April Updates

April 1, 2022

Dear Families,

I wanted to reach out to share news as we move to finish up the year. I guess time flies when you are having fun, as it feels like we are really just getting started.

I recognize many of you are excited to see the inside of our new location at Cuvilly Hall on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU). While they have allowed Miss Rose and me to visit the building, their insurance prohibits opening the building to others at this time. However, working with NDNU to get the building ready for us next year continues to take much of our time. We are working out a schedule that gives us access to the gym and other amenities. Sometime in late summer, we will open the new building up for all to come through, and we will have an opening event that will give everyone a chance to see the new building and grounds.

 Miss Rose has done a fantastic job creating a schedule that allows students choices while ensuring students are on track for graduation. She is in the final stages of solidifying the master schedule. After years of searching, I am excited to share that we have an ASL teacher starting in the fall. Mitchell Perilla comes to us after working as both an interpreter, and instructor in ASL, and supporter of the deaf community since 2017. Mr. Perilla is also an accomplished violinist interested in supporting our music program in the future.

We are also excited to be offering a Studio Art class for students who are seriously exploring art as a possible career. Students will be placed in this class with the permission of Ms. Ballard and only after completing other introductory art classes. We are also bringing back the drama class and looking to continue to enrich the arts program further.

Lastly, we will be evaluating our mask policy before we head out for Spring Break. Look for an announcement that will define this policy until the end of the year. In the meantime, please continue to send your student to school with a mask.

Important Dates

  • Spring Break: April 15-22
  • Parent Coffee: April 27 9:00am – 10:00am
  • End of Year BBQ: May 4th (May the 4th be with you)
  • Art and Music Show: May 5th 5:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Last day of school for Seniors: May 25th
  • Final Exams: May 26th and 27th (alternate schedule)
  • Memorial Day: May 30th
  • Graduation: May 31st

Quarter 1 Newsletter

Open House

On 9/19, we hosted a virtual Open House for interested families. The turnout was good with over 15 different families looking at Compass. We shared photos and videos to give our virtual visitors an eye into the Compass experience. You can see the video “We Teach Differently” on our Compass website. Most of the participants were looking for 9th grade placement next year and it was wonderful to see so much interest in Compass so early in the school year.

Thanks and kudos to senior Cailey Winder who volunteered to speak about her experience as a Compass student and the support she feels from the teachers and the community as a whole. “Compass is the best thing that happened to me,” Cailey told the visitors, “and your kids will love it also!” Our next admission event is a Welcome Wednesday on October 14th from 9:00 – 10:00 A.M.

Virtual Cocktail Party

The Compass Board of Trustees has traditionally hosted a cocktail party to kick off the school year. This year due to COVID-19 we reinvented it as a virtual cocktail party. While we missed seeing each other in person, it was great to meet, share a glass of wine and have some fun together. Special thanks to Andrew Leonard and the Development Committee for planning and hosting this event.

Barbara Norman

Barbara came to us last year in the middle of the school year. She has a BA in Linguistics from the University of Hawaii and Masters in Education from Fox University in Oregon. She taught high school Spanish for four years while in Oregon and also created middle school Spanish programs here in California. She has also worked as an ESL teacher in multiple schools.

Read More About Barbara Norman

Help us support the Annual Fund

Some may not realize that our tuition does not cover the full cost of a Compass education. The costs of operating a small school in the Bay Area far exceed what tuition alone could cover. We conduct our Annual Fund to help cover the full cost of the program. 100% participation from families, regardless of donation amount, qualifies us for additional grants and gifts.

Please donate whatever is possible to support the Compass mission. You may send in a check or donate online


Metacognition is often defined as “thinking about thinking.” However, to truly understand why it is so important for individuals with learning differences to have metacognitive skills, we must flush out this definition a bit more.

So, metacognition is one’s ability to use prior knowledge to plan a strategy for approaching a learning task, take necessary steps to problem solve, reflect on, and modify one’s approach as needed.

Read More about Metacognition


You can find all the PowerPoint presentations from every class on the Family Classroom Page. Here we also post announcement and information for parents and families.

Landmark College

Compass High School has had an on ongoing relationship with Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. Like Compass, Landmark works exclusively with students that learn differently. This year we’re working closer with them in helping establish a presence on the west coast, and more specifically, here in the Bay Area.

Landmark has a well-established reputation as one of the best colleges for students with learning differences. Landmark continues to expand their online options for students. We are excited to be working to help Landmark establish a presence. Later in the school year, we expect to be offering office space to Landmark as our relationship strengthens. Stay tuned as this develops.

Intro to Psychology

This year we are offering an Introduction to Psychology elective. This course is offering the traditional course material but also helping students with metacognition and self-awareness.

Important Dates

First Parent Checkin since BTSN
  • Oct. 7
  • 4-5 pm

Come Join Doug and Meredith for a check in on how the year is going, on- line learning, and school updates!

Faculty Inservice
  • Oct. 9

No classes will meet.

Voices of Compassion
  • Oct. 16
  • 12 – 1:30pm

Children’s Health Council’s online event: Voices of Compassion

Quarter Break
  • Oct. 23

No classes will meet.

  • Nov. 3

Election Day is November 3rd.

Be sure you are registered and have a plan to vote.

Parent Teacher Conferences

We are scheduled to have parent teacher conferences the first week of November. These will be conducted virtually on November 3rd and 5th. We will be sending out more information for these meetings, but please mark your calendars.

Diversity & Equity Task Force

As announced at Back to School Night we are putting to gather a group of parents, teachers and board members who would like to help provide advice and direction to the school around these important issues.

Date pending, check back for details!