October Highlights

  • Former TLC student, Luke Zingale, is the first TLC student to receive a National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student Award for his PSAT performance. Congratulations to Luke and this longtime TLC family!
  • We are thrilled to be able to resume in-person field trips through safe, outdoor opportunities. A number of families visited Bates Nut Farm this month for a fun fall trip. Families picked out pumpkins from the patch, rode the hayride, found their way through the straw maze, and learned about the lifecycle of a pumpkin.
Bates Nut Farm Field Trip Fun
  • We were excited to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month this October. We're grateful and proud of the rich cultural heritages of our staff, students and families, all of whom make our school better.
TLC Chula Vista staff and students celebrate Mexican Independence Day and National Hispanic Heritage month
  • TLC is now a District Partner with DonorsChoose, the nonprofit crowdfunding site used by teachers at public schools to get additional resources for their classrooms. We'll make sure to share if your classroom teachers have exciting projects to support or promote with friends and family.
  • It's National Principals Month! Have you had a chance to thank your School Site Administrator for their hard work? If not, it's not too late to share an e-card! Thank you to Mrs. Knudsen, Mrs. Rose, and Mr. Medina for all they do to support TLC students and staff.

Meet our School Psychologists

Erika Delgado

Last month we introduced you to our new School Counselor. This month we are highlighting our amazing school psychologists.

Erika Delgado has been with TLC for 9 years now. She has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from UCSD, a Masters from Alliant International University in School Psychology, a PPS credential, a certificate in School Based Mental Health, and a Diplomate in School Neuropsychology through the American Board of School Neuropsychology. With over 15 years of experience working in the mental health field, Erika brings substantial expertise to her role as TLC’s Lead Psychologist.

Outside of work, Erika likes to spend time with her family, which includes her two girls, Ellie (6) and Zoe (2), her husband Adrian, and her three dogs (Scruffy, Ollie and Max). She loves to travel, get to know new people and places, garden, bake, and do arts and crafts with her girls.

How Erika can help: Erika can support students and parents when they have concerns or questions regarding academics, behavior, and social emotional needs. With Erika you can discuss interventions and any other supports that can be implemented at school and home. Erika can also answer questions regarding Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) and related services.

Erika collaborates with teachers and school staff to create safe and supportive learning environments that best support students who may be struggling academically, behaviorally, or socially/emotionally.

How to contact Erika: Students and families can reach out to Erika via email, edelgado@learningchoice.org or phone, at 619-797-1724 ext. 122

Lisa Valdes

Lisa Valdes is the newest addition to our psychologist team, having joined TLC this past August. Lisa has her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and her Masters in School Psychology with a certification in Applied Behavioral Analysis.

She has worked in education for over 10 years and has a strong background of working with students at different levels and students with Autism.

Outside of work, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family. She has 3 year old twin girls and a 9 year old son. They spend most of their time at the baseball and soccer fields. She also enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

How Lisa can help: Lisa can help students and families with questions about IEP services, academics, evaluations (intelligence, achievement, social emotional, adaptive, cognitive processing) and behavioral assessments/interventions.

How to contact Lisa: The best way to reach Lisa is by email at lisa.valdes@learningchoice.org

We're grateful to have staff like Lisa and Erika working hard to meet all students' academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs.

National School Psychology Week

Now that you've met our school psychologists, mark your calendars for National School Psychology Week, coming up on November 8-12.

As the National Association of School Psychologists describes, "During the week of November 8-12, 2021 schools throughout the United States will celebrate National School Psychology Week (NSPW) to highlight the important work school psychologists and other educators do to help all students thrive. This year's theme is "Let's Get in Gear." The theme's acronym provides a challenge to grow both personally and professionally. It encourages us to engage in best practices and advocate for children's access to mental health and learning supports. To rise implies resilience and renewal despite the challenges of the past."

Erika and Lisa will be sharing information with families to bring awareness to the role of school psychologists, including how they can support all students, teachers, and families. Stay tuned!

Lettuce anyone?

Thanks to a donation from Lettuce Grow, this month our 7th grade gardening students at La Mesa got to work constructing a lettuce farm stand!

Students worked together to build the farmstand and plant seedlings. Going forward they will collaborate to maintain and care for the vertical garden. We can't wait to grow (and eat) some healthy greens!

Students putting together the farmstand
Construction in progress
Final product sneak preview

Learn more about lettuce...

To help cultivate excitement, here are 10 fun facts about lettuce to share with your students and families (taken from the Mavis Butterfield blog):

  1. Lettuce is the second most popular fresh veggie in the US, behind only the potato!
  2. Lettuce shouldn’t be stored near apples, bananas, or any other ethylene-emitting fruits. Ethylene causes lettuce to ripen super fast and start to decay rapidly!
  3. The average American eats about 30lbs of lettuce a year! That’s a whole lotta salads!
  4. About 70% of the lettuce grown in the US comes from California {except from November through March when 90% of the nation’s lettuce come from Yuma, Arizona} and about 75% of all lettuce grown in the US is iceberg lettuce.
  5. Because lettuce is about 95% water, it has to be eaten fresh and cannot be frozen, dried, pickled or canned.
  6. Christopher Columbus was the person who actually introduced lettuce to America during his second voyage to the New World in 1494.
  7. There are hieroglyphic records of lettuce being grown over 6000 years ago. Wowza!
  8. Dark green lettuce leaves are more nutritious than light green leaves.
  9. Calling lettuce “rabbit food” dates back to the 1930s.
  10. Many ancient Greeks believed that lettuce made you sleepy so they served it at the end of the meal. However, the super mean Roman Emperor, Domitian, served it at the beginning of his feasts to try to torture his guests by forcing them to stay awake in his presence.

Ecologists in Training

Students in Mrs. Garcia's 3rd grade class at TLC Chula Vista are creating meaning in their learning of Life Science by becoming ecologists. In this unit the students are learning through movement and poetry, using words and rhyme to understand the importance of ecologists and their role in observing and understanding animals and plants. By doing so, they too can enjoy and marvel at the unique physical and behavioral traits of organisms and how they live, survive, reproduce and adapt to their environment in the most magnificent ways.

The students are also learning that sharing information about the dangers and threats these plants and animals face creates awareness that encourages future generations to promote conservation. As a result, the students can be like ecologists, who make a difference by finding real world solutions to protect endangered species from becoming extinct.

Here are the students having a little fun too, with the ecologist bugaloo!

Pop-Up Library

A space for silent reading

This new feature at TLC's San Diego site was created by parent and TLC staff member, Gloria Didjusto. Gloria said the idea came to her because,

I spent my youth with my nose buried in books. I wanted to bring back silent reading.
A San Diego student taking a reading break

Gloria started by checking out 20 books from the local library (comics, books about snakes, planets, etc) and setting them up in Ms. Gray's class. Students now have 15 minutes of silent reading after lunch. She also provided the students with flashlights and said,

The students love choosing a book and reading with their flashlights at the end of the week.

Students are encouraged to give Ms. Didjusto suggestions for books they would like to see and every week she will swap them out.

Students immersed in books

We're excited about this new space for students and are grateful for caring and passionate parents and staff like Gloria who go above and beyond to support our school.

TLC has a new website!

We are excited to be launching a new website any day now! (The exact launch date will be announced via ParentSquare).

We hope this website will provide clear and up to date information for current families, and give prospective families a helpful idea of what our school has to offer.

As you begin to use the new website, we would love your feedback. Is there anything that you think could be changed or improved? Is there anything missing that would be helpful for us to include? Please let us know! You can email events@learningchoice.org with any and all feedback.

And finally, if you would like to be featured on the website, we will have a space for family testimonials and student spotlights. Please email events@learningchoice.org to express your interest.

We can't wait for you to see the new and improved site very soon.

Food For Thought

National School Lunch Week

TLC celebrated National School Lunch Week from October 11-15. Our lunch team had fun coloring Wild about School Lunch pages and participating in the nutrition jar estimation contest. As part of this contest, each grade was given a jar and they had to guess the correct number of dry pasta, carrots, or beans in the jar for their grade. The total amount in each jar were: 40 carrots, 207 dry pasta, 130 white beans, and 304 red beans.

Could you guess the correct amounts?

So far, we have served over 3,500 free lunches across our three TLC sites this school year. As a reminder, lunches are free to all students under 18 years of age this year.

You can find out what we will be serving by visiting our monthly menu.

We look forward to seeing more smiling faces in our lunch line!

Your lunch team,

Cathy, Gloria, Rosie and Carli

Spread the Word

In our last newsletter you may have noticed that we encouraged you to spread the word about TLC. Some of you asked very good questions about the best ways to do this.

In order to empower you to share information about TLC, we created this Parent Outreach Tool Kit. This document provides sharing strategies as well as videos and collateral materials. It also contains a link to a google doc so you can keep us informed about your efforts.

You are our greatest spokespeople and we appreciate you getting the word out about TLC!

STAR Student Recognitions

October: Caring

TLC recognizes STAR students each month based on a determined character trait. October's character trait was Caring. Students are nominated by their Educational Partners and School Site Administrators. Congratulations to this month's STAR students!

Annabelle Becker

Serenity Bowers

John (Jack) Carlton

Gemma Douglas

Lucas Garcia

Isabela Gonzalez

Bryan "Pedro" Izzi

Sarah "Teresa" Magallon

Bernadette (Bernie) Moir

Braxton Parman

Inara Ramos

Kalin Ramos

Ryker Scarlett

Keira Stuart

This month's staff recognitions for Caring are:

Diane Barrett

Alonzo Garcia

Gloria Glaeser

Celica Leon

Your Support Goes A Long Way

As a public charter school, TLC relies on public funds to deliver all of our educational programming. To help us go above and beyond, we are grateful for donations of any amount. We will run specific campaigns throughout the school year, and also welcome donations at any time. You can make a general donation here. You can also direct a donation to a specific school site or initiative. Thank you in advance for your support!