August Newsletter 2018

Dear VVCP Families,

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! We are excited to begin a new school year with you and look forward to continuing our strong partnership. As we look to the new academic year, there are several items of significance.

Fall Assessments
Each year Valley View students in grades 2-11 participate in several tests to help us to design personalized learning plans and to validate the success of our program. In the fall and winter, we administer the NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Test.  This is a computer adaptive test that helps us pinpoint each student’s areas of strength and weakness in both reading and math.  In the spring we administer the state-mandated CAASPP tests (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.)   our August NWEA assessments schedule is as follows:

Pleasant Hill: 8/20, 21, 22, 23
Berkeley: 8/27, 28, 29, 30
Livermore: 9/4, 5

Contact your teacher for the information on time and place. Once you get the info, please be sure to look at the schedule, pick a time & place for your child(ren), and let your teacher know as soon as you can when you will be coming for the assessments.  These slots fill up fast!

Parent Fair
Valley View will host its Homeschool Parent Fair in late August. In rooms adjacent to testing in Pleasant Hill, we will host informational booths. These booths will include our K-5 STEM program called Project Lead The Way (PLTW), Valley View Field Trips, VVCP virtual course offerings and VVCP high school academic counseling services. We will also host booths for local vendor course options, as well as curricular vendors. This event will allow you as a parent educator to effectively plan your new year; taking advantage of all our school resources.

Virtual Classes
Valley View Charter Prep offers a variety of math and science classes for our middle & high school students that take place online, with live instruction.  These teachers are also available every Monday for free, personalized tutoring in various Bay Area libraries.  There is a semester tuition charge for each course, taken from student budgets. Every Virtual Student will be required to attend a “Boot Camp” in August, for orientation and for passing out of all texts and equipment (computers, etc).  Contact Cheryl Gomes for details.

Project Lead the Way
We offer a series of group science classes for the elementary crowd.  All we need is a meeting space, and a group of 6-10 students to band together for these hands-on sessions.  A session of ten 90-minute classes will charge $125 from student funds.

Below is a link to the Valley View Charter Prep Newsletter on Word Press. In addition to current news, there are also links to the school calendar, field trips, searchable vendor database, information regarding our online learning programs.
We look forward to having a great year together!

Happy Learning,

John Mittan, Director

Several teachers will be sponsoring informal park days during & before the first week of school.
– Pleasanton on Friday, August 10.
– Fremont on Monday, August 13.
– Albany on Monday, August 13.
– Danville on Tuesday, August 14.
– Castro Valley on Wednesday, August 15
You can contact your teacher for specific times and addresses.
Or contact Lorraine directly at

When you meet with your teacher in August, she will have for you a packet that requires several papers that need signatures from both a parent and the student (one packet for every student).
This includes things like emergency contact information and consent forms.  Be sure to fill these out, as the school is required by law to have these updated every year.
NOTE: this website uses student photos, so please make sure that your teacher is aware if you do NOT want your student’s picture on the website.
It would be a nice courtesy, too, if you can let the newsletter editor know, too, by emailing your ban request to

NWEA Benchmark Testing
As mentioned above, we start off the year with benchmark testing in Reading and Math.  As in years past, these will take place in Pleasant Hill, in Berkeley and in Livermore.  Your teacher has the available times and places.  You will want to get your appointment sooner rather than later, so that you can do your preferred times.

At the NWEA testing, we will hold a one-day Parent Fair, at which you can attain information (and sign-ups!) for:
— Virtual Classes (science and math online courses for middle and high school),
— Project Lead the Way (live science classes for elementary students),
— Field trips (SPEE’s, or “Student/Parent Enrichment Excursion”),
— High School Counseling
— LCAP (school budget accountability)
— Vendors
And more! Since we plan to have a room near the testing, you can come see us while your student tests. Exact date and time are available from your IST.

These live, online math and science classes for middle & high school include interactive direct instruction with students in our virtual classroom as well as regular email communication and support for parents regarding progress and strategies.  Tuition charge for each course will be charged directly to student funds.
Every Virtual Student will be required to attend a “Boot Camp” in August (at designated NWEA testing sessions) for orientation and distribution of all texts and equipment (computers, etc).  Please see linked flyer for details of each class and for schedule of classes.  Contact Cheryl Gomes if you have any questions.
A teacher is available every Monday for free in-person math tutoring in various Bay Area libraries. Bring your current lesson and questions so we can play math together.  Later this year, we plan to start a peer tutoring initiative giving leadership opportunities to older students and fun support to younger; please let Cheryl Gomes know if you are interested in helping get this off the ground.  Finally, we have, in our school library for check-out, limited FREE textbooks and manipulative kits with access to online assessments, consumable resources, and online TE for families interested in our school-adopted curriculum for K-8, Math in Focus (a Singapore approach) by Marshal Cavandish.  If we don’t have all of the grade levels you need to borrow, your teacher can order additional books in this series with discretionary budgets, but check our stock first.  Pacing guides and support available upon request.
3rd-5th grade FEMS (Family Elementary Math Support) workshops will be available monthly virtually throughout and onsite in some service areas.  Math specialists and elementary teachers are working together to share strategies and activities to help students master skills that will help them with their current grade-level standards and with skills that must be mastered in preparation for future success. Talk to your teacher and check out this monthly newsletter for updates and schedules as plans solidify.

We hold live science classes for our elementary kids!  All we need is a meeting space, and a group of 6-10 students to band together for these hands-on sessions, so if you have a space, let us know! A session of ten 90-minute classes will charge $125 from student funds.  For more information, contact Laurie Bradshaw at

SPEE (“Student and Parent Enrichment Excursion”) aka field trips.
One goal for our school is to provide ways for all families to be a bigger part of the VVCP community. This begins with the Regional Park Days at the beginning of the year, but we will also hold one or two field trips every month, starting in September. Lorraine is working to set up most of the field trips for the entire year, and we are off to a good start. The “SPEE” tab above will take you to the list of policies, and of all the excursions that have been booked so far. We will be adding more SPEE’s as the year progresses, but we hope to have most of them scheduled and on the calendar soon.
Take note of the DEADLINE date: it is very important that we get your sign-ups as early as possible. Any forms received after the deadline will miss the boat. If the slots are filled by the time you submit your forms, you will be notified and put on the waiting list, so you should sign up as early as you can.
One excursion (for an art class soon after Labor Day) has a deadline of AUGUST 29, so that is coming up quickly, and we really must know the total number of participants by then. Note from this Art instructor: “Please join me for 75 minutes of art fun. This class introduces your students to what they can expect in my classes this year. There will be a bit of art history, and a lot of hands on “Arting”. We will be creating a watercolor map of the world. My home studio in Concord fits 11, so 4 classes will be offered. Please contact me with any questions. I hope I get to meet you!!”
Click here for the Field Trip Authorization Form. (For “Teacher”, put down your IST.) Work with your teacher to make your plans, or contact Lorraine directly at

Or you can sign up at the Parent Fair, where we will have forms, lists of all the upcoming SPEE’s, and even a brief survey to gauge your needs.

Our high school is always working on ways to provide you with the personalized learning that is unique to homeschooling, while staying within the requirements of the law and the needs for entry into college and/or career education.  Our Academic Counselor is very experienced in homeschooling and can help you to find a way to optimize the quality of education for your child(ren).  She can also help with your middle-schooler in preparing you for high school.  Jennifer McInerney can be contacted at
It is highly recommended that you talk with Jennifer as soon as you can to make sure that all courses are in place by the beginning of the school year.
For more info on PCI programs, go to

ENGLISH RESOURCE for Middle and High School:

We are really excited about the resources available for English/Language Arts through the Study Sync online program!  All students in grades 6 through 12 are encouraged to participate in this curriculum; discuss it with your teacher to see if this fits your student.  The program is very flexible, but it does cover the Common Core Standards that are our learning goals for all students.
If your child does not work well online, there are workbook texts available, as well.
To check it out, you can go to and get the basic information on this curriculum.  Or ask your teacher for the URL and password for more detailed demos.

See “ONLINE” tab above for information on online programs that all families can access without charge, for which the school has paid license fees. Ask your teacher for more details.
Look also under the “Work Samples” tab above (then scroll down) for some suggested websites where you can find school work for your student.

For all vendors who are a part of the PCI list that offer classes and services, hit the “VENDOR” tab above. You can also scroll down for a list of the best places to get materials through your teacher.
For “subscription” services such as Kiwi Co, please look at the details under “SUBSCRIPTIONS”, and ask your teacher to help with your order.  Payment is a lot easier if you go through the school.
Some companies do not accept school purchase orders, so you would need to go to them directly and later get reimbursed (that mostly refers to Amazon or to stores). Make sure you keep legible receipts. Ask your teacher for details.
We hope to have some vendors for you to meet at the Parent Fair, as well.
If you know of a vendor – be it a piano or Spanish teacher, or a city Rec program, etc – that would be an asset to our selection of available Vendors, please have them go to the PCI website:

Any Questions?  Feel free to contact your teacher, or the leadership team:
–Academic Counselor: Jennifer McInerney;;  (925) 323-1938
–Virtual Classes: Cheryl Gomes;; (707) 365-5633
–Project Lead the Way: Laurie Bradshaw;; (510) 384-0535
–Study Sync co-ordinator: Bridget Aronsen:
–SPEE’s/field trips: Lorraine Urfer;; (510) 861-1680
–Valley View School Director: John Mittan:

For much more information about our school, vendors, or Pacific Charter Institute, please see the PCI website at:

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