What began 20 years ago as a small group of educators recognizing a need for a pathway for university-bound students within the home-school community has grown to one of the largest high school charter schools in El Dorado County.
Charter University Prep began as Placerville Academic School in 1999, offering 16 college-prep classes to high school students and expanded to offer classes to junior high school students the following year. In 2003 Placerville Academic School joined the El Dorado County Office of Education, moved into a new campus and became known as Charter Smith Flat. In 2010 Michael Harris, who has been principal since the school’s formation, moved the school to the Charles Brown campus and the program has been known as CUP since.
At the Charles Brown campus a second high school program, Charter Connections Academy, was added. Together, the schools offer more than 100 courses to 300-plus students in a two-class-a-week college model. CUP caters to students interested in pursuing a four-year college degree after high school, while CCA caters to students interested in post-high school career technical training to lead to a career. Both programs are tailored to individual students, versus a one-size-fits-all model.
“Our goal has always been to prepare each student for the next step in life, not just a diploma,” Harris said. “CUP achieves that for more academically inclined students. Our students have attended some of the top universities in the world.”
When a visitor enters the office they see college banners from myriad of schools that represent a small portion of those attended.
“Every student has a different path and we help them find the right path for who they want to be,” said Harris. “At CCA students receive hands-on experience participating in career exploration classes, ROP and Folsom Lake College Career Technical Classes so that when they graduate they have a much more adult understanding and preparation for their next step in life.”
CCA and CUP emphasize what is referred to by the staff as “Adulting 101” classes. Students take courses that focus on financial planning and what is involved when living outside the parent’s home. Students learn the concepts of social-emotional learning and what “growing up” entails. Even students taking calculus find the personal finance class one of the most worthwhile courses in their schedule.
CUP students can also follow a multicultural education track. In 2015 the high schools began offering classes focused in Japanese studies, including courses in language, art history and Japanese Taiko drumming – which fulfills fine art requirements. CUP is one of the only high schools on the West Coast to offer this course as an elective. Every other year juniors and seniors have the opportunity to visit Japan and interact with Ueda Nishi, the school’s sister school in Nagano.
After decades of dedicated service, Harris will retire at the end of this school year.
“The rewarding part of this job has been to see the growth in our students, to be able to provide a place where students want to come to school and parents trust us to be partners with them,” Harris said.
“It has been awesome to work alongside some of the best educators who truly care about their students and who know what they are doing,” he continued. “Teaching in this program requires the teacher to not only know their material backward and forward but to connect and care about their students. In the 20 years, we have existed, we have never advertised. We operate solely on word-of-mouth and always fill up because the students want to be here. I cannot be more proud of the incredible students and staff I have worked with.”
For additional information about CUP, which is currently enrolling seventh-grade students, visit cuprep.edcoe.org or call (530) 622-8594.
Charter Alternative Programs provides a college and career readiness program that helps guide students toward a successful transition into higher education and/or the workforce. Offered in partnership with the Folsom Lake College, the Advanced Education Program allows Charter students to enroll in community college courses concurrently during high school while earning both college and high school credits. FLC and Charter staff meet with students on a monthly basis as a support system to help them map their plan for higher education.
The Advanced Education program is one of the many ways Charter Alternative Programs provides a variety of high quality, innovative 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.
The El Dorado County Youth Commission hosted members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools, on Monday, February 26th at the commissioners’ annual Pasta Dinner. The students shared and gathered feedback on their focus this year, which is on developing Mental Health resources for students. “It is a delight to see these young people in action, working out their vision and passion to benefit others,” said Dr. Manansala. “They are a strong, focused group of leaders, who understand first-hand what their peers are going through.”
The Youth Commission helps identify the needs of El Dorado County youth and communicate those needs to our local representatives. The Board of Supervisors and the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) co-sponsor the Youth Commission, which operates as a youth government. The students learn about local governance while gaining important leadership skills.
“We have been continuing our work from last year, focusing on improving mental health in the youth of the county,” said Chair Misbah Shafi, a senior at Oak Ridge High School. “It is invaluable to have feedback from the Board of Supervisors and Dr. Manansala.”
Students will take the information and ideas developed at the dinner to improve their project of getting information about mental health resources into the hands of our county’s youth through development of a one-stop website.
“We really appreciate the advice given us,” said Vice-Chair Kaya Renner, senior at Oak Ridge High School. “The ideas will help us develop a strong website that will help the youth of the county.”
Pictured from left to right (from an earlier event this year) are Shayan Habibi, Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, Mackaela Pedersen, Everet Frame, Edith Rivera, and Chistian Seldon.
Charter University Prep Senior, Jordan Soto will be representing El Dorado County in the State level of the Poetry Out Loud recitation contest in Sacramento on March 18 & 19. Soto, who beat out thousands of other students, had to take first place at the classroom, school-wide and county level contests to receive this honor.
Poetry Out Loud is a national competition in which students perform two poems to a panel of judges in an effort to help students master communication and public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.
Winner of the competition, CUPrep senior Jordan Soto, will move on to the next round of the contest performing with other high school students at the state level. The California Arts Council, coordinators of the state level contest, county winners are treated to two days at the California Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Sacramento on March 18 and 19, 2018. Competitors will deliver their poems in the historic Senate Chamber and the contest is webcast and televised via the California Channel. The county champions are also honored with a dinner reception and receive a certificate of recognition from their legislative representative.
According to Poetry Out Loud:
Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.
“When they called my name for 1st, I was taken back by the honor,” said Soto, “It was overall a surreal moment, as I had never won a contest in my life.”
Senior Jordan Soto performs her award winning interpretations of "Famous" by Naomi Shihab Nye & "And Soul" by Eavan Boland.
Our Charter programs’ success in providing families with quality educational programs are highlighted in our Mid-Cycle WASC report, which can be accessed through the following link, WASC Mid-Cycle Progress Report. The report, a combined effort on the part of the staff and our School Site Council, is our report to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which awarded our programs a six-year term of accreditation with no mid-cycle visit required. This is the longest and most prestigious accreditation a school can be awarded, and it signifies the excellence the WASC Visiting Committee found during their 2015 visit.The report highlights the many positive changes implemented over the past three years across our programs. Our thanks go to everyone for the all of the significant work and thoughtful input required to complete the report, but the result provides proof positive of the fine work being done by staff across programs on behalf of our students. Our focus on continuously improving services and outcomes for students is evident in the report, but perhaps nowhere is that more clearly summarized than by the results of our comprehensive survey, which was taken by students, parents, and staff. The great majority of stakeholders gave the programs very high marks for the quality of our programs, as well as for our efforts, our attitudes, and our partnership. We encourage each of you to review the report, as well as the survey data, which is presented as a series of bar-charts beginning on page 49.
Reserve your space at the El Dorado Center of Folsom Lake College for their annual College Information Night for 11th and 12th grade students. This event will take place on Wednesday, January 24th, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the El Dorado Center Campus – 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville, in Building C.
To reserve your space, go to EL DORADO CENTER – COLLEGE INFORMATION NIGHT (Parking permits will be given to those that RSVP.)
Parents and students will learn more about the programs and services, and how to enroll for Summer/Fall 2018, and steps to achieve priority registration. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the programs and services available.
For more information, call (530) 642-5623 or email Sarah Aldea at email@example.com
El Dorado County’s Board of Education recognized Charter Adult Education’s Caroline Earl for her phenomenal work educating El Dorado County jail inmates at their December Board meeting.
“Caroline is a very dynamic and resourceful teacher.” said Adult Education principal, Gary Sutherland, “She is successful in the classroom because of her desire and commitment to improve the quality of instruction she provides to the students she serves.”
Earl, who began working with the Adult Education program fifteen months ago, works with inmates of the El Dorado County Jail during the day and conducts the evening general adult education classes held at the El Dorado County Office of Education. She was applauded by David Publicover, executive director of Charter Alternative Programs, for her extensive background in both law enforcement and special education.
“Caroline is a wonderful and communicative teacher whose passion and dedication to helping students has not only given each student a sense of hope, but also helped the program flourish,” Publicover said to the board, also noting Earl’s contribution to a 30 percent growth in the number of adults served through the various adult education programs over the past two years.
Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools, also spoke to the board about Earl's impact, “I have been inspired by Caroline, having been a witness to several of the Adult Education graduation ceremonies, the impact she has on student’s inspiration is exponentially more. Her work ripples throughout the community impacting not only the students themselves, but their families, friends, and much more.”
EDCOE’s Charter Adult Education Program provides educational opportunities at various sites throughout the county, including the South Lake Tahoe and Placerville jails, the Community Corrections Center and English as a Second Language programs.
Once enrolled in Charter’s Adult Education programs, students are able to pursue an education tailored to meet their unique needs.
Earl was motivated by the recognition to continue to give individualized support to each student she works within the Adult Education Program, “I am truly blessed to have such wonderful supervisors and mentors as Gary Sutherland and Dave Publicover. I hope to continue to live up to the confidence they both place in me. Thank you to the board and Mr. Manansala for providing such great leadership. It is a pleasure working for EDCOE.”
More information about Charter’s Adult Education programs can be found at aded.edcoe.org or (530) 295-2291.
(Left to right) Board President, Georgianne Knight; honoree Caroline Earl; Charter Alternative Programs Executive Director, David Publicover; and County Superintendent of Schools, Ed Manansala
Biology students of Charter Connections Academy were treated to a guided tour of the Nimbus Fish Hatchery from by the CA Dept. of Fish and Game.
“The students learn a lot about the American River watershed and habitat. They also learn about the effects of man-made dams on river habitats,” explained Jolene Bishop, biology teacher. “This experience ties excellently into our ecology unit and allows students to understand the practical application of what is happening in our classroom labs.”
One of the focal points of this excursion was understanding the spawning cycle of salmon, which are spawning in the American River below Nimbus Dam. Students learned the effects of human interaction with an ecosystem, including the role of the hatchery in the spawning cycle. To make up for the loss of access to spawning grounds above Nimbus and Folsom dams, a fish ladder made up of concrete “steps” allow the salmon to move from the river to the hatchery building/visitor center. The hatchery will collect fertilized eggs from these river salmon and raise them to an age where the young fish are released into the delta.
The field trip went beyond simply observing the salmon at the hatchery. The Dept. of Fish and Game guide showed the students a resident Peregrine Falcon, multiple species of ducks including mallards and goldeneye ducks, river cormorants, seagulls, great blue herons, and various small songbirds. During a hike on the riverbank to observe the ecosystem, students picked up rocks to find the smaller, freshwater organisms found in the shallows, such as multiple types of larvae and small leeches.
“It was more interesting to see the real-life value of what we were learning,” stated tenth-grade student Julie Kaihe, “This was a much better way to learn than just leaving the concept to the students to picture.”
Students also learned about the career opportunities from the CA Dept. of Fish and Game and the job requirements of working at the hatchery. The hatchery guide explained that he had completed community college, which included ten science courses, and that a college degree is not required to work for the CA Dept. of Fish and Game.
Charter Connections Academy is 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 where students attend classes two days a week and practice independently the rest of the week.
More information about Charter Connections Academy can be found at the Charter Alternative Programs’ website at cca.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 622-7130 Ext. 2534
Danielle Nicolay, Gage Worth, and Bret Nelsen observe the body of a salmon
For one night only, some of the finest young acts in El Dorado County, performed on stage in the Charter Home Study Academy (CHSA) talent show, held on December 1, 2017. Each student who performed was introduced by another member of the drama club, displaying their own writing and public speaking skills. The program consisted of five very different acts with a boundless amount of talent and passion.
Siblings Ariana and Aydan Cooper (third grade) showcased their respective talents by contributing a variety of classic songs, such as When the Saints Go Marching In on the piano and ukulele. Faryn Jordan (third grade), who has been dancing since the age of two, inspired the audience with her ballet to the song Roots, by Imagine Dragons, and later returned to the stage with a spell-binding Serpentine dance. Braelynn Lee (third grade) gracefully displayed a style of ribbon dancing known as Poi, which she learned from her mother; and Hunter Tranum (sixth grade) closed the show by playing Everlong by the Foo Fighters, on his electric guitar.
“Our overall goal is to inspire a love of the theatrical arts in our students,” said director Stephanie Lee, “Age and experience don't generally play a role; everyone is encouraged and supportive of each other.”
This after-school drama club trains under the direction of Randy and Stephanie Lee, and currently has 12 students ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade. “The drama club's talent show is in its early stages of development”, noted Program Administrator, Dianne Deitchman, “but a number of our students have enrolled through CHSA to pursue their extracurricular talents, such as music or athletics. I believe this event will definitely grow in the future.”
There is no cost to see the shows, as the Drama Club holds a number of events to raise funds, including the upcoming, full-length play premiering in May.
CHSA K-8 supports and invests in families who choose to be active participants in their children’s education. Staff, students, and their families use a team approach to recognize, encourage, and develop individual potential as a limitless resource. Educators build foundational skills, empowering students to find solutions and adapt to the challenges of an ever-changing world. The whole child is educated in an inspiring and nurturing environment where students have an opportunity to flourish.
More information about the EDCOE Charter Home Study Academy program can be found at chsa.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 622-6984.
Ariana and Aydan Cooper
Faryn Jordan performing a ballet
Faryn Jordan performing the serpentine dance
Terrie Crampton, a former inmate at the El Dorado County Jail in Placerville, was released on Dec. 7, 2017, but celebrated a little early. Crampton spent six months pursuing her education while undergoing her rehabilitation within the Placerville County jail. She was recently honored by becoming the first female inmate to receive her high school diploma through the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter Adult Education program.
Crampton credits this significant achievement to the staff who offered support, including instructor Caroline Earl, but also to the accessibility of the program. “The main reason I worked so hard here is because a degree was obtainable,” explained Crampton, who dropped out of high school at age sixteen after getting married. “I’d looked into it before, but it seemed impossible with all the time constraints and requirements that other programs had.”
EDCOE Adult Education offers instructional programs that touch adults wherever they are in their education or life circumstances. Two other lady inmates are currently completing coursework to graduate, while several others are working toward certification in drug and alcohol counseling. There are currently 60 students enrolled in the adult education program at the Placerville Jail. The wide range of options offered to at the jail includes a General Education Development (GED) certificate, short-term Career Technical Education Certification, and college-level classes through the use of online courses.
Now that Crampton has reached this milestone, she plans on applying for some of the hundreds of jobs listed through the Caljobs website, in addition to continuing her education through Los Rios Community College District.
In addition to serving both the South Lake Tahoe and Placerville jails, EDCOE’s Charter Adult Education Program provides educational opportunities at various sites throughout the county, including the Community Corrections Center and English as a Second Language programs. Once enrolled in Charter’s Adult Education programs, students are able to pursue an education tailored to meet their unique needs. “We are very proud to offer a variety of adult education classes throughout the county that enrich the lives of our students,” said Principal Gary Sutherland.
More information about Charter’s Adult Education programs can be found at aded.edcoe.org or (530) 295-2291.
Left to right: Caroline Earl, Gary Sutherland, Terrie Crampton, Officer Wheeler, David Publicover
Students of Charter College & Career Prep faced off against students of Independence High School in a game of basketball on Thursday, Dec. 7th in the Charter Activities Building. This semi-annual tradition is a friendly competition between two schools that do not have the typical athletics programs seen in high schools, with games occurring in both the Fall and Spring Semesters.
Charter College & Career Prep students have been training for months under the watchful eye of teacher/coach Jeff Bridges, and while the competition was fierce, Independence High School was victorious, followed by a pizza lunch enjoyed by all.
More information about Charter College & Career Prep can be found on our website at ccp.edcoe.org or call (530) 295-2295.
Charter College & Career Prep students (left to right) senior Julian Mancilla, junior Jacob Tudor, and senior David Garcia-Reyes displaying their defensive skills.
On Monday, January 8th, the El Dorado County Youth Commission participated in the annual Shadow Day, in which Youth Commissioners join the County Board of Supervisors during one of the Board’s regularly scheduled meetings. The students gained valuable insight into how local government operates, how the Board manages issues and policies, such as a public forum, appointments by the board for a variety of commissions and committees, and how to run a formal meeting. Youth Commissioners observed the selection of a new chair and reports from several government agencies.
“We are so impressed with the Youth Commissioners and their interest in local governance,” said Chair Michael Ranalli, District IV Supervisor. “We appreciate them coming out to our meeting and being active participants in the decisions that shape our county.”
Each year the County Board of Supervisors works with the County Office of Education to appoint interested high school students from all over the county to the Youth Commission to engage students in local government. Through the program, students gain valuable leadership skills as well as being able to share the perspective of youth regarding local issues.
“I learned a lot about how local government works and how people enact policy,” said Oak Ridge senior Shayan Habibi. “I appreciate even more how our board deals with so many different issues. They have to become experts in a lot of areas.”
The Youth Commission’s mission is to help identify the needs of El Dorado County youth and communicate those needs to their representatives at the local level.
“I hope that students see how local government is one place people can really make a difference,” said Brian Veerkamp, District III Supervisor. “It is one place that being a civil servant can make an impact.”
El Dorado County Youth Commissioners gather after participating with the Board of Supervisors as they begin a new year. (left to right) -student Grace Salvestrin, Supervisor Shiva Frentzen, student Misbah Shafi, Supervisor John Hidahl, student Dane Sheridan, Chair Michael Ranalli, student Shayan Habibi, Supervisor Brian K. Veerkamp, student Mackaela Pedersen, student Everet Frame, student Edith Rivera, student Christian Selden, and Supervisor Sue Novasel
The Board of Supervisors conducts their meeting with their Youth Commission counterparts observing. (left to right) student Misbah Shafi, Supervisor John Hidahl, student Dane Sheridan, Chair Michael Ranalli, student Shayan Habibi, Supervisor Brian K. Veerkamp, student Mackaela Pedersen
El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) employees were incredibly thankful on Friday, November 11th, to be treated to a Thanksgiving feast dished-up by the students at Charter College & Career Prep (CCP).
The annual event, in which CCP culinary students work with the EDCOE kitchen staff to prepare a Thanksgiving buffet, has occurred before Thanksgiving recess for over twenty years. This unifying meal provides both a culture of appreciation for the staff and a certainty that students will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
“This is a fun, hands-on event,” said CCP principal Fred Mier. “While culinary arts students experience the real-world difficulty of helping cook for a large event, they also get to see the outcome of their hard work through the satisfied faces of everyone enjoying the meal.”
This is a joint project between the EDCOE kitchen staff and maintenance departments, who respectively prepare the food and set up the dining area; culinary arts students, who helped prepare the meal; and student council, who hosted and served the meal to over 200 students and staff.
“Participating in the Thanksgiving feast is really great. It gives everyone a chance to get to know each other,” stated Angelica Meza-Sandoval, Student Body Secretary, between serving scoops of mashed potatoes. “The events that the student council put on are amazing. They’ve shown me that being involved in school is so much more rewarding than just being in school.”
Culinary Arts and the Associated Student Body programs at Charter College & Career Prep are just two 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.orgor by calling (530) 295-2259.
Tenth-grade student, Bryan Jimenez sweetens pumpkin pie with a little whipped cream
The Charter Home Study Academy (CHSA) multipurpose room was filled with eager customers traveling from booth to booth and purchasing homemade creations from student business owners. Nov. 16 was CHSA’s annual Craft Faire where transitional kindergarten through eighth-grade students sold holiday decorations, hand-made toys, international cuisine, and more.
The event, now celebrating its 19th year, exemplifies CHSA’s mission, which emphasizes empowering students by building and applying foundational skills in ways that make learning engaging, relevant, and fun.
“Students gain valuable experience in economics and money management,” noted school administrator Dianne Deitchman. “In order to participate, students must submit a business plan that outlines their products, prices, and marketing strategy. Students were encouraged to adapt to the challenges of running their own business, and they did so brilliantly!”
After selling their wares, vendors visited classmates’ booths to barter and purchase goods. Students also received prizes in categories such as Master Entrepreneurs, Best Marketing, Best Display and Most Innovative Products.
1st Place: Master Entrepreneur - Riley Smith, 5th grade
2nd Place: Master Entrepreneur - Jayden Lemming, 4th grade
3rd Place: Master Entrepreneur - Christian Vos, 6th grade
Best Display: Katy and Michael Tudor, 4th & 8th grade
Best Marketing: Olivia Kaihe, 7th grade
Most Innovative Product: Hunter Tranum, 6th grade
Best Slogan: Ryan Bowen, 6th grade
Best Logo: Levi Lemming, 6th grade
Riley Smith, winner of the master entrepreneur award with his storefront, Riley’s Rusty Stuff made an impact on the judges with his handmade business cards; his slogan, “Turning Trash Into Treasure”; and his idea to use reclaimed materials to make products with history, character, and style. Smith also drew people to his booth with a display that included live chickens. “I started my plan by seeing what my sister and I had to work with,” noted Riley. “We had a lot of what some people would consider junk, so we took it and turned it into something different. I had a lot of fun, learned a lot, and want to continue participating in the future.”
The CHSA program serves families who choose to homeschool their children. Students have the option to attend classes in core content areas and continue their academics at home, or do their studies entirely at home. Lessons at home are guided by parents and supported by credentialed teachers.
More information about the Charter Home Study Academy program can be found at chsa.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 622-6984.
Riley Smith, Best Entrepreneur Winner, selling his wares
Olivia Kaihe, Best Marketing Winner, displaying her themed cupcakes
Chloe Messer, seventh grade, serving traditional Hungarian cuisine
El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter Adult Education programs offer instructional programs that touch adults wherever they are in their education or life circumstances. The wide range of educational options is especially beneficial for adult learners who have been confronted with life challenges. Raymond Martin, a current inmate of Placerville Jail, attends classes within the jail and recently celebrated a significant step in his rehabilitation by earning his high school diploma.
Martin credits his accomplishment to the staff who have offered him support, including instructor Caroline Earl and Officer Robert Fransen, who checked in with Martin on a weekly basis and encouraged him to improve his circumstances. “Ms. Earl’s compassion for all of the inmates, and the opportunities the officers allowed me as part of this program, motivated me,” announced Martin during his recognition ceremony.
Martin is one of the 60 students currently enrolled in the Adult Education program at the Placerville Jail. Approximately 20 percent of the inmate population receive individualized instruction to earn a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate. Short-term Career Technical Education Certification and college-level classes are also available through the use of online courses.
In addition to serving both the South Lake Tahoe and Placerville Jails, EDCOE’s Charter Adult Education Program provides educational opportunities at various sites throughout the County, including the Community Corrections Center, and English as a Second Language programs.
Once enrolled in Charter’s Adult Education programs, students are able to pursue an education tailored to meet their unique needs. “We have a very dedicated staff who sincerely care about helping the students reach their goals,” noted Principal Gary Sutherland. “The personal support and the caring partnerships that are forged in the community are a major reason for the success we see across our programs.”
A high school diploma is not the end of Martin’s time with Charter Adult Education. He has laid out for himself a series of parenting classes, college courses, and a path to learn a trade to improve his ability to start a career after his release. “I don’t want to live the life I’ve been living. I want to get a job, go to college, and be a better parent. As long as you set your mind to it, you can do it,” Martin encouraged his fellow adult learners.
More information about Charter’s Adult Education programs can be found at http://aded.edcoe.org, or (530) 295-2291.
Left to right: David Publicover, Officer Fransen, Raymond Martin, Caroline Earl, and Gary Sutherland celebrate Martin earning his high school diploma.
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) 295-2259.
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.
Charter Alternative Programs has released its student calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Click here to preview.
Paper cranes, taiko drums and Shodo calligraphy are commonplace in Japanese high schools 5,000 miles away and they are a point of pride at the Charles Brown campus in El Dorado. The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter Alternative Programs of Charter Connections Academy (CCA), Charter University Prep (CUP) and Charter Home Study Academy (CHSA) recently implemented Japanese study programs that allow students to experience a culture far from home.
CCA and CUP have made this cultural exploration a cross-curricular experience by offering Japanese as college-prep courses, teaching phrases in music class, providing hands-on art history instruction and launching El Dorado County’s first taiko drumming program — taught by instructor Sascha Molina, director of the Sacramento Taiko Dan Youth Ensemble.
“Taiko incorporates movement and is amazing to watch. Students learn teamwork and a bit of the Japanese mindset that working together is powerful and fulfilling,” said Mike Harris, principal for CUP and CCA.
“By studying Japanese art history I hope that the students will understand and appreciate the history, the art and culture that this island nation embodies,” said Joseph Reichmann, who teaches Japanese, Japanese art and world history. “I hope that the students view Japan as a cultural asset to the world we live in.” Students also learn about preparing a zen garden and participating in a tea ceremony.
Charter Connections Academy senior Levi Ainsworth plays a taiko drum video game with Ueda Nishi student Taka Ryuichi.
Origami cranes are now part of school culture after emerging on campus through a world history lesson on World War II. Students folded 2,000 paper cranes, sent 1,000 to Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan and displayed the remaining 1,000 on campus. Students taught friends and family to fold cranes and the CHSA art program adopted the practice.
“I very rarely go a full day without seeing at least one student folding cranes,” instructor Samantha Parcher said. “It has become a de-stressing technique in study hall. When a student needs a break from work, they’ll fold a crane or two to clear their mind, then get back to academics.”
Josefin Green learns the art of the tea ceremony from an Ueda Nishi instructor.
Over spring break the CCA and CUP programs culminated in a trip through Japan. Students traveled to Tokyo, Nagano, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. In Nagano, students stayed with host families from CCA and CUP’s sister school, Ueda Nishi High School and attended classes with host students. At Ueda Nishi the cultural exchange included an assembly, sushi making, flower arrangements, kendo (sword fighting), taiko drumming, a tea ceremony and free time for students to interact.
“Spending time with the Japanese students was a really great experience. We got to practice some Japanese and see what the culture was like from the perspective of people our own age,” said CCA senior Levi Ainsworth, “Spending time with my host family was one of my favorite parts of Japan.”
At Hiroshima Peace Park — Children’s Peace Memorial, the students presented 1,000 paper cranes and visited the Hiroshima Peace Museum.
“This trip was such a learning experience for our students,” program specialist Steve Bryant said, “Learning to navigate the various means of transportation was a very new experience for most of our rural-based students. The trip brought everyday schoolwork to life, as they applied the lessons they have learned throughout the school year.”
Charter Connections Academy and Charter University Prep will organize a trip to Japan available to juniors and seniors every two years. For more information on CCA, CUP or CHSA call (530) 295-2259 or visit charter.edcoe.org.
Kendell Eddings and Ian Garmont make miso soup and cucumber sushi.
Charter Connections Academy and Charter University Prep students dine with Ueda Nishi High school students.
Charter Alternative Program students have an opportunity to experience a music instruction class unlike any other in El Dorado County. In January 2019, Charter University Prep (grades 7-12), Charter Connections Academy (grades 9-12), and Charter Home Study Academy (grades TK-8) launched a Japanese Taiko Drumming program.
“Taiko incorporates movement and is amazing to watch. Students learn teamwork and a bit of the Japanese mindset that working together is powerful and fulfilling” said Mike Harris, Principal for Charter University Prep and Charter Connections Academy.
Taiko is an ancient style of Japanese drumming that features a focus on both musical skill and a dynamic playing style. Our classes and ensemble will play up to 22 drums of three various sizes: the large O-deiko drums, the medium-sized chu-daiko drums and the smaller shime daiko drums.
Instructor Sascha Molina, Director of the Sacramento Taiko Dan Youth Ensemble, has 12 years of Taiko drumming experience. Having been a student of Taiko allows her to connect with her Charter students, “It is important for me to be seen — especially by the kids — because people see cultural arts and immediately think ‘I’m not from that culture, so I can’t do that’...It’s interesting to see how the kids react to me. ‘Wow! You do this?’”
“I have students approach me saying they remember the Japanese phrases used in Taiko class from Japanese 1,” said teacher, Joseph Reichmann, “When I teach about culture, we talk a lot about Taiko as the performances are a huge presence at festivals in Japan. Giving the students the ability to perform and experience these drums allows them not just to learn about Japan but to experience it - even here in Northern California.”
Charter Alternative Programs hopes to eventually gain an advanced, traveling team that will perform at assemblies and events outside of school.
Starla Stewart, an inmate of Placerville Jail, recently celebrated a significant step in her rehabilitation by earning her high school diploma. Stewart credits her accomplishment to her family who motivated her and to her teacher, Ms. Urbani, who offered her encouragement and support.
“I have been working very hard to change my life and wanted to set a positive example for my boys, ages 14 and 11 years old.” Stewart is one of the many inmates to take advantage of the Adult Education Program at the Placerville Jail, which is operated by the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE). I know that earning my high school diploma will assist me in supporting myself, as well as my two growing boys,” stated Stewart after her recognition ceremony. Approximately 20% of the inmate population receive individualized instruction to earn a high school diploma, a GED certificate, or enroll in online Short-term Career Technical Education Certification and college-level classes.
In addition to serving the population of Placerville Jail, EDCOE provides many Adult Education programs throughout the county. Once enrolled in Charter’s Adult Education programs, students are able to pursue an education tailored to meet their unique needs, including a high school diploma, GED, and ESL classes.
More information about Charter’s Adult Education programs can be found at http://aded.edcoe.org, or (530) 295-2291.
Charter Adult Education student graduates with her high school diploma.
Calvin Combs, an inmate at the El Dorado County Correctional Facility, was joined by jail staff as well as EDCOE administrators to celebrate a significant step in his rehabilitation - earning his high school diploma. Combs is one of the 45 students currently enrolled in the EDCOE Adult Education program at the Placerville jail. Combs credits this accomplishment to those who have offered him support while participating in the inmate school program. “My teacher and the jail staff continued to check in with me on a weekly basis and encouraged me to improve my circumstances.”
Of those participating, approximately 20% receive individualized instruction to earn a GED, a high school diploma, individualized job training, as well as the opportunity to explore college-level classes. In addition to serving the population of Placerville Jail, EDCOE provides many Adult Education programs throughout the county. EDCOE has collaborated with the Community Corrections Partnership to provide educational services to both the Placerville and South Lake Tahoe Jails, as well as the Community Corrections Center located in Shingle Springs - operated by the El Dorado Probation Department.
Once enrolled in Charter’s Adult Education program, students are able to pursue an education tailored to meet their unique needs, whether it’s a high school diploma, a GED, ESL classes, or many online Short-term Career Technical Education Certifications.
More information about Charter’s Adult Education programs can be found at http://aded.edcoe.org, or (530) 295-2291.
Celebrating his high school diploma is Calvin Combs (center), Gary Sutherland, Principal (left), and Cheryl Urbani, Teacher (right), Charter Adult Education.
In a continued effort to positively enhance our community and empower our future leaders, the County Board of Supervisors (Board) partners with the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) to facilitate and support the El Dorado County Youth Commission.
Each school year, students are appointed to the Youth Commission by the County Board of Supervisors to help develop and express the opinions, ideas, and vision of El Dorado County youth by working with local government and community decision-makers. Through the program, students gain leadership skills and work toward common goals as they partner with other youth organizations, assist with local community service activities, and discover ways to better communicate with youth about various opportunities available in El Dorado County.
“We are privileged to partner with our school districts and County Board of Supervisors in supporting the development of our young leaders,” noted Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools. “This community collaboration helps ensure that El Dorado County remains a very special place to live and work.”
On Tuesday, November 13th, the El Dorado County Youth Commission participated in their annual Shadow Day, where the commissioners sat with the Board during one of their regularly scheduled meetings. Commissioners were engaged in hearing public comments, contract approvals, a formal proclamation, and a discussion regarding the future of El Dorado County water.
“It is our honor to partner with our schools to provide this opportunity,” stated Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, who serves as the Board’s Liaison for the Youth Commission. “Shadow Day offers the commissioners first-hand knowledge on how local government, issues, and policies are managed, and the students gain insight into the leadership responsibilities and opportunities within our community.”
“The commissioners are grateful to have participated in Shadow Day,” noted Edith Rivera, Youth Commission Co-Chair. “It was a great experience for us, and it was interesting to hear the varying ideas and opinions regarding county business, especially since the Board’s decisions directly affect the community in which we have grown up.”
More information about the Youth Commission program can be found on their website: http://charter.edcoe.org/resources/edc-youth-commission
On Thursday, November 15th, the Charter Home Study Academy (CHSA) program celebrated the 20th anniversary of its annual Student Craft Faire, where student entrepreneurs peddled their wares to customers of all ages. Each booth, staffed by a student crafter between transitional kindergarten and eighth-grade, sold handmade products such as jewelry, toys, cuisine, and decorations. By having students create and run their own business, the Craft Faire aligns to CHSA's mission of building and applying foundational skills in ways that make learning engaging, relevant, and fun.
“In order to participate, students must submit a business plan that outlines their products, prices, and marketing strategy,” said school administrator Dianne Deitchman. “In doing so, students gain valuable experience in creative thinking, economics, and money management.”
After selling their wares, vendors visited classmates’ booths to barter and purchase goods. Students also received prizes in categories such as Master Entrepreneurs, Best Marketing, Best Display, and Most Innovative Products.
1st Place: Master Entrepreneur - Peyton Smith, 3rd grade, patriotic signs
2nd Place: Master Entrepreneur - Riley Smith, 6th grade, western-themed decorations
3rd Place: Master Entrepreneur - Abby Montgomery, 8th grade, hot cocoa & desserts
Best Display: Evelyn Shugart, 3rd grade, created a tiny bedroom to display her doll pillows
Best Marketing: Hunter Tranum, 7th grade, superhero & Disney truffles
Most Innovative Product: Kadence Gobble, 8th grade, decorative succulents
Best Slogan: Levi Morton, 6th grade, “Take a ride on the sugar side”
Best Logo: Riley Smith, 6th grade, “Lucky Buckaroo”
Peyton Smith, winner of the Master Entrepreneur award with her storefront, Peyton’s Patriotic Signs, made an impact on the judges with her business cards, slogan, and overall theming, decorating her booth in red, white, and blue as well as wearing clothing featuring stars and stripes. “I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to sell this year,” noted Smith. “My brother won last year, so I worked hard to put as much effort into my store as he did. I was happy with my store and how I supported our country while learning about business.”
The CHSA program, which is located at the Charles Brown campus, provides significant support and resources for families who choose to homeschool their children. Students have the option to attend classes in core content areas, or do their studies entirely at home, guided by parents and supported by credentialed teachers.
More information about the Charter Home Study Academy program can be found at chsa.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 622-6984.
Peyton Smith, third grade, Master Entrepreneur winner, selling her wares with her siblings
Hunter Tranum, seventh grade, best marketing winner, displaying his themed chocolates
Evelyn Shugart, third grade, with her award-winning doll pillow display
Thanks to a new, innovative math support program at Charter Home Study Academy - students, parents, and teachers are seeing increased academic engagement and performance this year. The positive results are reflected in students’ real-world understanding and excitement about math.
“I like math in this new class!” said 3rd grader Evelyn Shughart. “We do lots of activities and games that make math way more fun!”
As a means to support parents teaching math at home, Kindergarten through 5th-grade classes added an hour a week of conceptual and visual math instruction, while students in grades 6-8 supplement core classes with an extra period devoted to math exploration and discovery.
“Parents appreciate our ability to build on foundational math skills vital for student success,” noted Program Administrator Dianne Deitchman. “Our program provides an unparalleled amount of support for home school students to succeed in rigorous mathematics courses.”
Students strengthen their math skills through engaging conceptual and visual instructional strategies. For example, 3rd-grade teacher Laurie Powell recently taught her students the concept of a perimeter by having them surround various items in the class with different lengths of string.
“The new classes are showing students that solving real-world math problems can be fun,” noted 6th-grade teacher Julie Donner. “Students are enjoying the new courses and readily applying what they learn. The average score of our last chapter test was 27% higher than last year.”
Charter Homes Study Academy’s unique program serves TK through 8th-grade families who homeschool their children. Classes are offered for a portion of the week so that students can receive direct instruction and support from credentialed teachers while collaborating with peers.
More information about the Charter Home Study Academy program can be found at chsa.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 622-6984.
Adriana Santana, Maddox Greco, Steven Hernandez, and Ally Summers collaborating during Math Expansion
Evelyn Shughart practicing newly learned math skills
While working on her associate's degree through Lake Tahoe Community College, Lelita Guthrie was told she couldn’t receive her AA without her high school diploma due to a missing Algebra requirement. “I shoved the thought of a high school diploma in the back once again until my son talked me into meeting with his teacher, Susan Baker. As it turns out, South Lake Tahoe has an adult education program, Mt. Tallac Adult School, and I only needed two more classes to obtain my high school diploma,” Guthrie explained.
“What makes the El Dorado County Office of Education Adult Education programs so beneficial to the community,” said program administrator Gary Sutherland, “is the opportunity to provide our region’s adult learners with a wide range of rich learning experiences tailored to meet their unique needs. Ms. Guthrie’s situation is the perfect example of how our programs prepare and empower our students to achieve their educational, career, and personal goals.”
Guthrie overcame a series of personal hurdles to get to her graduation date, including dropping out as a junior in high school, getting married, starting a family, leaving an unhealthy relationship, raising her children, moving across the country, losing both her brothers and her mother, and running a successful cleaning business. With the help of the Adult Education program, Lelita Guthrie, age 64, fulfilled her 47-year-old promise to her parents to receive her high school diploma.
“To make this milestone even more special,” stated Guthrie, “my son only needed one class for his high school diploma, so we turned in our homework at the same time, and now we will be walking the stage to receive our high school diplomas together.” To sweeten the event even more, Lelita’s granddaughter is a graduating senior at South Tahoe High School, so Guthrie, her son, and her granddaughter will all graduate in South Lake Tahoe during the 2018-19 school year!
Guthrie’s advice to those who are seeking help with their education or career goals is simple. “One can go back to school even if they have fears and seasons behind them. The first step is walking back into the school - the rest will come.”
The EDCOE Adult Education program provides opportunities for adults throughout El Dorado County, from El Dorado Hills to Lake Tahoe, to continue their education or enhance their career, in structured, yet flexible learning environments - and all of the courses are free.
For more information about the programs - which includes high school diploma, GED, and hundreds of industry-approved certification courses - please visit aded.edcoe.org or call (530) 295-2291.
Students from Charter Alternative Programs held their first gaming event of the 2018-19 school year on Friday, August 31st. This Welcome Back gathering was open to all 6th through 12th-grade students attending Charter Connections Academy (CCA), Charter Home Study Academy (CHSA), and Charter University Prep (CUP). Levi Ainsworth, a member of the CCA student leadership, organized the event to bring students together in a setting outside of the classroom. “Gaming is a great way to get students to interact who may not know each other very well. We play a variety of video game systems, so there is a game for everyone!” exclaimed Ainsworth.
Wyatt Wells and Timothy Moss, students from Charter University Prep and Charter Connections Academy, ‘came to hang out and play games together’, as explained by Wells. Steven Bryant, Coordinator for CCA elaborated, “The games are all family-friendly and allow the kids from various programs to get to know each other while having a great time. It doesn’t matter which Program you attend, it’s all about exercising your skills, making friends, and having fun”.
Charter Home Study Academy K-8 invests in families who choose to be active participants in their children’s education. Charter Connection Academy’s (9-12) mission is to prepare students for success in future careers and targeted advanced education. Charter University Prep (7-12) students take rigorous academic courses as well as advanced courses at Folsom Lake College during their Junior and Senior years.
For more information on the programs available at Charter Alternative Programs, please go to charter.edcoe.org.
The El Dorado County Youth Commission is accepting applications now through 9/11/18. The Youth Commission works to develop and express the options, ideas and vision of our local youth. To be eligible, youth must be at least 13 years old, a resident of El Dorado County, and a student in grades 9-12 for the 2018/2019 school year.
Additional details and applications can be found here, or contact Amy Pooley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The El Dorado County Youth Commission is collaboratively supported by El Dorado County and The El Dorado County Office of Education.
If you have trouble reading this flier, please contact Amy Pooley at 530-417-2055
On behalf of our Charter staff, a warm welcome to new students, and welcome back to returning families. We have new and expanded program offerings at all sites, which are sure to make this year the best ever! Our staffs are eagerly preparing for the first day of school on Monday, August 6th, and are looking forward to seeing all of the students.
If your family is considering one or more of our outstanding programs, we invite and encourage you to attend the welcome-back events and/or meetings for new and returning families. It is a great way for you to meet our dedicated staff and to hear about and see our schools first-hand. You will find a welcoming and nurturing learning environment for students, with professional staff partnering with you in educating your child(ren).
We offer a wide range of high quality independent study and alternative education programs. Our schools are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC). We pride ourselves on the strength of our relationships with families, which is reflected in all we do. At Charter, we invite you to be an active participant in the education of your child(ren).
For more information or to attend the welcome back events, please visit our website at http://charter.edcoe.org/ or call (530) 295-2259. Enrollment is open throughout the year.
Charter Home Study Academy (CHSA) is uniquely designed to serve families in a hybrid and distance learning environment. Education is all around us and is not limited to one location or time frame. This is one component of homeschooling and is a driving force in how we incorporate all modes of learning, including distance learning. Our teachers engage with students and families using a variety of tools and methods. CHSA teachers are skilled in quickly adapting instruction and curriculum to the ever-changing environment in education.
For more information about our program, please read through the Frequently Asked Questions. If you are ready to enroll or would like to hear more about our program, please fill out the request form or call 530-622-6984 to schedule an appointment. At this time, informational appointments are held through phone and zoom appointments.
Informational Enrollment Request Form
Dear Charter Program Families,
Please see the following press release that was sent out to our community last night from Dr. Manansala, our County Superintendent of Schools, and our School District Superintendents, detailing the extension of school facilities closures in El Dorado County for the remainder of the school year. This follows guidance earlier from Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
Though we were all hoping this would not happen, we fully acknowledge the seriousness of the emergency and the necessity of following public health guidelines to ensure the safety of students, families, and staff. Charter Principals will be following up with our families at each school and program with regard to our plans to keep improving our distance learning services for our students and families, which are continuing.
The full closure extension order press release can be read on the El Dorado Office of Education website: http://edcoe.org/
Dear Charter Families,
Children and teenagers react differently to situations involving stress induced by change, and we are sensitive to the impact the current situation may be having on your student’s well being. The health and safety of our students and staff remains our ongoing priority, so we wanted you to be aware that our mental health coaching services are still available to our students during the school closure. We have worked with our partners at Minds Moving Forward to continue these services through telephone conferences. Our health coaches will be contacting current student clients during the next week.
If you feel your student may benefit from health coaching during this time, these free services are available on a limited, space-available basis. Simply call or email your school office at one of the numbers below, and we will connect with you to help you complete the necessary paperwork.
CCP: email@example.com (530) 295-2259
CHSA: firstname.lastname@example.org (530) 622-6984
CCA & CUPrep: email@example.com (530) 622-8594
If your child needs crisis or clinical counseling, please contact a local provider such as New Morning Youth and Family Services, which is offering crisis counseling services for stress and anxiety exhibited by children and families. To make an appointment, please call (530) 622-5551 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If you have a mental health emergency, please contact the El Dorado County Mental Health Crisis Line at (530) 622-3345 or dial 911.
Dave Publicover, Executive Director
Dear Charter Program Families,
Please see the following press release that was sent out to our community earlier from Dr. Manansala, our County Superintendent of Schools, and our School District Superintendents that details the extension of school closures in El Dorado County. The first paragraph of the letter is below: http://edcoe.org/message-to-el-dorado-county-school-closure-extension
In response to the rapidly evolving COVID‐19 circumstances and the potential impact in El Dorado County, School District Superintendents and the County Superintendent of Schools, have decided in concurrence with Dr. Nancy Williams, County Public Health Officer, to extend the closure of all public El Dorado County schools through the district’s upcoming spring break. We urge families to prepare for closures of a longer duration. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on the status of closures. Dr. Nancy Williams continues to report that while there are no current positive cases in our county, the El Dorado County Public Health Division expects to begin seeing positive cases in the coming days and weeks, which may require a continued response... (additional information in the full letter)
Thank you for your understanding, and we will continue to provide information to our families as it relates to curriculum and services as information is available.
David Publicover, Executive Director
Although the COVID-19 closures are not easy for anyone, especially if you have children at home, our mission remains the same: providing our families with the best educational support possible. Though there are many challenges, our staffs are working very hard on further improving our support and outreach. This includes making steady progress in improving our online curriculum support, as well as connecting with our students on a regular basis through a variety of methods. Each of our schools is tailoring its approach to best meet the needs of its student population.
Even during this challenging situation, we can create positives together. This unprecedented event is not only an opportunity to dedicate more time with family, it is also an opportunity to share resources that many of our alternative learning and home school families and teachers use on a regular basis. These resources will help families discover reliable distance learning experiences or expand on what many teachers have already assigned to students. For teachers, looking for new online activities, these resources will help prepare exciting and interactive distance learning lessons.
It is important to note that this resource is not a replacement for the activities a teacher has assigned, but it is a valuable tool to help enhance learning in this new educational environment.
Please visit our new online curriculum resource website here and know that we are adding new resources every day! The website is designed to allow our families to quickly find subject level resources at the elementary, middle school, or high school level.
Dear Charter Program Families and Staff,
Please see the following press release that was just sent out to our community: http://edcoe.org/letter-to-el-dorado-county
The safety and wellness of students, families, and school personnel are the highest priorities of all El Dorado County schools and districts. In recognition of the statewide COVID-19 situation and the potential impact in El Dorado County, School District Superintendents and Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools, have decided in concurrence with Dr. Nancy Williams, County Public Health Officer, to close all public El Dorado County schools during the week of March 16-20. We will reassess at the end of next week whether an extension of school closures beyond March 20th will be necessary.
Charter Principals will be sending additional information to you, including how students will access curriculum and communicate with staff. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
David Publicover, Executive Director
The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and families remains our top priority. We know many in our community are feeling anxiety regarding the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19); and, while Governor Newsom announced a State of Emergency Wednesday afternoon, the threat to our area at this time remains low. During this uncertain circumstance, the best thing we can do is reduce risk through prevention and remain informed.
EDCOE is working closely with The El Dorado County Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) which created a webpage with valuable resources. Click here to access the website >>
It is important to remember that schools are well prepared for a potential outbreak, having experience preventing regular illnesses such as the flu and common cold. Our custodial teams are taking steps to fortify the cleanliness of our school sites. Please encourage proper personal hygiene to protect yourselves, students, family members and colleagues from all viruses.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this together. Please stay safe and have a nice day.
The safety of our students, families, and staff is our top priority, so we are sharing the link below with an update from the El Dorado County Office of Education to our community regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have and will continue to monitor this situation closely in partnership with our County Health Department.
Charter Home Study Academy’s fourth-grade core class celebrated their mastery of multiplication facts with a Multiplication “Mathquerade” Ball. Throughout the year students have been working on using the four mathematical operations to solve problems, to practice the academic language of math, and to generate and analyze patterns. To celebrate and demonstrate their abilities, teacher Sue Beaudette created the “Mathquerade” Mystery Ball. Using terms in the academic language of multiplication such as factor and product, students had to determine which numbers were “invited to the ball”.
Principal, Steve Bryant, and middle school teachers, Coral Brunet and Julie Donner made guest appearances during the ball to provide more mathematical sentences and to allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge.
“The students enjoyed having the staff come in and celebrate their skills. This gives the students a new avenue to engage in the standards and to demonstrate their abilities in a fun and interactive way,” stated Sue Beaudette. The students added that they loved making the masks and were excited to show off their knowledge.
The Mathquerade Ball is the most recent of many activities at CHSA that not only make learning fun and engaging, but also facilitate enriching social events for home school families.
Charter Home Study Academy K-8 (CHSA) program is a public school option that provides support for families choosing to educate their children at home. Parents facilitate daily lessons, enrichment activities, and correct student’s work. Parents choose from a variety of program options including half-day, twice-weekly classes in grades K-5, full-day, twice-weekly classes for grades 6-8, art-based writing labs, music programs, and skills improvement labs. Staff and parents collaborate to create an individualized academic plan for each student. For more information on the programs or to enroll a student, please call (530) 622-6984 or go to www.chsa.edcoe.org.
"Mathquerade" students at CHSA!
At El Dorado County Office of Education’s (EDCOE) Charter College and Career Prep School (CCP), 14 high school students participated in a unique career day at Ken Lowry Preschool Center to learn about employment options in the child development industry. Students toured classrooms, playgrounds, received information about employment opportunities, and asked questions. Student Mia Hooper stated, “I’ve always been interested in a career working with children, and the close proximity to Folsom Lake College presents an opportunity for employment at the preschool and taking college classes at the same time.”
CCP Principal Maria Osborne provided each student information about the Human Services degree program available at Folsom Lake College, which includes early childhood education. Several of the student participants are currently enrolled to begin coursework in January 2020. A question and answer session provided valuable information on the varied positions within the preschool setting ranging from teacher assistants, teachers, supervisors, food services, and more. Students were excited to discover that they would be ideal candidates for available positions after high school graduation.
The program was sponsored by the Innovative Pathways to Public Service (IPPS), which is a cross-sector collaborative of organizations focused on youth and workforce development. November was ‘Careers in Public Service’ month to increase the awareness about public sector career opportunities to the workforce of tomorrow. The month-long program showcased professions in industries throughout the greater Sacramento area, including healthcare, cities, counties, special districts, and state government.
EDCOE team members look forward to the possibility of continuing these innovative experiences. Melissa Kistler, EDCOE Director of District and Program Support said, “Students who were part of this experience chose to participate in and learn about jobs in early childhood education because they are truly interested in it as a potential career and they can see the pathway to get them to their goal. They can see that it is doable, and they have a team of people around them here at EDCOE who can help them achieve their goals. We hope to increase participation with IPPS around the county so that more students can experience these incredible learning opportunities around careers in the public sector.”
For more information about EDCOE Charter Alternative Programs, visit https://charter.edcoe.org/
Starla Steward, an El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Adult Education graduate, is continuing her journey with EDCOE through the Northern California Construction Training (NCCT) program.
The NCCT is a building trade’s pre-apprenticeship training program that helps prepare men and women for entry into various construction trades apprenticeship training programs. The El Dorado County NCCT program, which opened this Summer, provides test preparation such as math basics and how to read blueprints as well as hands-on building experience.
Starla, recognizing the opportunity that Adult Education and the NCCT program were providing, challenged herself to be part of the program as she is currently is the only woman in her class.
“I have three kids, 12-. 13-. and 15-years old.” Steward said, “It’s really important not only that I have a way to provide for them but that they see what learning and hard work can do for you.
“Our Adult Education programs prepare and empower our students to achieve their educational, career, and personal goals - whether it is earning a high school diploma, a high school equivalency certificate (GED), or passing one of the hundreds of industry-approved certification programs at our Pearson Vue Testing Center,” notes Principal Gary Sutherland.
Steward’s days start when she arrives on the NCCT campus, located at 6187 Pleasant Valley Road, in the town of El Dorado, in full uniform, including boots, tool belt, and tools. Steward and her cohorts then spend some time in class preparing for a competency exam. Sometimes the class is held outside to also prepare students for the outdoor elements they will experience on the job. Next, Steward and her classmates spend time on a variety of hands-on building projects for the community. They are currently working on planter boxes for the on-site community garden.
Acknowledging the positive impact the NCCT program has had on the community, Raley’s grocery stores and the Sacramento King’s have agreed to donate funds for the beautification of the NCCT program campus.
While the NCCT program itself is an unpaid experience, Starla and other students upon completion have the opportunity to join the construction trades apprenticeship training program of his/her choosing, with wages that start anywhere from $14.00 to $23.00 per hour.
Steward says that it is worth it. “It’s hard being in school five days a week, especially with kids, but even though you struggle, you need to put one foot in front of the other. Everyone I know who has done this program is successfully employed. Knowing that and that I need to provide for my family, keeps me going.”
Starla Steward continues her journey with EDCOE through the Northern California Construction Training (NCCT) program.
On Tuesday, December 3rd, Charter Home Study Academy’s (CHSA) multipurpose room was filled with eager customers traveling from booth to booth to purchase homemade creations from student business owners. CHSA’s Craft Faire, where transitional kindergarten through eighth-grade students sell art, holiday decorations, hand-made toys, international cuisine, and more, has become an annual tradition for many in the Charter Alternative Programs community.
The event, now in its 21st year, celebrates the variety of unique artistry skills that students of CHSA have while fostering entrepreneurial proficiency.
This event is designed to allow students to experience entrepreneurialism by developing an idea for a product, creating a business plan, obtaining materials, marketing and selling their product.” said school Principal Steve Bryant, “Our goal at CHSA is to create opportunities for each student to discover a deeper understanding of self and their relationship to the world around them.“
In addition to learning how to run their business and making a little money, students also received prizes in categories such as Master Entrepreneurs, Best Marketing, Best Display and Most Innovative Products.
First place, Master Entrepreneur — Britton Chaloupka - Grade Eight
Second place, Master Entrepreneur — Evelyn Shugart - Grade Four
Third place, Master Entrepreneur — Devin Houk- Grade Four
Best Display — Riley Smith - Seventh Grade
Best Marketing — Jacob and Jarrod Berry - Grade Eight, Grade Five
Most Innovative Product — Kadence Gobble - Grade Eight
Best Slogan — Mabel Hinds “If you want treats for your table, come see Mabel” - Grade Three
Best Logo — Lilah Hinds - Grade Six
Best Business Card - Peyton and Taylor Smith - Grade Four, Grade First
The CHSA program, which is located in El Dorado, provides significant support and resources for families who choose to homeschool their children. Students have the option to attend classes in core content areas, or do their studies entirely at home, guided by parents and supported by credentialed teachers.
More information about the Charter Home Study Academy program can be found at chsa.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 622-6298.
Messers Mining Company conducting a sale
Evelyn Shugart displaying her hand made snowman lights
Devin Houk and his cat-fishing poles
Britton Chaloupka, Master Entrepreneur winner, in her “Slime Squad” booth
In a continued effort to positively enhance our community and empower our future leaders, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors (Board) partners with the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) to facilitate and support the El Dorado County Youth Commission.
Youth Commission members. Top row (left to right) Dane Sheridan, Carter Hill, Amanda Kendler, Fatima Vazquez Rios, Abegale Jones; Front Row (left to right) Edith Rivera, Grace Salvestrin, Anavi Deshmukh, Calyssa Glas
Each school year, students are appointed to the Youth Commission by the County Board of Supervisors to help develop and express the opinions, ideas, and vision of El Dorado County youth by working with local government and community decision-makers. Through the program, students gain leadership skills and work toward common goals as they partner with other youth organizations, assist with local community service activities, and discover ways to better communicate with youth about various opportunities available in El Dorado County.
It is an honor to collaborate with our school districts and County Board of Supervisors in support of developing young leaders,” noted Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools. “We see great potential and promise in this special group of students.”
El Dorado County Youth Commission join the County Board of Supervisors during the annual Shadow Day.
In November, the Youth Commission participated in their annual Shadow Day, and commissioners accompanied the Board during one of their regularly scheduled meetings. They provided input on agenda items such as public comments, countywide housing and employment projections through 2040, funding approval for community outreach requests, and a presentation regarding an update to the proposed methodology process for the Regional Housing Needs Assessment.
Youth Commission sitting at County Board of Supervisor’s meeting.
“It was truly inspiring to work along-side these future leaders,” stated Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, who serves as the Board’s Liaison for the Youth Commission. “Shadow Day offers the commissioners first-hand exposure to the intricacies of our local leadership. I am proud of the Commissioners for sharing their insights surrounding the agenda items at this meeting.”
“Participating in the Board of Supervisors meeting was fascinating,” noted Carter Hill, Youth Commission Vice-Chair. “Understanding the balance between meeting the varying needs of each El Dorado County community and maintaining the overall respect for County constituents, while also being mindful of future impacts and budget restraints is not an easy undertaking. It was a privilege to participate in agenda item discussions with our County Leaders. As a Commission, we are grateful for this educational opportunity.”
More information about the Youth Commission program can be found on their website: http://charter.edcoe.org/resources/edc-youth-commission
Interview with WilleJune
Briefly describe your background (where you grew up, family, why you came to work for EDCOE).
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." well, maybe not that far away, but certainly a long time ago, I began my teaching career right here in El Dorado County at Pioneer Union School District. Teaching has been in my soul for nearly my whole life. Apparently, when I was a little girl I would line up my dolls and impart great lessons to a captive audience. Although my Mom did not complete her formal education, she was a natural in the field, and I learned much from her example. She and my father were determined to provide educational opportunities for my sister and myself that started by fostering a grand love for learning and supporting our endeavors. Both of my parents worked for the Mother Lode Union School District, and in fact I am now teaching in room one on the Charles Brown Campus where my Mother spent years as an Educational Assistant.
After gaining a solid start in my first years of teaching at Pioneer School, acceptance to graduate school for my husband took us to Southern California. As a result of living in the city, I experienced new opportunities for expanding my teaching career. Eventually, we returned to El Dorado County. Only this time, a few more faces defined the Eggert family portrait. As a result of having children, teaching for me took on a different form for a period of time. However, I was ready to return to the classroom when an opportunity was presented by Mike Harris to teach in EDCOE’s Charter program.
What is your department, title, and how long have you worked for EDCOE?
I am currently in my 16th year as an EDCOE teacher at both Charter University Prep (CUPrep) and Charter Connections Academy (CCA).
Describe how your role helps support programs/schools/students directly or indirectly.
As a teacher, it is an honor to invite students into the process of learning and to be a part of creating an atmosphere that motivates and encourages the potential inside them. I truly love the art of teaching, of accessing, and sculpting the learning process in a way that allows all students to achieve those “A-ha” moments that can open new avenues of understanding and forward-thinking. I appreciate the dynamic perspective that adolescents bring to learning, and although my job is to teach, I so enjoy getting to know the individuals sitting in my classes, and the strengths they contribute to my learning process as well.
What do you most appreciate about your department/team?
There is a commonality of dedication to teaching that I observe amongst our staff both in those that have now retired, and those who are new additions. We, as a staff, represent a variety of interests, skill sets, personalities, and expertise. Our schedule at CUPrep and CCA is different from the traditional, and I appreciate the support I receive from the teachers I work alongside in this unique setting.
What is your proudest moment at EDCOE? Why?
I have had many proud moments at EDCOE. However, two specific situations stand out. Both began through interactions with individuals in our broader community. I had contact with two organizations that promote student achievement and introduced those organizations to our charter program. As a result, opportunities were opened for our students to participate in competitions that, at one point were only allowed for the students in traditional schools. A proud moment was in 2013 when one of our 8th graders took 2nd place at the national level through a Fleet Reserve Association writing contest, and since that time, our students have won each year at either the local, regional, or national level. Another was in 2015 when one of our students became a delegate and was sent to represent EDCOE’s CUPrep at Boy’s State through the American Legion. Again, until this time, candidates had only been selected from the traditional high schools. It was a privilege to be a part of the initial contact, groundwork, application process, coaching, encouragement, and support in both of these situations.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, my favorite activity is to enjoy my family. Since our family is now spread out across the nation, I am grateful for face time, family texting, and great deals on Southwest. Our four children, two daughters in law and two granddaughters, are amazing individuals that I treasure, and I am so grateful to journey life with them. My husband and I are busy people, but our home is a refuge that we enjoy tending together. I enjoy cooking, trying new recipes, making jam, and re-creating foods that I have tasted outside our home. It is a challenge and “flavor puzzle” I like to figure out. Taking walks, bike riding, skiing, and reading are also on my list of activities that fill my spare time.
What is something many people may not know about you?
Not everyone may know that this March will mark the eighth trip I have directed to the east coast with our CUPrep students. Every even year since 2006, I have had the privilege to travel with our 8th and 9th graders to Virginia and Washington DC. It is an amazing opportunity, and I am so appreciative of EDCOE’s support and Mike Harris’ vision to allow our students to experience our nation’s history at the actual sights.
Along different lines, people may not know that I have hiked with my family to the top of majestic Half Dome in Yosemite, have enjoyed tea at High Clere Castle (Downton Abbey) with my daughter, and that I play the piano.
If you could meet anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) and Mary Custis Lee (1807-1873). Two women that led different lives in different time periods and countries. However, both women exhibited extreme courage, faith in God, and determination to meet the challenges life handed her in a way that impacted her culture.
From supervisor, Mike Harris, Principal, Charter University Prep and Charter Connections Academy
WilleJune is the backbone of our Junior High. She has the privilege of teaching every 7th and 8th-grade student in History and gets to know them on a personal level. She reads the pulse of each student and coordinates with the other teachers to make sure no one is falling through the cracks. WilleJune has successfully led and designed eight cross country field trips to Washington, DC, and Virginia. She has designed a program where students experience the history and structure of our government in an authentic way. WilleJune also guides our graduating seniors through a class focusing on transitioning to independent living as an adult; whether that be college or the work world. She guides our students through exercises and experiences to help them build resiliency and confidence as they step away from the life they’ve always known. Whether it be encouragement at the beginning of Junior High, great experiences, or launching students into adulthood, WilleJune is phenomenal and a significant reason our students experience success.
The CARE program at Markham Middle School was honored on November 14th, with a visit from Combat Veterans Robert Kinzel (Marines) and Veronica Salter (Army). Their visit included a presentation about their careers in the military, insight into the sacrifices made by those who serve, and reasons why students must protect the freedom of Americans, which includes regularly stating the Pledge of Allegiance.
The CARE (Community Action for Responsive Education) program provides high-quality alternative education for at-risk students in grades 7-12. The program builds on student strengths and assets while identifying and developing areas of need. Speakers such as Kinzel and Salter allow students to practice their communication skills while showcasing post high school career options that excite and interest CARE students.
The El Dorado County Youth Commission is a group of dedicated High School students from throughout the county, appointed by the County Board of Supervisors and County Office of Education, to represent the voice of local youth. The website is YChealth.org.
The Youth Commission has created a website to support students with resources about mental health and wellness. The Commission also supports that good mental health is as much about each student’s mental, emotional, and spiritual state as it is about their physical condition.
Self-Wellness Week is a student-driven awareness campaign to help create a community culture where students can and are comfortable with reaching out for support to connect with a peer, trusted adult, or professional when feeling overwhelmed. You may see blue and green bracelets being worn by our students as a reminder that embracing wellness is a strength of character. It is our hope this is a signal to others to be part of a healthy community. Thank you for all you do for our students and school community. Be well!
Take a look at their website and view the short video, featuring several of our high school students.
Dear Charter Students and Parents,
The Charter Alternative Programs and El Dorado County Office of Education are committed to supporting the lifelong success of students, including providing information to students and families on how to access mental health and other support services while on campus, within El Dorado County, and regionally. These resources are available on our school websites under the Resources drop-down menu, or you can access these pages directly through the links below. They include resources and contact information for students in crisis.
Charter has added health coaching services for students this year, which are available on a limited basis at our CCP, CHSA, CCA, and CUPrep school sites.
Please visit your school’s website below to access these resources or contact your school's office. The information will also be available in future versions of our Student/Parent Handbooks.
Charter College & Career Prep Office: (530) 295-2259
Charter Home Study Academy Office: (530) 622-6984
Charter Connections Academy Office: (530) 622-8594
Charter University Prep Office: (530) 622-8594
The El Dorado County Office of Education Charter Alternative Programs is pleased to share the launch of Extended Day’s program video. This short, informational video allows viewers to take a peek inside the high-quality program and highlights many positive program components while hearing from students and parents directly about their experiences. See the video here (link) or featured on eday.edcoe.org.
The El Dorado County Office of Education Charter Alternative Programs is pleased to share the launch of Charter University Prep’s program video. This short, informational video allows viewers to take a peek inside CUPrep’s exceptional two-day a week independent study program and includes parent and student testimonials to highlight what makes the school an outstanding educational choice in El Dorado County. See the video here (link) or featured on cuprep.edcoe.org.
On behalf of our entire Charter staff, welcome to what promises to be a wonderful 2019-20 school year. Our staff members are eagerly preparing for the first day of school on Tuesday, August 13th, and we are looking forward to seeing all of the students. We have new and expanded program offerings at all sites, which are sure to please students and parents alike.
If your family is considering one or more of our outstanding programs, we invite and encourage you to attend the welcome-back events and/or meetings for new and returning families. It is a great way for you to meet our dedicated staff and to hear about and see our schools first-hand. You will find a welcoming and nurturing learning environment for students and professional staff partnering with you in educating your child(ren).
We offer a wide range of high-quality independent study and alternative education programs, and all of our schools are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC). We pride ourselves on the strength of our relationships with families, which is reflected in all we do. At Charter, we invite you to be an active participant in the education of your child(ren).
For more information or to attend the welcome back events, please visit our website at http://charter.edcoe.org/ or call (530) 295-2259. Enrollment is open throughout the year to students residing in El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer, Amador, or Alpine County.
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
The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter students recently received National, Regional, and Local awards for their exceptional writing at a dinner hosted by the Fleet Reserve Association. Each year, the Reserve sponsors a writing contest for 7-12th grade students to promote the spirit of American patriotism among our country’s youth.
Embracing this year's writing theme, What Memorial Day Means to Me, the Charter students showcased their skills and came away with several awards. Macey Deruell, a sophomore at Charter University Prep, won first place at the National level, while Hannah Frost, eighth grade, secured third place. At the Regional level, Senior Juliana Eggert, won first place, and eighth grade student, Abriana Stewart, placed second. Elyse Johnson, a Junior, won third place at the Local level.
Teachers WilleJune Eggert and Cherri Whiteley, who guided the students’ efforts, are two of the many EDCOE Charter educators who are passionate about providing rigorous and engaging curriculum that boost each student’s potential. “We take great pride in seeing our students use and apply relevant and effective communication skills,” noted Principal Mike Harris. “Our students gain confidence, and it helps them transition seamlessly into college and career opportunities, which are key priorities for the Charter Alternative Programs.”
For more information regarding the EDCOE Charter programs operated by the El Dorado County Office of Education, visit our website at charter.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 295-2259.
Photo: Distinguished students at Charter University Prep are recognized for their gifted writing at a dinner hosted by the Fleet Reserve Association. Left to right: WilleJune Eggert, Hannah Frost, Julianna Eggert, Abriana Steward, Bud Sweet, Elise Johnson, Macey Deruelle, & Cherri Whiteley.
EXTENDED DAY IS COMING TO
CHARTER MONTESSORI AT VALLEY VIEW FOR 2017-18!
K-8 Before and After School Child Care
Tuesday, July 25th and Thursday, August 3rd
6:30-10:00 a.m. OR 3:00-7:00 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
Principal, CCA & CUPrep
Twenty-four adult graduates received their diplomas at one of the most inspirational ceremonies in El Dorado County on Tuesday, May 31. The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) offers support and services to students of all ages, and the Adult Education Programs allow individuals to complete a variety of educational milestones that otherwise may have seemed out of reach. Principal Gary Sutherland oversees the Adult Education Programs and gave these words of encouragement, “We acknowledge you for a variety of reasons as you have conquered trials and tribulations to arrive at this point of success. I commend all of you and want to encourage you to give back and lend a hand to those around you. May today be the beginning of a new journey.”
Teacher Vicky Peoples also addressed the graduates and stated, “This program is so much different than high school. Some of you have jobs, major responsibilities, spouses, and children. If you are parents, you are also teachers – you are both students and educators.”
Heather Hawkins was joined by her proud family and gave a speech to her classmates, “Because of this program, I can do whatever I want to do and be whoever I want to be. I did this because I want to be a good role model for my children.”
Student Robert Diller might have been a self-proclaimed nervous wreck, but he delivered his speech like a pro. “I want to thank my family because this would not have happened without their support. Today is a beautiful day!”
Along with the adult diploma program, Adult Education Programs offer GED preparation and testing, adult basic education skills, English as a second language, career development, computer literacy, test preparation, concurrent high school classes, and more. Classes are offered year-round in various formats such as the traditional classroom setting and distance learning. Recently celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the program continues to expand and grow to meet the needs of the County. The program provides free-of-charge classes across the County to any person 18 years of age or older. For more information about the program, visit http://aded.edcoe.org/
Principal Gary Sutherland, the Adult Education Class of 2016, and teacher Vicky Peoples gather for a beautiful evening of celebration and thanks. Congratulations Graduates!
Student Heather Hawkins gives a passionate speech about how completing this program has opened a new world of opportunity and promise.
Charter Career Prep (CCP) students recently completed an innovative project that strengthened students’ science, research, and critical thinking skills by gathering and testing emu eggs for viability. The engaging, fun project is typical of the program, which emphasizes making learning relevant through hands-on projects and vocational opportunities.
Students monitored the weekly progress by measuring the weight of four eggs until they hatched. Of the four eggs, one emu successfully hatched, and subsequently attended class every day for two weeks. Students continued to monitor its growth and weigh it weekly as it grew quickly, noting its first milestones: first standing, able to walk without falling, able to run, as it developed. At CCP this type of project and thinking prepares students to successfully transition to career or college opportunities as part of the school's mission.
“Growing the emu and watching the egg hatch was awesome,” Jordyn Todtenbier, 11th grade, described the experience. "I learned we sometimes have to be very patient with anything in life.”
Charter Career Prep, which is located in the town of El Dorado, works to prepare students to be college and career ready through an engaging, rigorous curriculum. Our small school environment supports skills that will benefit students throughout their lives. For more information about Charter Career Prep, visit our website website at ccp.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 621-2579.
Charter CARE Program students TEACH their way to a healthier lifestyle. The TEACH program is sponsored through a grant by the Center for Violence-Free Relationships in Placerville. Students learn to express themselves as they build healthy relationships and develop active bystander intervention skills. This innovative education strategy aligns with the Community Action for Responsive Education (CARE) Program’s core values, which focus on a rigorous academic program and maintaining a strong partnership between students, parents, and teachers.
CARE provides a high-quality, alternative education program for at-risk students in grades 7-9 and builds upon student strengths as they prepare for high school, college, and beyond. The program is designed for students to be successful even though they may have difficulty meeting the behavioral and academic standards necessary to thrive in a traditional school setting. A lower student-teacher ratio helps ensure improved behavior and academic performance.
TEACH students participate in a variety of activities including, art, drama, games, and group discussions that solve peer issues and concerns. Community guest speakers, written letters, and care packages sent to U.S. Navy members have been highly successful with the 7th and 8th grade students. Communication and partnership with parents, teachers, and the community are central elements of the CARE program.
“My students are much more thoughtful and kind," CARE Program teacher, Janet Dewolf states. “I have noticed a marked positive change after using TEACH in her classroom for the last two years.”
Charter CARE Programs are available at two middle schools and one high school campus in El Dorado County. For more information about Charter’s CARE Program, visit our website at care.edcoe.org, or call (530) 295-2259.
The California Arts Council has awarded Charter University Prep’s (CUPrep) Kate Wells the Teacher Hero Award of 2016, for her work with the Poetry Out Loud program. For 11 years, the Poetry Out Loud competition has encouraged the nation's youth to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Students compete at the local level and can advance to state and national levels. The Hero Award was established to acknowledge the remarkable work done in the classroom by thousands of teachers, coaches, teaching artists, and others who bring this program to life. This year, more than 50,000 students in 35 California counties participated in the competition.
Mrs. Wells teaches five English classes across three different grades, where she has made Poetry Out Loud a required component of the curriculum in every class. This allows her students to benefit from the program and succeed in the competitions. CUPrep students often appear in the El Dorado County finals, and some have finished as high as 2nd place statewide.
The El Dorado Arts Council nominated Mrs. Wells because of her dedication to her students and the Poetry Out Loud program. In the nomination letter, Poetry Out Loud Coordinator Moira Magneson noted that, “Clearly Kate is a catalyst for and friend of poetry in El Dorado County, absolutely fulfilling Poetry Out Loud’s mission of reviving poetry as a national literary art. In uplifting language, poetry and young people, she has inspired a generation of individuals who will go out in the world fearless in their love of poetry and the arts!”
Mike Harris, CUPrep’s Principal, noted, “Kate is a hero precisely because she doesn't see her students as fitting into a normal sentence. Each one is a thought, a feeling, and an infinitely unique individual. Kate demonstrates courage to give of herself so that others might be more.”
Charter University Prep is located at the Charles Brown Educational Center in El Dorado. CUPrep focuses on addressing complex ideas and critical thinking, which are necessary for success at the University level. Poetry Out Loud supports the school’s goals of systematically strengthening students’ abilities to be rational, independently minded citizens who communicate effectively and contribute meaningfully to their communities.
For information about Charter University Prep, visit their website at cuprep.edcoe.org.
Charter Community School (CCS) students recently completed a Wilderness Outdoor Skills class designed to help students learn to appreciate our area’s surroundings while working together to focus on resourcefulness, problem-solving, and positive life skills. The outdoor class reflects the program’s mission of making learning fun and relevant.
The class embarked on a trip to Kyburz, where students examined the topography of the surrounding area. Throughout this excursion, students strengthened their communication skills, reinforced their trust for one another, and enhanced their ability to develop basic survival skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Students enjoyed unlocking their creativity while safely enjoying the outdoors by troubleshooting projects such as making primitive water filters out of plastic bottles; reading topographical maps; and searching, gathering, and combining materials to make a pair of snowshoes. The snowshoes were fully functional and able to trek through the snow.
Throughout the year, students are also introduced to a variety of other activities, sports, and field trips such as rock climbing, snowboarding, cross-county skiing, and hiking.
“Students set goals and challenge themselves physically and mentally to reach them,” CCS Principal Fred Mier noted. “It’s truly a unique class and special experience.”
Tyler Bushing, 10th grade, and Taylor Bushing 9th grade make their Bushcraft snowshoes for their Wilderness Outdoors Skills class in Kyburz.
CCS, which is located at the El Dorado County Office of Education in Placerville, works to provide students in grades 7-12 with a 21st-century learning environment that challenges them to maximize their potential through a rigorous and engaging curriculum, while also preparing them for transition into college and career opportunities.
For more information about the program, visit http://charter.edcoe.org/ or call (530) 295-2259.
In the interest of keeping our parents and families current with educational legal landscapes and regulations, please find the following information regarding students who have special needs.
In April 2012, two organizations - the Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and the Concerned Parent Association - filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Education (CDE) alleging that the state is not providing a free and appropriate public education to children with disabilities as required by law.
U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller in Sacramento ruled last year that the nonprofits could access records with strict measures of protection, including a protective order prohibiting the disclosure of any confidential information accessed for the trial.
Our school district was not involved in the lawsuit and is not the subject of any of the suit’s allegations. Nonetheless, as a part of this lawsuit, CDE has been ordered by the court to release all data it has collected on general and special education students since January 1, 2008. For more information regarding the release of this data visit:http://www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase
Please note that CDE will notify parents/students if their data will be collected, and those individuals may object directly to the court using the following form:http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/ws/documents/form2016jan26.pdf
The El Dorado County Board of Education is pleased to announce that Ed Manansala, Ed.D. was sworn in as El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools on Tuesday, January 5, after a thorough recruitment, selection, and vetting process.
“El Dorado County is a special place where everyone in the community is truly committed to providing a high-quality education for all students,” Dr. Manansala stated. “It is an honor and privilege to be selected for this role and to continue to support the fine work being done by our many programs, by our school districts, and by our community organizations.”
Dr. Manansala has been serving as the Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services at the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) since June 2013, and currently participates in many local community groups, nonprofits, and education associations. Prior to his work at EDCOE, he served as Interim Chief of Staff at Sacramento City School District, Superintendent of St. HOPE Public Schools, and Principal of Sacramento Charter High School.
The Board of Education ensured that the recruitment and selection process for the new superintendent was transparent, inclusive, and competitive. Community involvement was also a top priority of the Board, and there were several opportunities for the community to provide input. Additionally, interviews and board deliberation took place in an open session meeting on Monday, January 4.
“We wanted to take the time to thoughtfully move through this process, honor the community’s desires, and make the right decision,” Board President Rich Fischer explained. “Ed has a proven track record of integrity, effective leadership, and looking out for our county’s best interest. We look forward to his continued leadership.”
El Dorado County Office of Education’s Charter Career Prep school has introduced an innovative program examining the world of robotics through the career technical elements of programming, mechanical design, construction, and testing. This high energy program engages and challenges students to create robots from a box of metal strips, platforms, motors, and batteries.
The program, which was designed by Career Prep teacher Doug Booker, provides students with real-world skills including collaboration, problem solving, computer science, and project management. Students focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classroom activities, while learning the importance of communication and teamwork.
“When I first started this class, I didn’t know anything about robots, and now I know how to program, design, and build a robot,” high school senior Brittany Ulrey expressed. The program, serving grades 7-12, also educates students about the variety of work opportunities available after graduation, including computer science.
Recently, students learned how gear ratios and the robot’s weight impact performance. The students’ creations are tested by gliding, grasping, and catapulting balls across the classroom - skills they will use in competition with other students at the VEX Robotics tournament in Dublin, California, on January 9t.
The robotics program is typical of the engaging, hands-on approach to learning students experience at Charter Career Prep. The school emphasizes career and vocational skills development in a nurturing, mentor-rich setting. Educators and staff focus on ensuring students successfully transition to career or college opportunities after graduation. For more information about Charter Career Prep, call (530) 295-4560 or visit ccp.edcoe.org
Charter Career Prep students Jace Young (junior) and Kalen Nelson (sophomore) collaboratively work on their robot.
Students, families, and educators came together and enjoyed beautiful crafts and tasty food produced by Charter Home Study Academy (CHSA) transitional kindergarten through eighth grade students at their 18th Annual Craft Faire, on November 19. The multipurpose room at CHSA, located at the Charles Brown Education Center, was buzzing with activity as student vendors sold their homemade creations to appreciative customers of all ages. Students eagerly participated in the event by creating their own small business models and promoting and selling their products at the big event.
“Participating in this faire, students gain valuable experience in economics, money management, and marketing,” noted Administrator Dianne Deitchman. Student products at this year’s faire included holiday decorations, bracelets, paintings, origami, and sumptuous food fare.
The Craft Faire exemplifies the mission of the Charter Home Study Academy program, which emphasizes empowering students by building foundational skills and then applying those skills in ways that make learning engaging, relevant, and fun. The El Dorado County Office of Education CHSA program serves families who choose to home school their children. Students have the option to attend classes in core content areas, in addition to academics received at home guided by their parents and supported by credentialed teachers.
Transitional kindergartener Ava Pellegrini managed a booth where customers purchased a pre-decorated pet rock or shell and brought them to life with eyes and a mouth. Her goods were laid out on a blue display, and prices ranged from $0.50 to $1.50. “She has helped her sixth grade brother Kyle for the last two years with his booth, and this year she insisted on having her own,” expressed Ava’s mother Jennifer Pellegrini. “So she made it happen, and it’s great to see her learning while being creative.”
Another sibling team was seventh grader Libby and fifth grader Renae Webb who shared a booth, pooled their recourses, and split the profits. “I am selling popcorn snacks with chocolate chips, and my sister and I made this display out of piping, ribbon, and fall decorations,” Libby proudly announced. “I really enjoy this project and had a lot of fun and learned a lot about money.”
After selling their wares, vendors visited classmates’ booths to barter and purchase goods. Prizes were given in categories such as Master Entrepreneurs, Best Marketing, Best Display, and Most Innovative Products. More information about the Charter Home Study Academy program can be found at chsa.edcoe.org or by calling 530-622-6984.
Extended Day child care team members from EDCOE were welcomed back from summer break with an “It’s Funtastic!” in-service training day. The in-service, which is part of a regular professional development model, allowed staff to gain crucial knowledge on a variety of topics designed to ensure that Extended Day continues to provide outstanding service to families in the community.
Guest speakers presented information on different ways to provide fun and engaging program elements for students, and in addition there was training on a variety of other topics, including epi-pen regulations and administration, common medical concerns, the program’s new website, and various personnel information.
“The day was filled with positive energy, and our team received great training to ensure another successful school year,” Extended Day Program Supervisor Lori Scalaro expressed.
“Extended Day provides educationally enriching child care before, during, and after school on 22 schools sites throughout El Dorado County,” Scalaro added. “I am proud of our team and their hard work delivering high-quality support and services to our students and families.”
More information about Extended Day can be found on the program’s website at http://eday.edcoe.org/ or by calling (530) 295-2298.
Students across California took new, electronic assessments this last spring, and El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter University Prep is pleased to announce that their students scored exceptionally well. In English, 75% of 7th grade, 100% of 8th grade, and 97% of 11th grade students scored “meeting or exceeding” the state standards – a level of scores achieved by very few school in the state. In math, 7th, 8th, and 11th grade students scored well, like many other schools in El Dorado County, which is among the highest scoring region in California.
EDCOE Charter University Prep serves 7th – 12th grade and provides the highest quality instruction and curriculum in math, science, the humanities, foreign languages, and the arts. The school systematically strengthen students’ abilities to be rational, independently minded citizens who communicate effectively and contribute meaningfully to their communities.
“We are proud of our students and are pleased that these scores validate our championed approach to learning. Our goals have always been to teach students how to think and communicate critically,” Charter University Prep Principal Mike Harris expressed. “Our teachers do an incredible job helping students understand both the big picture and the relevant details. Our parents and students take education seriously and the combination of all of these factors produces outstanding results, whether it is on state tests or preparation for college and life.”
The new assessments are computer-based tests that measure student knowledge of California’s English language arts and mathematics standards in grades 3-8 and 11. The assessment system provides students and teachers with a wider range of questions tailored to more accurately identify the knowledge and critical thinking skills individual students have mastered.
Overall school results have been released by the State of California, and parents will receive individual student scores in the mail soon. The new assessments are too fundamentally different from the old exams to make any reliable comparisons between old scores and new. This year’s scores are better thought of as a starting point - - a baseline for the progress students will make over time.
Educators at Charter University Prep look forward to reviewing the detailed reports, as they become available in the next few weeks. “We are committed to continuing our mission to prepare students for success in their future education and careers,” Harris added. For more information regarding Charter University Prep, visit http://cuprep.edcoe.org/
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.
Charter Community School leadership students spent Thursday, September 10, challenging themselves, working as a team, problem solving and overcoming fears on the Mother Lode River Center Ropes Course in Lotus. First, they strengthened their leadership and communication skills solving problems on lower level obstacles then moved on as a group to high level obstacles, including “Leap of Faith,” “Rock Wall Climbing” and “High Wire Walk.”
The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter Community School fosters the academic, emotional, and behavioral development of students in a 21st century learning environment that maximizes students’ success. They provide high quality instruction in small classes that make learning fun and relevant.
“At Charter Community School, we emphasize the development of the whole individual in safe, supportive learning environments,” teacher Lisa Boyle stated. “The ropes course was a very rewarding adventure for all of the students, as they learned to trust each other in leadership roles as well as relying on each other during physical challenges. Effective communication was the key to their success.”
High school junior Francisco Robles took a lot from this engaging experience, “It built a lot of trust learning how to work together and how you can overcome obstacles such as fear. I was very nervous about the “Leap of Faith.” After I was successful in getting down, I wanted to do it again. It was a confidence builder.”
Students will apply these skills and leadership techniques while planning and implementing activities at school. The new confidence in their personal abilities will allow them to experience the rewards of working together as a team. “I was very scared and didn’t want to do the “Wire Walk.” My classmates helped to encourage me to try it. I partnered with Misty Godsey. We were both afraid but worked together to complete the task. I learned to trust people that I didn’t know that well before,” high school junior Vanessa Granados expressed.
For more information about EDCOE Charter Alternative Programs, click here >>
The El Dorado County Office of Education’s (EDCOE) Charter Alternative Programs were recently awarded a six-year term of school accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The six year accreditation, which is the longest term available, is formal recognition on the part of WASC as to the very high caliber of our Charter educational programs, which included all K-12 programs. A five person visiting committee from WASC completed a three day review of our programs March 9- 11, and the WASC team was very impressed with the quality and range of educational opportunities afforded the community through EDCOE’s Charter Alternative Programs. Students, parents, staff, and other stakeholders played a key role in writing the Self-Study Report. The positive report from WASC was due to the highly collaborative nature of those relationships. Jeremy M. Meyers, El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools, noted, “WASC’s awarding of a six year term is recognition and confirmation of the outstanding work our staff delivers to our students and families.”
To view our full Self-Study report please click here: Final Self-Study
To view the Visiting Committee’s full report please click here: WASC Visiting Committee Report