It’s been a busy few months! As you are no doubt aware, on November 6 California had the midterm election, which included the election of a new governor, Gavin Newsom. Our outgoing governor, Jerry Brown, has been a stalwart supporter of charter schools, vetoing legislation that would be harmful or unduly restrict our operation. Unfortunately, based on his stated positions, we have concerns that Governor-elect Newsom may seek to restrict or reduce charter school options.
In this new political climate, I urge you to stay active in the political process supporting charter schools, which are free, not-for-profit public schools. I encourage you to visit the California Charter Schools Association website where you’ll find a wealth of information on charter schools, as well as an “Advocacy” tab where you can see what legislation is under consideration by our legislators, and suggestions as to how you can advocate on behalf of charter schools. It is crucial that you make your voice heard if you want to see the good work of charter schools continue in our state.
It was my great pleasure to join with other members of our Springs Charter Schools staff to participate in the APLUS+ conference in Sacramento at the end of October. The conference welcomes charter schools throughout California dedicated to personalizing learning.
On the first day, I made a presentation on the Power of Culture. Our Director of Nutrition Services, Holly Hungerford Cocking, discussed Overcoming Barriers to Implementation of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Programs in charter schools. Tammy Jackson, Jennifer Walker, Nancy Branchaud, April Jacoby, Jen Wiersma, Marla Martindale, and Margie Shamblin presented on Camp Springs and all of the offerings in the Homeschool program.
On the second day, our Director of Data & Innovation, Carrie Paschall, presented on Mastery Toolbox Tools for Personalized Learning via Mastery-Based Instruction. Ellen Minor, Sarah Behney, and Janan Willes presented on Technology Applications in a Personalized Learning Environment. Vivian Price and Tamara Rose presented on Building Teams Through the Design Thinking Process, and Tammy Jackson and Julianna Hubbell presented on Social Media Post Creation. Stephanie Fyfe discussed Math Anxiety: the Elephant in the Room, Dan Loder presented on In-class and Online Language Teaching Interactive Tech Tools for the 21st Century, and Marla Martindale and Margie Shamlin talked about Creating Learning Center Classes your students will love.
It was a wonderful learning experience for all who participated, and our staff was fortunate enough to win several prizes from the APLUS+ conference. Thank you to all who participated.
Additionally, I was pleased to attend the Hemet Quest Native American Culture Day and Thankful Feast on November 15. Hemet Quest partnered with the Local Torres Martinez Tribal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) for a day filled with singing and dancing, pottery making, arts & crafts and special speakers themed to the day. For our feast, we enjoyed Indian tacos! I thank the school for inviting me. It was so much fun!
As we’re in to December and our school break is coming up, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or good wishes for whatever holiday you celebrate.
Dr. Kathleen Hermsmeyer