News & Notes - April 5, 2019
What's Happening at The Academies? 

Apr 5 -- Summer Program Registration Opens

Apr 6 --  SVA PTO Pew Pew & BBQ 

Apr 18 --  SVA Arts Fundraiser @ Cellar Door

May 15 --  BOA Open House

May 22 --  SVA Open House

Download the  2018-19 Academic Calendar
Hello TACMO family,
Blue Oak and Sycamore Valley focus on equipping and empowering the whole child. As we approach testing season, it is imperative to emphasize the big picture of the quality of education we seek to provide for your whole child. Academically, we ensure that students have access to best instructional practices in reading, writing, mathematics, history, etc. Our specialists contribute through lessons in Spanish, Physical Education, Science and Art. As educators, we realize that all of those wonderful academic lessons and opportunities are enriched, and sometimes enabled, by integrating social and emotional learning. "Harvard Business school looks for candidates with empathy, perspective taking, rapport, and cooperation." (Daniel Goleman in "Working with Emotional Intelligence") We want your child to grow in all areas of intelligence, including the sometime overlooked emotional intelligence (EI). Imagine your student being able to recognize and manage their feelings, understand others' feelings, show empathy, and get along with others.

Blue Oak recently offered a parent training to equip families with tools to help cultivate these traits with their child. Blue Oak has been piloting this program this year, and Sycamore Valley will soon be adopting this program too. Dovetail's Toolbox teaches children self-awareness and self-regulation skills by teaching students about the tools of belonging and caring that are innate in each child. The primary question parents should learn to ask is "What tool could you use?" The primary, foundational tool is the breathing tool. Simply making a conscious effort to breathe in and out helps students learn to calm themselves and check-in (hint: it works well for us too!). Some great times at home that you might suggest breathing would be when you sit down to eat, arrive home or change activities. Model the need for breathing yourself.
Another powerful tool is the listening tool; listening with ears, eyes, and heart. Listening is what is needed to bring about understanding. We can model this as we learn to listen for voice, attitude, behaviors as we ask ourselves "What is going on for my child?" When you listen to your child, communicate that you are going to use this tool so they can understand you will be giving your full attention (and then truly give it, devices down). Create family "listening times" so that each member can speak from their heart about their experience or perspective.

I challenge you to add some of these practices to your regular routines and rhythms. Practice these by going first, modeling them, and identifying specifically what you are doing to self-regulate. When you put your children to bed at night, ask yourself this: Do you think about whether they are stronger because of the things you have said or done that day?


TACMO Summer Enrichment Programs

We will offer summer enrichment opportunities again this year in four one week sessions. Sessions will be open to students entering grades 1-5 in the fall. All summer programs take place at Blue Oak Academy. 

We are extending drop off and pickup times this year with our programs running from 7:30AM-4:00PM. 

The fee for each session is just $150! Register online by May 1 to receive a $25 early bird discount per session. Limited scholarships are available in each session for families who qualify for free or reduced price lunch. 


Session Dates & Details

Session 1: June 17-21
Mrs. Gates-Wai - All about pets - Learn about pets with fun educational activities, including games, crafts, guest speakers, and more!

Session 2: June 24- 28
Mr. Enriquez - Stop Motion Lego Animations- Students will develop their narrative and storyboard, and then shoot their videos using iPads over the course of a week. The session culminates in a film festival at the end of the week.

Session 3: July 8-14
Mrs. Cazarez - Foodie Kids Cooking - Back By Popular Demand! Mrs. C cooks up new fun and delicious recipes with more hands on cooking activities for your kiddos in this yummy week. 

Session 4: July 22-26
Mrs. Padilla - Let's Go Camping! - The Padillas will create a fun filled week of camp themed crafts and books, outdoor games, s'mores, and more!

This Week in Middle School
What an incredible job all our volunteers did at Beautification Day last Saturday! Not only did we spruce up areas of the campus, but we have laid the foundation for our middle school's comparative gardening project. Students have been considering agriculture as a system of inputs and outputs and are ready to plant their seedlings -- one of each in the rows modeling industrial agricultural practices, and one in a permaculture mound built 5 feet deep with recycled biomass.
Buy your Sweepstakes tickets in-person
Fridays after School
April 5th, 12th & 26th

KSVA TV Ch. 20 is Back!

Welcome our new anchors this season! This episode includes highlights from beautification day and twin day. Ms. Chan shows us how she keeps students safe by walking into traffic.

SVA Jog-A-Thon

Last week's SVA PTO Jog-A-Thon was a huge success! Thank you to all who contributed to this fantastic event. PTO raised over $10,000!!

Come on out to support the arts at Sycamore Valley Academy and enjoy Terra Bella, featuring Mr. Benton on bass! 

Night at the 21st Century Museum
Students from both Sycamore Valley and Blue Oak participated in the TCOE showcase of innovative and exemplary learning experience, Night at the 21st Century Museum, this week.

Blue Oak's 1st and 2nd grades demonstrated their public speaking skills to showcase their poetry collections. The quality of their writing and their confident speaking was very impressive! Listeners got to give our young poets feedback, as well.

BOA 3rd graders confidently shared the 12 self-awareness and self-regulation tools they've learned with the community. They also demonstrated their digital media skill by sharing products they'd made on Flipgrid using iPads! 

Sycamore Valley's 3rd and 4th grades presented their Farmworker/Changemaker PBL unit. Students interacted with members of the public about their experiences, presented their published farmworker narrative, helped with a packing shed demonstration, and answered questions.

SVA 5th and 6th graders showed off their slideshows and  3-D ancient civilization models. Their PBL unit took students through a consideration of the development of ancient civilizations, as evaluated through the lens of how these cultures and peoples addressed Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Students' end product was to develop their own civilization based upon these needs and they shared the details of their collaborative design with the community of parents and educators with confidence and poise!

Sycamore Valley's middle schoolers demonstrated their maturity and deep thinking skills at this event as well. 7th and 8th graders had been guided by their teachers to look into factors affecting local air quality, including how the economy in our region may affect the data, and the health effects of air quality. After this modeling, students were given the "voice and choice" option to select issues that impact the health of human beings and the earth, determine what the needed, relevant data would be to answer their essential questions, collect and evaluate the data (including learning about the difference between causation and correlation) and present their positions on issue areas where our practices could change to produce more health. 

Our entire community was, once again, very proud of the quality of our students' work and the way they present themselves. We have confident change-makers in the making! Get ready, world!
SVA Yearbooks On Sale Now! 
Yearbooks are for sale!   >CLICK HERE<  Order your copy of "Being the Change" NOW or anytime during the month of April.  Four personalized pages that YOU can create for your student included in the price!   Orders due May 6.

Our student team is still polishing off the design from the photos they have been able to take. They would LOVE your extra photos to draw from! If you have photos from student activities,  click here  to share.  Contributions appreciated ASAP.

Eighth grade families -  Want to publish a (sweet/encouraging/embarrassing) photo and message for your graduate in the SVA yearbook? Just $10 buys you this opportunity. Send in money (cash only) clearly labeled to  Mrs. Lewis , then send her your text and photo digitally.   Submissions due by April 12.
SVA PTO Pew Pew & BBQ Fundraiser
A day at the shooting range with gun safety training and instruction. Two and a half hours of range time with unlimited shooting followed by a BBQ dinner. 100% of ticket sales benefit SVA PTO. 

This Saturday, April 6
Tickets are $50
For more info contact
Follow SVA Art on Instagram @growing_creativity
BOA Spirit Days
Friday, Apr. 26: Decades Day
Friday, May 31: Hawaiian Day
Friday, June 7: Free Dress Day
SVA Spirit Days
Friday, Apr. 26: Decades Day
Friday, May 31: College Day
Friday, June 7: Free Dress Day
Our schools offer a convenient option for student breakfast and lunch. Meals are provided by through contract with  Visalia Unified School District's Nutritional Services Division  and are delivered daily to our cafeterias.

Breakfast - $ 1.25 per day  Lunch - $2.00 per day  Milk - $0.35 per carton

You can pay for lunches at school with cash or check, or pay online with the service. An app is available so you can easily use this service on your smartphone. If you have not already done so, you will need to register, create an account and provide an ID number for each student.  Contact the front office of your school to obtain your child's student ID number.
Next SVA PTO Meeting
Monday, April 8
Round Table Pizza
Packwood Creek Center
4035 S. Mooney Blvd.
Next BOA PTO Meeting
Monday, April 8
Round Table Pizza
Mary's Vineyard Center
1691 E. Noble Ave.
If you would like to share any ideas or add an agenda item for discussion at the  PTO meeting please  email it to  at least one week prior to the meeting.  

Spanish translation available at meetings. 
¡Estamos muy contentos de compartir que ofrecemos traducción en español en nuestras reuniones! ¡Hay que trabajar juntos!
Family Support
Dress Code Reminder
A quick reminder going into the spring trimester, please refresh yourself on our dress code policy and expectations. You can view the easy to ready 1-page guide here for SVA and here for BOA .

Our biggest issues are with items that are out of color range, have brand name logos, there is a special wash on or holes in jeans, and students wearing tights/leggings. For the most part, these issues are minimal and rare. That said, the more you can help us out at home, the less we need to address your student about these items at school, allowing us to stay focused on education.

The purpose of the dress code is to level the playing field for all and to keep our focus at school on learning. Thank you for your help with this! We are also happy to help make sure that you have dress code compliant cloths for your students. If you need help with this, please do contact our school offices and ask for Mr. Benton or Mrs. Stinson.
Community Events
SCICON Wildflower BBQ
On Sunday, April 14, from 11:00AM until 4:00PM, the Friends of SCICON will be hosting the 59th Annual SCICON Barbecue and Wildflower Festival. 

All students, families and the general public are invited to SCICON for this beautiful event. The wildflowers will be at their peak with hundreds of them in bloom. The SCICON staff will be on hand to lead wildflower hikes, bird watching hikes, and nature hikes. The museum, planetarium, observatory and Tree Nursery will be open all day. Natural resource agencies will staff many different displays. Musical groups from local schools will provide live entertainment. There is no charge to attend for the day.

A delicious meal is provided by the Friends of SCICON with a traditional deep pit barbecue. Meal prices are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (60 & over) and $5 for children (12 years and under.) For more information, please call the SCICON office at (559) 539-2642. 
Summer Reading Program
This exceptional program is offered by California State University, Fresno, Division of Continuing and Global Education and taught by the Institute of Reading Development.

By the end of the program, Student will:
  • Double reading speed
  • Improve comprehension in fiction and nonfiction
  • Learn to read and study middle-school level textbooks
  • Learn effective note-taking skills
  • Read a great novel
  • Be ready for the first day of school!
Summer classes fill up quickly - enroll today to secure a spot. 
Know of a community event you'd like to share? Email information and images to Claudia Van Groningen
The Academies CMO| 559.622-3236 |