Compass Chronicle

Compass Charter Schools | Winter 2022

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Seasons Greetings and a Farewell Message From Our Superintendent J.J. Lewis!

Dear Compass Family,

As we are amid this holiday season, I reflect on our incredible Compass community! I am so proud of how our staff and families come together to help support and uplift each other every step of the way.

Our families have been exceptional in partnering with us at the Parent Advisory Council, Scholar Leadership Council, Learning Coach Support Sessions, and more. Together, we are creating a fantastic Compass Experience for all of our stakeholders, making Compass the Gold Standard in virtual and personalized education!

Our school-wide WIGs, a key component of our Blueprint for Success, are that 100% of staff will report increased coherence, improved culture, and greater connectedness, and 100% of our eligible scholars will graduate by the end of the school year! Staff is working diligently to achieve these goals. Debra LaCroix, Training & Development Manager, Kasey Wingate, Director of Staff Support, and the Leaner-Centered Collaborative have developed personal learning programs, staff partnerships, and mentoring. In addition, counselors and teachers work closely with scholars to support their needs and path to graduation.

A few Compass Pride moments to share, scholar Airis Yeung was invited to record a promo spot for KPBS’s One Book One San Diego. Compass received the Newsletter Award from AASPA for our The Compass Way monthly culture eNewsletter. And staff members Aviva Ebner, Danielle Gamez, and Karla Gonzalez were all invited to speak at the APLUS+ conference this past October.

Scholar and parent feedback is essential to expanding and enhancing the Compass Experience. We invite scholars to submit suggestions to our Scholar Virtual Suggestion Box, as well as parents to our Parent Virtual Suggestion Box, to help us continue to improve. Suggestions are reviewed regularly by our leadership team. Compass is a family, and you are an integral part of our family. It is truly an honor that our new and returning families have chosen Compass to guide their scholars on their unique educational journeys!

It has been the ultimate honor to serve Compass, our scholars, families, and staff over the past seven years. I am so proud of the amazing work of our team, who all provide Gold-Standard service and support to our scholars and each other. To leave has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make. However, I make it knowing Compass is well-positioned to embark on this next chapter, and I know the team will continue to be scholar-centered and put our scholars first. I am excited to head home to Michigan and begin my next chapter, putting my stamp on the world and continuing to impact the lives of those around me positively.

Forever Loud & Proud,

J.J. Lewis

Superintendent & CEO


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Check out AVID, Counseling, Engagement, and Special Education Below and Then Click on Your Program!

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AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination

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What has been happening in AVID?

AVID scholars have been learning how to think critically and ask higher level questions with Costa’s Levels of Questioning. Through this process they have spent time analyzing the different levels and how creating deeper thinking questions which ultimately helped them understand the material better.

AVID Scholars used their questions during our first Socratic Seminar where they discussed the importance of teen creativity. It was a great experience and so enjoyable to share different perspectives and ideas in their learning lab. Using Socratic Seminar sentence frames, all scholars respectfully participated the seminar and are already looking forward to their next one!

- Andrea Lomeli, AVID Coordinator/Elective Teacher

Thankful Infographics

AVID Scholars Thankful Infographics-Our scholars had a chase to use their creativity and digital skills to create a Thankful Infographic using the website CANVA. We shared our creations before heading off to Fall Break and shared all of the things we were thankful for!

Check out some of their work!

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I AM Poems

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Teacher Spotlight on Karen Lewers!

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Pictured here with her family.

What is your job title and job responsibilities at Compass? How long have you worked for this organization?

My title is Highschool Supervising Teacher. I have a homeroom of scholars I supervise, as well as a variety of high school math classes that I teach. This is my fourth year with Compass.

Tell us your “why” for doing what you do here at Compass.

I knew I wanted to be a math teacher ever since 7-grade when understanding and explaining math became my absolute favorite thing to do. I started teaching math when I “grew up,” and then moved to teaching online math when I had children, so I continue doing my favorite thing while also being at home with my family.

As an educator, is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

Embrace mistakes with reflection and correction, as those are one of our best learning tools.

Share one thing about you that very few people know.

That’s a trick question - I’m an open book!

What do you and your family like to do during your free time?

Travel, swim, cook, hike, climb, and play outside.

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Counseling Services Department

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What's Been Happening in Counseling?

The Compass Counseling Department is off to a running start this year, supporting our scholars and families wellness. We would like to introduce you to our CCS Health & Wellness Calming Corner. The Calming Corner, a component of our Counseling Virtual Offices, is a space for scholars, families and staff to have access to tools and strategies for managing emotions, feelings and building our resilience.

What Is a Calming Corner?

A safe, quiet, welcoming space where a scholar can get away from it all for a few moments.

Why Do Scholars Need Calming Corners?


● Noise pollution & overstimulation


● Calming corner spaces within schools

  • Decompression

  • Time to reset the nervous system


● Scholars learn to self-regulate

● Scholars have agency to determine their needs & how best to meet them

The Counseling Team would like to Spotlight Michelle Bateman, Counselor!

    What is your job title and job responsibilities at Compass? How long have you worked for this organization?

    In my role as counselor for scholars with last names S-Z in grades 6-12, I promote scholars' academic, social-emotional, and post-secondary preparedness through comprehensive school counseling services. I strive to empower lifelong learners with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed for success while highlighting the strengths existing within each scholar. I collaborate and consult with staff and stakeholders to increase our combined capacity for serving scholars and families. My areas of passion are delivering core curriculum in our learning labs, serving as the counseling advisory committee chair, and aligning our department with the ASCA national model. This is my fourth school year with Compass!

    Tell us your “why” for doing what you do here at Compass.

    I believe all scholars deserve a caring adult in their life and support with their academic and personal development. I'm passionate about education and equity. Compass offers a unique opportunity for scholars to pursue an education that meets their individual needs which I am proud to be a part of.

    Is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

    No matter how experienced or educated you are, there is always something more to learn. It is okay to not know it all! Learning is a lifelong process.

    Share one thing about you that very few people know.

    Few people know that I enjoy creating art. It can be drawing, painting, or crafting - I like doing all things creative.

    What do you and your family like to do during your free time?

    My family and I love to travel, play games, watch shows, and eat! I also enjoy hiking, the beach, and cuddles with my cat Sheba.

    Counseling Success Stories

    Each year Compass is able to nominate one scholar from each of our three charters for the Carson Scholars Fund Scholarship. This nomination takes into consideration scholars who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities. We are so proud to announce of our 2022-23 nominees:

    • CCS of Los Angeles - Allyssa E. (11th grade)

    • CCS of San Diego - Katelyn E. (11th grade)

    • CCS of Yolo - Hosanna J. (11th grade)

    Congratulations Scholars!!

    The purpose of the Carson Scholars Fund is to recognize and reward outstanding scholars in the United States enrolled in grades 4-11 who exemplify academic excellence and humanitarian qualities. Carson Scholars receives a $1,000 scholarship invested towards a four-year college or university, an Olympic-sized medal and certificate, and an invitation to a regional recognition ceremony.

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    Engagement Department

    Back to School Picnics!

    We kicked off the school year with our annual Back to School picnics! Scholars enjoyed meeting new friends, playing giant yard games, a visit from Curious George, and tasty snacks at beautiful parks in San Diego, Costa Mesa, Fontana, Burbank, Walnut Creek, and Sacramento. Thank you to all who attended to help us kick off the school year!

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    Field Trips!

    We’ve had a busy start to the school year with our in-person field trips! Scholars have visited locations all over California including the San Diego Zoo, Drum Barracks, Bates Nut Farm, Underwood Family Farms, Benicia Historical Museum, Knott’s Berry Farm, Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Logan’s Candies, and iFly San Diego! Check out the Monday Morning Update (MMU) each week for our latest field trip offerings!

    Virtual Scholar Workshops!

    The fun doesn’t stop with our in-person field trips! Our Virtual Scholar Workshops are back in full swing including our Scholar Social Hours, Club Rush, The Respect Tour, Fall Pop Art, Mind Games: Intelligence Analysis, Heritage Months, the Science of Magic with Mad Science, Baketivity, and many more to come. Check out the Monday Morning Update (MMU) each week for our Virtual Scholar Workshop releases!
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    Scholar Clubs!

    Our scholar clubs program continues to flourish as we have a variety of clubs available to scholars in all grade levels. Scholar Clubs are meeting Monday afternoons between 1 and 4pm. Types of clubs available to our TK-5-grade scholars include, but are not limited to, LEGO Club, Minecraft Club, and Virtual Field Trips Club. Types of clubs available to our 6-12-grade scholars include, but are not limited to, Book Club, Cooking Club, and Space Exploration and Astronomy Club.
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    Learning Coach Academy!

    We have held eight Learning Coach Academy (LCA) sessions since the start of the school year. Learning coaches that are attending have shared their gratitude and excitement for the lessons learned and relationships formed as they participate in LCA. Topics that have been covered include an overview of LCA, organizing learning environments, learning coach responsibilities for both Online and Options Learning Program, IT tips and tricks, how to utilize the GSuite, and how to utilize subscriptions.
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    Special Education Department

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    What's Been Happening in Special Education?

    Educational Specialists continue to work closely with learning coaches and supervising teachers to provide weekly services to scholars with IEPs (Individualized Education Program). Educational specialists have attended training on our IEP system. Coordinators and educational specialists collaborate once a month on presenting positive IEP meetings.

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    Giving to Compass

    Compass Charter Schools is a non-profit charter school. Your donation helps enhance and expand the Compass Experience for our scholars, learning coaches, and staff.

    The easiest way to give is online at

    If you can make a gift, the Compass family will benefit greatly.

    Do not forget to check if your company will match your donation to Compass. It is an excellent way to SUPER-SIZE your donation! Thank you!

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