December 2018 Newsletter

Dear Valley View Parent:
As you may know, charter schools like Valley View operate on a finite basis according to a term of charter authorization. Typically five years in length, this term of authorization allows us to receive state funding as a publicly funded school.
It is with great enthusiasm (and a little relief) I report to you our charter has been renewed for another five years. According to the Deputy Superintendent for Educational Services, Valley View’s charter “submission was a model others should replicate.” On the heels of last year’s full WASC accreditation, this renewal truly propels us into the near future with confidence we can continue service to students and families.
As we look to the next five years, we are aware of the challenges all charters school’s face including budget constraints, anti-charter sentiments, and programmatic challenges. However, as a school entering its fifth year of operation with accreditation and charter renewal in our rear view mirror, our future now stretches out quite a long distance. I look forward to what’s to come and am so please to be on this journey together.
Happy Learning,
John Mittan, Director



High School News

Contact: Jennifer McInerney  =

Office Hours
Dedicated office hours for seniors will be held Mondays from 8-10 or by appointment. 


Important TEST Dates:

PSAT–  I will host a Next Steps in College Planning meeting for juniors  January 22nd via Zoom. An email with the Zoom link will be sent directly to 11th graders.

Pre ACT: VVCP will host a practice ACT in April 2019. 10th and 11th grade students are welcome to attend. This will be held in Pleasant Hill.

ACT: Register directly:




Available courses affected??:
A Note About SB 705 and Dual enrollment

Historically 50% of Valley View high school students are completing graduation requirements at local community colleges. On average, seniors graduate having completed 8 college courses. We are proud of our students’ achievement and value our partnerships with the community colleges.  Last January a new bill was passed that may impact our students’ access to college courses for graduation requirements.

SB 705 was put into effect in January of 2018 and will be put into full effect by fall of 2019. AB 705 requires community college districts to maximize the probability that a student will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in math and English within a one-year time frame by utilizing assessment measures that include high school performance to achieve this goal. What this means is that students will no longer have a wide access to remedial courses in preparation for higher level transferable courses in English and math. Additionally, multiple measures including (a) High school coursework (b) High school grades and standardized assessments (c) High school grade point average will be used to evaluate student’s readiness to complete college level coursework. Remedial courses and supportive measures will become limited for dually enrolled students.

VVCP will continue to build high quality programs to ensure that students meet college readiness prior to matriculation. Whether students plan to enter the workforce, transfer or directly apply to a 4 yr college, it is imperative that we are supporting students’ progress towards  grade-level standards.


Concurrent College Enrollment 

If you are enrolled in a college course, please send confirmation of courses of grades to Courses must be recorded on the transcripts as In Progress in order to receive credit and process reimbursements.
If you are taking courses this spring, be sure to fill out the form and send it directly to me. I will sign and return it to you.


College Applications
All seniors, please schedule a meeting with Mrs McInerney directly for guidance throughout the process. We can identify a list of schools, create personal statements, and receive help with financial aid.  Dedicated office hours for seniors will be held Mondays from 8-10 or by appointment.

If you are continuing at the local community college, YOU NEED TO RE-APPLY as a matriculated student. Applications are now available for next fall.


Science Corner with Laurie Bradshaw

This month’s topic is Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS. What are they, and why do we need them? Did you know that before NGSS, science standards were based on documents written when Whitney Houston, Aerosmith, and Meatloaf were popular? In other words, in the early 90’s. Science changes constantly, so the need for the science standards to change. Taken directly from the NGSS website sums it up nicely for us.

“It is important to understand that the scientific practices in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), as defined by the National Research Council (NRC), include the critical thinking and communication skills that students need for postsecondary success and citizenship in a world fueled by innovations in science and technology. These science practices encompass the habits and skills that scientists and engineers use day in and day out. In the NGSS these practices are wedded to content. In other words, content and practice are intertwined in the standards, just as they are in the NRC Framework and in today’s workplace.”

Here are a few activities for various grades. Try one out! Once at the site, one lands on the teacher document. In the righthand corner click on the blue box that says “View this Resource.” Follow the directions for the experiment. If you try one out, please let me know what you think!


Discussion of the core ideas, practices, and crosscutting ideas will be addressed in my column next month. Until then, one may check out for more information about the topic. If you have any questions, contact me at


Upcoming Field Trips: December, mid-January

We have a few Student/Parent Enrichment Excursions coming up soon. Signups are closed for all the outings now through January 16:

#12A  on  Tuesday, December 18,
#12B   on  Thursday, December 20, and
#14  on  Wenesday, January 16.

Walnut Creek on Ice
#11  on Wednesday, December 12. 
It’s too late to have funds taken directly from your budgets, but you can ask your teacher for details about joining in the fun.

#13  on Friday, January 11.

If you are signed up for any SPEE, you will receive emails the week before the event with details, or you can contact Lorraine directly with any questions (


Upcoming Field Trips: 2nd Semester

SPEE opportunities this spring include the following:

January 30:
–Asian Art Museum
(San Francisco) “Stories from China” for Gr K-6
1 hour class on “Stories from China”. Families may roam the museum afterward, as well. Prepare for your visit by checking out this video with your students: For additional activities, visit Search by keyword and filter by type of activity.

March 7, and March 8:
–Eugene O’Neill Home
/National Historical Site (Danville) Tours of this historic home: one for Junior Rangers (Gr K-5), and one for the older students (Gr 6-12).  The Jr. Ranger tour on March 7 is almost full.

April 10:
–Point Bonita Lighthouse
(Marin Headlands)
Includes a history walk of 2 miles round trip taking about 2-2 1/2 hours, with talks on the history of the Golden Gate & its importance in history both economically and militarily. Also, a tour of the lighthouse.

FEES:  For these next SPEEs , there are fees involved.  We need to have a minimum number of students to share the cost of the train, and the Crucible experience is $9/student.  Please read more on the SPEE tab, and sign up soon.

March 26:
— School Train & Railroad Museum
This program gives students the experience of riding aboard the Sacramento Southern Railroad in vintage cars along the Sacramento River. Knowledgeable docents explain about train travel during this 50-minute roundtrip. Afterward, we have reservations to enter the California Railroad Museum for free as a group.

May 16:
The Crucible is a nonprofit arts education center that fosters a collaboration of arts, industry, and community. Demonstrations will be in areas such as glass flame working, blacksmithing and bicycles, and more!  This demo fair shows industrial uses of art.  Cost is $9/student.

Please look closely at the descriptions for all of these outings, and be mindful of the dates not only of the outing itself but also of the deadlines for signing up (go to the SPEE tab, above).

**All these SPEE’s are free except the School Train and the Crucible.



For additional information on Pacific Charter Institute and our sister schools, go to

the PCI website at:

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