TLC NEWSLETTER December 2020

December Highlights

  • TLC La Mesa World History students embarked on a Renaissance unit and completed virtual field trips to explore art pieces from the time period.
  • TLC's Chula Vista soccer team received a $1,000 grant from Target to help purchase equipment. Go TLC Jaguars!
  • TLC Scripps Ranch received a $1,100 grant from The San Diego Chapter of INCOSE and the INCOSE Foundation for a CNC Router project!
  • TLC's virtual events for December included a live tour and workshop presented by the San Diego Air & Space Museum (where students received a private virtual tour of the museum and completed two engineering challenges by building their own paper rockets), an Arts workshop and presentation of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" On the Radio, and a "field trip" to The Nutcracker with extension activities in movement, pantomime, and costume design.

Social Emotional Competency of the Month:


The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

(source: CASEL / photo courtesy of freepik.com)

Social Emotional Competency of the Month

What does Social Awareness look like?

  • Taking into account others’ perspectives
  • Recognizing strengths in others
  • Demonstrating empathy and compassion
  • Showing concern for the feelings of others
  • Understanding and expressing gratitude
  • Identifying diverse social norms, including unjust ones
  • Recognizing situational demands and opportunities
  • Understanding the influences of organizations/systems on behavior
Students from TLC Chula Vista

Learn more about Social Awareness by watching this video

Social Awareness Activities

Name The Feelings - a literacy practice for young learners

Select a book to read out loud in which at least one character in the story experiences a range of feelings. For example: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst; All My Feelings at Home: Ellie’s Day by Susan Conlin and Susan Levine Friedman; or Amanda Pig on Her Own by Jean Van Leeuwen. As you read the book, stop after each page or set of pages and ask students: How is this character feeling? How can you tell? Have you ever felt like that? Is that a comfortable or uncomfortable feeling? If the character is feeling sad, lonely, or another uncomfortable feeling, ask: What is something you or another character in the book could do to show this character you care?

(Source: Committee for Children)

"I Feel" Wheel - using art to tap into emotions

"Art is a gateway into the inner world of our emotions and thoughts, but without the language to understand and share those emotions with others, we can feel like we are all alone—this is especially true for teenagers and children who are discovering their place in the world for the first time."

Download an "I Feel" Wheel here. Choose an artwork and ask students to describe how the characters in an artwork feel. Students can use the wheel to interpret or hone in on the specific emotions a figure may be feeling. Explore how the artwork interpretation changes depending on the character’s perceived emotion, especially if students disagree about the emotion. Dig into the ways body language and nonverbal communication help us understand how others feel. Ask students to describe how they feel when first looking at an artwork. Ask them if their feelings change after interpreting the artwork through discussion.

"I Feel" Wheel

(Source: Art Class Curator)

Staff Spotlight

Kimmi Acosta

Kimmi is our La Mesa Office Manager and has been with TLC for a year and a half. Kimmi grew up in Rancho San Diego and moved to Memphis, TN to play collegiate softball at The University of Memphis. She graduated with honors with a Bachelors of Science in Education. After completing her softball playing career, Kimmi moved on to coaching collegiate softball, earned a Masters of Education and was the President of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education. Kimmi has always taken pride in her education and has lived by the motto her dad instilled in her at a young age,

"Work hard and good things happen."

Her favorite part about working at TLC is the relationships she has formed with her colleagues, the students, and their families and the TLC culture! She misses seeing all of the kids’ smiling faces and cannot wait to have them back on campus once it is safe.

Kimmi resides in El Cajon with her husband, Jon, daughter, Avery and son, Ayden. In her spare time, she enjoys camping with her family, Cricuting (aka crafting), petting dogs and coaching girls’ softball 3-4 days a week.

A couple of Kimmi’s favorite quotes are, “tell your dog I said hi” and of course, “work hard and good things happen.”

Following feedback from TLC families and staff we recognize the need to offer our parents additional resources to support and empower them in educating their children. We will aim to use this space in the Newsletter going forward to offer helpful tips and reminders directly to our parents each month. This month's pointer is to:

Establish Routines

  • Routines are predictable and comforting for children
  • Predictable routines help reduce stress
  • Over time, routines become habits that don’t take cognitive energy
  • Develop a schedule, if needed, for your children to follow the routines
  • Make sure your children are ready for school each day
  • Develop a list of chores that children need to complete
  • Avoid negotiating schoolwork versus chores

TLC's Commitment to Health

TLC is proud to utilize the School Health Index (SHI) to prioritize the health of our community. The SHI is a research-based assessment tool that assists school personnel in understanding which best practices their school has or does not have in place to support healthy students and prepare them to learn.

TLC recently completed the Action for Healthy School Health Index Assessment Tool for K-12 students. Based on this assessment, TLC identified the key components we currently have in place to empower our school and students to be healthy. These include:

  • Nutrition Environment and Services (ex. providing healthy food options)
  • Health Education
  • Physical Education and Physical Activity
  • Social and Emotional Climate (ex. fostering positive relationships)
  • Family Involvement

We look forward to featuring more about these components, and continuing to create a culture of health, in future newsletters!

Student Work

Science Fiction Short Stories

A 9th & 10th grade English project

As a final project for a science fiction unit, 9th and 10th grade English classes at TLC La Mesa wrote their own short stories. To prepare for this project, they studied Isaac Asimov's I, Robot and Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, which are both "fix-up" novels of science fiction short stories. They used the writing process to plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish these original works.

You can read these creative pieces of science fiction writing here!

If you are a student and you would like to submit work to be featured, email tlcstudentnews@learningchoice.org. Submissions can be videos, written pieces, photographs, or anything that highlights what you have learned at TLC.

Welcome to No Place for Hate!

By Meghan Ross, 7th grade student at TLC La Mesa

No Place for Hate is a club where we stick up to bullying, prejudiced views and discrimination. By joining our club and signing our pledge, you are gaining a step towards a bully free school and a better school community where all students are welcome. Furthermore, by joining No Place for Hate, you are joining countless other students in other counties and states who have pledged to accept all students and protect them from bullying.

What this club means to me is a friendlier and more inclusive school where we strive to be accepting of others and different kinds of people. Whatever you look like, whatever you believe, whatever you decide, we want you to feel welcome at TLC.

Please consider signing our pledge today and join our loving community!

Your fellow student,

Meghan Ross

Season's Greetings!

Thank you to all the students who submitted artwork for the Holiday Art Contest! Your pieces were creative, artistic, and filled with perfect images for this time of year. Congratulations to the winners, Katie Edelman (Elementary School winner) and Andrea McCraley (Middle/High School winner)!

Holiday Art Contest Winners: Katie Edelman (left) and Andrea McCraley (right)

And thank you to Sabrina McCraley, 12th grade student at TLC Scripps Ranch, for showcasing her Irish dancing talents!

Have a wonderful winter break


Created with images by stokpic - "hands world map" • Greyerbaby - "hands words meaning" • jarmoluk - "hands friendship friends"