STUDENT/PARENT HANDBOOK - 

High School Assessments

Contact Information and Communication Policy

VIEW PDF OF 2019/2020 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 2019-2020 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 

Director, Excel Academy

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Who We Are

Excel Academy is a tuition free public charter school offering personalized learning independent study for students in grades TK-12. Our unique educational program allows parents to select a wide variety of educational resources and materials from approved vendors 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.

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Our Vision

Life is what you create. At Excel Academy Charter School 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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Track B School Calendar

Track B calendar

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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 Unified School District for the Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties: https://www.excelacademy.education/

Excel Academy  is also partnered with California Pacific Charter Schools (CPCS) chartered by the Warner Unified School District: www.californiapacificcharterschools.org and Community Collaborative Charter School (CCCS) chartered by Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District: http://www.cccs.education/

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Accreditation

Community Collaborative Charter School and California Pacific Charter School 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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Identifiable 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 (Highly Qualified Teacher) Content Area Specialist - 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 with the student, parent, and ToR 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 Student Services Department.

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 ToR to turn in and review the body of work completed since the previous LP. 

Master Agreement (MA) - An enrollment agreement between the parent/guardian, school and ToR which specifies the policies and procedures that must be followed to participate in Excel Academy.  An MA signed by all parties, in conjunction with the AoR, is necessary for enrollment in the school.

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

Acknowledgment of Responsibilities (AoR)-A document that lists the responsibilities of Excel Academy parents/guardians and their students.  The AoR is sent via email link, along with the Master Agreement (MA), for parents to sign upon enrollment.  

Attendance Roll Sheet (Grid Log)-A document sent once per month at the end of the Learning Period via email.  Parent/guardian documents the learning days for their student and sign the document.  ToRs must have this returned before taking attendance for a student.

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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.

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Contact Information

Our office is located at:

1200 Quail Street, Suite 175

Newport Beach, CA 92660

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

acesario@excelacademy.education - Main Office/Parent Support

studentservices@excelacademy.education - Student Services Department

registrar@excelacademy.education - Office of the Registrar

admissions@excelacademy.education - Enrollment Department

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

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

Admissions - Lauren Hansen                                         PHONE: 949-774-0243

Registrar - Cori McCook             PHONE: 949-774-6457

Counselor - Melissa O’Dell PHONE: 949-774-5799

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

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

Student Services Manager - Cree McCook             PHONE: 949-774-6299

Vendor Specialist - Erin Rynders             PHONE: 949-774-6293

Vendor Relations/Community Coordinator Kastin Dick   PHONE: 949-774-6236

General Information             PHONE 949-387-7822 

Student Services Department (formerly known as the Vendor Department) 949-387-7410 

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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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 and Acknowledgement of Responsibilities (AoR). 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.

** Link to PSA Transcript Summary (Template to use): PSA Transcript Summary

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Grade Level Assignment (by age of student)

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 Academy’s Grade Placement Chart: Excel Grade Placement Chart 2019-2020

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Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Policy

Students must turn 5 between September 2-December 2. Kindergarten age-eligible students are allowed to choose TK if their 5th birthday is between June 1st-September 1st; however, they must sign the Kindergarten Continuance Form 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.

For students with their 5th birthday after December 2, they must enter TK on or after their 5th birthday. They must sign the Kinder Continuance Form.  If a student turns 5 after December 2nd, entering kindergarten is not an option, they must enroll in TK.

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Kindergarten Policy

Students must turn 5 on or before September 1.

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High School Grade Level Placement Policy

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.

New students enrolling in Excel Academy (taking high school courses) past 21 days of the start of the semester, must provide in-progress grades from previous school. In addition, Excel Academy’s school counselor must review  incoming transcripts as part of the enrollment process at Excel Academy.

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

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Retention & Acceleration: Policies & Processes

Acceleration 

Students at Excel Academy will be promoted to the next grade level each year.  In order to skip a grade, it must be agreed upon in writing, by both the parent and school administration, prior to the beginning of the school year. Decisions regarding acceleration will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Acceleration Team through a Student Success Team (SST) Process.  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.

 

Acceleration Requests Prior to the Beginning of the School Year:

  • Parents send letter to admissions stating reasons why they are requesting acceleration.
  • Parents provide current report card, transcript, test scores, and any relevant information.  
  • Once letter and documents are received, request goes to the Intervention Coordinator
  • Intervention Coordinator reviews information to determine if an acceleration meeting is warranted. 
  • Intervention Coordinator schedules parent meeting with Acceleration Team 
  • Acceleration Team makes recommendation to school Directors
  • Intervention Coordinator sends out final decision letter to parents 

 

Acceleration Requests for Currently Enrolled Students or Students Enrolling After the School Year Begins:

  • Parent should contact their ToR
  • The ToR will reach out to Intervention Coordinator to schedule an SST
  • Intervention Coordinator will invite respective admin on SSTs 
  • The SST will collect data and monitor accelerated plan for a minimum of 2 months
  • Acceleration Team makes recommendation to school Directors
  • Intervention Coordinator sends out final decision letter to parents 

*Students will not be accelerated  prior to enrollment with Excel Academy once the school year begins. 

Retention 

Students at Excel Academy will be promoted to the next grade level each year.  In order to repeat a grade, it must be agreed upon in writing, by both the parent and school administration. Decisions regarding retention will be made on a case by case basis by the Retention Team through a Student Success Team (SST) Process.  It is essential that a current student who is making such a request be monitored for a period of time, prior to making a decision regarding retention. 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.  

 

Retention Requests  Prior to the Beginning of the School Year:

  • Parents send letter to admissions stating reasons why they are requesting retention.
    • This must be done prior to the beginning of the school year. No retention requests will be accepted after the school year has begun.
  • Parents provide current report card, transcript, test scores and any relevant information.  
  • Once letter and documents are received, request goes to the Intervention Coordinator
  • Intervention Coordinator reviews information to determine if retention meeting is warranted. 
  • Intervention Coordinator schedules parent meeting with Retention Team 
  • Retention Team makes recommendation to school Directors
  • Intervention Coordinator sends out final decision letter to parents 

 

Retention Requests for Currently Enrolled Students or Students Enrolling After the School Year Begins:

  • Parent should contact their ToR
  • The ToR will reach out to Intervention Coordinator to schedule an SST
  • Intervention Coordinator will invite respective admin on SSTs 
  • The SST will collect data and monitor interventions for a minimum of 2 months
  • Retention Team makes recommendation to school Directors
  • Intervention Coordinator sends out final decision letter to parents 

*Students will not be retained prior to enrollment with Excel Academy once the school year begins.

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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, & Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District). A panel will meet to determine whether the pupil has successfully completed a rehabilitation plan and to determine whether the pupil poses a threat to others or will be disruptive to the school environment.  The Principal or designee shall make a recommendation to the governing board following the meeting regarding his or her determination.

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Adult Student Enrollment Policy

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.

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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 are defined as vendors who are registered with the California Department of Education (CDE) as private schools that teach core classes and charge tuition. Excel Academy reserves the right to evaluate if a program is considered a dual enrollment situation per the California Education code.

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Master Agreement

The Master Agreement is a binding agreement between Excel Academy, the student, the parent/guardian, the supervising Teacher of Record, 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  the student’s attendance reporting start dates..

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How It Works

Excel Academy Policies

Students in Excel Academy are required to complete schoolwork daily. Work samples will be collected by the Teacher of Record (ToR) each 20-day learning period.  Resources include – but are not limited to – the following: credentialed-teacher support; technical support; student support services; non-classroom based learning programs; cooperative school programs and classes; core curriculum; instructional materials; service vendors; lesson and/or course manuals and supplementary course material; special education resources and other necessary resources as required.

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Teacher of Record (ToR)

Every student enrolled in Excel Academy benefits from the expertise of a Teacher of Record (ToR) The ToR is a credentialed teacher who works with their assigned students/families to identify and implement a personalized learning plan for each student. The ToR will also meet once a month with each student/family to review the body of work the student completed for the LP and plan assignments. The ToR will collect work samples from the student’s body of work that are representative of the content covered during the previous LP. The monthly meeting is designed to encourage, support and guide Excel students and families on their homeschool journey. This meeting may last up to one hour per student depending on the student’s needs.

The ToR’s primary role is to work together with the parents to execute an appropriate course of study, help the student meet or exceed grade level requirements, and ultimately, work towards graduation from high school. All Excel Academy ToRs are highly qualified, experienced, credentialed teachers who are committed to customized learning for each student and family.

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Initial Contact Meeting

Once a ToR has been assigned to a family, he/she will reach out within 24-48 hours to schedule an initial contact phone meeting. During this meeting, the Teacher of Record will explain the Learning Period (LP) and 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.

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Learning Period (LP) Meetings

Learning Period Meetings are a critical part of personalized learning at Excel Academy.  The LP meetings take place at a mutually agreed upon public location, approximately every 20 school days. During the meetings, the ToR works one on one with the student to communicate and gather information and knowledge learned throughout the learning period.   Due to the importance of these meetings, and out of respect for our Teachers of Record, we ask that families keep the agreed upon location and time of their LP meeting, with the exception of an unforeseen emergency. Missing two or more consecutive LP meetings is grounds for involuntary withdrawal  from the school. Additionally, parents who cancel or reschedule an LP meeting more than twice per school year will earn a Progress Improvement Notification for each cancellation or rescheduling that occurs after the first two (see our Independent Study  Attendance, Student Support, and Involuntary Withdrawal Policy.)

In the event of an emergency, please alert your ToR as soon as it is safe to do so. Excel requires that all ToRs act professionally and knowledgeably, in order to serve their students to the best of their ability.

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Body of Work

Students are required to bring a body of work to each learning period meeting. This body of  work represents the student’s progress over the course of the previous Learning Period. As a result, students are encouraged to bring enough work to show the concepts learned for each subject or course taken.. All work should be graded or evaluated in some manner.  Samples can include any evaluative coursework, including worksheets, argumentative essays, research papers, science-project write ups, etc. The ToR will choose a sample in each subject/course that demonstrates grade level content in a variety of formats. The ToR will file these samples as proof of student attendance and progress.

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Assessment of Student Work

There are various methods parents can choose from to document the acquired learning for the student each LP(every 20 days). A student’s ToR will go over these methods upon student enrollment with Excel Academy.  At each learning period meeting, the student’s assigned ToR will review the student’s body of work and engage in academic conversation to confirm that ample learning took place. Progression through the assigned curriculum and the state standards will be verified by the ToR as well.  The final grades assigned by the ToR, in collaboration with the parent, at the end of each semester are heavily based on the progress and achievement shown in the student’s body of work and conversations with the Teacher of Record.

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Attendance  Roll Sheet/ Grid Log

Along with the assessment of student work, another responsibility of the Teacher of Record is to verify and claim attendance for each learning period. Attendance for a learning period can only be claimed once a learning period has ended. After reviewing the student’s work, the ToR will verify that ample work and/or standards were completed by the student during the learning period, and the ToR and the parent will sign and date the electronic Attendance Grid Log.

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Parent Newsletter via Parentsquare

One of the main venues of communication to our parents is through our parent newsletter, sent via email and highlights sent via Parent Sqaure.  Parents often receive time-sensitive communication, information about community events, deadline reminders, and vendor spotlights through the monthly newsletters. Please let your ToR know if you are not receiving the monthly parent newsletter. For parents who do not wish to receive the newsletter via email and updates in ParentSquare, upon request, a hard copy will be mailed to the address to which all other Excel Academy correspondence is sent.

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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 vendor search tool. Parents are encouraged to pursue educational choices that best reflect the academic and social needs of their individual student. Children can benefit from learning at home or taking advantage of courses offered through approved vendors at various local vendor hub and/or homeschool co-ops. 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 has an extensive vendor list and a variety of curriculum options to assist students in reaching their educational goals. The ToR and families 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 vendor page.

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California State & Grade Level Standards

Excel Academy students must show progression towards and mastery of the California State Standards in order to remain in the school. With the help of an assigned Teacher of Record, students will be guided towards the completion of these standards. Teachers of Record will assess a student’s progress at each LP meeting and at the end of every semester.


The Teacher of Record will email families a copy of the grade level standards for the grades their students are enrolled in at the start of each academic year. Additionally, parents can obtain the subject and course standards directly from the California Department of Education.

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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 learning period 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.

   Find a Vendor Near Your Home

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

       To use this map follow the simple steps below:

 

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Family Vendor Agreement

A signed copy of the Family Vendor Agreement must be on file before the family can begin placing purchase orders for services. The ToR will go over the Family Vendor Agreement carefully with each parent before signing.

The ToR may be asked to produce a copy of the signed Family Vendor Agreement at any time.

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Instructional Funds

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 instructional funds is up to the discretion of the ToR . Funds are prorated after the first day of the school year.

The instructional funds are as follows:

TK - 8                 $2,700 

High School    $3,200

The instructional funds 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.

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Criteria for Materials That Can Be Purchased with Instructional Funds

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: 


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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


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Return Policy (for Materials Vendors)

An Education Material Vendor (EMR) is a business that provides curriculum, books, and school supplies. When placing material (EMR) orders, please research and choose wisely with careful consideration. Many vendors 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.

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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 school funds since they impose high liability and/or political risk to the school. Vendors who provide the below services will not be approved.

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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.

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Sectarian Materials

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

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Cancellation Policy

We cannot cancel an EMR order after they are processed and sent to the vendor.  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 ES can cancel or edit the purchase order in OPS.  For VCI orders, vendors 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 vendor.  Excel Academy will not pay for any missed classes with the vendor. Any vendor-specific cancellation policies are the sole responsibility of the parent.

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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.

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Ordering Deadline

April 26th, 2020 is the deadline for the Teacher of Record  to submit purchase orders for families. April 12, 2019 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 instructional funds are not used by the deadline, the parent will no longer have access to them.

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Instructional Funds and Vendor Policies

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

All vendors must complete the vendor application process.  For service vendors who work directly with Excel students, vendors 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 vendor 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 Vendor list.

Instructional Funds are dispersed at the discretion of the Teacher of Record (ToR) and Student Services Department among approved vendors. 

Materials vendors (EMR) 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. Instructional Funds depreciate daily depending on the day of actual enrollment and must be used in the same academic year. 

Services are provided by a Vendor Course Instructor (VCI). This person(s) or facility provides academic tutoring, CORE classes, art/music lessons, physical education classes, or other supervised/guided instruction. A service order (VCI) request does not guarantee a spot in a vendor's class. The parent must communicate directly with the vendor to ensure the vendor 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 vendor agreement has expired or dissolved, Excel Academy cannot pay for services or materials purchased from them. The Teacher of Record will notify families who happen to order something from a vendor such as this.

Additional Documents for Parent Use

Glossary of Terms

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

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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 Teacher of Record 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. Instructional Funds may be used for approved vendor materials and courses.

High School Grade Level Placement Policy

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 their cohort.

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

New Students

New students taking high school courses will not be enrolled past 21 days without submitting in-progress grades from their previous school.

Adding/Changing Courses

Students adding or changing a course can only do so within 10 days of LP1 (semester one) and LP5 (semester two).

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/vendor. However, if the request is after the deadline, students will be subjected to certain penalties which include:

Graduation Requirements

Students are eligible for a diploma when all requirements have been met. Diploma requirements are as follows:

English - 40 credits

Math - 20 credits

Science - 20 credits (1 life/ 1 physical)

History - 30 credits

VAPA/World Language/CTE - 10 credits

PE - 20 credits

Electives - 80 credits

Total to graduate: 220 credits

*Below is an example of the 3 graduation track options which include Graduation Only/Community College/Other Track, Customized College Track (Private/Out-of-State), and UC/CSU Track (Minimum Eligibility)

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Graduation Track Options

Graduation Only/

Community College/Other

Track

Customized College

Track

(Private/Out-of-State)

UC/CSU Track

(Minimum Eligibility)

CSU Admissions UC Admissions

9th Grade

9th Grade

9th Grade

10- English 9

10- Pre-Algebra or Algebra 1

10- Life or Physical Science

10- Physical Education

10- Elective


50 Credits

10 -  English 9

10 - Algebra 1 or Geometry

10 - World Language I

10 - Physical Education

10 - Elective


50 Credits

10 - a-g English 9

10 - a-g Algebra 1 or a-g Geometry

10 - a-g Biology w/lab

10 - a-g World Language year 1

10 - Physical Education


50 Credits

10th Grade

10th Grade

10th Grade

10 - English 10

10 - Algebra 1 or Geometry

10 - World History

10 - Physical or Life Science

10- Physical Education

10- Elective


60 Credits

10 - English 10

10 - Geometry or Algebra II

10 - World History

10 - Biology w/Lab

10 - World Language II

10 - Physical Education


60 Credits

10 - a-g English 10

10 - a-g Geometry or a-g Algebra II

10 - a-g World History

10 - a-g World Language year 2

10 - a-g Chemistry w/lab

10 - Physical Education

60 Credits

11th Grade

11th Grade

11th Grade

10 - English 11

10 - World Language or VAPA or CTE

10 - U.S. History

10 - Elective

10 - Elective

10 - Elective



60 Credits

10 - English 11

10 - Algebra II or Trig/Pre-Calc.

10 - U.S. History

10 - Chemistry w/Lab

10 - VAPA

10 - Elective



60 Credits

10 - a-g English 11

10 - a-g Algebra II or a-g   Trig/Pre-Calc.

10 - a-g U.S. History

10 - a-g World Language year 3

10 - a-g Physics w/lab

10 - a-g VAPA


60 Credits

12th Grade

12th Grade

12th Grade

10 - English 12

5 - Government

5 - Economics

10 - Elective

10 - Elective

10 - Elective


50 Credits

10 - English 12

5 - Government

5 - Economics

10 - Elective

10 - Additional Math

10 - Elective


50 Credits  

10 - a-g  English 12

10 - a-g Additional Math

10 - a-g Additional Science

5 - a-g Government

5 - a-g Economics

10 - Elective


50 Credits

Customized Track Options

Excel Academy offers customized track options for our high school students. This school allows parents to purchase an array of educational resources and materials from approved vendors for their child using Instructional Funds provided by the charter school while simultaneously completing high school graduation requirements as well as pursuing 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 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, otherwise known as a Teacher of Record (ToR).  

*Approved Excel curriculum content must be followed for each course under the customized track option. See your ToR for a list of desired customized course options.

**Students interested in simply completing graduation requirements or planning to attend a community college after high school may follow this track.

***Students interested in attending a private or out-of-state college/university may follow the customized college track guidelines (see track chart above)

All courses must:

High School Sample Options for Customized College Track

 For ALL students on the customized college track, a certain level of work/samples is expected. Therefore, the majority of samples should come from the following list:

High School Sample Options for Customized General Ed. Track

 

Collect 2-4 of the following per semester:

May collect 1-2 of the following per semester:A worksheet showing work completed

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UC/CSU Track Option (A-G Requirements and Online 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 senior year.

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AP and Honors Courses

Students may take Honors courses through one of our online or site-based vendors but must receive written approval first. Excel Academy High School students who wish to take an AP exam should contact their local public high school to arrange for testing or visit collegeboard.org for more information on AP test options.

Links to approved a-g/AP online vendors:


*ToRs must fill out the A-G Course Request Survey for any a-g course on a student’s Master Agreement.

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Concurrent Enrollment Policy – Community College Courses

College Unit Conversion Policy

Excel 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

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


*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

Honors Course Designation / Honors and A-G Work Samples

Honors courses are designed to be more in-depth, challenging, and rigorous.  For a student desiring an Honors designation on the transcript, a student has two options:  

Option 1: The student may choose to take a course that is pre-approved as “Honors” through the UC system or by Excel Academy (see HS Course Catalog for options).

Option 2: The student may submit the course for approval, by following these steps:

  1. A.  The student must complete “honors requirements” to receive the honors credit: Please click on link: Honors Requirements -Per Subject
  2. B. The student must complete all units in the text, and all monthly work samples must come from the following list: 

*Honors credit will not be issued retroactively.  
**If a student does not meet the full criteria, the course will not receive the Honors designation. 
***Partial Honors credit will not be given.

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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 course 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”, “NG” or “W.”

How to Clear a Prerequisite

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

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Grading

Excel Academy uses a traditional 4.0 scale in determining Grade Point Average (GPA). Credit is granted only for courses that earn 60% out of a possible 100%.

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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 existing 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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Home School Credit Transfer

For home-schooled students enrolling in Excel for 9th grade semester one, the following documentation must be provided: Portfolio of 8th grade work in English and math curriculum used, as well as any state test results, if applicable. 

Home-schooled students enrolling in Excel 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 above)

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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 learning period along with a brief, written sample. 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; dance, yoga, or a sport of the student’s  choice. This will be approved by the ToR at the Learning Period meeting and turned in as a replacement to the SIS Log. **PE Log available in Parent Portal or from assigned ToR

Driver’s Education

High School students can take a Driver’s Education course from an approved vendor with Instructional Funds 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, Instructional Funds 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 https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/teenweb/permit_btn1/apply.

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CTE—Career and Technical Education

Excel Academy offers Career Technical Education (CTE) which provides college preparation and career training for high school students. 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:

CTE Contacts: 

Lorrie Wood - CTE Coordinator
lwood@excelacademy.education
Phone: 805-931-6720 

CTE Teacher - Jessika Unterberger
junterberger@excelacademy.education
PH: 805-253-2725‬

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Transcripts

Official transcripts should be requested from the registrar’s office or at www.excelacademy.education/transcript-requests at least two weeks prior to deadlines.  

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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. 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

Intervention

 

The WIN (What I Need) 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 our moral imperative to ensure each student is performing up to his/her 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 in the 2019/2020 Master Agreement. If students or parents do not participate in the WIN Program, they may receive a PIN (Progress Improvement Notification).

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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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Assessment

Report Cards

Report cards will be optional for students in grades TK - 5; therefore, parents will have the option to request a report card at the end of each reporting period (two reporting periods during the school year). Please discuss your request with your ToR in advance.  However, if a ToR or an administrator deems it appropriate to issue grades, a report card will be administered. Students in grades 6- 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. ***If a parent does not request a fall semester report card for grades TK-5, a spring semester report card will not be administered.

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Grading Scales

TK-5 Students

The 4 – 1 grading scale that Excel 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

***Students taking online A-G courses or Community College courses will be graded by the instructor teaching the course.

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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/ Literacy 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 outThere is no law permitting a parent to opt out of the school’s internal assessments, and therefore, students are required to participate in all in-house or 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. It is important that we collect data on our students’ academic performance because, as mentioned, our school cannot exist without it.  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 that it is increasing student performance.  There are many ways a school can do this such as evaluating graduation rates, attendance rates, suspension rates, and English Learner (EL) reclassification rates, among others. However, student performance on state-mandated assessments is by far the most common and easiest method. Schools with a high standardized testing opt-out rate do not have quality data to work with, forcing the school to find other methods to prove their program is increasing student academic achievement such as increasing the number of local assessments.  We recommend that all students participate in state-mandated assessments. 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.

ELPAC (English Language Proficiency Assessments for California)

The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards. The ELPAC is comprised of two separate ELP 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

English Learners (EL)  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 English Learner 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

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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 in students 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 (September) and spring (March) to assess progress and growth. The paper-pencil assessments will be administered by students’ ToRs.

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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 Progress Improvement Notifications (PINs) being issued to the student. Please refer to Excel Academy’s Progress Improvement Notification Policy.

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Final Examinations for Online Courses

All students taking online courses with final exams that require proctors will be given the exams in person. They will be administered by appropriate Excel Academy Staff in the fall and spring where applicable.

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Testing Resources

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

For state practice tests, please refer to the CAASPP Practice Tools for Students document on Excel’s website under the Our Academy and Assessments tab. The directions to utilize the practice tests will be found under Testing Resources.

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:

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

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).

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Physical Fitness Test (PFT) – California

Physical Fitness Test – 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

Physical Fitness Test (PFT) – California

 

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

                              

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High School Assessments

For specific information and dates regarding pertinent high school assessments (i.e. SAT, ACT), please refer to the College Admissions and Exam Dates Information document located on Excel’s website under the Our Academy and Assessments tabs.

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.orgPlease save these addresses as you will need to refer to them often in your child’s high school education.

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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 you a chance to enter 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.

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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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Academic Integrity Policy

The school 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

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

Regardless of the student's intent, the above acts constitute plagiarism and/or academic dishonesty. In essence, plagiarism is the theft of someone else’s ideas and/or work.  Whether a student copies verbatim or simply rephrases the ideas of another without properly acknowledging the source, it is still plagiarism. In the preparation of work submitted to meet course requirements, whether a draft or a final version of a paper or project, students must take great care to distinguish their own ideas and language from information derived from other sources.  Sources include published primary and secondary materials, electronic media, and information and opinions gathered directly from other people.

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Process for Addressing Incidents of Academic Dishonesty

First incident:

If a student is suspected of plagiarism or academic dishonesty:

Plagiarism Webinar.

Second incident:

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

Third incident:

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

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Grievance Procedure

The following procedure is established to ensure that students’ 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, national origin, or religion.  
If a student is accused of plagiarism, cheating, or other forms of academic dishonesty and the parent/student disagrees:

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)

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.

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, 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. Please refer to the process for addressing academic dishonesty within the Student/Parent Handbook.

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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 student’s parents 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 vendor(s) required for this requested service, such as login information, etc. Student and parent 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 are ultimately responsible for the materials accessed through the use of student Internet accounts. Parents or 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 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.

The following characterize, but do not exhaustively list all unacceptable behavior:

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 incites 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, 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 includes, but is not limited to:

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.


Determination - If 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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Homeschool Attendance, Student Support, and Involuntary Withdrawal Policy

Independent Study Policy

Excel Academy may offer independent study to meet the educational needs of pupils enrolled in the charter school. Independent study is an alternative education program designed to teach the knowledge and skills of the core curriculum. Excel Academy shall provide appropriate existing services and resources to enable pupils to complete their independent study successfully. 

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

  1. For pupils 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 pupil must complete the assigned work shall be twenty (20) school days. 
  1. A pupil may miss two (2) assignments during any period of twenty (20) school days before an evaluation is conducted to determine whether it is in the best interests of the pupil to remain in independent study. Therefore, when any pupil fails to complete three (3) assignments during any period of twenty (20) school days, the Principal or his or her designee shall conduct an evaluation to determine whether it is in the best interests of the pupil 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 pupil record. This record shall be maintained for a period of three years from the date of the evaluation and if the pupil transfers to another California public school, the record shall be forwarded to that school. 
  1. A current written agreement shall be maintained on file for each independent study pupil, including but not limited to, all of the following:  The manner, time, frequency, and place for submitting a pupil's assignments and for reporting his or her progress. The objectives and methods of study for the pupil's work, and the methods utilized to evaluate that work.  The specific resources, including materials and personnel, which will be made available to the pupil. A statement of the policies adopted herein regarding the maximum length of time allowed between the assignment and the completion of a pupil's assigned work, and the number of missed assignments allowed prior to an evaluation of whether or not the pupil should be allowed to continue in independent study.  The duration of the independent study agreement, including beginning and ending dates for the pupil's participation in independent study under the agreement. No independent study agreement shall be valid for any period longer than two semesters, or one year for a school on a year-round calendar. 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 pupil upon completion.  The inclusion of a statement in each independent study agreement that independent study is an optional educational alternative in which no pupil may be required to participate. In the case of a pupil 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 pupil through independent study only if the pupil is offered the alternative of classroom instruction.  Each written agreement shall be signed, prior to the commencement of independent study, by the pupil, the pupil's parent, legal guardian, or caregiver, if the pupil 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 pupil. For purposes of this paragraph "caregiver" means a person who has met the requirements of Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 6550) of the Family Code. 
  1. CCCS family of schools 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 there under. 
  1. The Executive DirecToR shall establish regulations to implement these policies in accordance with the law.



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Contact Information and Communication Policy

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 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, Hotmail, or AOL. 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. 

It is the responsibility of the ToR to ensure that the Director of Operations has all up to date personal information including home address, work and personal cell phone and work and personal email.

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Tone of Contact

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

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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 listed at the time of enrollment.

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Outline of Violations that May Result in Involuntary Withdrawal

Attendance

Regular attendance is very important to the success of both our students and 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 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 amounts to a full day of work. It’s important to stick to a regular work schedule/calendar so your student can clearly identify each school day in that calendar 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 school, and/or being classified as truant and reported to the proper authorities.  Please review the detailed attendance policy found parent/student 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 

https://www.excelacademy.education/parents-students/handbook-201718/

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Additional Parent / Student Responsibilities

I, the student, agree to the following:

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

I, the parent/guardian, agree to:

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

*Teacher of Record responsibilities are outlined in the Excel Academy Student/Parent Handbook

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Outline of School Support and Process that May Lead to Student Involuntary Withdrawal

First Progress Improvement Notification 

If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities outlined above, 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 and student are aware that they are not fulfilling their independent study responsibilities.

If the reason for the notification is that the student failed to attain 70% of learning completed/attained per the credentialed Teacher of Record, a follow-up Learning Period meeting must occur within five school days. This meeting will take place to ensure the student is making progress and meeting his/her goals.

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



Second Progress Improvement Notification - Meeting with School's Support Team

If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities outlined above 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 and student are aware that they are not fulfilling their responsibilities with the school.

If the reason for the second notification is that the student failed to attain 70% of learning completed/attained per the credentialed Teacher of Record, a Student Support Meeting (“SST”) will 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 student has an IEP or Section 504 Plan and the SST determines that the area identified for improvement in the PIN may be related to the student’s disability, an IEP or Section 504 meeting will be scheduled.

An additional follow-up Learning Period meeting must occur within five school days of the student support meeting. This meeting will take place to ensure the student has begun making adequate progress.

If the parent/student do not attend the scheduled student support meeting, the meeting will be held with the teacher and school designee. 

Third Progress Improvement Notification

If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities mentioned above for a third time within the same school year, a neutral third-party evaluation will be conducted 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 removed.  No student shall be involuntarily removed by the charter school for any reason unless the parent or guardian of the student has been provided written notice of intent to remove the student no less than five school days before the effective date of the action. 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, and shall inform him or her of the basis for which the pupil is being involuntarily removed and his or her right to request a hearing to challenge the involuntary removal.  If a parent, guardian, or educational rights holder requests a hearing, the charter school shall utilize the same hearing procedures specified below for expulsions, before the effective date of the action to involuntarily remove the student. If the student’s parent, guardian, or educational rights holder requests a hearing, the student shall remain enrolled and shall not be removed until the charter school issues a final decision. If the decision supports removal, 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 and has been involuntarily removed from the school. The notification letter will be sent by certified mail, and the student’s district of residence will be notified.  A written record of the findings of any evaluation made as a result of missed assignments shall be treated as a mandatory interim pupil record. The 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. (EC 51747)

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Special Education Students - PIN Policy

Special Education Students - PIN Policy

If the at-risk student is an identified Special Education student, including a student with an IEP or 504 plan, the teacher will contact the Special Education Department and comply with all provisions of applicable law in addressing any concerns, including a failure to meet the minimum qualifications of independent study or governing Board policies.  Change of placement would be determined by the IEP team.  

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Suspension / Expulsion Procedures

For Excel Academy students within Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District, Keppel Union School District, 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:

Corrie Amador, Director of Human Resources

100 E San Marcos Blvd. Suite 350 San Marcos, CA 92069

Ph: 760-494-9646 | Fx: 760-798-9630

camador@cccs.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 | Fx: 760-798-9630
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

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.
  2. The school has designated a suicide prevention coordinator to serve as a point of contact for school staff to communicate with when students are in crisis and are in need of referrals to the appropriate resources for support.
  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 national resources which they can contact for additional support, such as:

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

School Counselor - Melissa O'Dell - modell@excelacademy.education

Office Phone: 949-387-7822

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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 school’s parent support to reach their homeless liaison.

CCS family of schools 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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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: Learning Period meetings, IEPs,  SPED provider appointments, and Student Success Team (SST) meetings. Please note: Students are allowed two cancellations or 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 5 business days or more, a third party review 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 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) 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) 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.

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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 CCCS 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:

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/Principal 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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