November & December Update

Dimensions Collaborative School

A Message From the Director

Dear Parents,

As we approach the Thanksgiving Season, I want to express gratitude and appreciation to the families, students, and staff for all you do. Also, on behalf of our Educational Facilitators and staff members, a big thank you for the opportunity to serve, partner, and collaborate with you in the great adventure of learning. It is an honor and thrill to provide a public-school option which stands out from the standardized and site-based model of yesteryear to provide a truly personalized approach for success in the 21st century.

The following are a few of the reasons why we stand out:

1. Personalized Learning Plans: Personalized learning has been at our core for nearly twenty years. Taking into consideration each student’s learning styles, current skills, personal and academic goals, we customize curriculum, and make all the world our classroom.

2. Student Agency: We view students as whole persons with unique interests and talents, and we encourage the development of their ability to be self-directed in their education through learning plans that promote mastery, through autonomy, and a sense of purpose along with the freedom and flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere.

3. Personal Learning Networks: Parent partnerships and collaboration in which an Educational Facilitator works with a student and the family anywhere from 1-13 years, building a relationship of trust and caring, and seeing the family and home as a valuable aspect of the education ecosystem.

4. Student Centers: Student centers which provide learning labs offering a later start time and facilitating learning environments that meet students where they are with a flexible range of curriculum and class options that integrate technology with personalized, supportive instruction and services. Students have access to specialized instruction, hands-on labs, technology, collaborative projects, peer interaction, guest speakers, and mentor feedback.

5. Experiential Learning: Regular school-wide and regional field trips, events, and workshops.

6. High School Support: Career Technology Education Pathways, Global Education, and STEP-UP with a dedicated high school counselor to help prepare students for their next step in life. Dimensions is WASC accredited with approved CSU courses.

Student-Centered Learning: Building Agency and Engagement


We are receiving a lot of positive feedback on the ST Math program. If you haven’t started yet, and/or are having challenges getting started, please reach out to your Educational Facilitator (EF) for support.

Again, here’s the link to the ST Math resource section in the Parent Portal:


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This seminar is FREE to Dimensions parents. Space is limited, so register and invite a friend today!

Click here to register:

Click here for more information:

***Due to the sensitive topics, only nursing infants permitted please. Childcare is not provided.

~Raechelle Rodriguez

Choose Health Founder

Lead Education Disruptor

A fresh take on lessons for a healthy life.

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Montiel Learning Center

October has been an exciting month watching our students flourish! They all have been working hard on ST Math and their assignments. Our yoga students have been learning about tree and warrior poses, balance, strength, and stretching exercises. Our Social Studies class has been learning their state names and getting ready for the Geography Bee. The Makers Space had lots of fun making Corn Hole games, which came in handy during our Fall Festival & Potluck!

Broadway Learning Center

Students have been exploring their artistic skills during Creative Corner with Mr. Jones using a method of painting called “Pointillism,” which is a technique where dots are used to form an image. The students enjoyed the process and seeing the end result of their island palm trees! We also took a field trip to Bates Nut Farm where students learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin, took a hay ride through the pumpkin patch, ran through a hay maze, fed some goats, and enjoyed some adorable baby animals in the petting zoo.

Please be sure to visit our website for updates:


Fall Potluck was a success! South Bay families gathered under fall trees and enjoyed time together. Students dressed in costumes and had fun building with Legos.

Please be sure to visit our website for updates:


Dia de Los Muertos Art Show and Party

Students and staff enjoyed the Dia de Los Muertos Art Show and party! The beautiful artwork on display was created by students in Mr. Mat's class.


4th-6th STEM students have been working hard for weeks on an engineering design process unit. This week they finally prototyped their hearing enhancers and tested them.They had a great time testing our own designs and the designs of other teams, plus giving feedback.

Mission Valley students competed in the First Lego League Robotics Competition on November 9th at High Tech High.

On November 16th the 7th -12th VEX Robotics team had a fantastic time competing at San Ysidro High School. It was a long day of tough competition, but lots of fun and laughter too. It was inspiring to see our teens from all these schools working together to create incredible robots

Stop by the Dragon Wagon on December 17th between 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Ms. Tracy will be available to check out books, accept returns, and answer any questions you may have about curriculum.

Please be sure to visit our website for updates:

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A Message From the Executive Director: Terri's Tidbits


When we think of what brings us “joy,” obstacles do not usually make the list. However, think of the last time you overcame a challenge and how good it made you feel. While it can be difficult as a parent to observe our children struggling, or feeling bad, we must remember not to rob them of the joy that comes from their own perseverance. While children might feel relieved when someone else solves a problem or comes to their rescue on something, they will not feel the sense of pride, or joy, that comes from handling it themselves.

Perseverance, the ability to persist after setbacks, is one of the top traits necessary for success and happiness. With a fixed mindset, one sees basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, as fixed traits; therefore, feeling there is no sense in trying harder, or at all. With a growth mindset, however, one recognizes potential and responds with, “I can’t do this…YET.” To read how perception of obstacles impacts your ability to overcome, go to:

There are times of the year that naturally lend to goal setting and self-reflection such as birthdays, summer break, OR…A NEW YEAR!! With 2020 right around the corner, consider taking time to set individual as well as family goals and discuss the strategies that will help each of you persevere. Here is a link to help get you started

Wishing you and yours a year of great accomplishments.

STEP-UP (Student Transition Education Plan for Undergraduate Program)

Dimensions Collaborative is very grateful this season to introduce our partnership with Palomar Community College. STEP-UP (Student Transition Education Plan for Undergraduate Program) officially kicked off last month! STEP-UP exists to help high school students become more academically successful in school, while preparing all students for higher education and post-secondary life choices. Program services include high school support workshops, tutoring, academic/career advising, college admission assistance, financial aid information, study skills workshops, PSAT/SAT/ACT preparation, college campus visitations, educational/cultural trips, parent workshops, and Career Technical Education (CTE) internship opportunities.

Dimensions students have the option to meet on the Palomar campus two days a week. As a complement to Palomar's Guided Pathways program, STEP-UP paves the way for students transitioning to the college. Students participating in the STEP-UP program are enthusiastic about all the resources available on the Palomar campus as well as their opportunity to participate in apprenticeship programs and free classes toward their Associates Degree.

For more information use contact information below.

Joseph "Nubie" Porter

(760) 855-1810

The Counseling Corner with Audrey Kirk

Hands-Only CPR:

California law requires that all high school students enrolled in a Health course complete a brief 30 minute Hands-Only CPR training. DCS provides a training each semester. If a current Health student cannot attend a DCS training, the student will need to attend an outside training and provide proof to the Educational Facilitator by the end of the semester. Former health students interested in being trained are welcome to attend as well. Please note that this is not an official CPR certification training.

Register by November 21st:

Concurrent Enrollment:

In order to receive a signed concurrent enrollment form, please follow the instructions below:

1. Print & sign the college's concurrent enrollment form (
2. Fill out the DCS Concurrent Enrollment Request and upload your completed concurrent enrollment form:

**This information is also located in the Parent Portal under “Concurrent Enrollment”**

View the latest Counselor Corner Newsletter here:

Student Spotlight: Kyra Hartz

Kyra Hartz is a second year student at Dimensions and halfway through 5th grade. Kyra came to Dimensions in order to have the academic support she needs to excel in her studies and pursue her passions. She is interested and very talented in baking and art; however, at the top of the list is figure skating. She has only been figure skating for three and a half years and has found herself advancing through levels of ability much faster than her peers.

A tight schedule with twenty hours a week training has equipped Kyra for two separate recitals and five competitions during the year. Kyra performs in all three categories; Artistic, Spotlight Dramatic, and Interpretive at the Ice-Plex arena in Escondido, CA. In the past it has been difficult to grow in her interests and talents while holding to a traditional model of education. Then she found Dimensions. With a school-wide focus on autonomy, mastery and purpose Kyra has progressed in academics because she is able to explore and incorporate her individual talents and interests. She is able to work at her own pace and create academic goals centered on her passions. Kyra’s mother explained; “There is no Kyra without figure skating.”

Kyra will be featured in the upcoming Holiday show “Christmas Through the Years – ON ICE” premiering at 5 p.m. December 8, 2019 at the Ice-Plex arena. When asked about her future goals Kyra said she would like to continue to compete and perform as long as she can. With aspirations of performing with Disney on Ice she is grateful for Dimensions Collaborative School. If there is one thing that is certain, Kyra says she, “will always want to put on sparkly dresses and make people happy.”

Do you have examples of how your child is directing their own learning? We would love to hear from you!

Share your story with Susan Michaels at

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The Benefits Of Physical Education On the Brain

It is commonly understood that the more you exercise, the more “fit” your body becomes. Brain research of the past five years has shown that physical exercise not only changes your body, it changes your brain as well. As Dr. John Ratey, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, points out in his latest book, SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, inactivity is killing our brains – physically shriveling them. Exercise cues the building blocks of learning in the brain, affects mood, anxiety, and attention (think ADHD), guards against stress, and reverses some of the effects of aging in the brain. While stress can erode the connections between the nerve cells in the brain and chronic depression shrinks areas of the brain, exercise releases neurochemicals and growth factors that can reverse the process.

One case study in the book shares the results of “Zero Hour PE” and how its results led to “Learning Readiness PE,” in which freshman begin their day with PE. Rather than a focus on sports skills, students engage in monitoring and maintaining their own health and fitness. To learn more, you can find the book in our Resource Center and/or watch this TED Talk by the Paul Zientarski, a teacher involved in the project.

Understanding Your Child's Learning Style Can Make a Difference

Have you ever thought about how many negative comments we hear each day? Research shows that three to six positive comments are needed to overcome one negative. For a “struggling” student, negative comments may be perceived high as they can wonder if teachers/parents see their effort.

The C.A.R.E.S. principals of our Learning Styles Success model are an important part of supporting and celebrating our children. In this short podcast, Victoria explores the “S” for Switch on Confidence.

Another consideration is your family interaction. Do you know your “Disposition” may clash, creating possible tension, or a trying environment for your child? Dispositions are one of five aspects of our Learning Styles Portrait. Listen to this short podcast as Mariaemma shares an experience of a seventh grader and how learning about his Learning Styles made a difference for him as a student, and for the whole family.


Trish Ruppel

(951) 217-2846

Register with ParentSquare & Stay Connected! Click Here

For ParentSquare Questions, Please Contact Susan Michaels at

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The EdTech Connection with Dianne Duncan

Flipgrid is a video platform app that allows students to record responses to teacher-posed questions or topics. As a tool for teaching modern communication skills, Flipgrid is nothing short of brilliant–students can watch and hear themselves, and they’re in complete control–they can re-record themselves as many times as they want before they upload their response to the grid.

This is arguably one of the best apps out there for getting a student thinking and understanding. What makes it great is that it is so simple. It has so many layers of thinking it can uncover. At first view – it is a video response platform – but it is so much more, so layered, and so effective in helping teachers capture rich information about student learning and growth. In Dimensions, this can be used as a tool between EF and student as well for the student to show what they know even throughout the Learning Period. Give it a try with this Flipgrid that I created.

Mobile Learning Lab

Our mobile learning lab will be visiting our learning centers to honor the National Hour of Code. Students will enjoy an afternoon of coding with our Bee Bots. See the schedule below.

December 9th

The mobile learning lab will visit with the South Bay Discovery Day families at Rohr Park, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

December 12th

The mobile learning lab will be visiting the Broadway Learning Center, 1800 North Broadway Escondido, CA, 12:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m. This is a school-wide event. Come join the fun!

For more information, please contact Dianne at

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Which is Better: Being Kind or Firm?

Many parents avoid being too permissive, while others avoid being too strict. It is frequently thought about it in terms of being too “nice” (permissive) resulting in kids doing whatever they want, or being too “mean” (authoritarian) resulting in kids feeling hurt or defeated. Our own upbringing greatly influences in which direction we tend to lean as parents.

In Positive Discipline, we view Kindness as “respecting the dignity of the child,” (vs. just being “nice”), and Firmness as “respecting my own dignity and the needs of the situation”( vs. just being “mean”). The reality is both are needed. How do we do this?

Pretend you are a child and consider being told the following:

TOO FIRM: “Stop playing with that X-Box! “I don’t care if you don’t want to brush your teeth. Get going now!” “Go to bed!”

What are you thinking, feeling and deciding? Now consider this:

TOO KIND: “You promised you wouldn’t play video games so much if we bought that X-Box. Ok, I’ll give you five more minutes.” “I’m worried you’ll get cavities if you don’t brush your teeth.” “I don’t know why you don’t listen. I feel so sad.”

What are you thinking, feeling and deciding? Now consider this:

KIND AND FIRM TOGETHER: “I know it is hard to stop playing, AND, it is time for dinner.”

“You don’t want to brush your teeth, AND, I don’t want to pay dentist bills.” I’ll race you to the bathroom!”

“You don’t want to go to bed, AND, it is bedtime. Is it your turn to read Harry Potter, or mine?”

What are you thinking, feeling and deciding?

Did you notice the magic word: “AND”? To be effective as parents, we need Kindness to maintain connection with our children, AND Firmness to teach the realities of life and accountability. All the Positive Discipline tools (52+) are both Kind and Firm at the same time.

Come see some of the Positive Discipline materials for parents in the Resource Center at Montiel Rd. in Escondido, or at your Learning Center.

Lois Ingber, LCSW, CPDLT

Behavioral Counselor, Element Education

(760) 522-4205

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As part of our mission here at the Curriculum Resource Center, we want to fuel the lifelong love of reading by making it easy for students to get the very best books. We receive a shipment of handpicked industry award winning titles every month. This month’s selection includes graphic novels for elementary and older readers, character building for elementary, audiobooks for middle school, and nonfiction for middle school.

What Linnaeus Saw: A Scientist's Quest to Name Every Living Thing by Karen Magnuson Beil

Tyna of the Lake: Gamayun Tales by Alexander Utkin

New Kid (Audiobook) by Jerry Craft

Tooth & Claw: The Dinosaur Wars by Deborah Noyes

We also have a sweet book about Mister Rogers titled, “You Are My Friend.” It is a gentle homage to Fred Rogers and shows how his simple message still resonates with us today: “There’s no person in the world like you and I like you just the way you are.”

Tracy Goettsch

(760) 743-5811

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