Compass Chronicle

Los Angeles Charter | Spring 2021

A Word from our Assistant Principal, Tricia Gallagher

We are officially past the halfway point of the school year; what a great year to reflect on the success and achievement of our scholars, learning coaches, and staff during a time when hope and perseverance are valued hallmarks of a challenging time in the world. It has been an overwhelming pleasure to see scholars grow, achieve, overcome, and prosper. This has been made possible by the joint efforts of passionate supervising teachers, supportive counselors, dedicated learning coaches, and engaged scholars.

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What's Been Happening at the Los Angeles Charter?

With the onset of spring, we usher in a season of blue skies, extra daylight hours, and flowers in bloom. CCS of LA scholars continued to blossom as they engaged and advanced through their second-semester studies. We continued to support scholar engagement opportunities with virtual scholar workshops and the launch of second-semester clubs. Families and supervising teachers actively engaged in connection meetings, online parent/teacher conferences, along with learning labs and workshops.

In February, our teachers and scholars focused on celebrating Black History Month by recognizing and highlighting African Americans' achievements for their central role in United States History. Our month-long tribute culminated with a Black History Assembly where we shared the value and importance of Black History, heard poetry written by our very own Compass scholars, and listened to a special guest speaker.

During March, we celebrated our Core ARTIC Award recipients. We are so proud of how hard our scholars are working and how dedicated they are to the Compass Core Values of Achievement, Respect, Teamwork, Integrity, and Communication. March also celebrates National Women’s History. Our team invited scholars to honor the female heroes in their lives and the world. Women daily transform negativity and find ways to uplift our homes, workplace, and the world. To all the incredible females at Compass, we admire you!

Lastly, the CCS of Los Angeles entire team would like to express their gratitude to all of the families who worked closely with their supervising teacher to complete ELPAC testing. With so many uncertainties this year, we understood the challenge in completing these assessments and are thankful for learning coaching and scholars who are dedicated to their achievement.

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Work Samples and Learning Labs!

Ms. Jacob’s TK class has been talking about home in social studies this month.

“What makes our homes special, and how are homes different around the world?

Mrs. Jacobs shares, "This group is so observant and enthusiastic! I love hearing their thoughts!”

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Here is a photo of music club scholar Lucas A, who posted a flip grid video of himself playing Zelda's lullaby on his Ocarina (a type of flute). Many of our scholars are submitting videos of them playing a variety of instruments in the music club!
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Adam W. Enrichment Course Drawing

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Kekoa H., a fifth-grade scholar, submits his social studies project on MLK's dream speech and ways to make the world a better place.
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Fifth-grade Options scholar, Thasya M., created this watercolor image in her class with Megapixels School of the Arts vendor Meg Navarro.

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Julie of The Wolves Novel Project!

Isaac B. creatively shared pictures in his culminating project for Julie of The Wolves novel.
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Dean B. illustrated his interpretation of a theme in Julie of the Wolves novel.
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Garret C. used pictures and text to share a view of Julie of the Wolves.
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Amelie, a first-grade scholar, is learning about the life cycle of living things. She submitted her completed project and a video where she recites the steps in the life cycle of a frog. As an English language learner, she did a stellar job explaining the process in English!
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Emily M. created a social media profile page on a famous person during the Roman Empire.

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Online Learning Coach, Sylva, shares her family's experience with Compass

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I chose the Online Program, learning from home, for my two kindergarten children, John and Mary, after researching for over a year. I felt that it would allow for them to grow in areas where they are strongest. I was incredibly nervous about teaching them the “right” curriculum and wanted to make sure they would excel and be at the level they should be at. Compass was recommended to me by a friend, and the ability to select either the Options or Online Program was a great benefit. As a first-time learning coach, I felt more secure going with the online program. Our decision has allowed my kids to excel at their pace and has allowed me to see where they need more help. The one-on-one attention allows us to concentrate on weaknesses to overcome obstacles. My greatest joy has been seeing them grow and learn so much, especially how to read. I’ve captured all the “aha” moments.

Scheduling is key for us! Being at home and balancing between teaching and all the other mom duties has been quite challenging. Since this is my first year as a Learning Coach, I have had to stop myself from doing other duties during the daytime. Daily, we start our mornings with language arts when their minds are fresh. Then we take a 20-minute break and dive into math. After our math lesson, we typically take a one-hour break and come back to do science and social studies (or vice versa.)

Our online teacher has made our learning from home experience amazing. She is always available to answer our questions, and we always look forward to her feedback. Also, the online tools that have been provided to us have been incredibly beneficial, especially the Epic online library. Due to this year's circumstances, having the zoom learning labs has allowed John and Mary to bond with their classmates without actually meeting them in person.

My advice to someone interested in an at-home learning path is to ask as many questions as possible so you can feel comfortable making a decision. Schooling from home doesn’t offer the same structure as a traditional school, but the positives outweigh any negatives. It also allows us to spend time together doing what we love, such as experiencing new places, taking walks in nature, and watching movies.

The Spears Family Shares their Options Program Journey with Compass!

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I am blessed to stay at home and educate our seven-year-old daughter, Daisy, an Options scholar. I cannot imagine being away from my child for six to eight hours a day before spending another one to two hours on homework and waiting until dinner time to connect! I believe that the world and environment around us are the best way to navigate the skills needed for life and to figure out what we want for our own lives. Allowing kids to explore and learn makes a huge difference. I love offering my child input on what she wants to learn and how. For instance, my daughter is very artistic; I try my best to incorporate art into every subject—even math! This allows her actually to think it’s FUN versus just a duty.

I chose Compass after connecting with one of their Options supervising teachers, Whitney. She was open to my teaching method and was already naming off many resources that she thought I’d enjoy based on our first conversation. The help and accountability I receive from our supervising teacher are what’s been extremely supportive. I love all of the events that are offered on ParentSquare! Especially now with the pandemic, the zoom events and the partnerships they have with other companies that offer free classes to Compass scholars have been very helpful!

As a family learning together, we enjoy daily walks, hiking, biking, beach days, picnics, playing soccer, drawing, and creating anything with wood! For us, having a routine for our days has been helpful. We start school by 9 am, and my older daughter works pretty much independently while I spend one on one time with her younger sibling.

Once they both get a little antsy, we immediately go outside and get some of the wiggly energy out. By the time it’s lunch, they both know it’s time to help out while we chat. These conversations are always very interesting and a huge opportunity for me to learn new things! After lunch, my daughter and I will go through a more specific subject (each day is different, for example, Monday is reading, Tuesday is science, and the school day is usually over by 3:30 pm. The joy of homeschooling is that there’s so much flexibility! We are building a foundation of a love of learning. If there’s frustration over something, we can go back to it! We can take dance breaks, drawing breaks, quiet time, or whatever else is needed when it seems necessary.

I love watching my child Daisy's love of learning grow and grow. My sweet six-year-old is reading through third-grade level chapter books all on her own! My favorite days are getting to learn outside, which we often do! We’ll get a blanket and all of our materials and bring them outside. It makes all the difference.

Having three little ones isn’t easy, much less adding home study to the mix! It’s necessary to have grace and to ASK FOR HELP! I have two good friends who are also educating their children, and we get together once or twice a week to do it together! It’s hard talking to our children all day long, so having friendship and support is helpful!

For anyone new to educating at home, I’d recommend finding a community of like-minded people to share the journey with. Start the morning off with dancing if anyone wakes up grumpy, and get outside every day! Give yourself Grace!! It’s HARD but SO worth it. The time you spend together and the rewards of watching them successfully learn are so sweet.

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Staff Spotlight: Meet Kim Myers, Online High School Supervising Teacher

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Hello everyone! My name is Kim Myers, and I’ve been a high school mathematics teacher here at Compass since January of 2020. Before working at Compass, I taught math at another virtual high school for several years.

Our universe is written in the language of mathematics, and I love teaching this language to all the amazing scholars here at Compass.

Sometimes scholars encounter a complex concept in math, and they want to give up. It’s important to realize that you might not fully grasp something the first time you see it. When this happens, you should take a break and do something completely different for a while, or even sleep on it overnight, if possible. Then, after taking the break, go back and review the concept. Each time you revisit it, you will grasp more and more until your brain fully decodes it and you suddenly understand it.

My husband and I will be married 25 years this September. We were married in Sequoia National Forest with a small group of family and friends in the middle of a grove of giant sequoias.

In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and trail running. This year, I hope to start training for the Mt. Wilson Trail Race, which was first held in 1908 and is the second oldest trail race in California. My husband and I also enjoy dancing the Lindy Hop and riding bicycles together.

Staff Spotlight: Meet Whitney Perea, Options Supervising Teacher

I have been with Compass since 2019. I facilitate families in their homeschool journey by helping pick out curriculum, placing orders, offering encouragement, and using my teaching skills to expand the home learning.

My “why” in working for Compass is twofold, and it really works for my family! The reason is my heart and passion for home educating. I love uniting with others, supporting my families, and learning from them! I have spectacular Learning Coaches with the most wonderful scholars! I like to remind LCs that no one cares for, loves, and supports your scholars like YOU. Even on your hardest day, you CAN do this!

When I’m not working, my family and I love getting outdoors. Our favorite place to camp is Leo Carrillo State Beach. We’re planning a summer road trip to see Zion, the Sequoias, and the Grand Canyon. I also like to sew. Typically, I spend much of the Thanksgiving break sewing and creating tons of presents. Last year I made ten different dresses and shirts for my nieces and nephews.

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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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