Welcome Back TVA Families!

feedback-1825515_1920.jpg

Welcome Back TVA Families! I hope our students had a wonderful Spring Break and that your family was able to spend some quality time together. The school has once again been revived with all the smiling faces, chatter, and laughter. Even though I worked during the last two weeks, I was able to take little mini-breaks here and there. But, I did sure miss everyone. I am eager to hear a lot of stories about wonderful experiences from the last two weeks. 

I also want to take this opportunity to invite you to take our TVA Satisfaction Survey. By taking this survey, you are helping us serve you better. It should take about 5-10 minutes to tell us about your experience with our school. We value and appreciate you and want to ensure we meet your expectations. If your survey is submitted by Monday, April 9, 2018 by midnight, your name will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card.  We will also have copies of the Survey Verification Form for the raffle available at the front desk. Thank you for your valuable feedback that will help us advance Christian education, our school, and our students who are the leaders of the next generation. 

Thank You and God Bless!

Christina Orozco-Acosta


iBienvenidos Familias de TVA al regreso a la escuela! Espero que nuestros estudiantes tuvieron un break maravilloso de primavera y que pudieron pasar tiempo juntos como familia. La escuela se ha vuelto viva con sonrisas, charlas, y risa. Aunque, trabajé las dos semanas, pude tomar algunos mini-breaks. Pero, extrañe a todos. Estoy ahelando escuchar las historias acerca de las lindas experiencias.

También, quiero tomar esta oportunidad para invitarlos a tomar nuestra encuesta de TVA. Esto nos ayuda a servirlos mejor. Debe tomar acerca de 5-10 minutos para que nos cuente acerca de su experiencia con nuestra escuela. Valoramos y apreciamos a ustedes y queremos asegurar que estamos alcanzando sus expectativas. Si toman la encuesta para el 9 de abril del 2018, puede meter su nombre para la rifa de una tarjeta de Amazon por $100. Tendremos copias de la forma para la rifa en la oficina de la escuela. Gracias por su información que nos ayudará a avanzar la educación cristiana, nuestra escuela, y los estudiantes que serán los lideres de la próxima generación. 

Muchas gracias y que Dios les bendiga,

Christina Orozco-Acosta

You are Invited!

love-746678_1920.jpg

Parenting the Love and Logic Way for Early Childhood

Love and Logic offers a practical, positive and fun approach to maintain and grow happy families. There is no more difficult, detailed and time consuming job than raising children.

This class can be the manual you may need to learn how to: avoid power struggles, guide your children to solve their own problems, model and teach responsibility and respectful communication and raise your children without raising the roof.

In this particular seminar we will be focusing specifically on the early childhood years of toddler and preschool age children. A future seminar will be held focusing on older children.

Seminars will be held on Wednesdays, October 11, 18, 25, Nov 1, & 8 at 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. at Tualatin Valley Academy. Child care is provided.

Please pre-register at https://parentingearlychildhood.eventbrite.com.

Blessings,

Christina Orosco-Acosta

Principal

Communication is Key!

smartphone-2209224_1920.jpg

Each day at school has been a blessing. I am quickly learning new names and getting to know more students.

I see many amazing things happening at school every day. communication is an important focus for this year. I encourage you to ask questions if you would like clarification about anything.

We apologize for our issues with the voicemail this week. If you tried to contact us and have not yet heard back, please let us know. Our voicemail is now working.

I ask that you continue to pray for our school every day that He may guide us in our daily work.

God Bless,

Christina Orozco-Acosta

Off to a Great Start!

IMG_20170831_102519_509 (1).jpg

We have had a wonderful start to a new school year. I enjoyed meeting many families at our school picnic and parent orientation last Thursday.

If you were not able to make it to the orientation, please stop by the office to pick up a Parent Information Folder or send me an email at principal@tvja.org and we will make sure it goes home with your child.

I look forward to getting to know you and working with you this year in preparing our children for their future.

Many Blessings,
Christina Orozco-Acosta

Ending on a High Note

Tualatin Valley Academy is fun and exciting place to go to school and to teach!  I have immensely enjoyed the diversity of our student's and our school community.  Our student’s are privileged to attend a school where there is such a variety of cultures and backgrounds.  Did you know that approximately 53% of our students come from ethnic backgrounds other than white?  Nineteen different languages are spoken in the homes of our students.

Our spring music program in May highlighted this diversity with the celebration of music and traditional clothing from around the world.  It was a fun evening where we got to hear music in many languages and songs from different cultures.  All of our students from preschool through ninth grade were able to participate and celebrate the wonderful diversity of our world.

It really enhances our school culture when we can do things together in a positive and uplifting way.  Speaking of doing things together, our recent Walk-a-thon was a tremendous success with all of our students participating, walking or jogging laps.  Although we were nervous about the weather it turned out to be a great day to be outdoors and everything went well.  Our students with their sponsors raised over $16,000 dollars to be used to upgrade our Spynergy assembly room to improve and widen its scope of use.  A huge thank you to Angie Peterson for leading this effort and organizing the day.  We also appreciate and thank all the parents who came out and assisted in the day’s activities.

The school year is flying to a close with 9th grade already finished with Golf and Fencing classes and a visit to the Daimler research facility.  Grades seven and eight held a Modern Events Fair last week and we are now in the middle of swimming lessons for grades 1-6.  Another big thank you goes to all the teachers who plan and arrange all of these special activities while still providing outstanding classroom instruction.  It’s been a great year and we have been blessed to be here at TVA.

2017 Walk-A-Thon

Last Friday at Chapel,  our Home & School leader, Angie Peterson, announced the fundraising kick-off for this year’s Home & School Walk-A-Thon.  On April 28, all students will participate in a run/walk for laps around our track.  All students who raise $25 or more will be eligible for prizes!  Last year, we raised over $19,000 to help pay for our new parking lot.  I know all of you have appreciated the new surface and the clearly painted lines.  Some of our students actually raised over $1000 individually!

This year Home & School has chosen to raise money to remodel and improve our “Spynergy” assembly room.  The goal is to turn it into a professional presentation room where our students at all grade levels could use it to present their projects and research results. The goal for this year’s Walk-A-Thon is $30,000 for this  project.  That sounds like a lot but if every student raised at least $150, we would reach and exceed our goal.  Please assist your student in reaching out to friends, neighbors and family to get sponsors so that they can help us be successful.

All of us here at TVA, appreciate the continuing support of our community as we work together to improve our school.  If you would like to help on the day of the Walk-A-Thon, please call the school or contact Angie directly.

Meet Our New Principal, Christina Orozco-Acosta!

Christina Orozco-Acosta has been selected to be Tualatin Valley Academy's new principal beginning July 1, 2017. Read on to learn more about Ms. Orozco-Acosta!


Dear TVA Families, Students, and Staff,

It is an honor for me to have been selected as the principal. I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to take on this role and be a part of the TVA community and family. I am excited to see what God has in store for us at Tualatin Valley Academy. I know that He has big plans for our school. I look forward to meeting and getting to know each and every one of you. I ask that you keep me in your prayers so that I may serve God, the community, and families in the best way possible. May God continue to bless TVA and your family.

Blessings,

Christina Orozco-Acosta


Biography

Ms. Orozco has an impressive resume of teaching and leadership experience. She has worked in the Hillsboro School District for the last fifteen years teaching at three different schools and filling several district program positions successfully. Most recently she has worked as a Bilingual Programs Instructional Coach. Her experience includes the administration of summer school programs, coaching teachers, and participating in leadership team planning groups. Ms. Orozco holds a Master of Education degree from Portland State University.

As a product of Adventist education herself and as a parent of students who have attended our schools, Ms. Orozco brings a wealth of talent and experience as well as a depth of understanding with her to help broaden our school’s ability to reach every student. She shared a vision for TVA that includes collaborating with teachers and board to work toward two important goals: 1) that the school strive to represent our Seventh-day Adventist beliefs consistently with both our own students as well as those from the community who choose to attend TVA, and 2) that the school strive to ensure delivery of the highest quality education for its students. Both the staff and school board felt that the skillset she possesses is just what our school needs as we strive to grow our students as followers of Christ, improve the quality of our programs and course offerings, and increase our relevance in the community.


We are excited to welcome Christina Orozco-Acosta to our TVA family! 

We believe that she will be successful in leading our school as we continue to grow and work to provide the best in Christian education in our community. We ask for your continuing support and prayers for our school and administration as we move forward in educating our most precious family of students.

STEAM at TVA

Recently, during my walk-a-bouts in the classrooms of TVA, I found students working on a variety of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) projects. Here are a few pictures and a little info about two of them. 

In Mrs. Beck's Algebra I class, students are using pendulums to study standard deviation. They first took measurements using a "standard pendulum" and recorded its periodic movement. 

The second pendulum was designed by the students to be different from the standard pendulum in at least one way. Changing the length of the string, the length of the bob, or the amplitude (the angle of release). 

They will compare that data to the standard pendulum to determine which variable affects the period of a pendulum -- length, weight, or amplitude. Attached is a graph showing our original data (time for 5 periods of the pendulum). 

In Mr. Kahler's Seventh and Eighth Grade Science classes, students have been studying magnetism. During science lab this week our 7th and 8th grade students used Vernier Software's LabQuest 2 data loggers and magnetic field sensors to explore the strength of Earth's magnetic field, determine magnetic north, and calculate declination. the LabQuest 2 data loggers help students collect data and graph it in real-time. Current technology like Vernier's sensors and probes bring interest and excitement to our students as they conduct their scientific investigations. 

Movements in the Earth's liquid outer core produce a magnetic field that protects us from the harmful effects of the solar wind, allows us to navigate with a compass, and helps birds find their way during seasonal migration. True north is the geographic location at Earth's rotational axis. Because magnetic north moves (currently in northern Canada), we need to know the difference between the two when using a compass. The difference between magnetic north and geographic north is called declination.

This is the kind of quality teaching and student learning that is a regular and daily part of the experience that students have at TVA. Our teachers continue to create and provide outstanding learning experiences for our students. You will notice that up to date digital equipment as well as common items like strings and washers are used to explore important scientific and mathematical concepts. Guided by dedicated professional teachers, our students experience the best that education has to offer. 

7405 E. Main St.

Tualatin Valley Academy moved to its present location in the 1940’s.  At that time, the school was set in a very rural area surrounded by farms. Situated between the small towns of Beaverton and Hillsboro, the location was meant to serve the surrounding area and churches with a quiet location close to nature.

Seventy years of growth have completely changed our neighborhood and now we are in a very urban environment.  Hillsboro has grown until the city limits of Beaverton and Hillsboro meet east of us and we are now actually in Hillsboro.  

Recently, we received notification that our address is being changed.  We no longer will have a building number that is sequenced from downtown Portland.  Also the street name will change from Baseline Rd. to Main St.  Some of you will know that Baseline runs directly into Main St where it crosses Cornell Rd. in Hillsboro.  

As of February 15, 2017 are new address is:
7405 E. Main St., Hillsboro, OR 97123

I have already had one person, who having heard of our new address, asked me if the school had moved! No, we are not moving but it will be a mental shift to get used to our new address.  We have until February 15, 2018 to complete the change.  The Post Office will deliver mail to us with either address until that date.  We will begin changing our stationary and other uses of our address with the goal of having the changeover complete by July 1 of this year.   

We have been crowded a little by the urban growth around us.  However, we still have our wetland to the north of us with our bird blind and creek.  We are thankful for the physical plant we have and will continue in our current location for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your understanding of this change.  If you have any questions please contact me at my email address:   edt@tvja.org

Service Project Update

Last December our First and Second Grade students did chores for family and friends to earn money to purchase toys and fun bandaids to donate to Randall Children's Hospital. It was part of a STEAM-based project based learning assignment that both classes participated in. You can read the original article here

We wanted to give you an update on how the project went. Our students raised $520 to purchase toys and bandaids for kids who had to be in the hospital at Christmas! The students were proud that they earned the money themselves, and they were excited to have the toys delivered to the hospital. 

Teaching kids to serve others like Jesus served each of us is important. It's something we work hard to instill in our students, and we are so proud of our First and Second Graders for their servant's hearts!

The STEAM Work Continues!

TVA's 9th Grade STEAM class, Project Integration, is keeping our students busy learning about new technologies. 

Check out the compilation video below for their second quarter projects focusing on stop motion, animation and video experiments. All of the videos were entirely student created and produced. We are proud of our students!

Dreams Can Come True!

10th Grade is Back!

A dream we have pursued over the last four years was achieved this year with the return of ninth grade to Tualatin Valley Academy.

Our ninth grade students are enjoying a great year of excellent classes and exciting activities! They are enrolled in a full slate of ninth grade classes taught by fully qualified teachers. The class size allows teachers to give them individual attention and to take learning out into the real world often for things like a Marine Biology trip, a service day at the food bank and much more. 

Next year the fulfillment of the dream continues with the addition of tenth grade, a plan that is approved and supported by TVA's school board. Curriculum will include Bible, Biology, Global Studies, Geometry, and Sophomore English, all taught by certified and experienced teachers in our fully accredited program. Students will continue to be taught using Project Based Learning, a method that helps them understand how curriculum taught in the classroom intersects with real-world problems, which has been a core strength of the 9th grade program this year. 

As we continue to build our secondary program, we will need to continue to build enrollment in our upper grades. We invite your participation and support as we market our school to students who desire an excellent Christian education in our area. Please help us by putting us in touch with any students you know that would benefit from our program.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Evidence of High Quality Education

How Do Tualatin Valley Academy's Test Scores Rank When Compared Nationally?

Standardized testing may not be the perfect way to measure individual student success, but it allows us to do something very important. It allows us to benchmark ourselves against other schools across the nation to ensure that we are giving a high-quality education overall to our students. Tualatin Valley Academy has consistently scored above average in nationally standardized tests in past years, and this year was no exception! 

This year our test scores were 13 points above the national average. 

This result confirms that TVA continues to provide a high quality education for our students.

In September, our students in grades 3-9 took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS).  This is the one nationally standardized test we administer each year.  This test assesses Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.  Scores will of course vary from class to class and by individual students, but our school averages are outstanding.

If you're wondering how your student did specifically, individual student reports are available and your student’s teacher will provide them to you.  Teachers are able to discuss the details of your student’s report and how they are doing in each subject area tested.  Language Arts and Mathematics both have subtopic areas that show a little more detail.  Teachers can use these details to focus on areas where each student can improve.

Does Adventist Education Matter?

Test scores are all good and well, but some may ask, does Adventist Education really matter? Does it provide an education to my student that is truly higher in quality than what they would receive in public school or another private school? From 2006-2009 a research project called CognitiveGenesis studied how more than 50,000 students in more than 800 Adventist schools performed academically compared to students across the United States. The study had some compelling results. 

Adventist school students in the United States scored half a grade level higher than their predicted ability in all subjects.

Students who transferred into an Adventist school saw a significant improvement in their test scores. 

Also, the more years a student attended an Adventist school the more their average achievement increased compared to the national norm. 

Our ITBS results confirm this research and show that we have a high quality program here at TVA.

First Quarter Recap

We have now completed our first quarter of the 2016-2017 school year. The kids have been working hard and learning new things. Soccer season has come to an end, as many kids have improved and mastered their skills. Way to go Eagles! The quarter ended on a high note with a wonderful Week of Prayer. The kids were blessed by messages every day from Pastor Marco. On Friday, all the kids took part in serving each other in a special Agape Feast. What a blessing!

First and Second graders have been studying farming. With Fall pumpkin season well underway, it was the ideal time for a field trip to the Baggenstos Pumpkin Patch. Preschool and Kindergarten also visited other pumpkin patches with their classes. All the kids came back with pumpkins and smiles (and maybe a little mud too).

The Annual Fall Festival was a big event. Each class raised money for their classroom by running a booth with different, fun activities and games. A new and exciting addition was a mad scientist booth where the kids got to do science experiments. There were prizes and candy to be had by all.

Please continue to keep Tualatin Valley Academy in your prayers. Pray for the students, the teachers, the staff, and all the families involved. 

Be Kind!

Last spring, in my blog post titled "To Be . . .",  I shared with you the four core values that we work on every day here at TVA.  They are:

Be Kind
Be Respectful
Be Responsible
Be Safe

Today, I would like to share with you some thoughts on what it means to be kind.  Our commercial society puts a lot of emphasis on fulfilling our wants.  Millions of dollars are spent on advertising to convince us that we want or even need items that are for sale and popular in our culture.  Unfortunately, this leads us to focus on self and the result is a tendency towards selfishness which is already the natural bent of humanity. 

In Romans 12:9-10, Paul the apostle says, "Let love be without hypocrisy.  Abhor evil. Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;"  One of the basic acts of kindness is "giving preference to one another."  Whether we are getting in line for recess, or at the drinking fountain, or at any other time when we have to take turns, preferring one another is the kind thing to do.  Letting someone go first, allowing them to choose before us, or helping someone who needs an extra hand are all acts of kindness.  I like the idea of doing random acts of kindness for people who are not expecting it or may not even know us, but how much better would it be if we all consistently practiced kindness not just randomly but as a consistent part of our everyday approach to others? The value of "Be Kind" means that we are always looking for and finding ways to serve those around us.  It might be as easy as smiling and saying "Hi!" to people you meet.  It might be picking up things others have dropped or cleaning up a mess that no one knows who made it.  Being kind is showing love through serving others.

TVA has long emphasized the development of the "Fruits of The Spirit" as character traits we want to see in our students.  Kindness is the fifth fruit in the list of fruits of the Spirit outlined in Galatians 5:22.  We ask each one in our school community to personally commit to making kindness a daily value that we incorporate in our words and actions.  Be kind!

The Cell Tower That Funds Scholarships

Since last spring, we have had construction activity on our cell tower.  It's been hard not to notice it, especially when large cranes take up one end of the parking lot!  The last work they did this fall was to install a new antenna on the tower. This enables another phone company to send there signals through this location. This should be the end of major construction, at least for a while.  Maintenance crews do come by from time to time but usually it takes only a short time.

One of the questions I get from time to time, is "Why does TVA have a cell tower?"  Nearly twenty years ago, the school board approved a long term contract to lease a small plot of land on which the cell tower stands.  A right of way through our parking lot was included for access.  The money from the lease funds student scholarships at TVA and in fact is the only source that is entirely school based for scholarship funds.  We do have students who are awarded scholarships from local churches, the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and the North Pacific Union Conference of SDA.  All of these outside scholarships are not under school control.   Besides the payments for the lease, we also get paid an amount that is determined by the traffic on the tower.  Together these two forms of payment amount to about $25,000 per year.  For this year, all of this money has been awarded to students in the form of scholarships.  In fact, we have more requests than we can fully fund.  We would welcome other sources and contributions to our scholarship fund.

At times, a few parents express concern about the cell tower being on our campus and the radio frequencies used.  All the research that I have read indicates that any possible effects are very much less than we get on a daily bases from the sun's output of radiation. Additionally, any mass equal to or greater than a sheet of paper would block any high frequency radiation just like uv rays are blocked by a glass window.  You don't get sunburned through your house or car windows. 

Thank you for your patience during the times when work on the tower reduces our parking capacity!  I also appreciate those of you who have parked offsite during our major public events.  Your actions have reduced the congestion and parking limitations.

Providing students with a high quality Christian education is very important to us. There are many more students who would like to be here but have financial needs. If you have a heart for Christian education, we would welcome any contributions to our student scholarship fund. 

Communication and Community

As Tualatin Valley Academy continues to grow, we are committed to enhancing our profile in the community. This year we have chosen as our administrative theme "Communication and Community." Our goal is to communicate clearly to our community about our school including our mission, our curriculum, our quality and our Christian environment.

Our initial school community planning workshop will be held on September 18, 2016 here at TVA from 9AM to 4PM. The title of our workshop is "Marketing as Ministry" and is open to all persons in our community that are willing to work or support the school. 

Some of the topics to be covered are Christian Education Matters, Working Together For Changed Lives, Understanding Our Environment, The Matters of Marketing, and Outcomes Matter. The presenter for this workshop is Teresa Kelchner of Christian Education Matters, LLC. She is an experienced marketing consultant and currently serves over 130 Christian schools. 

We invite parents and friends of TVA to this workshop so that together we can build our school's reputation and program into the future. If you are able to come, please contact me (edt@tvja.org) so that we can provide materials and lunch for you. If you know someone who is a supporter of TVA but not a current parent, please pass this information along to them as well. Some of our past parents and alumni are still strong supporters of our school and we would welcome their input as well.

Thank you, 

Ed Tillotson
Principal, Tualatin Valley Academy

A New Beginning

After a very busy and productive summer, we are excited for the beginning of a new school year! A brand new 50 year roof protects our school from windy and rainy weather.  Our front parking lot has been completely repaved with new curbs and striping.  A big thank you goes to our Home & School organization and all the students, parents, & friends who supported our Walk-a-thons the last two years! Their efforts have resulted in a parking lot that is safer and of which we can all be proud. 

Our teachers have been working to prepare their classrooms and are very excited to welcome students back for a new school year!  Our enrollment is strong with over two hundred students enrolled. We have two third grade classrooms this year and our ninth grade begins with eight students enrolled. 

We are very thankful for all the blessings and success we have enjoyed over the past year.  With faith and hope in God's continued blessing, we welcome our students and parents to a new school year!

STEAMing Ahead!

20160315-0007.jpg

During the last week of June, twelve TVA teachers and three of our pastors traveled to Loma Linda University to participate in an EXSEED conference. EXSEED (Excellence in STEM Experiential Education) "is an innovative and collaborative program designed to enhance integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in Adventist K-12 schools."

We spent the week in classes and workshops led by experts in science, technology and mathematics. Topics included Human Anatomy, 3D Printing, "Wacky Science", Advances in Cancer Research, Geology and Enrichment Topics for Mathematics. Visits to a medical simulation lab and a workshop with live venomous snakes kept the excitement high! We also completed assignments in groups of 3 or 4 that included recording video and editing it with sound and titles into a short 3 minute film that was shared with the whole group.

Our TVA teachers are excited about increasing our use of STEM activities in our classrooms. We already do many projects that are STEM in nature. From making catapults in Preschool to our Working Models class in grades 7&8 we already have many STEM components being taught. 

Our teachers want to include Art in their projects, which turns STEM into STEAM! This was a key part of one of the projects done in grades 5&6 last year where each student studied an animal and created a clay representation of it as part of their presentation.

Our ninth grade students will experience a problem based learning class this next year that will immerse them in the application of STEAM learning. We are excited about the future of increased STEAM learning at TVA and are committed to making it an important part of our curriculum. 

Changes

Our school year is drawing to a close and our students are enjoying end of the year activities such as swimming, Field Day on Friday, June 3, and of course graduation.  Students will move up a grade, our eighth graders will graduate and go on to ninth grade and become high school students. We are proud of their growth and progress and wish all our students every success!

We learned this week that our music teacher, Ashlee Dollar Ferriera, will not be returning next year so that she can stay home with her new daughter, Sage.  We will miss her but we understand the desire to care for and be present with her daughter.  We have begun the process of looking for a new music teacher.

Our Walk-A-Thon brought in over $18,000! With some other donations we have achieved our match for an additional $19,000. We are now in the process of scheduling a contractor to do the repaving work on the parking lot! We hope to get it all done before school starts in the fall.  We are very thankful for all of the work and contributions that went into this effort led by our Home & School!

A second project we hope to complete this summer is the reroofing of our elementary building.  We are in the process of obtaining quotes for this work and getting it scheduled as well.

Change can be challenging but it can also be fun and rewarding.  We live in a world where growth and change are a daily part of our lives.  We rely on our friends and family when change is painful and we rejoice with them when change is the result of achieving our goals.  Let us celebrate with our students as they complete this year and move on to the next goal, the next grade in their education!

Tualatin Valley Academy exists because we want our students to achieve the final goal of living eternally with God.  The Apostle Paul tells us that “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.”  That will be the ultimate change!  It will not be painful but instead will be joyful and exciting!  A new life in a world made new – that is the change we seek for all of our students!