Compass Chronicle

Compass Charter Schools | March 2020

Scholars and Learning Coaches,

During this trying time, we hope to bring light into your life with our inspiring scholar and staff stories. It has been a very busy and productive winter at Compass Charter Schools. We look forward to the renewal of spring and the warmth bringing health and positivity back into all of our lives. This crisis situation gives us time to slow down and reflect on past and present lessons and experiences. It gives us time to reflect on what truly matters, spend time with those we love, enhance our health and well-being, and perhaps create something amazing or learn something new!

There is so much to be proud of at Compass, and so much going on in and out of the classroom. This newsletter is full of important information and updates about Compass Charter Schools’ Online Elementary, Middle, and High School and Options Program.

Semester 2 is well underway, and Compass continues to welcome new scholars into our family. Not part of the Compass family, but intrigued about the Compass Experience? Great news – enrollment is now open for the 2020-21 school year! Consider joining our family today for the upcoming year!

Is there something specific you'd like to see in the newsletter? We have Virtual Suggestion Boxes for scholars, as well as parents, where you can share your input on Compass Charter Schools. We review these monthly with our Parent Advisory Council, Scholar Leadership Council, and Staff Advisory Committee. Feel free to share your suggestion(s) today to help us continue to enhance the educational experience for our scholars.

I encourage you to share your thoughts and goals for your year of possibilities with your teachers and peers! Continue to keep up the great work as we continue on with our second semester.

Forever Loud & Proud,

J.J. Lewis, Superintendent & CEO


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Check Out AVID, Counseling Services, Engagement & Special Education on This Page & Then Click on Your Program Newsletter Below!

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AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination

AVID is designed to increase school-wide learning and performance. The CCS AVID program focuses on providing access to four-year college and career-readiness supports for all scholars so that they are prepared for life after high school. With AVID as their tool, scholars and families engage in courses that are focused on college and career readiness topics and strategies.

Compass, a Certified AVID Site, supports scholars through the school-wide implementation of AVID Instructional strategies and the High School AVID Elective course. Scholars are invited into the AVID elective based on criteria such as grades, attendance, motivation, and potential. Learning Coaches and scholars are also encouraged to self-advocate into the course by completing the AVID Elective Request form. Or contact our school’s AVID Program Coordinator at, or attend one of our weekly AVID Support Sessions Monday or Wednesday at 1 pm, using this link.

CCS AVID Scholar Profile

  • Good work ethic

  • Desire to become a more proficient scholar

  • A need for academic coaching/ support

  • Needs a career path after graduation

What's New in AVID?

In the latest CCS blog, hear about scholar Elijah and how AVID is helping him succeed!
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Counseling Services Department

Counseling News

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 January, the counseling team attended the CCS all-staff retreat in San Diego. Our team enjoyed collaborating in-person and walked away with new ideas for our program to support our scholars better. In February, we celebrated National School Counselor Week. The counseling team promoted “Building Better Humans” daily on our Twitter page. We are all so thankful for the appreciation that we received!

Counseling Spotlight

Meet Mandi Schwartzberg, Academic Counselor!

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

I am the counselor for scholars’ last names M-R for grades 6 through 12. I work with both Online and Options scholars. I address topics related to academic and graduation planning, social-emotional topics and concerns, as well as supporting career and post-secondary guidance. I have been with Compass since October 2016!

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

My “why” is multi-faceted. One, I am here because I have a calling to help. I thoroughly enjoy learning about my scholars and their families and being a sounding board or the go-to for their needs. Also, I believe that all scholars can find success, and the online format is truly a life-saver for so many of them. Our school is a safe-haven and home to so many that did not fit in a traditional setting. That is rewarding all on its own. I am honored to be part of this CCS family.

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

My advice to scholars and learning coaches would be to be open to the growth that our school is enduring. It is always good to aim bigger and better, and CCS is changing in order to support a broader range of scholars and to keep up with the ever-changing world of education. Change is good!

Counseling Stories: Meet Rachel Dougans, CCS Fall 2019 Graduate!

What has been your greatest joy in schooling at home?

My greatest joy is the freedom and independence I have in managing myself. It can get confusing and stressful at times, but I can always get help from my mother, teachers, and counselor. Being with CCS gave me a safe environment to manage my time and to make mistakes that I could learn from.

How does Compass support scholars?

My teachers and counselors were always there to support me when I was going through hard times. They would always make time, so I did not ever have to worry about reaching out to them; because they care about my happiness and success. If you’re having trouble keeping up with schoolwork or even just need someone to listen, they are very understanding and will do their best to listen and help guide you back on track. So do not think it’s the end of the road if you are struggling, you can get back on your feet; just keep pushing forward! I want to thank my teachers and especially my counselor Mrs. Ayala and my teacher Mrs. Smith for helping me so much through the years. They are all amazing people!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Compass family?

Being a part of the Compass family made me feel like a part of something. There is great communication between scholars and their teachers, that was very hard to come by in a brick-and-mortar school. Compass is such a healthy and safe community, and I love to know that I’m a part of it. It was such a pleasure to see how it evolved throughout the years as they continue to make a place that anyone can learn on the best path and structure for them.

What do you and your family enjoy doing together during your free time?

Usually, we will watch movies together or have conversations about random topics. Sometimes, we like to go out to have a nice meal at a restaurant, go to the beach, or the movies. Even just doing our own things in the same room can be nice as our family is full of quiet people, so sometimes we just want to enjoy each other’s company while we work and play on our computers.

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Meet Rebecca MacAlpine Director of Engagement!

As the Director of Engagement, I get to design and implement engagement activities throughout the areas that we serve, and I am so grateful to be a part of helping scholars make lifelong memories. Our engagement activities include Field Trips, Virtual Scholar Workshops, Contests, Scholar Clubs, Learning Coach Academy, Kindergarten Celebration, 5th Grade Culmination, 8th Grade Promotion, High School Graduation, and more!

I have a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics as a Secondary Education as well as a minor in Bible from Biola University. Additionally, I received my teaching credential from Biola University, and before being the Director of Engagement, I taught secondary math and also served as a High School Activities teacher. I have begun my Masters of Education through Biola University. I am passionate about students loving learning and receiving 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 running!

What's Been Happening in Engagement?

Compass scholars have had many fun and exciting field trip opportunities this past semester, including Duck Donuts, LA Clippers AVID night, Natural History Museum, Snow Valley Ski Trip, Valentine’s Day Craft Event, Whale Watching, WildCare Center Tour, Auntie Annie’s, Deering Banjo Factory, Amazon Warehouse Tour, Santa Ana Zoo, Oasis Camel Dairy, Schulz Museum with Ice Skating, Bowers Museum, Black Diamond Geology Program, Bay Model Journey, AstroCamp, Paradise Skate, and LEGOLAND!

Spirit Week in which we celebrated National School Choice Week and The Great Kindness Challenge, complete with dress-up days! We held a variety of Virtual Scholar Workshops that included (2) Spirit Week Rallies, Hip Hop Dance Lesson, Scholar Clubs Kickoff for Semester 2, Fitness Tips for our Fitness Challenge and an Art Lesson about Snowy Owls! During Spirit Week, we had a dress-up day photo contest, and during March, we held our Scholar Fitness Challenge!


Deering Banjo Factory

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Auntie Anne's

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Duck Donuts

Amazon Factory

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Snow Valley

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Special Education Department

Dear Families,

In the face of uncertainty that the world is experiencing, it is important that all our families feel valued and supported here at Compass. Many of our special educators have their own children at home during the next few weeks, and their days look quite different as they continue to meet with your scholars and guide them diligently.

There is an even greater need to implement Social-Emotional Skills at school, at home, and to lead happy and meaningful lives to help scholars grow and thrive. Please enjoy some of the materials shared from Global Teletherapy, one of our virtual related services providers, and thank you all for your continued collaboration with our Special Education Program as we support your scholars.

Special Education Teacher Spotlight: Meet Jennifer Smith, SPED Instructor!

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Mrs. Smith pictured here with her family.

CCS: How long have you worked for this organization? I started with Compass Charter Schools two months ago.

CCS: Tell us your “why” for doing what you do here at CCS? I love teaching; working with students to discover their individual learning potential and then watching them soar each day! I get to help turn those I can’ts into I can’s.

CCS: As an educator, is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars? Take a break or take a deep breath...then try again. I know you got this! Pssst if not, lean on us, the teachers, we know a few tricks here and there! :)

CCS: Share one thing about you, very few people know? I could watch Hallmark movies all day long!

CCS: What do you and your family like to do during your free time? I am a Mama of 4 kids (15,13,12,7), so it is a busy house with school, multiple sports, and all at the last minute things! When we can breathe, we love to do anything that has to do with traveling and being adventurous.

What's New in SPED?

The SPED Department has seen tremendous growth this year. We are now at an amazing 250 scholars and growing! We have nine special education teachers that are working hard to meet all the needs of the scholars. We continue to use Read Naturally and Ascend Math to support growth in reading and mathematics. We have been partnering with many companies to provide services in an array of areas, such as counseling, occupational therapy, adaptive PE, speech, and language therapy virtually. Our team loves to celebrate each scholar's personal growth weekly at our meetings. We are excited to see what the remainder of 2020 will bring us!
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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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