Compass Chronicle

Compass Charter Schools | January 2021

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A New Year!

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2021 Compass Families,

We have already had a motivating month of January, as we have entered the new year with an optimistic vision of the future, choosing 'One Word' for the new year. The word that I have chosen is focus; I continually strive to set the highest Compass standards and myself as I focus on leading this exceptional family of public charter schools. Please continue to share your one word on social media @CompassCs; we love to hear from each of you!

I am so proud of our Compass family, who work together with our scholars, parents, and staff to adapt, grow, and thrive during the pandemic. Not only do we support one another, but we share our expertise and all the incredible possibilities within the personalized and virtual learning environment!

This January, we focused on our core ARTIC value of teamwork. Teamwork is a vital component as we work on our school-wide Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of 100% of our eligible scholars graduating by the end of the school year! At Compass, we offer many support areas, including learning labs, English Learners Support, AVID, Scholar Support, Scholar Success, tutoring sessions, counseling, virtual clubs, field trips, and more.

The new year brings about many exciting and important events. January is National School Board Recognition Month, and we are celebrating our community volunteers who dedicate countless hours and resources to ensure quality education is available for scholars. I am proud to celebrate National Board Recognition Month and am truly grateful for our board members. Our Board shows continued dedication to ensuring consistent growth of our educational programs and services to best support our scholars and their families.

The last week of January, we celebrate Spirit Week! This includes National School Choice Week, Pennies for Patients, and The Great Kindness Challenge. We are so proud of CCS and the incredible choice of a personalized Gold Standard education that we provide to each and every scholar. Scholars show their school spirit in class, clubs, and online, and we love to see our scholars Loud and Proud with their Compass Spirit!

I encourage you to share your thoughts and goals for your year of possibilities with your teachers and peers! Please continue to keep up the great work as we finish our first semester and set our second-semester sights. Thank you to each one of you for your strength during this time and all that you do to make Compass the Gold Standard in virtual and personalized education.

Forever Loud & Proud,

J.J. Lewis, Superintendent & CEO


Compass Staffs' One Word

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Check out AVID, Counseling, Engagement, and Special Education Below and Click on Your Charter!

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AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination

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What's Been Happening in AVID?

As we conclude our first semester, we are proud of all of the hard work our scholars, learning coaches, and supervising teachers have displayed in learning labs and connection meetings across grade levels. We focused on using the AVID WICOR Framework to deepen learning by focusing on writing to learn strategies with various note-taking styles and reviewing and retaining information.

Scholars have focused on organization, set SMART goals with Action Steps to begin planning for their future. Although 2020 brought many challenges, our supervising teachers continued to create safe virtual learning communities, where scholars felt comfortable to share ideas, make connections, friendships, and engage in their learning.

We continue to strive to build and promote our college and career going culture. Scholars engage in skills to help prepare for success in school and life. In the AVID Elective weekly learning labs, ninth and tenth-grade Options and Online scholars focus on academic vocabulary, create E-Binders, and attending AVID Tutorials. They present their individual challenges from work in their core courses and collectively to finding answers and understanding.

Our site team hosted a mini-retreat where we continued to develop our resources to support learning coaches and teachers in our efforts to continue to grow AVID Schoolwide.

During semester two, the AVID Site Team will be hosting Academic Boot Camps for all grade levels, focused on supporting scholars at home with Writing, Inquiry, Organization, and Reading to Learn strategies. Stay tuned for more information!

We are excited to offer virtual college tours and engagement opportunities with guest speakers and community outreach projects throughout the year. Stay tuned for more information on our AVID Elective Information Sessions in our Monday Morning Update.

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Counseling Services Department

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What's Been Happening in Counseling?

As the CCS Counseling Department prepares to wrap up our Fall 2020 Semester, we have some exciting things planned for our scholars and families for our Spring 2021 Semester!

With the pressures of final exams and final assignments coming due for Semester 1, scholars always have a safe space to go when emotions are running high. Our Calming Corner is a great way to regain emotional balance and support.

We will continue to present our weekly learning labs for both high school scholars on Tuesdays at noon, and our middle school scholars on Thursdays at noon. Some of the upcoming Spring learning lab topics will include our CCS Cafes, Compassion & Diversity, Coping Toolbox, Healthy Relationships, March to Motivation, and Resumes, Summer Jobs, & Interviews! These are just a handful of the many learning labs our counselors will be presenting this Spring Semester.

One of the more unique opportunities that our scholars get to participate in here at CCS is the Accelerated Course Options Program (ACOP). This program allows our scholars to add up to two extra courses to their schedules per semester.

We are Loud and Proud of the incredible work that our counseling department is doing! Great work, scholars!

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Counseling Staff Spotlight: Mataya Olson, College and Career Readiness Counselor!

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Meet Mataya Olson, College & Career Readiness Counselor!

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

    I am in my third year as the College & Career Readiness Counselor at Compass. In this role, I support K-12 scholars in college and career planning, obtaining work permits, and concurrent enrollment with California Community Colleges.

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

    I love the aspects of college and career planning and how it is always evolving. It is especially rewarding to help scholars plan for what is next after high school. There are so many possibilities out there, and it is amazing to see each scholar’s unique passions and interests emerge.

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

    It is never too early to start thinking about college and career planning! There are many great opportunities available to middle and high school scholars. The earlier you start planning, the more aware and prepared you will be.

    Share one thing about you that very few people know.

    I played ice hockey throughout my childhood. It was a year-round activity for me, and I would even travel internationally to tournaments during the summers.

    What do you like to do during your free time?

    I love to spend time outdoors, especially going hiking and going to the beach. I also love to spend time relaxing at home with my dog and cat, Penny and Noodle.

    Counseling Success Stories

    Senior Spotlight: Rebecca K.

    Rebeca is a senior this year with CCS of Yolo and plans to continue to community college this semester! Rebeca has always been a hard worker, even through the challenges that this year has presented. Rebeca has been working so hard to ensure that she finishes high school by the end of this semester. She has been advocating for herself this year like a champion, and her hard work has paid off! She has completed her final high school courses this Fall. Congratulations Rebeca!

    -Mr. Samples, Counselor

    Scholar Spotlight: Leilani S.

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    Leilani' Lani' is an eighth-grade scholar at CCS of San Diego's Options Program. Lani thrives on helping others and is a role model to her peers. She regularly attends counseling services and has shown progress in her academics.

    When asked about her experience here at CCS, Lani had this to say,

    "I have had the best experiences here at CCS because I have so much support from my counselor, and that has helped me get through rough times. I have learned how to be independent, and I'm enjoying my year here at CCS!"

    Leilani's Supervising Teacher Mrs. Marquez, had this to add,

    "I can't believe Leilani has been homeschooling since first grade and will be entering high school next year! When she is not doing schoolwork, Lani is active in her community and spends much of her free time volunteering."

    Lani also shares, "I volunteer all the time to help the elderly in my church. I try to bring them food, cleaning supplies, or even just a smile to cheer them up when they are going through hard times."

    Lani tried different homeschool programs and came to CCS last year. She has benefitted from the expertise of Mrs. Marquez, her Supervising Teacher. She was also delighted to find Independent Minds, an online vendor program with Compass in which she has become very involved.

    Mrs. Levin, at Independent Minds shares,

    "Leilani shows extraordinary empathy and leadership capabilities. She is active in our student leadership team and always brings sunshine with her wherever she goes. Her Mother shares that since Leilani came to CCS, her confidence and academic abilities have skyrocketed!"

    Her counselor, Mrs. Bateman, shares, "Lani, we are so incredibly proud of all that you do! You continue to amaze us with your dedication, vulnerability, and humor! Thank you for being part of the CCS family!"

    Scholar Spotlight: Guinevere J.

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    Guinevere is a ninth-grade scholar at CCS of San Diego. Guinevere is always the life of the party and is incredibly involved at CCS. She loves to attend both the college and career small group sessions with Ms. Olson and the Morning Starters with Mr. Samples. She is a social butterfly and loves to chat with other scholars. She always brings a smile to our faces!

    When asked about why she chose Compass Charter Schools, Guinevere had the following to share, “I am very friendly, sweet, playful, and silly. I have many friends here at CCS, and I feel so welcomed and that I can be myself. I chose CCS because I talked a lot in regular school. But here, I don't have to worry about talking too much because I'm not in a classroom. I feel more focused and closer to the opportunity of getting into the college of my dreams!”

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    Engagement Department

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    What's Been Happening in Engagement?

    Virtual Scholar Workshops!

    We’ve continued to have a blast together in Engagement! Scholars have experienced a variety of workshops, including Baketivity, Barnabas Robots, Fall Poems, Chaffee Zoo, An Elephant’s Journey to Water, Groovy Lab in a Box, MoxieBox, Support Apps for Remote Learning, A Visit from the Author: The Colorado Curveball, Spelling Bee, Marine Science Institute, STEAM Field Trip in a Box, Garner Holt Productions, Cat Chat with Cat Haven, 2021 Vision Board: Goal Setting for the New Year, GameU Game Design, and “I Have a Dream”: Martin Luther King Jr. It has been a joy to lead our scholars through these hands-on experiences and seeing them explore their creativity in a variety of subjects.


    We currently have 25 active clubs who have been off to a great start this year! Live club meetings have resumed and our advisors have been enjoying seeing our scholars' dive into their passions!

    Interested in joining a club? Visit the Parents & Scholars section of our website, choose “Engagement”, and email the appointed advisor for the club(s) of your choice! Another great way to get signed up for clubs is to join our Semester 2 Scholar Clubs Kickoff coming up on Wednesday, February 10!


    Congratulations to the following contest winners for November and December!

    November - “Thank You” Contest: LJ C.

    December - Holiday Dance Contest: AJ Faith C.

    Spirit Week!

    Our January contest will take place during Spirit Week! Scholars are encouraged to share their National School Choice Week and Great Kindness Challenge spirit with us! Upload photos each day of the week in your spirit day attire to this form. We also encourage you to post on social media and tag @CompassCs when sharing via Facebook and/or Twitter!

    Monday, Jan. 25 - Kindness Rocks: Dress like a rock star

    Tuesday, Jan. 26 - Team Kindness: Wear your favorite sports uniform

    Wednesday, Jan. 27 - Dream of Kindness: Pajama day

    Thursday, Jan. 28 - CCS Spirit Day: Wear your CCS Spirit Gear

    We encourage all of our CCS families to participate in our Spirit Week photo contest!

    Event Highlight!

    We had the opportunity to host our first-ever Virtual CCS Spelling Bee on Friday, December 11, via Zoom. We had 24 amazing participants that wowed us with their spelling talents!

    The top spellers prevailed after nine rounds for kindergarten through second-grades, ten rounds for third through fifth grades, and eight rounds for sixth through eighth grades. Congratulations to all who competed!

    The Champions!

    • Cameron J. (K-2 grade category winner), first-grader, from CCS of Los Angeles
    • Jonah B.(3-5 grade category winner), a third-grader from CCS of San Diego
    • LJ C.(6-8 grade category winner), sixth-grader, from CCS of San Diego
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    Special Education Department

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    What's Been Happening in Special Education?

    The Special Education team is excited to welcome our new Director of Special Education, Lauren Jeffries! Our scholars have been busy participating in Read Naturally, Max Scholar, and Ascend Math, to help them meet their goals. These programs provide fun and interactive ways to learn. Please reach out to your case manager if you would like your scholar to join the fun! Our educational specialists have been seeing amazing results from utilizing these amazing programs!

    Staff Spotlight: Lauren Jeffries, Director of Special Education!

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    Hello, my name is Lauren Jeffries, and I am so excited to join the Compass Charter Schools team as the new Director of Special Education! I have been in Special Education for over 20 years, serving in various roles dedicated to supporting students with special needs. I have also been through the journey of being a parent to a child with a disability and navigating the various challenges and joys that it brings. I am a mother of two children, five and 18 years old. We love going to Disneyland every chance we get. One of my dreams is to visit every Disney park in the world. Traveling is my most favorite thing to do. I am so proud to be a member of the Compass team! I am here to bring my experience, support, and dedication to serving our scholars and their families.

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

    I am the director of Special Education at Compass. My job includes supporting our wonderful case managers and staff and ensuring our scholars' best learning outcomes.

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

    I have always had a passion for Special Education and have worked as a paraprofessional and then a teacher in Special Education. But when I had my own child with special needs, I discovered my desire to affect change in all areas of Special Education. And this is where I feel I can best be of service to scholars and their families, as well as supporting staff to make sure the unique needs of our scholars are met.

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

    Focus on your student’s strengths and not their weaknesses.

    Share one thing about you that very few people know.

    I am afraid of opening those tubes of refrigerated biscuits because of the POP sound that they make! I always ask someone else to do it for me.
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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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    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

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