Compass Chronicle

Online Elementary School | Fall 2018

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year!

The K-8 program is up and in action! Our scholars have been attending learning labs, submitting work, and communicating with their teachers. Our amazing teachers hosted some very engaging learning labs, and attendance was through the roof this month. We’re excited for our scholars to continue to attend our live, virtual learning labs so that they can experience all of the fun, interactive activities our teachers have planned.

Ashley Daugherty, K-8 Coordinator


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What's New in Online K-8?

This year we are excited to welcome Ms. Kim Noller, Ms. Carrie Talcott, and Ms. Lacey Lehman to the middle school team! They each come to us with many years of experience teaching and supporting scholars.

Our Elementary School teachers sincerely enjoy hosting learning labs for their scholars! This month they enjoyed using the online classes to get to know their scholars and support learning in a fun and engaging environment. Later this year, the scholars will have even more opportunities to interact with their teachers and peers! Learning labs are held Monday through Friday and are now divided by grade level and subject. Our new lab structure allows scholars to interact with more of our Elementary School teachers and collaborate with scholars in different classes!

Earlier this month, Mrs. Villegas held some incredible Reading Workshops focused on organization, growth mindset, positive attitude, and how to make the best of the Learning Lab environment!

Looking ahead, our Parent Teacher Conferences are back! They will be held starting at the end of October with each scholar’s supervising teacher. These conferences allow learning coaches to connect with their scholar’s teachers, review diagnostic assessment results, create goals for each scholar, and develop an action plan on how to achieve them!

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We are featuring learning coach Rebecca and her elementary school scholar, Lakota.

We know that often with our scholars each day is different, but what would a typical day look like for you and your scholar?

Rebecca: Except for the fact that we eat oatmeal with sprinkles for breakfast, and read, every day is atypical!

What has been your greatest joy in teaching your scholar at home?

Rebecca: The greatest joy is being able to research subjects in-depth, taking time for a field trip rather than stopping where the lesson stops. Being present to experience growth and see smiles of recognition or discovery!

Share a challenge that you have experienced as a learning coach and how you

have worked to overcome the challenge.

Rebecca: The K12 Curriculum allows us to work with all challenges. When we had an “Antibiotic Challenge”, it gave us the freedom to work at different times of the day, depending on our scholar’s needs. We were able to schedule appointments with specialists during the week, and make up courses on the weekend.

Why did you decide to school from home with Compass Charter Schools?

Rebecca: When we found our scholar was shy, I called a friend in Texas who attended SMU and homeschooled her shy child. She suggested chartering. Since I have three teaching credentials and my husband, Paul, is a Senior Computer Scientist, who works from home, K12 was a good fit.

What do you enjoy most about being part of our Compass community?

Rebecca: Field Trips where we can bring sister Ariah! Four things:

1) the wonderful teachers

2) the great materials (the technology just keeps improving and the literacy selections are perfect!)

3) where else can you have coffee with the Superintendent & CEO?

4) and the flexibility to finish when it’s best for your family?

Share a piece of advice you’d give to a parent thinking about taking their child

out of school to school at home?

Rebecca: Parents have approached us, once they learn we charter at home, and we suggest that they try K12. They have to do what is best for their child and their family.

What do you, your scholar and the family enjoy doing together during your free time?

Rebecca: Fetch with Lakota’s new dog, “Romeo”, Trek Bikes, Family Get-togethers, play guitar, piano and make up songs, Go to the Dinosaur Museum and the Zoo, fly and go places! A lively game of “Guess which animal I am?”

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Erin Smith, Director of Online Learning

Where did you attend college and earn your degrees/credential?

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and National University

How many years have you worked in education?

I’ve worked in education for almost 17 years!

What were you doing before you joined CCS?

Over the years, I’ve taught 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade science and worked as an Education Consultant for Pearson Scott Foresman

How long have you been part of Compass?

This is the start of my sixth year at Compass.

What’s your favorite ice cream and your favorite color?

My favorite ice cream is mint chip and my favorite color is blue.

Please share one fun fact about yourself.

I love to wakeboard! My boys say that I am pretty good at it, too, for being a mom. ;)

Ashley Daugherty, K-8 Coordinator

Where did you attend college and earn your degrees/credential?

I went to San Diego State University. Go, Aztecs!

How many years have you worked in education?

I have been working in education for almost ten years.

What were you doing before you joined CCS?

Before joining the Compass community, I taught fourth-grade scholars at Painted Rock in the Poway Unified School District.

How long have you been part of Compass?

This is my fifth school year with Compass.

What’s your favorite animal and your favorite season?

My favorite animals are dogs! I have an eight-month old Goldendoodle at home named Lucy who is my loveable assistant throughout the day. I also have a family dog, Prince, who has been part of our family for eleven years. My favorite season would be winter. I love all of the holiday festivities!

Please share one fun fact about yourself.

I have been tap dancing since I was two years old and I still teach tap lessons occasionally for fun after school!

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Welcome to the 2018-19 school year at Compass!

The school counselors hope that all of our scholars and their families had a fun and relaxing summer break. As the new school year begins with a fresh start, we want to highlight the importance of establishing strong communication habits right away! The school counselors at Compass are here for several purposes, but their main objective is to support the academic and personal success of the scholars they work with in any way that they can. But, they can’t do it alone! In an effort to ensure each scholar's personal and academic success…they need your help!

Compass scholars are invited to utilize the following checklist to ensure that they have a successful school year by using the several means of communication that the counseling team has to offer:

  • Check your emails at least twice daily. Part of being a responsible scholar includes checking for new emails at least twice per day. It’s best to put a reminder in your planners or Google calendar to check your emails at different times throughout the day.

  • Update us with your current and working cell/home phone numbers. We cannot stress enough how important it is that we are able to contact you and your learning coach at all times.

  • Send us your current mailing addresses. Similar to the importance of having your phone numbers, it is very important that we have your current and updated mailing address. Although rare, we do sometimes mail items (example: high school diploma) and we want to ensure you’re receiving what we send.

  • Sign up for the REMIND app. REMIND is an amazing tool that allows our counseling team to send you direct messages via the REMIND application straight to your phone. Simply follow the directions on your REMIND email invitation to sign up!

  • Follow the counseling team on Twitter! Our team frequently shares resources via Twitter so we invite you to please follow both the counseling department’s Twitter (@CompasCounselor), as well as your own counselor’s personal Twitter (check with your counselor for their individual account).

The counseling team looks forward to continuing to establish a positive relationship with each scholar while working together with teachers, learning coaches, educational facilitators, and other staff to maximize every scholar’s academic, social, and emotional abilities!

Debra Stephan, Director of Counseling Services


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What's New in Counseling?

This school year, we welcome some staffing changes!. Ms. Mataya Olson is the new College and Career Readiness Counselor who has been working tirelessly this past month getting up to speed with learning the “Compass way”. Ms. Olson offers a wealth of information in the area of college and career, and we invite scholars to contact her for all of their college and career-related needs!

Additionally, earlier this month the counseling team kicked-off the Counseling with Compass Live presentation during orientation at the Compass' Orange County Learning Center (OCLC) in Santa Ana, CA. The team traveled to the OCLC and gave a presentation about counseling for scholars and their learning coaches. Yup! you read that right...the counseling team is hitting the road! Families at the orientation were asked to build a word cloud to describe their definition of school counselors and their responsibilities. Overall, it was a great time that allowed the counseling team to connect with scholars and their families! This year, the team is on a mission to connect in-person with as many scholars and families as possible. They will visit designated locations throughout central and southern California to provide in-person counseling services that are also offered virtually. The counseling team is excited to embark on this journey to build stronger connections with our scholars and they look forward to meeting scholars at these upcoming events!

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This month we are happy to highlight the Brinkman Family!

They are part of the Options (homeschool) Program at Compass. John and Annalise both practice and compete in the martial art and combat sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is the primary fighting style of the ancient Samurai in Japan and the most sought-after martial art for all professional MMA fighters. We asked the family a few questions - check out their answers:

What does a typical day look like for you, John and Annalise?

Learning Coach: A typical day usually starts with the children reviewing their schedule and deciding what needs to be completed. They go to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practice every day so they know they have to manage their time between academics and practice.

What has been your greatest joy and what has been your greatest challenge in schooling John and Annalise at home? How did you overcome the challenge(s)?

Learning Coach: The greatest joy is knowing that they enjoy homeschooling and want to continue with the experience. They truly enjoy it and they are both organized to stay on track. The greatest challenge is when they have a question about math that I don't know the answer to. I then call upon helpful resources like friends or our educational facilitator who are clever in math and can support us.

Why did you choose Compass Charter Schools, among the vast competition out there?

Learning Coach: We chose Compass because we enjoy homeschooling through the Options program and picking the curriculum that works best for our scholars.

What do you enjoy most about being part of our Compass community?

Learning Coach: I like that Compass has such a great support system for families. We can reach out and there is always someone available to help us.

What advice would you give parents thinking about schooling their child at home?

Homeschooling has been an awesome experience for my scholars. They love having the flexibility to get their work done and then train at practice. Unlike other independent study schools, Compass has two different programs, Online and Options, that families can choose to participate in. Parents can be hands-on with their child’s learning, know if they are struggling and get involved to help them much faster than if they were in a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

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This month we recognize Debra Stephan, Director of Counseling Services

Where did you attend college and earn your degrees/credential?

I proudly earned my undergraduate degree at California State University, Northridge. Go, Matadors! Later, I continued my education at California Lutheran University where I earned a secondary teaching credential and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential.

How many years have you worked in the field of education?

In my roles as a teacher and counselor, I have been working in education for over a decade to help scholars make impactful choices in a self-honoring way.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy reading and staying current in the field of professional school counseling. I also like spending quality time with my husband and three children. We enjoy going on camping adventures, going to LA Kings hockey games, or seeing a Broadway musical!

Can you share an interesting fact about yourself?

I have traveled to every state west of the Rocky Mountains and Canada to visit 21 of the 59 National Parks in the lower 48 states.

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School is back in session!

With the change of seasons comes change to the Special Education Department at Compass. First, our department has undergone a name change! We are now referred to as The Exceptional Scholar Services Department. With this name change, it should be apparent that we are here to support the independent learning needs of each scholar as we continue to recognize and appreciate that families choose us to support their child’s education and development.

Additionally, I’m excited to share that our department has several new teachers. Please welcome Lourdes Alvarez, who is working with scholars in Kindergarten through sixth grade. Next, please welcome Cindy Galvez, Barbara Johnston, and Erin Wakefield, who all support our middle school and high school scholars.

We are also ready to continue with our wonderful and dedicated providers at Global, Oxford, and Presence just to name a few.

We look forward to building new relationships with our families as the year progresses and I sincerely appreciate your patience as our new teachers are indoctrinated into our Compass Family!

Gabi Golan

Director of Exceptional Scholar Services


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What's new in Exceptional Scholar Services?

Our program is growing and evolving every day! This month our wonderful new teachers spent time connecting with our scholars and their families and scheduling SAI specialized academic so that our scholars continue to receive the personalized that support they need to grow and progress. The team looks forward to expanding and offering more support services for scholars later this year!
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Gabi Golan, Director of Exceptional Scholar Services

Where did you attend college and earn your degrees/credential?

I attended University of California, Los Angeles. Fortunately, I was able to live in an apartment owned by a family-friend in Hollywood, which was much more economical than dorm living. With that, I missed the college dorm experience, but I had the opportunity to experience living in a very culturally diverse neighborhood which enriched my life enormously.

How many years have you worked in counseling? (teaching not counseling)

I taught special education at various grade levels for about 18 years before moving into a department leadership position.

What were you doing before you joined CCS?

I can barely recall life before Compass! Actually, I was both a special education teacher and an Education Specialist at another charter school. I built long-term relationships with my former scholars and their parents after supporting them for many years.

How long have you been part of Compass?

I have been at Compass for just over a year! I felt right at home very quickly so it seems like I have been here much longer, in a good way!

What’s your favorite book and your favorite movie?

I really enjoyed reading The Help by [insert name]. My favorite movie is the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!

Please share one fun fact about yourself.

I love to prepare food and feed people! I get it from my mother.

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Are you enjoying the educational experience at Compass? Tell us! We want to hear from you. Why did you decide to join the Compass family? Or, what do you love most about being part of our community? Share you comments and all of your wonderful experiences at Compass with us! Click here to share.
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Compass Charter Schools

Visit our website for more information about our academic programs. Or, contact Ashley Daugherty, K-8 Coordinator, at

Want to get connected? Give us a shoutout on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram: @CompassCS #ChooseCompass

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