APSVA Virtual View

April Newsletter

Inside This Issue

  1. Online Students Have Talent!
  2. Art Contest
  3. Your Voice Student Poll
  4. Student Spotlight
  5. Memory Techniques for Learning From “Mind Tools”

  6. Road to Relaxation
  7. Alcohol Awareness Month
  8. When I Grow Up
  9. Goal Setting- Smart Goals

Parent Corner

  1. KidsHealth eNewsletter Invite


Online Students Have Talent!

Check out two of our online students, Sophia and Grace Babb, which make up the duo, Annie Oakley! Having played venues, events, and festivals that expanded their following with every performance, these 16-year-old twins released their debut EP, Annie Oakley, in December 2013. Their music and compelling harmonies have a soulful, indie-folk feel that has been described as coming “straight from the heart.” Annie Oakley has a lot of events coming up in April! For more information on Annie Oakley, and to see a list of upcoming events please visit http://theannieoakley.com/upcoming-events.html

Annie Oakley Live

Thank you for sharing your talents!

Did you like seeing your fellow students artwork and talents?? Wish you had submitted something?? We want to feature student submitted work in upcoming newsletters. Submit your art work, photography, poetry, short stories, or other creative endeavors to your SAC, Brooks McMullan, at bmcmullan@connectionseducation.com.


Art Contest

In the last newsletter we asked for submissions to our Art Contest in celebration of Youth Art Month! The contest requested any art form with a Spring theme. Thank you to all of those that entered the contest! We have some very talented students! Now, we’re asking for your vote.

Tell us who you think should win the Art Contest!

To vote on your favorite Art Contest submission, remember which entry number is your favorite and click here to submit


Your Voice Student Poll

In the March Newsletter we asked, “What is the best April Fool's joke you've played on someone/someone has played on you?” Here’s what you had to say:

  • One thing that I love to do is grab all of my friends’ cell phones and change the language setting to a foreign language.
  • One year, while my mom was at work, I hard boiled all of the eggs in the carton and put them back in the refrigerator. It paid off for me! I love egg salad sandwiches.
  • Last year I put food coloring in all of our hand soap dispensers. This was also a great way to catch people that didn’t wash their hands!
  • My sister is obsessed with the Hunger Games, so this year I’m going to change her contacts in her cell phone to the names of the Hunger Games characters. Katniss Everdeen calling!
  • The best April fool’s joke I have done was last year. Since my mom doesn't like the taste of our water at our home she gets water in the bottles and we filter those so I changed out all of the water bottle's water with white vinegar. Let’s just say she didn't find it funny... but the rest of the family did!

Thank you to everyone that submitted a response! We hope you had a fun and safe April Fool's!!

We want to hear YOUR VOICE! It’s time to share your comments with your fellow students, teachers, counselors, and Student Achievement Coordinator. We can’t wait to hear what YOU have to say!! This month’s question is:


We are changing up how this month's student poll question is submitted, all you need to do is click here to take a quick survey to submit your answer.


Student Spotlight

This month’s Student Spotlight is on Robyn Ware. We recently asked Robyn some questions. Here’s what she had to say:

APSVA Virtual View: It's obvious you achieve your academic goals every week! What do you do to make that happen for you?

Robyn Ware: I achieve my academic goals every week by checking what needs to be done each day and each week and I just get it done. I work on the longest items that need to be done first.

APSVA Virtual View: What do you like best about your school? What would you change?

Robyn Ware: What I like about best about my school is the flexible schedule. I like being able to get up late some days and still get my work done. Also, I like that I don't have to talk to people face to face, I am not a people person. I would not change anything because I think the program is perfect the way it is.

APSVA Virtual View: Why did you decide to come to this school?

Robyn Ware: I decided to come to this school because there was not much to choose from. I don't like public school, it is too loud with too much disorder. Private schools in our area are too expensive and again to loud and too much disorder.

APSVA Virtual View: What achievement are you most proud of?

Robyn Ware: I am most proud of my grades. I am getting good grades.

APSVA Virtual View: What do you think is the best character quality to possess and why?

Robyn Ware: I think the best character quality is humor because it makes them unique.

APSVA Virtual View: Who is your favorite actor/actress or athlete and why?

Robyn Ware: Johnny Depp. He is my favorite actor because he is hot and he plays good characters. He is a little off in the roles he plays but I think that makes him a better actor.

APSVA Virtual View: What about you is unique?

Robyn Ware: What is unique about me is my sarcastic humor.

APSVA Virtual View: What are your hobbies or work you do when you are not studying?

Robyn Ware: My hobby is raising my chickens.

APSVA Virtual View: What do you expect to be doing ten years from now?

Robyn Ware: I expect in ten years from now I will be working in a small town hospital in Washington as a trauma nurse in the emergency room.

We hope to spotlight YOU in next month’s newsletter!


Memory Techniques for Learning from “Mind Tools”

On your path towards an education, you’ll be required to study and process a huge volume of information. In order to become more effective at learning this information, and in order to make the process easier there are memory techniques or ”Mind Tools” which can be practiced daily on your quest to becoming a successful student.

Memory techniques can be used to help you both remember facts accurately and to remember the structure of information. These tools can be split into two sections:

  1. The memory techniques themselves.
  2. How you can use them in practice.

Memory Techniques

“Mnemonic” is another name for a memory tool with the idea of using creativity to encode difficult to remember information in a much easier way. For example, a rhyming Mnemonic to help you remember an important date is, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” A name mnemonic uses the first letter of each word in a list of items to make a name of a person or thing, like ROY G. BIV, which helps you to remember the colors of the spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).

How to Use Memory Techniques

Use your whole mind to remember things by creating vivid mental images which can reliably store both information you are trying to remember and the structure of that information. Because these images are vivid, they are easy to recall when you need them.

Here are a few tips that may help make the mnemonic techniques you use more memorable:

  • Use positive, pleasant images. Remember that your brain often blocks out unpleasant memories. For instance, What is a numismatist? Visualize a new mist rolling onto a beach from the ocean and the beach is made of coins. This pleasant image helps you to remember that a numismatist is a coin collector.
  • Use vivid, colorful, sense –laden images-these are easier to remember than the bland ones.
  • Try using humor. Funny things are much easier to remember than normal ones. For instance, picture two numismatists meeting for dinner for “old dime’s sake.”

The three essential principles of using mnemonics are imagination, association, and location:

  • Imagination- The more strongly you can imagine and visualize something, the more effectively you are able to recall it at a later time.
  • Association-This is a way of linking certain things together to help you remember the subject matter. For instance you might imagine a depressed bat in order to help you remember that the depressant drugs are Barbiturates, Alcohol, and Tranquilizers.
  • Location- gives you two things: a clear environment into which you can place information so that it is grouped together, and a way of sorting out one mnemonics from another. For example, by setting one mnemonic at the beach and another mnemonic with images of night, you can separate them with no danger of confusion.

These are just a few examples of ways to use your on personal “Mind Tools” to help elevate the educational learning process. Understanding and practicing techniques such as these are not only useful with school and education, but can also be valuable in everyday life.


Road to Relaxation

Ugh! You have a slight problem: There are only a few more weeks left until you have to complete all of your courses by the semester deadline. Well, don’t stress out! The simple remedy is you need an arsenal of practical stress solutions that will knock out that pain in your neck, knot in your stomach, or a dozen other symptoms of stress you may experience. Here are five freebies for you:

Blow it off.

Simple deep, slow breathing can often calm the fight-or-flight response during periods of big-time stress. Usually, it takes a few seconds to feel the difference. Simply breathe through your nose while comfortably expanding first your tummy and then your rib cage. (Imagine that you are inflating a beach ball inside your gut through your navel.) Then release the breath through your nose (more slowly than you let it in) and silently say, “Hawaii” (or a word that immediately will relax you).

Crack up before you crack!

A good laugh may break up even teeth-clenching tension. Research indicates that laughter prompts the brain to release endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers. One trick you can use is to keep a great comedian or some bloopers in your favorite you tube folder. When you start thinking about the chemistry exam, just push play…it really works!

Quick muscle release

In about three minutes, you can do this to relax your muscles: First step, sit and close your eyes. Second step, inhale, and hold your breath for about 6 seconds while tensing as many muscles as you can. Third step, simply exhale with a “whoosh” and let your body go limp, then breathe rhythmically for about 20 seconds. Repeat these steps twice, and after the third release, relax for a minute, concentrating on happy thoughts.

Talk to yourself

It’s not a sign you’re crazy. In fact, it could help you avoid ending up that way. A private dialogue with your ego is a helpful way to handle stress. You are less likely to have tunnel vision about a problem when you give yourself a chance to hear, question and think out loud what you’re saying to yourself.

Turn on the tunes

Some experts say that music for relaxation should be slow, quiet and instrumental. But don’t despair if you get bored with Brahms or feel like punching someone after listening to drippy elevator music. The most important characteristics of tranquilizing music are familiarity and preference. That means Motown or Meathead, Ella Fitzgerald or Eminem – whatever makes you happy.

Even if you follow one of these tips and tricks, you’ll probably feel wired every once in a while. That’s just the natural fact, Jack. We have evolved to operate at peak efficiency under a certain amount of stress. The idea is simply to balance the excess stress with some deliberate mellowness. Best wishes to you for the rest of the semester!!


Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Do you or someone you know, drink alcohol? Take this self-test to discover if this is a problem for you or anyone else in your life.


As a young person you are faced with many challenges. However, very few have the potential to affect your life in a more significant way than the decisions you
make about alcohol and drugs. The decisions you make about alcohol and drugs will influence your health, your grades, your relationships, your job or career, or your freedom. Not to be too dramatic. . . but these are life and death decisions.
Bottom line – you are responsible for your own safety…what are you going to do?
Before we review our Ten Tips for Prevention--Youth, there are two important points to be aware of:

Age of First Use of Alcohol and Drugs:
Using alcohol and drugs before the brain has fully developed increases your risk for future addiction to alcohol and drugs dramatically. Young people who start drinking alcohol before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than people who first used alcohol at age 21 or older. Research for drug use and drug addiction have found similar results.

Family History of Alcoholism or Drug Addiction:
Whether a person decides to use alcohol or drugs is a choice, influenced by their
environment -- peers, family, and availability. But, once a person uses alcohol or drugs, the risk of developing alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by genetics. Alcoholism and drug dependence are not moral issues, are not a matter of choice or a lack of willpower. Plain and simple, some people’s bodies respond to the effects of alcohol and drugs differently. If you have a family history of alcoholism or addiction, you are four times more likely to develop a problem. To learn more: Family History and Genetics.

So then, as a young person, what can you do to protect yourself and reduce the risk of
alcohol and drug problems? Here are Ten Tips for Prevention--Youth:

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No: Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our friends, or others we don’t even know, keeps us from doing what we know is right. Real simple, it may seem like “everyone is doing it,” but they are not. Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you. If someone is pressuring you to do something that's not right for you, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away.
  2. Connect With Your Friends and Avoid Negative Peer Pressure: Pay attention to who you are hanging out with. If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends. You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs. You don't have to go along to get along.
  3. Make Connections With Your Parents or Other Adults: As you grow up, having people you can rely on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges and your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important. The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable.
  4. Enjoy Life and Do What You Love - Don’t Add Alcohol and Drugs: Learn how to enjoy life and the people in your life, without adding alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life. Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse. Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job. Giving back as a volunteer is a great way to gain perspective on life.
  5. Follow the Family Rules About Alcohol and Drugs: As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important. Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between your and your parents. Talking with mom and dad about alcohol and drugs can be very helpful.
  6. Get Educated About Alcohol and Drugs: You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there floating around among your friends and on the internet. Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated. Visit Learn About Alcohol and Learn About Drugs. And, as you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family.
  7. Be a Role Model and Set a Positive Example: Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say! You are setting the foundation and direction for your life; where are you headed?
  8. Plan Ahead: As you make plans for the party or going out with friends you need to plan ahead. You need to protect yourself and be smart. Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need them. And, do the same for your friends.
  9. Speak Out/Speak Up/Take Control: Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety. Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same.
  10. Get Help!: If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs, (What to Look For), get help. Don’t wait. You are not alone.

For additional information, Learn About Alcohol, Learn About Drugs or Get Help may be helpful.


When I Grow Up

Know what you are going to do after high school? Overwhelmed on where to start? Ever wished there was one place you could go to get career information? Do you know how much money you will make in your chosen career path or how many jobs are available? Want to make a lot of money, but not sure what jobs might make that much money? All of these questions and more can be answered by visiting the US Department of Labor and Statistics Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook handbook.

This website offers the answer to all of the above questions – or can at least get you started and thinking about what might be out there. Take a moment to check it out – it will be time well spent.


Goal Setting- Smart Goals

Setting goals is an important part of our everyday life. Goals can be small and achievable in the same day, or they can be big and multi-dimensional goals that can take lots of time and preparation, which can take years to accomplish. Whatever goal you have in mind, here are a few helpful tips when setting those goals and achieving them.

  • Specific—Keep the focus of your goal narrow.
  • Measurable—How will you know if you are meeting your goal?
  • Attainable—Set reasonable, realistic goals.
  • Relevant—Set goals that will change your life in ways that you want.
  • Time frame—When will you meet your goal?

Choose categories that are important (social, family, personal, school, physical, etc.), create goals that fit into one of the categories, and then prioritize the goals. Remember, no goal is too big or small, follow the SMART Goal guidelines and set a goal today!


Parent Corner

KidsHealth eNewsletter Invite

In our efforts to provide guidance in the area of Personal and Social skills, we are inviting you to take a look at the kidshealth enewsletter provided by www.kidshealth.org. KidsHealth is the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years. One of the things that makes KidsHealth special is that it's really three sites in one: with sections for parents, for kids, and for teens. KidsHealth also provides families with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens. We encourage you to explore their website, sign up for the free enewsletter, and see how it can be helpful for you. Below are some direct links to specific articles in the KidsHealth enewsletter on Emotions.

For Parents:

Helping Kids Handle Worry

It's natural for all kids to worry at times, and because of personality and temperament differences, some may worry more than others. Luckily, parents can help kids manage worry and tackle everyday problems with ease.

For Teens:

Understanding Your Emotions

Emotions help us relate to other people, know what we want, and make choices. Even "negative" emotions are useful. Find out how to understand emotions and use them effectively.