Youth Commissioners Host Board of Supervisors and County Superintendent of Schools
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 to represent El Dorado County in State level Poetry Out Loud
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.
EDCOE’s Charter Programs Shine in Mid-Cycle WASC Accreditation Report
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.
El Dorado Center’s College Information Night for Incoming Students
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
El Dorado County's Board of Education recognized Charter Adult's Education Caroline Earl
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
Charter Connections Academy Biology Students Visit Nimbus Fish Hatchery
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
Charter Home Study Academy Has Talent
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
Charter Adult Education Honors First Female Inmate Graduate
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
Charter College and Career Prep Hosts Basketball Game
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.
Youth Commissioners Join County Supervisors for Annual Shadow Day
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
Charter College and Career Prep Thanksgiving
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
Charter Home Study Academy Students become Entrepreneurs
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
Jail Inmate Receives Diploma
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.
Charter College & Career Prep Provides New Opportunities for Students
The newly christened Charter College & Career Prep has started this school year with a myriad of new services that emphasize early college participation and success, as well as a curriculum rich with hands-on learning experiences. The program, which is located at the El Dorado County Office of Education in Placerville, merged two charter programs to create greater opportunities for students.
“What makes this new school truly remarkable is that we now have so many engaging programs that help students succeed in their adult lives, regardless of whether their plans are to go to college or straight into the workforce,” noted Principal Fred Mier. “We are proud of our new Advanced Education Program as well as the many applied learning courses we can now offer our students in our state-of-the-art school facility.”
The Advanced Education Program allows the Charter students to take community college courses concurrently during high school for free while earning both college and high school credits. Charter College & Career Prep and the Folsom Lake College El Dorado Center (conveniently located next door) work together to support students in their efforts through planning and meeting with each student. A Folsom Lake College Outreach Specialist meets with students twice a month to help streamline college enrollment and to ensure students have a positive and successful first experience at FLC.
“This school honestly gets better every year,” senior Dakoda Carver reflected, “In a normal school, no one knows anyone and you just go to get it done. Here, every teacher knows every student and can help them customize their high school experience to their future goals.”
The school also engages students with hands-on classes such as Culinary Arts, Maker Space, Robotics, and an Outdoor Wilderness Survival Skills course. This spring, Charter will also roll out a drone piloting and operator’s training course. This cutting-edge program will allow students to become trained and certified in the fastest-growing segment of the aviation industry. “A career in the exciting and rewarding field of unmanned aviation can earn a six-figure salary for highly-skilled pilots,” noted Doug Booker, a teacher at the school. “Allowing these students to begin their training now gives them an enormous advantage in beginning their careers.”
The combination of the early college program and applied learning opportunities have proven very popular with the students as well.
“Culinary Arts is great because it is a life skill and prepares us for adulthood. This is an opportunity that most charters don’t have. Here, we have good food and good people,” remarked student Noelle Green.
Pictured above: Noelle Green displays her ingredients during a breakfast preparation in Culinary Arts class.
Pictured above: Bryan Jimenez, Elias Brown, Alexander Camancho practice mincing in Culinary Arts class.
The Advanced Education and applied learning programs at Charter College & Career Prep are examples of the many ways Charter Alternative Programs help guide students toward a successful transition into higher education and the workforce. Additional information about Charter College & Career Prep may be found at http://charter.edcoe.org/ or by calling (530) 295-2259.
Charter Students Benefit from New Language Immersion Program
El Dorado County Office of Education Charter students are benefiting from a new Japanese language program that features unique learning and exchange opportunities with high school students in Japan, including live video sessions. The popular new program, which is offered at Charter Connections Academy and Charter University Prep, engages students with its innovative approach. Students practice their emerging skills in live, face-to-face meetings with Japanese students. The program is typical of both schools’ approach to learning, which emphasizes developing skills and critical thinking through real-world use and application. Both programs utilize 21st Century learning platforms and strategies to help ensure students are fully prepared for college and career success.
The Charter students practice their emerging Japanese language abilities with students of Veda Nishi School in Nagano, Japan, who are also using the opportunity to expand their knowledge in English. “I really enjoyed meeting students from Japan!” expressed senior Jalen Bush. “I’ve learned a little about the students, and we aren't as different as I thought. I was super nervous about our first cultural exchange, but seeing them try just as hard to speak English, as we tried to speak Japanese, helped a lot. I realized they're just kids like we are."
Joe Reichmann, Charter’s Japanese teacher notes, “Through this activity students are learning how to speak Japanese in a fun and exciting way. Not only is language being taught, but our students are able to experience a beautiful culture. It’s good to see students from different parts of the world enjoy communicating.
During their first video, the Charter students began their conversation by introducing themselves and the community of El Dorado County. In a later session, Veda Nishi students quizzed Charter students on the Japanese names of sports, animals, and fruit. In return, Charter students taught their Japanese peers words in English.
Charter Connections Academy and Charter University Prep are committed to providing meaningful direction, academic support, and counseling to help ensure students successfully transition to their next phase in life. The programs use a college-like instructional model in which students attend classes two days a week and practice independently the rest of the week. More information about Charter Connections Academy and Charter University Prep can be found at the Charter Alternative Programs’ website atcharter.edcoe.org or by calling (530) 622-7130.
Above: Senior Jalen Bush discusses common interests with a student in Nagano, Japan.
Above: Students wait their turn to practice identifying fruit and animals in Japanese.