Excel Academy Charter School HANDBOOK - 

High School Assessments

VIEW PDF OF 2020/2021 HANDBOOK


Welcome to Excel Academy

Thank you for choosing Excel Academy Charter School to support you on your independent home study journey. I am humbled and honored to serve an incredible team of dedicated educators and staff ready to collaborate with you as you begin the 2020-2021 school year!  We recognize the sacrifice and dedication families make when committing to our school model which is why we strive to help create balance and parent choice in a personalized learning environment. Excel Academy is led by a collaborative team made up of innovative educators on the forefront of educational change opening the doors for all options in independent study.  Welcome to the Excel Academy family!

Sincerely,

Heidi Gasca
Executive Director

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Who We Are

Excel Academy is a tuition free, public charter school offering a personalized learning environment for independent study students in grades TK-12. Our unique educational program allows parents to select a wide variety of educational resources and materials from approved content and community providers using instructional funds provided by the charter school. Using these educational resources, families have the freedom to build a customized learning experience for their children, benefiting from flexibility of choice and the partnership of a highly qualified California-credentialed teacher.

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Mission Statement

Excel Academy will provide flexible, personalized learning through a customized course of study that will educate, motivate, and instill a love of learning in each individual student. Teachers and parents will join together to maintain high expectations and promote academic excellence for all students creating the next generation of leaders.

Our Vision

Life is what you create….at Excel Academy we bring students to LIFE through:

LEARNING

The primary goal of Excel Academy is that each student continues to grow in knowledge,  ability, and social/emotional intelligence.  Students are encouraged to work any time, any place, and are supported by teachers, curriculum, and staff that will adapt to the uniqueness inherent in every student and learning situation. Excel pursues a learning environment where every student will be challenged by, enjoy, and help direct their own education.

INDEPENDENCE

Excel Academy  believes one of the key elements of an optimal education is to place the student in a climate where curiosity and exploration are rewarded. While Excel Academy’s curriculum aligns itself to California’s academic content standards, each family may avail themselves of alternative or supplemental learning resources that can help prepare each student for the real-life complexities of higher education and the ever-changing job market.

FLEXIBILITY

Flexible pacing enables each student, under the guidance of the educator, to target individual needs without the demands of a classroom. By developing an awareness of their own unique learning style and advancement in their communication abilities, students and families will be enabled to discover their greatest areas of need and direct their efforts accordingly.

EMPOWERMENT

Excel Academy strives to empower students to take ownership of their education and develop not only the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities, but also the confidence, creativity, and discipline to help them adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

The strong connections and communication amongst the authorizers and the community foster a strong foundation for which our programs are  built.

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Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are statements about what all students should know, understand, and be able to do by the time they graduate.  To meet the demands of the 21st century, Excel Academy graduates will be:

Creative and Complex Thinkers

  1. Students will propose, evaluate, and use a variety of strategies, tools, and skills to produce solutions.
  2. Students demonstrate the ability to recognize and analyze problems from multiple perspectives, including real-world situations.
  3. Students exhibit intellectual courage by advocating for their own learning, seeking help when needed, and persevering when challenged.

Effective Communicators

  1. Students are able to actively engage in a variety of topics through polite and respectful conversation.
  2. Students exhibit articulate, effective, and persuasive communication orally, visually, and in writing to a diverse range of audiences using a variety of methods.
  3. Students will engage in cooperative relationships with teachers and peers.
  4. Students use technology in various forms to effectively communicate and demonstrate knowledge.

Community / Global Participants

  1. Students show respect for self and others and celebrate cultural diversity.
  2. Students will make positive contributions to their community (e.g. register to vote, care for environment, volunteer).
  3. Students are prepared to meet the demands of college or career; demonstrating various skills in seeking employment and/or college admission.

Empowered and Independent Learners

  1. Students are self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored,and demonstrate self-corrective thinking.
  2. Students are curious, inquisitive thinkers, and dedicated to lifelong learning.
  3. Students plan and study effectively and efficiently using time management skills.
  4. Students actively participate in the creation and pursuit of personal, academic, and professional goals.

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Charter Authorization

Excel Academy Charter School is chartered by Warner Unified School District for the Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties, and Helendale School District for the Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties: Counties Served

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Accreditation

Excel Academy CharterSchools are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six regional associations, which accredit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the United States. Accreditation certifies to other educational institutions and to the general public that an institution meets established criteria or standards and is achieving its own stated objectives. This means that all diploma or degree programs and educational activities offered by the institution are covered by the institution’s accreditation.

This is important because California State Universities and Colleges require incoming students to have participated in a WASC approved school/program. Additionally, California residents who wish to join the military oftentimes must have attended an accredited high school program.

To remain accredited, a school must report annually on the progress of its submitted improvement plan as well as its ability to continue to meet accreditation standards.  Once every five years, the schools will need to re-engage in a thorough self-study process and host a visiting accreditation team.

What does Accreditation mean?

Accreditation certifies to other educational institutions and to the general public that an institution meets established criteria or standards and is achieving its own stated objectives. WASC and the other five regional associations in the United States grant “institutional accreditation” after a comprehensive self-study followed by an on-site evaluation of the programs and services of the total institution. This means that all diploma or degree programs and educational activities offered by the institution are covered by the institution’s accreditation. The evaluation determines whether or not the institution qualifies for regional recognition. More importantly, periodic self-study and review promote improvement in educational quality and institutional effectiveness. 

For more information, go to http://www.acswasc.org/.

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Parent Support

Parent support is available Monday through Friday from 8 A.M.–4:30 P.M. Please see the school directory below for department emails and contact numbers. 

Contact Information

Our office is located at:

1 Technology Drive, Ste I-811

Irvine, CA 92618

If you wish to reach a specific department by email, please use one of the following:

Main Office/Parent Support - acesario@excelacademy.education 

Student Services Department - studentservices@excelacademy.education 

Office of the Registrar - registrar@excelacademy.education  

Enrollment Department - admissions@excelacademy.education  

If you wish to reach a specific department by phone, please use one of the following:

Main Office - General Information PH: 949-387-7822 

Office Manager - Anne Cesario             PH: 949-774-5065

Admissions - Amanda Johansen                            PH: 949-387-9676

Registrar - Cori McCook             PH: 949-774-6457

Special Education Coordinator - Kristy Spurgin PH: 949-774-6443

Intervention Coordinator - April Saade           PH: 949-774-6231

Student Services Department PH: 949-387-7410 

Student Services Coordinator        PH: 949-387-4703

Content and Community Provider Specialist - Erin Rynders  PH: 949-774-6293

Community Relations Coordinator - Kastin Dick   PH: 949-774-6236

Counselor Department

Guidance Counselor - Lisa Durham PH: 949-774-5799

Guidance Counselor - Melissa O’Dell PH: 949-774-6293

High School Department:

HS Coordinator - Jennifer Sanchez PH: 657-529-2307

HS Coordinator - Lorrie Wood PH: 805-931-6720

Once enrolled, you will be provided with the contact information of your ToR. If you are attempting to reach a member of our administrative staff, please call our Parent Support line and ask for the person with whom you wish to speak. Someone will be happy to connect you.

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Glossary of Terms

Teacher of Record (ToR) - The ToR is a single or multiple subject credential-holding teacher who works with his or her assigned family to identify, support and implement a personalized learning plan for the student.

HQT Content Area Specialist (HQT) - The HQT Content Area Specialist’s ultimate responsibility is to ensure the success of each High School student at Excel Academy. The HQT teacher works closely the student, parent and ES providing single subject expertise in CORE subject areas.

Instructional Funds (IFs) - State funds allotted to each student, with which families can request the purchase of approved educational materials and services through Excel Academy’s Content and Community Providers.

Learning Period (LP) - The intervening days between each LP Meeting, ranging from 13 - (20) school days.

Learning Period Meeting (LPM) - The time during which the parent(s) and their child(ren) will meet with their assigned ES to turn in and review work samples from the previous LP.

Master Agreement (MA) - An agreement between the parent, school, and ToR that the parent will abide by the rules laid out in the Parent Student Handbook. This must be signed prior to the release of Instructional Funds.

Student Services Department Terms:

CCP - Content and Community Provider

EMR- Educational Materials

VCI- Educational Services

OPS- Online Purchasing System. The system used at Excel Academy for ordering educational materials and services.

Red Notes- Individual guidelines for placing orders. 

Internal Notes- Notes placed on orders after they have been created. Method for admin and ToRs to communicate about a specific order.

Consumable Items- Items that (A) are under $30 and/or (B) cannot be reused by another student. Examples include: workbooks, pens, paper, pencils, printer ink, etc. 

Non-Consumable items- Items that (A) are over $30 and/or (B) can be reused by another student.  Examples include: Textbooks, CD/DVDs, electronics (laptop, iPad, printer).

 

Purchase Order Status Terms:

Pre-Pending- Order has been placed by the parent and is pending review by the ToR.

Pending- ToR has carefully reviewed the order to ensure that the items or services being ordered correspond to Excel Academy guidelines and selected “Pending,” OR the ToR has placed the order on behalf of the parent (orders placed by ToR are assumed to have been carefully reviewed)

Approved- Order has been reviewed and approved by the Student Services Department.

Processed- Order has been sent to the CCP for fulfillment. 

Received Partial (EMR ONLY)- ToR has indicated that some, but not all, of the items on the order have been received.

Received Fully (EMR ONLY)- ToR has indicated that all items on the order have been received. 

Invoice Matched- Student Services Department has received the invoice from the CCP and matched the order in OPS to match what the CCP is charging.

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Enrollment

Recruitment and admissions policies, procedures, and activities are in compliance with state and federal law and are outlined in the individual charter petitions for each school.

Students will be considered for admission without regard to ethnicity, national origin, gender, and disability or achievement level. Admission will not be determined according to the place of residence of the student or parents, except as required by law. Prior to admission, all parents must agree to and sign the Master Agreement.  All students’ continued enrollment shall depend upon them fulfilling the terms of the Master Agreement, Acknowledgement of Responsibilities (AoR),  and  Independent Study Policy.  Enrollment space will be based on need in the community and availability of qualified, credentialed teachers to serve as the ToR.

Excel Academy will be non-sectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other operations, shall not charge tuition, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or any other characteristic listed in Education Code Section 220 (or association with an individual who has any of those characteristics). 

Once you complete the short intent to enroll form, a registration link will be automatically sent to your email. From that link, you will set up a username and password and will complete all four steps of our Reg Online process. The enrollment team will verify your application once all documents have been uploaded and all electronic documents have been signed. Our enrollment department will reach out to you once everything is complete and will give you instructions for the next step in the process.

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Enrollment Documents Required

  • Proof of Residency (in Excel Academy’s authorizing district)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunization Records
  • Transcripts (High School only)
  • Oral Health Report Form or waiver (TK,K and 1st Grade only)
  • Health Exam Form/Waiver (TK,K and 1st Grade only)

*Please note: If student enrolls after 21 days of start date, a progress report will be needed as well.

Private School Affidavit (PSA) 

Students enrolling from a private homeschool setting will be required to submit all documents listed above. Additionally, placement tests will be required and administered  by the ToR for enrollment in certain middle school and high school courses.  

Privately Home-schooled students enrolling in Excel Academy for 9th grade semester two through 12th grade, please use the following: PSA Transcript Summary.


Regardless of the number of transfer credits awarded, the student must successfully complete the required number of courses at Excel Academy in order to earn a high school diploma. (see Graduation Track Options

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Grade Level Assignment

At Excel Academy, students are enrolled in the grade that most closely corresponds to their age, in accordance with California State Law. Please see link below for Excel’s Grade Placement Chart:

Excel Grade Placement Chart 2020-2021

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Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Policy

  • Students who turn 5 between September 2-December 2
  • Students who turn 5 between June 1st-September 1st;
    • In this case, a Kindergarten Continuance Form must be signed, verifying that the parent/guardian agrees to have his/her child continue in kindergarten for one additional year.
    • Students may not promote from TK to 1st grade.

If a student turns 5 after December 2nd, entering kindergarten is not an option, they must enroll in TK.

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Kindergarten Placement

Students must turn 5 on or before September 1.

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High School Grade-Level Placement 

High school students are assigned a grade level based on the year of entry into 9th grade. Regardless of credit deficiency, students will be promoted to the next grade and given an opportunity to remediate credits in hopes that the student will graduate with his or her cohort.

In the event that a student does not graduate with their cohort, Excel Academy will provide the student an opportunity to continue their education, provided they are making adequate progress towards a diploma.

Adult Student Enrollment 

Effective July 1, 2004 California State Law prohibits the enrollment of any student age 19 years or older who has not been continuously enrolled since their 18th birthday and making regular progress towards a high school diploma.

Dual Enrollment Policy – Public and Private Schools

In accordance with California Education Code Section 47602(b) and Title 5, California Code of Regulations Section 11965(a), no student may be enrolled in Excel Academy and simultaneously be enrolled in another public or private school. Private schools function outside the jurisdiction of the California Department of Education (CDE) and most state education regulations.

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Acceleration & Retention: Policies & Processes

Acceleration 

Students at Excel Academy will be promoted to the next grade level each year.  Our general philosophy is that because Excel Academy offers personalized learning, acceleration is rarely necessary.  For those rare exceptions, it must be agreed upon in writing, by both the parent and school administration, in order to skip a grade. Acceleration will only be considered prior to the beginning of the school year. Decisions regarding acceleration will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Acceleration Team.  Typically, this is reserved for high school students who would like to graduate early.  Students may graduate early, only if they have met all of the criteria for graduation, including credit requirements.

*Requests for grade acceleration will not be considered prior to enrollment with Excel Academy Charter School  in order to ensure sufficient time to observe the student in our academic setting.

Acceleration Requests 

  • Parents will send a letter to the Intervention Coordinator stating reasons why they are requesting acceleration.
  • Parents will provide a current report card, transcripts, test scores, or any relevant information.
  • The Acceleration Team reviews information to determine if an acceleration meeting is warranted or if a decision can be made based on the letter.
    • If a meeting is warranted, the Intervention Coordinator will schedule a meeting with the Parent and Acceleration Team.
  • A decision is made by the Acceleration Team and a decision letter is sent to the parent via email.

Retention 

Students at Excel Academy will be promoted to the next grade level each year. Our general philosophy is that because Excel offers personalized learning, retention is rarely necessary. For those rare exceptions, it must be agreed upon in writing, by both the parent and school administration, in order to repeat a grade. Retention will only be considered prior to the beginning of the school year. Decisions regarding retention will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Retention Team.  Students may not be retained more than once. Students will only repeat a grade in the case that there is substantial evidence the student lacks academic and/or emotional maturity.

*Requests for grade retention will not be considered prior to enrollment with Excel Academy Charter School in order to ensure sufficient time to observe the student in our academic setting.  

Retention Requests  

  • Parents will send a letter to the Intervention Coordinator stating reasons why they are requesting grade retention.
  • Parents will provide a current report card, transcripts, test scores, or any relevant information.
  • The Retention Team reviews information to determine if a retention meeting is warranted or if a decision can be made based on the letter.
    • If a meeting is warranted, the Intervention Coordinator will schedule a meeting with the Parent and Retention Team.
  • A decision is made by the Retention Team and a decision letter is sent to the parent via email. 

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8th Grade Retention & Promotion

State law requires schools to have promotion and retention criteria for students who are in their last year of middle school (EC Section 48070.5[a][5]). Therefore, Excel Academy will identify students who are at risk of being retained in 8th grade (EC Section 48070.5[b]).  Excel Academy will use one or more of the following measures: i-Ready scores, MobyMax placement test scores, ToR led assessments, course grades and any other objective academic measure to determine an 8th grader’s readiness for high school.

If a student is found to be at-risk for 8th grade retention:

  • Parents will be notified in the fall of 8th grade, or once the i-Ready assessment is complete for mid-year enrollees.
  • The student will participate in additional progress monitoring & individualized academic intervention throughout their 8th grade year.
  • The spring i-Ready assessment will be proctored by Excel Academy staff and will be used as a main source of data for final 8th grade retention or promotion recommendations.
  • For those students who continue to be at risk for retention in the spring of 8th grade, Retention Review meetings will be held with the parent and Excel Academy administration. Excel Academy will make the final determination based on data collected.

Student with an Expulsion History

Students who wish to apply that have been previously expelled from another school must submit a copy of any expulsion reports from that school and any related documentation with your student enrollment application for review.

For students who seek admission at Excel Academy with expulsion history, please refer to the expulsion policies for our authorizing districts (Helendale, Warner, & Unified School District). A panel will meet to determine whether the pupil does not pose a threat to others or will be disruptive to the school environment.  The Executive Director or designee shall make a recommendation to the governing board following the meeting regarding his or her determination.

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Master Agreement

The Master Agreement is a binding agreement between Excel Academy, the student, the parent/guardian, the supervising ToR, and other responsible persons.  The agreement documents assigned courses as well as the time, manner, and frequency of the student’s meetings with the faculty.  Each agreement shall be signed and in effect prior or up to the first day of  the student’s attendance start date.

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Methods of Operation and Terminology

Teacher of Record (ToR)

Every student enrolled in Excel Academy benefits from the expertise of a Teacher of Record (ToR).  All Excel Academy ToRs are highly qualified, experienced, credentialed teachers who are committed to customized learning for each student and family.  They support the parent/guardian throughout the year and  assess student progression through assigned curriculum.

Initial Contact Meeting

Once a ToR has been assigned to a family, he/she will reach out to schedule an introductory meeting. During this meeting, the ToR will explain the school-wide requirements and go over curriculum options. For more information on learning styles and curriculum options, please click here to visit the Excel Academy website.  Parents/guardians must provide their ToR with curriculum choices that cover grade level content standards within 5 days of a student’s start date with Excel Academy.  If the parent/guardian fails to decide upon curricula that cover grade-level content standards within the 5 day window, the ToR will order the student curricula from Excel Academy’s grade-level recommendations.

Learning Period (LP) Meetings

Learning Period (LP) meetings are a critical part of personalized learning at Excel Academy.  The LP meeting takes place at a mutually agreed upon public location, approximately every 20 school days. During the meeting, the ToR communicates with the student one on one to gather information and knowledge learned throughout the LP.   Due to the importance of these meetings, and out of respect for our ToRs, we ask that families keep the agreed upon location and time of their LP meeting, with the exception of unforeseen emergencies.  Additionally, parents who cancel, reschedule, or miss LP meetings will be subject to Progress Improvement Notifications (PINs), which may lead to Involuntary Withdrawal. (See our Outline of Violations that May Result in Involuntary Withdrawal). 

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Body of Work

 A body of work is 20 days worth of learning, in each assigned subject area, generated from the ToR-provided Pacing Guide for each core subject/course (see below).  All work should be graded or evaluated in some manner.  At each LP meeting, the ToR will collect a sampling from the body of work in each subject/course that is an accurate representation of the work completed.  The ToR will file these samples as proof of student attendance and progress.

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Student Pacing and the Assessment of  Learning

The ToR will provide a pacing guide for all curriculum content in a student’s Course of Study before each LP begins.  The student’s assigned ToR will review the body of work completed by the student throughout the LP and engage in academic conversation to confirm content mastery.  Progression through the assigned curriculum content will be verified by the ToR on a weekly basis. If students fail to complete at least 70% of the pacing guide provided by the ToR, they may be issued a PIN.  Final grades assigned at the end of the semester are heavily based on the progress and achievement shown to the ToR.

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Attendance Roll Sheet/Grid Log

Along with the assessment of student work, another responsibility of the ToR is to verify and claim attendance for each LP.  Attendance for an LP can only be claimed on or after the last day of the LP.  After reviewing the student’s work, the ToR will verify that ample work was completed by the student from the provided pacing guide for the LP, and the ToR and parent/guardian will sign and date the electronic Attendance Grid Log.

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Progress Improvement Notification (PIN) and Identified Assignments

In order to remain enrolled at Excel Academy, the responsibilities outlined in the Master Agreement, Independent Study Policy, and Attendance, Progress Improvement Notification, and Involuntary Withdrawal Policy must be followed.  Within these policies, the process for which a student may be involuntarily withdrawn from Excel Academy is outlined.   Part of that process includes the issuance of Progress Improvement Notifications (PINs) when a student fails to complete identified assignments key to a student’s success in the independent study environment or any other responsibilities outlined in the Acknowledgement of Responsibilities.  These identified assignments include, but are not limited to, completion of assigned work (CORE, ELD, WIN), internal assessments, attendance at mandatory meetings, and other key responsibilities outlined within the Excel Academy Board Policies.

Parent Newsletter via ParentSquare

One of the main venues of communication to our parents is through our newsletter, sent via Parent Square.  Parents often receive time-sensitive communication, information about community events, deadline reminders, and community provider spotlights through the monthly newsletters.  Please let your ToR know if you are not receiving the monthly newsletter and updates through ParentSquare. 

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Academics

Required Courses for TK-8

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • PE

Other enrichment courses and activities can be found using our Content & Community Provider search tool. Parents are encouraged to pursue educational choices that best reflect the academic and social needs of their individual student.  Students benefit from learning at home and can take supplemental courses offered through approved content and community providers.  Please consult with your ToR to determine a course of study that balances the student’s academic and extracurricular interests.

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Curriculum and Education Resources

Excel Academy offers quality curriculum options and an extensive list of content and community providers to assist students in reaching their educational goals. The ToR and family work together to complete a Course of Study for the student, identify curriculum options that will meet the student’s needs, and make sure school guidelines and state standards are met. For more information, please visit our Content & Community Provider page.

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California State & Grade Level Standards

Excel Academy students must show progression towards and mastery of California State Content Standards in order to remain in the school. With the help of an assigned ToR, students will be guided towards the completion of these standards. ToRs will monitor and adjust student progress through the curriculum regularly  to ensure completion of the grade-level standards .

ToRs will provide a copy of the grade-level content standards for all students enrolled. Additionally, parents can obtain the subject and course standards directly from the California Department of Education website.

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PE-Requirements

The physical education requirements are:

  • 200 minutes/week for 7-12th grade logs
  • 100 minutes per week for TK-6 grade students

Students in grades TK-8 may log their physical activities for each LP on a PE log, or complete an assignment representing the learning which took place.  High school students must complete a PE log each month along with a brief, written paragraph.

*Please talk with your assigned ToR for further clarification.

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CHYA-California Healthy Youth Act

 

The California Healthy Youth Act, commonly known as CHYA, took effect in the 2019-2020 school year.  This law requires public schools in the state of California to offer medically accurate, comprehensive sexual health education, and HIV prevention to students once in middle school and once again in high school.  At Excel Academy, Positive Prevention Plus online curriculum, facilitated by our virtual health teacher, is used to fulfill this requirement.  For more information, please go to: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/se/index.asp

*If any parent wishes to opt out their student, they may do so with a signed, written note to their Teacher of Record (ToR) before the start of the school year.

Student Athletes

 Student athletes who are interested in using Instructional Funds (IFs) towards their sport must maintain their attendance, grades, and comply with the policy set forth.

  • Middle school students must be registered for at least 4 academic courses
  • High school students must be registered for at least 4-5 academic courses depending on graduation credits needed and subject requirements fulfilled. 

All students must:

  • Maintain a minimum GPA of a 2.0
  • Attend all LP meetings as scheduled
  • Be up-to-date on assigned work, completing at least 70% of the provided weekly Pacing Guide(s).

 

**If a student athlete finds themselves in academic trouble he/she will be required to attend an SST meeting with our intervention coordinator. Also, depending on the severity of the situation IFs may be revoked from being used towards their sport.

 

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High School

Excel Academy offers a unique approach to curricula where parents are encouraged and supported in choosing the curricula that matches their student's needs, expectations, and rigor in each subject area. With guidance and support from the ToR and the High School department, parents will be sure to meet California State Standards and provide their student with a relevant course of study for their grade level. IFs may be used for approved CCP materials and courses.

Newly Enrolling High School Students 

Students who enroll 21 days after the semester begins will be required to submit in-progress grades from their previous school.

Minimum & Maximum Course Policy

The minimum & maximum course policy is set in place to ensure academic success. 

  • The minimum number of courses high school students can register for is 4 courses per semester in addition to concurrent enrollment. 
  • The  maximum number of courses high school students can register for is 8 courses per semester including concurrent enrollment.

Adding/Changing Courses

Students adding or changing a course can only do so within 10 days of the start of the semester or within 10 days of enrollment. 

Dropping Courses

All students taking high school courses (both the customized and a-g track) have 10 days from the beginning of each semester to drop a high school course without penalty. This includes any changes in curriculum. However, if the request is after the deadline, students will be be subjected to certain penalties which include: 

  • Courses dropped before the 10 day deadline will not show on the transcript. 
  • Courses dropped after day 10 through the end of LP 2 will receive a “W”on the report card/transcript and have the possibility of the loss of IFs.
  • Courses dropped after LP2 will receive a/an “F” on the report card/transcript and loss of IFs.

Transcripts

Official transcripts should be requested from the registrar’s office or at  Transcript Request Link  at least two weeks prior to deadlines.

Repeated Courses

Courses in which grades of a D/F are earned may be repeated.  The highest grade will be used in the GPA calculation.  The UC only allows a course to be repeated one time for grade replacement. Please fill out this form and give to your ToR: Petition to Retake a Course

Graduation Track Options

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

Students are eligible for a diploma when all requirements have been met. See below:

English - 40 credits

Math - 20 credits
Science - 20 credits (1 life/1 physical)
History - 30 credits (1 US/ 1 world/gov/econ)
VAPA/World Language/CTE - 10 credits
PE - 20 credits
Electives - 80 credits
Total to graduate: 220 credits
*5 credits = 1 semester / 10 credits = 1 year


Customized Track/Customized College-Track Options

Excel Academy offers customized track options for our high school students. This program allows parents to request an array of educational resources and materials from approved CCPs using IFs provided by the charter school. This allows high school students to complete high school graduation requirements as well as pursue other interests or extracurricular activities. High school students and their parents will work with the ToR to balance curricular needs. Using these educational resources, families have the ability to work alongside their ToR to build a personalized learning experience for their students.  

All courses must: 

  1. Meet California State Content standards (Core courses)
  2. Follow a provided pacing guide
  3. Demonstrate high school-level rigor shown in a variety of grade-level appropriate work samples

High School Customized Sample Requirements:

There are a variety of ways to show academic progress and proper pacing.  The ToR will review the body of work and collect a sampling of the work reviewed. 
Here are some suggestions:

UC/CSU Track (per UCOP guidelines)

A-G Requirements and Links to Online A-G Course Options:

To be considered for admission to the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) systems, students must complete a total of fifteen (15) year-long, a-g high school courses with a grade of C or better—at least 11 of them prior to their senior year. See link: UC a-g Subject Requirements. Students, in collaboration with the ToR and parent, may choose their a-g approved courses from the Excel Academy approved a-g courses.

High School A-G Sample Requirements

  • All a-g courses incorporate unit assignments called key assignments for every unit.  
  • For customized hybrid oversight a-g students, these key assignments must be turned in as their monthly LP sample. 
  • For online courses, including Excel Academy teacher-led a-g students, any sample that shows high school level rigor and learning may be turned in as their monthly sample. Students will complete all assignments and projects as assigned by their teacher. 




Honors Courses Designation

Honors courses are designed to be more in-depth, challenging, and rigorous.  

*Please keep in mind that Honors credit will not be issued retroactively.

Students may take Honors courses through one of our online or content and CCPs but must receive written approval first.

Honor’s Approval Process: The student may submit the course for approval, by following these steps:

  • ToR completes Survey for Advanced Courses
  • HS department gives approval for student to take advanced course
  • ToR will aid the student in choosing curriculum that would work well with the additional honors requirements
    Honors Curricula: The student may choose to take a course that is pre-approved as “Honors” using the following curriculum options: customized a-g approved honors courses, customized non a-g approved courses, and online via BYU/EDG - for a complete list please see the following:
    HS Course Catalog.

    Honors Requirements: Students must meet the full criteria, or the course will not receive the honors designation.  See link: Honors Requirements per Subject.

    The student must complete all units in the text, and all monthly work samples must come from the following list: 

    • A unit test with a grade of C or higher (strongly prefer that it come from the publisher or course.  If it is parent created it must be comparable to a test found in the text.  Final determination on acceptance will be determined by HQT)
    • A multi-paragraph essay or paper on a related topic.  Paper must follow MLA formatting rules. (This could include a book report on a related novel or text, a biography on a pioneer in your subject, a research paper, or a more in depth study of a topic covered in your course.)
    • A lab write up (science courses only) - must include title, intro/purpose, materials list, method, data, results, analysis, conclusion, and graphs or figures, if applicable.
    • A specific project/presentation (MUST be pre-approved by ToR/HQT) showing significant learning and application beyond what a traditional student would do in a similar class.

    AP Courses

    Students may take AP courses through one of our online content and community providers but must receive written approval first. *ToR completes Survey for Advanced Courses.


    Excel Academy high school students who wish to take an AP exam should go through their local public high school or visit collegeboard.org for more information on AP test options.

    Links to approved a-g/AP/online Content and Community Providers (CCP)

    a-g Options & Information Sheet
    Bright Thinker (a-g): Course Catalog
    BYU Independent Study (a-g/AP): Course Catalog
    Edgenuity (a-g, honors, AP): Course Catalog
    Odysseyware Inc. (a-g): Course Catalog

     

    College and Career Readiness

    CTE - Career and Technical Education

    Excel Academy offers Career Technical Education (CTE) which provides college preparation and career training for high school students. Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a series of high school elective courses that provide students with opportunities to explore career pathways and experience hands-on training and education in career fields/sectors that interest them. Each pathway is a two-year program that consists of a concentrator and capstone course. CTE provides the academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in future careers. Also, CTE prepares students by introducing them to workplace competencies and makes academic content accessible to students by providing it in a hands-on context.

    CTE offerings:

    • Education sector - Childhood Development pathway
    • Health Science sector - TBD (Spring 20/21)
    • Marketing sector - Marketing pathway

    CTE Coordinator: 

    CTE Virtual Teachers:

    • Jessika Unterberger (Education & Marketing) - junterberger@excelacademy.education
    • Airena Galeazzi (Health Science) - agaleazzi@excelacademy.education


    Concurrent Enrollment Policy – Community College Courses

    • High School (9th-12th) students must be enrolled in at least 4 classes (20 credits) per semester at Excel Academy to be considered eligible for concurrent enrollment at a community college.
    • 7th/8th grade students may take community college courses as well. These are limited to math (Algebra 1 or higher) & world language. Please see the Community College Handbook for grade-level policy per community college.
    • Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA for academic courses, or a 2.7 GPA for elective/vocational courses. ToR must complete the ToR Survey for Advanced Courses for any advanced course requests.
    • Students must complete and sign the concurrent enrollment form obtained from the community college admissions office and submit it to the Excel Registrar’s office (registrar@excelacademy.education).  Please note: The turn-around time for concurrent enrollment approval is 3-7 days, depending on wet signature requirements.
    • It is the responsibility of the student to know the community college’s registration and deadline dates (information can be found on the college’s website).
    • If a student is not able to register for courses or does not remain in the course, the student is responsible for informing their ToR and high school counselors. In this circumstance, student must work with ToR in finding another course to add to their Master Agreement.
    • Upon completion of the college course, students are required to have an official transcript sent to the Excel Academy office:
    Excel Academy Charter School
    ATTN: Excel Registrar
    1 Technology Drive, Ste. I-811

    Irvine, CA 92618

    Upon receipt of the official transcript from the Community College the High School transcript will be updated to reflect the courses taken and grades earned.

    Each community college designates a maximum number of units allowed per semester. It is recommended that students take a maximum of 2 classes while concurrently enrolled in Excel Academy. Students may only attend community college part-time with no more than 11 units per semester. Once students are enrolled in full time course-work as determined by the community college in which the student is enrolled, they are no longer eligible for enrollment at Excel Academy.

    *If you have any questions about the community college courses or programs including transfer to the university of your choice, please consult a Community College Counselor.

    **Students must be aware and adhere to all college rules and regulations.

    ***Reminder only 5% of Excel Academy students, per grade level can attend a community college during the summer. Priority will be given to those needing to graduate. Afterwards, it will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

    For additional information on community colleges as written by The College Board see link: Community College FAQs and our own Community College Handbook.

    Diploma

    Students will have the opportunity to display a legal name or a preferred name on a diploma using the intent to graduate form. The school considers the diploma to be a ceremonial document, and thus you may enter a familiar or preferred name to be used in lieu of your name of record for this purpose. However, please be advised that in some situations your diploma may need to be used as a legal document, and the name appearing on your diploma may need to match other legal documents you possess. For further information on this, contact your school registrar.

    College Unit Conversion Policy

    Excel Academy uses the following formula for converting college units to high school credits:

    3-5 unit non-degree applicable (NDA) college course = 5 high school credits/1 semester

    3-5 unit degree applicable (UC/CSU transferable) college coursework = 10 high school credits/2 semesters

    *Please note: Most PE courses have been excluded or restricted for concurrently enrolled students, but a 1 unit course such as Dance would = 5 high school PE credits

    College Entrance Exam Information

    In order to review college entrance exam information including dates and times, please visit collegeboard.org.

    SAT/ACT 

    The SAT Reasoning Test (formerly Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test) and the American College Testing Program (ACT) are standardized tests for college admissions.  Most colleges in America accept the SAT or Subject Tests as a part of their admissions process. The ACT test assesses high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work.  Students register for and attend these tests independent of Excel Academy.  Dates can be found online through collegeboard.org and actstudent.org.  Please save these addresses as you will need to refer to them often in your child’s high school education.

    PSAT/NMSQT 

    The Preliminary SAT®/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a co-sponsored program by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It is a standardized test that provides first-hand practice for the SAT Reasoning Test™. It also gives students a chance to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs. The PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills. Administrators and teachers are cognizant of testing schedules, so they can assist students by providing appropriate information.  Students register for and attend these tests independent of Excel Academy.  Please visit collegeboard.org for more information.

    7th/8th Grade Students Taking High School Courses 

    Excel Academy recognizes 7th/8th graders as middle school students. Qualified 7th/8th grade students may take up to two high school-level courses in either math (Algebra 1 or higher) or world language and will receive high school credit upon successful completion of each course. These courses will be placed onto their high school transcript.  Students must follow CA Content State Standards by using approved high school curriculum. The student must place this request with their ToR who fills out the ToR Survey for Advanced Courses. If approved, the high school course(s) will be overseen by the High School Department, who will have the final say on grade earned. 

    Qualifications:

    1. Students scored at or above grade level on the benchmark exam in language arts for English, or qualifying scores in math for high school-level math courses.
    2. 3.0 GPA (grade point average)
    3. ToR must complete the ToR Survey for Advanced Courses.
    4. Course(s) must be approved by the High School Coordinator/Counselor. The course will show high school credit on the Master Agreement (MA) (MA).  

    *Newly enrolled students will have the first 10 school days of each semester to have courses approved.

    **Middle school students will have to follow the same add/drop policies as high school students.

    Prerequisites

    Mastery of a certain body of knowledge is necessary if students are to be successful in their courses.   Most commonly, such knowledge is measured by successful completion of the prerequisite courses listed in the course description.  “Successful completion” is defined by a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “P” in the prerequisite course.  Grades that are not acceptable are “F,” “I,” or “NG.”

    How to Clear a Prerequisite

    Students enrolling in a course with a prerequisite will be required to do one of the following:

    1.     Complete the required prerequisite course(s) at Excel Academy with a satisfactory grade that is a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “P.”
    1.     Submit transcripts – provide grade transcripts from another high school, if appropriate.  Such transcripts must demonstrate satisfactory completion of the prerequisite course – that is, completion of the course with a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “P.” Students must present transcripts to the School Counselor for a transcript review as soon as possible.
    1.     It is at the school’s discretion to accept or deny the request to waive the prerequisite course requirement.

    Grading 

    The grade issued to each student will be the grade determined by the ToR and the parent after reviewing the semester’s body of work and will serve as the final grade. If a student is following the customized path, the final grade will be determined by both the ToR and the parent, with the oversight of a subject area HQT. The ToR/HQT has the authority to make the final decision in regard to grades.

    *Students taking online classes or classes with an approved CCP need to consult with the online teacher or instructor regarding questions about grades, averages, or course progress. Excel Academy uses a traditional 4.0 scale in determining Grade Point Average (GPA). Credit is only granted for courses that earn a minimum of 60% out of a possible 100%.

    Transfer Credits

    Transfer credits are awarded on a case-by-case basis by the School Counselor. Official transcripts are required in order to award credit.  Transcript analysis may require research and contact with previous institutions to determine eligibility of transfer credits.

    If a student is given a percentage or provided with a percentage grade upon exiting their previous school, Excel Academy will award the transfer grade by applying a percentage to the amount of work equivalent to what was completed at the previous school.  Students who are provided with exit grades without percentages will be awarded a transfer grade equivalent to the amount of work completed at the previous school in accordance with the following scale:

    Any A: 90%

    Any B: 80%

    Any C: 70%

    Any D: 60%

    Any F: 59%

    *International records may require translation and/or evaluation prior to being considered for transfer credits.  Costs for translation and external evaluations are sustained by the student.

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    PE for the High School Student

    State law requires 2 years of PE to be completed before a student can graduate.  High school students are required to complete 400 minutes of PE every 10 school days (approximately 40 minutes per day).  Students must complete a PE log each month along with a brief, written paragraph. If a situation arises where a student is deemed unable to participate in physical activities for a certain length of time, per a doctor’s note, a student will be able to complete an alternative assignment. This assignment will be given by the parent and ToR. Options include: a written paper on physical activities/exercises and the benefits to the body, research completed on various forms of exercise such as dance, yoga, or a sport of the student’s choice.  This will be approved by the ToR at the LP meeting and turned in as a replacement to the PE Log.

    *A PE log is available in School Pathways/Parent Portal.

    Driver’s Education

    High School students can take a Driver’s Education course from an approved CCP with IFs for a total of 5 credits. This course prepares students for the writing portion of the driver’s permit test, although completion of the course does not result in a driver’s permit. *Please note, IFs may not be used for behind-the-wheel instruction, as this is the responsibility of the parent/guardian. Driver’s License information can be found at the following link: CA DMV.

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    Intervention

    The What I Need (WIN) Program provides quality instruction & progress monitoring to a particular group of students who are performing below grade-level standards. Students are placed in the WIN program based on i-Ready data and ToR proctored assessments.  Excel believes it is imperative to ensure each student is performing up to their full potential. Additionally, the state of California requires every public school to have a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) in place to help students reach state standards. (Link provided: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/ri/ )  

    It is important to note that ALL parts of the WIN program are required per the Acknowledgment of Responsibilities signed with  the 2020/2021 Master Agreement. If students or parents do not participate in the WIN Program, they may receive a Progress Improvement Notification (PIN).


    Student Success Team (SST)

    The Student Success Team (SST) is a problem solving group that meets to develop strategies and interventions to assist an individual student with academic, attendance and/or behavioral challenges.  The support provided is individualized to each student’s unique needs. The SST sets goals and holds follow-up meetings to closely monitor student progress throughout the year. If you would like to hold an SST meeting for your student, please reach out to your ToR.

    504 Plan

    To be covered under Section 504, a student must be "qualified" which roughly equates to being between 3 and 22 years of age, depending on the program as well as state and federal law, and must have a disability that substantially limits the child in one or more major life activities or major bodily functions). [34 C.F.R. §104.3(k)(2)] All requests for initial 504 Plans will first be addressed through an SST meeting.  If a student enters Excel Academy with an existing 504 Plan, the plan will be reviewed and confirmed with the student, family, and our team of experts.  In addition, all 504 Plans will be reviewed annually to ensure the best accommodations are in place to meet the academic needs of the student.  If you feel your student needs a 504 Plan, or if you have questions regarding 504 Plans, please contact your ToR or the 504 Coordinator, April Saade at asaade@excelacademy.education.

    Special Education

    At Excel Academy, we are committed to serving all students, including those with special needs.  Special education and related services are available at no cost.  We partner with the Sonoma County Charter SELPA, and for students without identified special needs who are experiencing academic challenges, Excel Academy implements a multi-tiered approach to supporting students through the SST process by providing research-based supports/interventions at various levels based on each student’s needs within the general education environment. At any point, if parents/guardians or the school team have concerns regarding a student’s academic progress or suspect that a disability is impacting a student’s ability to adequately progress within the general education environment, they should contact their ToR. 

    Assessments

    Report Cards

    Students in grades TK- 12 will receive report cards to document progress and growth following the end of each semester with Excel Academy. The grades administered on the report card are final as determined by the ToR and the administration.

    Grading Scales

     

    TK-5 Students

    The 4 – 1 grading scale that Excel Academy implements will give parents a clear understanding of student performance and progress.

    4 Exemplary – Student consistently demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the standards, concepts, and skills taught during this reporting period. Student is working above grade level and produces outstanding work with little help or reteaching.

    3 Proficient: Student consistently demonstrates an understanding of the standards, concepts, and skills taught during this reporting period.  Student is meeting grade-level expectations, and able to complete assignments with appropriate amount of instruction and assistance.

    2 Approaching Proficiency: Student is approaching an understanding of the standards, concepts, and skills taught during this reporting period. Student is working towards grade-level expectations. Student requires many tools and reteaching to understand concepts being taught, works at a slower pace, or works slightly below grade level at a faster pace.

    1 Non-proficient: Student does not yet demonstrate an understanding of the standards, concepts, and skills taught during this reporting period. Student is working far below grade-level expectations. Student may have difficulty understanding new concepts.

     

    *Please understand that a student who earns a “3” is at grade level and is where he/she needs to be working at this time. A student who earns a “4” is working above grade level and consistently provides excellent work in all areas of the course.

    Grades 6 – 12

    Students in grades 6 through 12 will earn grades using the standard A-F scale (see below). Grades will be specific to the grading scale.

    *Outstanding performance in mastery of the subject.  Achievement of superior quality.

    99 - 100 = A+

    93 - 98 = A

    90 - 92 = A-

    *Consistent performance in achievement beyond the usual requirement.  Achievement of high quality.

    88 - 89 = B+

    83 - 87 = B

    80 - 82 = B-

    *Performance meets grade-level standards and expectations. Achievement suggests sufficient understanding of the subject/course.

    78 - 79 = C+

    73 - 77 = C

    70 - 72 = C-

    *Minimally acceptable performance of course-level material. Achievement suggests below- average understanding.

    68 - 69 = D+

    63 - 67 = D

    60 - 62 = D-

    *Achievement is at a level insufficient to demonstrate an understanding of the basic elements of the course and will not count towards graduation requirements.

    59 and below = F

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    State and Local Assessment

    Standardized Testing

    The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) is the state-mandated academic testing program.  All charter schools are required to administer the CAASPP as well as other state-mandated assessments such as the  ELPAC and PFT (Ed. Code, § 47605(c)(1).  CAASPP is a system intended to provide information that can be used to monitor student progress on an annual basis and ensure that all students leave high school ready for college and career.  Following the spring of each year, individual student test score reports are provided to parents.  Student score reports will include an overall score and a description of the student’s achievement level for English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics.  

    In California, parents may opt out of state mandated academic testing by submitting a written request to the school each year, but this only applies to the state mandated assessments. We do not recommend opting out.  There is no law permitting a parent to opt out of the school’s internal assessments, and therefore, students are required to participate in all internal assessments.

    Charter schools exist in a performance-based accountability system where they are held accountable for student academic performance.  In fact, a charter school cannot continue to exist without collecting data on students’ performance on a variety of assessments and indicators. When a charter authorizer is evaluating whether to revoke a school’s charter, or to grant a school’s charter renewal petition, “increases in pupil academic achievement” is the most important factor in the decision.  (Ed. Code, §§ 47607(c)(2) , 47607(a)(3)(A).)  Therefore, it is  important during the revocation and renewal processes for a school to gather as much positive academic achievement data as possible to show progress in student performance.  Evaluating graduation, attendance, suspension, and English Learner (EL) reclassification rates are also ways to show student progress. However, student participation and performance on state mandated assessments is by far the most common and used method, and results are indicated on the California School Dashboard and System of Support. The Dashboard is a powerful online tool to help districts and schools identify strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint student groups that may be struggling (https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/). Your student’s participation in state mandated assessments is highly encouraged and recommended.  Please remember that results and attendance from all state tests are directly tied to school funding per recent LCFF legislation and are an integral part in maintaining partnerships with our chartering school districts.  

    If you have any questions, please contact Excel Academy’s Assistant Director of Assessment and Community, Jenny Craig at jcraig@excelacademy.education.

    English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

    The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards. The ELPAC consists of two separate assessments: one for the initial identification of students as English Learners (ELs) and a second for the annual summative assessment to measure a student’s progress in learning English and to identify the student’s level of ELP (cde.ca.gov).  

    1. Initial Identification - When student enrolls with Excel Academy - Dates and Locations TBD (Assessment will be administered by trained proctors.)

    2. Annual Summative Assessment - Beginning in February 

    English Learners (ELs)

    ELs are targeted for ELPAC testing when the Home Language Survey indicates that their primary home language is a language other than English and are tested during the school year.

    Criteria for Reclassification to Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) 

    In order to be reclassified to Fluent English Proficient (FEP) and exit the EL program, students must meet  the following criteria:

    1. Minimum ELPAC Oral Language Score of 4

    2. Minimum ELPAC Written Language Score of 3

    CAASPP - California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress

    California Science Test  (CAST )  – Computer Based Assessment

    Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)Computer-Based Test

    With new state standards, students are working harder, thinking more critically, and applying their learning to the real world. To measure these new standards, educators from states using Smarter tests have worked together to develop new, high-quality tests in English and math for grades 3–8 and 11. Using computer adaptive technology, the tests are customized to every student (smarterbalanced.org).

    Testing Resources

    For additional information regarding assessments, please refer to Excel Academy’s website under Our Academy and Assessments. For CAASPP AND ELPAC practice tests, please refer to Parent Tools and Assessment Resources.

    Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the California Standards Tests (CAST) for Science

    There are four major types of questions that students may see: multiple choice, multiple response, short answer, and performance assessments. We encourage you to explore and discuss the practice tests with your students. Please note that some of the practice tests do not provide answers or a score; however, it does provide your students with the experience of navigating through a sample test session, which is important to practice. 

    Additional Resources:

    Physical Fitness Test (PFT)– California

    The PFT provides information that can be used by (1) students to assess and plan personal fitness programs, (2) teachers to design the curriculum for physical education programs, and (3) parents and guardians to understand their children's fitness levels.  The program also provides results that are used to monitor changes in the physical fitness of California students.  By law (Education Code (EC) Section 60800) public schools are required to administer the PFT annually to all students in grades 5, 7 and 9 (cde.ca.gov).

    Testing Includes:

    1. Aerobic Capacity – One Mile Run
    2. Abdominal Strength and Endurance – Curl Up
    3. Upper Body Strength and Endurance – Push – Up
    4. Trunk Extensor Strength and Flexibility – Trunk Lift
    5. Flexibility – Shoulder Stretch
    6. Recording of Height and Weight

    *The Healthy Fitness Zone standards are available at the following California Department of Education Website:  FITNESSGRAM: Healthy Fitness Zone Charts.

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    i-Ready Benchmark Assessments – Computer Based Tests

    i-Ready benchmark assessments are adaptive diagnostic tests that will indicate mastery and identify learning gaps for students in grades K-11. This particular assessment will be given in the fall to provide ToRs and parents pertinent knowledge to assist with academic support and guidance and in the spring to determine growth and goals prior to state testing.

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    Kindergarten and First Grade Paper-Pencil Benchmark Assessments

    Students in kindergarten and first grade will take a grade-level appropriate benchmark assessment in the fall (August) and spring (March) to assess progress and growth. All paper-pencil assessments will be administered by ToRs in person. However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, paper pencil assessments could  be administered virtually.

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    Student Testing Participation Requirement

    All students currently enrolled in Excel Academy are required to participate in the aforementioned tests (where applicable). Failure to participate or satisfy the above requirement with alternative paper-pencil assessments will result in PINs being issued to the student. Paper pencil assessments are subject to be given virtually by the ToRs if in-person meetings are not in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please refer to Excel Academy’s PIN Policy.

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    High School Assessments

    Final exams - If a high school course requires a final exam, the ToR will proctor the exam. 

    Field Trips

    Excel Academy offers a wide variety of field trips and community events to currently enrolled students and their immediate families. Field trips may consist of  historical reenactments, plays, musicals,  libraries, museum tours, and so much more. Excel Academy’s Field Trip and Special Programs Coordinator will be working throughout each school year to provide engaging, interactive, and educational opportunities for students and parents to participate in and around their community. Participation on the part of students and parents is optional. Excel Academy does not provide transportation to and from these events. Parents/Guardians must be in attendance with their student(s) on Excel Academy field trips and at events. The out-of-pocket parent/sibling/student tickets must be paid during registration. If students are using IFs, the amount will be removed at the close of the registration window.  

    California Education Code Section 35330(d)  All persons making the field trip or excursion shall be deemed to have waived all claims against the district, a charter school, or the State of California for injury, accident, illness, or death occurring during or by reason of the field trip or excursion. ARTICLE 13. Excursions and Field Trips [35330 - 35332]

    Field Trip Registration

    Please sign up for a field trip registration account on excelacademy.education. Your account will be approved in 48 hours. Once your account is approved, you will be able to sign up for field trips. Please note, field trips are only for Excel Academy students, parent/guardian, and non student siblings.

    You are officially registered for a field trip only if you see the field trip on your account dashboard. If you do not complete the registration in one sitting, the transaction may time out. Please make sure to keep an eye on the time tracker on the website. If the field trip does not appear on your dashboard after registration, that means the transaction did not go through. If you see a discrepancy, please reach out to the Field Trip and Special Programs Coordinator during open registration.

    Refunds 

    There will be no refunds for purchased tickets once the registration and/or deadline has closed, and no late registrations honored. Please reach out to your ToR with any questions regarding field trips and registration deadlines. If a field trip or event is cancelled, Excel Academy cannot guarantee a refund nor guarantee the same field trip will be rescheduled. Any refund extended to Excel Academy will be given to families. 

    Instructional Funds and Content and Community Provider (CCP) Policies

    Excel Academy has a list of community providers who deliver  an array of products and services to enrolled families. Currently enrolled parents and ToRs are able to request new community providers. Excel does not accept solicitations.

    Content and Community Provider (CCP) must complete the CCP application process.  For service CCPs who work directly with Excel students, they must complete Live Scan fingerprint background checks and submit proof of commercial liability insurance.  Please understand this is an important step to protect your students.  If a CCP does not wish to complete all parts of the application, including the Live Scan fingerprint background check and insurance requirements, the application cannot be approved.  Families that join Excel Academy have access to the approved CCP list.

    Instructional funds (IFs) are dispersed at the discretion of the ToR and the Student Services Department among approved CCPs. 

    Educational material CCPs provide educational curriculum, books, materials, and supplies for Excel Academy students. Items ordered should be basic in quality and appropriate to the student's age, grade, and need. IFs depreciate daily depending on the day of actual enrollment and must be used in the same academic year. 

    Educational services are provided by a CCP Course Instructor. This person(s) or facility provides academic tutoring, supplemental academic classes, art/music lessons, physical education classes, or other supervised/guided instruction. A service order request does not guarantee  placement  in a CCP’s class. The parent must communicate directly with the CCP to ensure the CCP has open spots in a class. 

    All purchase orders must be created prior to using services or ordering materials. Excel Academy will not reimburse parents directly. If on a rare occasion, a CCP agreement has expired or dissolved, Excel Academy cannot pay for services or materials purchased from them. The ToR will notify families who happen to order something from a CCP such as this.

    Additional Documents for Parent Use

    Find a CCP Near Your Home

    Excel Academy has an interactive map tool that allows you to search for CCPs in a specific area.  You are able to search by CCP name, subject, or area of service. To view the CCP map, click here.

    To use this map follow the simple steps below:

    Family CCP Agreement

    A signed copy of the Family Content and Community Provider (CCP) Agreement must be on file before the family can begin placing purchase orders for services. The ToR will go over the Family CCP Agreement carefully with each parent before signing. The ToR may be asked to produce a copy of the signed Family Content and Community Provider (CCP) Agreement at any time. 

    Instructional Funds (IFs)

    Depending on grade level and date of enrollment, between $2,700 – $3,200 will be allotted to each student, with which families can select approved educational materials and services. Funds may only be used during the school year in which they were allotted and do not carry over from year to year. Use of IFs is up to the discretion of the ToR . Funds are prorated after the first day of the school year.

    The IFs are as follows:

    TK - 8                 $2,700 

    High School    $3,200

    The IFs are disbursed in two allotments:

    TK - 8              $1,350 in August and $1,350 in December.

    High School    $1,600 in August and $1,600 in December.

    Criteria for Materials That Can Be Purchased with IFs

    Excel Academy receives funding from the state to support student learning and progress toward the standards. Therefore, IFs need to be spent on educational items that meet the criteria below. ToRs will consult with the Student Services Manager for additional clarification on acceptable IF purchases. The list below should not be considered as all-inclusive and Excel Academy reserves the right to the interpretation of the below criteria and to exercise final judgement on how IFs will be used. 

    General Criteria: 

    Disallowed Items:

    If a ToR inadvertently orders materials from this list, the ToR will collect the materials and return them to school administration.

    Disallowed Educational Activities 

    The following activities are examples of disallowed activities that cannot be paid for with IFs since they impose high liability and/or political risk to the school. Community providers who provide the below services will not be approved.

    Additional Guidelines for Specific Items

    Excel Academy can only purchase the type of supplies that could be found in a brick and mortar public school.  We also cannot pay for high priced/overpriced lessons, classes, or materials.  Please refer to the Ordering Guidelines for a detailed list of allowed/disallowed items.

    Sectarian Materials

    School materials cannot have sectarian/religious content. The Teacher of Record will ensure sectarian/religious materials are not ordered with IFs.

    Computer Ordering Policy

    Technology Options 

    At Excel Academy, we value the use of technology as a powerful educational tool. Therefore, we offer our students a variety of technology options for purchase with IFs. Please be aware that, like all school materials, computers ordered with IFs are property of the school and must be returned when a student's enrollment in the school ends. 

    Technology Policies

    Return Policy for Materials Content & Community Providers (CCPs)

    An Education Materials CCP is a business that provides curriculum, books, and school supplies. When placing material (EMR) orders, please research and choose wisely with careful consideration. Many CCPs do not accept returns from a school, and funds cannot be returned to individual student accounts. If a return is allowed, shipping costs will be deducted from the student account.

    Cancellation Policy

    We cannot cancel an EMR order after they are processed and sent to the CCP.  Once materials are requested, the Student Services Department will order them and they cannot be cancelled.  If an order has not been processed and is still in “Pending Status,” the ToR can cancel or edit the purchase order in OPS.  For VCI orders, CCPs must be notified of cancellation prior to orders being cancelled in OPS.

    To cancel a purchase order in the prepending stage, you must pull up the purchase order by completing a search.  Then click on the drop down menu "Pending" and choose "Cancelled."  Then click "Update Order."  If you don't click "Update Order" the order will not cancel.

    The VCI Cancellation Policy states that classes must be cancelled with two weeks notice given to the content and community provider.  Excel Academy will not pay for any missed classes with the content and community provider. Any content and community provider-specific cancellation policies are the sole responsibility of the parent.

    Backordered Items

    If the ordering window has closed, the parent cannot request an alternate item.  Please complete your orders well in advance of the deadline.

    Ordering Deadline

    April 16th, 2021 is the deadline for the Teacher of Record  to submit purchase orders for families.  April 12, 2021 is the deadline for parents to get their orders to the ToR.  It is important that families submit order requests earlier than the deadline.  After the deadline, no purchase orders can be submitted.  Instructional funds do not roll over from year to year.  If the IFs are not used by the deadline, the parent will no longer have access to them.

    Work Permits

    Students interested in requesting a work permit must comply with Excel Academy’s policy.

    *New students must provide current report cards and/or official transcripts, behavior records, and attendance records from previous school.

    General Work Permits:

    *Parents/students must adhere to the state and federal laws that pertain to child labor as well as the school policies mentioned above. 

    Entertainment Work Permits:

    *Parents/students must adhere to the state and federal laws that pertain to child labor as well as the school policies mentioned above. 

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    School Policies, Procedures & Regulations

    School Safety Plan

    Excel Academy seeks to provide a safe environment for its students, parents, staff, ToRs, and administration. For more information on Excel’s emergency procedures and policies, please review our comprehensive safety plan here.

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    Contact Information and Communication Policy

    School Communication Responsibilities

    It is pertinent that we are able to communicate effectively with our families due to the remote nature of our school.  The school requires that all parents reply to communication from Excel Academy staff and Teachers of Records within 48 hours (2 business days). We also require 24 hours notice in the event a parent must cancel an Excel Academy appointment, including but not limited to: LP meetings, IEPs,  SPED provider appointments, and Student Success Team (SST) meetings.  Please note: Students are allowed two changes to appointments per school year before being subject to a PIN.   Additionally, if a student/parent cannot be reached by Excel Academy staff for 10 business days or more, an evaluation will take place to determine whether it is in the best interest of the pupil to remain in independent study. If the evaluation finds that it is not in the student’s best interest to remain in independent study, the student may be involuntarily withdrawn. (Please refer to Outline of Responsibilities that May Result in Involuntary Withdrawal section for further details).

    Email or voicemail sent to administrative personnel Monday through Thursday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Pacific Time (PT) will be addressed within twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) business hours of the time it was sent.  Email or voicemail sent between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm PT the day before a weekend or holiday will be addressed on the next business day.  Email or voicemail sent during non-office hours will be addressed within twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours of the beginning of the following business day.  Instructors who are scheduled to be away during regularly scheduled office hours (for professional meetings or vacation) will post the dates and times of those interruptions at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance and will offer alternative contact information for assistance.  Unanticipated absences due to illness or other emergencies will be reported to the Director who will find suitable alternatives for assistance.

    Email Accounts

    A valid, working email account is required for all Teachers of Record and parents, and is recommended for students. Parents and students must provide contact information, which can include email, phone number, and mailing address.   If a Teacher of Record, student, or parent/guardian’s email address, mail address, IM address, or phone number changes, it must be updated with Excel Academy Admissions  at admissions@excelacademy.education within five (5) business days.  In case of an emergency, it is important that this information is kept current.

    Excel Academy does not supply student email accounts but recommends that Teachers of Record, students, and parents/guardians supply separate email addresses for communication.  Students who need a separate email account from their parents/guardians can sign up for a free account with Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail,  Please note, however, that Excel Academy does not have any relationship with these third parties, and it is not responsible for the availability or content of marketing or other materials on the above third parties’ websites.  The providers of the websites may discontinue their free programs at any time at their discretion.

    Phone and Text Communication 

    Social Media and Instant messaging Communication by phone or text/instant messaging should be only for urgent matters and only during the hours of operation (Monday-Friday 8:00 am-4:30 pm.) All informational communication by the school will be through email, ParentSquare, and/or social media. 

    Tone of Contact

    Students and parents/guardians must use school appropriate language in communication with Excel Academy employees and peers.  Students and parents/guardians will not partake in cyber-bullying or any form of harassment.  Students should strive to use appropriate grammar and capitalization in their communications.

    Authorized Contacts

    At the time of enrollment, a student’s parent/guardian is asked to approve any contacts that have authorization to receive performance information about the student.  Individuals with authorization are responsible for maintaining current contact information with the school.  In accordance with FERPA law, school officials are only authorized to speak to parents/guardians that are listed at the time of enrollment and who possess educational rights.  The Registrar should be notified of any changes in custody or educational rights immediately. 

    Academic Integrity Policy

    Excel Academy considers academic honesty to be one of its highest values. Students are expected to be the sole authors of their work and to exhibit honest behavior and academic integrity.  Use of another person’s work or ideas must be accompanied by specific citations and references. The purpose of this policy is to create and maintain ethics and integrity in all academic endeavors and to provide our students with an understanding of what is and is not acceptable.

    Definition of Plagiarism

    The unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author, and the representation of them as one's own original work.

    Examples of Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

    The above examples represent examples of plagiarism and/or academic dishonesty. Whether a student copies something word-for-word or rephrases the ideas of another student and/or writer without properly acknowledging the source, both constitute examples of plagiarism. Excel Academy recognizes the accessibility of information and online sources. It is therefore imperative for students to review plagiarism and ensure steps to avoid the use of plagiarism in their writing assignments.

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    Process for Addressing Incidents of Academic Dishonesty

    First incident:

    If a student is suspected of plagiarism or academic dishonesty in any course:

    Second incident:

    If a student is suspected of plagiarism or academic dishonesty in any course for a second time:

    Third incident:

    If a student is suspected of plagiarism or academic dishonesty in any course for a third time:

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    Grievance Procedure

    The following procedure is established to ensure that students’ or parents/guardians’ grievances are addressed fairly by the appropriate persons in a timely manner.  The school prohibits discrimination against students/families on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion.  

    If a student or parent/guardian is accused of cheating, inappropriate support or other forms of academic dishonesty and the student or parent/guardian disagrees:

    1. The student and parent/guardian will address the school administrator in writing with the reason for the grievance, including why they believe the accusation is not accurate/appropriate.
    2. The school administrator will investigate and respond with a written determination within ten (10) working days.
    3. If the concern or grievance is not resolved, the student and parent/guardian may, within ten (10) working days, request a review with the governing board.  
    4. The board shall investigate and respond to the student and parent/guardian within ten (10) school days after the review.  The decision of the board will be accomplished by a vote of a simple majority and the decision is final.

    *Parents/guardians should contact their ToRs with specific questions, as we want to ensure families are supported throughout the process. 

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    Excel Academy’s Parent Proctoring Policy

    Excel Academy considers academic honesty and integrity to be one of its highest values. Assessments are an integral part of the individualized learning plan for all students.  It is critical that all assessments are completed independently in order to identify areas of strength and any potential learning gaps. The purpose of this policy is to create and maintain ethics and integrity in all academic endeavors. Our intent is to provide our students and parents/guardians with guidelines to understand what is and is not acceptable when proctoring at-home assessments. 

    Parents/guardians who proctor i-Ready and course subject matter assessments for their own students are expected to follow the guidelines set forth in this policy. Regardless of the parent's intent, the acts stated below constitute academic dishonesty, as they facilitate in producing test results that are not an accurate reflection of the student’s independent academic abilities.

    Cheating (Definitions of Cheating)

    i-Ready 

    Examples of inappropriate support on i-Ready assessments include, but are not limited to:

    Examples of appropriate support on i-Ready assessments  include, but are not limited to:

    Testing Dishonesty in Grades TK - 6 

    *If Excel Academy has reason to believe that testing results are not an accurate reflection of the student’s abilities, the student may be required to take additional assessments proctored by the ToR.

    Testing Dishonesty in Grades 7- 12 (i.e. closed-book quizzes, end of unit tests, mid-term exams, and final exams)

    Accommodations for Students with IEPs or 504 Plans

    If the student has an IEP or 504 Plan, the Teacher of Record will contact the SPED Case Manager or 504 Coordinator to receive clear directions on accommodations that should be provided.  Similarly, Excel Academy will comply with all provisions of applicable law in addressing any student conduct concerns, including cheating.

    Internet / Computer System Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

    Excel Academy provides technology resources to its students solely for educational purposes.  Through technology, the schools provide access for students and staff to unlimited resources.  Expanding technologies provide tremendous opportunities for enhancing, extending, and rethinking the learning process.  The goal in providing these resources is to promote educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication with the support and supervision of the parent and credentialed teacher.

    With this access brings the potential exposure to material that may not hold educational value or may be harmful or disruptive to the student’s learning experience.

    The purpose of this policy is to ensure that student internet access on school-owned computers will be appropriate and used only for educational purposes, consistent with the acceptable standards of the school. 

    All computer equipment, programs, supporting materials, and peripherals of any nature which the student receives from the school are loaned to the student for educational purposes only and belong to the school. As a condition of receiving and using any such equipment, the student and parent/guardian acknowledge that there is no right or expectation of privacy whatsoever related to the student’s use of such equipment. The school retains the right to monitor, at all times, internet/computer activity accessed by this equipment, review any material stored in files on such equipment, and edit or remove any material which the school staff, in its sole discretion, believes violates the above standards, and terminate the Internet/Computer Agreement of any persons violating the conditions set forth in this policy.

    Information services, such as online educational resources provided by the school, may occasionally require new registration and account information to continue the service. This will require the school to give out certain portions of a student’s personal information to one or more 3rd party content and community provider(s) required for this requested service, such as login information, etc. Student and parent/guardian signatures of this policy and the use of aforesaid computer equipment or school-provided online resources indicate specific consent to such release of personal information.

    Students using the internet shall be closely supervised by the parent. Students and their parents/guardians are ultimately responsible for the materials accessed through the use of student internet accounts. Parents/guardians will be responsible for the supervision of students using the internet.

    The California Computer Crime Bill (1979) added section 502 to the Penal Code making it a felony to intentionally access any computer or system or network for certain purposes, including:

    *Anyone committing acts of this kind, or any other actions prohibited by law with school owned computers and/or equipment will face legal action and disciplinary procedures.

    It is the intent of this policy to protect students from inappropriate information. However, the staff cannot screen all of the materials available on the internet. Willful access to inappropriate material in any form by students as well as the importation of any material from “outside sources” on school owned computers and/or equipment is a violation of this policy and may result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, the revocation of school-provided computer and/or equipment and/or discipline, up to and including, expulsion of the student. Students, staff and parents/guardians hold a joint responsibility to insure that inappropriate material is not displayed or available on any computer.

    Parents/guardians will teach the student about internet safety, including how to protect online privacy and how to avoid online predators using resources such as materials available at: http://www.digitalcitizenship.net. 

    Excel Academy has also adopted internet safety policies in accordance with applicable law, including the Children’s Internet Protection Act, which will be provided to parents/guardians.

    This policy does not attempt to articulate all required or proscribed behavior by users. Misuse may come in many forms; it is commonly viewed as any transmission(s) sent or received that suggest or indicate pornography, unethical or illegal solicitation, racism, sexism and inappropriate language.

    Unacceptable behaviors may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Consequences of Non-compliance

    As with any other violation of school rules and regulations, consequences of violations may  include, but are not limited to, the following:

    The parent/guardian is responsible to abide by and to ensure the student abides by the provisions and conditions of this policy and that any violations of the above provisions may result in disciplinary action, the revoking of the user account, and appropriate legal action.

    The parent/guardian is also responsible to report any misuse of the information system to school administration. All the rules of conduct described in the publication entitled “Internet/Computer Acceptable Use Regulations” apply when on the internet or using the school-owned computer.

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    Student Freedom of Speech / Expression

    Excel Academy believes that free inquiry and exchange of ideas are essential parts of a democratic education.  We respect students' rights to express ideas and opinions, take stands on issues, and support causes, even when such speech is controversial or unpopular.

    Students shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press including, but not limited to: (1) use of bulletin boards; (2) distribution of printed materials or petitions; (3) wearing of buttons, badges, and other insignia; and (4) right of expression in official school publications.  “Official school publications” refers to material produced by pupils in the journalism, newspaper, yearbook, or writing classes and distributed to the student body either free or for a fee.  The school lead/director or designee will supervise the material produced by pupils to ensure it meets professional standards of English and journalism.  

    Students’ freedom of expression shall be limited as allowed by Education Code Section 48907, and other applicable state and federal laws.  Students are prohibited from making any expressions or distributing or posting any materials that are obscene, libelous, or slanderous.  Students also are prohibited from making any expressions that so incite students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts at school-sponsored activities or events, the violation of school rules, or substantial disruption of the school’s orderly operation.  The use of “fighting words” or epithets is prohibited in those instances where the speech is abusive and insulting, rather than a communication of ideas, and the speech is used in an aggressive or abusive manner in a situation that presents an actual danger that it will cause a breach of the peace.  A student shall be subject to discipline for out-of-school expression, including expression on internet websites, when such expression poses a threat to the safety of other students, staff, or school property, or substantially disrupts the educational program.

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    Civility Policy

    School personnel, parents/guardians, and students are required to be civil in all of their interpersonal school-related interactions. Civility does not require unqualified agreement or conformity of opinion. An expression of disagreement or a discussion of a controversial viewpoint is not uncivil if such expression or discussion is appropriately and respectfully presented and does not disrupt a school-related activity.

    For purposes of this policy, to be civil means to act with self-discipline in a courteous, respectful, and orderly way in every interpersonal communication and behavior with the goal of providing a safe and harassment free environment for our students and staff while maintaining individual rights to freedom of expression.

    Examples of uncivil conduct include, but are not limited to, the following:

    In the event that any party is uncivil during a school-related activity, the following steps will occur:

    1. Communicate - The party experiencing the uncivil behavior will communicate that the behavior is not civil and uncivil behavior must cease immediately.
    2. End Activity/Meeting - If the uncivil party fails to correct the uncivil behavior as directed, the affected party shall end the activity/meeting.
    3. Referral - The reporting party shall refer the situation to the school administration with a written summary of the uncivil behavior and how he/she responded.

    DeterminationIf it is determined that uncivil behavior occurred, proper disciplinary action will be taken, which may include suspension or expulsion.

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    Bullying Policy

    Excel Academy recognizes the harmful effects of bullying, hazing, or other behavior that infringes on the safety and well-being of students or interferes with learning or teaching.  We desire to provide a safe school culture that protects all students from physical and emotional harm.  Student safety is a top priority, and the school will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any kind of any student.

    “Bullying” means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act, and including one or more acts committed by a pupil or group of pupils directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

    “Electronic act” means the creation or transmission of a message (e.g., a text message, sound recording, video, image, social media post, etc.) by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, computer, tablet, pager, or other communication device.  

    Bullying that occurs outside of school but negatively impacts the school environment or ability of a student to perform in school is considered bullying.  Violations of our zero tolerance policy on bullying may lead to discipline up to and including suspension and/or expulsion.

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    Substance Abuse

    Excel Academy does not tolerate the illegal use, possession, or sale of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or related paraphernalia by students while engaged in school-sponsored educational activities or events.  School administrators are required to take immediate action to prevent, discourage, and eliminate the illegal use, possession, or sale of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or related paraphernalia while engaged in school-sponsored educational activities or events.  Students found in violation are subject to discipline, up to and including suspension and/or expulsion.  

    Smoking and the use of all tobacco products, including the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems such as e-cigarettes is prohibited on all Excel Academy property, including any owned or leased buildings and in school vehicles, at all times by all persons, including employees, students, and visitors.

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    Child Abuse Reporting

    Teachers, instructional aides, classified staff, and other school employees are required by law to report all known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to the appropriate law enforcement or child welfare agency.  (Pen. Code, § 11166.)   

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    Independent Study Policy

    Excel Academy Charter Schools (“EACS” or “Charter School”) offers independent study to meet the educational needs of students enrolled in the Charter School. Independent study is an alternative education program designed to teach the knowledge and skills of the core curriculum. EACS shall provide appropriate existing services and resources to enable students to complete their independent study successfully. 

    The following written policies have been adopted by the Board of Directors for implementation at the Charter School: 

    1. For students in all grade levels offered by the Charter School, the maximum length of time that may elapse between the time an assignment is made and the date by which the student must complete the assigned work shall be twenty (20) school days.
    2. A student may miss two (2) assignments during the school year. When any student fails to complete up to three (3) identified assignments in a school year, the Executive Director or designee shall conduct an internal evaluation to determine whether it is in the best interests of the student to remain in independent study.  A written record of the findings of any evaluation conducted pursuant to this policy shall be treated as a mandatory interim student record. This record shall be maintained for a period of three years from the date of the evaluation and if the student transfers to another California public school, the record shall be forwarded to that school. 
    3. A current written agreement shall be maintained on file for each independent study student, including but not limited to, all of the following:  
      • The manner, time, frequency, and place for submitting a student's assignments and for reporting the student’s progress.  
      • The objectives and methods of study for the student's work, and the methods utilized to evaluate that work.  
      • The specific resources, including materials and personnel, which will be made available to the student.  
      • A statement of the policies adopted herein regarding the maximum length of time allowed between the assignment and the completion of a student's assigned work, and the number of missed assignments allowed prior to an evaluation of whether or not the student should be allowed to continue in independent study.  
      • The duration of the independent study agreement, including beginning and ending dates for the student's participation in independent study under the agreement. 
        • A statement of the number of course credits or, for the elementary grades, other measures of academic accomplishment appropriate to the agreement, to be earned by the student upon completion.  
      • The inclusion of a statement in each independent study agreement that independent study is an optional educational alternative in which no student may be required to participate. 
      • In the case of a student who is referred or assigned to any school, class or program pursuant to Education Code Section 48915 or 48917, the agreement also shall include the statement that instruction may be provided to the student through independent study only if the student is offered the alternative of classroom instruction.  
      • Each written agreement shall be signed, prior to the commencement of independent study, by the student, the student's parent/guardian if the student is less than 18 years of age, the certificated employee who has been designated as having responsibility for the general supervision of independent study, and all persons who have direct responsibility for providing assistance to the student.

    The Charter School shall comply with the Education Code Sections 51745 through 51749.3 and the provisions of the Charter School’s Act and the State Board of Education regulations adopted thereunder. 

    The Executive Director shall establish regulations to implement these policies in accordance with the law.

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    Outline of Violations that May Result in Involuntary Removal

    Attendance

    Regular attendance is very important to the success of both your student and our school.  Charter schools are funded based on “average daily attendance” or ADA.  “Attendance” means when a student is engaged in educational activities required of them by the school, on days when school is actually taught.  (5 C.C.R. 11960(a).)  

    Since our schools are non-classroom-based instructional programs, ADA is calculated based on the work completed by the student on school days and submitted by the due dates established in the independent study Master Agreement.  The assigned teacher subsequently assesses the student’s work to determine whether the time value ascribed to the assigned educational activities amount to a full day of attendance.  It’s important to stick to a regular work schedule/calendar so your student can clearly identify each school day on which he/she engaged in required educational activities to an extent sufficient to constitute at least one day of time value.  When determining the time value of a student’s work, the teacher will consider each student individually and may adjust the assignments accordingly.    

    In California, each person between 6 and 18 years of age, unless otherwise exempt by law, is required to attend school full-time with regular and punctual attendance, and schools are required to enforce this compulsory attendance law.  (See Ed. Code, § 48200 et seq.)  A student’s failure to complete assignments on-time may subject the student to discipline, removal from the program, and/or being classified as truant and reported to the proper authorities.  Please review the detailed Attendance, Progress Improvement Notification (PIN) and Involuntary Withdrawal policy found in the EACS Handbook. 

    Governing Board Policies

    In addition to attendance, the parent and student must abide by all board approved policies.  These policies include, but are not limited to:

    The complete list of all Board-approved policies as well as how to access them may be found at 

    https://www.excelacademy.education/board-governance/board-policies/

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    Acknowledgement of Responsibilities (AoR)

    I, the student, agree to:

    * Failure to complete mandated school-wide assessments may result in Progress Improvement Notifications (PINS) being issued. Please see EACS Handbook for a description of the Progress Improvement Notification (PIN) process.

    I, the parent/guardian, agree to:

    *Teacher of Record (ToR”) responsibilities are outlined in the EACS Handbook.

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    Progress Improvement Notification Procedures 

    First Progress Improvement Notification

    If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities outlined in the Master Agreement, Acknowledgement of Responsibilities (AoR), and/or Independent Study Policy, the school will send a letter to the parent/guardian informing the family that the student/parent has failed to meet the minimum standards of independent study and/or the governing Board policies. The letter will include the reason for the notification so the parent/guardian and student are aware that they are not fulfilling their responsibilities with the school.

    If the reason for the notification is that the student failed to complete an identified assignment outlined in the PIN letter, per the credentialed ToR, the student must complete the assignment.  Verification of completion of the identified assignment is required to ensure the student is making progress and meeting their goals.

    If the reason for the notification is that the parent/guardian or student did not attend a Learning Period meeting, a follow-up Learning Period meeting must occur within five school days.

    Second Notification - Meeting with School's Support Team

    If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities outlined in the Master Agreement, Acknowledgement of Responsibilities (AoR), and/or Independent Study Policy for a second time within the same school year, the school will send a letter to the parent/guardian informing the family that the student has failed to meet the minimum standards of independent study and/or the governing Board policies. The letter will include the reason for the notification so the parent/guardian and student are aware that they are not fulfilling their responsibilities with the school.

    If the reason for the notification is that the student failed to complete an identified assignment outlined in the PIN letter per the credentialed ToR, the student must complete the assignment. In addition, a Student Success Team (SST) meeting may be held with the school’s educational team within ten days. The conference will include the student, parent, teacher, and school intervention or SPED designee. The purpose of the meeting will be to develop a plan to support the student’s success.  

    If the PIN was issued due to a missed LP meeting, a follow-up meeting must occur within five school days of the missed meeting. This meeting will take place to ensure the student has begun making adequate progress.  If the parent/guardian or student does not attend the scheduled student successw2 meeting, the meeting will be held with the teacher and school designee. 

    If the student is served under a Section 504 Accommodation Plan and the SST suspects that the area identified for improvement in the PIN may be related to the student’s disability, a Section 504 meeting may be scheduled in lieu of an SST meeting.

    If the student has an IEP and the IEP team determines that the area identified for improvement in the PIN may be related to the student’s disability, a second PIN IEP meeting may be held to determine if the student’s IEP supports or services require adjustments in order to address the area of improvement. 

    Third Progress Improvement Notification (PIN) - Internal Evaluation

    If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities outlined in the Master Agreement, Acknowledgement of Responsibilities (AoR), and/or Independent Study Policy for a third time within the same school year, the school will send a letter to the parent/guardian informing the family that the student has failed to meet the minimum standards of independent study and/or the governing Board policies. The letter will include the reason for the notification so the parent/guardian and student are aware that they are not fulfilling their responsibilities with the school.

    When any student fails to complete three (3) identified assignments (or fails to meet the responsibilities in the Master Agreement , Acknowledgement of Responsibilities (AoR), or Independent Study Policy three times) during any period of twenty (20) school days, the Executive Director or designee shall conduct an internal evaluation to determine whether it is in the best interests of the student to remain in independent study. If the evaluation finds that it is not in the student’s best interest to remain in independent study, the student may be removed in accordance with the process outlined below. 

    Involuntary Withdrawal 

    No student shall be involuntarily withdrawn by the Charter School for any reason unless the parent or guardian of the student has been provided written notice of intent to withdrawal the student no less than five (5) schooldays before the effective date of the action (“Notice of Involuntary Withdrawal”). The written notice shall be in the native language of the student or the student’s parent or guardian or, if the student is a foster child or youth or a homeless child or youth, the student’s educational rights holder. The Notice of  Involuntary Withdrawal shall include the charges against the student and an explanation of the student’s basic rights including the right to request a hearing before the effective date of the action. 

    If a hearing is requested, both the parent/guardian  and the student have a fair opportunity to present testimony, evidence, and witnesses and confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, and at which the student has the right to bring legal counsel or an advocate. The notice of the hearing shall be in the native language of the student or the student’s parent or guardian or, if the student is a foster child or youth or a homeless child or youth, the student’s educational rights holder shall receive a copy of the Charter School’s hearing process. 

    If the parent/guardian is nonresponsive to the Notice of Involuntary Withdrawal, the student will be disenrolled as of the effective date set forth in the notice and the notice will be sent to the student’s last known district of residence within thirty (30) days. 

    An evaluation decision not to disenroll the student does not prevent the Charter School from making a similar recommendation in the future should violation of identified assignments continue or re-occur.

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    Special Education Students 

    If the at-risk student is a student with an active IEP or 504 plan, or is a student suspected of  having a disability condition, the teacher will contact the appropriate charter school administrator and comply with all provisions of applicable law in addressing any concerns. These concerns may  include the student’s failure to meet the minimum qualifications of independent study or abide by governing Board policies.  Change of placement for a current special education student, or eligibility determination for a child suspected of being a student with a disability, will be addressed by the IEP team. No student who is known to have a disability condition will be involuntarily removed until 1) a Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) meeting is convened according to law and 2) it is determined at that meeting that the concerns warranting removal are not a manifestation of the student’s disability. 

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    Suspension / Expulsion Procedures

    For Excel Academy students within Helendale School District or Warner Unified School District please refer to the suspension policy outlined in our charter petition.   A copy will be made available upon request.

    As to students with special education needs, discipline will be taken, where appropriate, in conformance with applicable law.

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    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records.  These rights are:

    1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the school receives a request for access.
    2. Parents or eligible students should submit to the program lead/director a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect.  The program lead/director will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
    3. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
    4. Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the school to amend a record should write the program lead/director, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed.  If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.  Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.  
    5. The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    6. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  For this purpose, a school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board.  A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the school who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
    7. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the Office that processes FERPA complaints are:

    Family Policy Compliance Office

    U.S. Department of Education

    400 Maryland Avenue, SW

    Washington, DC 20202

    FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations.  Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the parent or eligible student, §99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires the school to record the disclosure.  Parents and eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.  A school may disclose PII from the education records of a student without obtaining prior written consent of the parents or the eligible student:

    Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent.  The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the school to include information from your child’s education records in certain school publications.  

    Examples include:

    Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.  If you do not want the school to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below to outside organizations as directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the school and “opt out” of the directory.

    Any and all of the following items of directory information relating to a student may be released to a designated recipient unless a written request is on file to withhold its release:

    In addition, two federal laws require a school receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended,  to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information: names, addresses and telephone listings, unless parents have advised the school that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.

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    Title IX Notice of Nondiscrimination

    Excel Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the school’s non-discrimination policies:

    Megan Anderson, Human Resources Specialist 

    1 Technology Ste. i-811, Irvine CA 92618

    Ph: 949-387-7822

    manderson@excelacademy.education

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    Annual Notice of Uniform Complaint Procedures

    Excel Academy has the primary responsibility for compliance with federal and state laws and regulations for students who attend our schools.  We have established Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) to address allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and complaints alleging violation of state or federal laws governing educational programs, the charging of unlawful pupil fees and the non-compliance of our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

    We will investigate all allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying against any protected group as identified in Education Code section 200 and 220 and Government Code section 11135, including any actual or perceived characteristics as set forth in Penal Code section 422.55 or on the basis or a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in any program or activity conducted by the school, which is funded directly by, or that receives or benefits from any state financial assistance.  The UCP shall also be used when addressing complaints alleging failure to comply with various other state and/or federal laws.

    A pupil enrolled in a public school shall not be required to pay a pupil fee for participation in an educational activity.

    A pupil fee includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

    A pupil fees or LCAP complaint may be filed anonymously if the complainant provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support the complaint.

    A pupil fee complaint must be filed with Community Collaborative Family of Schools no later than one year from the date the alleged violation occurred.  A complaint of noncompliance should be filed first with the school lead/director under the Uniform Complaint Procedures.  A complainant unsatisfied with the decision of the school lead/director may appeal the decision and shall receive a written appeal decision within 60 days of receipt of the complaint.

    Complaints other than issues relating to pupil fees must be filed in writing with the following person designated to receive complaints:

    Corrie Amador,Director of Human Resources

    100 E San Marcos Blvd. Suite 350

    San Marcos, CA 92069

    Ph: 760-494-9646 

    camador@cccs.education

    Complaints alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, must be filed within six (6) months from the date the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying,  occurred or the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, unless the time for filing is extended by the school administrator or his or her designee.

    Complaints will be investigated and a written decision or report will be sent to the complainant within sixty (60) days from the receipt of the complaint.  This time period may be extended by written agreement of the complainant.  The person responsible for investigating the complaint shall conduct and complete the investigation in accordance with local procedures adopted under 5 C.C.R. § 4621.  

    The complainant has a right to appeal our decision of complaints regarding specific programs, pupil fees and the LCAP to the CDE by filing a written appeal within 15 days of receiving our decision.  The appeal must be accompanied by a copy of the originally-filed complaint and a copy of our decision.

    The complainant is advised of civil law remedies, including, but not limited to, injunctions, restraining orders, or other remedies or orders that may be available under state or federal discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying laws, if applicable.

    A copy of our UCP compliant policies and procedures is available free of charge.

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    Parent Liability for Student Conduct

    The law states that a parent or guardian of any minor whose willful misconduct results in injury or death to any pupil or any person employed by, or performing volunteer services for a school, or who willfully cuts, defaces, or otherwise injures in any way any property, real or personal, belonging to a school or personal property of any school employee, shall be liable for all damages caused by the minor.  

    Further, the parent or guardian of a minor shall be liable to a school for all property belonging to the school loaned to the minor and not returned upon demand of an employee of the school authorized to make the demand.

    Any school whose real or personal property has been willfully cut, defaced, or otherwise injured, or whose property is loaned to a pupil and willfully not returned upon demand of an employee of the school authorized to make the demand may, after affording the pupil his or her due process rights, withhold grades, diploma, and transcripts of the pupil responsible for the damage until the pupil or the pupil’s parent or guardian has paid for the damages thereto.  The school will notify the parent or guardian of the pupil’s alleged misconduct before withholding the pupil’s grades, diploma, or transcript.

    If the minor and parent are unable to pay for damages, or to return the property, the school will provide a program of voluntary work for the minor in lieu of the payment of monetary damages.  Upon completion of the voluntary work, the grades, diploma, and transcript of the pupil will be released.

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    Suicide Prevention Policy 

    If you have a child who may be struggling with emotions/behavior please reach out to our counseling office for additional support.

    School Counselors:

    Arleen Conradi- aconradi@excelacademy.education

    Lisa Durham - ldurham@excelacademy.education PH: 949-774-5799

    Melissa O'Dell - modell@excelacademy.education PH: 949-774-6293

    Please click the link to view: 

    Suicide Prevention Policy

    Charter schools serving students in grades 7-12 are required to adopt a student suicide prevention policy in consultation with school and community stakeholders and others.

    Protecting the health and well-being of all students is of utmost importance to our school. The school board has adopted a suicide prevention policy which will help to protect all students through the following steps:

    1. Students will learn about recognizing and responding to warning signs of suicide in friends, using coping skills, using support systems, and seeking help for themselves and friends. At the beginning of each school year, an informational pamphlet will be provided to each student’s parent or guardian.  It is the responsibility of each student’s parent or guardian to review this information with him or her.  If parents or guardians have any questions about the material, they can contact the school’s appointed suicide prevention liaison, Arleen Conradi.
    2. The school has a designated Crisis Team who provides appropriate resources and support to students, & families in crisis.
    3. When a student is identified as being at risk, they will be assessed by a school employed mental health professional who will work with the student and help connect them to appropriate local resources.
    4. Students will have access to county & national resources which they can contact for additional support, such as:

    This policy has been developed and adapted from the” Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention,” which is a resource that outlines comprehensive model policies and best practices for schools to follow to protect the health and safety of all students.  This resource was developed by examining strong local policies, ensuring that they are in line with the latest research in the field of suicide prevention, and identifying best practices for a national framework.

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    McKinney Vento Information

    If you are in a situation that qualifies you as homeless based on the McKinney-Vento definition below and you are interested in receiving information about resources available in your area, please contact your ToR and/or a school counselor. 

    Excel Academy Charter School will adhere to the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and ensure that each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths in accordance with applicable law.

    Definition of homeless:

    The federal government’s legal definition of “homeless” based on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is anyone who:

    Homeless Students’ Rights

    Excel Academy will meet the McKinney-Vento education rights following our regular enrollment policies. See more information at http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/hs/.

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    Parent Advisory Committee

    Excel Academy sponsors a Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), comprised of parents from the Excel Academy community, which meets regularly as is dictated by Excel Academy and serves to address and recommend changes to the Excel Academy Administration regarding specific areas of school operations. This includes but is not limited to:

    1. School budget, including the LCAP
    2. Curriculum/Instruction/Assessment
    3. Fundraising and Grants
    4. School Program Development

    The PAC will serve to share information about the school with the parent community, invite feedback and ideas from the parents on the school, and involve students in the school conversation. Dates of future meetings will be posted at least one month in advance. Certificated and classified staff members are welcome and encouraged to attend if their duties permit. The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) will be chaired by the Excel Academy Director or their designee.

    Excel Academy believes that active parent, student, and employee participation in school operations will help foster the sustainability of our school. The PAC will play an important role in making Excel Academy even more responsive to staff, student, and parent needs and provide for continual improvement, ensuring that Excel Academy staff practice open and positive communication with families. To that end, we welcome any inquiries into parent participation in the committee.  Please reach out to Community@excelacademy.education to inquire how to become involved.

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    English Learner Advisory Committee 

    An English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) is a school-level committee composed of parents, staff, and community members designated to advise school officials on English learner programs and services and is required for any California public school with 21 or more English Learners. The ELAC shall be responsible for the following tasks:

    School Site Council

    The School Site Council is an advisory board that works together to focus on school goals and student achievement for Excel Academy. This team will evaluate the progress made toward these goals during a two year term and help make decisions that benefit all Excel Academy students. 

    The SSC brings together representatives of Excel Academy’s community to: 

    1. Oversee the School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). 
    2. Act as a decision making authority and advisory board related to various school goals. 
    3. Provide ongoing review and modifications to SPSA as needs arise. 
    4. Evaluate the progress made toward academic goals and student achievement.
    5. Promote trust in school decisions that benefit all Excel Academy students. 

    The SSC consists of:

    Track B Calendar

    Printed copies of the handbook are available to view in English, Korean, and Spanish at the Excel Academy Administrative office in Irvine.

    Translation in primary language can be provided upon request.