News & Notes February 23, 2018
What's Happening at The Academies? 

March 7 -- SVA Jog-a-thon

March 8-9 -- Conferences *NO SCHOOL* 

March 10 -- Chess Club Tournament 

March 12 -- Staff Development *NO SCHOOL*

April 11 -- BOA Jog-a-thon

APRIL 16-20 -- BOA Scholastic Book Fair

April 20 -- BOA PTO Night @ Rawhide Game

The 2018-19 Academic Calendar is here!
CORRECTION: Last week's Message from VP Benton referred to " the pinticle of motivation" which should have said "the pinnacle of motivation". Sorry about that!

A Message from Principal Phillips

Hello wonderful families of The Academies,

In light of recent tragic events, I want to take a moment to assure each of you that we are committed to ensuring that students at our schools are not only well educated, but also intellectually, emotionally, and physically safe when they are in our care.  In the last month, before the tragic events in Florida, both Sycamore Valley and Blue Oak have had extensive training provided by Tulare County Sheriff's department, and have held multiple lock-down drills to prepare for a worst case scenario on our campuses.  It hurts my heart to have to think about this topic, but keeping the children who attend our schools safe is our primary responsibility so we are taking care to consider all possibilities, no matter how difficult it may be to imagine using the training we have received.  When I look around our schools I know that we are in the presence of the future leaders of our community, our state, and our country.  We have amazing students and each member of our staff is committed to protecting them and encouraging and challenging them to be the very best they can be.  


Last night we held our annual Lottery for the 2018/19 school year. This is always an emotional time of year as we welcome new families and see the pain and disappointment of families who were not awarded a seat in the lottery. Both Sycamore Valley Academy and Blue Oak Academy now have waitlists in every grade. This is a clear illustration of the tremendous need in this region for schools like ours.
Sycamore Valley Academy had 6 applicants for each available seat. Blue Oak Academy had 5 applicants for each available seat. These "available seats" are the seats remaining after exemptions were claimed by siblings of current students. The sibling exemption is written into the school's charter with the goal of keeping siblings together, to make attending our schools accessible to more families.
Applicants who did not get a seat in through the lottery process are placed on the waitlist. We encourage those who have children on our waitlists to retain hope that space will become available for their child as we approach the start of the school year. We know from experience that we can expect some movement to occur on the enrollment and waitlists each year. We understand the disappointment you feel, as we are also parents who want the best, safest, most loving environment for our kids. Many of us have been through this lottery process for our own children and know from experience that things often work out even when you least expect it. Know that sometimes opportunities may become available, even after the start of school in August. Thank you for believing in our organization and for taking an active role in your child's education.

Thank you,

Damien Phillips

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

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 up on April 11!

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. 

Lost & Found 

Has this latest cold snap got you tearing the house apart looking for your kiddos warm layers in the mornings? It's that time of year again! Chilly in the morning, warm and sunny in the afternoon...glorious, isn't it? Well,it was last week anyway! This means that all of your children left at least one jacket, hoodie, or sweater somewhere on our campus last week! Please collect or have them collect these items ASAP! 

All items still left in the lost and found at the end of March conferences will be donated to the Visalia Rescue Mission. 

School Logo Clothing from Land's End

School uniform items are available for The Academies from Land's End. LE offers high quality school uniforms that last and last, resisting pilling, shrinking, and fading. These are definitely items to hand down again and again. 

Adult sizes are available for staff and parents. In fact, you can order our logo on ANY item that can be embroidered from Land's End, not just school uniform items.   

Blue Oak's official Land's End school uniform site is up and running! Blue Oak's preferred school number is 900185364. Click here to link directly to the Blue Oak page. 

As always, Sycamore Valley logo clothing is also available from Land's End. SVA's preferred school number is 900149840. 

Check News & Notes often for special offers, sales, and $.01 logo deals from Land's End! 
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 22 (BOA) and February 23 (SVA)

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
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