News & Notes February 16, 2018
What's Happening at The Academies? 

Feb 21 -- Admissions Lotteries

Feb 22 -- BOA PTO  Blaze Pizza Night 

Fe b 23 -- Twin/Squad Day @ BOA

March 7 -- SVA Jog-a-thon

March 8-9 -- Conferences *NO SCHOOL* 

A Message from Vice Principal Benton

The Thing About Kohlberg: Stages of Moral Development Across the Lifespan

Hi All,

Allan here at the VP desk. Today I want to talk a little about Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development (you might recognize this name from the posters in the classrooms), which is a big part of what leads us to our Honor Code, "I will do what is right because it is right." Kohlberg created this model to look at the different possible motivations that humans have to "do what is right." According to this model, the "higher" we ascend towards becoming morally developed, the more we become selfless and start to have growing awareness and concern for others. Clearly, the Honor Code is a goal that we strive for, a bar to set to a very high level that we challenge our students, and staff, to work towards. But we also know that this is a very lofty goal, and we know that just by saying it is our Honor Code does not magically make all the humans at our school somehow already at that lofty, morally-developed place at all times.

The thing about the Kohlberg model is that it is not a linear, step by step process. You don't move on from one level of motivation and never return to it. While we do look at them in terms of "levels" of moral development, it's very possible, even expected, that a person might  address situations in their life, at any given time, from multiple levels. For example, as adults, we might automatically help someone up who fell on the ground in front of us just "because it is right," while only following the speed limit, perhaps, because it's the law (a "lower" level of development) or even simply to avoid the punishment (trouble/consequence) of getting a ticket or being arrested (the "lowest" moral level of motivation). Some of us may show up to work everyday truly because we love to help others. Likely though, at least part of the reason is to "get the reward" of being paid. While this may be a "lower" level moral motivation, it is still highly motivating and not a bad thing! If you add to it that you are regularly praised and others show or tell you that they are pleased with you at work, you are likely even more motivated to do well, and to do what is right.

See, all of these motivations exist simultaneously and as we react to the world around us and make choices everyday, we oscillate between various levels of motivation. At SVA, it is our goal to constantly ask students (and staff) to examine the motivations behind their actions. We push them to consider all the possible motivations to make the right choice and to use whatever means will lead them to that right choice in that moment. When students are to do what is right, we often work our way down the levels until we reach the level where we find some motivation for them. In the most extreme circumstances, we utilize negative consequences as a means of motivating students to make better choices, thought this is a last resort for us. We always a start at the highest level possible. When students are consistently struggling, we tend to start with adding more targeted rewards and praise. Next, we might try to build up the relationship between the student and teacher, which might lead them to do what is right to try to please their teacher. Then we might be able to start getting them to understand the need for rules and social norms, or perhaps start transferring over to more altruistic motivations, like helping others, or the pinticle of motivation, to "Do What is Right Because It Is Right."

Our Honor Code is something that we strive toward and encourage in all that we do. It is not an expectation of perfection or altruism from all people at all times. Instead, it is a standard to constantly reach toward and a means of questioning and having conversations about our motivations. We hope that we can encourage students to be aware of, and consider, the motivations behind their actions. Over time, our hope is that we can grow their (and our own) ability to more often choose to do what is right just "because it is right." Along the way, we'll be here with all the other levels of motivation to try to support them along that path towards higher moral decision making.
Thanks, and see you around campus!


SVA Jog-a-Thon

Save the date! March 7 is SVA's 6th Annual Jog-a-Thon.  Look for a pledge form to come home with your child this week. Pledge forms and money are due on March 7th. There are many opportunities to help before and on the day of the event. You can help your child seek pledges from family and friends. We need raffle prize donations, set up/clean up, help with our awards week, etc.  If you are able to help, contact

Business Sponsorships
Are you a local business owner who supports children?  Do you know one?   Please help by spreading the word and consider becoming an event sponsor.  Business sponsorships are due 2/16.  

Raffle Prizes
The PTO needs your help in collecting raffle prizes.

Each student who brings in pledges for the jog-a-thon will be entered into the schoolwide raffle to win prizes like gift cards, art sets, games, a trip to go bowling with Mr. Benton, and many more.  That is where you are needed- in helping to donate SMALL raffle prizes.  Did your child receive gifts for Christmas that s/he still hasn't opened?  Do you have a drawer at home where you have been storing things to "re-gift"?  If it is something a 5-14 year old would be interested in, we would be happy to receive it as a donation to the raffle.  Another easy idea is to send in gift cards in small denominations (Baskin Robbins, Cold Stone, Starbucks, Target, Corner Bakery, Panera, etc.).

If you are willing to help out and donate an item or two for this year's raffle, please send items to school  NO LATER THAN  Tuesday, March 6. 
As always, thank you for your support!

Blue Oak's Jog-a-Thon info is coming soon!

Yearbooks On Sale Now

There is one online store for both school's 

Use this link, and be sure to select which 
yearbook you want to order.

Orders will only be accepted online. The deadline to order is April 29

Conference Care

There will be no school on conference days, March 8-9. Our After School Program is offering  care from 8:00AM-5:30PM.  The days will include special activities, crafts, and fun!  Meals and snacks will NOT be served, so please be sure to send food for the day with your child. 

Sign up using the form linked on the After School page of our websites. 

Half Day: $10 for up to 4.5 hours*
Full Day: $20 for 4.5 or more hours*

*   You may indicate whether your child will attend full or half days but we will charge based on time in and time out. You 
WILL be charged the half day rate if you leave your child only during your scheduled conference time. 

Families who purchased the Unlimited Flat Rate Plan for after school care incur no additional charge for these days, but please do sign up if you plan for your child to attend so that we can plan staffing accordingly. 

Apply NOW for 2018-19! 

Spread the word! The admissions window for 2018-19 is now open! 

Now is the time for you to share our fabulous school with your friends and neighbors. Applying is easy! Just turn in our one-page application by noon on February 21. 

Spread the word. Share, share, share! 
KSVA TV Ch. 20 

The SVA journalism class is back again. Watch to find out who was Ms. Dutton's Valentine. 

KSVA TV Ch. 20 Season 2, Episode 6
KSVA TV Ch. 20 Season 2, Episode 6

Cesar Chavez Legacy Celebration

This community event is the SVA 3rd and 4th grade annual Service Learning Project.  The 3rd and 4th grade students and current 5th graders (who participated last year) will be singing de Colores at COS to start the march and celebration.

Proteus is sponsoring an essay contest for K-2, 3-6, and 7-12Download the flyer here.  Essay contest winners will be announced at the Wittman Center at the conclusion of the march.  All are welcome. 


Camp Invention Returns to SVA

This fun day camp will be back again this summer. Camp Invention will take place July 16-20 at SVA. Registration is open to all students of The Academies as well the public, so bring a friend!

Birthday Celebrations!

at The Academies, we love celebrating each other. What better way is there to celebrate than to make a lasting contribution to your school? 

It's been a long-standing tradition to donate a book to your child's classroom library in lieu of sweet treats which are not allowed.  Our students love to celebrate this way! 

SVA PTO Party Train

These " Party  Train" events are coming soon. Tickets will be up for sale on

  • PTO Ladies Night Against Humanity 
  • PTO Middle School Bros Night with Mr. Padilla
  • PTO Pew Pew and BBQ II 
  • PTO K-4 Lunch with the principal

SVA Basketball

    • Tues, Feb 20th 
      • 3:30
      • At George McCann
    • Thurs, Feb 22nd
      • 3:30
      • At Willow Glen
      • Varsity Only
    • Mon, Feb 26th 
      • 3:30
      • At Sequoia Union
    • Tues, Feb 27th 
      • 3:30
      • Valley Life Charter
View the team calendar for the complete schedule. 

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 February 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

Family Support

February Habit of a Scholar 

Award Assemblies February 23

Next SVA PTO Meeting
Next BOA PTO Meeting
March 12 March 12
Round Table Pizza
Round Table Pizza
Packwood Creek Center
Mary's Vineyard
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. 

NEW: Spanish translation available at meetings
Community Events

UPHS Enrollment Information Nights

Spring info meetings for University Prep High School will be held on the COS campus in room Yokut 9 on the following dates: 
  • Thursday, February 22, 6pm-7pm
  • Thursday, March 8, 6pm-7pm
  • Thursday, March 22, 6pm-7pm


Friday February 9th,  6-9 pm
Gateway Church 
1100 S. Sowell Avenue Visalia

Please join UPHS for the PSO Family Game Night on Friday, February 9th! 

UPHS is raising money to provide additional monetary support for school activities, purchase items beyond the school budget, and provide college scholarships for graduating seniors. 

Entertainment will be provided by UPHS Choir, Hand Bells, Folkloric Dancers, and Drama. 

The night will include:
  • Various game tables (family board games, cards, carnival games, etc... for prizes)
  • Panda Packs (gift baskets)
  • Silent Auction
  • Dinner, Drinks, Desserts, and Snacks

Dinner is $10
Game tokens are $1.00/game or $20.00/25 games
Panda Pack Tickets are $1.00 each or $20.00/25

Questions, please contact Susy Ceja, UPHS PSO President, by phone (559) 303-9777 or by email

Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age

Don't miss the screening of the documentary film followed by discussion of the issues of families and the internet, sponsored by the Fresno Pacific University School of Education and including faculty members. 

Seating is limited, click here to register.
February 24
Fresno Pacific University -Visalia Campus
245 N. Plaza Dr. 
Visalia, CA 93291
Know of a community event you'd like to share? Email information and images to Claudia Van Groningen
The Academies CMO| 559.622-3236 |