SLVUSD Charter News
Vol 1.8 - Week of Nov 13, 2023
From the Principal
We have had a busy and wonderful two weeks - what a fun start to the holiday/winter season! One more full week of school, and then Thanksgiving Break happens from Monday, Nov 20 through Sunday, Nov 26. I'll be sure to have this newsletter cover the coming week as well as the week after Thanksgiving, so we don't miss anything!
Just a few things to keep in mind over the next few weeks:
- The week of Nov 27, Our 2nd through 11th graders will be piloting a new Math and Reading online assessment system called NWEA/Map Growth - please click here for more info. If all goes well, this benchmark and growth assessment, which is adaptive to each student's levels, and aligned to common core standards, will be adopted for our use at the start and end of each year, to track student progress over time and allow us to strategically offer intervention and acceleration respectively in both essential disciplines. More on this as we get the first round under our belts! We would typically be doing this in August!
- Wishing all our elementary division (4th - 6th) and junior division (7th - 9th) Spelling Bee candidates the best of luck as they prepare for the school-wide Spelling Bee championships to be held Nov 30! (The top two spellers from each division will go through to County level and compete against students from all other county schools in competition at UCSC in January. )
Elementary Division (4 - 6)
Junior Division (7th - 9th)
(Honorable mentions need to go to the following students who also qualified for the next round, but have chosen not to participate in the public contest: Katie Matessa, Emrys McCollyer, Noah Arnold, John Burns, Lila Robins, Camilla Mascerenhas, Ren Rowen, Abby Illich, Mara Davies, and Bjorn Steele. You can change your minds any time between now and Nov 27!
Here's to a great week ahead!
News and Announcements
Spirit Dress up Day! Thurs, Nov 16 - "Silly/Crazy Costume" theme
Our Student Council is encouraging everyone to dress up for Silly/Crazy Costume Day on Thursday, Nov 16! Prizes for the best costumes!
And at lunch we will gather to create a "Gratitude Tree" as part of the costume context.
Pinewood Derby - Friday, Nov 17 (NA) and Thurs, Dec 7 (Homeschool Programs)
Students have been busily working on shaping and sanding their pinewood vehicles, and now they're ready to RACE! Nature Academy students will race on Friday, Dec 17 at 12:30pm. The homeschool programs (QHHS, QHIA and CRMS) will race on Thurs, Dec 7 (time to be announced) with the winners of the NA derby also taking part!
SLVUSD Charter Craft Faire - Dec 1
Come and shop for the holidays at our annual Winter Craft Faire! Friday, Dec 1 from 10 - 2pm our young artists and entrepreneurs will be selling their craft, designs, jewelry, art work and all kinds of other magical things! (NOT a drop-off event, thank you for supporting!)
If your child has a table, please note that they must be accompanied throughout the day by a parent. Set up begins at 9:30am, and tables will be provided, as well as a vehicle-accessible drop off zone (brief) for materias. After dropping off, please park on Marion or in the neighboring roads.
Nature Academy will release at 12:05 (Minimum Day schedule). Parents please note that there are NO BUSES running to the tricampus on this day, and all NA students must be picked up from school or get a ride home.
Looking ahead - save the date!
Month of November: Native American Heritage Month
Week of Nov 12 - 18: "United Against Hate Week"
Mon, Nov 13- Note A1 Day dismissal at 3:00pm (tricampus) for Nature Academy
- Astrophotography Club meets at 2:15pm in the Library (Note: Wednesdays starting after Thanksgiving Break)
- SLV All-Charter Band rehearsal - 5pm in the Multi Purpose Room
Tues, Nov 14 - Ga-ga Ball pit reserved for elementary programs every Tuesday lunch time
- Charter Play Rehearsals begin: 2:45 - 5:15pm in the MPR
Wed, Nov 15- Charter Play Rehearsals: 2:45 - 5:15pm in the MPR
Thurs, Nov 16 - "Silly/Crazy Costume" dress up day!
- Student Council meets at 8:15am in the Library
- Dungeons and Dragons Club meeting - 2 - 4pm - Alex's room
-- Charter Play Rehearsals: 2:45 - 5:15pm in the MPR
- Optional Parent Meeting (zoom) for a Q&A about the upcoming NWEA/Map assessments - 4pm
Fri, Nov 17 - Pinewood Derby Day for NA (see above for other program race day info)
- Month 5 attendance due for all Homeschool programs
Mon, Nov 20 - Sun, Nov 26 - Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL
Week of Nov 27 - Dec 1 - NWEA/Map assessments (Reading/Math) in 2nd through 11th grade
Mon, Nov 27 - SLV All-Charter Band rehearsal - 5pm in the Multi Purpose Room
Tues, Nov 28- 9:15am - Parent Advisory Council meets in the Library
- Ga-ga Ball pit reserved for elementary programs every Tuesday lunch time
Wed, Nov 29 --- Astrophotography Club meets at 2:15 - 3pm in the Library
- Charter Play Rehearsals: 2:45 - 5:15pm in the MPR
Thurs, Nov 30 - Student Council - 8:15 - 8:45am - Library
- Elementary division Spelling Bee assembly - 10:00am - MPR
- Junior division Spelling Bee assembly - 12:30pm - MPR
- Dungeons & Dragons Club meeting - Alex's room - 2-4pm
-- Charter Play Rehearsals: 2:45 - 5:15pm in the MPR
Fri, Dec 1 - Craft Faire Day! 10am - 2pm
- Minimum day for NA (dismissal 12:05pm) - NO BUSES home today
Dec 19, 20 and 21 - Minimum Days for NA (12:05 dismissal); Buses running
Fri, Dec 22 - NO SCHOOL (start of Winter Break)
Mon, Jan 8 - Professional Development Day - NO SCHOOL
Tues, Jan 9 - NA and CRHS students return from Winter Break
Mon, Jan 15 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL
Wed, Jan 24 - Homeschool program enrichment classes begin again
- A1 Mondays are 3pm dismissal at the tricampus;
- A2 Mondays are 2:05pm dismissal at Nature Academy;
- O days are Tues/Thurs, dismissal 2:05pm;
- E days are Wed/Fri, dismissal 2:20pm (Wed) and 2:05 (Fri);
- Minimum Days dismiss at 12:05;
- Short Mondays dismiss at 1:19pm
- Excursion Days (dates not all finalized) - times are individual to the excursion
Student Council Update from Teacher Alex
We will be having a Silly Costume contest on Thursday, November 16th. Students will have the opportunity to vote for their class’s silliest costume during lunch recess. Student Council members will set up and run voting stations, and also pass out leaves for our Charter’s Gratefulness Tree, where students will write what they are grateful for. We will paste the leaves on a paper tree that will be placed in the MPR.
SLVUSD Charter School will be participating in this year's Second Harvest Food Bank Holiday Food Drive. Watch this space for more info!
Student Council meets every Thursday in the Library from 8:15 - 8:45am. Any student is welcome!
Ongoing information from previous Charter News
Did you know that our district maintains a "Community Opportunities" website? This is for parents / students to receive information about current local events and opportunities for adults and/or children.
Note: The San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District does not sponsor or endorse any of the organizations or events that are located here. They are non-school sponsored events and are not being promoted by the school district. All postings are provided as a courtesy to the parents/students.
Homework Help at the Public Library
Bring your assignments to one of the FREE drop-in Homework Help sessions at one of the following public libraries.
Tuesdays from 3:00p to 5:00p.
Downtown, 224 Church St., Santa Cruz
Felton, 6121 Gushee St.
Capitola, 2005 Wharf Rd.
La Selva Beach, 316 Estrella Ave.
Open to all students up to grade 12.
Call 831.427.7713 for more information.
Guide to Resources for Families in SLV
Here's a handy one-pager listing various organizations and resources for families in the San Lorenzo Valley.
If you’re interested in following our Instagram account, showcasing news and events from SLVUSD Charter School, here is the info:
“I'm on Instagram as slvcharterschool. Install the app to follow my photos and videos, or click this link: https://instagram.com/slvcharterschool?igshid=MzMyNGUyNmU2YQ==
(Please know that we will be very careful not to post pictures of students on the "Do not Photograph" list.)
And if you haven't started following the District Instagram accoount, look for "slvusd" and click "Follow!"
We hope to see a positive improvement in our attendance rates this year, and encourage our families to support your student in participating consistently, whether it be in a homeschool program where work completion = attendance, or in our classroom-based 5 day a week Nature Academy. Students who are absent 10% or more in a school year are typically "less proficient in reading, writing and math than their peers with good attendance" (Source: CA Dept of Ed.) Thank you for being our partners in supporting good attendance.
New! Volunteer application hours - PLEASE NOTE: The Charter Office and SLVUSD Human Resources Office hours will process volunteer registrations on Tuesdays from 7:00-11:00 am and Thursdays from 12:30-3:30 pm. The Human Resources Office is located at 325 Marion Avenue, Ben Lomond, CA 95005.
All Charter parents are encouraged to register with the District as a volunteer and a field trip driver. (All parents are asked to drive on excursions...)
Please click here to access the required volunteer paperwork. Hard copy paperwork is also available at the Charter Office.
To use your personal vehicle to transport your own or other students, we will need updated driver information on file as well - please click here for the form.
Ø New Volunteer: You will be required to fill out the volunteer paperwork and obtain a signature from the principal. Once complete, please bring your signed paperwork to the Human Resources Office. You will be required to provide a current TB result. Also, all new volunteers will be required to be fingerprinted.
Ø Returning Volunteer: You will be required to provide current TB results. This documentation can be provided to the Charter office. The school site will forward current TB results to the Human Resources Office. You may also bring current TB results directly to the Human Resources Office.
If your child takes the bus to or from school, please remember you will need to purchase a bus pass. Please click here to access the Transportation web page with all the information you will need.
ALL Nature Academy students have to be registered to take bus transportation on A1 days to the tricampus. (No need to pay.). Our office has taken care of this registration paperwork.
Students at Coast Redwood High who need afternoon transportation to the tricampus for concurrent enrollment classes can take the TK bus that leaves the District Office at noon each day. They will not need to pay for a bus pass. However they still need to register with Transportation. Rides will be denied if students are not registered.)
The Charter Office staff ask families to call in before 1:50pm if they have a message for their student about changing that day's bus transportation arrangement.
Athletics information (middle school)
Middle School athletes, remember that eligibility rules require you to carry at least a 2.0 GPA (C average) to remain eligible to complete in the middle school athletics practices and competitions.
Click here for the updated newsletter from middle school Athletic Director Lupita Alaniz
(Parents, Lupita still has Cross country photos for your students. They will need to return their jerseys in order to get the photos. Also, if any athlete has a jersey from last season they can't get another jersey until they return the last one.)
Please click here for a link to the Panther Athletics website (SLVMS).
Please click here for a link to the Cougar Athletics website (SLVHS).
Parking lot safety
Student drop off and pick-up:
Please be mindful of safety during drop-off and pick-up. Drive slowly, and stay with your young child when walking to and from your car. Older students should walk (never run), and watch for moving cars when the are in the parking area.
- Parents/guardians of elementary-age students need to park and walk their students to their classroom and sign them in at their classroom.
- Middle school and High school students can walk to their classroom, where the teacher will take attendance, or students will sign in.
- If your student is taking the bus, they will be dropped off in the morning in front of the District Office.
- At pick up time, teachers will supervise all students until they are picked up - either at the bus stop at the top of Marion, or at the parent pick-up spot behind the District Office building.
NOTE: The driveway down to the main campus is not designed for walkers and cars at the same time. Buses need to take wide turns to exit the transportation lot. Please use the stairs when going up and down from Marion Avenue to the central campus area.
- Parents of elementary and middle school students can park in front of the District Office Building.
- CRHS students who are driving to classes can park in the front parking lot and walk up the stairs to the CRHS building.
- Any student who is riding their bike to the campus needs to park their bike at the top by the Coast Redwood High School building, along the side of the path, and walk down the steps to the central campus area.
- All SLVUSD students are eligible to receive a free breakfast and lunch through the cafeteria. But lunch must be ordered online.
- Complete the Free/Reduced Lunch Application at https://family.titank12.com/
- Although a meal application is not necessary to receive free meals during the 2023-2024 school year, households are encouraged to complete a meal application to ensure that your school receives accurate funding. As well, your child’s eligibility for free or reduced lunch could qualify you for additional outside services or benefits including Free/Reduced Bus passes, student fee waivers, P-EBT, discounted utilities, and more.
- Meals will be served from our Multi-use Room in the central area of the campus.
- Breakfast will be available in the mornings from 8:15 - 8:45am - no need to place an order
- Lunch times vary per program, but generally happen in the 11:50 - 12:30 window
- CRHS students can order lunch and it will be delivered to the CRHS building.
- Elementary students will have lunch cards (kept by teacher)
- Secondary students will need to key in their student ID on a keypad
- Make sure your online order is in by 9am on the day prior to ensure hot lunch. Some limited cold lunch options will be available for anyone who didn't order in time. Here is a link to the steps for setting up a LINQ account and ordering your child's lunch. (Free to all; no charge!)
- SLV Student Nutrition Services. Please click here for more information
After school childcare
SLVUSD partners with the YMCA to provide before and after-school childcare at Boulder Creek Elementary and San Lorenzo Valley Elementary. For more information, please reach out to the YMCA (831) 338-2128, or visit their website - YMCA CHILDCARE.
Parent/family engagement/involvement and education opportunities
Triple P/First Five of Santa Cruz County offer ongoing parenting classes for parents of students of all ages. Please click here to see their workshop offerings.
Triple P also offers 1:1 sessions for parents who are needing intensive 10 week session and add-on sessions for people who are divorcing or separating (Family Transitions), for couples wanting to work on their relationship (Enhanced) and for people wanting to work on their strong emotions, like anger (Pathways). If interested in 1:1 sessions, please contact First 5 of Santa Cruz: https://www.first5scc.org/contact