Hopefully, you’re starting to see more sunshine now that spring has arrived! It has been an incredibly rainy season and the flowers have already bloomed, so maybe we can skip the April showers this year?
I would like to extend a thank you, and some good luck to all of our Compass scholars participating in state testing over the next two weeks. Your participation is so important, as it gives us the opportunity to explore academic areas that need strengthening and attention and also measures our success in providing scholars with the best possible instruction, guidance, and support. State testing is a great time to bring the Compass community together as you get to meet with your fellow classmates and teachers that you don’t see in-person as often! Enjoy your time making new connections and I wish you the best of luck!
On another note, your participation in state testing speaks for so much more than just academics. As you may know, this is a vulnerable time for charter schools throughout the state of California. We recently participated in the Stand for All Students Rally in Sacramento — to represent our school and all public schools who put scholars first. Hundreds gathered to support a positive future for public charter schools and to influence our elected officials in their upcoming decisions on charter operations. Your participation shows that you are loud and proud about Compass and the ways in which you’re able to earn your education while getting the most out of your lifestyle. For more information on this topic, visit EdSource.org.
As we continue our ride on the Energy Bus, I hope you will continue to make each day positive by fueling your ride and the rides of those around you. With only a few months left in the school year, this is the time to have fun and enjoy your ride! As always, I would love for you to share your experience on the Energy Bus! Share what you’re doing to have fun and enjoy your ride on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or how you have influenced those around you too!
Our teachers and staff are continuing to plan for both Summer School and the upcoming 2019-20 school year, for both current and prospective scholars. Your voice is needed! Please take a few moments to complete our 2019-20 Planning Survey, which is open for all members of our Compass community. The results from this survey will help with our planning for the upcoming school year. I encourage you to continue working hard through testing and know that spring break is just on the other side! Enjoy your week off to rest and recuperate so that you can come back and finish the school year strong!
We are moving swiftly along through our year of possibility. Last Friday, March 1, was an exciting day for us as it marked the opening of enrollment for the 2019-20 school year! It is always wonderful to add new scholars to the Compass family as we prepare for a new year of learning. We also kicked off re-enrollment for our current scholars! Learning coaches should have received a message in ParentSquare regarding the steps to complete the re-enrollment process. Scholars who complete re-enrollment before March 22 will receive a limited edition proud scholar t-shirt. I do hope you will continue your educational journey with us next year!
March 1 also marked our two-year anniversary celebration of the Compass name, and it was also Employee Appreciation Day. CCS has taken many great strides over the past several years to provide scholars with the strong and engaging education we believe they deserve. I am proud of our leadership, staff, scholars, learning coaches, and community that have joined us on this journey as a high-quality independent study school!
Our staff continues to provide scholars with plenty of new and exciting opportunities. CCS announced last week our most recent adventure: merging with REALM Charter School in Berkeley, CA. This merger will both grow the Compass community and provide scholars in Northern California with access to our virtual learning experience. For more information on REALM Charter School and our merger, please read the full press release. To learn more about project-based learning offered at REALM, visit our website. We are also working with a potential authorizer in Yolo County, which would create Compass Charter Schools of Yolo for the upcoming 2019-20 school year! Check out the locations page on our website, to see which counties CCS of Yolo could serve, and share our Interest Form with family and friends in the region who you believe would benefit from our Compass Experience!
As you may also know, CCS has been on a special journey as an Energy Bus school this year. As an Energy Bus school, we bring positivity to each day and operate from seven basic principles to hold ourselves, our scholars, and our learning coaches responsible for our own successes. This month, I encourage you to focus on principle 7: “Enjoy the Ride.”
I would love for you to share your experience on the Energy Bus! Share your positive vision with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or how you have applied the seven principles in your academic and/or personal life! Keep up the great work in your classes, finish the school year strong, and don’t hesitate to reach out to our amazing Compass team for any additional support!
Scholars and families,
The second semester is upon us! It is hard to believe February has arrived and we are more than half-way through the school year. Our scholars finished the first semester strong and I encourage you all to use the new semester as a fresh start! Whether you need to set goals to stay organized or are continuing on a strong path, remember that your teachers and Compass staff are here to support you with whatever you may need.
You may have noticed a lot of celebration lately! We recently wrapped up National School Choice Week, an entire week dedicated to the importance of choice in education. We loved sharing this week with many of you at our Breakfast in the Park meetups. We also spent the month of January recognizing our Board of Directors for School Board Recognition month! Our board members guide the mission and vision of Compass, and devote their time to help us meet our goal to support each scholar along their educational journey. Please join me once more in thanking our Board for all that they do to support our Compass community!
The celebrations continue this week with National School Counseling Week! I would like to highlight the hard work of our Counseling Services Team as they ensure our scholars have a positive Compass experience. This team is driven by the power of February’s core value, communication. Communication is an essential part of our Compass community, which is why we highlight it as a core value. It is a means of expression and also a means of understanding. It is also an important tool you can use to achieve your goals. If you are struggling with your school work, having a conflict with a deadline, or just need advice, communicating with your parents, teachers, and counselors can be of great help!
How has your Compass counselor positively impacted your year? I would love to hear your feedback on the goals and plans you have developed together. Download this poster, decorate it with your response, and email it to Danielle Del Negro, our Marketing Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be highlighted on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages!
Finally, I offer you The Energy Bus’ Principle 6 – Love Your Passengers! To help participate in this key principle, please join us as in The Energy Bus’ Love Your Passengers campaign! The PDF has an activity or challenge for each day of the month of February.
It is a great honor to serve and support our scholars along their educational journey. As a believer in school choice, I am acutely aware of the number of choices our scholars, families, and staff have to meet their educational needs. Thank you for your trust in Compass as your partner in education.
2019 IS HERE!
I hope all of our scholars and their families are enjoying a very restful Winter Break. A lot of excitement lies in the year ahead and I look forward to sharing it with each of you!
2018 has ended and our first semester is also coming to a close. I encourage you to enter this new start by reflecting on the goals you had for yourself in 2018, and creating new goals to achieve, both academically and personally, in this new year! Our staff is ready to support all of our scholars in creating action plans to achieve those goals and to succeed in their academics and other aspirations. I know that all of our staff are truly proud of our scholars’ hard work thus far and look forward to guiding them toward continued success.
We spent the beginning of the school year focusing on our core values of achievement, respect, and teamwork. This month, we focus on our core value of integrity. In general, integrity means to be honest and demonstrate strong moral principles, which we demonstrate through our words, deeds, and actions. At CCS, we put integrity at the forefront of everything we do. We believe having integrity is an essential part of a healthy life and sets the foundation for our decisions, behavior, opportunities and overall success.
Personally, I continue to exercise my own integrity and set an example for others by being transparent with our staff and families and by listening and acting on constructive feedback. There are many resources available to our stakeholders to receive important, honest, and direct information from me, including our quarterly Parent Town Hall meetings and our monthly Scholar Leadership Council and Staff Advisory Committee meetings, in addition to our bi-monthly Parent Advisory Council meetings. My motto has always been, if I know, you should know too. These are just a few of the ways I am trying to live and model integrity for our Compass family.
We’re encouraging scholars, learning coaches and staff to share what integrity means to them and why it’s important. How will you carry integrity with you into the new year? Let us know here!
As shared by Melody Beattie, “The new year stands before us like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.” I wish you continued success and growth in 2019, and I look forward to seeing how you write your own next chapter. Happy New Year!
Scholars and Families,
December is here! The holiday season continues and can often be an exciting but busy time as we celebrate, give back, give thanks, and so much more! It is easy to get distracted, off track and even unmotivated with our school work. To make December as smooth as possible for each of you, I offer you the idea of Teamwork!
Teamwork is our third core value at Compass. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Teamwork makes the dream work”? It’s true! We can all stand by each other through the distractions to offer encouragement in finishing this semester just as strongly as we started it. Scholars, look to your learning coaches, teachers, Compass staff, and one another for extra support and the push you might need at this time. You can even find ways to incorporate your excitement for the holiday break into your school work! We love to see how creative you can get. Learning coaches, don’t forget … you can always look to your scholar’s teachers, educational facilitators (EF’s), counselors, and special education instructors for support. They are willing and available to offer additional ideas, advice, and creative ways to keep things moving for you and your scholar. As we all work together and lean on each other, staying focused becomes a much easier task.
I offer you The Energy Bus’ Principle 4 – Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy! As a team, how can you create an even more positive and joyful environment throughout the month of December, and even for the remainder of the school year? How do you think your positive energy will affect others around you? By offering our own positivity, you can often influence others to change their negative mindset! You have the power to fuel other’s rides, too!
Be sure to stay up to date with all of the exciting events happening at CCS! The Parent Square Calendar is a great place to find upcoming activities, including our Parent Town Halls with the Superintendent next week. Also, be sure to stay up to date with our weekly Monday Morning Updates, as they contain many important CCS updates. On behalf of the staff at Compass, happy holidays! We are proud to be your teammates in education!
I am thankful for so many things! I am thankful that there are these opportunities to express our thanks and gratitude, though we should share our thanks throughout the year too and use these opportunities to amplify our appreciation!
I am thankful that we have a team of educators who live the mission, vision and values at Compass. I am proud that we are continuing to build a school culture where the scholar comes first.
I am thankful that our work is resonating in the greater community. We had our monthly Marketing Tactics meeting earlier today, and were told the brand of Compass is strong across the various digital media platforms. In fact, the 'Top 10 Search Term Trends and Impression Share' has Compass at #1, followed by LAUSD, K 12 Education, Best Online High Schools, ... Our impression share is at 14.6%, followed by k12.com at 10.53%!
I am thankful for our staff on the Staff Advisory Committee, scholars on the Scholar Leadership Council, and parents on the Parent Advisory Council. The ideas and suggestions generated by these groups is amazing, impactful, and powerful. I am thankful for all our staff who are engaged and participating on all of our new committees this year, too, from Energy Bus, to Engagement, to Marketing, to MTSS, to Professional Learning, to Special Events! So many exciting things have been happening at Compass ... because of each and everyone one of you!
I am thankful for my family and friends, who support my crazy life adventure. For being an ear when an ear is needed, a shoulder when a shoulder is needed, and an anchor when an anchor is needed.
THANK YOU, all, again, for being part of this Compass family. I hope you all enjoy time this week with family and friends, and enjoy this season of thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!
We have reached the halfway point of our first semester, and it’s a great time to reflect on our scholar’s amazing hard work so far! I am proud to witness the dedication our scholars have given to their educational journeys this year and know there is so much more in store. As we enter the remainder of the semester and the season of giving thanks, I think it is important to take the time to give thanks and recognize our CCS core value, Respect.
Respect is an integral part of our Compass Experience and is exercised in everything we do. I am thankful for our teachers and staff who value each perspective, opinion and ideas equally, and in turn, create a collaborative community that best supports our scholars. We are active in ensuring our scholars experience respect in every interaction with teachers and staff, which acts as a great model as they learn and witness the importance of respect.
I would also like to give thanks to our teachers and staff for the exceptional job they are doing to provide support to our scholars. I am thankful for the time and effort put into learning labs, virtual workshops, engagement, and so much more, to provide the best experience possible for our Compass community. Their passion for seeing our scholars succeed has no limits, and I am grateful to witness the growth we reach with their collaboration. I would also like to highlight the unfailing support our scholars receive from their families! Your guidance is truly a necessity to your scholar as you partner with Compass to reach and exceed their important educational goals.
I offer you The Energy Bus’ Principle #3 – Drive with Purpose as you finish out the remainder of your first semester. What is your purpose? How are you able to better achieve your purpose with the help of all of our various teams at CCS? Lastly, how do you allow that purpose to drive and inspire you in your daily routine?
Speaking of The Energy Bus, I would like to extend an invitation from Niki Spears, Co-Founder of The Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey and Susan Melbye, Principal of Nottoway Elementary in Medley, VA as they bring the book, Thank you and Good Night by Jon Gordon, to life for scholars and families across the country on Thursday, November 15 at 4:30p. According to Niki, Thank You and Goodnight is a beautifully illustrated book that shares the heart of gratitude. Jon Gordon takes a little boy and girl on a fun-filled journey from one perfect moonlight night to the next. During their adventurous day and night, the children explore the people, places and things that they are thankful for.
Be sure to stay up to date with all of the exciting events happening at CCS! The Parent Square Calendar is a great place to find upcoming activities, including Coffee with Compass next week in Fresno and San Diego, workshops and so much more. On behalf of the staff at Compass, THANK YOU for being part of our Compass family!
Hello Scholars and Families!
October has arrived, marking the start of the second month of the 2018-19 school year. It has been wonderful to see all of your hard work so far. How has your Compass Experience been thus far? Are you feeling supported by our teachers and staff? What types of goals have you set for yourself this year and what creative steps are you taking to meet those goals? Let us know in our ParentSquare poll. Your feedback is encouraged, important, and valued.
With your goals in mind, I’d like to introduce The Energy Bus’ Principle #2 – Create a Positive Vision. A positive mindset is so important in not only achieving our own goals, but to encourage those around us to create a positive and productive environment as well. What is your positive vision? What are some ways you can reinforce ‘Create a Positive Vision’ with yourself and your peers?
Changing gears, there are a lot of events happening in October! The Parent Town Hall with the Superintendent resumes this month! The ParentTown Hall is an opportunity for parents and scholars to hear important updates about Compass Charter Schools (CCS), and participate in a Q&A session with me. Questions are encouraged and welcome in the Q&A session following CCS updates. Please refer to the ParentSquare calendar for upcoming Town Hall dates and times, and to RSVP. And don’t worry … if you are unable to attend, we will have the slides and recording available after each Parent Town Hall.We also have our first Parent Advisory Council meeting of the year taking place this month, on Friday, October 19.Be sure to share your suggestions in our Virtual Suggestion Box for scholars and/or parents before this meeting, so the PAC can review your suggestions and offer feedback to our staff.
The Compass Experience is truly unique to each scholar and it is exciting to see the ways in which each of you make it your own. We want to hear from all of our scholars to learn about their stories and celebrate their hard work. To be part of CCS is to be part of our Compass community, and one of the things our community does is celebrate each other’s’ successes. Have something great you’d love to share? Tell us your story and tag @CompassCS on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram with the hashtag #ChooseCompass!
There are so many ways to stay involved this year! The Parent Square Calendar is a great place to find everything that’s happening at CCS, including field trips and special events. I hope you enjoy our Compass Experience and wish our scholars nothing but the best as their continue their educational journey!
Welcome Back, Compass Family!
I hope you enjoyed a restful summer and are ready for the 2018-19 school year! Our summer was well spent developing new and exciting ways to enrich our personalized learning experience for our scholars and their families. We are so excited to unveil a brand new year filled with opportunity, engagement, friendships, and of course, fun!
This year, our goal is to connect with those who matter most — you! There are so many ways to get involved with both staff and fellow scholars. We’re bringing our virtual community to life with more scholar clubs, virtual and in-person field trips, the Scholar Leadership Council, the Parent Advisory Council, and so much more. Parents will also have access to resources and advice developed by our staff to ensure a smooth and successful at-home learning experience.
We want to encourage our scholars and families to use their voices to connect with us as well. Learning Coaches can utilize our Parent Advisory Councilto provide feedback and recommendations for CCS. Have a suggestion or a new way to enhance the Compass Experience? Let us know by leaving a note in our virtual Parent or Scholar Suggestion Box! These suggestions are reviewed by our Parent Advisory Council, Scholar Leadership Council, Staff Advisory Committee, and Cabinet on an on-going basis, and we strive to implement suggestions when we can, either immediately, within the next semester, or for the next school year. Your voice truly matters at Compass, please use it!
In addition to making connections this year, our staff has spent the summer ensuring that we go above and beyond to enhance the personalized educational experience that CCS offers. Compass has joined The Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey to promote a positive school culture and leadership within each individual. This means that we are each empowered to be the “drivers” of our own bus, on a road to promote positivity and take full responsibility for our thoughts and actions. We want to share this leadership experience with our scholars, as well! Parents and scholars can expect to hear the Energy Bus referenced throughout the year. Elementary-age scholars (grades TK-5), please take a few minutes to learn about Principle #1 – You’re the Driver; secondary-age scholars (grades 6-12), please also take a few minutes to learn and practice Principle #1 – You’re the Driver. Listen for the phrase “yes, yes, yes!” and you’ll know you, too, are on the Energy Bus for a positive Compass experience!
We are truly dedicated to helping every scholar achieve success. We are proud to offer scholars and their families flexible academic programs that best fit their individualized needs. We continue to provide support with a committed Exceptional Scholar Services Team to guide scholars’ day-to-day learning and assist learning coaches throughout their child’s academic journey. We are also proud to offer scholars a devoted Counseling Services Team that helps scholar’s plan their educational path, succeed in their classes, and prepare for life after graduation through a college and career readiness program.
We recently held Back to School Nights for our Online Elementary School, Online Middle School, Online High School, and Options Program to share important information, such as what to expect this first week of school, resources and supports, and updates we’ve made to our program for the upcoming year. I encourage all of our scholars and their families to review these sessions so that everyone is aware of the important changes and exciting plans that we are launching this year.
As we reflect on the new year and our first week, what are you most excited about for this upcoming school year? Why did you #ChooseCompass? Share with us on social media by tagging @CompassCS on Instagram and Twitter, and include the hashtag #ChooseCompass!
I encourage all of our scholars and their families to make connections with us this year and to take advantage of all the resources and unique learning opportunities that CCS has to offer. I look forward to sharing a successful 2018-19 school year with you! As Joy from The Energy Bus would say, “You’re Awesome, You’re the Best, You Rock!” My best to each and every scholar for a great year of learning and growth!
Welcome, June! Summer break and the last day of school are right around the corner. This school year was a great success for our scholars and we are continuing to plan for both Summer School and the upcoming 2018-19 school year, for both current and prospective scholars.
Time has really flown by as this is my last post of the school year. Wow! Next week is our last week of classes for scholars before summer break begins. Our scholars have truly worked so hard this year and have made some incredible accomplishments that you can read about here. Next week we will be hosting our eighth-grade promotion and 12th-grade graduation ceremonies in San Diego, Long Beach, and Fresno. I will be attending all of the ceremonies and look forward to celebrating our scholars’ achievements!
Last month, CCS recognized the fourth and fifth principles of the Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey (EBSLJ). Throughout May, our scholars, learning coaches, staff, and community shared ways to create positive energy by transforming the negative energy around them. This month, we are focusing on both the sixth principle: Love Your Passengers, and the seventh principle: Enjoy the Ride.
Throughout June we invite our Compass community to think about how they can show compassion, understanding, and love for everyone around them while having a lot of fun! Compass encourages all of its scholars to see the true gift in every person they meet. This outlook can help everyone better serve our school and our community. To help with this mission, CCS arranges several field trips and engagement activities each month to give scholars the opportunity to engage with others, show love and support for their community, and have fun both inside and outside the “classroom!”
Our staff is also dedicated to setting a good example for our scholars as they help them see the good in others and express compassion and understanding for everyone around them. We believe that modeling a positive outlook, by being good listeners, kind, open-minded, dedicated and caring are some of the best ways to help scholars, and each other, learn how to love others and have fun together. Our Counseling Services teamprovides a variety of resources and workshops to help middle school and high school scholars develop the social and emotional skills that they need to accept others differences and have a positive impact on our community. Our Special Education team helps scholars of all ages with learning or developmental disabilities gain the skills they need to express love, understanding, and trust for others. Teachers at Compass encourage scholars to love the passengers in their classes by using kind words when speaking to others, by celebrating their peers’ accomplishments and by politely asking questions to gain a better understanding of others. Our staff is fully invested in CCS and our scholars, and we will all continue to inspire our scholars to see the gift in others and demonstrate understanding while having fun and enjoying the ride!
I would like to invite everyone to think about what it means to show love for the passengers in their lives. Do you show compassion for others? Do you the celebrate and understand the unique gift in others? I believe that having compassion and patience are necessary skills to show love for others while having fun. Compassion is the ability to show kindness and understanding for others and their differences. It is about being open-minded … it is about being open and trying new things … it is about choosing to celebrate each other’s differences and uniting our differences to have a positive impact on the world!
To further this conversation, I encourage everyone to share stories and pictures about showing love for other passengers in their lives on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We want to hear from all of our community to learn why they believe showing compassion, patience and understanding are important and celebrate both of these key principles. Being part of CCS is to be part of our Compass community, and our community prides itself on meaningful choices and thoughtful decisions!
As the Dalai Lama once said, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” We are sharing the importance of showing love and compassion for others with our Compass Community in hopes of helping everyone make our world a better place! Thank you for a great year! Enjoy your summer, and I look forward to welcoming scholars, families and staff back to Compass this fall!
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.