TLC NEWSLETTER February 2024

February Highlights

  • TLC's Student Council helped plan and organize a Winter Wonderland-themed high school formal. The evening offered the opportunity for students to dance, socialize, and enjoy yummy desserts.
Winter Formal Fun
  • Did you hear the buzz? TLC's annual school-wide spelling bee was at the end of January. Students in grades 1st through 8th participated and were rewarded with certificates, ribbons, and goodie bags. Our 8th-grade winner, Nissi Bautista, will go on to represent TLC in the San Diego County competition in March.
8th grade winner, Nissi Bautista
Spelling Bee participants
  • TLC families were transported into a galaxy far, far away as the San Diego Gulls took on the Henderson Silver Knights. The Star Wars-themed event featured a pre-game tailgate with a chance to meet and take photos with over 50 Star Wars characters.
Families at the Gulls game
  • TLC San Diego Student, Quinn Atkinsonsessler, was nominated by the Boys and Girls Club as Youth of the Month. We're proud of both Quinn and the partnership we have with the Boys & Girls Club, which extends from the classroom to after-school enrichment.
Student Recognitions

Social-Emotional Learning


Most of us are familiar with word "resilience," but we may not realize how important it is to our lives, or how we can develop it.

As defined by Kaiser Permanente,

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from challenging thoughts or experiences, but it’s not about thinking positive or avoiding stress.

All of us will need to access resilience from time to time. Luckily, there are a number of ways we can help to harness this skill.

The following article comes from Kaiser Permanente:

How To Build Resilience

We’re all born with some resilience. But everyone’s level of resilience is different due to things like genetics and economic or social backgrounds. You can strengthen resilience by learning coping tools and strategies to use during challenging times.

Check in with your feelings

  • The first step in building resilience is learning what your different emotions look like — good and bad.
  • Throughout the day, ask yourself, “How am I feeling right now?” Follow up with, “What do I need?”
  • If you have a hard time describing your feelings, you’re not alone. “People struggle to know how they’re feeling because we’re not taught how,” says Leigh Miller, LCSW, a psychiatric social worker at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California.
  • She recommends using a “feeling faces” chart, which shows different emotions. You can find a variety of styles for free online. Choose one that you connect with and save the image to your phone or computer. You can also print it out and put it where you’ll see it often, like near your desk or on the refrigerator. It can help you to better recognize your emotions and feelings.

Ask for help

  • Resilience doesn’t mean facing challenges alone. It’s OK to ask others for help when you’re struggling.
  • It’s easier to ask for help when you’ve nurtured relationships with family, friends, co-workers, or spiritual and religious leaders. They can be a good support system. You can also seek out a mental health professional to get the support you need.

Make a list of your strengths

  • When you write down your strengths, you may find traits you’ve forgotten about. This list can be helpful when you’re feeling down, dealing with a challenge, or focused on the negative.
  • It could include things like: I have a great sense of humor, I’m dependable, or I'm creative.

Make a list of things that make you feel better

  • Sometimes stress makes you forget about all the resources that can help you. Write them down so you can reference them when you need them.
  • Your resources could include: meditation, going for a walk or taking your favorite exercise class, journaling, cooking, affirmations, reading, talking to a friend, or listening to music.

Practice mindfulness

  • When our minds are in the past, we can become depressed and remorseful. And when we’re thinking about the future, we tend to have more anxiety and fear, says Miller. Practicing mindfulness can help us stay in the present moment.
  • Mindfulness includes meditation. Yet it can also be as simple as listening to the sound of water and noticing the feeling of soap as you wash your hands.

Avoid comparisons to others

  • It’s unfair to compare yourself to others, especially when it comes to social media.
  • “With social media, it’s the compare-and-despair trap,” Miller says. “Our brain doesn’t look for similarities; it looks for differences. So, if you’re feeling down and see what people are sharing about their lives, you’ll often see the things about your life that you don’t like.”
  • If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, limit or avoid social media. Also be selective about who you follow. Choose people who mirror your values and reflect your strengths. And remember that what people post on social media isn’t always the true picture of reality.

Help others

  • Doing things for others lets us see that we’re not the only ones who have difficulties. It can also help us go through tough times with more self-compassion. Studies also show that helping others can reduce stress and increase happiness.
  • One study found that older adults who volunteered had an increased sense of well-being — and less feelings of hopelessness and loneliness.
  • Acts of kindness include things like volunteering at a homeless shelter or simply holding a door open for someone. Just try to show someone you care.

Resilience takes practice

Resilience is hygiene for your emotional and mental health, Miller says.

Sometimes there’s this idea that resilience is attained and then you’re done, but it’s something we need to work on consistently.

And part of that work is reminding yourself how strong you already are.

You’ve survived difficult things before. You can persevere. Even if it takes time, you will.

Student Work Spotlight

The Solar System: A meeting of art and science

This month’s student work spotlight comes from Ms. Anderson's 8th Grade Science students at TLC La Mesa. These students spent the last several weeks learning about the Solar System, including gravity, orbits and energy in the Solar System. Each student completed a final project, which was an in depth study and presentation on one of the planets in our Solar System. During class, students had a chance to use art to add a creative component to their learning. Some students did watercolor models of their planet while others worked on 3D models of the planet they researched.

Students using art to enhance their science projects

New Website

Snapshots of TLC's new website

Let us Know What You Think

Have you heard the news? TLC has a new website! We were so excited to launch our new website on January 30. You can still find it in the same place - We are excited to be able to showcase our amazing school community through this updated, user-friendly, website.

Click on the "Parents" tab on the homepage to be taken to your parent/student portal links, and other important information

As the website was just launched, we would love your feedback about any pages or links that are not working properly -- or any other feedback you have! If you see anything that should be updated, please email

Family Testimonials

We would also love to be able to use our new website to share our community's stories. You can see some examples of our existing testimonials here. Would you like to share your family's testimonial to be featured on our website? If so, please email

Family testimonial page

Celebrating Our School Counselors

In honor of National School Counselors Week earlier this month, we're taking a moment to celebrate our three amazing School Counselors:

Diane Barrett, Chula Vista

Samantha Peterson, La Mesa

Angelique Bailey, San Diego

Our Counselors do so much for our school, from providing College/Career advice, to Social-Emotional Support, to serving as positive role-models to our students, they truly make a difference in our school community.

To get to know them a bit more, here is a fun fact about each Counselor - guess which one belongs to which Counselor! (answers at the end of the newsletter).

Fun Fact 1: "In high school, my favorite class was theater arts because I loved being in the school plays."

Fun Fact 2: " I played 3 years of collegiate basketball."

Fun Fact 3: "One of my favorite outdoor sports is Kite Surfing. My favorite hobby is vinyasa which is a style of yoga. Currently, I am working on mastering handstands during my practice."

What Was Happening in the World when TLC was Founded?

As part of celebrating TLC's 20th Anniversary, we are taking a look back to what was happening 20 years ago, in 2004. This helps to put into perspective just how long TLC has been around, and how far we -- and the world -- have come!

Understanding Charter Schools

TLC is a public charter school. At times, there can be confusion about what this means exactly. In order to empower our community to be able to explain what it means to be a public charter school, we're sharing the below video from the California Charter Schools Association.

It is helpful to be knowledgeable about what it means to be a charter school so that we, as community members, can help to combat misinformation and share our own experiences instead.

You can find even more resources about what makes a charter school unique at the California Charter School Association's website.

Honoring Those Who Make Our Meals Possible

In honor of Black History Month, Feeding America published an informative article about black inventors who were integral in making aspects of our modern day food production possible.

We wanted to take a moment to highlight one of them here, George Washington Carver (1861-1943). As Feeding America writes:

Born a slave in 1861, George Washington Carver went on to become one of the most prolific agri-business inventors in American history.

He was the first African American to earn a bachelor’s in 1894, then a master’s degree in agricultural science from what’s now known as Iowa State University. At the time, farmers were struggling to grow anything after years of harvesting a single crop. Carver suggested they plant peanuts, soybeans, and sweet potatoes which would add nutrients to the depleted soil. This method gave farmers a second chance at becoming leaders in agricultural exports. His work is at the foundation of modern farming. Through his invention of crop rotation and the introduction of grain crops like corn and soybeans, Carver helped American farmers feed America.

George Washington Carver

You can read about other pioneers in the full article here.

Tip of the Month: Safe Driving in the Rain

While the worst of the rain and floods are hopefully behind us, the recent rainfall we have experienced is a good reminder that we should be aware of how to safely drive in the rain. *For those of us with a valid driver's license.

The City of San Jose put out the following helpful reminders of how to safely drive in wet conditions:

  1. Make sure your car is in good working order. Before you hit the road, inspect your windshield wipers, headlights, tail-lights, turn signals, tire pressure, and tire treads (balding tires can adversely affect traction). Do this each time you plan on driving in the rain.
  2. Plan your route. Check local road and traffic conditions. If possible, stay put during hazardous weather and wait until weather conditions improve.
  3. Turn on your headlights. Headlights not only help increase visibility in bad weather, but they’re also required by law.
  4. Give extra room to other vehicles. Wet roads can affect your braking distance.
  5. Slow down. Hydroplaning, which is when your vehicle slides uncontrollably on a wet surface, most often occurs when a vehicle is driving too fast in wet conditions.
  6. Avoid sudden movements. Gentle steering, braking and accelerating are best on wet roads.
  7. Never use cruise control in wet conditions. Cruise control can interfere with your vehicle’s ability to decelerate while hydroplaning.
  8. Avoid standing water on roadways. Driving through standing water can cause hydroplaning. If water is covering the markings on the road, it’s too deep to drive on—turn around and find another route.
  9. If your car begins to hydroplane, stay calm. Avoid slamming your brakes, gently ease off the gas, and continue to steer in the direction that your car is headed until your vehicle gains traction again. If your car has anti-lock brakes, you may brake normally.
  10. Pull over if you have to. If you can’t see cars in front of you, or you’re having a hard time controlling your vehicle, pull over and wait for the weather to improve if you can safely do so.

Safety Drills Recap

This month, our schools completed the following:

  • La Mesa - Completed a Fire Drill. The students all evacuated within 4 minutes and returned to the building within 5 minutes, the drill was a total of 9 minutes. 312 staff and students were present for the drill.
  • San Diego - Completed a Fire Drill with 122 participants in under 3 minutes.

STAR Student Recognitions

February: Humor

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

Jaidalyn Grimmett

Sneha Kalakota

Eric Peralta

Ellie Richardson

Mariana Trujano De Los Santos

This month's staff recognitions for Humor are:

Ben Coppersmith

Joe Cunningham

D.J. Fackrell

Gabriela Lopez Chacon

John Neth

Aleena Stuber

Roxy Vincent

Answers to our School Counselor Fun Facts: Fun Fact #1 = Diane Barrett, Fun Fact #2 = Angelique Bailey, Fun Fact #3 = Samantha Peterson