ORVA Family Newsletter

September 2016

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Our First ORventure of the Year! Many dates/locations to choose from... September 2016

Kick-off the new school year at Pokémon Go & Popsicles in the Park event! We will be doing fun Pokémon themed activities for all ages and enjoying yummy popsicles. You don’t need to have a device to participate, we hope to see you there!

For full event details and registration visit:



Visit ORVA on Facebook and stay informed with our daily posts!

Visit Oregon Virtual Academy on our Facebook Page, there is always something new and interesting, from updates on current tech issues to upcoming outings and more! Be sure to "like" us and keep up with our newsfeed.
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Customer Support Open Office Hours on Wednesday, Sept. 21

The Customer Care team is hosting two sessions this week to provide you with support in: Online Middle School navigation and more.

  • School Email
  • Account setup
  • How to check progress of child
  • Logging Attendance
  • Computer Eligibility details and shipping information

Sessions will be held this week on Wednesday, September 21.

Go to: https://www.help.k12.com/s/ for information on how to join the sessions, or click the embedded links below.

Session 1: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 5 am – 9 am pacific time.

Session 2: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 10 am – 2 pm pacific time.
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Upcoming Assessments

All grades K-12 will participate in either curriculum screening or other assessments that will provide progress and growth information. The initial assessments will be used to provide baseline data that will guide our instructional practices as we place students in tier levels of interventions. The data will also provide information regarding targeted instruction for individualized group instruction. There will be three assessment windows in the fall, winter, and spring. The data will be a great resource for our ORVA learning community.

Please let your homeroom or advisory teachers know if you have any questions about your students' assessments.

Learning Coach Luncheon

Come join us for the Learning Coach luncheon. You will see it on your student's or your learning coach class connect schedule. This is a session for Learning Coaches to come meet other Learning Coaches, hear tips and tricks and ways to make your school day go smoothly. We will also do are best to answer any questions that you might have. These luncheons will be at Noon twice per month.

Learning Coach Luncheon Upcoming Dates:

9/28/16- Navigating the Online School-Day in a life of an ORVA student

10/12/16- Helpful tips and benefits of taking breaks

10/26/16- To be announced

11/09/16- To be announced

11/30/16-To be announced

12/14/16- To be announced

More dates to come.....

Special Education Learning Coach Seminars

The Special Education team is hosting 6 Learning Coach Luncheons tailored for the unique needs of LC’s with students who have disabilities and individual education plans. The "Luncheons" are on the third Wednesday of the month at 3:00 p.m. We are skipping December, March and April due to winter holiday, spring break and OACCS/OAKS testing. The dates and topics for our sessions are below. We hope to see you there!

9/21/16 - Co-Teaching and Inclusion
10/19/16 - Understanding Your IEP
11/16/16 - Study Skills / Setting Up Your Space
1/18/17 - Behavior Strategies
2/15/17 - Diploma Options
5/17/17 - Avoiding Summer Regression

Learning Coach University

K12 Learning Coach University™ was created to support the Learning Coaches who guide the schooling of their children at home. Online classes provide a clearer understanding of the developmental process of learning as well as effective strategies and resources to use at home to help every child succeed. Click here to view the September sessions.

Building Stamina for the School Year - Changing Our Brains by Keena Hormel

I was at a conference last spring and I heard the speaker Eric Jensen say, "The brain can change."

When I heard those words I knew that there was work to be done. However, being able to work through challenges and achieve goals doesn't happen overnight.

Getting back into the routine of school is hard enough when the weather is still acting like it is summer. Our brains need help in building stamina for the year. Just like training for any big race, we have to start to build capacity or stamina so the brain can change.

  • Increase daily work time incrementally
  • Take breaks - (brain breaks, stretch breaks, lunch breaks, play time breaks)
  • Drink water - hydration is necessary
  • Encourage persistence - effort is key to grow and change
  • Specific goals help develop intrinsic motivation and growth mindset
  • Teach positive self talk
  • Model persistence without demotivating think and share about a time that didn't go as planned and you had to adapt.

Set goals, celebrate successes, and keep working on things that are challenging. Let's work together to build stamina that will last all year.

FRC Corner

Welcome to the FRC Corner! This section is intended to provide support services and resources for students and families. Each month there will be a new topic with information on a wide range of social-emotional topics, including preventative school-wide initiatives, psychoeducation, community resources, and tips for coping with life's challenges.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. At the end of September, ORVA will be providing support and resources around issues of suicide prevention, including warning signs, support services, and community resources. As suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults, and can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background - we feel it is important to educate the ORVA community on this issue.

Community Resources:

  • Oregon YouthLine is a resource that allows youth to call, chat, or text to connect to an adult that will offer counseling/support anytime of the day. In addition, from 4:00pm - 10:00pm every day, trained teen volunteers are also available to answer calls, texts, and chats.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers support groups, a stateside resource referral helpline, and information about community resources.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention and recovery in English and Spanish.

ORVA Support:

Did you know that you can receive virtual therapeutic support services at ORVA? We have two School Counselors and a Family Resource Coordinator (me!) who are passionate about advocating for and equipping students with tools and support, based on their social-emotional needs. We are trained in mental health, crisis response, and case management and utilize a holistic approach to address the barriers getting in the way of students' personal and academic success.

If you or someone your know needs support, please contact us using the information below. If you would like put in a report anonymously, please visit ORVA's SafeSchools Alert reporting system.

Spotlight: Carissa Trepka, Senior Advisory Teacher

Hello ORVA Families!

I am Carissa Trepka, Senior Advisory Teacher at ORVA. This is my second year working for ORVA and I am so excited to be working with the seniors and helping everyone graduate. I moved to Oregon (Portland) about six years ago from Michigan where I graduated from Michigan State University (Go Green!) with a degree in School Social Work. I am very grateful to be a part this virtual learning environment, and to be serving you and your families. I wish you all a wonderful school year!

Maintaining Activity While Doing Online Learning

Maintaining Activity While Doing Online Learning

by Ashley Lopez, Family Support Liaison

Online learning is a wonderful option for families needing more flexibility for their busy lives, those who live far from their local school district, those with active lifestyles, or those looking for a different learning experience for their students. Sometimes, though, the learning environment can become one of inactivity and that can become frustrating for students and Learning Coaches alike!

Learning is not something that has to occur in a bubble- stuck in front of a computer for hours a day with no movement. There are always going to be times when your student will need to remain at their computers; during homeroom, while completing online assignments, or while doing assessments or tests. However, there are plenty of ways for your student to learn while active and away from their chairs!

· Allow for “wiggle breaks” regularly! No matter the age- everyone needs the time to stand up and move around. Sitting for too long actually makes your brain less effective! In his book “A User’s Guide to Brain” author John Ratey likens exercise to “Miracle-Gro for the brain”. Regular movement and activity has been shown to improve a child’s memory, ability to concentrate, and general positivity about a situation. So, while it may seem distracting to allow your student to go play outside for twenty minutes in between lessons- remember that activity will benefit his or her learning when they sit back down again!

· Use your neighborhood and city as a built-in field trip! There are plenty of areas around our own homes that can be used as field trips and hands-on activities that complement the things that your student is learning in their classrooms. A nature walk can turn into a biology lesson about plants and animals, the beach can be a science lesson about the tides, local historical sites can go along with history lessons, and art shops around town can provide art history lessons. Check the museums or zoos in your area for “free” days in which to take advantage of extra activities.

· Utilize your daily tasks to your advantage! Cooking and baking are great activities to have your child use their math lessons. Fractions, double recipes, dividing cakes or meatloaves into equal amounts, or even just counting out the utensils and plates needed to set the table allows your student to use their studies in real-world applications. Have them practice their handwriting by making your grocery list for you, even!

Being active while participating in online learning requires a conscious and purposeful plan, but it is not only do-able, it is an important habit to implement to keep your students successful! So go get your wiggles out and have fun learning!

K12 Student Clubs

K12 offers a variety of student clubs where like-minded students can share their areas of interest. These clubs are offered typically two times a month, and last one hour. Browse our 2016–2017 club listings by clicking here, and register for your favorite clubs today!
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Student Work Spaces!

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