News & Notes - March 29, 2019
What's Happening at The Academies? 

Mar 30 -- SVA Beautification Day

Apr 5 -- Summer Program Registration Opens

Apr 6 -- SVA PTO Pew Pew & BBQ 

Apr 18 -- SVA Arts Fundraiser @ Cellar Door

May 15 --  BOA Open House

May 22 -- SVA Open House


Hello TACMO family,
Blue Oak and Sycamore Valley focus on equipping and empowering the whole child. As we approach testing season, it is imperative to emphasize the big picture of the quality of education we seek to provide for your whole child. Academically, we ensure that students have access to best instructional practices in reading, writing, mathematics, history, etc. Our specialists contribute through lessons in Spanish, Physical Education, Science and Art. As educators, we realize that all of those wonderful academic lessons and opportunities are enriched, and sometimes enabled, by integrating social and emotional learning. "Harvard Business school looks for candidates with empathy , perspective taking , rapport , and cooperation. " (Daniel Goleman in "Working with Emotional Intelligence") We want your child to grow in all areas of intelligence, including the sometime overlooked emotional intelligence (EI). Imagine your student being able to recognize and manage their feelings , understand others' feelings, show empathy, and get along with others.

This past week, Blue Oak offered a parent training to equip families with tools to help cultivate these traits with their child. Blue Oak has been piloting this program this year, and Sycamore Valley will soon be adopting this program too. Dovetail's Toolbox teaches children self-awareness and self-regulation skills by teaching students about the tools of belonging and caring that are innate in each child. The primary question parents should learn to ask is "What tool could you use?" The primary, foundational tool is the breathing tool. Simply making a conscious effort to breathe in and out helps students learn to calm themselves and check-in (hint: it works well for us too!).  Some great times at home that you might suggest breathing would be when you sit down to eat, arrive home or change activities. Model the need for breathing yourself.
Another powerful tool is the listening tool; listening with ears, eyes, and heart. Listening is what is needed to bring about understanding. We can model this as we learn to listen for voice,  attitude, behaviors as we ask ourselves "What is going on for my child?" When you listen to your child, communicate that you are going to use this tool so they can understand you will be giving your full attention (and then truly give it, devices down). Create family "listening times" so that each member can speak from their heart about their experience or perspective.

I challenge you to add some of these practices to your regular routines and rhythms. Practice these by going first, modeling them, and identifying specifically what you are doing to self-regulate. When you put your children to bed at night, ask yourself this: Do you think about whether they are stronger because of the things you have said or done that day?

We're in the News! 

If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, check out this article about our upcoming leadership transition in the Sun-Gazette. 

SVA Campus Beautification Day

Come join us on March 30th, 2019, from 9:00AM to 1:00PM to help Green Up SVA!  

Our Middle School is organizing this Beautification Day as part of their service-learning activities this year and coordinating with PTO to host this event.  

The current priorities for this work day include cleaning out and amending garden beds, removing stinging nettle, and more. 

Parents and students are encouraged to attend and lend a hand.   Bring a shovel, a bucket, gloves, and sturdy shoes. 
Special Visitors in Blue Oak Kindergarten

Two puppys and their trainers from Tailwaggers Puppy Raisers, a non-profit organization that trains dogs to serve people with disabilities, visited BOA's kindergarten this week. The volunteers were generous enough to take their time to talk with students about how their dogs make a positive impact in people's lives. 

T he visitors helped answer the essential question of the current kindergarten PBL:  How do people's relationships with animals make a positive impact?  The trainers spoke about the reciprocity of benefit for the dogs and the people they're paired with. They shared that only about 38% of dogs can successfully graduate and be a seeing eye dog for the blind. The others are given a "career change" and work as therapy dogs, or assisting people who have Epilepsy, Diabetes, Autism, or other conditions. Some just get to be pets when they grow up. The organization uses Labrador or Golden Retrievers exclusively, and each dog is trained for a year and a half. The organization is working in 8 states, and places dogs all over the U.S. If you would like to learn more, visit .
Hands on Learning at SVA 

As part of the SVA 3rd and 4th grades changemaker/farm worker PBL unit, students got to experience first hand a taste of what it is like to be an agricultural worker. The 3rd/4th team used the east field to recreate a packing shed, complete with work stations, realistic wages, and nearly a ton of oranges. Each classroom took turns reporting to work at the SVA  Packing  House to "pick", grade, sort, and pack oranges.  Students worked swiftly to process as many oranges as possible in 30 minutes. Teachers took on the role of foreman, providing quality control, offering safety reminders, and urging workers to pick up the pace. 

A huge THANK YOU goes out to Sun Pacific for donating the oranges for this project. 
Come on out to support the arts at Sycamore Valley Academy and enjoy Terra Bella,  featuring Mr. Benton on bass! 

Blue Oak Leadership Team

Members of the BOA Student Leadership Team visited 1st and 2nd grade classrooms for book sharing. Leadership students read books from the Scholastic Book Fair that they never read before and then visited classrooms to share a summary and their favorite parts of book. Super fun! 
SVA Popsockets Five Bucks a Pop

Support The SVA Leadership Team's initiative to bring shade to campus by purchasing your very own popsocket! 
SVA Yearbooks On Sale Now! 

Yearbooks are for sale!   >CLICK HERE<   Order your copy of "Being the Change" NOW or anytime during the month of April.  Four personalized pages that YOU can create for your student included in the price!   Orders due May 6.

Our student team is still polishing off the design from the photos they have been able to take.  They would LOVE your extra photos to draw from!  If you have photos from student activities,  click here  to share.   Contributions appreciated ASAP.

Eighth grade families -  Want to publish a (sweet/encouraging/ embarrassing) photo and message for your graduate in the SVA yearbook?  Just $10 buys you this opportunity. Send in money (cash only) clearly labeled to  Mrs. Lewis , then send her your text and photo digitally.   Submissions due by April 12.
SVA Track & Field 

Last Meet:
4/02- Hanford
SVA PTO Pew Pew & BBQ Fundraiser

A day at the shooting range with gun safety training and instruction.  Two and a half hours of range time with unlimited shooting followed by a BBQ dinner. 100% of ticket sales benefit SVA PTO. 

Saturday, April 6
Tickets are $50
For more info contact
Follow SVA Art on Instagram  @growing_creativity
BOA Spirit Days
Friday, Apr. 26: Decades Day
Friday, May 31: Hawaiian Day
Friday, June 7: Free Dress Day
SVA Spirit Days
Friday, Apr. 26: Decades Day
Friday, May 31: College Day
Friday, June 7: Free Dress Day
TACMO Summer Enrichment Programs

We will offer summer enrichment opportunities again this year in four one week sessions. Sessions will be open to students entering grades 1-5 in the fall. All summer programs take place at Blue Oak Academy. 

We are extending drop off and pickup times this year with our programs running from 7:30AM-4:00PM. 

The fee for each session is just $150!  Register online by May 1 to receive a $25 early bird discount per session.  Limited scholarships are available in each session for families who qualify for free or reduced price lunch. 

Registration will open next Friday, April 5. Check next week's edition of News & Notes for registration links.  
Session 1: June 17-21
Mrs. Gates-Wai - All about pets - Learn about pets with fun educational activities, including games, crafts, guest speakers, and more!
Session 2: June 24- 28
Mr. Enriquez - Stop Motion Lego AnimationsStudents will develop their narrative and storyboard, and then shoot their videos using iPads over the course of a week. The session culminates in a film festival at the end of the week.
Session 3: July 8-14
Mrs. Cazarez - Foodie Kids Cooking - Back By Popular Demand! Mrs. C cooks up new fun and delicious recipes with more hands on cooking activities for your kiddos in this yummy week. 
Session 4: July 22-26
Mrs. Padilla - Let's Go Camping! - The Padillas will create a fun filled week of camp themed crafts and books, outdoor games, s'mores, and more!

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, April 8 Monday, April 8
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
Dress Code Reminder

A quick reminder going into the spring trimester, please refresh yourself on our dress code policy and expectations. You can view the easy to ready 1-page guide here .

Our biggest issues are with items that are out of color range, have brand name logos, there is a special  wash on or holes in jeans, and students wearing tights/leggings. For the most part, these issues are minimal and rare. That said, the more you can help us out at home, the less we need to address your student about these items at school, allowing us to stay focused on education.

The purpose of the dress code is to level the playing field for all and to keep our focus at school on learning. Thank you for your help with this! We are also happy to help make sure that you have dress code compliant cloths for your students. If you need help with this, please do contact our school offices and ask for Mr. Benton or Mrs. Stinson.
Community Events
SCICON Wildflower BBQ

SCICON Barbecue and Wildflower Festival On Sunday, April 14, from 11:00AM until 4:00PM, the Friends of SCICON will be hosting the 59th Annual SCICON Barbecue and Wildflower Festival. 

All students, families and the general public are invited to SCICON for this beautiful event. The wildflowers will be at their peak with hundreds of them in bloom. The SCICON staff will be on hand to lead wildflower hikes, bird watching hikes, and nature hikes. The museum, planetarium, observatory and Tree Nursery will be open all day. Natural resource agencies will  staff many different displays. Musical groups from local schools will provide live entertainment. There is no charge to attend for the day.

A delicious meal is provided by the Friends of SCICON with a traditional deep pit barbecue. Meal prices are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (60 & over) and $5 for children (12 years and under.) For more information, please call the SCICON office at (559) 539-2642. 

Know of a community event you'd like to share? Email information and images to Claudia Van Groningen
The Academies CMO| 559.622-3236 |