News & Notes - February 1, 2019
What's Happening at The Academies?   

Feb 5 -- SVA SexEd Parent Info Night

Feb 11 -- Admissions Info Meetings 

Feb 18 -- *NO SCHOOL* Holiday

Feb 20 -- Admissions Lottery

Attendance: how much does it really matter?

Greetings TACMO Family,

I have recently come across some valuable facts which prompted some deep pondering and that I am compelled to share, both as a principal and as a mother.
Why does attendance matter? And, beyond that, does a loss of a few minutes here and there due to tardiness or leaving early have an impact? The research is astounding. If a child simply misses 5 minutes a day, this adds up to 3 total days of learning lost in the school year. If a child misses 30 minutes a day, the sum is 19 days! 

A child is considered "chronically absent" if they miss 10% of the school year, which is 18 days of our school calendar. When looking at academics, chronically absent students have lower levels of academic achievement (especially with reading), 
more issue s with school discipline, and a higher risk of dropping out. When looking further into their potential lives as adults, they tend to earn less, have a higher unemployment rate and less stable career patterns.

The best learning time for your child is at the beginning of the day. Morning meetings within the classroom tend to set the tone for the whole day. Coming in late to a classroom group conversation can add extra anxiety, triggering negative feelings and thoughts for your child. This precious time of the day should be used to prepare the brain to grow through a day of learning. Students who experience stress or anxiety at school for reasons such as struggles with peers or academics, tend to stay home more. Unfortunately, this does not fix the problem and it can create a larger negative impact as the child may feel more disconnected from school or more frustrated with attempts to do the work at home independently. They also miss opportunities to have extra supports and resources that are available for them at school.
What can we do about it?  With this new awareness, I would like to encourage you to
 advocate for your child when booking appointments with doctors and dentists by scheduling them after school hours. Look at your morning getting out of the house on time difficult? What might be some small actions that you can do the night before as you anticipate the typical obstacles of getting out the door on time. If you believe your child may be avoiding school, seek us out so we can partner together for your child's success. If you know that your child will miss at least one school day, let the teacher know in advance, you can do an "Independent Study" plan to help minimize the negative impact of learning time lost.
If you're like me, you've probably been thinking about some small changes that you can make in your home to help your child attend school more consistently, minute by minute. We love your children and want as many minutes as possible with them to help bring out their absolute best!

With Gratitude, 
It's Time to Apply for 2019-20 Admission!
Please share these fantastic promotional videos! 

Our schools' Facebook pages are putting out ads this year. When you share our videos and ads via your personal Facebook account it is a highly effective means of sharing the opportunity our schools offer to our community. If you include your own personal testimonial story in your share, that only makes the share more powerful. Please support the admissions effort and share this opportunity with the community by sharing our ads and videos on Facebook.

We're counting down to the admissions lottery on February 20, so please spread the word today!

Sycamore Valley Academy
Sycamore Valley Academy

Blue Oak Academy
Blue Oak Academy

Help Us Spread the Word!

Now that you have packed away your holiday decorations, why not display your school pride? Stop by your school office to pick up a yard sign today! Signs are reversible with SVA and BOA sides. Please display your sign prominently through the admissions period and store in a safe place for use again next year. 
Gardens 4 Education - Now with Cucamelons!

SVA and BOA PTO's annual Gardens 4 Education fundraiser is here. This year Gardens 4 Education is also selling cucamelon plants! Cucamelons are described as "small cucumbers the size of grapes that look like watermelons and taste like cucumbers with a hint of tanginess." T omato and cucamelon plants are available for $15 dollars each. Tomato/cucamelon bundles will also be available for a great deal of $25 (tomato/cucamelon bundles only)! Students will receive order forms on Tuesday, January 29th and due back Monday, February 11th. Contact Kali Camara (SVA)  or Erica Galindo (BOA)  if you have any questions.
SVA SexEd Parent Info Night 

Sexual   health  education courses are scheduled for grades 5-8 during the month of March. Parents are invited to a preview event on February 5 at 6:00pm in the SVA cafeteria to learn more about the course and instruction.

To opt out, contact Mr. Benton at

Jog-A-Thon Sponsors Needed! 

SVA PTO is soliciting sponsorships for their 6th Annual Jog-A-Thon on March 29. Please invite businesses you know to support this fun event. Sponsors will be represented on t-shirts for all participants as well as signage and other printed materials. Download and share this PDF Sponsorship Form.

Poetry and Prose

Is your child a performer?  Confident speaking in front of others? Do they want to develop this skill? 

If so, Poetry and Prose might be just the thing to try! This county-wide oral interpretation event is open to all SVA and BOA students.
  • Students may perform alone, in partners, or a group.
  • Material may be read or memorized (memorized is pre ferred).
  • Selection may be a piece of poetry or prose.
  • Typical entries are 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Meaningful gestures and facial expressions are encouraged.
  • No costumes, props or character makeup is allowed.

Our schools are limited in the number of students we may send to the county competition, so  a uditions will be held after school on Monday, February 4th (at SVA) and during the school day Monday/Tuesday, February 4th/5th (at BOA).  Selected students will perform for judges and an audience at the Tulare County Office of Education in mid-late March. Sign up forms are available in the front office and are due to the front office by Friday, February 1st.
Leadership Openings 

The following job postings are now open on 

SVA Health Office Reminders

Attention parents of 6th graders: 
  • A Tdap booster (Or DTP/DTaP given on or after their child's 7th birthday), is required for 7th grade entry. 
  • Two doses of chickenpox (varicella) vaccine are required for 7th grade advancement or transfer to a new school.
  • Two doses of MMR vaccine are required for transfer to a new school.
  • Three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine are required for transfer to a new school.


Please review your child's immunization records and update accordingly.
Contact Nurse Jenn if you have any questions. 

SVA Basketball Game Schedule 

Jan 22: Away @ CVC 
Jan 24: Home vs Three Rivers
Jan 25: Away @ St Paul's
Jan 29: Away @ George McCann
Jan 31: Home vs Sequoia Union
Feb 7th: Away @ Willow Glen
Feb 28: Away @ Oak Grove

Games start at 3:30PM
Come on out to support your SVA Explorers

 The Academies Night  at the COS Basketball game! 

Saturday, February 9th @ 6:00PM 
College of the Sequoias 
915 S. Mooney Blvd. 
Porter Field House (gymnasium) is located on Woodland Ave. on the west side of the COS campus

Pick up your FREE tickets in your school office. 

Our schools will be recognized during halftime.  Remember to wear your SVA and BOA school spirit gear to the game! 
BOA Spirit Days
Friday, Feb. 22: Career Day
Friday, Mar. 29: Character Day
Friday, Apr. 26: Decades Day
Friday, May 31: Hawaiian Day
Friday, June 7: Free Dress Day
SVA Spirit Days
Friday, Feb. 22: Career Day
Friday, Mar. 29: Twin Day
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
Next BOA PTO Meeting

Monday, February 11 Monday, February 11
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
Tech News

Blue Oak's iPads are making their way into classrooms this month. Please take a few minutes to talk with your child about their new and exciting tools for learning. These iPads are for use in the classroom only and will not be allowed to go home with students.

Our Family Handbook provides information for parents about use of technology school and caring for school property. Please note that if a student loses or negligently damages school property, the family is responsible for replacement costs.

Teachers will be establishing classroom rules and procedures for use of iPads, see the graphics below to learn about our expectations.

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 |