TLC NEWSLETTER December 2023

December Highlights

  • TLC families enjoyed a number of great field trips this month, including to Universal Studios Hollywood, where families had a full day of fun and made lasting memories!
  • For our Family Night this month, TLC families took part in a night of bowling and gaming at Aztec Lanes on the campus of SDSU. The smiles suggested that fun was had regardless of scores.
  • TLC La Mesa had a Beanie / Scarf Dress up Day and a staff Flannel Day to celebrate the Winter season (San Diego weather or not)!
  • Chula Vista's 11th grade US History class wrapped their "roaring twenties" unit with individual student presentations. Meanwhile, Ms. Maggie Swafford turned the classroom into a "sophisticated speakeasy" for students to celebrate with sweets.
Universal Studios fun
Beanie and Scarf Day
"Roaring 20s" presentations

Social-Emotional Learning

SEL for Families and Caregivers

The following advice and tips come from the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE). As we prepare for winter break and extra time with students at home, SDCOE shared 75 Great Conversation Starters for Kids of All Ages, reflecting that,

Having daily time to talk with your children is an important part of building connection and strengthening social and emotional learning at home. It can be on your daily commute, on a walk, at mealtimes, or any time that works in your household. Sometimes a little nudge or just the right question is all that’s needed to start a great connection with the young people in your life.

How many great conversations can you have with your student(s) this winter break?

Student Work Spotlight

This month we are recognizing TLC students who are Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (RFEP). Congratulations, students on your hard work and this significant achievement!

For those who want to understand more about what this means, below is some helpful information provided from our friends at Rincon Middle School:

What is an English Learner?

When students start school and their primary language is not English, they are considered English Learners. Students take a language acquisition test to determine their level of proficiency in English and continue to take this test each year until they are reclassified as an English speaker. Some of our students start with no knowledge of the English language, while others have varying degrees of understanding.

So what is the process like to reclassify?

Each year students who are considered English Learners take the ELPAC, which is short for English Language Proficiency Assessments for California. Between annual assessments, students are striving to improve their English vocabulary, grammar, and writing. There is also a speaking portion of the test that highlights communication skills and readiness.

As you can see, this is something that takes a great deal of perseverance and dedication. We are so proud of our TLC students who completed this process:

Kendrick Acosta Amillano, 11th grade, Chula Vista

Eli Camou, 6th grade, La Mesa

Jakob Carrillo, 5th grade, La Mesa

Aaron Duran, 1st grade, La Mesa

Dahlia Hernandez, 7th grade, La Mesa

Leathan Herrera, 6th grade, Chula Vista

Sneha Kalakotla, 4th grade, San Diego

Anna Len, 12th grade, La Mesa

Mayleth Lopez, 1st grade, Chula Vista

Valentina Martinez, 1st grade, Chula Vista

Ricardo Martinez, 8th grade, Chula Vista

Andrea Munoz Cervantes, 7th grade, Chula Vista

Hannah Murillo-Ruanova, 6th grade, Chula Vista

Layla Nevarez Maravillas, 8th grade, Chula Vista

Naya Olguin Mena, 9th grade, La Mesa

Ailanie Ortiz, 9th grade, Chula Vista

Italia Rodriguez, 11th grade, Chula Vista

Nicole Rodriguez, 6th grade, La Mesa

Giancarlo Salinas, 5th grade, Chula Vista

Katie Salinas, 12th grade, Chula Vista

Natalie Sanchez, 10th grade, Chula Vista

Eileen Santoyo Flores, 8th grade, La Mesa

Marco Tapia Rodriguez, 8th grade, Chula Vista

Franchesca Vazquez, 9th grade, Chula Vista

Chula Vista's Animal Encounter

Last month, K-5th graders at TLC Chula Vista had some special guests in their classroom. The Helen Woodward Animal Shelter came to visit our K-5 Hybrid Program classrooms as part of their outreach program.

They presented our K-2nd grade students with their program, “Wonderful World of Animals.” This included getting to meet a Madagascar hissing cockroach, a bearded dragon, a cockatiel, and a guinea pig.

Meanwhile, 3rd-5th grade students were treated to the “Senses of Survival” presentation and interacted with a parrot, a snake, and a bunny.

As part of their program, instructors from Helen Woodward led students in a STEAM activity, after which students were given the chance to meet and hold some of the animals. Overall, students had a blast learning about all sorts of animals and their many unique adaptations.

K-5 Activity Rotations

At TLC La Mesa this month all K-5 Hybrid Program grades had the opportunity to explore other classrooms and get to know their fellow K-5 peers and teachers through various activity rotations. It was a great exercise in building community school-wide. Thanks to all those who organized and participated.

TLC La Mesa K-5 students in their activity rotations

20 Holiday Traditions

In honor of TLC's 20th anniversary and this celebratory time of year, we are highlighting 20 unique holiday traditions from around the world, taken from the Travel Channel. Below are a few examples, you can view the full list here.

Tip of the Month: Holiday Safety

The following Holiday Safety Tips are taken from Cosumnes Community Services District:

  • Avoid using lit candles. Consider using battery-operated flame-less candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles. If you do use lit candles, read more information about candle safety.
  • Do not leave holiday lights on unattended. If you are leaving your home or office, turn your holiday lights off until you return.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.
  • Don’t block exits. Ensure trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way.
  • Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
  • Never put wrapping paper in the fireplace. This can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire.
  • All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Safety Drills Recap

This month our La Mesa and San Diego sites each completed a gas leak drill. A total of 436 students and staff participated.

Our La Mesa Office Manager noted,

Our students and staff are getting really good at completing the drills in a timely manner and listening to instructions for the drills.

Food for Thought

TLC has a new Nutrition Assistant at each of our school sites this year. We wanted to take a moment to introduce these new staff members to our families, as they play such a key role in greeting students each day and ensuring they have the food and nutrients they need to learn and thrive.

Briana Rivera, Chula Vista

In what capacity have you worked in food services in the past? I previously worked Culinary at Sea World San Diego.

What is your favorite part about working at a school? The kids are always the best part! With so many different personalities, you never know what to expect.

What's your go-to meal? Any kind of pasta!

DJ Fackrell, La Mesa

In what capacity have you worked in food services in the past? I've done all jobs in a restaurant from Dishwasher to General Manager, except waiting tables. My favorite thing on earth is cooking, so getting paid for it is a major plus. I'm an industry professional with over 20 years of restaurant experience ranging from Fine Dining to Food Trucks to Production Baking.

What is your favorite part about working at a school? The Hours! I'm an early riser, so the day shifts suit my needs way better than late-night.

What's your go-to meal? Don't really have one. I eat a lot of potatoes (especially tater tots).

Esther Rascon, San Diego

In what capacity have you worked in food services in the past? I started working under the Department of Child Nutrition in 2008. In my last job, I was the lead with 5 people under my supervision, I usually served around 450 to 500 meals.

What is your favorite part about working at a school? Cafeterias play an important role in providing healthy meals to students. I personally find it fulfilling to contribute to their wellbeing through service.

What's your go-to meal? My favorite meal is Japanese cuisine.

STAR Student Recognitions

December / January: Fairness

TLC recognizes STAR students each month based on a determined character trait. December's character trait is Fairness. Students are nominated by their Educational Partners and School Site Administrators. Congratulations to this month's STAR students!

Penny Atkinsonsessler

Eve Burleson

Libby Camat

Danisa Castaneda

Hezekiah Descans

Ruby Doyle

Aaron Echeverri

Gracie Fimbres

Ben Hochstadt

Josalyn Hough

Nathan Jimenez Breceda

Mayleth Lopez

Lucie Martinez

Zoey Mickelsen

Dean Modica

Jenessa Nealey

Carter Pasol

Ximena Pedraza

Ilene Ramirez

Brynn Rohrbach

Sebastian Stenton

This month's staff recognitions for Fairness are:

Angelique Bailey

Dallon Beachem

Julie Downing

Cherokee Eddy

Still Time to Make a Year End Gift

As a public charter school, TLC relies on public funds to deliver all of our educational programming. To help us go above and beyond, we are grateful for donations of any amount. You can make a general donation here. You can also direct a donation to a specific school site or initiative. Thank you in advance for your support!