Elite's Latest Adventures: Take a Look!

This past month, Elite students went to four in-person events with Adventure Lead Tom Olson. You can learn more about him here.

If you didn’t get to enjoy some of these events,  here’s a recap of how they went. If you did attend, see if you can spot yourself in any of these photos!

Don’t worry, we have A LOT of fun adventure field trips planned for this school year! Our next trips will be November 17th and 18th and will include one more hike and a trip to the Pali Institute. If you’re interested in attending, you can register through the calendar event on ParentSquare or ask your Elite Teacher!

Oceanside Harbor Beach Day

One of our student’s favorite aspects of Elite is the flexibility in their learning. So, if we wanted to declare, say, September 23 a beach day, we can! Over a dozen Elite families and several staff members gathered in Oceanside for an afternoon of sunshine and fun times!

Our group convened under a big gazebo, looking over flyers for future events that are happening this fall – we would love to see you at one or all of those outings! Families got to know one another face to face–many for the first time. Students from all three academies were present, from high schoolers to toddlers. We enjoyed some beach volleyball matches and yard games.

Beach Day Photos

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California Surf Museum

While the surf was small at the beach, the learning was barreling in at the California Surf Museum! Four Elite families met Mr. Olson at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside to explore the collection of boards that are on display. This museum has a fantastic exhibit on wave energy, as well as an impressive display of boards that explain the progression of innovations that shaped the sport into modern surfing. This docent-led tour gave our students an in-depth look at wave forecasting and material sciences, and also explained how California has been the epicenter for improvements to surfboard design. Many of the boards on display are one-of-a-kind! Students even got to hold a tiger shark jaw; the same kind of shark that attacked Bethany Hamilton in 2003 (remember the film Soul Surfer?). Her half-bitten surfboard and bathing suit are also on display at the museum. Interested in learning more? Consider enrolling in Introduction to Surfing next semester!

California Surf Museum Photos

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Blue Sky Ecological Reserve

Elite families spent a beautiful Saturday morning exploring the trails of Blue Sky Ecological Reserve with Mr. Olson and Mrs. Marcon. A thunderstorm passed through the night before, refreshing the soil and bringing a burst of life to the forest for our hike.

Students spotted an Acorn Woodpecker in the live oak, a California Sister butterfly in a bush, and identified over 10 different native plants! This easy hike was enjoyed by over 15 family members and staff – a great opportunity for everyone to connect and enjoy nature together.

Blue Sky Ecological Reserve Photos

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Mount Woodson – Potato Chip Rock 

Elite staff and families made the trek up Mount Woodson last Saturday to catch the sunset and get a photo from the infamous Potato-chip Rock.

The hike began on the east side of the mountain as the group explored different pine trees, mountain mahogany, manzanita and Mojave yucca. A thick marine layer began moving in as the hikers made their way to the summit, cloaking the foothills in fog. The group kept climbing and was elated to behold a sea of clouds below the summit, creating an illusion as if they had climbed a mighty mountain in the Sierras.

Proof of the adventure was captured as our students and staff got their pictures taken atop Potato-chip Rock during the golden hour – a memorable and beautiful way to say adios to Señor Sol.

Mount Woodson Hike Photos

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The History of Firework Shows, and a Few Tips for a Great Fourth of July at Home

Happy birthday to America, turning 245 this 2021!

With shows and parades coming back this year, hopefully the Fourth of July feels celebratory for you! But we know this year's celebration is still going to look a little different this year for many Americans, so to help you get ready, we've put together some great tips to make the most out of this year's Independence Day.

How the firework shows came to be

We know, you're on summer break! But still, here's a quick history lesson in case you've ever wondered why we have a fireworks display each Fourth of July Holiday.

There’s a famous song in America that goes something like “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” Recognize it? Of course you do, but what you may not know is that the phrase comes from the Battle of Fort McHenry (also known as the Battle of Baltimore) where our traditional celebration with fireworks came to be.

In the fall of 1814, the War of 1812 was still at large. An attorney known as Francis Scott Key boarded a British ship attempting to negotiate the release of an American prisoner of war. During that time, Key discovered Britain’s plan to attack Fort McHenry and was thus promptly held detained by the British.

That night, Key was the witness of a major battle. As he watched the night sky light up, he could see the American flag in the distance. That symbol not only encouraged him to hold on to hope, but inspired him to write a poem that we now know as the “Star Spangled Banner.”

As a tribute to Francis Scott Key, America now celebrates Independence Day every Fourth of July by lighting the sky with fireworks.

Although Key is our greatest attribution to the fireworks show, the idea of fireworks started all the way back on July 4, 1776 when our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring America to be its own country independent from Britain. Thereafter, John Adams stated that this day should be long remembered and celebrated with parades, games and “illuminations,” otherwise known as fireworks.

Some tips for having a great Fourth of July at home

Maybe you're going to a show this year, and that's awesome! But if you're still staying at home, here are a few ways to make it fun. These are great weekend ideas too, by the way, even if you're planning on heading out somewhere!

Tip #1: Bake some patriotic goods, or have a good ole' fashioned bbq

Whether you head out to parades and shows, or you're at home this Fourth of July, you can get in the spirit with some baked goods! Here's a few patriotic recipe ideas:

  • Bake a pie and decorate it with stars, like this one, maybe?
  • Make an American flag cake. Seriously, it's as simple as adding some strawberries and blueberries. Check it out!
  • Of course, there's always grilling some traditional bbq, so long as it reminds you of childhood favorites and America! If you need inspiration, here are some ideas.

Tip #2 And some simple Watermelon Juice to go along with it!

Watermelon as a drink? Yes! It's delicious and simple. Watermelon is a reminder great times in the summer. This time around, try turning your favorite side dish into your favorite drink.

For easy instructions, check out this recipe.

Tip #3 Memorize at least one amendment in the Bill of Rights

Speaking of Independence Day, why not celebrate your freedoms by learning more about them? The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States are known as the Bill of Rights, which lists out each freedom you are guaranteed as an American citizen.

Without the events that took place in 1776, there would be no Bill of Rights. So make sure you know at least one of them and memorize it this Fourth of July. Then you can cite it to your friends like a pro.

Tip #4 Drive somewhere nearby and soak up some local history

You might be thinking there isn't much "Fourth of July" history in California. And yes, while we may not be near Revolutionary War historical sites, but there absolutely is some history in Southern California to appreciate. Here are a couple places in California that likely aren't too far from you:

  • Grab your bikes or hop in the car and take a scenic route along the coast. Enjoy a beautiful, quiet scenery in the great outdoors.
  • Take an adventure to a state/national park, like Joshua Tree, Crystal Cove or Palomar Mountain State ParkAs Theodore Roosevelt said, "Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders."
  • Head out to Old Town San Diego or the Old Mission in Santa Barbara. Take a moment and remember the history that lives around you, both the good and the bad. It'll help you find respect for the place you live in, while seeing where you can help make progress.

Tip #5  Above all, spend the day with someone you care about

Of course, the best part of any holiday is that you can surround yourself with people you love. Maybe you can't all physically be together this year, that doesn't mean you shouldn't connect through Zoom or FaceTime. And whoever can physically be there will be such a gift!  Whether it's a significant other or family and friends, be sure to spend your Independence with people you care about.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!


Get to Know our Homeschool Academy Graduates!

It’s always a great accomplishment when a student graduates high school.

But, we think it’s probably fair to give a little extra credit to the graduates of 2021! These students made it successfully through the 2020-21 school year, and that was no easy feat. Despite everything that happened this past year, these student kept diligently pursuing their diplomas and made it!

So, here’s a virtual high five being sent your way, to not just our students, but all the 2021 high school graduates out there.

About the Elite Class of 2021

We had an awesome graduation ceremony with almost all our seniors in attendance! Here’s a little more about them.

From Oliver’s Parents:

“I know it sounds cliche to say we are proud of you, so we won’t. We are impressed with how you’ve grown up in this crazy family with seven siblings and still managed to take the initiative and complete your high school education independently. You have now joined the family business and you are working harder than we could ever have imagined. We are stunned everyday with how dedicated and conscientious you are in every aspect of your life. So here’s to you, we couldn’t be more proud!!”

From Katherine’s Parents:

“Katherine…This past year has been filled with challenges. With so many uncertainties and lack of answers with respect to college testing, college applications, NCAA eligibility, college recruitment, and the emotional highs and lows that went with this journey, you did an amazing job on navigating such uncharted circumstances. You’ve never waiver from your commitment to your studies nor to your tennis training and development. The results can speak for itself and a 4-year ride to APU clearly speaks volume.”

From Tawny’s Parents:

“You came into our life unexpected, a surprise to all of us. What an adventure you have brought us, the laughter, the tears and the love. We wish you all the success we know you will have because you are blessed and to us, a blessing. We are forever grateful for that surprise we call TNT. Love you to infinity and beyond, Mom and Dad.”

Tawny’s Future Plans:

“I hope to be an author one day. Eventually, I will look into real estate school so I can support myself as a realtor while pursuing my goal of being an author.”

From Rayshawn’s Parents:

“Rayshawn, we are so proud of you and knew you were destined to be great. Life has a way of molding your every move, and the greatest reward is not always how you start but how you finish. It has been exciting to see how you have evolved from beating pots and pans, to becoming a great percussionist. All the creative noise you made from sunup to sundown perfecting your gift was well worth it. Rayshawn, never be silent, continue to make noise and the world will appreciate your awesome gift. Your chapter in life is just beginning. Enjoy it and use every day to be great. With much love and admiration, Mom and Dad”

From Jaron’s Parents:

“Jaron is our sunshine. He radiates enthusiasm and zeal for life. He shows passion for all his interests and activities and draws everyone in with his optimistic ‘good vibes.’ Jaron has excelled both academically as well as in performing arts, studio arts and film studies. He has become a young man who confidently tackles challenges and achieves his goals. Jaron always looks for opportunities to serve, and he is an amazing example to his siblings. We are proud and blessed to be his family. -Mom, Dad, Ariel, Larissa, Alina, and Ian”

From Graham’s Parents:

“Well done, Graham! This is an achievement to savor. You learned a lot about yourself. You learned a lot about the world around you. We all feel really good about how we were able to work together and be supportive. And most of all, you did the work and you kept at it. Having done all this, we all know – with conviction – that you will be successful going forward. Congratulations!”

 

From Garret’s Parents:

“Congratulations Garret on this momentous occasion! It has been a blessing to see you learn and grow throughout the years. We are so proud of you for all your hard work. We look forward to the next chapter in your life to see what God has in store for you. We know that whatever you do, you will be successful as you follow the Lord’s leading in your life.”

Garret’s Future Plans:

“In the fall, I will be taking classes at Palomar College to work towards obtaining a business administration degree with an emphasis in legal studies. I will also be working part-time as a legal assistant at my father’s law office.”

From Alex’s Parents:

“Alex, since you were born, you have been the gift that our family never knew we needed. Growing along with you as you have gone from baby to child to man has been a learning experience that we will treasure always. Your challenges have been many, but your triumphs have been more. We are confident that you have so much more to show the world in the future.”

Alex’s Future Plans:

Alex worked hard to complete his studies and graduate early. He is currently attending Palomar college as a full-time student and getting his pre-requisites done. He plans on studying computer science.

 

From Evy’s Parents:

“Dear Evy, we could not be more proud of you! You have always been a ray of sunshine, the kid everyone wants for a best friend, the Pied Piper of children. Now you have completed this awesome milestone. All your grueling work has paid off. We always knew you could accomplish whatever you set your mind to. You will be fantastic at UCLA and we will always be here for you. We love you very much! Mom and Dad”
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From Ashlynn’s Parents:

“Ashlynn, you have always been a joy and blessing in our lives. We are so proud of the accomplishments you have achieved and the beautiful woman you have become. You have been a great blessing to our family and have taught us kindness, patience, and most importantly love. Thank you for your beautiful smile and quick wit that brings joy and laughter to our days. We wish you the best in life and will always be there to support and love you. We are grateful to have you as our daughter and sister! Lots of love, Mom, Dad, Heather”

For more information about Elite Academic Academy, head here.


Student News: Virtual Student Ethan Earns a Football Scholarship to Santa Margarita High

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This past week, we had the opportunity to talk with the smart and incredibly talented Elite student Ethan Thomas, an 8th Grader in our Virtual Academy. He plays football and is an athlete at Platinum Athletics.

While Ethan was working out at Platinum, he heard from his coaches that Elite Academic Academy was an awesome school and they had many Platinum student athletes enrolled. Him and his mother, Alicia, decided to trust their coaches, and it paid off!

“I’ve been liking Elite and I feel like I’m learning a lot more than other charter schools that I’ve been to.”

Ethan enrolled in the Virtual Academy and Ms. Nicole Lively, now our school counselor, became his teacher.

Ethan is such a phenomenal kid and I’ve seen extraordinary growth from him this year,” said Ms. Lively. “Ethan, we are SO proud of how hard you have worked over the last year.

He has worked so hard that he was recently offered a full ride scholarship to Santa Margarita High School for the 2021/22 school year. He has found success in Academics at Elite and has been doing so great on the football field, that the school could not pass up this opportunity to snag him!

For Ethan, this scholarship is just the first step to a bigger dream of playing college football, getting his degree and making it to the NFL.

“When Santa Margarita came to my football game, they told me about their school but I didn’t have any way of getting there. It is pretty far from where I live. But when they offered me a scholarship and scheduled transportation, it really set the tone for me to go there,” said Ethan. “Also, it’s a really good school for my education and has a lot of unique courses and clubs that I could join too, and that’ll look good on my resume for colleges.

Ethan’s main goals in life are to work hard, get an excellent education and one day make it to the NFL.

“That’s one of my main goals right now is to just make it to college and play football in college, and have other opportunities to do a lot of good things,” said Ethan.

Out-Working the Others

One of Ethan’s mantras is to “Work hard when nobody else is willing to work and out-work everybody.”

And we see him live that motto so often at Elite.

Not only is Ethan a talented football player with the drive to make it, he’s also a very smart student.

He does well in school, and his Ms. Lively says he’s always there whenever there is a tutoring or extracurricular session available, especially in science–his favorite subject.

“I want to go to school so I can be an engineer and have a good fallback plan and be educated. I don’t spend all my money even if I do make it to the NFL.” said Ethan.

Ethan told us he is looking forward to being in high school and starting a new chapter in life.

“I’m most excited about the high school experience and and just having fun playing.  I will go to high school more serious and mature because I know how tough things could get because I’ve seen it before,” said Ethan. “I just want to do my best and I’m looking forward to playing a lot of football games and hopefully getting D1 offers to colleges throughout my freshman to senior years. I’m looking forward to a lot of extracurricular activities and all the clubs they provide like the robotics team.”

We are so proud of Ethan! We’ll leave you all with a small message from his Teacher of Record, Ms. Lively:

“It has been a privilege to be your teacher, Ethan – you are such a kind, dedicated, honest and funny young man. Alicia (his mother), you have done an amazing job raising such a wonderful son!”

We can’t wait to see Ethan’s academic and athletic career grow, and wish him the best at Santa Margarita High in the 2021/22 School Year!

To learn more about Elite Athletic Academy, head here


Elite's LIFE Course is Paying Off For Tiana Avetisian

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High School is never an easy road to navigate, there are always going to be a couple of ups and downs. Fortunately for our students, we have Social-Emotional Courses through Ambassadors of Compassion (AOC) . These courses present an opportunity to mature in many different ways and positively impact their overall academic experience. One of these courses is our LIFE course! Labor, Influence, Forgiveness, Experiences (LIFE) is a course that helps students look within, and learn the importance of work to accomplish things that matter to them. You can learn more about it in this recent blog post.

Tiana, one of our High School Flex Academy Students, was brave enough to be one of the first students to enroll in this course this semester. She worked hard, changed her perspectives on her classes and completely turned her grades around! She's even got some A's currently despite English being her second language. Her LIFE Course Teacher, Mrs. Makkai, is particularly proud of her for coming out of her shell this semester and taking her life into her own hands.

From Tiana's LIFE course teacher, Mrs. Karen Makkai:

"Tiana really follows her schedule well - She is doing really well in the LIFE course and has been the perfect student to Pilot the course with as she is not afraid to ask questions. Tiana has become a very conscientious student, is now passing and even has some A's in her courses". 

Tiana has put in the work, and it's paying off with good grades and some new friends. When we asked her what the secret was to her success, Tiana felt that it was as simple as always asking questions and getting involved in school events.

We talked to Tiana about her recent accomplishments, and here's what we learned about her.

"I really like my LIFE course teacher because of her personality, and if i have any questions, I contact her," said Tiana. "What I have learned was that there's so much more to learn about myself that I don't know."

Tiana is active in our Lunch Bunch and the Art Club, and just about any event where she has the opportunity to chat with her Elite schoolmates. She is one of the reasons we decided to start our very own anime/comic club!  She expressed her interest on the topics and inspired other students to note their interest as well. Our staff jumped at the chance to put together this engaging and connective experience for our students. Tiana is one of the club's "founding" members.

"I always wanted to learn more about Anime and Manga drawing because I watch a lot of that genre. I'm hoping I can start my own Anime/Manga Club here at Elite. When I'm not gaming online, I'm chatting with my Elite friends," said Tiana.

It's not easy getting grades back up, and we're so glad Tiana had the courage to take this LIFE class to help her get back on track not only academically, but socially as she thrives with friends and leadership skills in taking on her new club. Congrats, Tiana!

"I love how they are teaching (at Elite) and how they inspired me to learn more about me. They taught me a lot over the past year that I've been with them and I am grateful to those who taught me". 

To learn more about the LIFE and RISE courses at Elite, read here.