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TLC NEWSLETTER March 2021

March Highlights

  • Congratulations to Matthew Zingale, 8th grade student at TLC Scripps Ranch, for achieving a PSAT score in the 99th percentile and the highest score for the 8th grade class!
  • Congratulations to Kandance Coronado, 11th grade student at TLC Scripps Ranch and Tony Bradley, 7th grade student at TLC La Mesa, for being named 2021 Carson Scholars! The Carson Scholars Fund awards $1,000 college scholarships to students in grades 4-11 who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities.
  • The Tijuana Estuarine Research Reserve in Imperial Beach led 3rd-5th grade TLC students in a program called Salt Marsh Secrets, where students discovered salt marsh plant and animal species using observational skill, movement, and nature journaling techniques with a focus on plant adaptations to salty ocean water. 6th-8th graders asked the question, "Can Salt Marshes Help Fight Climate Change?" This program helped students discover what exactly is a salt marsh, what are the species' unique adaptations and how might they fight climate change.
  • The Helen Woodward Animal Center provided TLC students with "Spring Tails", a live virtual field trip focused on life cycles, baby animals, and other changes that occur during the Spring. Students got to see a chicken, sheep, goat, rabbit, and turtle!

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Competency of the Month

Responsible Decision-Making:

The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. This includes the capacities to consider ethical standards and safety concerns, and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being.

(Source: CASEL)

What Does Responsible Decision-Making Look Like?

  • Demonstrating curiosity and open-mindedness
  • Learning how to make a reasoned judgment after analyzing information, data, and facts
  • Identifying solutions for personal and social problems
  • Anticipating and evaluating the consequences of one’s actions
  • Recognizing how critical thinking skills are useful both inside and outside of school
  • Reflecting on one’s role to promote personal, family, and community well-being
  • Evaluating personal, interpersonal, community, and institutional impacts

Learn more about Responsible Decision Making by watching this short video

Practicing Responsible-Decision Making

Watch this short video about a situation where responsible decision-making is required and then answer the reflection questions.

Step It Up Approach

When problems or conflicts occur at home, help your child practice using the Step It Up approach.

  • Stop, Think, and Cool Off.
  • Take a break and regulate your emotions before you try to resolve the conflict.
  • Talk It Out.
  • Engage in respectful dialogue and put both sides of the story out on the table.
  • Evaluate the Possible Solutions.
  • Come up with solutions that are satisfactory to everyone involved.
  • Pick a Realistic Solution.
  • Pick the solution that is best for everyone and try it out!

Everyday Prompts for Your Students

When watching TV/movies or reading a book with your child, discuss the different conflict strategies illustrated. Ask your child if the approach was successful, and why or why not.

(Source: Sanford Harmony)

Celebrating our English Learners

Two TLC Chula Vista students were recently asked to participate in a nationwide study to highlight effective educational practices for English Learners. Rogelio Nevarez Maravillas and Alexandra Arvizu Aramburo each provided interviews to share their experiences as English Language Learners, and some of what has made them so successful!

Interview with Rogelio Nevarez Maravillas

Why did you learn English? What was your first language? How much time did it take you to learn English? Spanish was my first language. I came to the US Schools to learn English. I started TLC in 5th grade, and by the time I was in middle school (7th & 8th) I already knew my English was improving and I was learning it well because of my grades.

How do you feel about the school you attend? Absolutely, love this school! My oldest sister, Melanie, was the first one in my family to attend this school. After my parents saw how Melanie was thriving and learning in this school, they decided to enroll me first, and then the rest of my sisters in TLC.

How were your English and ELD Classes? Did you work in groups or teams? My English Teachers, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Carey and Mr. Marshall were the best and I learned to love reading and writing. My ELD Teacher, Ms. Moreno, always provided me the support and extra help I needed to pass ALL my classes in my journey to learning English.

How do you feel about being selected for this interview? I feel very honored! I can now see that all my hard work and efforts to continue learning English has been worthwhile. Finally, I feel I can be a role model for other students learning English and motivate them to continue learning.

Interview with Alexandra Arvizu Aramburo

Why did you learn English? What was your first language? How much time did it take you to learn English? Spanish is my first language, but I started learning English in Mexico. When I moved to the schools in Chula Vista, CA, in 7th grade I began to learn better English. I now have 2 years of learning English in TLC.

How do you feel about the school you attend? I feel very comfortable in my school, and ALL my teachers have lots of patience and understanding for me. That makes me not feel scared about practicing and learning English. They also allow me to speak Spanish or offer Spanish resources, if I need to clarify or understand a new concept.

How were your English and ELD Classes? Did you work in groups or teams? I I loved my English and ELD Classes. Mrs. Armes, Mrs. Carey and now Mr. Marshall has taught me a lot of English this year. We worked in groups and they put me with bilingual students, so that helped me feel comfortable and I was able to practice my English better in small groups. Ms. Moreno, my ELD and Educational Partner teacher has always supported me by showing me how to use my Spanish skills I already had, to learn the English. This helped me feel successful and become more confident about learning English.

If you could describe your teachers in 3 words, how would you describe them? Attentive, friendly and kind.

How do you feel about being selected for this interview? I feel very grateful that Ms. Moreno, my Educational Partner gave me this opportunity to be part of this research study.

Math Momentum

At TLC, we always strive towards continuous improvement when it comes to helping our students learn. One area we are currently focusing on is math!

What has been done already:

Over the past year, a team of teachers and our Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator have been working with California Curriculum Collaborative, Pivot Learning, and EdReports to identify where changes can be made to better support our students’ learning in mathematics at the K-8 level.

The first step was to look at various data points, including student achievement on assessments, use of adopted curriculum, classroom observations, and teacher interviews. The team then developed a Mathematics Instructional Vision Statement to guide our next steps.

The Vision Statement encapsulates what we want our teachers and students doing in math classes. It has also helped to drive decisions on what curriculum to review, and ultimately pilot.

We have also had a family math night and a parent workshop/principal talk with math as the focus to get our families involved in this academic initiative.

Next Steps:

Five classroom teachers across all three sites will be piloting potential new instructional materials during the Spring Semester. The curricula include Envision Mathematics Common Core K-5 or Envision Mathematics 6-8; Ready Classroom Mathematics; and Illustrative Math.

Our team will use student surveys, teacher evaluations, and parent input to make a decision on what program TLC will adopt for implementation beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.

As our Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator, Natalie Granger, says,

Our goal with the work is to have a curriculum that better supports our teachers in providing learning experiences that guide and challenge students to be the mathematicians that will make positive changes in the world.

If you would like to review and share feedback on these programs, please complete the survey by Friday, April 30.

We will continue to use this space in the newsletter to provide highlights of the different programs, and our ongoing math improvements over the next few months. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in our Math Challenge of the month, more details below.

Student Work

No Place For Hate

"I Am" Gallery

Student "I Am" portrait

Students and staff from TLC La Mesa recently launched the No Place for Hate Club, a group that incorporates anti-bias and bullying prevention resources and promotes inclusivity throughout the school.

With this mission in mind, students launched the "I Am..." activity last month. This challenge asked students to reflect on similarities and differences between people, with the goal of respecting people's differences in mind. Students created visual "I Am..." portraits and then compiled them in a digital gallery. Taken together, they portray the beauty in each individual as well as the collective power of diversity.

You can browse the full gallery here.

Student "I Am" portrait

Solar System Art

Students in Mrs. Garcia's second and third grade class at TLC Chula Vista just completed an art project for their Solar System unit. To draw the lines they used homemade compasses (paperclips/rubber band and pencil), and to create the shading/light they used hard and soft pencil pressure. Check out their "out of this world" creations below!

Mrs. Garcia's class and their art projects

Applying Math and Finance to Real Life

High School Students in TLC La Mesa's Math and Personal Financial Literacy class took their education into the real world by completing a unit on buying a used car. Students researched terms, determined value using Kelly Blue Book, and talked about APR and finance terms. They then decided what kind of car they would buy and made a flyer as their final project. Below are some of the flyers created (and some useful car buying information)!

"One-Pagers"

In this assignment, high school English students at TLC Chula Vista created visual representations of books they read earlier this year. Using one page only, students were asked to illustrate the main themes of the novels through quotes, short paragraph analysis, and illustrations. The books represented include 1984 by George Orwell, The Pearl by John Steinbeck, and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

Student depiction of Things Fall Apart
Student depictions of 1984 (left) and The Pearl (right)

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.

Monitor Screen Time and Follow Zoom Etiquette

  • Technology and screen time are not inherently good or bad
  • Schedule regular tech breaks where your child does something other than look at a device
  • Make sure your child has reading material and tasks on paper
  • Just like in the classroom, certain behaviors are expected in the virtual classroom
  • Your student should come to class prepared, with needed materials
  • Encourage your child to use the camera. Show them the option to hide self-view or set a virtual background (not available on school chrome books)

National Nutrition Month

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, TLC created a TLC Nutrition Website. The website includes a day-by-day calendar of fun activities, videos, trivia, and other resources for our families. We hope you find some inspiration!

Access the TLC Nutrition Website at https://healthytlc.weebly.com/

Thank you to all of you who completed our interactive survey last month! Here are the full results, with some highlights also included below.

STAR Student Recognitions

March: Citizenship

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

Kimberly Bernabe Gatica

River Ciota

Zach Garcia

Coda Harper

Isaiah Hogan

Skylar Martin

Donna Nevarez Maravillas

Rafael Romero

Kyle Valle

This month's staff recognitions for Citzenship are:

Sophie Busch

Lucas Garcia

Gloria Pena

Heather Rhoads

Student Council Corner

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

Showcasing Your Dr. Seuss Spirt

TLC celebrated Read Across America with a Dr. Seuss themed Spirit Week. Students and staff showed their school spirit by doing virtual book readings, themed writing and art lessons, and dressing as their favorite characters. Enjoy some of their creative Dr. Seuss tributes below!

Credits:

Created with images by geralt - "directory signposts wood" • geralt - "away feet shoes" • Pexels - "arrows barren direction"