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Charter News

Charter Career Prep Wins VEX Robotics Competition

The El Dorado County Office of Education’s Charter Career Prep (CCP) program provides an enriched, hands-on learning culture that develops innovative learners to compete in an ever-changing world. Robotics naturally lends itself to these goals, and the CCP Robotics Team has certainly demonstrated the success of the program’s educational mission for students.  The CCP team recently won the prestigious San Joaquin Delta VEX Robotics Competition, including earning the coveted Tournament of Champions title and the Excellence Award, which are given to the team with the most well-rounded Robotics program.  The CCP Robotics then went on to make it all the way to the quarterfinals at the 2017 California State High School Championship in San Jose, CA. “We are so proud of our students,” noted Kym Wilkinson, Assistant Principal. “It is a huge accomplishment to be considered one of the best overall robotic teams in California.” 

The Robotics program is part of a larger Maker Space elective program that introduces students to mechanical and structural engineering, computer programming, and design through applied learning.  Seniors Tom Ostby and Kalen Nelson, along with their teammates, combined their strengths and interests to build the Vex Robot that won them both regional and statewide recognition. “If the first time you try to build something and it doesn’t work, keep trying,” states Tom, noting that perseverance is an important skill to learn quickly. “We’ve rebuilt the robot so many times to correct design/programming flaws, but it’s paid off in the end.”  The team members focus their robot design on being durable and effective, which proved beneficial during competition since the robot did not experience any broken parts.  Students wrote more than 600 lines of programming code as part of the design process, including several autonomous functions. 

A major element of the program’s engaging curriculum is the emphasis on ensuring that all students are both college and career ready.  The Charter programs offer a unique Advanced Education program that allows students to concurrently enroll in high school and Folsom Lake College.  Advanced Education shortens the time it takes to earn a college degree, saving students money since the courses taken while in high school and are tuition free.  “We provide a rich program that helps students also experience success in college at the same time,” noted Principal Fred Mier. 

More information about Charter Career Prep and the other Charter programs operated the El Dorado County Office of Education can found on their website at charter.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 295-2259.

Charter Career Prep students, seniors Tom Ostby and Kalen Nelson, explain their engineering and programming processes to the 2017 State Championship judges.

Charter Career Prep students, seniors Tom Ostby and Kalen Nelson, explain their engineering and programming processes to the 2017 State Championship judges. 

Charter College & Career Prep Provides New Opportunities for Students

The newly christened Charter College & Career Prep has started this school year with a myriad of new services that emphasize early college participation and success, as well as a curriculum rich with hands-on learning experiences.  The program, which is located at the El Dorado County Office of Education in Placerville, merged two charter programs to create greater opportunities for students.

“What makes this new school truly remarkable is that we now have so many engaging programs that help students succeed in their adult lives, regardless of whether their plans are to go to college or straight into the workforce,” noted Principal Fred Mier.  “We are proud of our new Advanced Education Program as well as the many applied learning courses we can now offer our students in our state-of-the-art school facility.”

The Advanced Education Program allows the Charter students to take community college courses concurrently during high school for free while earning both college and high school credits.  Charter College & Career Prep and the Folsom Lake College El Dorado Center (conveniently located next door) work together to support students in their efforts through planning and meeting with each student.  A Folsom Lake College Outreach Specialist meets with students twice a month to help streamline college enrollment and to ensure students have a positive and successful first experience at FLC.

“This school honestly gets better every year,” senior Dakoda Carver reflected, “In a normal school, no one knows anyone and you just go to get it done. Here, every teacher knows every student and can help them customize their high school experience to their future goals.”

The school also engages students with hands-on classes such as Culinary Arts, Maker Space, Robotics, and an Outdoor Wilderness Survival Skills course.  This spring, Charter will also roll out a drone piloting and operator’s training course. This cutting-edge program will allow students to become trained and certified in the fastest-growing segment of the aviation industry.  “A career in the exciting and rewarding field of unmanned aviation can earn a six-figure salary for highly-skilled pilots,” noted Doug Booker, a teacher at the school. “Allowing these students to begin their training now gives them an enormous advantage in beginning their careers.” 

The combination of the early college program and applied learning opportunities have proven very popular with the students as well.

“Culinary Arts is great because it is a life skill and prepares us for adulthood. This is an opportunity that most charters don’t have. Here, we have good food and good people,” remarked student Noelle Green.

Pictured above: Noelle Green displays her ingredients during a breakfast preparation in Culinary Arts class.

Pictured above: Bryan Jimenez, Elias Brown, Alexander Camancho practice mincing in Culinary Arts class.

The Advanced Education and applied learning programs at Charter College & Career Prep are examples of the many ways Charter Alternative Programs help guide students toward a successful transition into higher education and the workforce.  Additional information about Charter College & Career Prep may be found at http://charter.edcoe.org/ or by calling (530) 295-2295.

Charter Students Benefit from New Language Immersion Program

El Dorado County Office of Education Charter students are benefiting from a new Japanese language program that features unique learning and exchange opportunities with high school students in Japan, including live video sessions.  The popular new program, which is offered at Charter Connections Academy and Charter University Prep, engages students with its innovative approach.  Students practice their emerging skills in live, face-to-face meetings with Japanese students.  The program is typical of both schools’ approach to learning, which emphasizes developing skills and critical thinking through real-world use and application.  Both programs utilize 21st Century learning platforms and strategies to help ensure students are fully prepared for college and career success.   

The Charter students practice their emerging Japanese language abilities with students of Veda Nishi School in Nagano, Japan, who are also using the opportunity to expand their knowledge in English.  “I really enjoyed meeting students from Japan!” expressed senior Jalen Bush.  “I’ve learned a little about the students, and we aren't as different as I thought.  I was super nervous about our first cultural exchange, but seeing them try just as hard to speak English, as we tried to speak Japanese, helped a lot.  I realized they're just kids like we are."

Joe Reichmann, Charter’s Japanese teacher notes, “Through this activity students are learning how to speak Japanese in a fun and exciting way.  Not only is language being taught, but our students are able to experience a beautiful culture.  It’s good to see students from different parts of the world enjoy communicating. 

During their first video, the Charter students began their conversation by introducing themselves and the community of El Dorado County.  In a later session, Veda Nishi students quizzed Charter students on the Japanese names of sports, animals, and fruit.  In return, Charter students taught their Japanese peers words in English.

Charter Connections Academy and Charter University Prep are committed to providing meaningful direction, academic support, and counseling to help ensure students successfully transition to their next phase in life.  The programs use a college-like instructional model in which students attend classes two days a week and practice independently the rest of the week. More information about Charter Connections Academy and Charter University Prep can be found at the Charter Alternative Programs’ website atcharter.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 622-7130.

 

Above: Senior Jalen Bush discusses common interests with a student in Nagano, Japan.

Above: Students wait their turn to practice identifying fruit and animals in Japanese.



Welcome Back

Welcome to the 2017-18 school year!  We are excited to begin another rewarding year by partnering with you in the success of our students.   

Our Charter programs offer a range of high-quality public school options for families who desire a more personalized educational experience.  We provide rich, engaging instructional programs that ensure our students meet their academic and career goals.   We take great pride in each schools’ positive and friendly culture, where students and parents are valued members of our Charter school family.

If you are considering one of our innovative programs, we encourage you to contact us for additional information or to plan a visit.  We are here to serve you.  Again, welcome back!

Main Office: (530) 295-2259

 

Charter Career Prep Students Learn by Doing

Charter Career Prep students recently completed an innovative project that strengthened students’ math and critical thinking skills by designing and manufacturing scale model pool tables at every stage. The engaging, fun project is typical of the program, which emphasizes making learning relevant through hands-on projects and vocational opportunities. Students individually design their pool tables and then collaborate in groups of two or three to bring their ideas to life. El Dorado County Office of Education Charter Career Prep educators are passionate about providing tailored alternative education to ensure all students successfully transition to career or college opportunities.

During this project, table models and pool cues must be to scale and range from 6" by 12" to 24" by 48".  Students begin by researching full-size pool table dimensions, then scale down their measurements and design their table on paper. These tables must be fully functional with a ball return system to gather the balls for the next game.

Once the design and list of materials is completed, they start building. Frequently, students identify design-flaws or a better way of construction and must troubleshoot and revise their project. They finish the pool tables using felt and paint or stain.

“It makes math fun,” noted senior Rachel Seward. “I like learning math and woodshop skills at the same time while working with my hands and learning job skills.”

Charter Career Prep, which is located in the town of El Dorado, works to prepare students to be college and career ready through engaging, rigorous curriculum. Throughout this project, students learn drafting/drawing, scale calculations, and material measurements and use shop equipment to cut, sand, shape, fasten and drill. They also use skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. More information about Charter Career Prep can be found on the school’s website at ccp.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 621-2579. 

High school senior Rachel Seward and teacher Anne Rhoads work together to stabilize the table and adhere felt to the table’s top.

High school senior Rachel Seward and teacher Anne Rhoads work together to stabilize the table and adhere felt to the table’s top.