TLC NEWSLETTER April 2024

April Highlights

  • Congratulations to our TLC seniors who are receiving college acceptances at the moment, and all those who are taking steps to prepare and plan for their future. This month we are recognizing Marilynn Roybal, 12th grade Homeschool Program student who has been with TLC since Kindergarten. Marilynn has so far received acceptances from SDSU, Cal Poly, and UC Berkeley. Congratulations, Marilynn!
  • Seniors: We would love to hear about and celebrate any good news you receive! Please email tlcstudentnews@learningchoice.org with any updates.
Marilynn at an event at UC Berkeley
  • Elementary School Students at TLC Chula Vista celebrated this month's spirit day (Ocean Day) by learning about ocean habitats, such as the sunlit zone, twilight zone, and midnight zone. They also learned about marine life that inhabit the different zones. To cap off their learning, they dressed up to show their ocean spirit!
Ms. Morris's students at TLC Chula Vista

Social-Emotional Learning

Building Empathy For Our Earth

Social-Emotional Learning often focuses on building the skill of empathy – “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”

It is important for our learners to develop empathy in order to be both good students and good humans. Research shows that practicing empathy helps to build trust and cooperation among groups, thus forming a caring community.

In addition, it has been found that students with higher levels of empathy are able to build relationships and listen more easily, and often have better grades and long term success.

While empathy is therefore clearly important for our schools and communities, this Earth Month we would like to encourage you to expand the practice of empathy beyond people to include all living things and our earth.

As the Empathy for Sustainability project describes,

Empathy can impact the environment in a variety of ways. When we feel a sense of connection and care for the environment, we are more likely to be motivated to take steps to preserve it, such as recycling, conserving energy or supporting organizations that advocate for the environment.
By increasing empathy for the environment, we can make a more meaningful impact on creating a sustainable future for our planet and all its inhabitants.

Learning More

You can find more information about Earth Month, why it matters, and what you can do to protect the earth on this page from the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation.

There are many other ways to learn more, increase our empathy, and adjust our actions. Below are a few facts to help get you started.

Did you know that?

  • In its lifetime, one reusable bag can prevent the use of 600 plastic bags.
  • Recycling one can of soda will save enough energy to power a tv for three hours.
  • Shutting down a computer when it's not in use cuts the energy consumption by 85 percent.
  • For every mile walked instead of driven, nearly one pound of pollution is kept out of the air.

Student Work Spotlight

This month’s student work highlight comes for TLC La Mesa’s first graders. To celebrate Spring, students in Ms. Wilson’s first grade class learned about the life cycle of a chick. Students first studied the life cycle of this animal through books and then wrote about it to reinforce their learning. Then they took the additional step of hatching live baby chickens in their classroom incubator.

It took 21 days for the chickens to hatch and the class hatched 4 baby chicks in total. Students learned how to take care of the baby chicks and continued to observe their behavior and document what they learned through writing.

As Ms. Wilson stated,

We had so much fun learning about chickens and it will be something we will remember forever.

We look forward to more hands-on science projects such as this one in all of our classrooms!

Race for Autism SUPERHEROES

A group of TLC students and teachers participated in the Race for Autism SUPERHERO 5K Run/Walk earlier this month.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, this event aims to promote awareness, shine a spotlight on neurodiversity and inclusion efforts, and raise funds to support local autism programs and initiatives.

As the event organizers explain,

Autism affects 1 in every 36 children in the US today. To help, the money raised by the Race for Autism stays in San Diego to increase inclusion opportunities for those with autism by funding initiatives in areas of early identification, education, social skills training, vocational programs for teens and young adults, parent support, employer training, and enrichment programs.

Congratulations to the SUPER representatives of TLC who participated and helped to support this worthy cause!

TLC at TinyFest 2024

For the second year in a row TLC took our Career Technical Education program on the road, exhibiting at TinyFest SoCal. Held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds last month, this annual exhibition of all things tiny home and nomadic living saw almost 8,000 attendees over the course of two days.

TLC was the only student-build tiny home to exhibit. Visitors enjoyed learning about our Applied Sustainable Construction class (part of our Energy, Environment & Utilities pathway) and complemented the students' construction work.

As an extra bonus this year, the interior of our tiny home was staged by students enrolled in an Interior Design Career Technical Education Program at East Bakersfield High School.

TLC Students and Visitors at TinyFest

Tiny Home Tour

The tiny home that we showcased is our most complete home, which is currently for sale. Check out the video below for a tour. If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing this home, or one of our future homes, please email kacie.desmond@learningchoice.org. You can view our tiny home website for additional information.

(You can turn on the subtitles in the video if they do not automatically appear to see commentary).

Preventing Food Waste

This month we celebrate Earth Day. There are so many ways we can honor and protect our earth. One great one is to curb our food waste.

As San Diego Environmental Services describes,

Food waste that ends up in the landfill decomposes while releasing methane (an extremely potent greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere. The less food waste your kitchen produces, the less emissions it creates.

Did you know that according to the EPA, one-third of the food produced in the U.S is wasted? We think we can do better than that. Below are some tips to help you prevent food waste.

Tip of the Month: Safe Hiking

Did you know that all fourth grade students in California can receive a free annual pass to visit more than 2,000 federal recreation areas? The Every Kids Outdoors Program provides fourth graders and their families with free access to many spectacular locations where they can explore, learn, and play.

Whether you and your family are utilizing this free pass, or trying out a local hike on your own, there are some important safety tips to keep in mind as you explore the outdoors this season. The following information is taken from The California Department of Parks and Recreation:

Each year, thousands of people discover that walking and hiking on California’s state park trails is safe and healthy fun, if you follow a few tips:

Outdoor plan: Cell connectivity in many state park units is limited or non-existent. Tell a responsible person back at camp or at home where you are going and when you plan on returning. Ask that person to notify local law enforcement if you do not return on time.

Hike with a buddy: Use the buddy system and hike with a friend or family member.

Do not walk off-trail: Do not walk off-trail or enter closed areas. Cutting across switchbacks erodes the hillside and eventually destroys the trail. Plus, walking off-trail increases your chance of suffering an injury or getting lost.

Be courteous and observe trail etiquette: Communicate with others and step aside to yield, if possible, when others approach you on a trail. Alert those in front if you wish to pass.

Take plenty of drinking water: Drink and carry plenty of water (a minimum of 1 quart every two hours). Leave stream, river and lake water for the park wildlife. Although it looks clean and refreshing, the water can make you ill.

Shoes: Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes to help prevent injury.

Never feed or touch wildlife: Do not approach or attempt to move sick or injured wildlife. Please report any encounters with aggressive, sick or injured animals to a park staff.

Wildlife lives in all state parks, even near urban areas: Although rare, black bears, mountain lions and rattlesnakes may be seen. If you encounter wildlife on the trail, keep your distance, back away slowly and do not run. Report your sightings to park staff.

Snakes: Always know where you are stepping. For example, if you must traverse a log that has fallen across the trail, rather than just stepping over the log, first step up onto the log then step down once you know the coast is clear. Be cautious when climbing rocks or picking up firewood. If you see a snake, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet. Most bites occur when people get too close or try to touch them.

Ticks: Tick populations can increase depending on the season. Take the following precautions to avoid them:

  • Walk in the middle of trails.
  • Use insect repellent.
  • Tuck your pants into your socks.
  • After taking off gear, check for hitchhiking ticks.
  • Always do a “tick check” with the help of a friend.

Poison oak: It is a common plant throughout much of California. Learn to identify its shiny, three-leaf pattern, and avoid touching it. If you touch poison oak, wash immediately with water and mild soap. Pat dry with a clean towel.

Safety Drills Recap

This month our San Diego school site completed an earthquake drill in under 3 minutes, with 123 staff and students participating. Our other sites will complete their drills later this month. Great job everyone!

STAR Student Recognitions

April: Trustworthiness

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

Ryan Abshier

Madison Hyman

Mecca Muhammad

Farrah Muhammad

Olivia Ocampo

Galileah Rochin

Mia Silva

Carlee Wheatley

This month's staff recognitions for Trustworthiness are:

Cassy Felizardo

Jennifer Jacobus

Xander Johnson

Lisa Morris

Eunice Park