Compass Chronicle

Compass Charter Schools | January 2022

Happy New Year From Our Superintendent J.J. Lewis!

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2022 Compass Families,

2021 was a year of exceptional growth and perseverance for Compass! Together, we pivoted to meet the requirements of AB 130 and AB 167 while staying focused on our mission and vision. In October, we celebrated 10 years of Compass Charter Schools serving scholars! We promoted our Orange County Learning Center with an amazing virtual tour, created a new webpage to house all of our promotional videos, and started the scholar-led newscast: The Firebird Report!

Moving forward into this new year and the month of January, I would like to shift focus to our core value of teamwork. Teamwork is vital as we continue our work on our school-wide Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of 100% of our eligible scholars graduating by the end of the school year! So, how can you best utilize teamwork at Compass this year?

Compass offers many support areas, including learning labs, English Learners Support, AVID, Scholar Support, Scholar Success, tutoring sessions, counseling, virtual clubs, field trips, and more. So find your way to delve into Teamwork personally at Compass!

January is National School Board Recognition Month, and we are celebrating our community volunteers who dedicate countless hours and resources to ensure quality education is available for scholars. I am proud to celebrate National Board Recognition Month and am genuinely grateful for our board members. Our Board shows continued dedication to ensuring consistent growth of our educational programs and services to best support our scholars and their families.

The last week of January, we celebrate National School Choice. We are so proud of Compass and the incredible choice of a personalized Gold Standard education that we provide to each and every scholar. Scholars can share why they #ChooseCompass on social media all month.

I encourage you to share your thoughts and goals for your year of possibilities with your teachers and peers! Please keep up the great work as we finish our first semester and set our second-semester sights. Thank you to each of you for your strength during this time and all you do to make Compass the Gold Standard in virtual and personalized education.

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 (AVID)

What is new in AVID?

In December we celebrated our individual Passion Projects. Through this Genius Hour Journey, AVID scholars researched topics they were passionate about and chose a mock social media platform to share their inquiry, creativity, and expertise with the rest of the class.

Among the many passion projects shared, we learned more about nail design, cooking, musical journeys, video game specialists, commentators, and the steps to becoming a firefighter. In addition, we learned about our immune systems, fashion design, painting techniques, forensics solving crimes, playing baseball, music genres comparisons, how movies are made, and more! Scholars chose various mock platforms ranging from Vlogs to Blogs, Podcasts, and Instagram accounts.

This passion project allowed the scholars to become a “Genius” on their topic, as they demonstrated AVID’s teaching and learning methodology through WICOR, which includes Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading strategies.

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.

Genius Hour Reflection

In December, we celebrated our Passion Projects. Through this Genius Hour Journey, AVID scholars researched topics they were passionate about and chose a mock social media platform to share their inquiry, creativity, and expertise with the rest of the class.

AVID scholars respond to three questions regarding their Genius Hour projects.

1. What was the most important thing you learned while working on your genius hour project? Why?

  • How to present my topic, and how to overcome my nerves.
  • I learned how to research and understand things I didn’t know before.
  • I learned was how viruses affect our bodies.
  • I learned how to manage my time and how long it takes to do research and put it together.

2. What did you find to be the most difficult? Why?

  • Researching was the most difficult because I had to find credible sources.
  • The presentation was the most challenging because I was not feeling well, but I was happy to get through it. It was excellent, and I am glad I did it.
  • The presentation. I am not used to sharing, but I am glad I did!
  • Editing, recording, and posting videos take a long time to do it right, but I am glad I did it, and I enjoyed the process.

3. What did you enjoy about the project? Why?

  • I enjoyed the new experience of researching and presenting. I enjoyed talking about personal experiences and sharing my point of view of how I see things and what helps me throughout my day.
  • I enjoyed sharing about one of my favorite subjects, cooking, and learning new ways of cooking.
  • I enjoyed sharing things many people don’t know and helping others learn how cool it is to have a healthy immune system and how it helps us.
  • I liked having different platforms to share my work, and I enjoyed trying out the other options and look forward to another project like this. It is one of the best projects that I have ever done.
  • I loved how free I was to choose what I wanted to learn about with this project!

Passion Projects!

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What's New in Counseling?

The Counseling team continues to add additional vlogs and resources to our Compass Counseling Virtual Office. These short videos provide academic, social-emotional, and college/career support information. We encourage you to check them out if you have not already done so!

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Meet Gabriela Ayala!

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

I am a counselor and work with scholars in grades 6-12 with the last names A-Ca. As a counselor, I am responsible for the developmental needs of all my scholars through our comprehensive school counseling program, which addresses scholars' academic, career, and personal/social development. In collaboration with my colleagues at Compass, we can support our scholars' emotional and social growth through our guidance curriculum, individual student planning, and responsive services. I have been a counselor at Compass for five and a half years.

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

I am here at Compass because I enjoy working with our scholars and supporting them in their educational goals. I do this because it brings me joy to see our scholars reach their full potential and graduate.

As a counselor, is there a piece of advice you'd like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

Scholars, never give up. Study and work hard; advocate for yourself. Remember, you can accomplish anything.

Share one thing about you that very few people know.

Few people know that my first career choice was to be a general surgeon.

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

My family and I like to be outdoors during our free time. Whether that is playing soccer as a family, hiking at our local trails, or bike riding to the beach. We love to take short trips to San Diego and jet skiing or to Palm Springs to ride dirt bikes on the weekends.

Counseling Scholar Success!

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The counseling team is thrilled to highlight the following 43 scholars who have attended ten or more direct counseling sessions so far during the 2021-22 school year! Direct counseling sessions include one-on-one meetings, small groups, and counseling learning labs. Involvement in ten or more direct counseling sessions qualifies scholars for the ‘Finding Your Compass’ award! Information on upcoming small group and learning lab sessions can be found here.

CCS of Los Angeles

Leslie B.

Isabella C.

Violeta H.G.

Juan Felipe H.

Shirley O.

Jesse O.

Omar T.E.

Tania T.E.

Alyssa V.

Sanaa V.

Mariely V.

Destiny W.

CCS of San Diego

Anthony A.

Evelyn C.U.

Lucca C.

Elysa C.

KristiLynn E.

Mya Gallardo A.

Bianca G.

Terrence H.

Jaidon H.

Guinevere J.

Joshua M.

Joyce M.

Andrew M.

Angelica M.

Juvenal M., Jr.

Adalia M.

Grace N.

Sadrac P.

Zakary P.

Fernanda R.G.

Alberto R.L.

Leilani S.

Jairo S.

Jack T.

CCS of Yolo

Azalia D.

Samantha G.

Paige M.

Danya O.

Elliana O.

Kaitlin S.

Aniyah T.

GREAT work scholars!

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Field Trips!

We’re keeping up the momentum with our in-person field trips! Scholars have visited locations all over California, including Logan’s Candies, California Science Center, the Gentle Barn, Wild Willow Farms, the Old Globe Theater, Centennial Farms, Museum of Tolerance, Benicia Historical Museum, USS Midway, Safari West, and the Jelly Belly Factory. Check out the Monday Morning Update each week for our latest field trip offerings!

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Virtual Scholar Workshops!

Scholars have continued to impress us with their many talents through our Virtual Scholar Workshops, including our Fall Talent Show, STEAM Challenge, Care2Rock, Getty Center, Baketivity, Garner Holt Productions, and Humane Society Community Service! Check out the Monday Morning Update each week for our Virtual Scholar Workshop releases!
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Scholar Clubs!

Our excellent scholar club advisors have been having a blast with our scholars during their scholar club meetings! Clubs have chosen their officers and had a great start to the school year! Each club meets one Monday a month for an hour of fun, exciting content tailored to each club!

Scholar Clubs Spotlight ~ Scholars in the Science Experiments Club did a baking soda experiment this quarter and had a STEM challenge! This quarter, our scholars learned about pest control, composting, and container gardening during the Gardening Club meetings. In addition, our Virtual Field Trips Club virtually visited the Coral Reef, Germany, and a fire station!

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Learning Coach Academy!

Our Learning Coaches have been connecting each Monday during our live Learning Coach Academy sessions, where we’ve discussed tips for personalizing learning at home, organization hacks, and creating SMART goals with scholars! It’s been so fun getting tips and tricks from our Learning Coaches as they give each other wonderful ideas to create successful home learning environments!
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What's Been Happening in Special Education?

The Special Education Department is excited to welcome new Special Education teachers to our team. Rebecca McFarlane joined Compass on January 10 and has already proven to be a tremendous asset to our team. Please see the interview with Rebecca below!

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Meet Rebecca McFarlane, Special Education Specialist

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

I am an Education Specialist. I support special education scholars and the staff that work with them. I case manage, hold meetings, and ensure the scholars have what they need to be successful.

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

I am an education specialist because I had incredible teachers that supported me through difficult days, and I want to be that for someone.

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

“Keep on Swimming.” Perseverance is the key to success.

Share one thing about you that very few people know.

I was told I should drop out of High School.

What do you and your family like to do during your free time? Hiking! My daughter and I try our hardest to hike two times a week- This summer, we found a super secret hiking spot in Big Sur!

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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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