News & Notes - January 19, 2019
What's Happening at The Academies?   

Jan 21 --  *NO SCHOOL* Holiday

Jan 22 -- BOA PTO Blaze Pizza Night

Jan 22-25 -- National School Choice Week

Jan 25 -- SVA  & BOA Crazy Hair Day 

Jan 28 --  *NO SCHOOL* Staff Development

Feb 11 -- Admissions Info Meetings 

Feb 18 -- *NO SCHOOL* Holiday

It's Time to Apply for 2019-20 Admission!

Please join us in spreading the word about our excellent schools. Be sure you share this link to our *new* electronic application with anyone who might be interested in attending Sycamore or Blue Oak next year.  The printable form is also available for download here.  

Please share these fantastic promotional videos! 

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

Hi All,
Allan here at the Principal's desk. Today I want to talk a little about Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development (you might recognize this name from the posters in our 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 exist at that lofty 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 pinnacle 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 towards 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 on that path towards higher moral decision making.
Thanks, and see you around campus!

As part of National School Choice Week, we're celebrating school choice next week with a student writing contest. Winners receive a yellow scarf and the chance to appear in a promotional video for their school.  If your child has their yellow scarf from years past, please encourage them to wear it to school all week.

BOA PTO has put together another fun family dinner night! Come on out for the camaraderie and yummy food. Mention you're there for the Blue Oak fundraiser and portion of the price of your meal goes back to your school. See you there! 

Tuesday, January 22 
Blaze Pizza
2005 S. Mooney Blvd. 

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: Home vs Willow Glen
Feb 28: Away @ Oak Grove

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

All Drifter, Performance and Fine Gauge sweaters are marked down right now too!


February 9th will be The Academies night 
at the COS Basketball game! 
Details coming soon. 

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 parent 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 |