News & Notes January 26, 2018
What's Happening at The Academies? 

Feb 1 -- Info Meeting @ SVA

Feb 1 -- School Tour @ SVA 

Feb 2 -- School Tour @ Blue Oak

Feb 3 -- Chess Tournament

Feb 8 -- Info Meeting @ Blue Oak

Feb 12 -- Poetry & Prose Auditions

Feb 12 -- PTO Meetings

Feb 13 -- Info Meeting @ Annie R. Mitchell

Feb 21 -- Admissions Lotteries

Celebrating School Choice

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. 

Would you like a sign for your yard? A poster for your business window or favorite local hangout? Contact Claudia Van Groningen by replying to this email. 

Spread the word. Share, share, share! 

A Message from Principal Phillips

Hello wonderful families of The Academies,

This week we've had so many great things going on at SVA.  It is National School Choice Week, and it is not lost on us how nice it is to work at schools where 100% of our student body comes from families that have chosen our schools to educate their children.  Our student population does not come to us because they live in a designated section of town, but rather because they come from families that have chosen to look at the educational options in our area and have come to The Academies because they believe in our   Mission and Vision.

This week, The Academies is also participating in The Great Kindness Challenge . Hundreds of Thousands of students across the world are united in saying that "Kindness Matters".  We are collecting coins for hurricane relief, and all students have received The Great Kindness Challenge Checklist.  

Every student is encouraged to check off as many items as possible in this week. Yesterday morning I had two students give me a picture of an "appreciation turtle" that is now hanging in my office.  (Thank you Eva and Rylee).  

I hope these good spirits have made their way home. I look forward to continuing to recognize the acts of kindness I see in our students everyday.

Thank you,

Damien Phillips

Poetry & Prose

Is your child a performer?  Confident speaking in front of others? Would s/he like to be?  If so, Poetry and Prose might be just the thing to try! This county-wide oral interpretation event is open to all SVA students, grades K-8.
  • 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.
SVA is limited in the number of students we may send to the county competition, so  a uditions will be held after school on Monday, February 12th.  Selected students will perform in front of an audience and judges at the Tulare County Office of Education on Thursday, March 22.  Sign up forms are available in the front office with Mrs. George and are due by Wednesday, February 7.


Tomato Garden Fundraiser

Please ask your family and friends to consider buying a tomato garden. This locally operated fundraiser will help our PTOs raise money to support our students.

Order forms go home with students on Tuesday, January 23.

Each tomato garden sells for $15

Buy now, plant later! Tomatoes will be delivered mid-March

Learn more about Gardens 4 Education and this local fundraiser:

Checks can be made payable to SVA PTO or BOA PTO.

Return your envelope, money, and order form to the office or your teacher by Friday, February 2.

Participation is optional and monetary donations in lieu of participating are always welcome!

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

Chess Club Tournament 

Chess Club will be participating in our first tournament on Saturday, February 3 in Fresno.  If your child is interested in participating, please email Mrs. Rasner at

Jog-a-Thon Sponsorship Opportunity 

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.  

Sycamore Valley's Jog-a-Thon will be held on March 7 .  

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

SVA Basketball

The Girls and Boys Basketball season has begun!
Next game: Tuesday, January 30 vs. Sequoia. 

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 January menu

**NEW** Health Aide @ Blue Oak
Blue Oak Academy is seeking a Health Aide. Find info about this position on EdJoin. Apply by February 1. 

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

Next SVA PTO Meeting
Next BOA PTO Meeting
February 12 February 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 8, 6pm-7pm i
  • Thursday, February 22, 6pm-7pm
  • Thursday, March 8, 6pm-7pm
  • Thursday, March 22, 6pm-7pm
Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age
Don't miss the screening of this 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.
Free | Seating limited  | Click here to register
February 24

Fresno Pacific University - Visalia Campus

245 N. Plaza Drive
VisaliaCA  93291
Phone: 559-302-4100
Know of a community event you'd like to share? Email information and images to Claudia Van Groningen
The Academies CMO| 559.622-3236 |