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What's Happening Next at Ocean?

Monday, October 5

*Office Open: 8 am to 4 pm

*Sea Squirt (5 - 8 yrs) Class Day 9:30 to 1:30


Tuesday, October 6

*Office Open: 8 am to 4 pm

*Sea Urchin (8 - 11 yrs) Class Day 9:30 to 1:30 (Can arrive at 9:15)

*Garden Club Begins- 1:30 to 2:30  (Sea Urchins only)


Wednesday, October 7

*Office Open: 8 am to 4 pm

*Grouper (11 - 14 yrs) 9:30 to 1:30 (Can arrive at 9:15)

*Math Support for Groupers - 1:30 to 2:30 pm

*OA Strings Ensemble - Beginners 1:35 to 2:05/Non-beginners 2:05 to 2:35


Thursday, October 8

*Office Closed: 8 to 11 am/Open 11 to 4pm

*Spectra Class -Dancehall Jamaica

     11:30 - 1 Groupers

     1 - 3 Sea Squirts & Urchins

*Parent Support Group Meeting    1 to 3 

*Sea Squirts Potluck & Game Night  6 to 8 pm


Friday, October 9

Office Open: 8 to 4

Sewing Club 10 to 12 (NO DROP INS)


Upcoming Events

Spectra Classes:

     Bhangra/ Bollywood   India (Oct. 15)
     Hip hop    USA (Oct.22)
Sea Urchin Potluck  Oct. 15
Grouper Potluck  Oct. 22
Minecraft Club Oct 20
Site Council Mtg Oct 20

Parent Mentors

We have some of our wonderful & experienced homeschooling parents who are happy to share experiences, brainstorm ideas, and mentor. Need support?  Call or email one today.


Heddi Craft - heddicr@gmail.com

Carol Bowles - santacruzjujube@yahoo.com

Carolyn Angell - cnangell@att.net

Rebecca Paten - rebeccapaten@gmail.com

Elana Sifry - esifry@losd.ca

Alberta James - alberta@krebscycleproducts.com

Ona Tigue - onalunafe@yahoo.com 

Jen Bruno - jenbruno@webmail.us


Our Address:

984-6 Bostwick Lane

Santa Cruz, CA  95062

(831) 475-0767

(We are located on the Green Acres Campus in Live Oak)

Here is a link to a map of our school

Escrip for Schools

Escrip is an easy way to raise money for our school.  All you have to do is go to escrip.com and assign your Safeway or Vons purchases to Ocean Alternative Education Center. You also need to renew your membership each year.  If you have family members out of the area, there are many other merchants that partner with escrip.  That's all it takes!

WeTip logo v2.jpeg

Welcome to 2015-16 Year!

Garden Club Begins Tuesday

 Garden club will begin OCTOBER 6--1:35-2:30. Join in the fun of keeping our garden flourishing and nature crafts with Priscilla. Every Tuesday (with a few exceptions). SEA URCHINS ONLY


Starting Wed, October 7

This class integrates the traditional Samuel Applebaum and Suzuki methods.  Familiar folk-tunes, group lessons, positive encouragement, repetition and instrument-care are the fabric of this class and assist students in developing early building blocks of musicianship. For 8 to 14 yr olds

Wednesdays starting October 7

Beginning students - 1:35 to 2:05 pm

Returning students - 2:05 to 2:35 pm

If interested, please contact Jenean (Noel’s mom) at jenean@jamiegarfield.com. Free lessons from an experienced music teacher for the violin, viola, bass or cello. 



1 TO 3 PM

GROUPERS ARE ABLE TO STAY at school while parent is in the meeting.  

Parent Support Group meetings give parents a chance to share homeschooling experiences and learn from each other.  It seems every year brings new challenges and goals so the topic for our first meeting is “I am homeschooling my child . . . help!”  All parents (new and returning) are encouraged to come to this highly supportive group to exchange ideas and experiences. Meeting dates are TBD. If anyone has questions or feedback about topics to address this year, please email Heddi at heddicr@gmail.com.


Family Potluck and Game Nights: 6:00-8:00

Come hang out with the families of your child’s classmates, share some good food and your favorite family games. Bring your own dishes, cups and silverware, food to share, and a game or two that your family enjoys. We’ll provide the space to eat together and to play some games.

If your child is a Monday SQUIRT, join us THURSDAY, Oct. 8

If your child is a Tuesday URCHIN, join us THURSDAY, Oct. 15

If your child is a Wednesday GROUPER, join us THURSDAY, Oct. 22

Please RSVP to Sue. Have children in more than one group? Come to all that you want! Questions? Ask Deb!

Sewing Club with Michelle - October 9 and 23



Shorts project - October 9 and 23  10 am - 12pm  

Zipper Pocket - November 20  10 am to 12 pm

Bring your own project - December 4   10 am to 12 pm

Sign up in office. Open to 8 to 14 yr olds. 

Audition Day for Advanced Theater Group Nov. 6 SIGN UP NOW!

Curriculum Orders & Display

Still mourning the loss of Kaleidoscope, we are trying a different strategy for curriculum support this year.  We picked the more popular workbooks and ordered a copy of each of them for you to look at before choosing. Some titles you may recognize:

Explode the Code

Beast Academy

Phonics, Reading Comprehension, Writing & Spelling books

Daily Math Practice

Art of Problem Solving

and more.....

The curriculum is now available in the library everyday. We will continue to take orders every Friday.  The orders are starting to roll in and will be placed in your box at school.  Items can also be ordered from Discount School Supply. 


In addition, we added to our library:

Life of Fred math books - 2 complete sets elementary through middle school

Story of the World Volume I to IV- CD sets and story books for check out - activity books available to order


As always,  I am open to your ideas about how to best support our families.  

Drop off/Pick Up Policy

Drop Off/Pick up Policy: Just as a reminder, for safety reasons, student drop off/pick up is in the Green Acres parking area (go straight instead of turning into District Office/Tierra Pacifica/ Preschool lot). If you need to see that your student is getting to class or need to come on campus, please park in parking spaces available in either lot. (District Office or Green Acres) 

Also, we ask that you honor the drop off and pick up times for each day or make arrangements with a staff member if you have special circumstances.  The staff uses the time before and after these designated times to set up or clean up for the day as well as tend to other business.  If you arrive to school early, please plan to stay with your child.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Monday  9:30 to 1:30 (We ask that all parents walk the child in)

Tuesday 9:15 (Classes start at 9:30) to 1:30 or 2:30 (for students in Garden Club/Minecraft Club)

Wednesday 9:15 (Classes start at 9:30) to 1:30 or 2:30 (for students in Math Games Class/Leadership events)

Thursday  12:45 (Class starts at 1:00) to 3:00 

We also encourage families to use the site as a hub or hang out after school hours and only ask that you supervise your children.

SB277- What we know at this point

As you may have heard, SB277 was passed by the State Senate and quickly signed into law by Governor Brown on June 30th. This new law will go into effect for the 2016-17 school year and effectively eliminates all personal belief exemptions from vaccination requirements for all students enrolled in any private or public elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center in the state of California.

In the legislative process an amendment was included to exempt homeschool students.  The amendment states:

“This section does not apply to a pupil in a home-based private school or a pupil who is enrolled in an independent study program pursuant to Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 51745) of Chapter 5 of Part 28 of the Education Code and does not receive classroom-based instruction.”


Ocean Alternative is an independent study program as defined in the Education Code.  According to California Code of Regulations (CCR 11963), “classroom-based instruction” in a school occurs only when all four specific conditions are met. One of the conditions is that “the students are required to be in attendance at the schoolsite for at least 80% of the students’ instructional time”.  Since our classes are optional for students, we do not meet the criteria.  Consequently, Ocean students would be exempt from the vaccine requirements as stated in the bill according to this current definition.  I have seen similar explanations on the Homeschool Association of California website which is very reassuring.

Since the bill was just signed this week, there is still much to be learned. I will continue to follow this development and inform you along the way. As a reminder, there are no changes for the upcoming school year. 


Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

Mary  msauter@losd.ca


Ocean Alternative Online Calendar

Welcome to Ocean Alternative

We hope this website gives you an idea of how our program works and the activities we offer to homeschooling families. If you are interested in  registering your child or visiting our school, please complete the New Student Information Survey.  

What Is Ocean Alternative?

October Newsletter Available

Spectra Dance Classes start Oct.1

Dances around the World with Gina starts Thursday, Oct. 1 with Samba/ Maculele from Brazil!  Groupers: 11:30-1:00; Urchins and Squirts come 1:00-3:00.  Urchins start Dance in Room C at 1:00 sharp!  Squirts start in Room A.  Please eat before you come.


Upcoming Field Trips

Friday, Oct. 30: Santa Cruz Mission

Please go to the Field Trip page for all the details

Staff Email

Bell, Deb
Burrows, Justin
McGrath, Zelda
Sauter, Mary
Sifry, Elana
Wood, Joy

Student User Name & Password

If your student is a 3rd grader moving up to Tuesday class or a new 3rd through 8th grader, please complete this survey.  We use Google Accounts quite often in our Tuesday and Wednesday classes, and each student needs to come up with a user name and 8 digit password.  

Common Core Testing Information

Here is how to get to the tests.

  • go to caaspp.org
  • click on “practice and training test” green tab
  • click on “student interface practice & training test”
  • keep the student info as guest and click on the “sign in” tab
  • select grade
  • select the type of test
  • you can look at the different designated supports - I will leave a list of designated support descriptions for a reference
  • please use this time to practice, look at test questions, different grade levels, designated supports, etc.


The practice tests are personalized because you can get the answers and sit together to see what's on it. You won't get a report of the practice test, so this is the way to know how it's going for your child, or for you, should you opt to try out the test yourself! 


Answers to tests


TA resources - hover over this tab-click on Resources-Practice & training tests

scroll down page to find grade and test. It gives the answers and/or rubrics used to grade questions. Use the 2014 answers.


The actual tests will be adapatable, meaning that they'll select the next question based on the answer to the current question, selecting either more basic or more advanced questions, adapting to the student.


Below you will find a list of links to the CaliforniaTac website for Smarter Balanced Testing.


 manuals and videos
There are times when the practice sites are down for maintenance.  If you are not able to log in the site will be unavailable for a short time.
CAASPP-California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress
TOMS - Test Online Management System (student demographic and staff information)
SBAC- Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium