Compass Chronicle

Compass Charter Schools | December 2021

Seasons Greetings From Our Superintendent J.J. Lewis!

Dear Compass Family,

As we are in the midst of this holiday season, I reflect on what an incredible Compass community we have! I am so proud of how our staff and families come together to help support and uplift each other every step of the way.

Our families have been exceptional in partnering with us at Coffee with Compass, the Parent Advisory Council, Scholar Leadership Council, Learning Coach Support Sessions, and more. Together, we are creating a fantastic Compass Experience for all of our stakeholders, and that is what makes Compass the Gold Standard in virtual and personalized education!

We are excited to launch our #ChooseCompass campaign this winter season as we celebrate all the incredible staff and services that Compass has to offer. Share why you chose Compass with us @CompassCs!

Our school-wide WIG (Wildly Important Goal) is that 100% of our eligible scholars will graduate by the end of the 2020-21 school year. This goal has kept our teachers and staff diligently on task and has motivated us towards excellence. We focus every day on accomplishing both small and large achievements with our scholars to work towards this goal. And it is not possible to achieve this WIG without the support of each and every one of you!

The Compass Chronicle is our quarterly newsletter, full of important information and exciting news about Compass Charter Schools. I hope you enjoy learning more about our scholars, families, staff, and the fantastic work in and out of the virtual classroom!

Finally, I encourage all of our scholars and their families to be involved in all that Compass has to offer, and if we do not provide it, let us know! (Virtual Suggestion Box for Scholars and Virtual Suggestion Box for Parents). We are always looking for new ideas or ways to build on already existing programs. Compass is a family, and you are an integral part of our family. It is truly an honor that our new and returning families have chosen Compass to guide their scholars on their unique educational journeys!

Forever Loud & Proud,

J.J. Lewis

Superintendent & CEO


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Check Out AVID, Counseling, Engagement, and Special Education Below and Click on Your Program’s Newsletter Here:

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Advancement Via Individual Determination

Our AVID Elective scholars have been hard at work learning how to use the Focused Notes Process in their core academic courses. As they complete their notes, they add to their scholar eBinder.

Our Academic Portfolio eBinders, help utilize the “O” in WICOR as they focus on organizing their work in our virtual setting. The scholars demonstrate digital literacy and technical skills as they add their notes, whether typed in Google Suite or uploaded pictures handwritten or sketchnotes. All of our AVID scholars have been working hard to organize their drives, update their eBinders, and share their progress.

In December, we will be celebrating Genius Hour, where all scholars will present a research project on something they are passionate about. Currently, we are hard at work applying WICOR strategies as we research and prepare to share on one of the following platforms, Instagram, podcast, blog, or vlog, as a way to showcase their passion project. Stay tuned for more information on our Genius Hour celebrations!

One scholar, in particular, has been working extremely hard in school, demonstrating a Growth Mindset as he manages a full workload and extracurricular activities. Gabe D.S. shows ARTIC values and is a leader in our AVID Elective as he shares ideas, takes ownership of his learning, and shares ideas on how we can continue to grow our elective.

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AVID Scholar Success Story: Meet Gabe D.S.!

Why did your family choose to learn from home instead of a traditional school building?
Before Compass Charter Schools, I had attended a traditional elementary school. Our community middle school was large, and we were concerned that I might have difficulty navigating the school's multiple classrooms, teachers, and cliques. Compass allowed me to learn without the distractions of a standard middle school. In addition, my grandmother had retired from being a teaching assistant at my elementary school and was available and willing to be my learning coach for 6-grade. COVID hit just after we began with Compass, and we did not have to adjust our learning because of the school shutdowns. My 6-grade at Compass was so successful that we decided to continue for the remainder of middle school.

Does learning from home help you achieve your goals? If yes, please explain how.
Yes, learning from home helps me to achieve my goals. I find working without distractions keeps me focused on my daily school assignments. If I continue to do well with Compass, my goal is to attend a strong, academic high school.

How does AVID help you with College and Career Readiness and your future goals?
AVID has helped me with creating a strategy for building and managing short and long-term goals. I have learned how to develop solid and firm plans that will be completed by a set date. Time management is one of the strengths that I want to build on.

What do you enjoy about being in the AVID Elective? Would you recommend it to other scholars? Why or why not?
Being in the AVID Elective has helped me think about my current short and long-term goals and create stronger ones. Therefore, I would recommend AVID Elective to other scholars, especially if they need help building goals and getting organized.

WICOR- What has been your favorite assignment or Learning Lab in AVID, and what can you tell me about WICOR?
WICOR stands for Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading. I enjoy the Genius Hour assignments. I find it engaging in creating my podcast, vlog, blog, or Instagram page.

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What's New in Counseling?

Our Counseling team has released two resources for scholars and families.

First is our Counseling Go-To Guide, which provides vital information and program offerings of our Counseling Department.

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Second is our VLOG resource library, which provides short recorded videos on general counseling topics, Social-Emotional Learning, Academic Planning, and College & Career Resources.
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Meet Mataya Olson, College and Career Readiness Counselor!

What is your job title, and what are some things you do at Compass Charter Schools? How long have you worked for this organization?

I am in my fourth year as the College Career Readiness Counselor at Compass Charter Schools. In this role, I support scholars in college and career planning, obtaining work permits, and concurrent enrollment.

Tell us your “why” for doing what you do here at Compass?

I love the aspects of college and career and how it is constantly evolving. It is especially rewarding to help scholars plan for what is next after high school. There are so many possibilities, and it is incredible to see each scholar’s unique passions and interests.

As an educator, is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

It is never too early to start thinking about college and a career! There are many great opportunities available to middle and high school scholars. The earlier you start planning, the more aware and prepared you will be.

What do you and your family like to do during your free time?

I love spending free time with my dog and cat (Penny and Noodle), outdoor activities, and painting.

Counseling Scholar Success!

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In the counseling group, Ready to Launch, high school scholars have been completing career profiles on the 15 California Industry Sectors. Check out some of the scholar-created career profiles below!

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Field Trips!

In-person field trips have continued to be a great joy this year! Scholars have visited locations all over California including Burbank Music Academy, Discovery Cube Orange County, iFly Sacramento, Petco Park, Dodger Stadium, Sacramento Zoo, The Sawdust Factory, Tanaka Farms, Lil’ Chef School, iFly Ontario, San Diego Zoo, iFly Hollywood, Bates Nut Farm, Discovery Cube Los Angeles, Fleet Science Center, Gentle Barn, and Brass Rubbings Medieval Arts Center. Check out the Monday Morning Update each week for our latest field trip offerings!

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Virtual Scholar Workshops!

We’re thrilled to be offering our virtual scholar workshops again this year and have sincerely enjoyed connecting with our scholars through these offerings! Scholars have experienced a variety of workshops so far including: National Hispanic Heritage Month Assembly, Megapixels Drawing Workshops, Kids’ Table Baking Workshops, Fall Spirit Week, First Nations Heritage Month Assembly, and our Veteran’s Day Assembly! Check out the Monday Morning Update each week for our Virtual Scholar Workshop releases!
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Spirit Week/Red Ribbon Week!

Our Fall 2021 Spirit Week celebrated Red Ribbon Week’s theme of “Drug-Free Looks Like Me”! Dress up days included - Proud to Be Drug-Free - Wear Red, I Have the Power to Be Drug-Free - Dress Up as Your Favorite Superhero, Loud & Proud to be Drug-Free - Wear Compass Charter Schools Colors, Team Up Against Drugs - Wear your Favorite Sports Team's Jersey, and Drug-Free Looks Like Me - Dress Up as Your Favorite Hobby (I.e. Cheerleader, surfer, golfer, etc.). There was a poster contest, photo contest, and two virtual scholar workshops for this special week!
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Scholar Clubs!

Our scholars and scholar club advisors have been meeting once a month and regularly interacting via Google Classroom. We have 36 clubs up and running this school year, and we have had excellent scholar participation! During club meetings, scholars have been selecting officers, getting to know each other through some fun ice breakers, and have been able to share in the fun and exciting projects! For example, scholars in our Cooking Club made quite the spread during their last meeting full of beef tacos, fresh pico de gallo, and chocolate chip cookies. Our Arts and Crafts Club advisors taught scholars how to paint a landscape with gouache paints, and our Music Club prepared for their December performance!

Check out our newest club, The Firebird Report, below! Our scholars are learning how to present their very own newscast of our weekly Monday Morning Update!

The Firebird Report - Week of November 22, 2021

Learning Coach Academy!

Learning Coaches have been joining our Orientation Coordinator, Ashley Daugherty, every Monday at 10 am to go over important learning coach topics to help them be the best learning coaches for their scholars. Issues discussed during Learning Coach Academy so far include getting digitally organized, making learning fun at home, enhancing ClassLink for scholars, tips and tricks on motivation, and learning coach responsibilities and expectations.

Meet Danielle DelNegro, Engagement Coordinator!

What is your job title and job responsibilities at Compass? How long have you worked for this organization?

I have worked at Compass for over five years now! I am now the Engagement Coordinator and have the pleasure of planning engagement activities, including field trips, virtual scholar workshops, Back to School picnics, senior graduations, 8-grade promotions, end-of-year celebrations, and more!

Tell us your “why” for doing what you do here at Compass.

When I was growing up, I was very aware that I didn’t learn in the same ways as many of my classmates. I learned by watching and being hands-on while much of my schoolwork consisted of reading. I’m proud to work at a school like Compass, where scholars can choose their learning style to support their learning needs. I also love providing our scholars with the opportunity to explore their passions and the thought that they may find a passion that sticks with them for life!

Is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars? My advice to learning coaches and scholars would be to use all of the fantastic opportunities and resources at your fingertips! There are so many available to you, and if you’re unsure how to access them, connect with a staff member to show you the ropes. It will enhance your experience!

What do you and your family like to do during your free time?

In my free time, I am usually dancing! Dance is my passion and has stuck with me for life, and is why engagement is so important to me.

Share one thing about you that very few people know.

One thing few people know about me is that I love challenging my comfort zone. One of my favorite experiences is skydiving out of a C-17 Jet with Navy Seals!

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What's Been Happening in Special Education?

The Special Education team is in the process of being certified in the techniques of Orton-Gillingham. The Orton-Gillingham Approach is a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy when reading, writing, and spelling do not come easily to individuals with dyslexia. It is most properly understood and practiced as an approach, not a method, program, or system. In the hands of a well-trained and experienced instructor, it is a powerful tool of exceptional breadth, depth, and flexibility. We are excited to add this level of support for our scholars who are struggling with literacy!

Parent Resources

The Special Education Department has been working on its focus on transition for our high school scholars. Please see these great resources from the California Career Center to start preparing your scholar for postsecondary education and employment. There is information on career exploration, money management, and getting a job. Find more information here, at

Meet Jessica White, Special Education Tutor!

What is your job title and job responsibilities at Compass? How long have you worked for this organization?

I’ve worked for Compass for one month. I give direct Specialized Academic Instruction to scholars directly on Zoom, helping them meet their IEP (Individualized Education Program) goals and gain prerequisite skills. I work under the guidance of their case managers, planning lessons and communicating with guardians and other staff. I’m also here to substitute, chaperone field trips, and contribute to our school.

Tell us your “why” for doing what you do here at Compass.

It is meaningful to me to facilitate skill sets and knowledge that scholars will use all their lives. I care about our scholars, and I want to see them grow and know they have people in their corner who will support and guide them while letting them be themselves. I’m also an inquisitive person, and I like to explore and foster that curiosity with scholars.

As an educator, is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

“People will forget what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Therefore, we model how we want to treat each other in teaching and create a safe, comfortable learning environment.

Share one thing about you that very few people know.

Very few people know that I am learning how to watercolor.

What do you and your family like to do during your free time?

I like to listen to podcasts, play instruments, and play relaxing video games. My brother and I love hiking with his chihuahua. He’s teaching me about sports so that I can pretend to care when he talks about it! :) My family and I like comedy, Scrabble, and dancing.

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Compass Charter Schools is a non-profit charter school. Your donation helps enhance and expand the Compass Experience for our scholars, learning coaches, and staff.

The easiest way to give is online at

If you can make a gift, the Compass family will benefit greatly.

Do not forget to check if your company will match your donation to Compass. It is an excellent way to SUPER-SIZE your donation! Thank you!

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Are you enjoying the educational experience at Compass? Tell us! We want to hear from you. Why did you decide to join the Compass family? Or, what do you love most about being part of our community? Share you comments and all of your wonderful experiences at Compass with us! Click here to share.
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