News & Notes - March 8, 2019
What's Happening at The Academies? 

Mar 11 -- PTO Meetings 

Mar 25-29  --  BOA Scholastic Book Fair

Mar 29 -- BOA PTO Grandparents and Goodies

Mar 29 -- SVA Jog-A-Thon

Mar 29 -- SVA Usborne Book Fair


Welcome Dr. Donya Wheeler

I am pleased to share the news with you that we have completed the S uperintendent selection process, and Dr. Donya Wheeler has accepted the Board's offer to join us!   Dr. Wheeler is looking forward to beginning her leadership of The Academies on July 1, 2019, "It is an absolute honor to be selected as Superintendent of The Academies! I am proud to join a team of professionals focused on providing optimal student learning environments. Thank you for having faith in me to lead The Academies as we inspire one another to do incredible work. "  

Dr. Wheeler started her career in education in 2003, teaching for five years in various grades of elementary and middle school and serving as a Reading Specialist. Donya then began her administrative career in 2008 as elementary assistant principal which led to her principalship in 2010 at the same site. She was promoted to Deputy Superintendent in 2014 overseeing curriculum and instruction, instructional coaching, assessment and accountability, professional development, and oversight of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Dr. Wheeler also teaches and facilitates administrative credential courses for Tulare County Office of Education. In addition to various teaching and administrative positions, Dr. Wheeler has held multiple leadership positions with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) including region President, maintaining a presence with both state and federal legislation, and has been selected to serve on the Legislative Policy committee advocating for public education, including charter schools. Professional learning is a priority for Dr. Wheeler as she completed her Bachelor's degree with Pepperdine University, went on to earn a Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction, and obtained her Doctoral of Education degree in Administrative Leadership in 2014. Donya is a highly capable and experienced leader who is ready to take The Academies forward. 

In addition to her qualifications and history of achievement, Donya possesses a humble attitude and growth mindset.  She is looking forward to working with our staff and to having my coaching and support in 2019-20 as she learns the ins and outs of our schools. As founder, it gives me great joy to share that I have confidence this will be a successful leadership transition not only because we have found the right person for the job, but also because the wonderful people involved in our schools and the culture of our organization is such that soon, our entire "village" will wrap their arms around our new  superintendent , and continue our tradition of collaborative contribution toward shared goals. 

As prior News & Notes messages have indicated, part of my work this year includes articulating our shared goals and outlining the steps we can take in the coming years through the strategic planning process.   Donya is " committed to developing relationships with our staff, parents, and community in order to sustain and improve the organization The Academies strives to be."  The plan we write this year will greatly assist Donya as she leads The Academies forward. 

As Superintendent, Donya said she "will welcome your honest feedback as it is [her] genuine desire to engage in student, staff, and parent collaboration all of which are necessary to be responsive to the individual needs of every student." When asked where she saw The Academies in 2025, her immediate reply was, "thriving!"  

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Donya Wheeler to the family!

With joy,
Congratulations  Visalia Cub Scout Pack 1920
Visalia City Council presented  Cub Scout Pack 1920 with a proclamation honoring their achievement as California's first all-girl Cub Scout Pack. The pack  includes Blue Oak students  Maeve Blaco, Claire Downs, Alice Holeman, Kali Luzania and Diana Renteria. Congratulations to this trailblazing group of young women! 

This Week in Middle School

The middle school teaching team, Mr. Bigler, Mr. Sommer, and Mrs. Lewis are meeting with students and parents this week. At The Academies, our unique student-centered middle school program includes student-led conferences. Each trimester, students present their work to parents and lead a discussion of their own academic growth. Our middle school program is implemented by teachers who guide our students to be independent learners and hold them responsible for their own success, preparing students for the rigor and responsibility of high school and beyond. 
Big Beak by Milo Pennington
TCOE Best in Show Exhibit

Several SVA students' artworks were selected for the  TCOE   Best  in  Show  Exhibition at the county office! Congratulations to our artists: Jordan, Dane, Gilbert, Milo, Ian, Nekai, Kaity, Rylee, and Marcus!! 

You can see the show any time during business hours throughout the month of March or attend the The  Best  in  Show  Open House, it's free and open to the public: 

Wednesday, March 6 
6200 S. Mooney
BOA Teachers Receive United Way Book Grants

Mr. Enriquez received a grant from the United Way of Tulare last month for $500 to purchase graphic novels. 

Sra. Viviana received over $400 to buy a set of 30 Spanish language books. 

Thank you teachers, for going after these resources. Congratulations! 
SVA Book Fair

Just click this link  and shop from the wishlist. SVA will receive an extra 50% credit on any purchase you make through the book fair link so your dollar goes even further!

3/28 5:30-7:30 at SVA - Setup for the  book  fair. 4-6 volunteers needed.
3/29 8:00-4:00 at SVA - Staffing for the  book  fair. 1-2 volunteers needed per shift.
Follow SVA Art on Instagram  @growing_creativity
TACMO Job Openings 

The following job postings are now open on 

2019-20 Staffing-

Education Specialist  @ Blue Oak Academy

TACMO Summer Enrichment Programs

We plan to 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. 

Stay tuned, much more info will be coming soon. 

Save these dates: 
  • Session 1: June 17-21
  • Session 2: June 24- 28
  • Session 3: July 8-14
  • Session 4: July 22-26
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, March 11 Monday, March 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
BOA Offers Parent Training Workshop 

All TACMO families are welcome to attend this workshop hosted by Dana Stinson at Blue Oak Academy. Please contact if you have questions about this program. 

Have you "Marie Kondo'd" your morning routine?

In my first year at SVA and after many years working with children with special needs, I've found some amazing strategies that have helped our students-- and my own family-- "Marie Kondo" our life.  Organizing and minimizing clutter is a growing trend, and Marie Kondo is the tiny Japanese organizational guru, aka Tidying Consultant, who teaches families strategies to de-clutter their lives and "choose joy" using her trademarked KonMari method.

While Kondo's method focuses on tidying up your home, the purpose of her work is to help others find joy in their lives once they clear away the clutter. As busy families we can apply this principle to our routines, to eliminate clutter and streamline processes so we can find joy-- and peace-- in our daily lives. To bring joyful life balance for adults and success in school for kids, we can organize our daily routines.  When we arrive at work feeling out of sorts due to a rough morning, the day already feels challenging. For children, this feeling is equally true and can have a huge impact on behavior and learning throughout the school day.

Kondo's method begins with committing yourself to tidying up. If you find your morning routine doesn't exactly "spark joy" and you haven't yet done so already, consider picking one or two organizational strategies that might work for your family and commit to trying them out. You don't have to change everything all at once to see positive change.

Endless resources are available on the web or in print to help you find and customize strategies for your family's needs. I will share a few things here that have worked for my family over the years.

School Clothes Cubbies: Pick all 5 days of clothes over the weekend and stack them by day in hanging cubbies to eliminate decision making --and arguments-- from your mornings.

Visual Checklists: Whether you use printed lists, a whiteboard, or another tool, always ensure your child has a role in marking their assigned tasks as done. Try this for their morning bathroom routine or for afterschool time.  

Everything in Its Place: Creating a specific place for jackets, shoes, and backpacks for each child also reduces morning chaos. In the morning our kiddos can always find their items, and when they come home they know where to put them!

Plan Ahead: Try spending some weekend time creating pre-packed lunches and healthy snacks to get in front of needs you know your family will have. Planning ahead for your weeknight dinners helps to take one less daily decision off your plate too.

At the Academies, our teachers use routines and organizational tools to help teach our students independence and self-monitoring through the day. Introducing these strategies at home can help make your mornings run easier. Remember, change doesn't have to happen all at once, but one item a week or month can be added to your daily routine to reduce stress and help your family find joy.

Happy organizing!!!
Heather Rocha
SVA Vice Principal
Community Events

UPHS PSO Family Game Night
"A night for the whole family"
Friday, March 8, 2019
Gateway Church
1100 S. Sowell Street Visalia, CA 93277
Food, Fun, Games, and Entertainment!

Encore Stages presents Twinderella the Musical, directed by Susan Burley and featuring several of our Blue Oak and Sycamore Valley students. 

March 13th-17th
Encore Theater
324 S N St ,  Tulare
Know of a community event you'd like to share? Email information and images to Claudia Van Groningen
The Academies CMO| 559.622-3236 |