Thank you, Parents!

posted Apr 25, 2017, 10:35 AM by Jonathan Stewart



Study Trips: UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Lake Tahoe

On behalf of Tahoma's students, we extend a hearty thanks to the families who made our study trips possible.  You completed a TB assessment and security clearance, you drove, you stayed in hotel rooms, you made donations, and you inspired our students to think of the world around them and their futures.  These trips, which are so important to our college readiness mission, could not have happened without you.  We'll need to gather parent drivers again for our camping trip August 17-18.  This is an especially enjoyable trip for parents.  We hope you'll join us!  If you need to get processed as a parent driver, please email Ms. Lupe.

This Friday we celebrate "National College Signing Day".  Our seniors will announce the colleges they intend to attend, and our 9th-11th graders will gather to applaud their accomplishments.  We're so proud of them!

Next Monday students begin AP exams (Advanced Placement) with AP Environmental Science.   These exams provide our students with college level academic rigor and the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school.  We require all 11th and 12th graders to take AP exams.  Our 11th grade students will also take California's state tests in English and math (CAASPP/SBAC).  The SBAC is an important marker of student progress and our school's success, and passing the SBAC allows students to test out of remedial courses their first year in college.  We encourage families to ensure students sleep well the night before their tests and eat a healthy breakfast.   Our testing schedule is on our Google calendar.

Progress Reports & Upcoming Events

posted Mar 27, 2017, 4:31 PM by Jonathan Stewart


Electric House Project: Physics students design, model, and evaluate home electrical systems

It's essential that students complete their projects with passing scores and content assessments before the end of the school year in order to be promoted to the next grade.  We will not offer Summer of Summit as we have in past years.  Here are a few of the steps we're taking to support students with completing their coursework:
     -Before-school PLT daily; After-School Office Hours and PLT Mondays-Thursdays (see Office Hours schedule)
     -Requiring some students to attend Office Hours as an extension of the school day, or attend "Core Time" during our Expeditions weeks
     -Mailing home progress reports this Wednesday, March 29
     -Promotion Conferences for some students in early May

The next several weeks will be full of activities at Tahoma!
-College Case Study Night: Learn what colleges look for by simulating an admissions committee
-Expeditions Celebration of Learning: An open house with work displays and performances
-Facilities Work Day: Help beautify our campus while meeting other families
-New Family Welcome: Welcome the Tahoma Class of 2021 with tacos
-College Study Trips: Drivers still needed.  Please volunteer!

Help Us Travel

posted Mar 20, 2017, 10:27 AM by Jonathan Stewart


Office Hours: Students get help from tutors, teachers, and their peers after school

During the week of April 10 our students will go on their college study trips to places like UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly, and Loyola Marymount University.  These trips are an amazing opportunity for students to envision their college possibilities.  We rely on parent drivers to make these trips possible.  Please consider joining our trip.  Right now we have about half the number of volunteer drivers that we need.   The Tahoma Driver Requirements document describes what you need to complete before the trip.   This document is also posted on our website at  We recommend completing these driver requirements by Friday, March 31.

Last week our teachers and tutors expanded their weekly after-school Office Hours schedule.  "Office Hours" are where teachers open their classrooms to provide students with help in specific subjects, like Physics.  We are continuing to offer "PLT" (Personalized Learning Time) before school every day which is like study hall - a classroom dedicated for student work time.  As we begin the final quarter of the school year, it's important that students are passing all of their courses in order to pass to the next grade. 

Enrollment Lottery

posted Feb 27, 2017, 2:35 PM by Jonathan Stewart

College Study Trips, Week of April 10Become a volunteer driver for these inspiring trips.  Above: last year's 11th grade trip to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles.

Dear Families,

More than 50 new students have already registered for the 2017-18 school year!  Our next enrollment lottery is next Friday, March 3.  Encourage interested families to complete their application at

Since we opened six years ago, we've known that many families come to Tahoma because you heard about us from a trusted friend, family member, or teacher.  We're asking for your help in recruiting students and publicizing Tahoma's successes.  Every additional student that chooses Tahoma is another young member of our community that has access to a high quality school, a mentor, and a college education.  Every additional student also increases our school funding.

Please spread the news about Tahoma on websites where you're active.  Share your positive experiences on Nextdoor and leave a positive review on GreatSchools.  Here's an example for a local private school.  Sharing your thoughts on social media websites like Facebook is also valuable.  Also, please fill out this recruitment survey if you haven't already. 

Thank you for helping to make Tahoma an exceptional school!

Special Events

posted Feb 6, 2017, 11:47 AM by Jonathan Stewart   [ updated Feb 6, 2017, 11:48 AM ]

A Life's Lesson: Holocaust survivor Anne Marie brought light and laughter to the Holocaust Studies Expeditions class

The next several months include a series of events to celebrate our students' learning and bring our school community together.

Multicultural Potluck & State of the School
Thursday, March 26:00-7:45 PM
We invite parents to bring and share multicultural foods from our diverse cultures and hear highlights from our school year by Mr. Kim.  We also invite parents to join our monthly PIVOT (Parents in Volunteer Organizing Teams) meeting to provide input on our annual report to the state.

Expeditions Celebration of Learning
Thursday, April 66:30-8:30 PM
Visit classrooms to see all that our students have learned and created during their yearlong Expeditions courses.  We'll also invite families of prospective students to visit.

Facilities Work Day & New Family Welcome
Saturday, April 8, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Lend a helping hand in the morning as we beautify our school for spring, then welcome and meet new families over lunch.

College Study Trips
During the week of April 10
Each grade level will visit colleges in a different region of our state.  We depend on parent drivers to make these trips happen.

Junior/Senior Prom
Saturday, May 27
The Villages

Wednesday, June 7, 1:00 PM
California Theater

The spirit of community is what makes Tahoma special.  We look forward to coming together during these events.

Google Calendar - Our most comprehensive and up-to-date calendar
Annual Calendar - School days and holidays
Events Calendar - Updated quarterly

Strength in Numbers

posted Jan 30, 2017, 12:11 PM by Jonathan Stewart   [ updated Jan 30, 2017, 12:11 PM ]


Expeditions resumes January 23-February 3A tapestry of line drawings from Art class

Our lottery to accept new transfer students and the Class of 2021 happens in less than a  month.  This is always an exciting time of year as we start meeting the new members of our school community!  

Since we opened six years ago, we've known that many families come to Tahoma because you heard about us from a trusted friend, family member, or teacher.  Our recent parent survey indicates that 93% of you would recommend Tahoma to your friends and family.  

We're asking for your help in recruiting students for our future.  Every additional student that chooses Tahoma is another young member of our community that has access to a high quality school, a mentor, and a college education.  Every additional student also increases our school funding.  This additional funding helps us to increase access to tutoring and counseling and to expand our educational programs and experiences.

We're asking each family to take a few minutes to fill out this recruitment survey  that will help us connect with prospective students.  Please consider any families you could refer, any organizations you're part of, and any upcoming community events where we could spread the good word about Tahoma.

We are excited to see how our new students and resources will strengthen our school community!

Parent Survey Results

posted Jan 9, 2017, 12:31 PM by Jonathan Stewart   [ updated Jan 9, 2017, 12:31 PM ]

As we reflect on first semester of the school year, we wanted to share with you our results from our 2016-17 Fall Parent Survey. Thank you to the 50% of parents who offered their feedback by completing our parent survey. We hope everyone will participate in our next survey in the spring, because the feedback we receive from our families as well as students and faculty help guide our plans and improvements for our school and community. 

A few highlights from the survey include:
     -Providing our students and families a positive community and culture is a top priority for us , so we are excited that 93% of parents think that our culture is positive and supportive, 95% feel welcomed, and 92% trust our school.
     -We believe that parents are critical partners in supporting our students, so we are excited that 96% feel the same, and at least 92% of parents know and reinforce our academic and behavioral expectations.
     -Improving parent communication and support have been key goals of ours based on feedback from families, so we are excited that 90% of parents feel adequately communicated with and 88% are satisfied with the level of support from our school & faculty to help you support your student.
     -Among all aspects of our school, you identified our mentoring program, focus on Habits of Success, and small student body as the top three aspects of our school that continue to keep you with our school.

While we are excited that 80% of families know how to interact with the PLP, we know we can better support parent usage of the PLP. There’s also a desire for us to create more ways for parents to connect with each other. We will be working on improving these areas next semester. 

You can view the full results of Tahoma's parent survey here. As always, if you have any additional feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out. 


Mientras reflexionamos sobre el primer semestre de nuestro año escolar, queremos compartir con ustedes los resultados de nuestra Encuesta para padres de otoño 2016-2017. Agradecemos al 50% de los padres que ofrecieron sus comentarios al completar nuestra encuesta. Esperamos que todos participen en nuestra próxima encuesta en la primavera, ya que los comentarios que nos proporcionan las familias, los estudiantes y los maestros nos ayudan a guiar nuestros planes y mejoras para nuestra escuela y comunidad.

Algunos aspectos destacados de nuestra encuesta incluyen:
     -Proporcionar a nuestros estudiantes y familias una comunidad y cultura positiva es nuestra prioridad, por lo que nos emociona que el 93 % de los padres piensan que nuestra cultura es positive y de apoyo, el 95 % se siente bienvenido y el 92 % confía en nuestra escuela.
     -Nosotros creemos que los padres son piezas fundamentales en el apoyo de nuestros estudiantes, por lo que estamos emocionados que el 96 % se sienta igual, y que al menos el 92 % de los padres conocen y refuerzan nuestras expectativas académicas y de comportamiento.
     -El mejoramiento de la comunicación y apoyo hacia los padres han sido nuestros objetivos clave con base en los comentarios de las familias, por lo que nos contenta que el 90 % de los padres se sientan comunicados adecuadamente y el 88 % esté satisfecho con el nivel de apoyo de nuestra escuela y facultad para ayudarles a apoyar a los estudiantes.
     -Entre todos los aspectos de nuestra escuela, ustedes identificaron nuestro programa de mentores, enfoque en los Hábitos del éxito y nuestro pequeño cuerpo estudiantil como los tres aspectos más importantes de nuestra escuela que los hacen seguir a nuestro lado.
     -Reconocemos que tenemos una oportunidad para mejorar el apoyo hacia los padres en el uso del PLP. El 20 % de nuestras familias no conocen cómo usarlo. En nosotros existe el deseo de crear más vías para que los padres se conecten entre sí. Estaremos trabajando para mejorar esta área el próximo semestre.
Ustedes pueden ver todos los resultados de la encuesta para padres de Tahoma aquí. Como siempre, si ustedes tienen algún comentario adicional, no duden en contactarnos.

Happy Holidays!

posted Dec 16, 2016, 5:01 PM by Jonathan Stewart   [ updated Dec 16, 2016, 5:01 PM ]

Award Winners: 9th Grade teachers congratulate student award winners for each course

Dear Families,

Today we celebrated the growth, accomplishments, and leadership of our students at our awards assembly.  We recognized outstanding work in each course along with students who exemplify our core characteristics.  We're proud of all of our students accomplishments this semester!

While vacation is a time for fun, family, and rest, it's also an important time for students to continue making progress with their Personalized Learning Plan - completing projects, revising projects for which teachers have given feedback, or working through playlists in order to take content assessments when school resumes January 4.

In the spirit of the holidays, we wish you light, peace, and joy!

U.S. Secretary of Education Visits Tahoma

posted Dec 5, 2016, 4:35 PM by Jonathan Stewart   [ updated Dec 5, 2016, 4:35 PM ]


Tahoma was honored to welcome the Secretary of Education last Thursday!  The visit is a tribute to the success of Summit Tahoma and the hard work of its students and faculty, and of the support from families.  After his visit he tweeted"Exciting work on personalized & project-based learning."  He also told us that the student culture at Tahoma is special - a place where students reach for their full potential.

In other great news, the Class of 2017 is on its way to college!  Ten seniors have already been accepted!  In January Tahoma will send midyear grade reports to colleges requesting them for our seniors.  This requires seniors to work hard over the next two weeks up to the end of our term on Friday, December 16.  Seniors want to make sure they are passing all classes, with no incomplete grades.

At the end of this week we will also mail home midyear grade reports for 9th-11th graders.  This should encourage our 9th and 11th graders to also work their hardest leading up to the last day of school on December 16 before winter vacation.  We encourage parents to log in and review your student's coursework for the year.  Click here for a guide to the PLP.

Our students have learned a lot this fall term - it's time to finish strong!

Investigating Real-world Problems

posted Nov 14, 2016, 2:48 PM by Jonathan Stewart   [ updated Nov 14, 2016, 2:48 PM ]


Investigating social media and teens: crafting an argument and integrating evidence in Journalism class

We just completed our second round of Expeditions.  As with regular courses, Expeditions courses challenge students to apply cognitive skills to real-world projects.  In Journalism class, students explore questions like "What is the role of media in a democracy?" and "Where can I find untold stories?".  The projects help students learn skills for the 21st century - leading them to promising careers and to fulfill their responsibility as contributors to society.

In their most recent Journalism project, Alex and Nataly investigated how social media affects teens.  They read online research including a report from researchers at UCLA, and they surveyed other students.  “A lot of teens use social media,” they said.  “Some feel like it’s an escape.  Other kids feel that it’s something that can mess up their day.”  Journalistic writing is much different than writing for English class, they said.  “It has to be short and to the point.”  They also said this class helped them to more objectively watch media coverage of the recent presidential campaign.  

On another note, as Thanksgiving approaches we want to express our gratitude to our entire school community - for helping to prepare a diverse group of learners for college, for helping to uplift our community, and for your collaboration in making our school community a vibrant place.  We wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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