March/April KCA Community Newsletter

Visit the complete newsletter HERE or read the preview below…

Meet our new Teacher Leader, Teresa!
This month is one year since I moved to the Illinois Valley. I followed my children, Phillip and Sharon Rose, and bought a family homestead. I love the IV and all it has to offer, including a welcoming community. My career as a nurse is winding down and I am seeking ways to be actively involved in our community. One being, KCA. The hats I am leaning towards wearing are ones of science instruction, quality and safety coordination, and being a school nurse, if needed.

My goal is to never have a child return home from school and say, “We didn’t do anything creative today to learn.”

Looking forward to working with you all!

February 2023 KCA Community Newsletter

Visit the complete newsletter HERE or read the preview below…

Next year’s intensives are shaping up!

Intensives are the heart and soul of KCA, the place where the Community and Arts of Kalmiopsis Community Arts High School really shine. Each year has three intensives, when students dive into one class all day for two weeks (intensive = intense!). 

What’s in store for next year?

Summer I Intensive (August 28 – September 7).
Students will choose from…

Sculpture with professional sculptor Terry Davis
Painting with … (a local artist who is *this* close to confirming!)
Playwriting, directing, and performing the 11th Illinois Valley Whirlwind Play Festival

Winter Intensive (January 16 – January 25).
We have some ideas, but nothing’s confirmed yet. What do you think?

Summer II Intensive (May 28 – June 6).
Wilderness skills training and a backpacking/camping trip for the entire school, led by Earth Scouts!

        January 2023 KCA Community Newsletter

        Visit the complete newsletter HERE or read the preview below…

        enrollment now open

        It’s finally happening! Enrollment has begun for the 2023-2024 school year, and we are so ready to welcome the first students to Kalmiopsis Community Arts High School.

        January 1 – March 31
        Priority enrollment

        Early April
        Lottery Drawing (if needed)

        April 1 – ongoing
        Open enrollment

        August 28
        First day of school

        The first year of KCA is open to students in grades 9, 10, and 11 (12th grade will be added the following year). Any student who lives in Josephine and Jackson counties can enroll, including homeschooled students, houseless students, English Language Learners, students who are young parents, gender nonconforming students, students with disabilities, and students who have dropped out.

        However, according to charter school law, only students who live within Three Rivers School District boundaries and submit the Enrollment Form by March 31, 2023 are eligible for the lottery, which will be held if we receive more applications than the 16 seats/grade that we can accommodate. If we have enough space, everyone who submits an Enrollment Form by March 31 will be accepted.

        Spread the word, please!

        Newsletter #12!

        Visit the complete newsletter HERE or read the preview below…

        Three Rivers School District Update
        They. Said. Yes.

        New Beginnings by Kaya Whittlinger

        At last night’s board meeting, the Three Rivers School District voted unanimously to approve the KCA charter proposal! Kalmiopsis Community Arts High School is opening next September to grades 9, 10, and 11!

        They based their vote on our resubmission, which addressed the concerns that caused our initial denial in May. Our next step is contract negotiations with the district and replacing the organizational board –Kimiko, Kaci, Ryan, and Melissa– with a founding board that will oversee KCA for the remainder of the planning phase and the first years of the school. (Kimiko, Kaci, Ryan, and Melissa will transition into staff positions under the oversight of the founding board.) If this role might be calling to you, call on us! We will also begin applying for permits to locate KCA at Rusk Ranch Nature Center. 

        For more updates, the entire newsletter is HERE. Thanks!

        Newsletter #11!

        Visit the complete newsletter HERE or read the preview below…

        Humanizing the Standards
        Sex Education is a Human Right

        Kalmiopsis Mountains by Selena Newman

        What is health education and what does it look like at KCA? 

        Now more than ever, teens across the nation desire and deserve a holistic health education that helps them  build their confidence and knowledge of their own bodies and the relationships (inter and intrapersonal) that will continue to evolve as they grow and develop. But what does that look like??

        Well, the ODE (Oregon Department of Education) has laid the groundwork for a comprehensive foundation that we will strive to adopt.  In the words of ODE, “Health education provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop health literacy, so they are able to access valid information, resources and services in order to develop, maintain and promote healthy behaviors.

        Health education is built on the foundation of teaching to all dimensions of the whole child.  The eight main standards in health education focus on the development of knowledge and skills that students use throughout their lifetimes – understanding health content and concepts; analyzing influences; interpersonal communication; decision-making; goal setting; self-management; and advocacy.

        Quality health education requires time for students to develop and practice healthy behaviors, and ensures that students from every background and identity can learn the knowledge and skills to live their best, and healthiest lives.”

        Under the umbrella of health education resides the subject of sexuality education. Oregon is one of only 24 states nationwide that mandates sex education for K-12 students. Almost every state in the U.S. has some guidance around sex education.  Currently, 39 states and the District of Columbia require that HIV and/or sex education is covered in school.

        However, there is no guarantee that the sex education students are offered is of high quality, medically accurate or covers the topics young people need to learn about to stay healthy.  Sexuality education has become one of the most important aspects of a holistic health education for the developing youth.

        Decisions about sex education are usually made at the state and local level – no federal laws dictate what sex education looks like or how it should be taught in schools.  At KCA, we value a comprehensive sexuality education and luckily have great resources and guidance from our state. From the ODE website, “Oregon’s approach to Comprehensive Sexuality Education equips students with the knowledge and skills to realize their health, well-being, and educational goals.

        Sexuality Education supports students to:

        • Realize their health, well-being, and dignity;
        • Build and maintain healthy relationships, including friendships, and/or romantic or sexual relationships; 
        • Develop awareness of their own identities and support the identities of others;
        • Ensure the protection of their rights and the rights of others throughout their lives;
        • Consider their own boundaries and respect the boundaries of others;
        • Recognize and access support, information, and care from trusted adults and organizations; and
        • Reduce child abuse, sexual violence, harassment, and bullying.”

        Our mission at KCA states, “Where it’s okay to be who you are while discovering your place in the world.”  Our Health Education curriculum will strive to not only maintain that mission but also to help our students thrive in a curriculum based on safe spaces, medically accurate information, and a multitude of topics that are student centered through the lens of age appropriateness.

        Access to comprehensive, medically accurate sex education is a human right. 

        For more updates, the entire newsletter is HERE. Thanks!

        Newsletter #10!

        Visit the complete newsletter HERE or read the preview below…

        We Get Hyperbolic!!
        Take the Survey or We Die!

        This is going to be an arts-based school, right? Then we might have permission to be a little bit melodramatic…

        Please complete this survey or we will die!!!!

        Everyone’s input is needed, no matter whether you have children. But, yes, we do need to show that enough people with high school-age children believe KCA will be good for the community. Please complete the survey no matter your background, and if you can forward the link (or this email) to others, yes! We need all the help we can get.

        Please fill out the survey!

        Only two questions are required.
        It’ll take 2-4 minutes to complete (if you answer the optional questions, it’ll take a little bit longer).

        Share the link widely, please!

        Read the rest of the newsletter HERE.

        BiWeekly Newsletter #9!

        Visit the complete newsletter HERE or read the big news below because this one is a biggie…

        Three Rivers School District Updates
        One Step Back

        New Beginnings by Kaya Whittlinger

        Three Rivers School Board voted May 18 to deny our application, based on the recommendation of a consultant hired by the Oregon School Boards Association.

        The consultant was satisfied with our curriculum, philosophy, student discipline plan, academic calendar, bell schedule, seat hours, and more. Their concerns were primarily financial.

        This means that KCA cannot open the 2022-2023 school year.

        We were informed on May 11 and had some time to process our emotions before the school board meeting. Melissa and Kaci spoke during the public comment period to ensure the board knows that we respect the process and their decision, yet we disputed some of the findings. You can read our public comment HERE.

        Is that the end?

        No, nope, not at all, no way!

        The next step is to resubmit. We won’t need to resubmit the entire proposal, only the sections that either “failed” or “nearly met” the requirements. The consultant’s evaluation is HERE.

        After re-submitting this midsummer, the school board will have 30 days to cast another vote. If they deny us again, we can appeal to the State Board of Education. The flowchart from start-to-finish is HERE.

        We are disappointed, to be sure, especially for students who were ready to enroll this August. But we have to look for the silver lining in postponing opening day to August 2023:

        – We will have more time to prepare KCA’s location. 

        – We can consider allowing grades 9, 10, and 11 in the first year, as we will be more-than-prepared to handle three grades in year 1.

        – There will be more time to revise the budget, procure grants, further develop curriculum, refine safety management systems, strengthen our 504/IEP plans, receive Intent to Enroll submissions, solidify more collaborations with community organizations, and overall prove that KCA is supported by our community and ready to open in 2023.

        KCA Student News
        One Step Forward

        Untitled by Airabella Ferdon

        The Opening Party for The Kalmiopsis Collection was purely awesome! Eight young artists’ work is on display through July 5, 2022 at The Guild Gallery & Art Center (24353 Redwood Highway in Kerby).

        All the artwork in this newsletter was made by The Kalmiopsis Collection artists.

        This was our first collaboration with The Southern Oregon Guild of Artists and Artisans, and it was so fun that we want to do it again! Read more details about The Kalmiopsis Collection HERE.

        BiWeekly Newsletter #8!

        Visit the complete newsletter HERE and read below for a sneak peek…

        Three Rivers School District Updates

        We Are Waiting, Waiting…

        8 years since this idea began.
        4 years since we asked the community if they supported a charter high school in the Illinois Valley.
        2 years since the five Teacher Leaders began co-creating a proposal for KCA.
        4 1/2 months since we submitted the proposal to the Three Rivers School District (TRSD) school board.
        3 months since the school board determined that our proposal was complete.
        1 month since the Kalmiopsis Community Arts High School public hearing.
         7 days until the school board decides whether to accept the proposal. If yes, we plan to open this August! If no, we will have 30 days to submit a revised proposal, and try again.
        1 second since we last crossed our fingers that they will say yes. We are so ready to begin.

        TRSD Board Meeting
        (the decisive one!!)
        May 18 @6pm

        District Office
        8550 New Hope Rd, Grants Pass

        The TRSD school board meeting 2021-2022 calendar is HERE.

        Read the rest of the newsletter HERE!

        BiWeekly Newsletter #7!

        Visit the complete newsletter HERE and read below for a sneak peek…

        Fun and Miscellany
        “Pi Day in July”

        With so much serious stuff to do until opening day (board meetings! public hearings!), we don’t want to lose sight of what’s really important: the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

        So we present…

        Pi Day! In July!

        Imagine this…

        – a “Pi K,” where people run for 3.14159 kilometers all around Cave Junction while carrying a pie
        – an after party at Jubilee Park with live music, perhaps even a “Pi-themed” rock song
        – a “Square Root Beer” tent for drinks to cool us down
        – a “Pi Recitation Contest” to see who can memorize the most digits of Pi!
        – maybe an “Irrational Speech” and/or “Irrational Slam Poetry” contest?
        – maybe a pie baking and/or pie eating contest?

        To sum it up,
        Save the date!

        Sunday 7/17: Two prime numbers adding up to one very special Pi Day in July.

        Read the rest of the newsletter HERE!