Compass Chronicle

Los Angeles Charter | November 2020

A Word from our Principal, Janae Smith

Greetings to all of the Compass Charter Schools (CCS) of Los Angeles families!

As the holiday season is in full swing, I have many opportunities to express my gratitude and share my thankfulness. I am most thankful for our amazing families and our learning coaches and scholars’ hard work and dedication. As we navigate this “new normal” regarding the pandemic, my concern for our scholars’ success weighs heavy on my heart. Yet, in meeting and talking with many CCS LA families, I am comforted by the excellent examples of kindness, creativeness, and innovation that have risen from such a trying time. Our families are genuinely remarkable, and our scholars are finding many opportunities to celebrate their successes.

As this holiday season continues, I hope that you will find peace and joy while embracing those you love who are with you, and remembering those sweet memories of those who may not be; and connecting with those near and far to express gratitude and thankfulness. To quote A.A. Milne, “Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” May your hearts be full this holiday season and in the new year.

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What's Been Happening at the Los Angeles Charter?

Our Compass Charter Schools of Los Angeles (CCSLA) supervising teachers (STs) have been busy these past few weeks. They have held over 100 connections meetings a week! Although we have had to move these virtually, Coffee with Compass has been an excellent time for families, teachers, and administrators to meet and get to know each other a little better. These virtual coffee sessions are also a perfect time for families to directly share any highlights and/or concerns with our Superintendent, J.J. Lewis. It has been exciting to learn about all that we have in common as educators, learning coaches, and parents.

Options STs and families enjoy using the new personalized learning plan (PLP) to review scholar academic progress. Our families have also provided beautiful projects and work samples to show their learning from home. The new ordering system, OPS, has proven to be a great tool in helping learning coaches and STs ensure that the best curriculum is provided to ensure academic excellence.

Our online STs have resumed Zoom learning labs, and scholars are engaging with their teachers and peers. Whether it is competing in a quizzes activity, collaborating on a group project, or listening to a guest speaker, our online scholars are actively participating in all of their sessions. Likewise, scholars are engaged in their new Accelerate Education courses and have effortlessly embraced the new system. Many online scholars have shared that, although the new curriculum can be challenging at times, they are learning a lot and enjoying being able to dive deeper into concepts and their learning.

CCS LA also had three delegates attend the Computer-Using Educators (CUE) conference. They learned about the newest web 2.0 tools to help their scholars in our online and options program. These fantastic delegates have been sharing all that they learned with the entire CCS LA team. Families should be on the lookout for these amazing web 2.0 tools being shared with them to best support their scholars and learning.

The entire team looks forward to families sharing many more successes throughout the 2020-21 school year!

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Work Samples and Learning Labs!

Culture Lab!

In Mr. Spink’s biology class, scholars worked together to analyze the culture lab.

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Spanish Learning Lab!

Ms. Davis used NearPod to teach her Spanish scholars about Dia De Muertos.
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Central Idea!

The fourth graders in Ms. Fullerton’s class learned about how to find a central idea.
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Middle school social studies scholars collaborated to share their definition of culture in Ms. Talcott’s class.
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US Monuments!

Faye, T. shows his first-grade social studies skills by creating a web map to identify US monuments.
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Macular Degeneration Presentation!

Seventh-grader, Jax D. researched and presented information about Macular Degeneration.
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Culminating Project!

Isaac B creatively shared pictures in his culminating project for Julie of The Wolves novel.
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Science and Gardening!

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Scholar Story: Logan Wong, a Sixth Grader

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Logan was bored at the brick-and-mortar school; for example, the teacher gave everyone 15 minutes to complete the task, and he completed it in one minute and sat there quietly for the next 14 minutes. While he got along with his friends and was a "model" student, as he did everything the teacher asked, he sometimes appeared to be an outsider looking in.

We chose CCS because his brick-and-mortar school was being difficult when we requested an IEP assessment for Logan.

Logan loves learning at home; he studies content at his own pace (touch the surface because it's a requirement or digs deeper into the topic because he's interested). He picks topics of interest (for social science, he researched and wrote about battleships and weapons in World War II).

There are no typical days for Logan. When possible, he starts the day at 9 am with CTC Math and then Rosetta Stone (French). The requirement is 30 minutes of each, but he tends to continue for about an hour.

The main challenge is when we ask him to complete work to meet Common Core requirements, and he is not interested in the work. We explain that, in life, we all have to do work that we do not want to, but that it will benefit us. When applicable, we also explain how common core work relates to the subjects he is interested in.

Being new to homeschool, we wanted to work with a charter school to have additional guidance and support. We have a friend who has homeschooled her three children for the last ten years, so we spoke with her. We learned about the importance of "approved vendors" and found the vendors that we wanted on Compass's list.

Support at CCS has been amazing! Our supervising teachers understand; they work with our schooling philosophy and help us find ways to meet requirements. Other support areas have been very forthcoming, including IEP assessment, middle/high school, college counselors, and support programs for students and the learning coaches (i.e., parents).

Some advice for other families is we know that tailored/targeted instruction is most efficient, and personalized learning at CCS is precisely that. While it will take a while to find your "own way," you are given the time and support to get there.

Logan shares, "I get to learn things that I want to learn, like biology (the study of animals), science (everything except for anatomy), math (everything), cooking, and more!"

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Staff Spotlight: Meet Michelle Fullerton, Online Elementary School Teacher!

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Hi! My name is Michelle Fullerton. I am an Online Elementary School Teacher teaching fourth grade this year. This is my eighth year teaching at CCS. I love Compass!! I love connecting with my scholars and families and helping them to succeed in an online learning environment. My advice to families is always to personalize your learning environment to fit your scholar's needs. Create your schedule, routine, and system of accountability, and I am here to support you in any way that I can. I enjoy spending quality time with my almost nine-month-old baby girl Paisley and my husband in my free time. We love taking walks and enjoying the outdoors.

Staff Spotlight: Meet Danielle Kiefner, Options Supervising Teacher

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I am a Supervising Teacher with the Options Program. I have worked for Compass Charter Schools since September of 2019.

I love being a supervising teacher here at Compass for many reasons; a primary reason I get to work with, get to know each family and support each scholar and family uniquely based on their individual goals and needs.

As an educator, I would share advice with learning coaches and scholars to never give up; instead, get support for what you want to accomplish and see it through.

One thing about me that few people know is that I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and I am a certified Hypnotherapist, licensed by the ACHE. (I am not practicing at the moment).

My two daughters and I love hiking, traveling, reading, art, crafting, listening to music, and dancing in our free time.

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