ORVA Family Newsletter

February 15, 2016

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Greetings from the entire ORVA staff! We had so much fun at our Family Open House at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry on Feb. 10th! More photos are shared at the end of this newsletter, check out the album!

Happy Presidents' Day ~ February 15th

We hope you had a relaxing Presidents' Day! Here are Fourteen Fun Facts in honor of our country's great leaders;

1. George Washington (1st), had only one real tooth at the time of his inauguration. At various times he wore dentures made of human teeth, animal teeth, ivory, and lead.

2. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (2nd and 3rd) were the only presidents to sign the Declaration of Independence, and they both died on its 50th anniversary, July 4, 1826.

3. James Madison (4th) was president in 1814 when the British troops burned the White House.

4. Andrew Jackson (7th) was wounded in a duel at age 39 and carried the bullet lodged near his heart for the rest of his life.

5. James Polk (11th) survived a gallstone operation at age 17 with no anesthetics.

6. Millard Fillmore (13th) installed the first bathtub and kitchen stove in the White House.

7. Lincoln (16th) was the only president to receive a patent – for a device for lifting boats over shallow waters.

8. Rutherford B. Hayes (19th) was president when the first telephone was installed in the White House, by Alexander Graham Bell himself.

9. Theodore Roosevelt (26th) had a photographic memory and could read a page in the time it took anyone else to read a sentence.

10. William Howard Taft (27th) started the custom of the president throwing out the first ball to start the baseball season.

11. Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th) was the only president to serve in both World Wars.

12. John F. Kennedy (35th) was the only president to receive a Pulitzer Prize for “Profiles in Courage.”

13. Jimmy Carter (39th) was the first president born in a hospital.

14. Ronald Reagan (40th) was a Hollywood actor before becoming president, making over 50 movies, mostly westerns and action films.

Upcoming Calendar!

February 15: Presidents' Day - No School
February 19: OHSU Primate Center Tour for 8th-12th grade. Click here to register.
February 24: Capitol Day in Salem for Virtual Public Schools. Click here to register today!
March 11: Museum Outings for 8th-12th grades. Click here to register.
March 18: Museum Outings for 8th-12th grades. Click here to register.
March 21-25: Spring Break

ORVA Strong Start Website

Don't forget to visit ORVA's Strong Start site at http://orva.k12start.com/ - you will find very helpful information on everything, from getting started as a new family, to how to stay on track to parent workshops and more! Another very helpful link is the ORVA school calendar!

A Word from our Head of School, Brandy Osborn

Hello ORVA Students and Families –

Being a part of a virtual school is a unique and exciting place to be! One challenge we have is that we do not always get to know every person in the school. Because of that, I am going to share a little bit about myself and what I do. I am the Head of School for ORVA – most people do not know what that is – so, think of it this way … I am like a superintendent. I work with all of our administrators, teachers, and staff to support you in your learning!

I was born and raised in Roseburg, Oregon; a true native of our beautiful (and sometimes really rainy) state. I have lived in Washington and California, and then returned home to be where I was meant to be; surrounded by our wonderful green mountains and beautiful lakes, streams, and the Pacific Ocean. I am married and have three teenage sons; one of my boys is a student right here at ORVA. We have a houseful of warm fuzzy friends and live in a very rural part of Southern Oregon surrounded by mountains. Recently, I was getting ready to travel on a plane to Virginia to attend some meetings. Someone asked me, where is that? It had me totally thinking and singing, believe it or not! What popped into my head … this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxHGiLYEaV8. I learned this funny song in elementary school and to this day – it still runs through my head! Silly, I know. However, sometimes, it is the silly and fun things that stick with us.

One of the things I love most about our ORVA family is all the people and the connections we build with one another. Our students attend class connects and our teachers are engaging students to learn. We have fun together like a family, while we learn and grow on an amazing educational journey together. We are here to support one another each and every day; we start strong and we finish strong. Our ORVA staff and teachers have a passion and a vision to put Students First … and it shows in our students; it shows in YOU. YOU are why the staff, teachers, and I at ORVA are here! We believe in you and we know you can do anything you set your mind to doing! Remember – at all times – YOU GOT THIS! Thank you for being a part of our ORVA family!


On Capitol Hill!

ORVA Students and Parents met up last week with Brandy Osborn, Head of School, to attend an educational hearing on HB 4091 – a virtual school study bill.

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PreK-2 Corner

February 16: 100th Day!!! We have been counting down towards the 100th day of school all year, and we are getting so close! Officially, the 100th day is February 16. On that day, your classes will have a special celebration.

Friday Show and Tell! Check with your teachers if you have something you'd like to share, this will be a very fun community time!
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3rd - 8th Highlights

History and Art for middle school: These courses have been added for Semester 2 for most students. Check with your teachers if you have any questions!

Study Tip: Students are expected to spend at least 5 hours per day on school activities. If you are behind, complete extra lessons throughout the week. By completing just one extra lesson per week you would catch up by about 20 lessons in just one subject!

Essential Units: Check with your homeroom teacher if you have any questions about which units are required - the non-essential units have been marked "skipped." However, if you complete these required units before the end of the school year, you may choose from the remaining units to continue your learning!
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ORVA's High School Advisory Teachers and Counselors are here to work closely with your students and help keep the communication flowing and students on track. Be sure to reach out to this amazing team if you have questions or concerns! They are a dedicated and experienced group!
Last name A-L: Jessica Bell; Last name M-Z: Melissa Arrigotti
9th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Jane Rice
10th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Carissa Trepka
11th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Todd Anderson
12th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Cindy Dauer

Grades: Remember, you can check your students’ grades in their classes at any time. If you need some reminders on how to access progress, below are “how-to” videos:

http://fw.unitymg.com/rdr/OD:104:836 - “How to check your students’ grades”

http://help.k12.com/support/video-resources - Library of support videos

Remember that you need to make TWO CONTACTS per week with each one of your teachers on different days of the week.

Ways you can get credit for a contact:

  • Attend a live BlackBoard class connect session: most classes have more than one class connect session a week
  • Send your teacher a Kmail
  • Reply to a Kmail sent to you by your teacher
  • Speak with a teacher over the phone
  • Attend an outing face to face and meet with a teacher.
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Family Resource Coordinator: Spotlight

My name is Katie Lee and I am the Family Resource Coordinator (FRC) at ORVA! I'm part of the Family Academic Support Team (FAST). I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the College of St. Benedict (MN) and my Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Denver (CO), with a certificate in Animal-Assisted Therapy. I am new to ORVA this year and am eager to share my experience and expertise with students and their families!

Goal: To assist teachers and families in identifying and aiding students who are experiencing academic underachievement due to social, emotional, or behavioral issues.

As the FRC, I provide a wide range of resources and community referrals, in addition to support/interventions for a variety of social-emotional concerns, including some of the following:

· Homelessness

· Depression

· Anxiety/Stress

· Emotional Regulation

· Grief/Loss

· Coping Skills

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Oregon State Assessments

The ORVA staff have planned for the Oregon State OACCS assessment which will be given to all ORVA 3rd – 8th and 11th grade students during April and May. We are providing this information early so you can put it on the calendar. We are looking forward to the opportunity for the staff to meet you and your student in person. The following information will help in your preparation and planning for the state assessment. Be checking your Kmail for your specific location and time for testing!


All 3rd - 8th & 11th grade students will take 2 OACCS Assessments – Language Arts & Math

5th & 8th & 11th graders will also complete Science

Students bring their laptops to each assessment

Time: Students start at 8:30 am

Pick your student up at Noon for lunch - return at 1:00

You will be called when your student has completed testing for the day

Supports: Students will be allowed breaks as needed
Student may bring a water bottle
Student may bring a book for reading while waiting to be picked up

Security: Parents cannot be in the room during the assessment

Students cannot have cell phones, tablets etc. during the assessment


We asked our ORVA students what they love and one goal or tip they had...here's some of the wonderful responses we received.

Valerie R., 1st Grade:
Love: I love climbing because it is fun because I can crawl and climb all around the house and on top of things. I love doing crafts because I get to do them with my Aunt Aunna and hang out with her. I love my best friend Shelby because she saved my life when I had a seizure when I was in public school on the playground.
Goal: One goal I have for myself is to be a Vet, because I love animals.

Lily T., 1st Grade:
Love: One thing I love is my family. We are always here for each other and we are caring and we listen to each other and it is fun spending time together.
Goal: My goal I have is to continue to do well in school and to become knowledgeable and go to college so I can have an amazing job. And my goal for right now is to learn how to read bigger words so I can read bigger books!

Mason H., 3rd Grade:
Love: One thing I love is my family.
Goal: One goal I have is to have fun daily.

Brandon S., 3rd Grade:
Love: God has blessed me with the gift of Boxing.

Gracie S., 3rd Grade:
Love: I love arts and crafts the best.
Goal: A goal that I have is to become a really, really good artist.
Tip: A tip I would give is do your best and forget the rest!

Alexandra V., 4th Grade:
Love: I have a dog named daisy, she is so cute.
Goal: One goal I have is to be an all A's student and by putting extra time in, I know I can do that.
Tip: If you want to succeed in school, DO YOUR BEST! Then you will succeed.

Livia M., 4th Grade:
Love: I love my family because they love me.
Goal: My goal is to draw and get more school done.

Emma M., 5th Grade:
Love: ORVA's flexibility!
Goal: I want to become the first female president. Out of the way, Washington!

Henry C., 5th Grade:
Love: I love watching Doctor Who and reading books. For example I have been reading Time Lord Fairy Tales. There are fifteen tales of ancient wonder and mystery in one book.
Goal: As for goals, well, I am currently trying to finish my school during the month of April.

Hannah N., 5th Grade:
Goal: I have 3 goals: 1) I want to be a missionary and tell kids about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. 2) I want to be a teacher. This ties in with goal one. 3) I want to design video games like Pokémon.

David M., 6th Grade:
Love: I love playing video games and playing with other people.
Goal: My goal is to work at Arby's.

Grace W., 7th Grade:
Love: Some things that I love are my friends, family, ORVA, and animals.
Goal: One of my goals is to get straight A's for my next report card, and keep to it that way. Another one of my goals is to become a Veterinarian when I'm an adult. I'm already taking the necessary steps for all my goals.

Lane W., 7th Grade:
Love: Animals.
Goal: To finish school early.

Abbie S., 8th Grade:
Love: One thing that I love is to draw. I've always loved to find new styles for me and practice drawing people. If one thing I love isn't enough, I also love watching anime series :) One in particular is Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama. My favorite character is Levi Ackerman.
Goal: One goal I have is to always be building my art skills, writing skills, and to never get discouraged when I'm not fond of my own drawings.
Tip: One tip for being successful is to always be in the right mindset. If you think it's gonna be bad, then it probably will be. But if you think it's gonna be great, then it will and can be great!

Joscelyn F., 9th Grade:
Love: I love horses and reading.
Goal: I want to get all B's or higher this semester.

Savannah J., 9th Grade:
Love: I LOVE writing. A lot. Like books, or short stories. About anything that interests me really.
Tip: Hmm. Well, I am new to ORVA, but so far I have been writing a list of what needs to be done every day, and crossing it off when I am done. So it's kind of like a little reward system for me in a way, and that keeps me motivated. Also I refrain as much as I can from social media, which would be the death of my best friend (which is probably why she is so behind). Um - self will. That's a good tip I guess :D

Kristin H., 9th Grade:
Love: One thing I love is probably my art. I try and draw as much as I can and it's something I absolutely love doing.
Goal: A goal I have would probably be just to find a way to get better from being sick so much and trying to get all of my school work done, and getting contacts made which plays a part in me trying to get better. Me being sick has affected my school work a lot and I really want to get back on track with everything. :)

Angel W., 9th Grade:
Love: My family and friends.
Goal: To pass all of my classes with a C at the lowest, I am aiming for As or Bs.

Breena B., 10th Grade:
Love: I love Photography but most of all my horses.
Goal: A major goal of mine would be to participate in the 100 Day Mustang Challenge.

Mason G., 10th Grade:
Love: Building motorized bikes so much fun, and then to ride them after they are finished is great fun.
Goal: To finish science and math courses by April so I can work on my website and online business.

Rayann H., 10th Grade:
Love: My hobbies are dancing and dirt bikes. I started dance when I was 3, but had to recently stop performing because of an injury, but I sill dance and choreograph on my own. I started riding dirt bikes when I was seven. I like going to the courses up in Bend and doing small jumps, I want to learn how to do tricks but my mother told me it's too dangerous. ;)
Goal: My goals are to learn Spanish and go to Ecuador, to do volunteer work and encourage people. My short term goal is to do good in school and graduate.
Tip: I just try to be organized and work out a schedule that I know I'll follow.

Wulf S., 11th Grade:
Love: I love to challenge myself with many different things, mostly games and work however. Trying to come up with the best and/or the most creative way of solving something.
Goal: One goal that I have is to become a chemical engineer by entering a top-tier college.

Elric L., 11th Grade:
Love: One of my hobbies is making music and snooping around the code in programs.
Goal: A goal that I have is to hopefully get a profession with computers because they rather fascinate me and I really enjoy finding out how they work.

Larissa G., 12th Grade:
Love: I love my family, reading, and writing. I love reading and writing because they are very freeing. They can be an escape from the stresses of your day, and sometimes they can help you through a problem. Writing can make you feel powerful because you can create or destroy worlds and manipulate the characters to your liking. It gives you a way to express yourself without being judged or people knowing that what you're expressing. Reading and writing are freedom.
Goal: My goal is to get a book I'm writing published by Marvel.

Megan D., 12th Grade:
Love: I don’t have a lot of free time these days, but when I’m not busy I really enjoy reading and writing. I have a friend who’s an unpublished author, so I read quite a bit of her work.
Goal: My little goals are mostly centered on academics right now. I have a couple of AP exams in May that I’d like to do well on. I’m also graduating in June, so I’m doing my best to maintain my GPA. My bigger goals consist mostly of doing well in college, getting into grad school, start a fulfilling career.
1. There are a lot of apps and programs that can help you stay organized: utilize them. It can be hard to keep everything straight by yourself. I like to use myHomework to keep what work I need to do and due dates straight. It’s easy to tailor it to work for you – you can organize by class, priority level, due date, etc. You can also sync between devices, so you can have it on your phone, tablet, desktop, whatever. (It’s free, too, but you can pay $5 for a yearlong subscription to upgrade if you want.)

I also use Microsoft Excel to create a time table for my days to make sure I stay on track and have time to do all the things I need to do. It's also useful for making sure I remember to attend live classes and club meetings.

2. If you’re a person who needs background noise when you study I’d recommend 8tracks or Pandora radio. (I personally use 8tracks.) There are virtually endless amounts of playlists with instrumental and distraction-free tracks that are great for white noise.

3. Finding a space to study that works best for you is integral to your success online. My desk is set up in the very outermost corner of the house, as far away from the main living spaces (and noise!) as possible. I can’t focus when there’s clutter on my desk, either, so I keep it pretty clean.

4. I think the biggest obstacle in online school is finding the motivation to login and start studying every day. (At least for me.) This is where my time-table comes into play, but I find that it also helps to pull up the k12 login page as soon as you boot-up your computer. (Setting the login page as your homepage might also help.)

5. If you keep your phone near you when you study I'd also recommend turning off push notifications. (We all know what's going to happen, you'll check Facebook...then Twitter...then Instagram...then Facebook again. It's best to avoid it altogether during study hours.)

Student Spotlight: Lyndsy R., 10th Grade

I live on a farm with lots of animals -- chickens, cows, horses, and dogs. I've always loved drawing, especially horses. Horses have always been my favorite animals, and my favorite thing to draw. [Lyndsy's artwork on the left.]

I came to ORVA because I've always loved school and it is a great fit for me. Since Kindergarten, I've been a straight A student, and I was always placed in advanced classes. At the local high school I attended last year (freshman year), I wasn't challenged....Here at ORVA, I'm able to use my time efficiently, and actually get an education that I'm happy with. I know that I can get the most out of my education by learning this way, and I'm extremely happy with how it has gone so far.

Student Spotlight: Solaira M., 5th Grade

I am very passionate about dance, I love ballet in particular. I am in recitals for ballet and jazz. I hope to be in other types of dance such as ballroom and hip hop. I hope to be a famous actor and be in a dance show, and maybe a model. [See photo, Solaira in the front doing in air split]

Student Spotlight: Hanami M., 4th Grade

Hanami F., 4th grade, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto e minor 3rd movement: turn up the volume and enjoy this gorgeous music. We are so proud of you, Hanami!



Marie T., LC to Isabella T., 1st Gr.

I am a firm believer that even though she is doing school at home it should still be structured. She needs to understand structure for when she is out in the world. I start with the longest subject first, math, because she is fresh and seems to concentrate better. Then I give her the easier subjects, language, and she breezes through them lol. We do science and history and reading lessons near the end because she is quieting down. She loves her art last. She can take her time and loves it.

Terra H., LC to Jacob L., 4th Gr.

One thing I love is being able to be a big part of my child's education. I have felt this year that I am not doing as well on certain subjects, but then he takes Scantron or testing it shows he is learning and we are on the right track. I feel extremely proud when I see the light bulb turn on and I know we are being successful. I say to all Parents give yourself a big pat on the back and know we all have those days where it feels too much and if can just get through it then our kids see how much we care and never give up. :)

Heidi D., LC to Henry C., 5th Gr.

One thing that has made our experience so successful is Henry's teacher, Mrs. Pointer. She periodically sends out a chart of how many lessons we should have done at that point. This really helps us to keep on track and get a visual of our successes.

Patricia N., LC to Gabriel, Rachel, and Liam, 7th and 11th Gr.

You can do the lessons differently than what is scheduled or prescribed - whatever works for your student.

A key point for K12 learning is that it can be individualized for the student, yet parents and learning coaches can get hung up by feeling they have to follow the schedule or the lesson plan exactly.

One of my students prefers to do a day of a particular course because it has more"sticking power" for them. One of my students works on a schedule different from the other two. One chooses to follow their plan exactly because it gives them the feeling of "being in step."

In addition, I have coached my guys to go directly to the assessment, if they feel they already have learned what is being taught in a specific lesson. There is some repetition in the curriculum, to aid learning, but it is not always necessary.

ORVA Open House at OMSI ~ February 10, 2016