News & Notes November 3, 2017
What's Happening at The Academies? 

Nov 1 -13 -- BOA PTO Yankee Candle Fundraiser

Nov 8 -- 5th Grade SCICON Field Trip

Nov 10 -- Holiday *NO SCHOOL*

Nov 16 - 17 -- Conferences *NO SCHOOL*

Nov 20 - 24 -- Fall Break *NO SCHOOL*

Dec 8 -- 
SVA Theater Monologues

A Message from Superintendent Dutton

Growth is Evident!

As we near the end of the trimester, our teachers are assessing students with multiple and varied measures, evaluating progress, and preparing to report out to parents at conferences. The close of each trimester is a busy time on campus, but it's also a rewarding time of reflection and celebration!

At our schools, one Report Card is issued per trimester: Fall, Winter, and Spring.  In Fall and Winter, these are discussed at Parent Conferences. Teachers have been sending notes home this week to ask for your RSVP.  Fall conferences are November 16th and 17th, 2017.  Please provide a timely reply to your child's teacher to assist with scheduling, and please plan for childcare on these days.  (Unlike many other schools, SVA and BOA do not have multiple weeks of minimum day scheduling, rather two whole days without instruction.) The Academies After School Programs offer Conference Care for a reasonable rate.  Click here to learn more.

We think of parents as our partners who share our goal of supporting the child to develop into healthy, self-actualized , and independent adults.  When you come to your Conference, you can expect to learn about your child's growth, hear the teachers' observations, and discover ways you can reinforce the academic and social-emotional learning within your home to foster continued progress. To help you interpret and understand our Report Cards, I have updated this reference for parents, "How to Read Your Child’s Report Card." Reading this guide ahead of time, especially for those parents who are new to our schools, is a great way to prepare for Parent Conferences.  

Parent Conferences offer an opportunity to recommit our efforts to work together as a coordinated team and incite further growth and maturation in the child!

Organizational Growth
Just as our teachers are beaming with pride as they walk down the halls, uplifted by reviewing the evidence of student growth as the trimester closes, as Superintendent of The Academies, I, too, am feeling uplifted by the chance to review student progress and the growth of our organization in this first term of the 2017-18 year.  Already, it has been remarkable with the successful launch of Blue Oak Academy and the calibration of the BOA team.  We have come such a long way in such a short time!

Facebook reminded me of a post I'd shared 6 years ago, a photo from Halloween night, 2011. That evening I remember working on a start up grant we needed to help us launch SVA.  I was up against a midnight deadline during a busy founding year. There was still so much to do to get SVA off the ground successfully, but I was fueled by hope for a better education for my children and my community.

We ended up securing those vital federal monies to start Sycamore Valley Academy and bring the vision to life, and today, only 6 years later, there is a new school community coalescing at Blue Oak Academy through Mrs. Stinson's leadership, while Sycamore Valley Academy continues to thrive with Mr. Phillips leading the way.  The schools are supported by The Academies CMO home office, and we are positioned to continue to build out supports for our students and staff that will improve the quality of what we can provide in the future.

My own children, Harper and Jack, are experiencing their sixth year of education within our model and I couldn't be more pleased with how they have been supported and their natural growth fostered within our enriching, accepting, and loving school environment.  

I am so grateful to be this organization's founding leader and to have the privilege to steward this lovely work-in-progress.  My role continually requires that I look forward and plan for the future, but each trimester provides a nice moment to pause, reflect, observe growth, and feel grateful for all we have established together.

Thank you, parents, for your support!  We are grateful for your partnership and trust and the opportunity to grow with you.

Fall Festival Fun! 

Thank you to our PTO and all of the amazing volunteers who made this event possible! 
Conference Care

There will be no school on conference days, November 16-17. Our After School Program is offering care from 8:00AM - 5:45PM. 

The day will include special activities, crafts, and fun! More info coming soon!

Meals and snacks will not be served, so please be sure to send food for the day with your child. 

Sign up with After School Program staff or in your school's office. 

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.

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 accordingly. 

SVA Student Council Meeting
Monday, November 6 **DATE CHANGE**
Room 13

Yankee Candle Fundraiser

Support Blue Oak PTO's fall fundraiser and stock up on candles and more. Psst...they make great holiday gifts. Click here to shop online. Enter group n umber  999973588

Our coaches are fired up this season and want to give their athletes more time to train and work together as a group even before teams have formed! 

Pre-season conditioning for basketball is underway! All students grades 5-8 are  welcome to join the work out. Participation in pre-season conditioning DOES NOT mean your child has to try out for the team. Students who want to try their hand at basketball without making a commitment to a team are encouraged to give it a shot!  

Workout days are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for the next month and half. Tryouts will follow conditioning, dates TBD. 

Attention SVA Parents! 

Please ask your child to check the lost and found for their items. 

Remember to label sweaters, jackets, and lunch pails with your child's name and room number.

All items remaining in lost and found after Parent Teacher Conferences will be donated to the Visalia Rescue Mission!

This week's episode of KSVA TV News includes a music video. That's right. 

Check it out on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to their channel. 

KSVA TV Channel 20 - Season 1, Episode 6
The Sycamore Leaflet

MS. Chan's Journalism class keeps us up to date with all the happenings at SVA. Check out the latest edition of The Sycamore Leaflet, available for download here

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 November 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

Next SVA PTO Meeting
Next BOA PTO Meeting
November 13 November 13
Round Table Pizza
Round Table Pizza
Packwood Creek Center
Mary's Vineyard
4035 S. Mooney Blvd.
1691 E. Noble Ave.

Community Events

University Prep is holding Information Nights on Thursday, November 2 and Thursday November 9. 

These meetings are for students who are interested in enrolling for either Spring Semester 2018 or Fall Semester 2018.

The enrollment packet will be available to all students on November 1. You can find the UPHS Enrollment Packet at

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