the TOHS GreenSheet

A Newsletter for TOHS families - March, 2019



Greetings Lancer Community,

I want to take a few moments this month and discuss an exciting new program that the TOHS Faculty and Staff are thinking about implementing for future years - Advisory (although we may name it something else). Advisory programs are growing in popularity in high schools across the nation. Students are assigned to a small Advisory community (usually a teacher and 20-25 other students) who meet for 30 minutes twice a week. The primary focus of Advisory is four-fold:

  1. To maximize relationships and ensure that each student is developing a strong connection to the TOHS campus, culture and community.
  2. To provide personalized support for each student's academic progress and personal growth as a student.
  3. To provide grade specific information that will assist each student on their path toward graduation and beyond.
  4. To provide time for our faculty, staff and students to address the increasingly important notion of social-emotional-mental wellness.

Our faculty and staff still have some work to do in order to decide if Advisory will be a good fit for our school, and if so, what form it will take. However, I want to put this idea on everyone's radar so that if do move forward, you'll have an idea of what we're talking about. Many will say "oh yeah, I had a homeroom when I was in school." To be clear - Advisory is not homeroom. It is not a time for kids to go to a classroom and listen to announcements. It is not "free time" or a "study hall." It is time with a purpose. Here is an article that discusses Advisory in a bit more detail:

The goal of an advisory is to help students figure out who they are, where they’re headed, and how they’re going to get there. Through an advisory system, each student has an adult who knows them and helps them navigate high school so that they leave with a meaningful, personalized plan and are prepared for postsecondary options.

An advisory is a key component of a distributed student guidance strategy that includes regular meetings between an advisor and a group of students, that meets at regular intervals, has a clear focus, and is something in which all students and staff participate in.

In the paper Core and More: Guiding and Personalizing College and Career Readiness, we asserted that the best student guidance systems are blended (leveraging technology and in-person instruction and services), distributed (leveraging staff in addition to school counselors), and scheduled (utilizing an advisory period). This advisory period is really the glue that holds it all together.

High school can be a confusing time with increasing options for students due to the rapid expansion of digital learning. Advisory has to be the spine of the next generation high school. Sustained adult relationships can help students navigate this new digital landscape.

Chris Lehmann, Science Leadership Academy (SLA), believes that student-teacher relationships radiate from the advisory period. “Think of advisory as the soul of your school. And in everything you do, remember that you teach students before you teach subjects. Advisory is the place in the schedule where that idea has its core and then it spreads into everything else we do,” Lehmann said.

Beth Brodie of Partnership for Change notes that a key function of the advisor is to ensure that every student has someone, “Who knows them well and supports them at school meetings and conferences.”

5 Core Elements

  1. Weekly academic monitoring, connections to academic support services
  2. Connection to youth and family services
  3. Support for positive school culture
  4. Support for career awareness
  5. Support for postsecondary education awareness and decision making

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model, emphasizes a distributed approach to implementing these elements. Norm Gysbers encourages schools to move from “position to program” when thinking about guidance. Accordingly, core elements of a quality advisory program are supported with expectations, outcomes, role clarity, and measurements.

10 Optional Elements

  1. Support social emotional development with learning experiences and feedback
  2. Support identification of and preparation for work-based learning
  3. Provide support for college applications and dual enrollment options
  4. Foster peer learning and team building experiences
  5. Support health and wellness learning experiences
  6. Teach innovation mindset, including growth, team, and maker elements
  7. Teach life skills including financial literacy, digital citizenship, and carrying out school routines
  8. Prepare for student-led conferences
  9. Facilitate cross-curricular project work
  10. Involve community partners as guest speakers and local experts

Delivery Options

Size. Advisory groups are typically 18-22 students. To achieve smaller groups, administrators often take on advisory roles.

Frequency. Advisory periods are typically integral the school schedule, and typically anywhere from one to five times weekly for a period shorter than a class, such as 20 or 30 minutes long. Some schools elect to offer long, less frequent advisory periods.

Focus. Some focus on college and career preparation, others on academic support, others emphasize social and emotional learning and others, character development. Beth Brodiesuggests the development of a vision statement and clear objectives prior to implementation. “Establishing a multi-stakeholder group to include teachers, students, parents administrators, and special educators to develop a vision statement and define objectives will lend itself to a lasting organizational change,” said Beth.=

Curriculum. Regardless of focus, advisory ought be supported by curriculum. Some choose to use an existing curriculum, others choose to write their own. The curriculum can help connect academic preparation, thought patterns, interests and learning to students’ college and career aspirations. You don’t have to do everything in advisory, but you do need to be clear about what you do. One implementation example is SLA, where advisory is treated as a course, and the advisor serves as the advocate for the student and point-person for the family within the school. Advisors follow the same group from ninth to twelfth grade and spend two 40 minute periods with them each week.


Connection to peers. A strong advisory program helps students get connected to one another in meaningful ways. Through class discussions, democratic classroom decision-making, Socratic seminars, and other activities, students can form bonds with one another and also learn more about themselves in relation to others. This is something we know is important for 21st century skill building, and the advisory can be a time to do this without the need to teach specific course content.

Connection to adults. A strong advisory system provides students meaningful relationships with adults. There is research to suggest that strong adult mentorship while in high school increases the likelihood of graduation and postsecondary success (see William Sedlacek’s work with GMSP).

Advocacy. A strong advisor-advisee relationship means that the student has an advocate in the school building. This means the student can feel supported, and if or when that student faces some personal or academic difficulty, rather than mentally or physically “checking out,” the student has someone to go to for help, feedback, and assistance.

Personal Growth. Because of the student’s personal connections to an adult, the student can learn more about his/her academic and personal strengths and areas for improvement. A student’s own self-awareness is critical for success in college and beyond, and a good advisory program can help students become more self-aware through 1:1 discussions with their advisor and also time for those discussions as a peer group during the advisory time.

Lessons Learned

Persist. When Tom was a superintendent and implemented an advisory program, many faculty argued that they hadn’t signed up for that role. It is important for leaders to recognize this can be a scary change that requires both professional growth and a lot of persistence. Leaders ought not underestimate how substantial a role change being an advisor is for many high school teachers.

Ask questions, listen, and help students craft a vision. One thing that helped Bonnie as a high school advisor was reflecting on her own high school experience, remembering that not a single adult (including her own parents) asked her what her vision was for herself after high school. In contrast, when she was an advisor, she understood the importance of asking students what their vision was for their lives after high school. She also listened to their responses without judgment, and was amazed to see how students’ visions for themselves shifted over time. By consistently thinking about their vision and planning strategic goals to support it, students can see beyond high school and into their future options.

Draw connections and use data. As Mary served in district and state roles supporting advisory, one lesson learned was to emphasize the importance of helping students draw connections between current school activities and future goals. Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from connections, staff members do as well. For some, the appeal is the opportunity to connect with students. For others, it is knowing that advisory can move student outcomes in a big way. For example, schools participating in a six-year College Spark Washington initiative that includes advisory, have demonstrated graduation rates 20 percent higher than comparison schools.

Preparing for Life

A strong advisory program has adults who ask students lots of questions, and adults that show a genuine interest in listening to students’ responses, helps them create a vision for their futures, and then helps them enact strong goals to help them meet their goals- for college, career, and life.

An advisor’s job is to help students plan for that life through visioning, goal setting, asking questions, being an advocate, and simply being there for students.


Testing Season

Parents, we are are rapidly approaching testing season. Below is a list of upcoming standardized tests:

  • 10th grade Interim SBAC Assessment: April 30 - May 1

  • CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, 11th graders): April 29 - May 2

  • AP: May 6 - May 17

  • CAST (California Science Test, 11th graders): May 16

  • ELPAC (English Language Proficiency Assessment for California, all eligible English Learners): Starts April 3rd.

It's a busy time for students - please be sure to support your kids, make sure they get plenty of rest and that they stay on top of all their school work. One final note about the CAASPP and CAST Exams. Many 11th grade students believe that since the CAASPP does not affect their graduation status, they should not take it seriously. While it is true that the CAASPP does affect one's graduation status, that does not mean the test should be taken lightly. Our school's performance on the CAASPP has HUGE ramifications. In a world of school choice and declining enrollment, we need to do everything we can in order to draw families to our school in order to keep staffing and programs as stable as possible. Potential families spend a lot of time selecting schools based on academic performance, and CAASPP scores are probably the single most public and readily available measure of our school's academic program. Bottom line - I very much want our CAASPP scores to reflect what we are capable of. Please help me remind our students that they should be doing their very best on the exam.

Site Council Vacancy

Parents, one of the parent representatives on the TOHS Site Council is moving out of state and has resigned her position. We are looking for a parent who can finish out the term. The primary functions of Site Council are:

1. Assist in the continuing development of a strong instructional program for all students.

2. To develop and recommend a Single Plan Student Achievement (SPSA) have ongoing responsibility to consult with the principal, teachers, other school personnel, parents, and students during the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the school plan.

3. Modify the plan to reflect changing needs and priorities.

4. Carry out all duties and responsibilities assigned to it in the Education Code of the State of California and by the Conejo Valley Unified School District Board of Education.

This particular term ends in the spring of 2020. According to our Site Council bylaws, in the event of a vacancy, Site Council votes on a replacement. If you are interested in serving, please forward your name and a short bio to Dr. Bergmann prior to Friday, March 22nd. Interested candidates will be invited to the Site Council meeting on Tuesday, March 26 at 3:30pm. Site Council will ask a series of questions to the candidates. A decision will be made prior to Friday, March 29.

Registration Season

Counselors will start registration for the 19/20 school year beginning February 11th through March 29th. They will be meeting with all students via grade level throughout the day. Access to phones and e-mail will be limited. Please feel free to contact them and they will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also contact our counseling secretary, Ms. Lange, for more immediate assistance: or check out our counseling webpage for up to date information:

Below is the registration video that all students will be watching as well as information on a parent information night for registration.


Please Join!

Electronic TOHS PTSA Membership is here! Did you forget to join the PTSA? Now is the time to join during our January Membership Drive. Your support helps us fund important programs, teacher grants, scholarships and much more for our school. The new electronic membership portal allows you to join instantly and receive your membership card online. Please follow the link to join today:

For Junior and Senior students only: Take the After Prom Party survey!

SAVE THE DATE: Start cleaning out the garage and closets to get ready for the TOHS PTSA Parking Lot Sale. Our spring sale will be held on Sunday, April 28th from 8am to 1pm. Spaces will be available for $25 per space starting in March on the PTSA website. Get your site early before the event sells out.

Academic Support for Students

Math Re-Teaching: Beginning September 4th, we will be offering our free math re-teaching classes. Students who attend the help class TWICE before any test will be given extra credit on their test score. All classes are held from 3 to 4 pm. Here are the locations and days for each class:

  • Geometry, Mondays and Wednesdays in G6
  • Algebra 1, Tuesdays and Thursdays in H4
  • Algebra 2, Tuesdays and Thursdays in G6

Spanish Intervention Program (SIP): Spanish 1 students are encouraged to go to our free after-school help class. The class will be held on Wednesdays after school. Details and location will be announced soon in Spanish 1 classes.

Tutoring Center: Our free tutoring center will begin on Wednesday, September 12th. The center will be held in room F1 this year and will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5pm. Tutors will be able to help with all levels of English (including AP), all areas of science (including AP), Math (through Calculus), all areas of social studies, as well as Spanish

National Poetry Month Competition

April is National Poetry Month!

23rd National Student Poetry Contest

Entry deadline: 4/30/2019

$500 GRAND PRIZE, prizes just for entering (random drawing from all submissions) such as laptop, netbook, tablet or iPod Touch. School with the most entries will win a new computer package and “Spirit of Education” Trophy!

Click here for more information:


We are excited to announce that our next ELAC meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 25th will be a cluster-wide meeting. In other words, the parents from all schools that feed into Thousand Oaks High School will be coming together for this meeting. It will be an excellent opportunity to strengthen the ties that already exist in our community. More details will be shared next month. Stay tuned!

From the Science Department

This year is the International Year of the Periodic Table. The University of Waterloo is creating a timeline of elements poster and large mural at their school. They picked various schools across the WORLD to be assigned one element to draw a tile for. I requested in the summer to a part of the project and I was picked (YEAH!) and selected to submit a tile for Californium. This has been an ongoing project all of semester 1 and we finally picked our finalists after many (many) different class votes. Sometime this summer, a periodic table poster will be printed and our tile will be on it!

These are the four finalists: Zoe Rubin, Trinity Acton, Audrey Allan, and Madeline Biggs. I will get a picture of all four of them with their sketches as soon as I get their parent photo permission forms returned.

The University of Waterloo Chem dept goal: Our goal is to have chemistry students from around the world join together to create an original and imaginative version of the Timeline of Elements focused on their discovery.

Interested in Photography?

Do you love Photography? Have you already taken beginning Photo? Asking yourself what’s next?
Check in with Ms. Ravitch in C-10 to find out more and sign up for Art of Comm Photo HONORS or AP Photography. You can earn college credit, get weighted gpa points, work on a portfolio, and further your skills, even get industry standard certification. You need approval so make sure to see Ms. Ravitch in C-10 soon.

Field Hockey Fund Raiser

"In need of dessert for a special occasion? The Girls Field Hockey Booster Club is selling Marie Callender's gift certificates, each good for the purchase of any whole pie. Please support our 2nd year teams by buying a certificate or 2 or more. Sale goes from March 1st to March 31st. Please see the flyer below for detailed information. Thank you!!!!"

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Reminders from the Activities Office

The countdown is on towards graduation for the Class of 2019. Thousand Oaks High School is excited to partner with your families for the final few months of your child’s senior year.

Over the next few months, Senior Activities move into full swing and we want to make sure all families have the information regarding senior events like Grad Nite, Senior Picnic, Senior Seminar, Senior Finals, Cap/Gown and Announcement Distribution, Baccalaureate, Graduation Practices, Graduation, and Senior Breakfast.

Please visit the Senior tab on the Activities Page of the Thousand Oaks High School Website often over the next few months for the most up to date information, event forms, and general senior announcements. ( In addition, the Senior Newsletter and an updated Senior Countdown Timeline have been attached to this message.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Activities Office at (805) 495-7491 ext. 1006 or 1016.

Click here for a full description of all TOHS Activities news:

Athletic News

Congratulations to Daelen Benioff (Boys Basketball) and Nahomy Oliva (Girls Wrestling) for their selections as Male and Female Athletes of the Month for January.

Softball is off to an excellent 4-1 start, including a pair of wins at the Hart Tournament highlighted by a come from behind 5-4 victory over West Ranch. The Lancers advance to the Semifinals against Hart.

Baseball went 3-2 in the Easton Tournament and opened up league play with a pair of wins over Calabasas to go to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in league.

Boys Lacrosse opened the season 2-1 highlighted by a come from behind 9-8 overtime win over Crespi. Girls Lacrosse competes this weekend in the prestigious Rose Bowl Tournament.

TOHS Track hosted their annual Invitational on February 23rd and won all levels for both boys and girls.

Boys Volleyball played well in the prestigious Redondo Union tournament losing to eventual champion Los Alamitos 14-16 in a 3rd set tiebreaker.

All other spring sports have just started except for STUNT which opens up league play at home on Wednesday March 6.

Here's our athletic calendar:


From the College and Career Center

Moorpark College Preview Day on Fri. 3/22:

For those seniors who plan to attend Moorpark College in Fall 2019, please save the date of March 22, 2019 for this field trip to Moorpark College. Space on the bus is limited and you MUST be enrolled at Moorpark College by March 8, 2019 to attend. More details to follow on the requirements to go on this field trip and information about other Moorpark College events being planned for this spring. Note that this Moorpark College Preview Day on Fri. 3/22 is different from the CTE Day at Moorpark College on Wed. 3/14.

Library Renovation Underway!

Our library remodel is underway! Soon, our circa-1970s library will be transformed into a modern, comfortable, multi-purpose learning lab. Below are several renderings of what the interior will look like. Please note that during the construction process (scheduled to be complete in June, 2019), the library will be temporarily housed in rooms H1 and H2. Additionally, portions of the exterior of K building facing the quad will also be re-modeled. It will be critical that during times of exterior construction, everyone steer clear of the construction zone. More information on safety precautions will be forthcoming.
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California State Summer School for The Arts: July 13-August 9, 2019 at CalArts Valencia, CA

For 33 years CSSSA has provided an exemplary and immersive four-week summer arts program to almost 18,000 talented high school students in the areas of animation, film, writing, dance, music, theater and visual arts. Each year 520 students are invited to share this unique opportunity studying and working with professional artists, writers and performers of national stature. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to receive three units of California State University course credit. CSSA’s alumni include very influential people in the field of entertainment.

More information and cost can be found at

Application deadline is February 28, 2019

Opportunity for Students to Dive into Writing

The Juniper Institute for Young Writers (July 21-28,2019) – for students who are passionate about writing. Open to high school students finishing grades 9, 10, and 11. Visit for guidelines and online application or contact or (415) 545-8988 for more information.

Reminder to Keep Valuables Safe and Secure

Lancers, we are seeing an increase in the number valuable items - cell phones, laptops, expensive athletic equipment, etc. being left unattended around campus. Please, please, please remind students to keep valuables with them or in a locked location. Many thanks.

New CVUSD Volunteer Requirements

As many of you are aware, our district has implemented new volunteer requirements. Please know that this is a new process and is always the case with new systems, there will be a period of fine-tuning. District personnel are completely aware that there is a vast difference between the volunteer needs of a high school and an elementary school. We are looking for ways to keep the process streamlined and not overly cumbersome, while at the same time ensuring that every student in the district is kept as safe as possible. No doubt more information will be shared in the not too distant future. I will be sending a separate email to families with a list of helpful resources. In the meantime, here is a link the new Volunteer Registration form that is required for anyone who will be volunteering at our school:

Please note the need for TB clearance from a doctor, a background check, as well as the documentation needed for those driving students to a school activity. The chart below will show what is required given the nature of the volunteer work to be performed. if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school office.

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Warning about Parking Across the Street and in Neighborhoods

Lancer Families,

Please, please, please do not use the strip mall parking lot across Moorpark for school events! Cars can and will be towed by property management at the owner's expense. Thanks for helping us be good neighbors.

Additionally, please refrain from parking in nearby neighborhoods. We've received several complaints from neighbors about an increase in congestion as well as litter.

Thanks for helping us be great neighbors

Drop-Off/Pick Up

Parents, we need your help! As many have no doubt noticed, during pick up and drop off hours, we see serious congestion along Moorpark Road and Avenida de las Flores. I'm in the process of exploring ways that the congestion can be mitigated (including the start of a conversation with the city), but given the existing combination of the number of drivers and the current configuration of lights, turns and signs, there will always be traffic. There are, however, a few things that our patrons can do in order to keep things moving. Here's a list of helpful hints to aid in your commute.

1. If dropping off your student, give yourself plenty of time - you'll need it.

2. Please do continue to be patient. We realize that can be difficult on some days, but your ongoing patience is appreciated.

3. When entering the front lot from Moorpark onto Lancer Way, please DO remember that the traffic heading eastbound on Lancer Way has a stop sign. As much as I admire and appreciate courteous drivers, if lot-bound drivers stop (with no sign) in order to let eastbound Lancer Way traffic through (who do have a stop sign), they cause traffic to back up severely on Moorpark.

4. When pulling into the lots, pull as far forward as you can go before allowing your student into or out of the car.

5. If our staff is out there and helping move traffic, please DO follow their directions. They are there primarily for the safety of our staff and students as well as to keep traffic moving.

6. When entering the lot on Flores, please use all available entrance lanes.

7. Please do stay alert and drive slowly through our lots. Teachers, staff and students walk through the lots to get into school!

8. Please do not stop on Moorpark or Flores in order to drop off or pick up your student. That presents a very real hazard for everyone involved

9. Please do not drop off or pick up students in the parking half of the front lot.

10. Don't ignore directional signs! that our lots are one-way lots. Cars are only allowed to drive in southerly direction. of the lot. During school hours, DO NOT turn left onto Moorpark when exiting the lot.

Ways to Stay Connected

In addition to our newly designed website (, you can also find us on Facebook. Also, it seems every student group on campus has a Twitter account that will allow you to follow individual groups should you wish to do so. Our school has a great general twitter feed that tweets lots info about the school (@ThousandOaksHS) and I have my own account where I'll tweet my own thoughts and observations about the school (@ewbergmann). Please feel free to follow!

Athletic Tickets Now For Sale Online

Tickets to athletic events are now available online. You easily redeem on your phone at ANY gate. Here is the website link for anyone who is interested: