3/31/2021 Charter University Prep celebrates 20 years of stellar education offering
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.
2020-21 Charter Student Calendar
Charter Alternative Programs has released its student calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Click here to preview.
Charter Home Study Academy Is Now Enrolling Students for the 2020-21 School 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
Students Earn College Credit at EDCOE Charter Alternative Programs
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.
School Facilities Closure Extended
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/
Wellness Coaching During the COVID-19 School Closures
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
School Closure Extension
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
Resources for Online Curriculum and Instruction
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.
Coronavirus Update - Program Closures
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
Health & Safety Update
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.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for no less than 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Refrain from shaking hands when greeting others.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing. Try to use a tissue when you sneeze, cough or blow your nose – do not use your hands. Quickly throw away used tissues then wash your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Most germs spread when a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- Do not share food, utensils, beverages, towels, lip balm/lipstick, phones or anything else that might become contaminated with germs.
- If you are suffering from a respiratory illness and running a fever higher than 100 degrees, please remain home until you have been fever-free without the assistance of medication for at least 24 hours.
- Clean or sanitize commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches and telephones.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this together. Please stay safe and have a nice day.
Health & Safety: Information Regarding the Novel Coronavirus
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.
"Mathquerade Ball" at CHSA!
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!
Career Day Presents Possibilities for Students
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/