Compass Chronicle

Compass Charter Schools | September 2020

Welcome Fall!

Dear Compass Community,

It is hard to believe that we have nearly arrived in October. It is truly an honor that our families, both new and returning, have chosen Compass to guide their scholars on their unique educational journeys for the 2020-21 school year!

This year we welcome new principals and assistant principals to lead our three charters: CCS of Los Angles, CCS of San Diego, and CCS of Yolo. We are fortunate to have such a dynamic staff of leaders and passionate visionaries supporting our staff in their support of our scholars.

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

Finally, I also encourage all of our scholars and their families to make connections this year and take advantage of all the resources and unique learning opportunities that Compass has to offer. I look forward to sharing a successful 2020-21 school year with each of you!

Forever Loud & Proud,

J.J. Lewis

Superintendent & CEO

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AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination

What's Been Happening in AVID?

As a certified AVID site, our goal is to continue to grow a college and career going culture of excellence. With two A-G approved AVID Election sections to offer for Options and Online High School scholars, paired with a goal to grow AVID school-wide, we kicked off the 2020-21 school year with all hands on deck with all academic staff attending AVID Digital XP, a professional development opportunity.

This training deepened our understanding and commitment to growing AVID across all grade levels at CCS by implementing WICOR strategies, building relationships, and providing opportunities for all scholars to succeed. During our Learning Labs and Connection Meetings, CCS staff will share resources with LC’s and scholars to help them activate their learning by using note-taking, reading and writing strategies, and collaborative activities that help all encourage success in our rigorous learning environments.

We are excited to offer virtual College Tours and engagement opportunities with guest speakers and community outreach projects throughout the year. Stay tuned for more information on our AVID Elective Information Sessions in our MMU.

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Counseling Services Department

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What's Been Happening in Counseling?

The Compass Charter Schools Counseling Department is thrilled to be back for the 2020-2021 school year! We are very much enjoying reconnecting with our returning families and welcoming new scholars and learning coaches into the Compass family.

We feel so fortunate to be welcoming a new Counselor to our team this year! Mrs. Kiki Helton has joined our counseling team as of August 2020 and has seamlessly transitioned into her role as a CCS counselor.

We have several exciting changes this year, including weekly Middle School Counseling Learning Labs, that will take place every Thursday at noon. A sample of topics that will be covered includes Multiculturalism, Social Media & Cyber Bullying, SMART Goal Setting, Body Image, Mindfulness, and Organization! These learning labs will be led by our credentialed school counselors via Zoom Conferencing, and will be interactive and a lot of fun!

This, of course, is in addition to our High School Counseling Learning Lab, which will continue to take place every Tuesday at noon. A sample of topics that will be covered includes Growth Mindset, Scholarships, and Financial Aid Basics, College Briefing, Coping Toolbox, and Healthy Relationships, to name a few!

Counselor Spotlight: Kiki Helton!

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

My job title is Counselor, and I began working at Compass in August 2020! My responsibilities include scheduling, credit checks, academic supports, SEL instruction, and advocating for and supporting our scholars, learning coaches, and staff in any way that I can!

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

I love being involved in identity development and life-path planning that goes on during these formative adolescent years. I connect best with scholars one-on-one or in small group settings. My personality lends itself to being a helper, connector, and confidant; thus, counseling and all that it entails aligns with my talents and character and my passions.

Is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

Work hard, don’t limit yourself, and show kindness in all you do!

Share one thing about you that very few people know.

I had a speech impediment growing up that made me even shyer than I naturally would have been! I didn’t feel like I owned my voice until later into my high school years.

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

I have a five-year-old and two-year-old, so we love to swim, hang out at the beach and parks (when they are re-opened ;) Anywhere there is water to jump in, you can count me in.

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Scholar Spotlight: Samantha Garcia!

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Samantha is a sophomore scholar at Compass Charter Schools, attending CCS of YOLO’s Online Program. Samantha came to CCS in August of 2019 as an incoming Freshman and was completely new to the virtual school experience. Despite some initial reservations about independent learning, she quickly adapted to her new environment and has since soared as an online scholar. Samantha thrives in the virtual setting and truly enjoys being an independent learner. When asked about her experience here at Compass Charter Schools, Samantha had this to say:

“When I first came into the Compass family, I was genuinely scared, because it was my first year of being in any online schooling program. Now, after a year, I'm genuinely dreading ever leaving Compass. I've become so used to the unity of Compass; it's a part of me now. Long Live Compass!”

Samantha, we are so incredibly proud of how far you have come in just one short year! You continue to amaze us with your persistence, grit, and humor! Thank you for making us all smile.

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Engagement Department

What's Been Happening in Engagement?

We hosted our first-ever virtual graduation in June to celebrate our Class of 2020! Though we couldn’t be together in person, it was such a joy to recognize and celebrate our graduates through our graduation in a box and virtual commencement ceremony. Following the ceremony, we hosted a virtual reception for all of our graduates. It was such a joy to see each scholar attend with their families and celebrate the accomplishments of our 2019-20 12th grade graduates!

In place of our annual Back to School picnics this year, we kicked off the 2020-21 school year with a Back to School celebration hosted by our Superintendent & CEO, J.J. Lewis! During the celebration, we recognized the achievements of our Kindergarten, 5th, and 8th-grade scholars and heard from our keynote speaker, Jim Van Allan of The Energy Bus! This celebration was a great way to jump into the new school year with fun and positive energy.

On September 23, we had our annual Virtual Scholar Clubs Kickoff. We launched 26 clubs for scholars to enjoy this year including: Adulting 101, Arts and Crafts Club (Elementary, Middle and High School), Awesome Elementary Artist’s Club, Book Club, Chess Club, Computer Code Club, Cooking Club, Gardening Club, Geography Bee Club, Genders & Sexualities Alliance, LEGO Club, Minecraft Club, Music Club, National Honor Society, Peer Mentoring Club, Performing Arts Club (Middle and High School), Photo Club, Pickleball Club, Scholar Leadership Council, STEAM Challenge Club, Science Fair Club, Spelling Bee Club, Virtual Field Trips Club, and We Dine Together.

We are currently running our first contest of the year! We are kicking off the 2020-21 school year with a Back to School video contest! We have invited our scholars to send us a Back to School video that shares about themselves, their favorite summer activities, and what they’re looking forward to most this year. We will be wrapping up this contest at the end of September and are looking forward to seeing all of the creative video submissions!

Meet our Engagement Team!

Rebecca MacAlpine, Director of Engagement

As the Director of Engagement, I get to design and implement engagement activities virtually and throughout the regions that we serve (note in-person events are currently on hold). I am so grateful for the opportunity to help scholars make lifelong memories. Our engagement activities include field trips, virtual scholar workshops, contests, scholar clubs, Learning Coach Academy, 8th-Grade Promotion, High School Graduation, and more! I am passionate about helping scholars fall in love with learning and ensuring they receive the support that they need to succeed. Outside of my professional life, you'll find me spending time with my family and friends or on our city trail going for a run!

Danielle DelNegro, Engagement Specialist

As the CCS Engagement Specialist, I have so much fun creating experiences for our scholars that expand their love for learning! Everyone has unique interests and I truly enjoy providing our scholars' opportunities to explore their own. In my free time, I enjoy laying on the beach, dancing, and hanging out with my dog.
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Special Education Department

What's Been Happening in Special Education?

The Special Education Department has grown! We are so happy to have three new Education Specialists and a Special Education Clerk to support the Special Education Department this year. We welcomed Susan Barry, Marki Salcido, Tania Serrano, and Gabriela Gonzalez to our team. Our teachers have been busy getting to know their families they will be serving for the 2020-21 school year. We are all excited to share in the educational journey with all of our amazing scholars.

Special Education Spotlight: Gabriela Gonzalez- SPED Clerk

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

My job title is Special Education Clerk and I work with the special education team to carry out administrative and data tracking tasks. This is my first year carrying out this position, however, prior to this I worked for Compass under the capacity of a counselor for three years, so I guess you can kind of say I'm starting year four although I had a one year break in between.

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

I came back to the Compass family because it is a great organization to work for. The scholars, parents, and passionate people who work here are wonderful! I am an aspiring school psychologist and hope to start applying to graduate schools in the fall of 2020. I am very fortunate to have been given this opportunity in the special education department as the first step to immersing myself in the field.

Is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

At-home learning provides a great deal of flexibility to do so much while still attending "school" but it can be isolating for some scholars. My advice is to seek out opportunities to form connections with staff, as well as connections with people in the outside world. I know right now the world is a little different with how this looks, but connections and involvement in outside activities can still be possible.

Share one thing about you that very few people know.

One thing that very few people know about me is that I get bored easily, but this, coupled with my love for learning actually works in my favor. I'm always looking for something new to learn or something new to try out. I like adventure and the unknown.

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

I love to travel with my family, especially to explore new places. We enjoy learning about the local culture and often take the unbeaten path when visiting places. Closer to home we like to build with Lego, enjoy each other's company watching movies, and go fishing on the pier.

This is a picture of me when my family and I visited the '7 Magic Mountains' art installation near Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Giving to Compass

Your donation to Compass Charter Schools 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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Compass Charter Schools

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