October Highlights

  • The first learning period is now complete!
  • Students completed the first round of NWEA testing.
  • TLC La Mesa started a chapter of No Place for Hate through the Anti-Defamation League. No Place for Hate is a collaborative framework that engages students, educators and families throughout the year to build a positive school climate.
  • Two TLC Scripps Ranch students and teachers attended a virtual STEM Gala hosted by INCOSE San Diego to present TLC's SeaPerch program, for which a TLC student received an International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) STEM grant.
  • TLC Chula Vista was nominated as a CLEAN business by the City of Chula Vista for their energy efficiency.
  • TLC La Mesa's Applied Sustainability Construction class started on their project to build a modular tiny home.

Social Emotional Competency of the Month:


The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one's strengths and limitations, with a well grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a 'growth mindset.'

(source: CASEL)

Social Emotional Competency of the Month

What does Self-Awareness look like?

  • Ability to identify emotions
  • Accurate self perception
  • Recognizing strengths
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-efficacy (belief in one's own ability)

Learn more about Self-Awareness by watching this short video

Source: InnerDrive

TLC Families are Going Bananas for Free, Healthy Lunches!

Let the TLC lunch staff serve your children a tasty lunch every Tuesday and Thursday. TLC families are invited to drive by their school site location to pick up a free lunch for any child.

Who is eligible: Children between the ages of 2-18 are eligible for free lunch until May 28, 2021. The Seamless Summer Option means that TLC students will receive a free lunch regardless of whether their lunch designation is free, reduced, or paid.

What: Healthy lunches, freshly prepared locally by Top Notch Catering. You can view the menu for each site on our website.

When: Drive through lunch pick up is available every Tuesday and Thursday between 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. On Tuesday you will be given two meals, a hot lunch and a cold lunch to take home for Wednesday.

How: If you would like your family to participate in this fabulous lunch program, email Cathy at ckniss@learningchoice.org with your child’s name, grade, and school site. You will be added to the list for your site, so you can start receiving lunch the following week. Once you are added to our list, you do not need to email us each week.

Thanks to our amazing lunch team - Cathy, Lucia, Chloe, Sidney, and Gloria. They all look forward to serving you fresh food and a smile!

Parents are happy to have a break from cooking, and children are happy to have a delicious meal!

TLC & Top Notch

TLC proudly partners with Top Notch Catering to provide our lunch program. Not only does Top Notch provide our students with healthy and delicious food options, they embody what it means to be a community partner with their commitment to sourcing food directly from local farms.

Their work was recently highlighted in an article by The Farm to Institution Center and Community Health Improvement Partners. You can read more here. As described in this article,

“Top Notch began with the idea of supporting the local economy and is dedicated to continuing on this path.”

In addition, they see food sourced from local farms as “superior for their meal recipients.” As their Chief Operating Officer describes, “It’s a better product for the kids, and it’s healthier overall.”

Thank you for all you do, Top Notch!

Student Work Spotlight

This month's student work spotlight is from Gregory Baker, student at TLC Scripps Ranch. Gregory created a "Wanted" Poster for Grendel from Beowulf as part of an English Book Project. Gregory's depiction of this famously frightening literary antagonist is just in time for Halloween!

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.

Technology in Distance Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to students and families. But with these challenges have also come opportunities to innovate, and TLC would like to celebrate and highlight some of the creative ways our community has adapted.

One impressive response has been the use of technology in distance learning. After overcoming the initial hurdles of ensuring students were signed on to Zoom classes and engaged with learning, teachers have been going above and beyond to incorporate effective learning tools.

As veteran TLC teacher, Rhonda Wixom, describes,

“I have found many free or inexpensive quality programs that I am having the students learn and use to create research projects with a flair.”

For instance, in Ms. Wixom’s Gateway to Technology class, middle school students used a mixture of 7 different software to learn about Flight, Space, and Design.

Meanwhile, her Physics students are creating at home density columns and explaining them through Infocharts and Virtual Museums of Newton's Laws of Motion in CoSpaces (online CAD program). In addition, her Chemistry students are using a yearlong College Chem "game" that introduces 7 Chemistry topics (with 10-14 levels each). The students are completing a topic every 6 weeks for research credit using Playmada’s Collisions. 

With all of these creative learning techniques it is not surprising that many TLC students are thriving, even amid difficult circumstances. As Ms. Wixom describes,

“While I hear about ‘Covid learning losses’ we have had phenomenal growth in MOST of our students and can show this through the recent NWEA baseline testing, compared with the same testing from last winter.”

TLC is so proud of our engaging teachers like Ms. Wixom, who continue to adapt and innovate to serve our students!

Using Art to Learn Life Science

In Mrs. Garcia’s 3rd grade class at TLC Chula Vista, students have been diving into life science. Specifically, they have been learning about the structure of plants and animals and how they have adapted over time to survive in their habitats.

One recent project focused on seabirds in their natural ocean habitat. Students talked about how over time seabirds have adapted very long wings. This adaptation helps the seabirds find food and stay aloft for long periods of time by riding air currents, until they can find rocks or islands to rest on. Their shore and small island habitats have also helped them survive as they offer the birds refuge from predators and a safe place to lay their eggs in order to reproduce the next generation of seabirds.

Students incorporated art into science by making paintings to highlight what they learned. "Seabirds in their Habitat" focuses on contrast of light, movement of lines, and different hues/shades of blue and purple.

"Seabirds in their Habitat" paintings

Student Council Corner

Last year, students at TLC Scripps Ranch piloted the first ever student council for their school. This year they are continuing it for a second year. They will share announcements and events via this section of the Newsletter going forward. In addition, they are willing to help students at other TLC sites start their own Student Councils. Stay tuned for more information!

TLC's Got Talent!

Thanks to the everyone who participated in TLC's Show Us Your Talent spirit week! Your artistic, musical, and creative talents make us so proud.

Talented TLC Students