News & Notes - October 12, 2018
What's Happening at The Academies? 

Oct 16 -- Positive Parenting Workshop

Oct 17 -- BOA Makeup Picture Day

Oct 18-19 -- SVA Picture Days 

Oct Oct 26 -- Fall Festival

Nov 8-9 -- Conferences *NO SCHOOL*

Nov 12 -- Holiday *NO SCHOOL*


A Message from Superintendent Dutton

You're invited to contribute!

Every year, our staff tackles new improvement projects to help our program remain strong and effective.  With the dust settled on the launch of Blue Oak Academy, 2018-19 offers a chance to strengthen our organization in three key areas:

1- Outreach for Diversity
This long-standing committee has been in existence since 2012, when SVA first opened.  As schools of choice, we have always been aware that it is our team's job to reach out to the margins of our community to spread awareness of our excellent public school options.  The primary thrust of this committee's work thus far has been aimed at affecting our student applicant pool each Admissions Window (Dec-Feb), so our student enrollment over time would become a proportional reflection of the demographics of our community.  We are excited to build from our progress!  SVA's student demographics now match the racial/ethnic make up of its zip code (93277), and BOA's student demographics show we are serving  more students of racial and ethnic minority groups than its zip code (93292)!  This year, the committee's work will focus on maintaining and continuing those practices that have proven effective, and we will also identify ways we can make our schools more welcoming to all members of our diverse community after students are enrolled and attending.

2- Strategic Planning Committee
In January of 2016, our Board passed a robust  Strategic Plan for SVA that has set our course since then.  One key strategy in that plan was opening Blue Oak Academy in order to achieve our Strategic Plan goal of serving a more diverse student population!  As this example demonstrates, a Strategic Plan is a defining document that identifies the organization's most pressing goals for the next 3-5 years as well as its most efficient strategies to achieve these.  Goals and strategies can range from very substantial (like the example of BOA's launch) to more subtle supports and initiatives that aren't so visible to those outside our staff, but that strengthen us nonetheless.  In 2019, we hope to adopt an updated Strategic Plan to define our next horizon and increase our impact in the community!

3- Staff-Friendly Policies Committee
After our organization's policies go through a review with the help of risk management partner, BBSI, and our attorneys at Young, Minney, and Corr, we will convene a group of stakeholders to review these with us to identify areas where ancillary supports (such as process maps, templates, or administrative guidance) might be helpful to implementation. The primary purpose of this committee will be to ensure the organization's policies are understandable and easy to follow for staff.

If you believe you have something to contribute to these efforts, we are inviting you to  indicate this interest by completing our simple form linked here!  The form will also provide you more information regarding the activities of each committee, the duration of time it will meet and do its work, as well as the commitment level required of those who volunteer this service, so you can gauge how this might fit in your schedule.   Please complete this survey by Friday, October 12.  All who complete the survey will receive a follow up email with more information by  November 5.

One of the things I have always loved about The Academies is the true sense of community we enjoy here and the amazing involvement of our supportive families.  If you have expertise or passion to share with us, please take a moment to consider these chances to serve alongside TACMO staff to strengthen our schools for the long-term!  

With thanks,

Middle School Field Trip

SVA's 7th & 8th grade students visited Col. Allensworth State Historic Park last wee k.  Students participated in several daily life activities from 1902-1920 time period and were also invited to wonder about why the park focuses on this time.  Students heard story after story, about railways, water, and pioneers, giving them support for their own narrative work in PBL.  
BOA PBL Update

BOA first and second graders are wrapping up their first week of researching and seeking answers to the essential question: How can we teach others about culture? Students are beginning to think about choice in their finished product. Student choice for presentations is an important part of our PBL. Students may choose to present a book, brochure, or suitcase (see Miss Yado's own examples in the photos above). Students are excited and may have already been talking about their choice at home! You can help your child by encouraging them to think of ideas for artifacts and pictures to include.
Blue Oak Staff Sending Love for 
Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Blue Oak Beautification Day 

Thank you, volunteer teachers, parents, staff, and students! You made Blue Oak's Beautification Day a huge success! Together, you made many improvements to our campus home: 
  • 100 shrubs and trees planted
  • 12 cubic yards of mulch installed
  • Mural painted in girls restroom
  • Paint improvement boys restrooms (mural coming soon!)
  • Bulletin board display case hung
  • Sign holders installed'
  • Numerous things cleaned, spruced, and spiffed up! 

A very special shout out goes to Gina Ananian who organized volunteers, refreshments, and more! Thank you so much for giving so much energy to our school! 

SVA Art is on Instagram!

Follow growing_creativity to see what our young artists are up to! 

Thank you, Mrs. B for hooking us up with cool pics of kid art! 

Conference Care  

There will be no school on conference days, November 8-9. Our After School Program is offering  care from 7:30AM-4:30PM.   The days will include special activities, crafts, and fun!   Meals and snacks will NOT be served, so please be sure to send food for the day with your child. 

Sign up using the form linked on the After School page of our websites. 

Half Day: $12.50 each 4.5 hour session (7:30AM-12:00PM OR 12:00-4:30PM)
Full Day: $25 (7:30-4:30)

ATTENTION: You  WILL be charged the half day rate if you leave your child in Conference Care only during your scheduled conference time. 

Families who purchased the Unlimited Flat Rate Plan for after school care incur no additional charge for these days, but please do complete the sign up form if you plan for your child to attend so that we can plan staffing accordingly. 

Attention SVA Bus Riders - Crestwood Stop Info 

Please follow these guidelines to ensure safety and courtesy at our Crestwood bus stop. 
  • Try to park south of the the bus stop on County Center
  • Avoid parking in the small lot north of the crosswalk
  • Obey traffic laws (no U-turns mid-block and in a school zone)  
SVA Spelling Bee Info

Practice: Thursdays, 3:40-4:15
School wide Spelling Bee: TBA
Tulare County Spelling Bee: February 20th, Visalia Convention Center

If you are interested in the  spelling   bee , see this attachment and find the 
spelling  errors in it. 

Operation Chromebook

The 5th & 6th Grade teaching team has been hard at work pounding the pavement to raise money for the purchase of Chromebooks for their students. So far, they are over halfway to their goal of $23,000! 

A HUGE thank you goes out to the donors who have already put a whole class set of Chromebooks into the hands of our kids: 

Ruiz 4 Kids (Ruiz Foods)
Erin Andersen
Toby Maitland-Lewis
Harold Rollin
Ruth Dutton
Jaime Baeza

Operation Chromebook will be up and running until the goal of acquiring two full class sets is met. If you would like to contribute to this cause, please contact Claudia Van Groningen or Erika Chan

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.

Fall Festival

The  Fall   Festival  is rapidly approaching! This is a wonderful family event put on by the both SVA PTO and BOA PTO. It will be held on  Friday, October 265:00-8:30PM

Contact Melodi Flynn (SVA) or  Leslie Archer (BOA) at if you would like to help out! 

Thank you in advance!
Next SVA PTO Meeting
Next BOA PTO Meeting

Monday, November 5 Tuesday, November 13
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

Attention, SVA and BOA parents!  


You're invited to join us for a one-hour parenting class with Fresno Pacific University's Director of Restorative Strategies, Cynthia Kaitfors-Smith, M.S.  


Deepen your understanding of The Academies' approach to discipline and leave with practical parenting tools to help you support your scholar!


Community Events

Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Candidate Forum

Candidates Craig Weaton and Tim Hire will respond to questions posed by a panel of educators including retired Superintendent Dr. Robert Aguilar, Dr. Alfonso Gamino (Superintendent of Woodlake Unified), a VUSD Principal and SVA's own Principal, Allan Benton. 

All panelists will provide questions and candidates will provided equal time to each answer.  Time will be allowed at the end of the debate for teachers to ask open questions to each candidate. 

October 30, 2018
Outside Creek School
6452 Rd 164 
Visalia, CA 93292

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