Compass Chronicle

Compass Charter Schools | Summer 2021

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Enjoy Your Summer Scholars!

As the 2020-21 school year comes to a close, I am reminded of all the incredible work Compass scholars, learning coaches, teachers, and staff have accomplished this school year. I want to extend a special congratulations to all of our graduating seniors who were celebrated during our Virtual Commencement Ceremony on June 18 and with social media spotlights this month.

We have many things to celebrate this school year; in January, we celebrated National School Choice Week Virtually and celebrated our excellent board for Board Recognition Month. We celebrated Black History Month in February and highlighted our incredible African American staff and African American trailblazers! In March, we celebrated Women’s History Month, highlighting the amazing women at Compass and in our world. In May, we celebrated National Charter School Week, posted daily blogs highlighting scholars and staff, and in June, we celebrated Pride Month with a powerful Compass assembly and blog!

Our Board of Directors has guided our work, asking insightful questions and providing guidance and direction, all with the notion of putting our scholars first and supporting them along their educational journeys. We are also supported by a fantastic Parent Advisory Council and Scholar Leadership Council. The support of both councils and our board, combined with our scholars’ excellent work ethic, learning coaches, teachers, and staff, have made for a truly successful year!

As the year comes to an end, we celebrate our learning coaches and staff once more through our Learning Coach of the Year Awards, Employee of the Year Awards, and Teacher of the Year Award! Congratulations to Jessica Chouari, Barbara Baez, Therese, and Tony Christopher, Elizabeth Bettisworth, Shaunna, and David Green, and Rubyann Arcilla for being honored as Learning Coaches of the Year! Congratulations to our 2020-21 Employees of the Year, Christina Vert, Supervising Teacher – Certificated Employee of the Year, and Marco Mattaliano, Help Desk Technician – Classified Employee of the Year, for receiving this honor. And congratulations to Sharon Rosen, Social Studies Teacher, for being named overall Teacher of the Year! Please join us in celebrating and thanking these exceptional individuals for all they do to support our school to ensure the Compass Experience fulfills Compass's mission, vision, and values!

We invite and encourage everyone to think about displaying compassion, understanding, and love for those around them throughout June. Compass encourages all of its scholars to see the true gift in every person they meet. This outlook can help everyone better serve our school and our community. Our teachers and Counseling Services team provides various resources and workshops to help middle school and high school scholars develop the social and emotional skills they need to accept others’ differences and positively impact our community. Our Special Education team helps scholars of all ages with learning or developmental disabilities gain the skills they need to express love, understanding, and trust for others.

The upcoming 2021-22 school year promises even more advancements at Compass. Let our collective accomplishments this year shout from the rooftops that we are genuinely invested in our scholars’ success and be a testament to the fantastic things we can achieve together. I want to assure our families that our passion, integrity, and transparency will remain consistent. Our top priority has always been to provide our scholars and learning coaches with a positive, engaging, and memorable experience at Compass.

Thank you for a great year! Finish strong, enjoy your summer, and I look forward to welcoming scholars, families, and staff back to Compass this fall!

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 Charter!

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AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination

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Our Compass options and online AVID elective scholars have been hard at work creating resumes, learning requirements for college admission, and preparing their AVID testimony projects.

The objective of these projects was to highlight the most important concepts or lessons learned in AVID this year, including WICOR strategies, goal setting, and college preparation. These scholars are just a few of the wonderful scholar projects shared to end this semester.

It has been an amazing year for our scholars. They have all grown so much, and it is so rewarding to watch them take ownership of their learning as they step confidently into their futures. They have used our time together to listen and challenge each other through Socratic seminars, create academic portfolios, organize their schoolwork and hobbies to create balance and success, as well as build friendships that support one another along the way.

I cannot wait until next school year to introduce the AVID Elective to eighth-graders and keep our AVID 1 & 2 momentum going for our high school program as well. I love my job and my scholars!

- Andrea Lomeli, AVID Coordinator/Elective Teacher

AVID Scholar Testimonials


A Moment with Guinevere

Why did you choose to learn from home instead of a traditional school building?

I chose to learn from home because I’m more focused, and also I was bullied.

Does learning from home help you achieve your goals?
Learning from home helps me achieve goals because I have all the time I need, and it is less stressful.

We know that when learning at home, each day is different, but what is a typical school day like for your scholar?
I wake up at 8 am and start school at 9 am; then, I usually end my day at 3 or 4 pm.

How does Compass support you?
Compass supports me by giving me time to do my work, and teachers are always available.

Share a piece of advice you’d give to another scholar thinking of joining AVID?
Be prepared to be loved and welcomed, have good times, and learn how AVID can change your life and the way you work!

Incredible Interview Careli!

AVID Scholar Highlight - Careli

Awesome Submission Charlotte!

AVID Scholar Highlight - Charlotte

Very Articulate Moses, Great Work!

AVID Scholar Highlight - Moses
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Counseling Services Department

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What's Been Happening in Counseling?

As we prepare to close the books on our 2020-21 school year, the Compass Counseling Department would like to highlight what’s new for the upcoming school year!

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We are excited to share that for the upcoming school year, counselors will create and host a weekly VLOG for scholars and families and a monthly VLOG for staff. Our weekly VLOG will cover general counseling topics, social-emotional learning, academic planning, and college & career resources. Our monthly VLOG topics will be driven by staff input. Ultimately, our goal is to continue to find dynamic ways to increase scholar and family engagement and continue supporting staff where needed!

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In supporting all high school scholars in their college and career readiness, the Compass Counseling Department continues to provide access to SCOIR, a safe, secure, scholar-centric college search platform. SCOIR supports scholars and learning coaches through the college search, planning, and application process. Within SCOIR, scholars also have access to YouScience. YouScience uses performance measures of aptitudes to uncover scholars’ natural talents, match them to careers, and give them personalized feedback on how their abilities can be utilized in school, work, and in their daily life. Our College & Career Readiness Counselor, Mataya Olson, can collaborate with scholars seamlessly through the SCOIR platform on their goals.

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We are pleased to share our current list of college commitments for the Class of 2021. Please join the counseling team in joyful congratulations to our seniors. Their hard work, intellectual curiosity, kindness, spirit, and ideas will carry them forward on their next educational journey. We are Compass proud!

American River College

North Iowa Area Community College

California Baptist University

Pierce College

California State University, Northridge

Riverside City College

California State University, San Marcos

San Diego City College

Chabot College

San Diego Mesa College

Chaffey College

Santa Rosa Junior College

Full Sail University

Solano Community College

Grand Canyon University

Southwestern College

Moorpark College

University of California, San Diego

Mt. San Jacinto College

University of Redlands

Naropa University

Volunteer State Community College

As the tradition continues, we were thrilled to participate in a network of over 1,500 events nationwide right here in California to honor Decision Day. This celebration highlights our scholars' commitment to continuing their education after high school to attend a university, community college, other educational institutions, training programs, enter the workforce, or join the military. Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

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Counseling Staff Spotlight: Mandi Schwartzberg!

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Meet Mandi Schwartzberg, Counselor!

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

    I am the counselor for scholars' last names Mi-Ro for grades 6-12. I work with both online and options scholars. I address academic and graduation planning, social-emotional topics and concerns, and career and post-secondary guidance support. I have been with Compass since October 2016.

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

    My "why" is multifaceted. One, I am here because I have a calling to help. Second, I thoroughly enjoy learning about my scholars and their families and being a sounding board or the go-to for their needs. Also, I believe that all scholars (and people in general) can find success here; and the online format is truly a life-saver for so many of our scholars. Finally, our school is a safe haven and home to many that did not fit in a traditional setting. That is rewarding all on its own. I am honored to be part of this Compass family.

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

    My advice would be to be open to the growth that our school is enduring. It is always good to aim bigger and better, and Compass is changing to support a wider range of scholars and keep up with the ever-changing world of education. Change is good!

    Counseling Success Stories

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    Meet Genesis L., Eleventh Grade Scholar

    Genesis Lopez is a very dedicated and independent scholar, but more importantly, she is just an overall fantastic person! Despite obstacles, she continues to persevere and push herself to achieve higher. Genesis loves music and is a talented violinist. She takes private lessons on her own and is completely self-driven in her musical goals. This semester, Genesis mentioned that she wanted to audition for the L.A. Youth Orchestra. She had some reservations about her skill level or ability to fit in socially with this group of elite musicians. After weeks of building up her confidence, taking the audition process one piece at a time, and rehearsing, Genesis has been accepted to the L.A. Youth Orchestra as a Violinist for the 2021-2022 season, and we could not be more proud!

    Counseling Year End Highlights

    Ms. Bateman’s Morning Starter!

    We were thrilled to see the year-long progress and scholar engagement achieved in these group sessions. As we prepare to say goodbye to the 2020-2021 school year, let’s take a look at a school year reflection from scholar Alyssa V. that she created during Ms. Bateman’s Morning Starter!

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    Engagement Department

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    What's Been Happening in Engagement?

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    It’s hard to believe we’ve wrapped another amazing year of Engagement! Even though we couldn’t be together in person, we shared some amazing memories through our virtual scholar workshops, contests, assemblies, scholar clubs, and more!

    Scholars had the opportunity to explore a variety of passions through our virtual scholar workshops. Since March, we’ve hosted the Getty Center, Note Taking Strategies, Women’s History Month Assembly, Painting Social Hour: Coping Skills, Clay Making with Clay Studio, Care2Rock, USS Hornet, Virtual Whale Watching with Newport Landing, a tour of Jet Propulsion Lab, Asian Pacific Heritage Month Assembly, Ames Exploration Encounter, BioBox, Jewelry Making, Mad Science, Paint & Plant Gardening, and LGBTQ+ Pride Month Assembly. There has been no shortage of excitement this year, and we can’t wait to return in the fall for new adventures!

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    Scholar Clubs!

    Our scholar club meetings have officially come to a close for the 2020-21 school year! Scholars had the opportunity to dive deep into their passions through our 26 clubs, including Arts & Crafts Club (Elementary), Arts & Crafts Club (MS & HS), Awesome Elementary Artist’s Club, Book Club, Chess Club, Computer Code Club, Cooking Club (Elementary), Cooking Club (MS & HS), Gardening Club, Genders & Sexualities Alliance, Geography Bee Club, LEGO Club, Minecraft Club, Music Club, NHS, Peer Mentoring Club, Performing Arts Club (MS & HS), Photo Club, Pickleball Club, Scholar Leadership Council, Science Fair Club, STEAM Challenge Club, Video Production Club, Virtual Field Trips Club, and We Dine Together Club. A huge shout out to all of our amazing Club Advisors who made this year so memorable. We can’t wait to see you all again next year!

    Avery S., Scholar and President of the Science Fair Club Displays his Bubble Explosion Experiment!

    Scholar Spotlight - A Stansbury Science Club
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    A new addition to our engagement offerings this year was our Heritage Month Celebrations! We highlighted and recognized heritage months with guest speakers and scholar activities. Our celebration assemblies included Black History Month in February, Women’s History Month in March, Asian Pacific Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month in May and LGBTQ+ Pride Month Assembly in June. We look forward to continuing our celebrations in the fall!

    We also hosted a variety of contests, including the 30 in 30 Reading Challenge in March and the Summertime Recipe Contest in May. Congratulations to all of our participants!

    Kindergarten Graduates!

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    5-Grade Graduates!

    End of Year Celebrations!

    We recently held our 2020-21 kindergarten, 5, and 8-grade Virtual End of Year Celebrations! We celebrated and recognized the accomplishments of our promoting scholars with the help of our Superintendent & CEO, J.J. Lewis, and inspiring guest speakers Barbara Jean Hicks, Wendelin Van Draanen, and Mike Sullivan.

    We also celebrated our graduating seniors with our 2020-21 Virtual Commencement Ceremony! It was a pleasure to see all of our graduating seniors be recognized for their hard work and achievements.

    All End of Year Celebration Recordings and the Virtual Commencement Ceremony Recording can be found here:




    Congratulations to all of our 2020-2021 8th Grade award winners:
    Presidential Award for Educational Excellence (Gold)

    CCS of Yolo: Madison C.
    CCS of San Diego: Aiden M.

    CCS of Los Angeles: Kate V.

    Presidential Award for Educational Achievement (Silver)

    8th Grade Recipients

    CCS of Los Angeles: Grayson C.

    CCS of Yolo: Ramona H.

    CCS of San Diego: Leilani S.

    Congratulations to all of our 2020-2021 12th Grade award winners:

    Presidential Award for Educational Excellence (Gold)
    CCS of San Diego: Linnet A.

    CCS of Los Angeles: Lesley C.

    CCS of Yolo: Gwendolyn v.W.

    Presidential Award for Educational Achievement (Silver)

    CCS of Los Angeles: Alec M.

    CCS of San Diego: Elizabeth C.

    CCS of Yolo: Isabella M.

    National Honor Society Lifetime Member Award
    CCS of San Diego: James D. and Michael E.

    CCS of Los Angeles: Christian H.

    Samaritan Awards:

    CCS of San Diego: Michael E. and Jazenia P.

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    High School Graduates!

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    Special Education Department

    What's Been Happening in Special Education?

    In the Special Education Department, we have been busy with Specialized Academic Instruction, helping scholars complete the school year successfully, and getting some scholars prepared for graduation and transition to the postsecondary school world! In addition, we are collaborating with the General Education side of things to ensure scholars feel successful and supported all around.

    Special Education Work Samples

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    Staff Spotlight: Erin Gordon, Education Specialist

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

    I am an Education Specialist, and I have worked for Compass for two months.

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

    After researching and learning about Compass's philosophies, methodologies, and practices, I was immediately impressed. And since being a part of this team and witnessing the dedication firsthand, I knew I found what I was missing in my previous brick-and-mortar public school setting. Compass staff have the passion and expertise to do everything possible to meet the scholars' needs and work collaboratively with families.

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

    When possible, remember being a child and trying to place yourself in their position and imagine their perspective. Having as clear an understanding of what/how the scholar’s perspective maybe can really assist in effective teaching practices. In addition, this insight can provide a better picture of how to best teach the scholar in a way they will most understand.

    Share one thing about you that very few people know.

    When I was 16 years old, I saved a four-year-old from drowning at the beach. I pulled him from the ocean, but he was either not breathing or too faint to tell. So I used the technique called Rescue Breathing, and it worked! He spit and coughed up water and breathed on his own, and it was amazing!

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

    The best part is being together, but our favorite thing to do is to go to the beach. We love being in the water, water toys, and being lazy on the sand.

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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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    Your Giving Matters!

    Loud and Proud and Firebird of the Year Scholarships!

    This year Compass created two brand new scholarships for graduating seniors - the Rising Firebird Scholarship and the Loud & Proud Scholarship. These are for eligible graduating scholars to apply for, and the Parent Advisory Council reviews and selects the recipients.

    Congratulations to this year's recipients!

    Loud & Proud

    • Eric V.

    Rising Firebird

    • Michael E.
    • Eric V.

    Congratulations Eric V.!

    Loud and Proud Scholarship Video Submission - E Vivian

    Congratulations Michael E.!

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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