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TLC NEWSLETTER May 2021

May Highlights

  • Mr. Young, Social Studies Teacher at TLC Chula Vista, is a finalists for the Legler Benbough Award for Innovative Use of Technology in the Classroom. This award from Teach for American San Diego recognizes a teacher who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in and understanding of educational technology implementation, who is passionate about teaching, and who has examples of successful student outcomes. Congratulations, Mr. Young!
  • 8th graders at TLC Scripps Ranch received an Excellence IXL Award for amazing skills.
  • Thanks to a grant from GenYouth, TLC Chula Vista received a brand new two-door refrigerator, rolling carts, and food containers. This will help us to meet the capacity demands of serving our onsite students next year.
  • At TLC, we want to encourage reading and listening to stories. From May 17 until June 6, TLC is hosting our second annual reading challenge for staff, students, and parents/guardians. We encourage you to track your weekly minutes on our website TLC Reads. We look forward to seeing how many minutes our three sites can read, and who will be the TLC reading champions!

Social Emotional Learning

The Benefits of Breathing

by Natalie Granger, Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Coordinator

Obviously breathing is essential to life, but how often do you pay attention to your breath? I know I tend to hold my breath when I am stressed. I even have a rock in my office with the word ‘breathe’ on it as a reminder. Mindful breathing (being intentional with your breathing) can provide many health benefits, and can help to lower stress, improve focus, and ease anxiety. Below are two different breathing techniques you can try for yourself or with your students.

Box Breathing

(Adapted from Medical News Today)

Box breathing is a simple technique that a person can do anywhere, including at a work desk or in a cafe. Before starting, people should sit with their back supported in a comfortable chair and their feet on the floor.

  1. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
  2. Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds.
  3. Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 at least three times. Ideally, repeat the three steps for 4 minutes, or until calm returns.

Belly Breathing

(Adapted from Michigan Medicine)

Try this basic exercise anytime you need to relax or relieve stress.

  1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
  2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
  4. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
  5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

If someone finds the technique challenging to begin with, they can try counting to three instead of four. Once someone is used to the technique, they may choose to count to five or six. If you like this technique but do not want to rely on a screen for the visual, you can trace a square in your hand or on any flat surface, like your desk.

Additional Resources

Here is some additional information to help you breath better!

Advocacy & Action

Current Issue: AB 1316

This bill is currently moving through the state legislature. It will be voted on by the entirely Assembly by June 4. As summarized by charterschoolcapital.org:

The bill would have a devastating impact on charter schools and create new mandates on school districts.

Among other things, this bill:

  • Creates a new funding determination process for non-classroom-based charter schools that would reduce the amount of funding they receive from the state.
  • Rewrites Independent Study law in California to require more teacher and student contact, a minimum school day, and metrics for ending Independent Study agreements.
  • Changes vendor contracts by requiring vendor personnel to hold an appropriate credential, enforcing competitive bidding and prohibiting agreements from being calculated as a percentage of charter school revenue.
  • Prohibits the use of multi-year track systems.
  • Limits the ability of small school districts to authorize additional charter schools.
  • Increases oversight fees that charter schools pay their authorizer.

(Source: charterschoolcapital.org)

For more information on AB 1316, here is an article from The San Diego Union Tribune, a statement from The California Charter School Association, and an editorial from the Orange County Register.

In order to raise awareness, you can share information about this bill and your opinion on it through social media, or through contacting your local representatives.

Math Momentum

Parent Survey Results

Thank you to those parents who responded to our Math survey! Your feedback is integral to helping us determine what Math curriculum best supports our students. Here is a summary of what parents reported:

Piloting of New Curriculum

In order to better support our K-8 students in their math education, we are piloting potential new instructional materials for next year. The curricula being piloted include Envision Mathematics Common Core K-5 or Envision Mathematics 6-8; Ready Classroom Mathematics; and Illustrative Math. Our team of teachers and our Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator will assess parent, student, and teacher feedback and make a decision about what curriculum to move forward with by the end of this school year. We look forward to sharing more about the new curricula and implementing beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.

Math Challenge Update

Thank you to everyone who participated in the IXL Math Challenge! 114,705 IXL questions were answered, exceeding our goal of 100,000 questions. The videos of staff singing a song or performing a TikTok dance will be shared in the June newsletter so stay tuned!

  • This year TLC completed 714,989 IXL questions by May 15. Last year we had only reached 382,400 questions completed by May 15, 2020.
  • Last year 6,757 skills were mastered and so far this year, we are at 12,103 skills mastered.

Keep improving your math skills TLC, we are proud of you!

InvestIN Education Internship

Two TLC students -- Luis and Sofia Camarena -- recently participated in an internship program offered by InvestIN Education. InvestIN is a London-based organization that has experienced professionals host virtual and in-person programs for students around the world to give them a jump start on their careers. Luis and Sofia shared about their experiences in personal essays, which you can read below.

InvestIn The Young Engineer Programme Experience Review

by Luis Camarena

The Investin Young Engineer Programme was a great experience for me personally. I was thrilled to work alongside some of the world’s top engineers for two days. I prepared a couple of days before by going to bed earlier since the internship was going to be live online in UK time. I had to wake up at 1 AM to be ready for the seven hour internship which took place from 2 AM - 9 AM both days. I learned so much about what is required to become an engineer and some interesting facts about each field of engineering such as software engineering, aerospace engineering, marine engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and material engineering.

My favorite part from the first day was having an interactive simulation about what is needed in order for a civilization to sustainably land and survive in Mars. I also enjoyed learning about sustainable future in cities, digital representation and smart technology. On Day 2, I was thrilled to learn about biomedical engineering. We even used a program to develop a prosthetic hand that can benefit disabled people. Chemical engineering also taught me about how to reduce or eliminate waste products in order to protect the environment and stop climate change.

Each day we ended with career coaching and building a network. Overall I was grateful to have been given the opportunity to not only learn but also interact and collaborate with other 15-18 year old aspiring engineers from all over the world.

Future Doctor Programme review InvestIN

by Sofia Camarena

In January of this year, I took the Future Doctor Programme through InvestIN. InvestIN is an organization in the United Kingdom that delivers immersive career experiences for ages 12 to 18; since the course would be in the UK time zone, I had to wake up at 1AM and attend the course from 2:00-5:00 AM. Regardless of the course being at very crazy hours, I was beyond excited when my parents agreed to let me participate in it. In the span of three hours, we dove into the world of medicine from three angles: the heart, the lungs, and diseases. Then we read and analyzed ECGs, cancer screening scans, and brain activity. My favorite part of the course was when I participated in a virtual ER where we interpreted, diagnosed, and suggested treatment for a patient. Overall, this experience was one I will never forget and I totally recommend to anyone thinking about taking one of their courses to go for it!

Student Work Spotlight

This month's student work spotlight is from TLC student artist Zoey Flores, 10th grader at Scripps Ranch, with a skillful sketch of a Velociraptor.

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.

Food Truck Senior Project

Seniors at TLC Chula Vista recently undertook an Economics project focused on Food Trucks. In this project, students worked in teams to create a food truck business plan. They were tasked with economic decisions ranging from what foods to make, pricing, supply and demand analysis, and calculating profit margins. You can view the full projects here.

Student Project Snapshots

Communicate with Teachers

  • Teachers are your partners.
  • Talk to your child about what they are learning or doing.
  • Welcome their struggles as they grapple with new ideas and concepts; learning is a positive challenge.
  • Develop a communication system with the teacher(s).
  • Be involved in your child’s education.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Did you know that May is mental health awareness month? As part of raising awareness about this important aspect of our health and well-being, here is some more information about mental health.

What is mental health?

  • It includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being.
  • It affects how we think, feel, and act.
  • It impacts how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
  • Source: Mentalhealth.gov

Mental Health Facts & Figures

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year.
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.
  • Source: National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Source: Living Resiliently Blog

Mental Health Tools & Resources

How can adults support students' mental health?

  • Continue to build and foster relationships with students.
  • Learn and know the warning signs for mental health problems.
  • Know how to get immediate help if needed.
  • Know who to seek help from (SSA, counselor, psychologist).
  • Promote social emotional competence and resilience.
  • Encourage good physical health.
  • Encourage helping others.
  • Source: mentalhealth.gov
Source: KeepnTrack

We want to recognize all students who participated in the No Place for Hate Spring Break Challenge! This challenge asked students to complete activities that promote positivity, tolerance, and acceptance in their communities. Activities included reading a book, baking cookies, doing a good deed, making a card, or inspiring someone.

TLC La Mesa's 7th grade won the top prize for class participation with 7 total participants. Well done to all who took part! Participants included:

Tony Jaques Bradley

Gwendylan Ciota

Andrea L. Cortez Ascencio

Jason Cruz

Mía Cruz

Shayla Echeverri

Trenton Hough

Jacob Lopez

Angelina Morris

Isabella Oliver

Aleena Pintor

Daisy Pintor

Abel Rojas

Ayleen Valderrama

Xzavier Noah Phelps McPherson

STAR Student Recognitions

May: Perseverance

TLC is excited to recognize STAR students each month based on a determined character trait. May's character trait was Perseverance. Students were nominated by their Educational Partners and School Site Administrators. Congratulations to this month's STAR students!

Kimberly Bernabe

Antonio Colon

Audrey Colon

Caleb Del Torro

Genesis Deleon

Emrys Edkins

Izabella Fierro

Zoey Flores

Sol Fortunal

Nathan Guillen

Alejandro Maldonado

Josiah Martinez

Brody McClendon

Alicia Merrill

Isaac Miller

Isabella Moreno

Rebeca Ortiz

Jeremy Reyes

Dakota Smith

Jonathan Stewart

Hailey Williams

Amaris Yisrael

This month's staff recognitions for Perseverance are:

Carol Anderson

Nicolas Ferrantello

Adrianna Gray

Lucia Vega

Angie Wilson

Student Council Corner

Please take a moment to read a friendly note from your TLC Student Council

Celebrating our Seniors

TLC celebrated seniors in a drive thru breakfast to pick up their cap and gown, yard sign, and TLC swag! Thank you again to Chick-fil-A Eastlake, Chick-fil-A Grossmont, and Chick-fil-A Mira Mesa for donating the delicious food, mini moos, and coupons. Congratulations seniors!

Senior scenes from our three sites

Teacher Appreciation

Even though Teacher Appreciation Week has passed, we value and appreciate our teachers ALL year long. Thank you for all you do, TLC Teachers & Staff!

TLC Chula Vista students show their teacher appreciation

Credits:

Created with images by kathleenport - "street art breathe inhale" • TotalShape - "mental health mental wellness mind" • chezbeate - "heart wood love" • athree23 - "thank you thank you card table"