2019 ~ October 1st Newsletter

Valley Oaks School

Thank you to all students (and staff) who have allowed their pictures and stories to be posted in this and prior newsletters!

If you have a photo or story we could share in a future newsletter, please send it to us! People say, and it seems credible, that newsletters build community. Students who are posted and written about in our newsletter are acting as ambassadors of Valley Oaks ~ thank you for helping us build relationships in our unique school where students do not get too many opportunities to talk with each other and learn about each other. Building a sense of community also helps everyone feel safer and be in a better frame of mind for learning.

A Few Options to Consider for Volunteer Opportunities

  • Giant Steps in Petaluma - no experience with horses is needed; help handicapped kids ride horses!
  • Goatlandia in Santa Rosa - no experience with farm animals needed; They need volunteers any day Monday through Saturday from 9 to 11:30am. Tend to rescued farm animals. This is the farm that the famous Great Pyrenees Oden and his flock of sheep was moved to after the Tubbs fire. Oden herded his flock to a big rock outcrop and they all survived the fire!
  • 10,000 Degrees in Novato - tutor low income k-12 kids; no experience needed. They need volunteers for as little as 2 hours a week.
  • October 5th is an iceplant removal day in beautiful Bodega Bay from 10 - 1. Help pull out this exotic week that is taking over the sand dunes and pushing out the native plants. Sonoma County Regional Parks Likewise, on October 17, the Third Thursday Weeders of the California Native Plant Society meet at the Point Reyes Lighthouse to pull iceplant for 3 hours. Click here to RSVP to Carolyn's contact info.

Make an Appointment with Ms. Leigh, Our School Counselor

Please use this link, (also found on our school website), to make an appointment with her.

  • Work Permits: applications for work permits are hanging on the wall outside of Ms. Leigh's office and you can just take one. The steps are: 1) get a job, 2) fill out the application and give it to Ms. Leigh, and 3) Ms. Leigh will generate a Work Permit and give it to you.
  • The PSAT, which happens once a year, is on October 16th. Best of luck to those that are taking it! Unlike the PSAT, the SAT college entrance test is offered 6 times a year and you may choose to take it at any school site that is convenient for you. Sign-up online.
  • The Veterans of Foreign Wars' Voice of Democracy Scholarship is open to all students in grades 9-12, and is due to Ms. Leigh, by October 24 or due in the local VFW office before midnight on October 31. They are looking for a 3-5 minute audio essay on "What Makes America Great." Please check in with Ms. Leigh for an application and instructions.

How Your ILP Number is Calculated

7th and 8th grade students: Your ILP number is 30. Your ILP number is the total hours (of assignments) per week that you need to do.

High School Students: if you are wondering what your ILP number is, simply divide the number of hours of work you have to do to graduate by the number of weeks you have until you graduate. There are 36 weeks in a year - 18 in a semester. To get the number of hours of work you have to do to graduate simply multiply your credits needed by 15 if you are general ed, by 17.5 if you are combo track, or by 20 if you are college prep.

Here's an example: A college prep freshman in August has 220 credits to do. (All high school students have to complete 220 credits to graduate.) 220 x 20 = 4,400 hours to do.

Four years of high school would be 144 weeks. (36 weeks x 4 years = 144 weeks).

This student's ILP is 30.5. (4,400 divided by 144 = 30.5555).


1) For every co-enroll course you are in and/or for every online course you are in with Mrs. Parker, we subtract 5 hours from your ILP. This applies to 7th through 12th graders.

2) You cannot have an ILP number lower than 20.

Past Newsletters

Find and read past newsletters posted on our school website under Our School.

Newsletter Dates: September 1st, October 1st, November 1st, December 21st, February 1st, March 1st, April 1st, May 21st

Important Upcoming Dates

October 11, Friday: Group #1 PE Group Work Out from 2:30 to 4pm (We meet even in excessive heat or rain because we have the gym.)

October 14, Monday: Staff Development Day - No Student Appointments; The office will be open.

October 25, Friday: Group #2 PE Group Work Out from 2:30 to 4pm (We meet even in excessive heat or rain because we have the gym.)

Our Valley Oaks School website has the important dates for the entire school year.