From the Superintendent: Graduation, IGNITE!, New School Year

From the Superintendent: Graduation, IGNITE!, New School Year

I hope you are having a good summer.  Our Springs staff has been enjoying some “downtime” as well, and we’re also preparing to welcome your children back this fall for a fabulous 2020-21 school year!

First off, I’d like to begin by congratulating our 284 graduating seniors.  It was my pleasure to join in a virtual graduation ceremony honoring our graduates; if you missed it, click here to watch the ceremony on our YouTube channel.  We have a wonderful and talented group of seniors we’re sending on to the next phase of their lives.  To our seniors, please keep in touch, and know we expect great things of you!

Next, for those of you with students continuing with Springs in the fall, I’d like to encourage your participation in the 17th annual Springs Parent IGNITE! Conference on Friday, August 21.  Our conference will be online this year, and our keynote speaker will be Susan Wise Bauer, author of The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home and publisher and editor-in-chief of Well-Trained Mind Press, which publishes K-12 resources for teaching in the classical tradition.  The purpose of the conference is to inspire and encourage our parents and prepare them for an outstanding new school year.  Click here to register and for more details.

And finally, our administrative offices will be reopening after the July 4th holiday as we prepare for school to begin again on August 20.  If you have any questions or concerns I encourage you to contact your school site.  Please enjoy the rest of your summer, and we look forward to seeing you again for the new school year!

 

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Dr. Kathleen Hermsmeyer
Superintendent

 

Springs in the News – The San Diego Union-Tribune included an article about Springs receiving an “Above and Beyond” award from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Click here to read the article (scroll down).

Temecula Patch included an article about Springs students who received grant awards.  Click here to read the article.

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From the Superintendent: Springs Honored for “Exceptional Work”

It is my great pleasure to announce that Springs has been selected as one of 10 schools nationwide to receive an “Above and Beyond” award from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.  During National Charter Schools Week, May 10-16, the Alliance honored Springs as one of the “charter schools that are doing exceptional work during the coronavirus pandemic to serve not only their own students, but people outside their school community,” according to Alliance Senior Vice President Debbie Veney.

The Alliance is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and advocates on behalf of millions of public school students either attending or wishing to attend a charter school.  We were recognized for the establishment of our free, online OPEN Classroom for non-Springs students grades K-12.  Besides our students, more than 5,000 non-Springs students worldwide have used the curriculum.  As the state’s classrooms were closing in March, parents contacted us seeking advice on how to continue their children’s learning at home or even wishing to enroll in our Homeschool programs.  While the pandemic prevents us from accepting any new students until the fall, we were able to share our expertise with distance learning by launching OPEN Classroom.

Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, further explained, “When schools nationwide transitioned to distance learning, it became clear to us that charter schools were setting a model for the rest of the nation on what it looked like to step up and care for their communities in the face of a global pandemic.  There are many public schools that served their students well in the face of COVID-19, but the exceptional work of our Above and Beyond Award winners embodies compassion and caring for people outside their school community who also needed help. Their work is a model of servant leadership for the rest of the nation.”

Congratulations to those on our staff who made OPEN Classroom possible.  Our thanks to you for your fine work!

FOUNDATION GRANTS

And, the Summit Springs Educational Foundation is pleased to announce the awarding of scholarships totaling $7,000 to eight graduating seniors to fund higher education.  The winners are:

Summit Springs Educational Foundation:
1. Genesis Carroll, $1,000 (Springs’ Keys High School)
2. Alison J. Thomas, $1,000 (Homeschool)
3. Marisa Casarez, $1,000 (Temecula Student Center)
4. Melanie Maradiaga, $1,000 (Magnolia Student Center)
5. Valeria Yanez, $1,000 (Renaissance Valley Academy)

Adelle Nicely Scholarship:
Zoe Raelyn Collins, $1,000 (Temecula Student Center)

Tammy Sanchez Scholarship:
Carly Grace Peterson, $500 (Homeschool)

Doris Guynes Scholarship:
Evehenia Lemasters Tahir, $500 (Flabob Prep Academy)

Congratulations to our eight grant award recipients.  Each one is a talented and accomplished student, and as they move on from Springs, I am confident that they have a bright future ahead.

And remember, our Foundation needs your support!  It funds grants to graduating students for higher education, and grants to teachers for classroom needs.  Click on the link above for additional information.  We appreciate the help!
CHESS TOURNAMENT

And, finally, Springs held an online chess tournament on May 27, with winners receiving Amazon gift cards from our Foundation.  The winners were:

K-3: Elliot Harrison, 1st place, Drew Gamboa, 2nd
4-5: Alfonso Sanchez, 1stDallas Dixon, 2nd
6-8: Ethan Bennett, 1stMary Mobley, 2nd
9-12: Joseph Greene, 1stCarson Carroll, 2nd

Special thanks to School Counselor Christopher Lowe for organizing the event.  Congratulations to our winners!

 

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Dr. Kathleen Hermsmeyer
Superintendent

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From the Superintendent: OPEN Classroom a Success

I’d like to begin by applauding the efforts of our very fine staff and wonderful Springs families as we have made the transition to distance learning during this time of pandemic. We offer hundreds of classes each week that range from phonics and music for younger students, to high school core classes. Our teachers and students have done an amazing job meeting virtually, with our teachers providing support and monitoring academic progress.

I’d also like to highlight the success of our OPEN Classroom, a free public classroom for students in grades K-12. Springs has curated from the many COVID-19 free resources to build daily online educational activities for students in kindergarten through eighth grade; the high school activities are taken from excerpts of our Springs integrated curriculum. OPEN Classroom’s content is aligned with California state standards, with material created and supported by credentialed teachers, and live classes taught by credentialed teachers four days per week. Weekly lesson plans with materials are provided, including parent answer keys and resources.  Subjects covered include math, science, language arts and reading.

Click here to access OPEN Classroom. The program will continue with live lessons through the end of May. In addition to our staff and students, 150 teachers and nearly 5,000 students outside our system have taken advantage of OPEN Classroom, with participants coming from all over the U.S., and as far away as the United Kingdom, France, Australia, India, Japan, Canada, Poland, and Afghanistan.

We will continue to keep you updated on the status of our school closures. Should you have any questions or concerns at this time, please do not hesitate to contact your school representative. We are here to serve you, and provide your children with the best possible education, despite the challenging times in which we find ourselves.

 

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Dr. Kathleen Hermsmeyer
Superintendent

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From the Superintendent: COVID-19, Foundation Grant

First off, let me begin by acknowledging what an unusual time we are in, with our in-classroom education being temporarily suspended at our student center locations in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.  As I indicated, the health and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority, so, like most educational institutions across the country, in response to directives from state and national authorities, our classrooms are closed for the time being.  We are daily monitoring health information provided by various governmental outlets, and we hope the virus will have sufficiently subsided soon so that we may welcome your children back to our school sites.  We also hope we will be able to re-start our student-related travel, field trips, off-site studies, sports and after-school activities at this time.

 

I realize that this current situation, which is beyond our control, is creating hardships for some of our families, but I’ve also heard many good reports that while our students used to in-classroom education are home, they are continuing to learn and advance in their academic careers.  We are releasing this April eNewsletter to you early, as the stories collected were written before we decided to temporarily suspend classroom-based education due to COVID-19.  In subsequent communications, we will share with you the many unique ways our students continue to learn in a home-centered, Springs-supported personalized learning model.

EDUCATION FOUNDATION STAFF AWARD

If I may share some good news, I’m pleased to report that Sarah Behney, Educational Specialist from Springs’ KEYS site in Riverside, is the beneficiary of a $1,000 Summit Springs Educational Foundation staff award.  The grant will be used to create a flexible seating environment for students, including the use of seating arrangements as standing tables, bean bags, smaller stools and other alternative seating options besides classical desks. The flexible seating will allow for the students to find comfortable seating that helps to increase their productivity and focus. Research has proven that flexible seating provides the students with choice, comfort, physical health, increased collaboration among peers and community.  Congratulations, Sarah!

We encourage our parents and friends of the school to consider financially supporting our Foundation.  Click here to view a recent meeting I had with Steaven Chan, president of our Summit Springs Educational Foundation, during which we awarded the grant and talked about the work of our Foundation.

 

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Dr. Kathleen Hermsmeyer
Superintendent

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From the Superintendent: #GetRealCon for 11th and 12th Graders

It is our goal at Springs not only to help our students achieve academic success today but to help them plan for a successful future. Therefore, I’m pleased to announce our first annual schoolwide #GetRealCon, a conference that will help prepare our students for the “real world” once they’ve finished high school.  While we have had a #GetRealCon for our CTE students in previous years, this year we’ve opened the program up to all 11th and 12th-grade students participating in a Springs high school program.

The conference will be held Friday, March 27, from 9:30 to 2:30 p.m., in the Grove Community Church, 19900 Grove Community Drive in Riverside. Bus transportation will be available at the Temecula and Magnolia Student Centers, and the Renaissance Valley Academy; any Springs 11th and 12th-grade students may board at these locations even if, such as in the case of a Homeschool student, he or she does not attend school at that center.  Register early, as bus seating is limited.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Student workshops will include How to Pay for College“Adulting” – Ready to be on your OwnTransferring from a 2-year to 4-year CollegeApprenticeship Programs – Earn while you Learn, the Drone/Aviation Program at San Bernardino Valley College and Risk/Reward – Learn to Make the Right Decisions.  Those hosting career tables include Loma Linda University, the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air National Guard, the Riverside Probation Department, Riverside Sheriff Department, County of Riverside, Paul Mitchell Temecula, Fed Ex, Farmer Boys, the Western Municipal Water District, Eastern Oregon University, Riverside City College, San Bernardino Valley College, RCOE School of Career Education, Job Corps, Eminence Barber Academy, YMCA and more.

Click here to register.  I’m confident you’ll find it an informative, inspiring and motivating event, and I encourage all of our 11th and 12th graders to attend.

Springs Homeschool Learning Centers Open Houses – Our Homeschool Learning Centers will be holding Open Houses in March and April.  All Springs families and staff, as well as prospective students and their families, are welcome to attend.  See what our Homeschool students have learned throughout the year and consider if Homeschool might be a good fit for your child.  Click here to see upcoming dates and locations.

LCAP Survey – The 2019-2020 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) survey will be open for responses through March 27.  The LCAP requires schools to develop annual goals and specific actions to achieve those goals for ongoing school improvement and better support for every student.  Parents, Springs staff, students and members of the community are welcome to take the survey.  Click here for additional information and to take the survey in English or Spanish.

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From the Superintendent: Two Ribbon Cuttings

It was my great pleasure to participate in two ribbon-cutting ceremonies in November at our two newest Springs student centers, the Del Rio Student Center in Perris and the Renaissance Valley Academy (RVA) in San Jacinto. The Del Rio ribbon cutting was held in conjunction with its Harvest Festival; see the article below for details or click here to read more about the Del Rio Center.

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From the Superintendent: Charter Schools have Record of Success, Powerful Forces Threaten Them

On September 8, 2019, a commentary I wrote on the success of charter schools and the current political environment which threatens them appeared in the Riverside Press-Enterprise. It is reprinted below. I encourage all of you who support charter schools to follow the work of the California Charter Schools Association to learn more about charter schools, and to click on the “Get Involved” tab to see ways you can make your voice heard.

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