TLC NEWSLETTER September 2021

September Highlights

  • First day of school -- and students back on site! After much anticipation, we were thrilled to be able to kick off the 2021-22 school year with Hybrid Program students returning to onsite classes and teachers returning to their school sites. You can check out some scenes from the first day of school celebrations below.
  • New school site in San Diego (Clairemont). Staff, students, and families have been busy settling into the new TLC school site, located in Clairemont at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego. We are looking forward to continuing to grow our TLC family at this new location.
The school year has begun!

First Day of School 2021-22

Whether students were undertaking homeschooling or returning to onsite classes as part of the Hybrid Program, we were thrilled to see some great first day of school celebrations. Welcome back to all!

First day of school highlights from across TLC's three school sites

New Math Curriculum

For those who are returning TLC families, you may recall that last year we piloted and tested a number of new Math curricula to see which would be the best for our students.

After much deliberation, review of data, and discussion, the math piloting team decided upon i-Ready Classroom Mathematics (K-8). This program was chosen because of the format of the lessons, teacher support for all learners, and integration of the home-school connection.

This program aligned consistently with our established priorities to:

1. Provide guidance for teachers to create high level learning opportunities for students to engage in discourse around mathematical concepts.

2. Provide access to a range of learners and offer teachers opportunities for student learning that aligns with UDL (universal design for learning) strategies and differentiated levels of support.

3. Materials provide a balanced portrayal of various demographic and personal characteristics of students.

Thank you to the parents who offered feedback, the students and teachers who tested out curricula, and those who served on the math piloting team. Your hard work will have a big impact on our students!

Meet our New School Counselor!

Many of you may already know Diane Barrett as a TLC teacher. This year, Diane moved into the role of School Counselor. She is excited to serve students across grades and sites. Here is a little bit more about Diane...

She received her bachelor's degree in mathematics from UC Santa Cruz followed by a teaching credential from San Jose State. After almost 30 years as a high school and middle school math teacher, she entered a master's program in School Counseling at Concordia University Irvine. She graduated last March and is very excited to provide social-emotional support to TLC's students, parents, and staff.

Outside of work, Diane enjoys trips to Disneyland, teaching dance fitness classes and spending time with her family, including her husband Mark, daughters Coral (34) and Summer (21), three dogs, one cat, two hamsters, and two guinea pigs.

How Diane can help: Students, parents, and teachers can reach out to Diane for support. Students can self-refer and parents and teachers can refer their students. Diane specializes in helping students socially and emotionally. She is a great person to go to if a student needs to talk. In particular, Diane can support with such things as:

  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Gender or sexuality
  • Regulating feelings
  • Anger management
  • Self-esteem
  • Issues at home, with friends, or in the classroom
  • And much more

How to contact Diane: To schedule a time to talk with Diane, you can fill out either the Parent/Guardian Counseling Referral Form or the Student Counseling Self-Referral Form. Alternatively, you can email her directly at dbarrett@learngingchoice.org.

Additional Support Resources: When a parent, teacher, or student fills out the counseling referral form, the TLC team will assess the best person to put the student in touch with. In addition to Diane, our Counseling team consists of Samantha Peterson (Academic, College, and Career Counselor), Erika Delgado (School Psychologist), and Lisa Valdes (School Psychologist).

Along with the one-on-one support that this team can provide students, our social-emotional website offers a number of resources that you can access on your own.

We will continue to implement social-emotional learning (SEL) tools in the classroom, and across our school, throughout the year, and are excited to share updates as we embed these important practices within TLC.

Student Work Spotlight

This month's student work spotlight is by Diego Vargas, whose creative take on his first day of school photo is below. Diego used photoshop to include himself on the Mandolorian Academy class to commemorate his first day of 8th grade at TLC La Mesa!

Diego Vargas attends the Mandolorian Academy for a day!

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.

Student Spotlight:

Noah Vaugh

Noah is one of many TLC students with an IEP (individualized education plan), and throughout life he had people doubt his ability to graduate high school. With the help of his TLC teachers, family, and through a lot of perseverance and hard work of his own, Noah is on his way to beating the odds. He has already been accepted to Mary Hardin-Baylor and Grand Canyon University (where he received an academic scholarship).

Since being at TLC, Noah has made a big impact on the school. He has helped to update the SPED department (now the Personalized Student Services Department), and has been an advocate for both himself and other students that don’t feel as comfortable speaking up. This year, Noah was elected to be the 2021-2022 School Site Council Chairperson. Noah's sister Natalie, also a TLC student, shared that,

Noah is such a caring soul, he even spends his free time volunteering at a vet hospital.

We’re so proud of Noah and know that his story will inspire others to follow in his footsteps!

School Garden Underway

Thank you to all those who donated to our school garden campaign last year. Thanks to you, we are now working to create a school garden at TLC La Mesa.

A number of students and parents stopped by over the summer to clean up the area that will become our garden space.

Garden clean up day
Volunteers clearing the space

Now that school is back, planning is underway. The garden will be primarily overseen by our 7th grade students. They are in the process of brainstorming initial plans and designs.

Garden planning session

We will keep you updated as we continue to grow this space! Please keep an eye out for ways to be involved and volunteer -- coming soon!

Food For Thought

Free Lunches for All

TLC’s lunch team is ready to serve you! School lunches are free for all students this year. You can view the upcoming October school lunch menu here.

Cathy and Gloria have apples for all

Seasonal Highlight

One of the easiest ways to eat healthy is to seek out fruits and vegetables that are in season. Studies have shown that foods that naturally grow during a particular season contain more nutrients than those grown out of season. In addition, eating fruits and vegetables in season can taste better, is better for the environment, and is more affordable!

Here’s a great guide to helping you find out what’s currently in season.

A favorite this time of year is apples. Here are some fun, apple-themed activities to undertake with your students this season.

TLC lunch crew

NEW San Diego Site Opens for Learning

As the 2021-22 school year has gotten underway, we are so excited to be in a new school site! Located in Clairemont within the Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego, TLC's San Diego site features a science lab and amazing outdoor facilities including a playground and sports field. Below are a few snapshots of the first week of learning at TLC San Diego.

TLC San Diego students kick off the school year

Spread the Word

We want to make sure we let people in the local community know about our new school site! If you think TLC's model could be a good fit for a family you know, please refer them to TLC's inquiry form. If they have any questions, they can e-mail enrollment@learningchoice.org.

(Please note, while we particularly want to spread the word in Clairemont, where we are brand new, families from Chula Vista and La Mesa are always welcome to refer friends as well)!

Our new San Diego (Clairemont) site

STAR Student Recognitions

September: Respect

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

Kailey Carlen

Jayden Charles

Gaven Coram

Isaac Mathews

Lyndie McMullin

Dayana Ojeda Lorenzo

Lilian Parman

Morgan Platt

Evie Westfall

This month's staff recognitions for Respect are:

Jannet Callejas

Kacie Desmond

Rosa Latorre

Joe Medina

Eunice Park

Alicia Ruiz

Inaugural Tiny Home Housewarming

TLC La Mesa celebrated the completion of TLC's first ever tiny home project on June 14 with a ribbon cutting and housewarming. The tiny home was completed by students in the Applied Sustainable Construction class under the leadership of Mr. Travis Nixon.

Honorary guests included La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis, Grossmont Union High School District Superintendent Theresa Kemper and Board Trustee Dr. Gary Woods, as well as additional Grossmont District staff members, and La Mesa Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Brian Sack.

You can see a short video with highlights from the day here.

Work is already underway for this year's Applied Sustainable Construction class to complete the same project. In the future, TLC would love to expand this exciting opportunity to all school sites.

Graduations & Promotions

Congratulations to all of the 2021 graduates and students who celebrated their 8th grade promotions. Below are a few snapshots from the ceremonies. If you did not receive information on how to purchase a photo packet for your grad, please email vcline@learningchoice.org

Chula Vista 8th Grade Promotion
Chula Vista Graduates
La Mesa 8th Grade Promotion
La Mesa Graduates
Scripps Ranch 8th Grade Promotion
Scripps Ranch Graduates

College Bound & Proud

TLC's class of 2021 included many graduates on their way to great four-year universities. Some of the colleges and universities that our students will be attending include:

  • University of California, San Diego
  • San Diego State University
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Sonoma State University
  • And more!

Many of our graduates will also be attending local community colleges, while others have decided to pursue trade school and apprenticeships. We are proud of all graduates for finding the path that works best for them and working hard to achieve their dreams.

If you are alumnus or alumna who would like to share your post-TLC story and highlights, please email tlcstudentnews@learningchoice.org

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!


Created with images by stux - "back to school school enrollment school" • jag2020 - "seedling gardening greenhouse" • lumix2004 - "apples fruits orchard"