October Highlights

  • Congratulations to John Edelman, 12th grader at TLC San Diego, for being awarded a Letter of Commendation for outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT / National Merit Qualifying Scholarship Test!
  • We are excited to have started the year with some well attended events and field trips. TLC families made a splash at our first Family Night of the year, the Plunge Pool Party. The heated pool, obstacle course, games, music, and movie, kept everyone active and entertained.
  • Families also attended a fall field trip to Bates Nut Farm to learn about the life of a pumpkin, ride the tractor hay ride, explore the straw maze, pet farm animals, and pick out a pumpkin.
Getting ready for the Plunge Pool Party
Picking pumpkins at Bates Nut Farm
  • On Oct 23, three teachers and staff were surprised with a $12,000 check for TLC and the news that they won 2nd place in Voya's Unsung Heroes program for TLC's Tiny Home Project! Travis Nixon, Jason Foyer, and Kacie Desmond were selected for this prize from over 400 national applications. We're grateful to Voya for facilitating this surprise and providing this support to our school, staff, and students!
Thank you, Voya!

Welcome Back Event

TLC rocked the unlimited rides and attractions as we took over the scenic Belmont Park to celebrate the new school year and TLC's 20th Anniversary. TLC students enjoyed rides, mini-golf, laser tag, and the rock wall to name a few highlights.

Family fun at Belmont Park

Navigating Virtual Spaces for Youth

The following information comes from Mental Health America.

There is growing evidence linking heavy social media use with increased risks for anxiety and depression. These mental health issues can, in turn, impact a student’s school performance, such as difficulties focusing, studying, or even simply attending school. It’s important for caregivers and school personnel to understand what is happening on social media and how to reduce its negative impact.

Virtual spaces are everywhere in today’s world and have become a constant presence in the lives of young people, offering social connectedness and the ease of instant communication. But the online world of selfies and social media also brings with it challenging situations that can have a negative impact on youth mental health.

The pressure to maintain a perfect online image, fueled by constant comparison to peers, can lead to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. Young people may experience fear of missing out (FOMO) when they watch the highlight reels of their friends’ lives, bringing on feelings of loneliness and isolation. In addition, exposure to cyberbullying and negative comments can take a toll on their self-esteem, putting them at risk of experiencing depression.

As the new school year begins, it is crucial for parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches, counselors, and school administrators to work together to educate and support young people in navigating responsibly the challenges of a digital world while fostering a healthy sense of self-worth and resilience.

The new Mental Health America toolkit, “Selfies, Social, and Screens: Navigating Virtual Spaces for Youth,” provides educational resources that tackle these topics. For caregivers and school personnel, they cover the basics of what youth are doing online, how online activity can impact mental health, tips for talking to youth about difficult feelings they may experience, and how to help young people reduce the potentially harmful effects of social media.

The toolkit also includes information and tips written exclusively for youth. Whether young people read the information on their own or discuss the topics with an adult, it is important they understand that they are not alone when they experience feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness and that help and support are available.

Free, confidential, anonymous screening tools are available at mhascreening.org for youth and parents who are concerned about their mental health. After taking a screen, results are provided along with tips for next steps. If you think a child or teen is in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. Trained crisis counselors can help find local resources and suggest next steps.

Student Work Spotlight


This month’s first student work spotlight comes from Ms. Wilson’s 1st grade class at The Learning Choice Academy La Mesa.

Students in this class embarked on a STEAM day this month – a full day that incorporated each of the five STEAM elements. Activities of the day included math game rotations, science kit explorations, building a skyscraper from straws and making a “Socktopus”puppet.

In addition to the fun and educational subjects covered, students enjoyed the opportunity to partake in hands-on learning and plenty of team-building.

Ms. Wilson's class participates in STEAM Day

Hot Air Balloons Take Flight

The next student work spotlight comes from Mr. Keene's Aerospace Engineering class at TLC Chula Vista. 10th to 12th grade students in this class have been learning about early innovations in manned (crewed) flight, including the Montgolfier Brothers (France), balloonists who launched the first confirmed piloted ascent by humans in 1783.

The students designed and built their own tissue paper hot air balloons. They also learned the differences, advantages and disadvantages between hot air and gas (lighter than air) balloons. Finally, they learned about the principles of lift and atmospheric buoyancy. Watch one of their balloons take flight in the video below!

College Board Recognition

Congratulations to Anabelle Gutierrez, 11th grader at TLC Chula Vista, for being awarded National Recognition from the College Board!

The College Board National Recognition Programs award academic honors to sophomores and juniors who take eligible administrations of AP®, PSAT/NMSQT®, or PSAT™ 10 exams, have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and identify as African American or Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous or Native, or attend high school in a rural area or small town.

Annabelle was one of 72,000 students from across the country who earned academic honors from College Board’s National Recognition Programs. The National Recognition Programs honor the strong academic achievements of underrepresented students. They’re a great way for students to showcase their hard work in high school, while also helping colleges recruit diverse and talented students.

Annabelle shared the following in response to this recognition:

I’m grateful for the people in my life who support me and inspire me to always do my best. I know that when I set my mind to it, things like this recognition are just within reach!

Congratulations, Annabelle, on your hard work and achievement!

20th Anniversary

To help celebrate TLC's 20th anniversary this year, below is a trivia game to test your knowledge of all things TLC. Answers are provided at the end of this newsletter. How many can you get right?

Careers in Construction Month

Careers in Construction Month (CICM) is a nationwide campaign held every October to increase public awareness of construction careers, inspire the next generation of craft professionals, and showcase the positive impact a fulfilling career in construction can have on individuals and communities.

There are many high-skilled and high-paying jobs available in the construction industry. In addition, construction is a reliable need in communities and will be for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, working in construction means you get to see your work come to life.

The Learning Choice Academy Chula Vista and La Mesa currently offer an Applied Sustainable Construction class as part of a Career Technical Education pathway (the Applied Sustainable Construction class is year two of a two-year program). This gives students an opportunity to learn baseline construction skills while exploring whether this might be a future career path for them.

You can learn more about a potential career in construction here.

Fall Food Celebrations

Farm to School Month

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate connections happening all over the country between schools, food, and local farmers! Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, nourishing food and local food producers by enhancing food purchasing and education practices at schools. It brings together all of us who share a vision of an abundant and equitable food system.

This October, TLC is celebrating our partnership with Top Notch Lunches, who help to source food from local farmers and create connections to the immediate community all while providing delicious and nutritious school meals for students. Learn more about farm to school and access fun activities such as coloring pages and bookmarks here.

National School Lunch Week

TLC celebrated National School Lunch Week from October 9-13. The National School Lunch Program serves nearly 30 million children every school day. President John F. Kennedy created National School Lunch Week in 1962 to promote the importance of a healthy school lunch in a child's life and the impact it has inside and outside of the classroom. To celebrate, all three sites held a coloring contest, wore fun costumes, and had a special guest serve lunch.

TLC La Mesa celebrates National School Lunch Week

From August 29 to October 5, TLC has distributed 3,038 breakfasts and 5,247 lunches. The TLC Nutrition team, Carli, Cathy, DJ, and Rosie, look forward to serving your children delicious and healthy school breakfasts and lunches every week.

STAR Student Recognitions

October: Caring

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

Jace Aguilar-Muhlbach

Brielle Baker

Nahla Baker

Annabellle Balderas

Alexander Benitez

Zach Benton

Toby Carlton

Jakob Carrillo

Genesis Casteneda

Samuel De Los Santos

Agustin Delgado

Maggie Doyle

Alex Edelman

Evelyn Falvey

Josh Galicia

Hazel Garcia

Zin Garcia

Sierrah George

Avila Goldkamp

Brooklyn Gray

Soleil Grijalva

Walli Hakimi

Naomi Hernandez

Ekiah Ireys

Hannah Jaramillo

Pius Johnson

Francis Johnson

Ricky Marcoux

Quinn Mason

Haillie Meier

Isaac Miller

Dakota Nealey

Carson Pasol

Jaelyn Pasol

Kieren Philo

Ryan Sammarco

Cherry Taylor

Jimena Uraga

Aaliyah Venegas

Mailee Webb

Madilyn Webb

Joey Wilson

This month's staff recognitions for Caring are:

Carol Anderson

Tori Anderson

Angelique Bailey

Diane Barrett

Ana Delmore

Alonzo Garcia

Gloria Glaeser

Samantha Peterson

Heather Rhoads

Trivia Quiz Answers: 1. B | 2. D | 3. B | 4. C | 5. A