ORVA Community Newsletter

October 2021

Welcome to the Oregon Virtual Academy monthly newsletter! The intent of this publication is to share important school information and announcements, distribute event details, promote school contests and other social opportunities for students and learning coaches, and provide a platform to help ORVA families feel more connected to the school. We hope you enjoy the content and that you find this a useful tool in your student's educational journey here at ORVA. Welcome to the Oregon Virtual Academy 21/22 school year!

In This Issue

  • Activities Coordinator Corner
  • Learning Coach Corner
  • K12 App
  • Text Opt In
  • Parent Connect
  • Scholastic Books
  • Vector Solutions
  • Out-of-State Travel Policy
  • Oregon Virtual Public Schools Alliance
  • Elementary Spotlight
  • Middle School Spotlight
  • High School Spotlight
  • Special Programs Spotlight
  • Tips and Tricks from our School Psychologist
  • Community Resources
  • School Calendar
  • Contact Us

Activities Coordinator Corner

Elementary ORventure

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Middle/High School ORventure

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Coming Next Month!

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To view the entire Activities Coordinator Corner and sign up for ORventures or clubs, please CLICK HERE

Learning Coach Corner

Interested in joining the Learning Coach Academy and learn some helpful tips and tricks? It's not too late! We have just completed Level 101 and have begun level 201. If you would like to join, please fill out the form linked below. All of the level 101 sessions were recorded and are available here for you to watch and catch up. Please let Tiffany Folsom (tfolsom@oregonva.org) know if you watch them so that you can get your certificate.

Elementary LCA 101 Module 1 Recording

Elementary LCA 101 Module 2 Recording

Elementary LCA 101 Module 3 Recording

Middle/High School LCA 101 Module 1 Recording

Middle/High School LCA 101 Module 2 Recording

Middle/High School LCA 101 Module 3 Recording

K12 App

Many of you have noticed that the K12 app is not currently available. This is not a technical error. There has been a change to what ORVA has access to and K12/Stride is working on those changes now. We will no longer have access to the National Learning Coach Community portion of the app, but the grades, schedule, attendance, and progress will be turned back on. We don't yet have an ETA for that, however, K12 is working on getting us one. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as this gets worked out. Please reach out to Tiffany Folsom (tfolsom@oregonva.org) if you have any questions.

Text Opt In

If you have not already opted yourself and/or your student in for receiving text messages from ORVA staff and would like to, please fill out the form below. Learning Coaches may fill out the form for themselves, but students are required to have their Legal Guardian fill out the form to opt them in.

When filling out the opt-in form, please be sure to include all of your students' names and student ID numbers even if you select no for student texting. This allows us to mark your opt-in choices on each of their accounts in our system. Additionally, please be sure to include the phone numbers for each person you are opting in.

If you are opted in and would like to opt OUT out or make any other changes, please contact Tiffany Folsom at tfolsom@oregonva.org.

Parent Connect

Connect with others for friendship, support, and socialization! Connecting helps build a stronger community with students and Learning Coaches. By completing the opt-in form, you give the school permission to share your information with other families via the Parent Connect Directory. To remove your information from the Parent Connect Directory, please email your request to tfolsom@oregonva.org.


Scholastic Books

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Orders for October are currently being accepted. Because of the pandemic, Scholastic is delivering books directly to homes, rather than shipping them to the teacher to hand out. Scholastic is currently experiencing a delay in shipping books. They will send you a confirmation email when your order has been shipped.

When you use the school’s code below with your order, ORVA earns points with Scholastic. The points will be used to purchase books as incentives and prizes throughout the year.

Website/ordering link: https://clubs.scholastic.com/home

Click on Connect to Teacher and enter the class code.

Class Code: XQ8XT

Be sure to choose the ship to home option when you’re ready to order.

Orders will be placed for this month on October 29, which means that orders will ship after that date.

ORVA teacher to contact if you have questions: Tina Lowen, (541) 751-5410, tlowen@oregonva.org

Vector Solutions

VectorSolutions (previously SafeSchools Alert) is our online tip reporting system that allows students, staff and parents to confidentially report safety concerns to our administration 24/7/365 via:

1.Mobile App





NOTE: Vector Alert is for
non-emergencies. For true emergencies, always call 911.

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Out-of-State Travel Policy

Oregon Virtual Academy is a state public school, which means that all students must meet the state requirements for Oregon state residency to attend our school. A student is considered a resident of where the student’s parent or guardian resides under criteria identified in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 339.133. Residency is defined as having both a physical residence within the state of Oregon and the student being physically present within the state of Oregon.

To accommodate occasional travel, students may work from outside the state of Oregon on a limited and temporary basis if:

• The student is outside of the state for no more than 30 days AND

• The student is physically present for all legally required testing, including required state tests

If travel outside the state exceeds 30 days:

• Contact site Administration for possible options

• Understand that only temporary travel outside the state is permitted to continue enrollment at ORVA

Students who move during the school year must notify the Registrar within ten days of changing addresses. Instructions on how to submit new evidence for proof of residency requirements will be provided. Families must contact the ORVA office at (541) 751-8060 to speak with a registrar.

Oregon Virtual Public Schools Alliance

The OVPSA is a coalition of parents who have joined together to advocate for full-time virtual public schools in our state. Our mission is to educate and inform state policymakers about this important public school option. Your participation makes a real difference to our leaders in Salem.

Elementary Spotlight

Hello ORVA families and welcome to kindergarten! My name is Brenna Gross and I’m the kindergarten teacher here at ORVA. This is my 11th year with the school, and 9th year teaching our wonderful kinders. Kindergarten is a year of astronomical growth in not just academics, but in independence as each child begins to define themselves as a learner. It’s one of my favorite things I get to observe as a teacher! I have such a great time making learning come alive as I partner with each family to create real life learning experiences to support all learners. One of our favorite ways is to play games to practice what we’ve learned. You can use games in so many different ways, to review simple concepts to complex ones. From letter, sound and word scavenger hunts to number line jumping and matching games, you can make practicing learning a fun and easy activity for the whole family. I encourage everyone to have fun and give games a try!

Middle School Spotlight

Dear ORVA Middle School Community,

I hope you are all enjoying this fresh fall weather! I know my family is enjoying pumpkin season, spooky decorations and breaking out our raincoats.

Academic Dates!

In middle school this month, teachers are finishing up the last few weeks of Quarter 1. Please remind your student of these important academic dates:

  • 10/22/21: This is the last day teachers will assign work for students that will count toward a grade for Quarter 1.
  • 11/3/21: Last day for students to submit Quarter 1 work for a grade.
  • 11/5/21: End of Quarter 1

Although students will continue in the courses during Quarter 2, right now is your opportunity to work with your student to make sure they are caught up before the end of Quarter 1. Many students save work for the last minute and this can be very challenging for the adolescent mind (and the learning coach too!). Please reach out to myself, teachers and advisors for support. We are here for you!


Please keep checking the ORVA Middle School Padlet Information Page for Learning Coaches to access important links in a one-stop-shop format. Please check out our Learning Coach Information Padlet linked here or visit https://tinyurl.com/ORVAMS

I look forward to getting to know each of your students and having a fantastic school year together.


Caitlin Klenz

ORVA Middle School Principal


High School Spotlight

Important Upcoming Dates

· November 1st: Last day for students to turn in work that was assigned on or before October 25th.

· November 5th: Progress reports will be sent out by the end of the day.

Student Work

As a staff, we enjoy and take great pride in being student focused. Therefore, we thought this might be a wonderful place to feature some excellent student work. This month’s work samples come from Carole Anne Sturrock’s Creative Writing class for 9th-12th grade: “Create a comic strip of 3-5 boxes about 1 of the following: Online School, Life after Covid-19 or Pets.”

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New Virtual Career Events for Grades 9-12

Check out the Career Experiences tab on our Career Programs site to register and learn about career related learning experiences available to ORVA students



Last Chance to join the DECA Club! Complete this form to express interest: Student Activities Form

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Special Programs Spotlight

The Oregon Virtual Academy is committed to the identification and service of students with special needs, within the least restrictive environment and with access to the general education curriculum. Services and placements are based on each student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP). ORVA is dedicated to supporting all students and their families who meet the special education eligibility requirements of IDEA through robust programming options within the virtual learning environment.

Identification and Eligibility

Special Education services are available for students who meet eligibility criteria under any of the 12 disability categories recognized in Oregon and require specially designed instruction to make meaningful educational progress. The Oregon Virtual Academy is committed to provide needed supports and specialized instruction within the virtual learning environment while collaborating with the student's Learning Coach in the home. Individualized goals and supports for each student are outlined in their Individual Education Plan, which is developed by a team including the parents, school staff, and often, the student.

Tips and Tricks from our School Physcologist

Hello ORVA Families~

If you are not familiar with me, my name is December Tueller and I am the School Psychologist here at ORVA. I am interested in helping parents with tips & tricks to use when being an LC at home, which is hard work! Please watch for my monthly tips & tricks page here and I also will be offering this information soon in the Parent Academy meetings. So, please come and check it out! Feedback and questions are always welcome and good information for me to use to make the tips and tricks even better!!!

Welcome back to another school year! I am guessing some of you have settled into your new routines and others have not. That’s okay, wherever you are at, let’s look at where we can go with being prepared for our day and completing tasks so we don’t get overwhelmed and behind. This month, I am going to recycle a resource I sent out to you last spring. I think this is good beginning of the year information. So, if you missed this, please check out these tips and tricks. I also will be offering this information soon in the Parent Academy meetings. So, please come and check it out! Feedback and questions are always welcome and good information for me to use to make the tips and tricks even better!!!

Check out this article written by the New York Times, How to help a teen out of a homework hole:


🙌 Here are my thoughts on ways to help your student get going on assignments once they're SUPER far behind and stressed out to the point where they're hardly doing anything instead. 🙄

Put your patience cap on. Have a conversation about what the problem is. 🗨 This isn't going to be easy. It’s not going to be fast. Remember you're going to hear excuses. This is likely because they know how to give excuses 😉 but it's also because they haven't quite learned how to problem solve and this is exactly what you're getting to the bottom of how to problem solve! 🗝So that means digging deeper into their "excuses " and determining what the real issue is. Keep an open mind and remember, we’re all going through a lot right now!

Here are a list of things that could be getting in the way and some small solutions I have for ya! Hang with me here ....

  • Underlying mental health issues (anxiety or depression)? See your doctor or therapist. Get them some support. Or if it's a mild case (they appear down or lonely but aren’t speaking of anything like ending their life), talk with them about things they can do to feel better. Exercise 🏃‍♀️. Socialize (the world is beginning to open up). 👭🧑‍‍. Relaxation techniques . Do things they love or are good at. 👩‍🔧👨‍🎤. Who can they reach out to when they’re feeling down. Do recognize that when under stress, IT IS difficult to focus. Difficult to get started. Difficult to do a lot of stuff. 😪 this is a big topic so I'm going to stop here for the sake of time 😊 but please do check out our suicide risk resources in this addition!!!!!

  • Empathy will get you further than anger or frustration. So, solve the problem! Listen actively! This means hearing them and clarifying what their problem is. And then work together to do some things to help relieve stress... help get them out of their mess! Stay away from arguments and accusations. Here are some ideas for how to go about it:

    • Are assignments difficult if the house is noisy or crazy? 🌋 How or when can they get some quiet time? Headphones? Music? Work at night cause they're a teen and they think best and are most alert at night?🌃
    • The house schedule is not planned or organized? Help them find times in the day when they can do assignments and make a written schedule with them 📆. *See my YouTube video for help with schedules: https://youtu.be/eN6ussLq34Q here you can find more information on focus, as it relates to scheduling their day and (how to determine levels of focus with relation to interest levels and ability).
    • Figuring out where to get started with catching up? Identify the areas of struggle. Make a list. Number them by level of importance and level of ease. Sometimes they need a nice mixture of ‘can do’ and ‘struggle to do’ 😊
    • Don't know how to self-advocate once they're behind? Help them with various ways to self-advocate. Assist them in writing an email to their teacher identifying the items listed in the last bullet point. Make a plan for when the teacher responds to the email. Don’t just walk away and assume you’re done!
    • You or they don't know what they need help with? you need to go thru each assignment and list what is due and then email teachers with the list and ask where to start… what they will give credit for still? What is most pertinent? Don’t just make a list for teachers. Make a list for you and your student
    • How to ask their parent or LC for help in a productive way? 📚 Walk them thru this. How do they identify when it’s time to ask for help? When do they need to try it on their own? Write this down and put it at their desk as a visual: When to ask for help!
    • Confused about the assignment? how do we get them un-confused? Help or help them get help. Don’t feel bad if you cannot help them with an assignment. I have a masters degree in education and I was sooo not able to help my daughter in middle school with her math assignments. It was AWFUL! But guess what? It’s not a matter of education or experience. Things are taught differently now. So, don’t be so dang hard on yourself. Geeze! 😉 If you cannot help them, elicit help from the teacher. Email the teacher and CC your student so you both get a response. Ask for help! It is OKAY!
    • Your student doesn’t have the skills to complete the assignment? This is different than the student is confused about the assignment. This might mean that they are doing a higher level assignment and they haven’t quite learned the prerequisite skills (the skills needed before the assignment you are working on). A simple example of this would be like working on division and not knowing time-tables. For this struggle, you can either help them with the tasks they are struggling in or help them find help from a teacher.
    • Struggles Initiating a task? Help them get started and/or help them list the steps for completing the assignment 👩‍👧👨‍👦. Here are three wonderful strategies for helping your student get started:
      • First/then is more for kids who need more support or they are younger. Here’s how to use this:
        1. Take a piece of paper and cut it in half. Draw a line down the middle of the page on both sides of the paper
        2. Write ‘first’ on the left and ‘then’ on the right.
        3. When you want them to complete an assignment, list them in order. Make sure they are broken down. For example, write ‘first’ list three ideas that are written in the writing prompt. ‘Then’ write a full sentence using each of your ideas. Breaking tasks down is easier than saying something like, ‘first’ brainstorm what you want to write. ‘Then’ write a half a page about it.
        4. Once your student is good at using the first/then intervention, you can introduce first/then/next and employ a third task.
        5. If your student just won’t work for a first/then strategy, you could try ‘first’ a task, ‘then’ a reward or break. *please see the organizing breaks section from February’s Parent Newsletter.
        6. Have a kinder or student who cannot read? Use visuals tied with words and walk them through it verbally. They do a great job of remembering what the pictures mean.
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      • Finished/unfinished is great for older kids or kids who experience anxiety with too many assignments, those who are disorganized or stuck in their ways. Here’s how to use it:
        1. Buy/use a folder with pockets on each side
        2. One side label “finished” and one side “not finished”.
        3. Place the items in the unfinished side or place the unfinished list with an area to check boxes or cross items out.
        4. List them in order of importance or list items “difficult” and “less challenging” in every other task so that they’re not just doing all difficult assignments in a row. If assignments need to be broken down because they are big, then list them as separate items that need to be completed in order.
        5. Place the items in the finished side or list the unfinished items on the finished side and have the student mark finished on the finished side. This seems really simple and stupid but guess what? It’s not! It gives them a sense of accomplishment. Allows them to list what needs to be completed and importance level is noted.
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      • Color coded pens informs the student know where to start, when to ask for help and how to know when they’re finished:
        1. Red, yellow, green pens. Start by circling with a green highlighter, where you want them to start. Tell HIM/HER/THEM this is where HE/SHE/They are going to start.
        2. Use a yellow highlighter if you would like for HIM/HER/THEM to check in with you or the teacher. You can pre-teach that when HE/SHE/THEY get to yellow, HE/SHE/THEY get to do a preferred task until the teacher/or LC can check HIS/HER/THEIR work. This is important if you have a student who gets distracted easily and decides to do something completely different and doesn’t check in. Or it can be for a student who goes too far on assignments and then is asked to redo them, and it creates a great deal of frustration for them.
        3. Sometimes a preferred task is fidgeting, could be visiting or working on another task.
        4. Red or pink highlight where you are guessing they are going to need to stop.
          1. If HE/SHE/THEY may not be able to finish the same amount of work as the typical kid. We just need to know that HE/SHE/THEY understand how to do the assignment. So, how much does HE/SHE/THEY need to do in order to show HE/SHE/THEY understand? You can check with the teacher to help determine this.

A lot of these solutions are similar☝. It's best to not do these things for them but work through these with them. You may need to sit with them and help them write the email 💻to their teachers. Be there when their teacher writes back or calls📞 and help them figure out what to do with the information. Sit with them and make their to do list. Help them make a game plan 🗒 for getting thru their list (Do one easy thing and one harder thing). Make a mini list for the harder thing. Check back✅ and see where they're at. Don't just drop off after you've helped them with the initial step. 👍 you’ll likely be back at square one if you do 😉

Have a great month! See you here in November 😊


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Community Resources

School Calendar

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