ORVA Family Newsletter

January 20, 2016

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Recipe for a Happy New Year!

Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past—have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time.

Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, prayer, meditation, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing—don't do it), and one well-selected resolution.

Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.

~Anonymous

Upcoming Calendar!

January 29: National School Choice Book Party. Various cities, Visit http://goo.gl/forms/rsQ2sxJHZ6 to register to attend at least 1 day before your chosen event(s).


February 1: Start of second semester
February 10: Evening Open House for all ORVA families at OMSI, more details to come!
February 15: Presidents' Day - No School
February 24: Capitol Day in Salem for Virtual Public Schools. Click here to register today!

ORVA Strong Start Website

Don't forget to visit ORVA's Strong Start site at http://orva.k12start.com/ - you will find very helpful information on everything, from getting started as a new family, to how to stay on track to parent workshops and more! Another very helpful link is the ORVA school calendar!

School Board Appreciation Month!

January is School Board Appreciation Month, and ORVA would like to highlight our Board Chair, Mark Horning. Mr. Horning shares this:

1. Why do you serve as a school board member?

I serve to try to make sure that opportunities available to me as a young student are available to the young students of today. I want to engage with the school staff, our sponsoring District, and the State – sharing what talents I have – to develop their programs and to achieve outcomes for students that go beyond good grades and high test scores and encompass a lifelong love of learning.


2. What do you find most rewarding in your role as a board member?

I find meeting the students, families, and teachers at graduation rewarding. Not as a ceremony marking the end of a process, but reaching one milestone where the students’ paths all intersect. I am continually inspired by the dedication of teachers and staff who can describe the tiniest details of months and years of effort to develop the skills and work habits in a single student who was at risk of not joining her classmates on the stage.


3. If you could tell the community (the whole state!) one thing about ORVA, what would it be?

I would tell the community that the Board is an engaged group of your neighbors from throughout the state that is dedicated to bringing classes to every student whether they have thrived in a traditional classroom setting or not. We set the policies and sit in the (boring) meetings that allow the teachers to encourage each student to achieve their maximum potential.

PreK-2 Corner

January Work Samples are almost due - Please contact your teachers if you have any questions or concerns.

Thursday, January 28th by 3:00 p.m. is your last chance to enter attendance and any progress on course work that you may be behind on entering.

Friday Show and Tell! Check with your teachers if you have something you'd like to share, this will be a very fun community time!
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3rd - 8th Highlights

Interim Assessments: The next Math interim assessment will be going out on Feb. 8, and due on February 12. Thank you for your work on these!

Winter Scantron: All students should have completed Scantron last week. These tests help us track your students' growth as well as points where we need to do re-teaching.

History and Art for middle school: These courses will be added for Semester 2 for most students. Check with your teachers if you have any questions!
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HIGH SCHOOL NEWS

January 19-22: High School - last week of regular classes
January 26-28: High School - Finals week
January 28: High School - 4 pm deadline for student work submissions

ORVA's High School Advisory Teachers and Counselors
are here to work closely with your students and help keep the communication flowing and students on track. Be sure to reach out to this amazing team if you have questions or concerns! They are a dedicated and experienced group!
Counselors:
Last name A-L: Jessica Bell; Last name M-Z: Melissa Arrigotti
9th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Jane Rice
10th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Carissa Trepka
11th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Todd Anderson
12th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Cindy Dauer

Grades: Remember, you can check your students’ grades in their classes at any time. If you need some reminders on how to access progress, below are “how-to” videos:

http://fw.unitymg.com/rdr/OD:104:836 - “How to check your students’ grades”

http://help.k12.com/support/video-resources - Library of support videos


Path to success at ORVA:

  • Log in daily to each class
  • Check your Kmails and reply as needed
  • Attend every live Class Connect
  • Turn in assignments on due dates
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Oregon State Assessments

The ORVA staff have planned for the Oregon State OACCS assessment which will be given to all ORVA 3rd – 8th and 11th grade students during April and May. We are providing this information early so you can put it on the calendar. We are looking forward to the opportunity for the staff to meet you and your student in person. The following information will help in your preparation and planning for the state assessment. Be checking your Kmail for your specific location and time for testing!


Assessments:

All 3rd - 8th & 11th grade students will take 2 OACCS Assessments – Language Arts & Math

5th & 8th & 11th graders will also complete Science


Students bring their laptops to each assessment

Time: Students start at 8:30 am

Pick your student up at Noon for lunch - return at 1:00

You will be called when your student has completed testing for the day

Supports: Students will be allowed breaks as needed
Student may bring a water bottle
Student may bring a book for reading while waiting to be picked up


Security: Parents cannot be in the room during the assessment

Students cannot have cell phones, tablets etc. during the assessment

~STUDENT GALLERY~

Karasu - Reflection in the Water by Alyssa T., 9th Grade

"(Car-ah-sue) Karasu, means Crow. Crow or Karasu are the same person just from the past (under water) and the present (above water)."
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Makeup Art for Halloween by Trinity D., 11th Grade

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A Run with Horses by Samantha E., 11th Grade

Imagine a wide, open plain

Covering it, waves of plush green grass

Off a bit in the distance, the color changes.

Mixes of gray, white, brown, black, and shades of tan

Like a paint splatter, random. Or so it seems.

A small flicker of danger makes the crowd flee

Hooves pound over the Earth around them.

The stallion, a muscular buckskin, leads the herd to safety.

Sweat trickles down their flanks, chilling them

With danger present no more, they rest under a cliff.

The cool wind wisps their manes and tails in a hypnotizing movement

Every so often, a slight nicker is heard from a loving couple,

Or one would stomp and blow a raspberry.

Their slightest movements are graceful and proud.

Cherish those moments, no matter how little they are,

Those moments that you see the true beauty of nature.

Photograph of Greenland by Aidan R., 10th Grade

Here is a picture I took of Greenland! We had a very low flyover on the way to London. Greenland was my obsession for many years so when I saw the view outside the window I was thrilled. The views were definitely some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
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Life by Gabriel N., 7th Grade

Four legs, two legs, three

Seed, sapling, tree

Gray and wrinkled, dead

Trees fall down as the axes shred

Frame, finish, house, home

Beams, glass, ladders, domes

Rotten, wet, and splintered

Creak, crack, shattered

The cycle ends

Only to start again

Art by Gabriele D., 4th Grade

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Food Created by Ember B., 7th Grade

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Blueberries for Sal by Wyllow B., Kindergarten

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Yamhill Valley Cultural Center Tour with Ryan (Tater) R., 4th Grade

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Monstertown by Ryan (Tater) R., 4th Grade

There are stop signs so no others come in and get hurt because they are so big. This way the monsters have their own town and they don't have to worry others could get hurt.
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~STUDENTS ON WHY THEY LOVE ORVA~

Brooke S., 9th Grade

If I told my best friend why I love doing school at ORVA, I would tell them that you learn a lot more information and the teachers are super understanding and willing to help! You also get a lot more free time to focus on doing things you enjoy and like to do.

Ruby S., 10th Grade

I love doing school at ORVA because it challenges me and makes me perform to my best potential, and yet it is flexible enough that it gives me time to do the things I love and focus on my passions.

Alyssa (Alli) T., 9th Grade

I love ORVA because even though we have classes throughout the day we can do it in the comfort of our own home, not even mentioning how all the teachers are nice and welcoming. The lessons usually go smoothly and are easy to understand. Though it is hard to make new friends out of my classmates, I have made many friends out of teachers.

Arial D., 7th Grade

I love finishing school at lunch time, or getting all your hours done during the week before Friday and having a "no Friday."

Charity G., 6th Grade

What I would tell my friends about ORVA is that it is not hard to get up, get dressed, and you don't have to get a bunch of school supplies, so that is what I would tell my friends and we already told some of our friends.

Daisy W., 4th Grade

I love the fact that no one can pick on me anymore.

Paola P., 11th Grade

I love doing school at ORVA because it is flexible and you can be working at your own pace.

Hailey V., 12th Grade

I can do school from bed.

Trinity D., 11th Grade

One thing that I have told my friends about ORVA is that it is the best thing I have done in my life and that it is better than public school, you are able to go to a recording of a Class Connect if you missed it and get the information that you need.

Dishawn W., 5th Grade

I'd tell my best friend about Art because you get to learn about famous sculptures, architects and architectures, and artists.

Hannah H., 11th Grade

I am a student at ORVA; this is my first year in an online school. If I were to tell my best friend one reason I love my school, I would tell her that I love how ORVA is really like a family! Everyone works together as a community; even though we're all in different places, it always feels like we're very close. The teachers are very helpful and always there when you need them. When I first started, I was surprised at how quickly my teachers would answer my questions or give me help when I needed it. Throughout this whole semester I have been given more than enough attention and guidance in my schoolwork. I can tell that these teachers work very hard, it seems like they are always working and I think it's amazing. After doing hours of research and getting feedback from friends in other online schools, I couldn't be happier that I chose ORVA. Thank you for everything!!

Madalyn T., 9th Grade

One thing that I like about going to ORVA is that you can meet people a lot easier and I get to stay in bed and still go to class.

Srikar V., 8th Grade

One thing which I like about ORVA is you can go at your own pace. I am doing all high school courses right now even though I am 11, so this is a really big advantage.

Rebekah W., 8th Grade

One thing I love about ORVA is the teachers are there for you to talk to. In (regular) public school that's not always an option.

Kelsie F., 8th Grade

I don't have to be in school the extra hours that all the other kids have to be in it for, so it allows me to do school and not be in it until 2 or 3 o'clock.

Xander G., 4th Grade

I get to be at home with my mom and dogs.

Breena B., 10th Grade

I would tell my best friend that my favorite part about ORVA is the format of the school, and how they teach the students.

Emma M., 5th Grade

I love ORVA because it is so flexible.

Noah R., 11th Grade

One reason is because the people at ORVA make it easy to learn.

Cutter H., 8th Grade

Because I get to stay home (I can't be around a lot of people). I like my mom teaching me.

Gerren G., 10th Grade

I think one thing that I would tell my best friend is that there is so much more freedom than brick and mortar school. It's just so nice to be able to work ahead (or if you are behind, you can catch up!) and to be able to get up and take a breather if I'm stressed from schoolwork.
I'm getting the best grades I've gotten my WHOLE LIFE. Thanks ORVA, for giving me a chance.

Noah D., 4th Grade

I like doing school because I can do school in my pajamas.

Megan A., 8th Grade

I like ORVA because my teacher is nice and replies to me fast and helps me, and I am not being bullied anymore.

Courtney G., 8th Grade

I like ORVA because it goes at my pace and I don't have to worry about not having the help I need when I need it the most. And it works with my schedule. :)

Jesse O., 12th Grade

I like ORVA because I don't have to deal with over-crowded schools or the drama that comes from the high schools in my town.

Wulf S., 11th Grade

I constantly tell my friends about how ORVA has really nice teachers and great curriculum, and lots of them listen, some even possibly consider ORVA better than their public school.

Wyllow B., Kindergarten

Because it's fun and I get to meet new friends.

Brandon B., 8th Grade

I love getting to work at my own pace. I don't have to wait for teachers to work with other students before they get to me for assistance and I get way more work completed because I don't have to follow along with a class. It's awesome.

Marina D., 7th Grade

I get to work from home and at my own pace.

John D., 5th Grade

I feel like I can get done faster with my school work at home than if I was at (regular) school.

~LEARNING COACH TIPS AND ADVICE~

Lisa P., LC to Chloe P., 9th Gr.

Daily communication with your student about the lessons and projects!! Really listen to them and take an interest in their projects. If they get stuck, help right away so they stay motivated and do not get too far behind!!

Charlie D., LC to Carter, Preston, and Alexis, in 3rd, 5th, and 7th Grades

Sunday evening I print out the weekly plan for my three students. Then the night before or morning of, I circle the lessons that they will be completing that day on their own and write it down in a small notebook. I send off two students to do their independent work, as they complete each lesson they mark it off on their sheet. While two are working independently I work with one on a couple subjects. It's timed pretty well with their various Class Connects, so they're either working independently, in a class, or at the table with me.

Christie W., LC to Deborah W., 8th Grade

Get ahead in the fall. We try to do about a week and a half of work each week in the fall, then we just do the normal course load through the winter. By doing this, there isn't any stress to get stuff done when spring fever hits and the kids have lost interest. Since we don't have as much work to do, we can take weekly field trips to keep us all sane.

Kasandra L., LC to Benjamin and Brendan L., 3rd and 8th Grades

The best tip as a learning coach that I can give is: Find a time that works well for your kids to start school and stick to it.

Brittney V., LC to Hailey V., 12th Grade

Keep your child motivated!

Lori M., LC to Coy M., 4th Grade

One of the biggest tips I have is on busy family days make shorter classroom days. Also we have found that clumping subjects together like 3 lessons of spelling in a day rather than every day works best for us and Coy's learning style. We also do math the same way. We do two math lessons on our slower family days and that seems to really help us!

Coy has a work station that he does his independent studies at, but the subjects that we do together we often curl up on the couch together and it allows us to bond and work comfortably.

Priscilla D., LC to Ashley, Trinity, and Heather, 9th, 11th, and 12th Grades

What I found to be a good stress reliever is tea, but I guess that depends on if you like tea or not. It helps me out. :)

Michele G., LC to Amanda G., 8th Grade

I like to let Amanda be responsible for getting her work done. I create a schedule and she chooses when she does it. This allows her freedom to choose when she does her work and makes it her responsibility to get the lessons completed on time.

Stacy and Dan C., LCs to Mya C., 8th Grade

One of the best tips I can offer is to make your child their own learning space. A desk, their own computer, easy access to the printer, shelving where they can put their books and folders - all in a space they call their own. Initially we had our daughter's space in a kitchen nook, we had thought she would need us, but it turned out to be distracting for her. Once we set everything up in her room, she was more focused and used her time better.

Motivators for our homeschooler is positive feedback. She works hard, acknowledging her work and giving praise is important!

Linda A., LC to Tara A., 8th Grade

My best tip is.......when your student becomes frustrated, go to another subject to ease the anxiety and return later. Both my student and I love working online because it is casual and one-on-one, where we can work at our own speed and the subjects are geared towards the student, specifically with her in mind.

Alexandra G., LC to Xander G., 4th Grade

Set a routine every day.

Claudia R., LC to Cody C., 8th Grade

The biggest thing I think is on the day you do an assignment/lesson review, right after do the assessment. Kids don't have time to forget the information.

Tammy H., LC to Cutter H., 8th Grade

Have fun in the learning process with your child/children. Come up with a reward system to celebrate achievement and success as each unit has been completed. I find this gives them a positive outlook as each new unit approaches.

Tracy G., LC to Noah G., 1st Grade

Breaks - we both find that attention span is greater if we work out the wiggles in between. A good breakfast with healthy snacks are a must for us. Noah likes to tell me how he conveys an assignment before we begin, this is helpful to me to have the ability to see his weak points that need more attention.

Regina L., LC to Connor L., 7th Grade

The thing that Connor loves most is being able to do the lessons on his own time frame. This includes being able to do a bunch in one subject or skip around between the different subjects based on how he is feeling that day. Our motivation strategy - Connor has a piece of 12 x 12 paper that is taped on the wall. Whenever he finishes a lesson, or Class Connect, he gets to put a sticker on the chart. Each sticker is worth .10 cents. In addition, after he has completed an entire subject he gets a bigger prize such as a Skylander or Infinity game character.

Kathy S., LC to Trinity S., 7th Grade

I am a coach of one student and I get involved in most projects and include the rest of the family as much as possible, especially doing the science projects.

Teha S., LC to Sophie and Wulf, 5th and 11th Grades

Try new things. Don't rely on "what should work." Keep trying - you are the best one to come up with "what is right" for your student. What works might need to change every two weeks, so don't expect that you have found "the answer." Remind yourself where you are heading and keep adjusting in that direction.

Kylene B., LC to Wyllow B., Kindergarten

I find that a good morning start makes for a good school day! My kindergartner has her own alarm clock. When it goes off she has to make her bed, brush her teeth and hair and put on her uniform (yes, uniform! when she is wearing her uniform it is school time and she loves that it is something special) before breakfast. If she didn't hit snooze, then during breakfast I let her watch one of her favorite shows or play on her iPad until we start school at 8:30. This helps motivate her to get out of bed and her mind is alert when we start! I also make sure we start with subjects that might have a little more depth to them in the morning and save the lighter subjects for later.

Nichole B., LC to Brandon B., 8th Grade

I play classical music when my son uses K12.com, it creates a more relaxing educational environment and helps drown out any outside noise or distractions.

For art we use lots of mediums and different art tools and have even added paint by numbers. We also have music class everyday playing either a real guitar or rock band for full family musical interactions.

Angela D., LC to Joseph, John, and Marina D., 3rd, 5th, and 7th Grades

I write up daily schedules of what my student needs to accomplish for the day, it really cuts back on time and I know we are on track. I keep records of all lessons that need to be accomplished and we just break it up and get it done.


If you have a student that is difficult you really just need to take it one day at a time. Try your hardest to see what triggers them and walk away and take a break if needed and try to break the bad habits that both you and them have established. I think education is so important but your relationship with your student is just as important.

Melissa D., LC to Gabriella D., 2nd Grade

One thing we have started that helps us settle in to learn is to pull up a short brain break, then a 5 minute classroom yoga video to prepare us to sit down and focus.

Jennifer A., LC to Isaiah and Mya A., K and 4th Grade

I wanted to share a reward strategy that we use here at home. However, I cannot take all the credit for thinking it up. I sent a couple pictures, I hope you can see them.

In my daughter's physical kindergarten class, several years ago, her teacher used clothes pins with each student's name and colored paper to represent their behavior. Once a child was given several warnings for unacceptable behavior, they were asked to "move your clip down." I have never seen such sad kids in my life. As they trudged across the room and lowered their clip, I wondered "how that could possibly work?!" Once they shaped up, they had the privilege of moving their clip up.The kids were rewarded 1, 2 or 3 Skittles based on what color they ended the day on. Would kids really behave for 3 or even 1 Skittle? Those kids really wanted those Skittles!

I found that my kids need short term and long term rewards. So we use the 'pin system,' with an added flair. If the kids end the day on Blue they get a star in their punch card. If they end the day on Purple , they get a star and a piece of candy. I can honestly tell you that I don't remember what the consequences are supposed to be for ending on green or yellow, because they change their attitude pretty quick once they are asked to move their clip down. My son has only been on yellow once and my daughter never has. As a long term reward, once their punch card is filled, they receive a Dutch Bros. smoothie. This works really well for us.