Compass Chronicle

Compass Charter Schools | June 2020

Scholars and Learning Coaches,

2020 has been an unprecedented and challenging year in history, and as a Compass Family, we have been there with you every step of the way. It is an especially important time to move forward in unity and make a positive difference in our world. All of our scholars, learning coaches, and staff deserve enormous accolades for an incredible school year!

As I reflect on this school year, I am so proud of our strong Compass Community, our Compass Experience, and how our role as a leader in virtual education has developed during these difficult times. We have so much to be proud of this school year, from our Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony, virtual award ceremonies for all our Options and Online scholars, and the awarding of our Firebirds of the Year! I am so incredibly impressed by all our scholars’ strength and endurance this school year!

We have continued to publish an excellent series of blogs every week this school year. In these blogs, we share about the success of all our departments, advice for coping, goal setting, state testing, scholar success stories, board recognition, and much more. And when COVID closed in-person activities, we highlighted suggested best practices and resources for the educational community to consider, as everyone moved to virtual learning and virtual work.

The upcoming 2020-21 school year promises even more advancements at CCS. Let our combined accomplishments this year shout from the rooftops that we are genuinely invested in our scholars’ success and be a testament to the amazing things we can achieve together. I want to assure our families that our passion, integrity, and transparency will remain consistent. Our top priority has always been to provide our scholars and learning coaches with a positive, engaging, and memorable experience at Compass.

Thank you for a great year! Enjoy your summer, and I look forward to welcoming scholars, families, and staff back to Compass this fall!

Forever Loud & Proud,

J.J. Lewis, Superintendent & CEO


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Check Out AVID, Counseling Services, Engagement & Special Education Here and Click on Your Program Below!

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AVID ~ Advancement Via Individual Determination

AVID Year in Review

It was another excellent year for the CCS AVID College and Career Readiness Program! Online and Options programs had the opportunity to collaborate in academic discussions and inquiry during weekly high school AVID elective learning labs by way of Philosophical Chairs and AVID Tutorials.

AVID Elective scholars took their learning outside of the classroom and into the school community by providing moving testimonials at school-wide events and volunteering to train and mentor with the CCS Peer Mentor Program.

This year’s field trip was AVID Night at the LA Clippers, where our scholars were able to interact in an executive panel discussion with front office staff from the LA Clippers on college and career topics.

The CCS AVID program would like to make a special shout out to our Compass instructors! Thanks to the efforts of the entire Academic Services Division, Compass earned the designation of Certified AVID Site this year. We are proud of the work undertaken by the whole team, and especially our Online High School team, who have been using AVID strategies and involved in AVID Elective courses for the past three years.

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Counseling Services Department

Counseling News

It is hard to believe that another school year has ended! For many of us, this year has been like no other. In these uncertain times, the Counseling Services Team has tried to focus on the things that we can control, rather than dwelling on the things that we cannot control. With that being said, we have enjoyed holding extra learning lab sessions to support our scholars in the absence of state testing.

The Counseling Services Team also had the joy of celebrating our graduating seniors and their plans for after high school. We are proud of the incredible amount of hard work scholars have invested and the accomplishments they have achieved. They will all be missed! As part of our farewell celebration for our seniors, the Counseling Services Team hosted a Decision Day virtual assembly on May 26! Decision Day allowed us to celebrate the post-high school plans of our graduating class, which included a variety of paths such as military, gap-year, four-year college and universities, community college, and the world of work.

Although your summer plans may not be as you imagined, we hope you all find creative ways to enjoy your summer! The Counseling Services Team looks forward to working with all of you returning again in the 2020/21 school year!

Counseling Spotlight ~ Jacob Samples, Counselor G-L!

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

My job responsibilities center around providing school counseling services and resources to scholars at Compass, whose last names begin with G-L. I work with scholars on academic mapping and planning based on their post-high school plans and goals. I also support social and emotional wellness through one-on-one counseling, counseling learning lab workshops, and supporting MTSS by conducting small group sessions.

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

I continue to support scholars at CCS because there continues to be a very pressing need for counseling services for our population of scholars. Many of our scholars face uphill battles every single day and still find some internal grit to continue showing up and trying. I am a firm believer that childhood education is so important in shaping a person’s future. It affects everything, from their moral Compass to their outlook on life, and even their ability to withstand and overcome adversity. I see every day the amount of barriers our scholars are facing in their personal lives, and it undoubtedly affects their ability to focus on their education, which should be their only job. It stirred a passion in me early on, to be a person in their lives that dismantles those barriers, so that they have the educational opportunities that they all deserve.

Is there a piece of advice you’d like to share with learning coaches or scholars?

Often, one of the most significant barriers to learning is not having a clearly defined “why” for showing up each day to school and putting the work in. It can catch parents off guard when their kids challenge the importance of education and can be a difficult question to answer! My advice is to focus on being more aware of how you are demonstrating it in your own life because your scholars are always mirroring you, even when it is not apparent. Do you have a routine you follow? Do you manage your time well? Are you organized? Do you prioritize your wellness? Scholars are taking social cues from their parents and guardians all of the time. Also, it’s crucial to stay in tune with their social-emotional development. There is always a clear moment in their development, where they suddenly stop responding to “baby talk,” and need to be spoken to with more authenticity - they crave that. Have open, honest, and authentic discussions about your own experience with education, and how it impacted your life. They will appreciate it, even if they aren’t necessarily showing it at that moment. Speak with them, not at them.

Share one thing about you that very few people know.

While my three brothers were excelling at soccer and hockey throughout their lives, I was completely uninterested. One day when I was seven years old, my mom took me to the Ontario Ice Arena, where my brother Eric played hockey and put me into a pair of figure skates and took me out onto the ice during a public session. I fell in love with the sport and skated competitively until I left home for college.

What do you and your family like to do during your free time?

My family loves to go to Lake Havasu in Arizona and take our boat onto the water. We all live in different parts of the country now, so we always get together every July for a family week at the lake.

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Counseling Stories ~ Meet Jesus C., Eleventh Grade Scholar!

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Why did you and your family choose to learn from home instead of a traditional school building?

My family and I chose to learn from home instead of traditional education because it would allow my parents to keep track of my education (despite their busy schedules) and continue my education when emergencies arise in my family. For example, if I happen to have a family emergency in Mexico, I can take my computer and continue to learn while there.

We know that when learning at home each day is different, but what is a typical school day like for you?

A typical day for me is waking up around 7 am, I work on assignments, have breakfast, and help my mother out with chores. I then help my siblings with their homework, run errands with my mother, and continue to work. After lunch, I work on assignments, take a long walk in my community, work on more classwork, and then go to bed around 11 pm.

How does learning from home help you achieve your goals?

Learning from home helps me achieve my goals by developing my ability to focus and stay motivated, especially since I live with a large family in a small house. I believe that for me to succeed in life is to be focused and motivated at the same time in my learning. So, learning from home has helped me become motivated and focused.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Compass family?

What I love the most from being part of the Compass family is the support from the staff/teachers and the ability to learn from anywhere at any time. Also, it is a blessing from the Lord that I can continue my education with an online program, with the same curriculum as a traditional school, and get the support that I need from Compass. My family and I frequently move around Southern California, and we travel to Mexico, so it can be hard to maintain a balance between school and family matters. Compass makes family emergencies easier whenever I need to go, I do not have to worry about being lost in class because my teachers are always there for me 24/7.

What do you and your family enjoy doing together during your free time?

My family and I enjoy taking long walks, hiking trips, and slow drives in my community during our free time.

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What's Been Happening in Engagement?


We would like to extend a loud and proud congratulations to our graduating Class of 2020! This year, we have 85 graduating high school seniors who were recognized at our very first virtual commencement ceremony on June 17 at 4 pm.

We also look forward to celebrating our Kindergarten, fifth grade, and eighth grade scholar celebrations at our annual Back to School picnics in the fall. Congratulations to all of our scholars for their achievements and successes during this school year!


Throughout the year, across all programs and grade levels, we acknowledge several awards. One award that we’d love to spotlight is Firebird of the Year. Scholars who have earned the Firebird of the Year are shining examples of our core values - achievement, communication, integrity, respect, and teamwork. We congratulate Amara S., Amaya T., Andrew T., Bobby N., Brycen M., Gabriel D., Grayson C., Henry F., Ivan L., Jeremiah A., Justin S., Kathleen M., Lars O., Love J., Marco A., Nicolaus P., Shadrack H., and Thasya M., who have received this honor. Great work, scholars!

Field trips

This quarter, Compass engagement went virtual! Scholars had access to many amazing virtual workshops, including art, virtual volunteering for animal shelters, visiting space, being Disney Imagineers during a special Disney series, “Creating Worlds,” chatting, dancing, and playing with friends during Scholar Social Hour. We’ve also celebrated Earth Day, explored history at the Winchester Mystery House, wrote letters to our front line heroes, learned about our dreams during AVID Spirit Week, and took virtual tours of California colleges with Mrs. Mendez.

We recently hosted Career Day, where scholars got to hear from a variety of professionals, including a storybook artist, teacher, academic advisor, health insurance broker, hair and makeup artist, retail manager, and a fire engineer paramedic!


It has been another successful year for our scholar clubs! Offerings included Arts & Crafts, Chess Club, Computer Code Club, Cooking Club, Dance Club, LEGO Club, Minecraft Club, National Honor Society, Peer Mentoring Club, Performing Arts Club, Photo Club, Scholar Leadership Council, Science Fair Club, Virtual Field Trips Club, We Dine Together Club, and more! Thank you so much to all of our staff advisors and participants in our scholar clubs! Without your collaboration together, the success of our clubs would not be possible!
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Special Education Department

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Dear Families,

In the face of uncertainty with the health scare the world is experiencing, it is important to me that all our families continue to feel valued and supported here at Compass. Many of our Special Educators have their children at home during the next few weeks, and their days look quite different as they continue to meet with your scholars and guide them diligently.

Something of great value to us is the need for Social-Emotional Skills (view link here) to be successful at school, at home, and to lead happy and meaningful lives as they grow and thrive. Please enjoy some materials shared with us from Global Teletherapy, one of our virtual related services providers and I thank you all for your continued collaboration with our Special Education Program as we support your scholars.

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Giving to Compass

Your donation to Compass Charter Schools 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

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