News & Notes December 1, 2017
What's Happening at The Academies? 

Dec 1 -- 
SVA Theater Monologues

Dec 3 -- SVA PTO Skate Night & Tricky Tray

Dec 5 -- BOA Chipotle Fundraiser

Dec 11 -- PTO Meetings

Dec 13 -- SVA School Spelling Bee

Dec 13 -- SVA Math Olympiad

Dec 15 -- 
Winter Performances

Dec 15 -- SVA Middle School Dance

Dec 15 -- **Minimum Day, 12:15 Dismissal**

Dec 18 - Jan 5 -- **NO SCHOOL Winter Break**

A Message from Principal Phillips 

Hello wonderful families of The Academies,
One of the things that makes the school experience at The Academies unique is our commitment to Project Based Learning (PBL).  Each year, Kindergarten completes one year-long PBL, and all other grade levels complete a fully-developed interdisciplinary project each trimester.  Below are the essential questions to each grade level's fall trimester PBL, along with the associated culminating event/deliverable. Our teachers and students are doing excellent work!

How have we grown as a kindergartener?
The culminating event has not happened yet.  
How can children impact the health and future of the ocean?
An art show in which students sold art to raise money for the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  
How can we use what we know about the US Constitution and the California Constitution to create our own classroom constitution?
Students researched and dressed as a delegate from the constitutional convention and had their own classroom constitutional convention.  
How can we translate the events of the American Revolution into non-fiction graphic novels?
Students created original books and showed them off in a "Bookstore".  
How have human beings intentionally/unintentionally impacted an epidemic?
Presentation of research of their specific discipline at the " Discipline Symposium".
All PBL projects consist of 10 essential components. These components are:
  1. Real-World Connection : consideration is given for projects to inform/connect to students' lives
  2. Critical Knowledge : common core standards-based objectives are made meaningful to the students
  3. 21st Century Skills : critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, (the 4 C's) as well as real world problem-solving
  4. Purposeful Assessment : formative assessment is built into the process, can include self- and/or peer- assessment, goal-setting and progress-tracking
  5. Project Deliverables : learning products have applicability and the student's learning and thinking is embedded in the process of their creation
  6. Authentic Audience : significantly improves student motivation to perform to the best of their ability, makes work authentic, helps our school engage the larger community
  7. Essential Question : an open-ended and motivating question prompts students to begin with the big idea or complex/situated concepts. The acquisition of the details of the learning or the discrete skills needed to meet learning objectives becomes purposeful as a means to resolve the Essential Question
  8. Need to Know : students see the need to gain knowledge in order to answer the driving question, and identify their own questions/gaps in knowledge
  9. Inquiry Process : includes a guided research process with multiple and varied resources, requires higher level thinking
  10. Personalized Learning : student decision-making or "voice and choice" is provided for within process or product
Grade level teams collaborate and work together to ensure all the components of an effective PBL are in place. Every teacher at The Academies receives extensive training in the pblCORE model of Project Based Learning developed by the Tulare County Office of Education.  
The projects completed so far this year have been so good, and we're only a third of the way through. I look forward to seeing what our incredible teachers and students will do in our second trimester.  

Damien Phillips

A huge thanks goes out to Bank of the Sierra for their generous grant to Blue Oak Academy! The bank has awarded funding for our campus beautification event which will take place in the spring. Thank you to all who helped make this possible! 

BOA PTO Fundraiser

Holiday Shopping? 

Remember to start your holiday shopping from and select The Academies Charter Management Organization as your charity. Our schools will receive a portion of your qualifying purchases. 

We've already received $341 dollars from Amazon so far. Help us increase these donations by choosing  The Academies Charter Management Organization as your charity at 

Need help getting signed up or switching your charity? Click here. 

SVA Mathletics

The mathletics elective started their international competition this week!  Students in this winter elective participate in Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle school Students along with 100,000 students from more than 30 countries around the world.  This year we have a team in each division, with every student approaching 5 contest problems each month.  (In our class, we work through problems together, exploring critical thinking and creative problem solving in preparation for our contests.)  Our next contest is December 13.  If you know some of our  mathletes . wish them luck!

SVA PTO Family Skate 

Coming up on December 3, SVA PTO will host it's annual Family Skate at Roller Towne. This year's event will include a Tricky Tray raffle. 

Sunday, 12/3
Roller Towne
520 S. Linwood 

School Breakfast and Lunch 

Did you know that breakfast is available each school morning beginning at  7:45? It is!

You can pay for meals with cash or check (get an envelope in the school office) or online with our payment service You will need to register, create an account and provide an ID number for every student you're including. An app is available so you can easily use this service on your smartphone. If you need to access your student's ID number, please call your school's front office. 

School breakfast will be available at both schools before the school day begins. The cost for breakfast is $1.25.  The cost for lunch is $2.00. Applications for free or reduced price lunch will be sent home with your child on the first day of school. 

Menus are always available on our website.  Click here for the December menu

Substitute Custodian Needed  
The Academies Charters is seeking a backup daytime custodian. F ingerprint clearance is required. 

Substitute Teachers Needed
The Academies Charters have an experienced and dedicated teaching staff, but we are always looking to expand our sub list. 

If you or someone you know has the desire to be a substitute teacher at our amazing school, has a bachelor's degree, has passed the CBEST, and is willing to get a substitute credential and fingerprint clearance we would love to grow our team. 

Substitute Instructional Aides Needed 
The Academies Aide Subs minimum requirements are a high school diploma and fingerprint clearance. 

If you are interested please email Shauna Dolin at

Next SVA PTO Meeting
Next BOA PTO Meeting
December 11 December 11
Round Table Pizza
Round Table Pizza
Packwood Creek Center
Mary's Vineyard
4035 S. Mooney Blvd.
1691 E. Noble Ave.

Community Events
Know of a community event you'd like to share? Email information and images to Claudia Van Groningen
The Academies CMO| 559.622-3236 |