News & Notes - December 7, 2018
What's Happening at The Academies?   

Dec 10 -- 2019-20 Applications Available

Dec 13 -- SVA High School Night

Dec 17 -- SVA Winter Performances

Dec 19 -- SVA Band Winter Performance

Dec 21 --  BOA Winter Performances


SVA's Teams Take 1st and 2nd Place at Cyberquest!

On Saturday, two teams of 5th and 6th graders  competed at the 21st Annual TCOE Cyberquest  competition, which highlights research and  presentation skills. The students' hard work paid  off! 

Our 5th grade team took 2nd place and our  6th grade team took 1st place. Congratulations to  Gabby Licea, Diana Padilla, Maddy Nichols,  Keilani Gates-Wai, Gerardo Ortiz-Yado, Gabriel  Happli, and Marley Lopez!

Thank you to Erika Chan and Shannon Maskal. These two dedicated coaches even worked with the teams one day over Fall Break!

Let's Can Hunger Update

Parents, staff, and students were in Tulare last night building and decorating canned food trees. The group built at least 8 trees in all! A huge thank you goes out to these volunteers from SVA and from Food Link! 

SVA Student in the News

Fifth grader Santiago Casas was interviewed this morning for KMPH news channel's Great Day show which aired live! Catch the interview again tonight on the 10 o'clock news. 

Santi generously donated his savings to the Food Link Let's Can Hunger fundraising campaign, he helped build can trees last night, and he will be helping distributing the food his donation purchased over winter break. We are so proud of Santi's generous spirit! 

BOA Code Club is launching December 11th!
1st and 2nd grade students at Blue Oak Academy will begin Code Club next week!  Students will be learning computer science fundamentals, through hands-on activities!

Computer science is changing every industry on the planet. Every 21st-century student should have the opportunity to learn how to create technology. Computer science concepts also help nurture creativity and problem-solving skills to prepare students for any future career. Our students can't wait to get started!

Hour of Code
December 3-9th classrooms around the world are exploring computer science and programming through  Hour  of  Code !  Mrs. Cazarez's classroom is working through  Code .org's workshops with her 1st and 2nd graders this week!  

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Check out the tutorials and activities. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.

Spelling Bee

SVA's schoolwide Spelling Bee took place this week. The top two spellers will face off other school  winners from all across Tulare County on Feb 20th at the Visalia Convention Center downtown.  The 3rd and 4th place  winners of the  spelling  bee will attend as alternates. 

Thank you to all who participated and congratulations to our top spellers! 

1st Place - Hunter Reese
2nd Place - Santiago casas
3rd Place - Ella Noblitt 
4th Place - Gerardo Yado-Ortiz

Read for Life

Did you know that there are children in our community who have no books at home? SVA's 5th & 6th grade and Blue Oak's 1st & 2nd grade teams are partnering with Read for Life of Tulare County to help solve this problem.  

Bring your new or gently used books to school and place them in the blue " Read  for  Life " tub. This is located by the PTO mailbox and office at SVA and in room 2 at Blue Oak. 

Read for Life accepts all books geared toward the 0-7 age range. Their volunteers distribute thousands of books every year to children, families, and facilities around Tulare County. Read for Life is dedicated to breaking the cycle of illiteracy. For more information visit

For more information visit

SVA Band Winter Performance
December 19
SVA Cafeteria

SVA High School Night 

On Thursday, December 13 from 6:00-7:30PM, SVA will host a high school night for 8th graders and their families (7th graders welcome, too!).  Please come to speak with representatives of many of our local high school options including: VUSD Linked Learning, UPHS, VTEC, La Sierra, VCIS, ERCLC, and VUSD neighborhood schools.  

Since our graduates transition to many different schools, families are entirely responsible for applying, registering, and orienting students to their intended high school.   The teaching team and administration will help however we can if asked, but families must take the lead.  Come this evening to explore the local high school options or to make contact with representatives from your child's school of choice.

See you there! 

Operation Chromebook

The 5th & 6th Grade teaching team has been hard at work pounding the pavement to raise money for the purchase of Chromebooks for their students. So far, they are over halfway to their goal of $23,000! 

A HUGE thank you goes out to the donors who have already put a whole class set of Chromebooks into the hands of our kids: 

Ruiz 4 Kids (Ruiz Foods)
Erin Andersen
Toby Maitland-Lewis
Harold Rollin
Ruth Dutton
Jaime Baeza

Operation Chromebook will be up and running until the goal of acquiring two full class sets is met. If you would like to contribute to this cause, please contact Claudia Van Groningen or Erika Chan

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
Next BOA PTO Meeting

Monday, December 10 Monday, December 10
6:00PM 6:00PM
Round Table Pizza Round Table Pizza
Packwood Creek Center Mary's Vineyard Center
4035 S. Mooney Blvd.
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

Why Read 20 Minutes a Day?

Did you know that reading helps build student success? We're sure that you know this, but here is some more evidence to show that reading really does have a significant impact on a child's foundation in learning.

Let's break it down...

A child who reads 20 minutes per night reads 3,600 minutes per school year and is exposed to 1,800,000 words. Wow!

Initially, kids can't read for 20 minutes on their own, but early readers benefit from reading with a parent. The child can read a short book, then listen to a read-aloud or picture book with a parent. The blossoming reader can hear a fluent reader and build vocabulary.

Teachers in our 1st & 2nd grades are noticing greater academic growth in students who consistently read or are read to at home each night compared to those who do not. This is reason enough to make reading a regular part of your child's day.

("The Case for Reading 20 Minutes a Day." Fairhill School and Diagnostic Assessment Center , 27 June 2016)

Click the image to discover 20 books that make kids kinder! 
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 |