Excellence in Education for the 21st Century
EDCOE

Charter News

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

 

Program Update for Extended Day Programs

EXTENDED DAY IS COMING TO

CHARTER MONTESSORI AT VALLEY VIEW FOR 2017-18!

K-8 Before and After School Child Care

On-site Pre-Registration:

Tuesday, July 25th and Thursday, August 3rd

6:30-10:00 a.m. OR 3:00-7:00 p.m.

Charter Adult Education Inspires Students of All Ages to Reach Their Goals

The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter Adult Education program provides adult learners from every walk of life with a wide range of rich learning experiences tailored to meet their unique needs.  The programs have been especially beneficial for adult learners who face a variety of life challenges.  One such student is Kristy Arroyo, who attends classes at the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians Rancheria. 

Kristy has faced numerous obstacles in her life, including being legally deaf, as she only has partial hearing.  The Tribe recently purchased Kristy a new set of hearing aids, which has greatly contributed to her progress.  Kristy is determined to earn her high school diploma through the Adult Education program, which is operated by EDCOE in partnership with the Tribe.  The Tribe is supporting her in reaching her educational goals. 

Kristy has an infant daughter so she is determined to be a conscientious student and mother. “I am so grateful this time around, with a new baby, and knowing what is best for me now,” stated Kristy. “Graduating and earning my high school diploma will help me find a job and provide for my child. It has been a great benefit that the Rancheria’s Adult Education program is family friendly.”  Kristy often arrives with her baby for her individual tutoring session where she can take notes and ask questions.  Through this experience, Kristy has inspired her own mother to also begin working toward completing a high school diploma.

The Charter Adult Education program prides itself on the passion of its staff, who are committed to helping adult learners succeed in life.  The teachers are fully credentialed and highly trained in supporting adult learners reach their dreams.  “We have a wonderful staff, who really care about helping the students reach their goals,” noted Principal Gary Sutherland. “The personalized support and the caring relationships are a huge reason for the success we are seeing across our programs.”

 Charter’s Adult Education classes are offered throughout El Dorado County in structured, yet flexible learning environments, and all of the courses are free.  More information about Charter’s Adult Education programs can be found on the Charter website at aded.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 295-2259.

 Pictured: Adult student Kristy Arroyo attends an individualized tutorial session with Adult Education Staff member Sally Storamski.

Pictured: Adult student Kristy Arroyo attends an individualized tutorial session with Adult Education Staff member Sally Storamski.

Students Earn College Credit at EDCOE Charter Alternative Programs

The El Dorado County Office of Education Charter Alternative Programs have launched a special college and career readiness program that provides the opportunity for Charter students to enroll in college courses while still completing their high school diploma.   The program, which is offered in partnership with the Folsom Lake College El Dorado Center, allows the Charter students to take community college courses concurrently during high school while earning both college and high school credits.

“We are in the business of empowering students to ensure students succeed in life,” noted Principal Fred Mier.  “This new program exemplifies that mission by helping students realize new college and career opportunities through direct college experience and success.  The fact that the college is right next door to our Community School makes it incredibly easy for our students to participate.”

The El Dorado Center College and the Charter staffs work together to provide a built-in support system.  The team - which includes an Outreach Specialist from Folsom Lake College - meets with the Charter students twice a month to ensure students are successful, including developing an individual college plan for each student.   Currently 30 students from the Charter Community School and Charter Career Prep programs are registered in the Advanced Education program, which provide transfer opportunities to accredited colleges.  

The program has proven very popular with the Charter students.  “It’s a really nice opportunity for Charter students to be able to walk right up to the college next door and take classes that count for both college and high school credits,” noted Maritza Poirot, a junior at Charter Community School, which is located at the El Dorado County Office of Education. “Before I didn’t really think about going to college, but now that I have the opportunity to go to college for free, I’m making the most of it.  I’m now interested in taking other classes to help me get a good job right out of high school.”

The programs emphasize college and career readiness and success by utilizing a rich, engaging curriculum supplemented with variety of strategies to get students thinking about, and involved in, planning their futures, including providing a variety of career aptitude assessments and hosting monthly guest speakers from local businesses and organizations, who help guide students toward a successful transition into higher education and the workforce.  Classroom discussions focus on the opportunities in our area for young adults -- whether through internships, job training, or academic pursuits. 

The Advanced Education program is one of the many ways Charter Alternative Programs help guide students toward a successful transition into higher education and the workforce.  The programs provide a variety of high quality, innovative, 21st Century programs that emphasize the development of the whole individual in safe and supportive learning environments.  Additional information about Charter Alternative Programs may be found at charter.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 295-2259.

 

Teacher Lisa Boyle joins students Maritza Poirot & Ondre Sanders, who both enjoy taking college classes through Charter Community School’s Advanced Education Program.

 

Charter Connections Academy (CCA) & Charter University Prep (CUPrep) Students Score well on 2016 State Tests

Students in grades 7, 8, and 11 are tested each spring in English Language Arts and Math. The tests are one measure in determining whether students are on track to be ready for college and careers. In English, CUPrep scores exceeded, by a large margin, both El Dorado County averages and State Averages. In 11th grade, 95% of the students scored "met or exceeded" college readiness, the vast majority scoring in the "exceeded" category. We were very pleased with our CCA scores as well. We found that the students who have been with us throughout high school overwhelmingly scored at the "met standards" of college readiness in English. Those that did not were primarily those students who had transferred to CCA in the past year. This is very encouraging for parents, students, and staff.

In Math, our scores are average. This is not exactly where we want to be, but it is a perfect opportunity to explain further how we are seeing math curriculum evolving. California public schools have made a significant shift in math instruction towards the new state standards, starting about five years ago. College math has not shifted towards high school level standards, so there is a gap between what college professors need students to know and what is being taught in high school under the new state standards.  We expect that colleges and universities will adapt curricular approaches somewhat to accommodate students coming out of high school programs and that over time, the disparities will be fewer. Even the SAT has undergone some changes to more reflect a problem solving approach to math.  The idea behind the shift in approaches in the new state (and national Common Core) standards is to focus students on how to solve problems as opposed to just being able to work through algorithms.

At CCA, five years ago, very few students took any math classes beyond geometry. This past two years, we have doubled each year the number of students taking Algebra 2, and we expect that trend to continue.  Those who took Algebra 2 last year did very well on the state tests, which makes sense since there are many questions at that level.  Every year, more of our students are taking advanced Math and Science classes which we believe will show as an improvement on state tests.  Mathematical reasoning is understood in the context of science, so the more we engage students in science concepts, the better their math understanding will be.

We will continue to modify our approaches to support our mission while also ensuring that students aren't missing out on things.  This year, we have adopted a more state standards based curriculum in Junior High and think that a shift in that direction will bear fruit on the state tests as well as continue to prepare students to be successful in the higher level courses.  We continue to meet with college math teachers to make sure our students are well prepared for their future courses.

At CUPrep, we have always had the mission of preparing students for success at the university level, so we have geared our math curriculum and approaches so that students would be successful in Statistics and Calculus math courses.  The vast majority of students at CUPrep take classes beyond Advanced Algebra 2 and do so very well. Our students are typically the top students in Calculus at Folsom Lake College, and we send a high percentage of students directly to Universities where they are very successful.  This hasn't always been reflected on state tests where much emphasis is placed on probability-type problems.  Students who move on to Pre- Calculus and higher courses pick up probability concepts easily.  We haven't placed much emphasis on probability in lower levels, and our scores on those state tests reflect this. ­­­­

We have always been deliberate on what we teach and how we teach it.  We avoid social and educational trends which change with the wind.  As I have traveled around the world, looking at methods of teaching Math, I have seen a clear difference in how other countries approach math and how we teach math in the United States.  By far, most countries teach Math by rote memory.  Students memorize and work thousands of problems in arithmetic and algebra.  You see their successes on international tests, which emphasize this rote memory type of approach, because the students have done many similar problems in classes and homework assignments.  Our culture has not supported this approach, and I see no trends in the future moving in that direction.  Instead, the United States approach focuses on a deeper understanding of the reasoning in math.  This takes time, effort, and patience.  We also have not done a great job in the past 30 or so years requiring students to master arithmetic processes.  I believe the ideal is for students to have a balanced approach where a student works so many problems that the procedures become automatic, and that with that foundation, he or she can explore the deeper uses of math without stumbling on the procedures.  Automaticity with arithmetic and algebra is essential for success in higher level math courses.

Thank you for a) reading through this long-winded article about test scores, and b) entrusting us to work with your students to help them prepare for their educational and occupational futures.

Mike Harris

Principal, CCA & CUPrep