Compass Chronicle

Compass Charter Schools | Spring 2021

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Spring is in the Air!

Happy Spring Compass Families!

We have had an incredible semester and start to the spring season with many accomplishments, special events, and accolades. I continue to be very proud of our Compass family, who work so diligently with scholars, parents, and staff to adapt, grow and thrive during this pandemic. Our team and families continue to exceed my expectations in reaching towards our Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of 100% of our eligible scholars graduating by the end of the school year!

It has been quite the busy season at Compass as we blossom into Spring! In February, we started the Compass Anti-Bias Task Force, as we were inspired by our current times and Black History Month. We hosted a Black History Month Assembly for all scholars on February 26. The assembly consisted of scholars reading their award-winning poetry and a special guest speaker Dr. Walter Milton Jr., Co-Author of Black History 365.

In March, Compass celebrated National Women’s History Month. We hosted a Women’s History Month Assembly for all scholars on March 19. Nicholette Parrish, a combat veteran and Spirit of American Field Representative presented her experience working in a male-dominated field. At the same time, scholars were invited to create a slide on a notable woman from history. We honored the female heroes at Compass, in our lives, and the world.

I had the privilege of being named a Top 100 Visionaries in Education by the Global Forum for Education & Learning (GFEL) for 2020-2021. GFEL highlights educational leaders, often the unsung heroes, for their unparalleled contributions by providing a platform for networking and learning amongst a closed group of award-winning peers from the industry.

More exciting news, Compass was awarded two 2021 Excellence in Communication Awards from the California School Public Relations Association (CalSPRA). We were awarded exemplary public relations contributions in our “Community Engagement Campaigns” at the CalSPRA Virtual Annual Conference, March 11-12. The awards were for our “April-May Blog Series – Support During the Covid-19 Pandemic” and the “May 2020 Compass Charter Schools’ Above and Beyond Campaign.” Compass thrives on being the Gold Standard in Virtual Education, and these awards illuminate our teachers’ and staffs’ expertise and support for families during these difficult times.

Enrollment at Compass is now open! It is very exciting as scholars re-commit to Compass and as we add new scholars from our waitlist for the upcoming 2021-22 school year! Check out our Virtual Information Sessions to learn more about all that Compass has to offer!

  • Thursday, March 18 at 4p

  • Tuesday, April 6 at 1p

  • Thursday, April 22 at 7p

  • Thursday, May 6 at 1p

  • Thursday, May 20 at 7p

  • Tuesday, June 1 at 1p

  • Wednesday, June 23 at 4p

As we finish off this school year strong, we focus on living out our ARTIC Core Values of Achievement, Respect, Teamwork, Integrity, and Communication; and we look forward to celebrating all our upcoming graduates in June!

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 Charter!

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AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination

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What's Been Happening in AVID?

Things are heating up in our AVID High School Electives! Mrs. Lomeli has been impressed with all scholars' commitment to sharing what AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) means to each of them as they think about and plan for their futures.

AVID Compass scholars have been hard at work annotating and collaborating on shared readings using Edji and FlipGrid! they are utilizing interactive web tools in learning labs, challenging scholars to connect virtually and share their voices with their peers in preparation for college and career readiness.

Collaboration is critical in our AVID elective component as scholars prepare for a rigorous high school and college schedule. And as they prepare for life after college and begin their careers. AVID equips them with skills necessary to navigate the workforce. As we continue to build for our futures, we will continue to use essential questions, note-taking strategies, and WICOR to deepen our core courses' learning. We end the year strong as we customize our individual academic portfolios!

Introducing our CCS AVID Next Generation Leaders -Two scholars, in particular, have demonstrated great leadership and academic preparedness this semester. Take a moment to get to know Careli and Laylani, AVID elective scholars with a very bright future!

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Counseling Services Department

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What's Been Happening in Counseling?

Can you believe there are just a few months left in the school year? Yes! Summer break is not so far away. We hope that before things get too busy with spring break, coursework, and finals, our scholars will begin planning to make the most of their time off during the summer. Scholars’ summer plans will vary depending on each scholar’s personal needs and situation. Perhaps some scholars have an interest in volunteering, working a job, attending summer school, taking their first community college class, or graduating and heading off into “the real world.” Whatever their plans may be, our counselors, including our college career counselor, are here to support them and help them achieve their summer goals!

The excitement continues in the counseling department! In February, we celebrated National School Counselor Week. The counseling team promoted being “All in for All Scholars” daily on our Twitter page. We are all so thankful for the appreciation that we received!

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Also, the counseling team was excited to attend the two-day virtual San Diego School Counselor Con: Reboot 2021. The event kicked off with a welcome message from Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools, and keynote speaker Tara Brown, an award-winning educator, author, and international speaker known as ‘The Connection Coach.’

We continue to provide our weekly Counseling Learning Lab and Morning Starter small groups. The attendance has been overwhelmingly fantastic, and we appreciate all the scholars that are attending weekly! Looking ahead, we are excited to start the planning process for the next school year. Returning scholars will be making course selections, while graduates will be busy planning their transition into life after high school.

We want to congratulate all of our Fall 2020 Graduates, where we had a total of 19 scholars complete their CCS graduation requirements. Here are some highlights of scholars who graduated with us upon completion of the Fall 2020 semester!

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Counseling Staff Spotlight: Meet Michelle Bateman, Counselor (Ru-Z)!

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Meet Michelle Bateman, Counselor!

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

    In my role as a School Counselor, I am an advocate and a resource for scholar academic, social, and emotional development. Our team collaboratively supports scholar goal achievement and preparation for post-secondary life through comprehensive school counseling services. I strive to empower lifelong learners with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed for success while highlighting the unique strengths already present in each scholar. Also, I collaborate and consult with Compass staff to increase our combined capacity for serving scholars and families. I've been a proud Compass team member for one year and eight months!

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

    I believe all scholars deserve a caring adult in their life and support developing their sense of awareness, belonging, confidence, and direction. I'm passionate about education and equity. By focusing on finding solutions and working together, I believe we can overcome any obstacle and foster success.

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

    No matter how experienced or educated you are, there is always something more to learn. It is okay not to know it all! Learning is a lifelong process.

    Share one thing about you that very few people know.

    Few people know that prior to being a school counselor, I worked in a variety of settings supporting scholars with disabilities. This included time as a tutor, instructional assistant, substitute teacher, and academic coach.

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

    My family and I love to travel (pre-pandemic), play games, watch Netflix, and eat! I also enjoy art, yoga, and cuddles with my cat Sheba.

    Counseling Success Stories

    Meet Eva Elizondo, Eleventh Grade Scholar

    Eva Elizondo is a scholar at our Compass of San Diego charter. After a challenging Fall semester- with COVID and everything else, Eva has put in the hard work both academically and personally to achieve amazing success this term! We are so proud of you, Eva!

    -Kiki Helton, Counselor

    “One of the hardest challenges I have had to overcome is finding my own pace in a world that is repeatedly changing. Lately, it seems like change is one of the most constant things in our lives. Every day there is something new, and at times it can be difficult to adapt. In school, it’s hard to adjust to the system or the workload. It is even harder to find the genuine motivation to get to work. Every so often, getting work done feels like an enormous feat but finding the motivation, even a little bit, can be like igniting a massive fire out of a small spark. It seems like an inconvenient process to search for the drive within yourself though it is even harder to attempt and get things done without it.

    'You can't always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place.' 'Personally, this quote encourages me to believe in myself and what I am working towards even if it seems like the finish line is blurry or nowhere to be found.”

    - Eva Elizondo, 11-Grade

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    Engagement Department

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    What's Been Happening in Engagement?

    Virtual Scholar Workshops!

    Our scholars continue to impress us each week with their skills and talents in our virtual scholar workshops! Together we experienced the historical Inauguration during our Inauguration Watch Party, completed our Garner Holt Productions animatronics series, and celebrated Spirit Week and Black History Month! We also read Ten on the Sled with Mrs. Arnheiter, celebrated Valentine’s Day, had our Springs Club Kick-Off, and had visits from the Museum of Tolerance, Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Kid’s Table, Walt Disney Family Museum, Environmental Nature Center, and Healthy Steps Nutrition and Crossfit!
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    Our scholars continue to enjoy our 26 active clubs including subjects like cooking, photography, STEAM, the arts, books, chess, coding, virtual field trips, and more!


    We have three outstanding winners to recognize for our February Steps Challenge! Congratulations to our first-place winner, Daria S. of CCS Yolo, for taking a total of 169,246 steps in February! We would also like to congratulate Pranathi M. of CCS Yolo for taking 167,345 steps and a scholar from CCS Los Angeles for taking 78,707 steps!

    Event Highlight!

    In February, we hosted our first Black History Month Assembly! Scholars had the opportunity to write and share poetry influenced by Black History Month. Each poetry entry was thoughtful and inspiring, and we are so proud of our scholars for their hard work!

    We also had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Milton, who spoke with scholars about the contributions that African Americans have made to American history in their struggles for freedom and equality, deepening our understanding of our Nation's history.

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    Special Education Department

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    What's Been Happening in Special Education?

    We are excited to announce the launch of Learning Ally. This reading program will help all of our scholars who are struggling with reading, not just those with an IEP. This program has over 15,000 titles read in a human voice rather than computer read. This program will help ensure that our scholars have access to participate and enjoy the same grade level readings that their peers are. Supervising teachers and Education Specialists will be able to add scholars who are good candidates for this program. This is a “soft” launch, and we hope to have it available schoolwide by the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

    Special Education Work Sample!

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    Staff Spotlight: Siobhann Shore, Education Specialist

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    What is your job title and job responsibilities at Compass?

    I am an Education Specialist, a case manager for scholars with special needs that need additional educational support.

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

    I love teaching virtually and working with scholars in small groups or 1:1. I think everyone here has been so nice and welcoming. I really am enjoying being a part of such a supportive online community.

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

    It is most important to remember that we really work for the scholars. Their success is our success, and our support in their learning journey matters a great deal for their future.

    Can you share one thing about you that very few people know?

    I have enjoyed studying at Oxford University in the Summer. I have an appreciation for 19th Century Victorian Literature.

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

    In a non-covid world, we love to go to museums, plays, Disneyland, Six Flags, explore, travel, and play.

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    Giving to Compass

    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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    Compass Charter Schools

    Visit our website for more information about our academic programs. Want to get connected? Give us a shoutout on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram: @CompassCS #CompassExperience