nights.


Enjoy some extra special hours with your family tomorrow,






From our Counselor: Those darn “Thought Monsters!”


Hello families! I often challenge my clients to imagine talking to another person the way that they talk to themselves when they’re stressed.  And their response is usually, “I couldn’t do that! They don’t deserve to be talked to like that!”. Isn’t it interesting that so many of us are so much more willing to have critical thoughts towards ourselves than toward another person?


In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), one of the main goals is to identify and call out these negative thoughts and challenge them. They can be hard to detect and sometimes it takes practice to get them to the surface. Sometimes small negative thoughts are attracted to each other and can form these big thought constructs that often overgeneralize and wage wars in our heads! I like to call these the “thought monsters”!  


“I’m too irresponsible....too broke….not good enough….not brave enough….I can’t do it....I’m not smart….I’ll hurt his/her feelings….I’m a bad parent….they’ll all laugh at me….my friends won’t like me...everybody talks about me” are some examples of these little irritating thoughts that often throw a monkey-wrench into our plans or goals and can cost us huge amounts of energy.  


These “thought monsters” can develop early on in childhood and last throughout our lives if we don’t learn to change them.  We all have them. We most likely created them to protect us in some way - perhaps from the pain and discomfort of failure, or being bullied, or from stress in relationships, etc.  But they often don’t serve us well anymore. Or do they?


David Burns, Ph.D., a professor at Stanford who developed “The Feel Good Institute” created a system for working with these thoughts that I learned in one of his workshops. He challenges clients to decide whether they REALLY want to change them!  How have they served us? Are we really ready to let them go? Most of his work involves us preparing ourselves to let these destructive thought patterns go in a series of written assignments. Great stuff!


One great tool to help break up these destructive thoughts is the “three question technique”.  It goes as follows:


Ask yourself the following three questions and if you answer “no” to at least two out of the three then you know your thought is irrational and probably coming from a “thought monster!”.

1. Is my thought based on fact?
2. Does my thought help me achieve my goals?
3. Does my thought help me feel the way I want to feel?


This month we will look for those pesky negative thought monsters through art, books, writing and narratives, and replace them with positive thoughts that serve us.  Keeping it light and fun is key!!



Notes from our Master Gardener, Melanie Burgess: Students in the Gardens


CRHS: The daffodils and Irises are starting to flower in all of the gardens.  In case you are wondering... February is the time to plant strawberries, to prune fruit trees and perennials, to trap gophers, to sow out cold weather crops.... And it's time to clean up the gardens from all the storm debris. This past week the class discussed how to prune fruit trees, lavenders, and salvias and other herbs.  We then pruned the Plum tree, all roses, lavenders, pineapple, and Russian sages, chives, thyme, oregano, fennel, Michaelmas daisies, and coreopsis. Students also wrote in their garden journals.

Nature Acad. 7th: (Rainy Day) We stayed indoors today and students started to work on our Leadership Project.  Students made Wildlife Food Garlands with hemp string and dried fruits. Some of these will be placed in the NA Garden, some will be sold at the May Plant Sale and a few were taken home with students for their home gardens.  All 7th graders will be doing this project.

Nature Acad. 8th: (Rainy Day) We stayed indoors today and students started to work on our Leadership Project.  Students made their page for "The 8th Graders Guide to Growing Veggies" book. Students chose a seed packet and filled out a page full of growing information and then drew a picture of the plant they chose.  They turned out amazing! All 8th graders will be doing this project.

Nature Acad. 6th: (Rainy Day) We stayed indoors today and students started to work on our Leadership Project.  Students made California Native Seed Bombs for their NA Garden, for the May Plant Sale and a few students took some home for their home gardens. They also were able to make beautiful cards to to accompany these. All 6th graders will be doing this project.

QH - 8th Graders - Discussed what ABP's are (Annuals, Biennials, and Perennials) identifying which plants are which in the garden and then - Wrote in garden journals- Transplanted a Thompson grape vine, kale, and more daffodil bulbs along the outside garden fence- Sowed watermelon radishes, purple carrots, and rainbow chard- Weeded some beds and the brick circle- Harvested arugula, kale and watermelon radishes and took back to classroom to share with all of the students.

Fall Creek - 4th Graders - Discussed seed spacing and then created folded 12x12 paper napkin grids. Used mixture of flour and water to "glue" seeds onto the grid using proper spacing for each type of vegetable - Wrote in garden journals - Planted 8 12x12 grids into the garden and covered with soil. We planted watermelon radishes, carrots, cabbage, Kale, and Scallions - Harvested red and green mustard greens and took back to the classroom to share with all of the students.

Coast Redwood Middle - All Students - Set up 4 blue half barrels and one large blue strawberry barrel in good sunny spots, filled them with soil and sowed seeds in them. - Seeded carrots, butterhead lettuce, scallions, watermelon radish, and kale in the blue barrels - Pruned the mint bed and the roses and blackberries along the fence. - Wrote in garden journals

PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Please come: Wednesday, February 13th from 3:00-4:00 pm.  I have updated our Comprehensive School Safety Plan and the district board is approving it now. It will be on our school website once it is approved.


It is time to start looking at the priorities for next year.  Please attend this meeting to discuss what is important to you for the coming year.  If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me directly. [email protected]  The Parent Advisory Committee is a critical component to ensure that parent input has a consistent say in the development of our programs that make up the Charter school.  



What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs.


CRHS: COLLEGE COUNSELING APPOINTMENTS ARE AVAILABLE NOW Individual college counseling appointments are now being scheduled. Please contact Mary Zilge <[email protected]> to set an appointment to get your questions answered, help with Cabrillo running start applications, scholarships and financial assistance or questions regarding FAFSA, future college considerations, etc.. Email Mary Zilge to set your appointment today! CBT WORKSHOP FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS This workshop is designed to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy concepts and activities to help students learn about themselves in ways that help them broaden their perspectives on college and career choices and prepare themselves for life during and beyond high school. Students will be invited to explore the content through discussion and activities in a 90 minute class (with a 15-minute break). This workshop is taught by Robin Bates, Charter Counselor.


CRMS: Project Presentation Packets: We will be getting you a fresh packet next Wednesday to continue developing your Semester 2 Project Presentations. Until you have the paper in your hand, feel free to brainstorm on regular paper, get those ideas flowing. :) We heard that the pacing help is effective, so have created new due dates for this semester. There are more sex ed lessons, which I am going to squeeze in between Parent Meetings. Next Parent Meeting is on February 13th.  Everyone is getting excited and working toward funding the Headwaters extended field trip. We went to the performance if Into the Well; it was great to see so many of our classmates on the stage!


Nature Academy: 6th-grade class is preparing for their trip to Headwaters,  they completed their Gods/Goddesses presentation and essay. They are completing their research on the weather of their specific country and will soon be completing their brochures.  7-8th graders are getting excited for their trip to the Catalina Islands. They are completing their African unit, and are busy with their balance mobile project (that includes a reflection on balancing the important elements in their personal lives).  They are also completing their Response to Literature based on their choice reading book.


Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): This past week, students began their unit on Magnetism in Physical Sciences and continued work in ALEKS math. In the afternoons, 6th graders finished their maps of India and worked on their nonfiction writing. 7th/8th graders worked on their research papers and we did an in-depth study of the Atlantic Slave Trade, Slavery in the United States, and the Abolitionist movement. This was very difficult, yet important information to convey and we had heartfelt discussions around many different aspects of what learned. Students in our charter play, Into the Well, have put in many hours of rehearsal and performance, and classmates supported their efforts on Thursday! We finished out our day with Improv and Theater techniques on the stage.


Quail Hollow Homeschool: We introduced the QH Homeschool play on Tuesday -Cinderella: A Modern Makeover. - Scripts will be handed out and parts will be announced on Tuesday as well as our first practice with Shireen.   We will be exchanging Valentine's after lunch on Thursday, February 14th. Valentine's can be made or store bought - it's really up to you.  Have fun and be creative. We attended the All Charter Play - It was so fun to see friends and classmates perform. It was awesome! After the play, we went up to the field and ate lunch.  We participated in a 4 lap (1 mile) run.


Fall Creek Homeschool: We attended the All Charter Play -  It was great to see friends and classmates perform. We listened to Ryan’s presentation of his research report on garnets. We looked at maps of the Pacific and Atlantic sea floors and noticed the cliffs, trenches, faults and seamounts. In our Rainbow Books, we drew an illustration of how Mauna Kea in the Hawaiian Islands is actually the tallest mountain in the world and why it is taller than Mt. Everest. Next Tuesday we have our parent meeting Among other important items, we will be talking about the future of our Booster Club and why it is so important to the class. Next week we have a field trip to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.


Mountain IS: I hope you all are enjoying practicing the lines and songs of the upcoming play! The children absorbed so much information and put some of it to use this week, with the help of the amazing Micha Scott. For those of you who don't know her, she is a New York trained dancer/choreographer. We are so lucky to have her! She's cutting the music to fit the play and dances, choreographed the dances and supporting the children in theatrics in general. Mary Beth is helping with set design and Sheila with songs. Some of our set came from previous play too! Even with all this support, we have a big job ahead with not a lot of time, so it is essential that children know their lines and songs by heart and are practicing every day at home.  



Community Opportunities: SLVFE is looking for a Bookkeeper/Treasurer:

San Lorenzo Valley Foundation for Education (SLVFE) seeks a Volunteer Bookkeeper/Treasurer who is enthusiastic about helping our schools and students thrive. The SLVFE brings resources to support all the schools in the district and has raised over $80,000 in the past three years. The bookkeeping entails using QuickBooks to produce monthly financial statements, tracking donations and reconciling accounts for several clubs and programs, and filing tax statements (990 EZ). Our current bookkeeper spends 4 to 8 hours per month and is ready to help you get up to speed. Thank you for considering using your talents to benefit the students in our community!  Questions? Please contact Bryan Largay at 831-234-1177 or [email protected]


Dates to Remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)

    • February 11th: No School
    • February 18th: No School
    • March 12: Information Night: All Hybrid Homeschool Programs
    • March 19: Information Night: Nature Academy
    • April 1st-5th: No School-Spring Break
    • April 19th: Coast Redwood High- 8th Grade Information Night 6-7pm
    • May 7th: Coast Redwood High-Open House 5:30-7 PM
    • May 27th:  No School-- Memorial Day
    • May 31st: Coast Redwood High Graduation Ceremony 12:30-2:00 PM