December 2022

Happy Holidays VVCP Families:

They say a picture is worth a million words, and in this month’s article, I would like to share with you the pictures that illustrate the wonderful things happening at VVCP!

Virtual and Volts Classrooms:

I have had the opportunity to visit and observe all our virtual and volts classes this past month and they are nothing short of spectacular. Not only did I see outstanding teaching, but I was also able to interact with our students and their learning. I highly encourage everyone to take a virtual or volts class the next time the opportunity presents itself because the lessons are meaningful, and the kids are having an enjoyable time connecting with the material and those in their learning community.

Demonstrating Kinetic and Stored Energy using a Water Wheel

Chabot Space and Science:

Another successful SPEE to Chabot Space and Science is in the books! Although the day was cold and rainy, the trip was anything but dreary! I very much enjoyed learning about space, seeing thermal energy through infrared cameras, and chemical reactions that combust when using flammable liquids. The kiddos shared that they had three or four favorite moments while exploring this amazing facility, but the oohs and ahs came at the end when they were able to participate in the Live Science Show.

As we move into the last month of the year, please inventory and return your science kits to your homeroom teacher by the end of this week. This will allow your teacher to turn in the kits at the in-person meeting on 12/12. 

Just a reminder to please participate in the summative assessments. If you already did, Thank You! If not, get these in by this week. I know that the 4th grade class needs to turn in theirs this week.

Thank you so much to those who have already participated in NWEA assessments this month! Please remember, your child’s participation in NWEA testing is critical to the reauthorization of our homeschooling program. Moreover, the staff and I review the results of this assessment, as well as the information gathered during your in-person meetings with your homeroom teacher, to determine if your child needs additional support or intervention in ELA or mathematics. Please remind your child to try and do their best on these assessments, but there is never a need to stress about the outcomes because this is only one of a dozen indicators used to determine your child’s learning.

Last but not least, and with the support of Pacific Charter Institute, Valley View Charter Prep is happy to share our Social and Emotional Learning support with all members of the Valley View Learning Community. Below, you will find information about support available to you and your children as it relates to Social and Emotional well-being. As we know, research shows that the holidays can be a challenging time for everyone and the VVCP staff wants you to know that you have a resource in us.

Our Wellness Team is pleased to announce a new way to submit counseling, wellness, and student safety referrals. All submissions completed via these links will be seen only by our Director, Catherine Ward-Mikes, Dean John Mittan and Lead Counselor, Christine Spratling.

Please note that these reports are confidential to ensure student safety.

Please read below for information on how to access and utilize our new system:

  • Once you click on the link, there will be three reports to choose from:
    • Bullying
    • Concern for self or others
    • Counseling/Wellness (this can also include questions regarding scholarships, graduation, volunteerism, and general check-ins.)
  • Anyone can utilize these reports (students, staff, parents/ guardians), as they will be accessible on the website and the (student) Clever dashboard.
    • The link to these reports is located in the bottom right corner of the PCI website labeled, “don’t be silent”.
    • The links can also be found on the student Clever dashboard in the counseling section, under the heading, “Student Safety & Wellbeing.”

Please note, if you or your student are experiencing a mental health or medical emergency, please call 911 for immediate assistance.

Link to referrals: Index – Catapult EMS

We have one more SPEE opportunity before break and that is outdoor ice-skating in Walnut Creek on December 14, 2022. Please find additional information about this SPEE in this month’s copy of our newsletter.

The VVCP staff is so blessed to be able to partner with our families and parent educators. I have really enjoyed the myriad opportunities I have had to get to know our families through bootcamp, testing, family events and SPEES. Simply put, your children are exceptional! If there is anything the VVCP staff can do to support you in your role as parent educator or your children in their role of learner, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Whether you are traveling or spending the holidays at home, please be safe and happy and enjoy your time off. We will see you on the 9th of January as we embark on the second semester learning period.

Merry December and Happy New Year to my Valley View family,

Catherine Ward-Mikes, Director


High School News  

It was great to see so many VVCP students at our college tour of Diablo Valley College last week! Our group split into three separate groups, each led by student ambassadors. Groups learned about counseling services available to high school students, took tours of various department buildings, and asked questions of the student ambassadors. A spring tour of an Alameda County community college is in the works. More details soon.

HS Advising Office Hours:

Let’s Connect! Weekly advising appointments are available online in 40-minute increments. Parents, students, and teachers are encouraged to schedule time to discuss individualized programs and planning or just check-in if you need some support!   

In-Person Office Hours are also available!  

Please visit: High School Advising Meeting Grades 9 to 12

College Fairs & Tours: 

Use the link below for Virtual college fairs. Check any of the 13 bay area colleges/universities to schedule a tour and see what options are available close to home.

Fairs: – registration required 

Thinking about testing? SAT and ACT dates are available!

 Currently, UC and CSU are not using standardized tests for admission evaluations. Many other colleges have moved to a test-optional method. Please check directly with your intended programs for specifics about testing.  

Students looking to schedule SAT or ACT testing can register directly through the sites.  

SAT Test Registration

ACT Test Registration 

Concurrent College Enrollment: 

If you are taking community college coursework, please forward confirmation of enrollment. Reimbursements cannot be processed until the courses are marked as “In Progress”. Email confirmation to  

Headed to Community College? 

You still need to apply NOW as a matriculated (graduated) student, even if you have already attended during high school. Check the admissions link at your favorite college. 

FAFSA- Free Application for Student Aid If you want to take advantage of community college free tuition programs, you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA. The deadline is March 2nd

Counselor Power Hour: Thursdays @ 2pm

The PCI counseling team continues to host Power Hour to connect with our high school community and present a wide range of sessions on topics from college planning to specific career sectors. Emails and links have been sent directly to students and are readily accessible through student email accounts. If you need additional help logging in, please let us know.  

These sessions are a great way to explore programs and career options!  Speak with your Valley View homeroom teacher for more details. Students can click on the Power Hour icon on their Clever Page. (Or just click this link: Power Hour Link

Happy Learning,

John Mittan, HS Dean



Pacific Charter Institute offers virtual opportunities for our students through two programs:

•            V.O.L.T.s (Virtual Opportunities to Learn Together) geared toward our elementary homeschooling families.

•            The Virtual Advantage classes for middle school and high school students.

In both programs, our credentialed teachers interact with students and families in real-time through secure online environments. A complete listing of class offerings can be found in the PCI Virtual Class Catalog.  Contact your teacher for sign-up procedures. 

The Virtual Advantage

Flexibility – attend live classes online from any location.    

Support – Taught by highly-qualified credentialed teacher AND free in-person tutoring available in multiple locations 

Collaboration – students have the opportunity to work together and to get to know their peers 

Current and accredited – activities and problems meet current standards and pacing to ensure that students are adequately prepared for future courses and for standardized tests.   

Transparent – Parents are included in all student communications and in some courses, given the opportunity to evaluate students’ daily work while weening students off dependence on parent instruction.   Classes are recorded so that students and parents may refer to any lesson on their own time.  Timelines, assignments, and worksheets are given in advance so that families can plan their homework schedules. 

Looking for a bit more structure and accountability in your Math, Science, or high school English class?  

Middle School and High School virtual classes are taught by highly-qualified teachers from our own school using our school’s adopted curriculum.  Math & Science Classes meet for instruction 2 days per week plus a scheduled lab.  There are a few spaces available for 2nd semester; talk to your homeroom teacher to get on the list ASAP. Elementary VOLTs classes meet one day per week with a portion of the session set aside to guide parent-educators in work for the other 4 days.  Space is extremely limited, so talk to your homeroom teacher to get on the list ASAP.

We are already planning for the 2023-24 school year.  If you have an idea for school-led classes at any level that you would like to see offered, please present your ideas to one of our teachers and ask them to write up a proposal for consideration.  Please understand that offerings must meet minimum participant commitments (class size) and are dependent on teacher qualifications and availability.  We look forward to serving families and maximizing the achievement of all students.

Cheryl Gomes, Math Teacher and Intervention Specialist 


Science Corner

Dear Scientists,

As we move into the last month of the year, please inventory and return your science kits to your homeroom teacher by the end of this week. This will allow your teacher to turn in the kits at the in-person meeting on 12/12. 

Just a reminder to please participate in the summative assessments. If you already did, Thank You! If not, get these in by this week. I know that the 4th grade class needs to turn in theirs this week.

Just a reminder, Carolina Science classes will go until the week ending December 16th and will start up the 2nd week in January!

Thank you for a great first semester!

Laurie Bradshaw “AKA” Mrs. B

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