News & Notes - September 7, 2018
What's Happening at The Academies? 

Sept 4-21 --  PTO Mixed Bag Fundraiser

Sept 7 -- SVA PTO Parents & Pastries

Sept 10 - 21 -- MAP Testing

Sept 13 -- BOA Room Parent Orientation

Sept 21 -- BOA PTO Parents & Pastries

Sept 29 -- BOA Beautification Day

Oct 10 -- BOA Picture Day

Oct 17 -- BOA Makeup Picture Day

Oct 18-19 -- SVA Picture Days 

Oct Oct 26 -- Fall Festival SAVE THE DATE!

PBL is Underway at SVA

Sycamore Valley Academy's 3rd and 4th grades officially launched on their PBL unit of the year with a very special guest!

Mr. Craig Wheaton, TACMO Board Member and candidate for Tulare County Superintendent of Schools, visited to introduce our scholars to this driving question:  How will campaign videos influence  the constituents of Visalia during the November election?  While discussing the role of advertising in running a campaign, our students offered to help before he even had a chance to ask them! 

Our third and fourth graders are learning about the importance of voting in their first Project-Based Learning ("PBL") unit of the year. Students are researching candidates running for Governor, Attorney General, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative of the 22nd District, and Superintendent of Tulare County Office of Education. Our teachers invited all candidates for these offices to come to campus as guest speakers over the duration of the learning unit, so scholars may be hearing from other candidates for these offices before the unit ends as well! After researching candidates' positions and comparing these against their own philosophy and beliefs about good governance, students will create a campaign video in favor of one candidate.

Special care is begin given during the unit to ensure the school remains impartial while guiding students in some of the thinking and preparation that any voter should consider before casting an informed vote. Throughout this unit, students will study our form of government, civic responsibility, and the power of opinion writing, and they are being graded on the quality of their work against the learning goals for the unit. These are based on the reading and writing standards for third and fourth grades, and therefore measurable no matter which candidate a student decides to support.  We are excited to participate in authentic civic engagement, use technology, and experience democracy in action!   This PBL is definitely designed to build real 21st century skills and prepare tomorrow's citizens!

Thank you, Dr. Wheaton, for taking the time to meet with our young scholars!

Blue Oak Beautification Day 

Come on out to help spruce up our space on Saturday, September 29 @ 8:00AM. We will be completing a variety of small projects to make a BIG impact on our campus. Bring your paintbrush, shovel, or other tools and come lend a hand! 

Projects Include:
  • Refurbish marquee
  • Install exterior bulletin board 
  • Plant shrubs and flowers
  • Paint interior of student restrooms
  • Plot baseball diamond and soccer field
  • Repair basketball nets
  • Install sign holders

Contact Claudia Van Groningen for more information or to sign up for a specific project.

KSVA TV Channel 20

While production gets going on our weekly newscast, let me introduce to you KSVA's Beat Reporter Jack Dutton.

Jack D. - Depth and Complexity 4k
Jack D. - Depth and Complexity 4k

MAP Testing 

We begin our fall testing next week using the Northwest Evaluation Association's (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). These adaptive tests help us get a sense of each child's strengths and needs as they grow.  

We will be testing at both schools September 10-21. Testing happens only a few times for each class during the two week window. Please check with your child's teacher for exact testing days and times. 

Please avoid tardiness and absences during these times whenever possible as scheduling make-up testing is difficult. 

As always, make sure your child gets adequate sleep and eats a healthy breakfast so they can start their days off right! 

Blue Oak Room Parent Orientation

For any and all parents, grandparents, family members who plan to volunteer in the classroom or be room parents, there is an informational meeting and orientation on September 13th in room 7 after the morning meeting/flag salute. 

Please try to attend if you plan to help out in the classroom this year. For more information please contact Cristina Johnson.

School Uniform Fundraiser

Welcome to the best, easiest fundraiser ever! Shop Primary's premium colorful basics for kids without logos, slogans or sequins (perfect for meeting our school uniform dress code standards!), while earning money for our school! Use your school's unique link every time you shop for uniforms, pajamas, play clothes, and more:

When you use the links, 10% of that sale goes directly back to our school. Cha-ching! Plus, new customers get 20% off their first order with codes: SYCAMORE or BLUE OAK.

Want to add your school logo? Pick up some official crest patches in your school office next month!  

Student Pickup  Reminders

Kindergarten Parent Pick-Up 
Kinder students are released at 1:30 (Regular Day) and 12:15 (Minimum Day).

NOTE FOR SVA BUS: There are no buses at Kindergarten dismissal on Regular Day schedule. If enrolled in the "Kinder Bridge" program after school, pick up is at 3:30 and kinder students may ride the bus at that time. 

Grades 1-8 Parent Pick-Up 
Students in grades 1-8 will be released at 3:30 (Regular Day), 2:00 (Early Release Wednesdays), and 12:15 (Minimum Day). 

*SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING LATE PICKUP: We provide a 15 minute grace period for you to pick up your child after the daily dismissal bell. If you arrive 16 minutes late or later, we will require that the student wait be checked into our after school program to ensure student safety and you will be billed for a full day of care. 

The same 15 minute grace period is in effect after Kinder Bridge and Early Release Recreation. Your child will be checked into the Destination Exploration program if you have not arrived by 3:45 and you will be charged for a full day of care.  

Student safety is our top priority, thank you for understanding!
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.

SVA PTO Membership Drive Update

Thanks to everyone who joined the PTO during last week's Membership Drive.  The PTO raised more than $1500 from the drive, and 15 students got to help Mr. Benton with a new haircut!  

Thank you to all who joined the PTO and to Mr. Benton for being such a good sport! 

Mixed Bag Fundraiser

Our first PTO fundraiser of the year starts this week, and, like last year, we will be selling Mixed Bags.  Mixed Bags doesn't just offer recyclable bags, but also storage solutions, kitchen items, gift wrap and more. Remember that all money raised by the PTO directly benefits our scholars.  

Check your child's home folder or backpack for the fundraising packet, and be sure to let friends and family know that they can also order online and have the order shipped directly to their house. 

Parents & Pastries 

Enjoy coffee, milk, and pastries in the cafeteria before school begins while getting to know other parents at your school at this PTO event. 

Sycamore Valley Academy
September 7

Blue Oak Academy
September 21

Fall Festival Planning

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

Your PTO is looking for volunteers to help plan the event. If you are interested there is a meeting this Sunday afternoon at 3:30 to get things going. 

Contact Melodi Flynn (SVA) or  Leslie Archer (BOA) at . Thank you in advance!
Next SVA PTO Meeting
Next BOA PTO Meeting

Monday, September 10 Monday, September 10
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.  

NEW: Spanish translation available at meetings 

Family Support


We strive to keep all of our families up to date on what is going on at our schools. We utilize email as a primary means of communication. Be sure our office has your correct email address on file, and add us to your contact lists. 

Web: Our website is a rich source of information, and a quick place to look for answers to your most common questions. Please know that we are always available by email. If you use or, you will reach a team of people here to help!

Email: In addition to direct email communications with individual parents, your child's teacher sends a weekly classroom email newsletter, usually on Monday mornings. In here, you'll find information about what is happening in the classroom including current topics of study, project information, and important dates and deadlines. Let your child's teacher know if you are not receiving their newsletters.

Remind: This text alert service is a quick and convenient way for teachers to send whole-class reminders. You (and/or your child) receive a text message right to your phone. Your teacher will give you a class code to join your child's class on Remind.

SeeSaw:  This year some classrooms are using  Seesaw  to share and communicate with families. Your child will post to  Seesaw  to share their learning. Their teacher will also use  Seesaw  to send you messages and reminders.  Seesaw  is private; you'll only see posts created by your child. Ask your child's teacher if they are using this tool and get a link to join. 

Thank you for supporting your child's learning!
Community Events
Know of a community event you'd like to share? Email information and images to Claudia Van Groningen
The Academies CMO| 559.622-3236 |