- Enrollment Documents Required
- Grade Level Assignment (by age of student)
- Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Policy
- Kindergarten Policy
- High School Grade Level Placement Policy
- Promotion, Retention and Acceleration
- Student with an Expulsion History
- Adult Student Enrollment Policy
- Dual Enrollment Policy – Public and Private Schools
- Master Agreement
How It Works
- Vendor List Located on Website
- Find a Vendor Near Your Home
- Family Service Agreement
- Instructional Funds
- Criteria for Materials That Can Be Purchased with Instructional Funds
- Computer Ordering Policy
- Disallowed Items
- Additional Guidelines for Specific Items
- Sectarian Materials
- Cancellation Policy
- Backordered Items
- Ordering Deadline
- Instructional Funds and Vendor Policies
- Graduation Requirements
- High School Grade Level Placement Policy
- Changing Courses
- Customized College Track Option
- A-G Requirements and Online Course Options
- AP Exam and Honors Courses
- Concurrent Enrollment Policy – Community College Courses
- Honors Course Designation / Honors and A-G Work Samples
- High School Sample Options
- Transfer Credits
- Home School Credit Transfer
- PE for the High School Student
- CTE—Career and Technical Education
- Repeated Courses
- Promotion, Retention, and Acceleration
- Work Permits
School Policies, Procedures & Regulations
Homeschool Attendance, Student Support, and Involuntary Withrawal Policy
- Independent Study Policy
- Outline of Responsibilities that May Result in Involuntary Withdrawal
- Governing Board Policies
- Additional Parent / Student Responsibilities
- Outline of School Support and Process that May Lead to Student Involuntary Withdrawal
- Special Education Students - PIN Policy
- Suspension / Expulsion Procedures
- Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
- Title IX Notice of Nondiscrimination
- Annual Notice of Uniform Complaint Procedures
- Parent Liability for Student Conduct
- Suicide Prevention Policy
- McKinney Vento Information
Welcome to Excel Academy
Thank you for choosing Excel Academy to support you on your homeschooling journey. I am humbled and honored to serve an incredible team of dedicated educators and staff ready to collaborate with in your admirable choice in education. We recognize the sacrifice and dedication families make when homeschooling 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 family!
Director, Excel Academy
Who We Are
Excel Academy offers a tuition free independent study personalized learning model 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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Excel Academy provides a flexible, personalized learning environment where teachers and parents will partner together and collaborate to ensure the success of each student.
Life is what you create….at Excel Academy we bring students to LIFE through:
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.
Excel 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’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.
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.
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.
Our Program provides engaging and relevant state standards aligned curriculum. Student needs are identified through ongoing assessments to inform and guide appropriate and effective intervention strategies. We offer a comprehensive system of supports to parents and students to ensure students are on track with grade level requirements and are college and career ready.
Our Educators believe that all students have the potential to meet or exceed academic standards. Parents, teachers, staff, and administrators work together as a professional learning community to evaluate instructional practices with focus on improving student performance.
Our Students are creative and complex thinkers, effective communicators, community/global participants, and empowered independent learners.
Our Families work closely with credentialed teachers to provide the best instructional practices for their children. Together, they review student assessment results and collaborate on a course of study that engages students and achieves grade level standards.
Our Community of stakeholders are clearly involved and invested in support of the collaborative programs to provide the best practices to ensure the success of each student. The strong connections and communication amongst the authorizers and the community foster a strong foundation for which our program are built.
Student Learning Outcomes
SLO’s stands for Student Learning Outcomes. They 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
- Students will propose, evaluate, and use a variety of strategies, tools, and skills to produce solutions.
- Students demonstrate the ability to recognize and analyze problems from multiple perspectives, including real-world situations.
- Students exhibit intellectual courage by advocating for their own learning, seeking help when needed, and persevering when challenged.
- Students are able to actively engage in a variety of topics through polite and respectful conversation.
- Students exhibit articulate, effective, and persuasive communication orally, visually, and in writing to a diverse range of audiences using a variety of methods.
- Students will engage in cooperative relationships with teachers and peers.
- Students use technology in various forms to effectively communicate and demonstrate knowledge.
Community / Global Participants
- Students show respect for self and others and celebrate cultural diversity.
- Students will make positive contributions to their community (e.g. register to vote, care for environment, volunteer).
- 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
- Students are self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored,and demonstrate self-corrective thinking.
- Students are curious, inquisitive thinkers, and dedicated to lifelong learning.
- Students plan and study effectively and efficiently using time management skills.
- Students actively participate in the creation and pursuit of personal, academic, and professional goals.
Community Collaborative Family of Schools (CCFS)
The Community Collaborative family of schools (CCFS) partner and work together in order to provide and afford our students with diverse options and opportunities.
Our schools are as follows:
- County Collaborative Charter School
- Community Collaborative Virtual Schools: Sage Oak Charter School, California Pacific Charter School, Keppel Partnership Academy
- Community Collaborative Charter School
- Pathways Academy
- Pathways Academy-Adult Education
Community Collaborative Family of Schools Mission Statement
Our mission is to create a diverse and individualized learning environment that supports every student and strengthens relationships between families, programs, authorizers, and the community. With a strong foundation of award winning educator experience, we provide organizational and professional support to charter programs so that they can focus on creating customizable learning for any student.
Track B School Calendar
To view a copy of this calendar on our website, please visit this link
Excel Academy is a program of the following charter schools: San Diego and its surrounding areas are chartered by Warner Unified School District: www.californiapacificcharterschools.org. Los Angeles and its surrounding areas are chartered by Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District.
Community Collaborative Charter School and California Pacific Charter School is 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/.
Education Specialist (ES) - The ES is a single or multiple subject credential-holding teacher who works with his or her assigned family to identify, support and implement a personalized learning plan for the student.
HQT Content Area Specialist (HQT) - The HQT Content Area Specialist’s ultimate responsibility is to ensure the success of each High School student at Excel Academy. The HQT teacher works closely the student, parent and ES providing single subject expertise in CORE subject areas.
Instructional Funds (IFs) - State funds allotted to each student, with which families can request the purchase of approved educational materials and services through Excel Academy’s Vendor 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 ES to turn in and review work samples from the previous LP.
Master Agreement (MA) - An agreement between the parent, school, and ES that the parent will abide by the rules laid out in the Parent Student Handbook. This must be signed prior to the release of Instructional Funds.
Parent support is available Monday through Frida
Our office is located at:
1200 Quail Street, Suite 175
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949-387-7822 Parent Support
949-387-7410 Vendor Department/Registrar
If you wish to reach a specific department by email, please use one of the following:
firstname.lastname@example.org - Main Office/Parent Support
email@example.com - Vendor Department
firstname.lastname@example.org - Office of the Registrar
email@example.com - Enrollment Department
Once enrolled, you will be provided with the contact information of your Education Specialist. If you are attempting to reach a member of our administrative staff, please call our Parent Support line and ask for the person you wish to speak with. Someone will be happy to connect you.
Recruitment and admissions policies, procedures and activities are in compliance with state and federal law, and our 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. Enrollment space will be based on need in the community and availability of qualified, trained qualified credentialed teachers to serve as the teacher of record.
CCFS 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.
Enrollment Documents Required
- Proof of Residency
- 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)
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.
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.
Students must turn 5 on or before September 1.
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 for the first time in Excel) in grades 9-12 will not be enrolled past 21 days without in progress grades from another 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.
Promotion, Retention, and Acceleration
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. Students will only repeat a grade in the case that there is substantial evidence that the student lacks academic readiness in the areas of math, reading, and language arts. Parents and students will be required to meet in person with Administration and Excel’s school counselor prior to a final decision regarding promotion, retention or acceleration. Students may not be held back more than once.
Students who wish to accelerate must follow the SST process with Student Success Team. Parents will be asked to complete a written request, while providing test scores to support the request for advancement. In addition, students will be asked to complete additional written assessments as requested by the Administration Team. Students may graduate early only if they have met all of the criteria for graduation, including credit requirements. For more information on graduation requirements, see the section on High School.
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 within the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District, the decision to admit a previously expelled pupil from another school district or charter school shall be in the sole discretion of the Administrative Panel (which shall consist of at least three members who are certificated and neither a teacher of the pupil or a Board member of Community Collaborative Charter School’s governing board). This decision will follow a meeting with the Principal or designee and the pupil and guardian or representative 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 Administrative Panel following the meeting regarding his or her determination.
For students who seek admission at Excel Academy within the Warner Unified School District, the decision to admit a previously expelled pupil from another school district or charter school shall be in the sole discretion of the governing board following a meeting with the Executive Director and the pupil and guardian or representative, 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 Executive Director shall make a recommendation to the governing board following the meeting regarding his or her determination. [WARNER CHARTER P. 39 (Readmission)]
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.
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.
The Master Agreement is a binding agreement between Excel Academy, the student, the parent/guardian, the supervising teacher, 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 to the student’s attendance reporting start dates.
How It Works
Excel Academy Policies
Students in Excel Academy are required to complete schoolwork daily. Work samples will be collected by the Educational Specialist 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.
Education Specialists (ES)
Every student enrolled in Excel Academy benefits from the expertise of an Education Specialist. The Education Specialist (ES) is a credentialed teacher who works with their assigned students/families to identify and implement a personalized learning plan for each student. The ES will also meet once a month with each student/family to review/plan assignments and collect work samples representative of 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 ES’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 ESs are highly qualified, experienced, credentialed teachers who are committed to customized learning for each student and family.
Initial Contact Meeting
Once an ES 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 ES 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.
Learning Period (LP) Meetings
The student(s) and a parent/guardian will meet with the ES once per learning period [or every twenty (20) days] at a mutually agreed upon location, such as a local library, coffee shop, or park. Your ES will work one on one with students to communicate and gather information and knowledge learned throughout the learning period. Due to the importance of these meetings, missing two or more consecutive LP meetings is grounds for expulsion from the program. Please provide your ES with at least 24 hours notice if you need to reschedule. In the event of an emergency, alert your ES as soon as it is safe to do so. Excel requires that all ESs act professionally and knowledgeably, in order to serve their students to the best of their ability.
Students are required to turn in work samples to their ESs at each Learning Period meeting every twenty school days. These work samples represent a student’s progress over the course of the previous Learning Period. As a result, students are encouraged to show their best and most well-rounded work. Samples can include any evaluative coursework, including worksheets, argumentative essays, research papers, science-project write ups, etc. Students are encouraged to come prepared to each LP meeting with a body of work for each subject. The ES will choose a sample in each subject/course that demonstrates grade level content in a variety of formats. The ES will file these samples as proof of student attendance and progress. The final grades assigned by the ES in collaboration with the parent at the end of each semester are heavily based on the progress and achievement shown in a student’s work samples.
Learning Log / Assessment of Student Work
There are various methods parents can use to document the acquired learning for the student throughout each learning period (every 20 days). At the learning period meeting, the ES will review learning logs and engage in academic conversations to ensure that adequate amount of work was documented and confirm that ample learning did take place. Progression through the assigned curriculum and the state standards will be verified by the ES as well.
Attendance / Grid Log
Along with the assessment of student work, another responsibility of the Education Specialist 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 learning logs and work samples, the ES will verify that ample work and/or standards were completed by the student during the learning period, and the ES and the parent will sign and date the electronic Attendance Grid Log.
Parent Newsletter via Mailchimp
One of the main venues of communication to our parents is through our parent newsletter, sent via Mailchimp. Parents often receive time-sensitive communication, information about community events, deadline reminders, and vendor spotlights through the monthly newsletters. Please let your ES know if you are not receiving the monthly parent newsletter. In addition, check your SPAM as sometimes Mailchimp sends the newsletters directly to SPAM. For parents who do not wish to receive the newsletter via email, a hard copy will be mailed to the address to which that all other Excel Academy correspondence is sent.
Required Courses for TK-8
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
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 homeschool co-ops. Please consult with your ES to determine a course of study that balances student’s academics and extracurricular interests.
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 ES 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.
California State & Grade Level Standards
The physical education requirements are:
200 minutes/week for 7-12th grade logs (9-12 need additional assignment with log).
PE-(TK-2) A picture with a sentence which can be dictated in quotes, (3-5) Picture with 3-5 sentences about activities, (6-8) A Picture with at least one complete paragraph or all TK-8 parents may choose to do a log for all grades. 100 minutes/week for TK-6; 200 minutes for 7-8
Middle Schoolers Taking High School Courses
Qualified 7th grade students may take up to two high school level courses in math or foreign language in a given semester. 7th grade students may use these courses to meet course requirements, but will not be given HS transcript credit. Students wanting to meet the requirement for these courses must follow the college track outline or work through an approved vendor. All 7th/8th grade courses taken to meet high school requirements will be overseen by a Highly Qualified Subject Specific teacher who will have the final say in determining grades and whether or not course requirements were sufficiently fulfilled.
Qualified 8th grade students may take up to two high school level courses in a required, core course (including language arts, math, science, history, foreign language, or visual and performing arts) in a given semester. *8th grade students may receive HS credit that will transfer onto their Excel HS transcript. Students wanting to meet the requirement for these courses must follow the college track outline or work through an approved vendor. All 7th/8th grade courses for HS credit will be overseen by a Highly Qualified Subject Specific teacher who will have the final say in determining grades and credits. These courses will become a part of the overall HS GPA, and will follow course change/drop deadlines of all high school courses (see below).
Please note that physical education cannot be taken for high school credit in 7th or 8th grade.
*To discuss advanced options please contact our School Counselor or HS Coordinator
- Student scored at or above grade level on the benchmark exam in language arts for English, history, science, or qualifying scores in math for high school level math courses.
- 3.0 GPA (grade point average)
- ES recommendation
- Course must be approved by ES and high school lead/counselor **before the beginning of the semester and must show as HS level on the Master Agreement. Courses will not be considered for HS level approval retroactively.
**Newly enrolled students will have 2-4 weeks to get courses approved.
Excel Academy offers a wide variety of field trips and community events to currently enrolled students and their families. Trips include the zoo, library and museum tours, arts & crafts, kite flying, whale watching, food drives, movie nights, holiday events and so much more. Excel Academy’s Community Coordinator will be working throughout each school year to provide engaging, interactive, fun and educational opportunities for students and parents to participate in. Participation on the part of students and parents is optional. Excel Academy does not provide transportation to and from these events. California Education Code Section 35330(d) provides that all persons participating in an excursion shall be deemed to have waived all claims against Excel Academy for injury, illness or death occurring during/by reason of an excursion. If you would like to learn more about upcoming Excel Academy field trips, click here.
An SST (Student Success Team) is a problem solving group that meets to develop strategies and interventions to assist students with academic, attendance and/or behavioral challenges. To be covered under Section 504, a student must be “qualified ” (which roughly equates to being between 3 and 22 years of age, depending on the program, as well as state and federal law, and must have a disability) [34 C.F.R. §104.3(k)(2)]. All 504s will be addressed through the SST process. If a student enters Excel Academy with an existing 504, the plan will be reviewed and confirmed with the student, family and our team of experts. In addition, all 504s will be reviewed annually to ensure the best accommodations are in place to meet the academic needs of the student.
At Excel Academy, we are committed to serving all students, including those with special needs. Special education and related services are available at no cost. We partner with the Sonoma County Charter SELPA, and for students without identified special needs who are experiencing academic challenges, Excel Academy implements a multi-tiered approach to supporting students through the SST (Student Success Team) process by providing research-based supports/interventions at various levels based on each student’s needs within the general education environment. At any point, if parents/guardians or the school team have concerns regarding a student’s academic progress or suspect that a disability is impacting a student’s ability to adequately progress within the general education environment, they can contact Excel Academy at 949-387-7822
Vendor List Located on Website
Please visit the Vendor page on the Excel Academy website or click here to view our vendor search tool. Please make sure your families are aware of this search tool. The search tool allows families to find vendors in their area. This list is updated frequently as vendors are added throughout the school year.
Find a Vendor Near Your Home
Espatial is an interactive map tool that allows you to search for vendors in a specific area. You are able to widen or lessen your search area to find all the vendors that work in the area of your needs. To view the Espatial map, click here.
For additional instructions, please see this training video.
To use this map follow the simple steps below:
- Select from the drop down menu the county of your choice
- Find circles highlighted in the county of your choice.
- Circles with a numbers indicate more than one vendor is in that area. Click on a circled number to reveal all vendors.
- Zooming in and out will allow you to see exactly where vendors are and their name, address, website, etc. You can scroll down to see the list of vendors. Click on the vendor name and all necessary information will pop up.
Family Service Agreement
A signed copy of the Family Service Agreement must be on file before the ES can begin placing purchase orders for services. The ES must go over the Family Service Agreement carefully with each parent before signing. The parent must understand their role in requesting service purchase orders correctly, in order to properly facilitate the duties of the ES, the vendor relations department, the vendors, and the parent.
Depending on grade level, between $2700 – $3200 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 ES. 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.
Criteria for Materials That Can Be Purchased with Instructional FundsExcel Academy receives funding from the state of California to support student learning and progress toward the state standards. Therefore, instructional funds (IFs) need to be spent on educational items that meet the criteria below. The ES will consult with the Education Specialist for additional clarification on acceptable IF purchases.
- Educational curriculum ordered is appropriate for the student's courses and course of study
- Materials must be used to meet state and school standards for the student for whom the materials are being purchased.
- All materials must be non-sectarian and non-denominational.
- As a general rule, basic, economical items/models must be selected. If the student requires a higher-priced, less than basic item/model, a statement from the ES justifying the purchase may be required.
- School & office supplies adequate for learning basic course skills (paper, pencils, etc).
- Materials for a documented educational project: fabric, wool, yarn enough for one project (exception: no food purchases allowed.) ESs are responsible for monitoring the quantities of items purchased.
- Educational software to instruct and enhance learning in a subject area.
- Materials must not expose the ES or student to danger or serious injury.
- Tracking forms & educational plans are required for certain items.
- School sponsored field trips
Frequently Asked Questions About Instructional Funds: https://www.excelacademy.education/static/media/uploads/instructionalfundsfaq.pdf
Computer Ordering Policy
In the event that there are multiple active Excel students living in one home, if requested, Excel Academy will allow:
- One computer or tablet per 3 TK-6 student(s)
- One computer or tablet for each 7-12 grade student(s)
Further guidelines regarding the purchasing of computer and technology items with instructional funds can be found here.
If a ES inadvertently orders materials from this list, the ES will collect the materials and return them to school administration.
- Furniture, storage, organizational items (large or small items), picture frames, and other non-educational household items
- Excessive quantities of anything
- Computer parts or equipment for non school-owned computers
- Costumes, uniforms, clothes or jewelry
- Toys or items with no instructional value
- Personal hygiene items
- Personal PE items such as skis, bicycles, tricycles, scooter boards or items that are worn by a student (gloves, mitts) would be considered personal.
- Anything that is ordered in a size or weight for a student (bats, rackets, helmets, bikes, golf clubs, etc.)
- Dance recital fees or any fees that are outside of the scope of learning a new, or progressing in an already learned, physical activity (no performance fees of any kind can be paid by Excel Academy)
- Some Home and Office Equipment: faxes, phones, dictation equipment, TV's
- Power tools
- Kitchen Equipment: popcorn poppers, trays, plates, silverware and other basic kitchen supplies
- Yard Equipment: grass watering kits, garden ponds, swimming pools, full gardens, watering system
- Anything that could expose the ES or student to injury such as knives, poisons, darts, bow and arrows, weapons, welding equipment, etc.
- Sectarian materials (see below for detailed instructions)
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 following PDF on the Vendor page for a detailed list of allowed/disallowed items: https://www.excelacademy.education/static/media/uploads/pdfs/ordering-guidelines-2016-17.pdf
School materials cannot have sectarian/religious content. The Educational Specialist will ensure sectarian/religious materials are not ordered with school funds.
We cannot cancel an EMR order after they are processed and sent to the vendor. Once materials are requested, the vendor 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 pending 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.
If the ordering window has closed, the parent cannot request an alternate item. Please complete your orders well in advance of the deadline.
April 20, 2018 is the deadline for the ES to submit purchase orders for families. April 13, 2018 is the deadline for parents to get their orders to the ES. 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.
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 ESs 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, the process includes Live Scan fingerprint background checks. 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, 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 Education Specialist (ES) among approved vendors. Materials 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. 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 Education Specialist will notify families who happen to order something from a vendor such as this.
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.
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. 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.
Excel Academy offers a unique approach to curriculum where parents are encouraged and supported in choosing the curriculum that matches their student's needs, expectations and rigor in each subject area. With guidance and support from the Educational Specialist, the High School Department Lead and the School Counselor, 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.
Students are eligible for a diploma when all requirements have been met. Diploma requirements are as follows:
Courses for College Prep Path
Courses for Basic Graduation Path
Visual/Performing Arts or Foreign Language
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 towards a diploma, per Ed Code.
January 2017 Policy Update: New students (enrolling for the first time in Excel) in grades 9-12 will not be enrolled past 21 days without in progress grades from another school.
All students in grades 9-12 on both the customized and A-G track have 10 days to drop or change a high school course. This includes changes in curriculum. After 10 days , students must remain in the course and will receive the grade earned. There will be no refunds in instructional funds past 10 days. Refunds are always at the discretion of each vendor’s policy.
Customized College Track Options
Excel Academy offers a customized track option for our high school students. This program 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 should work with the ES 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 an Education Specialist (ES).
An approved Excel course outline must be followed for each course under the Customized Track Option.
All courses must:
- Meet Common Core Content standards
- Follow the approved course outline
- Demonstrate High School level rigor shown in a variety of grade level appropriate work samples
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. Courses must be submitted for approval by the UC office of the President.
- Online courses: Students, in collaboration with the ES and parent, may choose their A-G approved courses from any of Excel’s approved vendors: Apex, BYU, Fuel Ed, Shmoop, or UC Scout.
- Vendor Led Courses: Students, in collaboration with the ES and parent, may choose their A-G approved courses from our increasing list of approved site based courses. At this time these vendors include: Arbor Learning Center (Algebra 1), Science 2 U (Biology and Chemistry), Soteric Academy (pending approval), and Terra Arts (pending approval in World History and English 9 and 10).
Please continue to check our website for updated course offerings.
AP Exam and Honors Courses
Students may take pre approved vendors’ Honors courses through one of our online or site based vendors. At this time, neither Excel nor its vendors offer AP courses or AP exams. However, students may find other high schools in their surrounding area who are willing to allow them to take the AP exam at their site or another site.
The College Board established the AP program. Advanced Placement programs provide incentives for public high schools to facilitate access to rigorous, college level courses for interested and prepared students. Excel high school students who are not enrolled in an AP class may still elect to take the AP exam for a subject area, through their local public high school.
Parents are able to search the College Board AP website for schools that may allow students from other schools to take the AP exam on their campus. If a student passes an AP Exam, let your ES know. The School Counselor, at the discretion of the Director, may make a note on the student’s transcript stating the student passed the exam for a particular subject.
Please visit collegeboard.org for more valuable information.
Links to approved a-g/AP/online vendors
- Apex (a-g): https://www.apexlearning.com
- Arbor Learning: http://www.thearborlearningcommunity.com - Algebra 1 approved for a-g credit; Others pending approval
- BYU (a-g): https://is.byu.edu/site/courses/index.cfm?school=hs#university=false|high-school=on|middle-school=false|continuing-education=false|ig=on|online=on|paper=on
- Fuel Ed (a-g): https://www.fueleducation.com/curriculum/school-level/high-school.html
- Science 2U: http://science2u.com - Chemistry and Biology approved for a-g credit
- Schmoop(a-g): http://www.shmoop.com/catalog/level/high-school-college-prep.html
- Soteric Academy: http://www.sotericacademy.org
- UC Scout (a-g): https://www.ucscout.org/courses
- Writtenburg Door - pending approval for a-g credit
Concurrent Enrollment Policy – Community College Courses
Middle School and High School Students must be enrolled in at least 4 classes at Excel Academy to qualify for concurrent enrollment at a Community College.
Students are required to have an official transcript sent at the end of each semester to:
Excel Academy School Counselor
ATTN: Melissa O’Dell
1200 Quail Street Suite 175
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Upon receipt of the official transcript from the Community College the High School transcript will be updated to reflect the courses taken and grades earned.
Each Community College designates a maximum number of units allowed per semester. It is recommended that students take a maximum of 2 classes while concurrently enrolled in Excel Academy. Students may only attend Community College part-time. Once students are enrolled in full time course-work as determined by the Community College in which the student is enrolled, they are no longer eligible for enrollment at Excel Academy.
In addition, the parent, student and the ES must sign the Excel Academy Concurrent Enrollment Agreement. The ES will keep this agreement with the student’s records.
If you have any questions about the Community College courses or programs including transfer to the University of your choice, please consult a Community College Counselor. Be aware of all registration and deadline dates by checking your Community College’s website and/or office and adhere to all college rules and regulations.
Please see link for additional information and FAQ’s on Community Colleges as written by The College Board: https://shar.es/1hSxOT
For further information on Dual/Concurrent enrollment guidelines you may view the CA Community College Chancellor Office website: http://extranet.cccco.edu/divisions/academicaffairs/dualenrollment.aspxthat
Requirements for Community College Concurrent Enrollment
- Student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA for academic courses, or a 2.7 GPA for art, music, dance, vocational, and physical education courses.
- Student must be enrolled in at least 20 credits at Excel
- Student must complete and sign the concurrent enrollment form obtained from the community college admissions office and submit it to the high school counselor. The counselor will fill out the Excel concurrent form and get the required signatures.
College Unit Conversion Policy
Excel uses the following formula for converting college units to high school credits:
1.0-1.5 unit college PE course = 2.5 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
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, based upon the following criteria:
For a course to be considered for Honors designation the text (or the Table of contents) must be submitted for approval within *2 weeks of the beginning of the semester. If approved, student must complete **all units in the text, and all monthly work samples must come from the following list:
- A unit test with a grade of C or higher (strongly prefer that it come from the publisher or course. If it is parent created it must be comparable to a test found in the text. Final determination on acceptance will be determined by HQT)
- A PowerPoint containing at least 5 slides, each containing minimum 1-2 paragraphs worth of information (although it may be formatted in bullets, etc.)
- An essay or paper of at least 3-5 pages on a related topic. Paper must follow MLA formatting rules. (This could include a book report on a related novel or text, a biography on a pioneer in your subject, a research paper, or a more in depth study of a topic covered in your course.)
- A lab write up (science courses only) - must include Title, Intro/purpose, materials list, method, data, results, analysis, conclusion, and graphs or figures, if applicable.
- A specific project/presentation (MUST be PRE approved by ES/HQT) showing significant learning and application beyond what a traditional student would do in a similar class
*Honors credit will not be issued retroactively. Middle school students who desire to pursue Honors designation must get approval from the High school counselor or coordinator prior to the beginning of each semester.
*Newly enrolled students will have two weeks from the date of enrollment.
**If a student does not meet the full criteria, the course will not receive the Honors designation. Partial Honors credit will not be given.
High School Sample Options
English - at least 2 per semester should include a writing sample of no less than 1-2 pages
Honors/AP/a-g/7th and 8th grade students - In order for students to receive accelerated credit or an Honors or AP designation, they must select from the following criteria:
- A Unit test with a grade of C or higher (strongly prefer that it come from the publisher or course. If it is parent created it must be comparable to a test found in the text. Final determination on acceptance will be determined by HQT)
- A Powerpoint containing at least 5 slides, each containing at least 1-2 paragraphs worth of information (although it may be formatted in bullets, etc.)
- An essay or paper of at least 3-5 pages on a related topic. Paper must follow MLA formatting rules. (This could include a book report on a related novel or text, a biography on a pioneer in your subject, a research paper, or a more in depth study of topic covered in your course.
- A Lab write up (science courses only) - must include Title, Intro/purpose, materials list, method, data, results, analysis, conclusion, and graphs or figures if applicable
- A specific project (MUST be PRE approved by HQT) showing significant learning and application beyond what a traditional student would do in a similar class
For ALL high school students the majority of samples should come from the list above. If a student is completing high school level work, and earning high school credit and grades, a certain level of work/samples can and should be expected. We do not, however, want our students creating work samples “just for us”. Please discuss extenuating circumstances with the subject HQT or with the high school coordinator. We will accept 2-3 x per semester:
- A worksheet showing work completed
- A vocabulary/grammar page in foreign language or English
- A book report
- A written copy of a speech or an oral presentation
- Answers to a section of chapter questions or a chapter review
- A rough draft of an in progress paper
- A log (music, PE, VAPA)
- A timeline or map that clearly reflects HS level work/detail
- Another high school level sample as agreed upon by ES/parent/student in advance
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,” or “NG.”
How to Clear a Pre-Requisite
Students enrolling in a course with a prerequisite will be required to do one of the following:
- Complete the required prerequisite course(s) at Excel Academy with a satisfactory grade that is a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “P.”
- Submit transcripts – provide grade transcripts from another high school, if appropriate. Such transcripts must demonstrate satisfactory completion of the prerequisite course – that is, completion of the course with a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “P.” Students must present transcripts to the School Counselor for a transcript review as soon as possible.
- It is at the school’s discretion to accept or deny the request to waive the prerequisite course requirement.
The grade given to each student will be the grade determined by the teacher of the course. The determination grade by the teacher shall be the final grade. If a student is following the Customized Instruction path, the final grade will be determined by both the ES and the parent, with the oversight of a subject area HQT. The ES/HQT has the authority to make the final decision in regards to grades.
Students taking online classes or classes with a local approved vendor need to consult with the online teacher or instructor/vendor regarding questions about grades, averages, or course progress. 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%.
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.
Home School Credit Transfer
Documentation provided by families for home-school work completed through grade 8 will be accepted in order for a student to enroll in grade 9.
In order to earn high school credit toward graduation, students must supply complete records (depending on state requirements), which may include evidence of attendance, state/national test results, curricula followed, and/or portfolio of work. A core group of school personnel (e.g., an administrator, Language Arts teacher, Mathematics teacher, and a Special Education Specialist where appropriate) will review the documentation within five (5) business days of submission and determine the number of credits to be awarded for transfer.
Regardless of the number of transfer credits awarded, the student must successfully complete the required number of courses at the school in order to earn a diploma.
PE for the High School Student
State law requires 2 years of PE to be completed before a student can graduate. High school students are required to complete 400 minutes of PE every 10 school days (approximately 40 minutes per day). Students must complete a PE log each month and bring this as a 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 ES. 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 ES at the Learning Period meeting and turned in as a replacement to the SIS Log. **PE Log available in SIS to assigned ES**
CTE—Career and Technical Education
Excel Academy offers Career Technical Education (CTE) which gives high school students an opportunity to begin preparing early for college and careers. CTE provides students with academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in future careers. Also, CTE will students prepare students by introducing them to workplace competencies, and make academic content accessible to students by providing it in a hands-on context.
Official transcripts should be requested from the registrar’s office or at www.excelacademy.education/transcript-requests at least two weeks prior to deadlines.
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.
Promotion, Retention, and Acceleration
Students at Excel Academy will be promoted to the next grade level each year, unless determined by the parent or recommended by Excel Academy faculty that the student repeat a grade. In order to repeat a grade, it must be agreed upon in writing, by both the parent and school administration. Students will only repeat a grade in the case that there is substantial evidence that the student lacks academic readiness in the areas of math, reading, and language arts. Students considering retention will participate in the SST process and follow retention guidelines as laid out in the retention policy. Students may not be held back more than once.
Students who wish to accelerate may do so with the approval of the School Counselors or Education Specialist (ES) and the approval of a school administrator. 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.
Excel Academy students (ages 4-17) must receive a work permit prior to working. Students must adhere to the state laws about work hours. Parents/Students obtain this permit through a written request to their assigned ES. Once student/parent complete their portion of the documents they must submit it to the School Counselor for approval, and authorizing signatures. Parents/student must allow 4 weeks for permit to be completed.
All students will receive a report card following the end of each semester with Excel Academy. The grades given on the report card are final, as determined by the Education Specialist and the administration.
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 mastering 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 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 and through approved vendors will be graded by the instructor teaching the course.
State and Local Assessment
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 CELDT/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 spring of each year, individual student test score reports are sent home 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 and we do not recommend opting out. There is no law permitting a parent to opt out of the school’s internal assessments. We do not recommend opting out because 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).) It’s therefore important during the revocation and renewal processes for a school to gather as much positive academic achievement data as possible to show that it’s increasing student performance. There are many ways a school can do this, such as evaluating graduation rates, attendance rates, suspension rates, and English learner reclassification rates, among others. But student performance on state-mandated assessments is by far the most common and easiest method. Schools with a high standardized testing opt-out rate don’t have as much 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.
Assistance – Please contact Excel Academy’s Assessment Coordinator, Jenny Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CELDT – California English Language Development Test
The California English Language Development Test (CELDT) is given as an initial assessment to newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English, and as an annual assessment to English learners enrolled in transitional kindergarten through grade twelve in California public schools (celdt.org). The CELDT identifies students who are limited English proficient, determines the level of English language proficiency of students who are limited English proficient, and assesses the progress of limited English proficient students in acquiring the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English (celdt.org).
Kindergarten through third grade students must score a 4 or higher in at least three of the four categories (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), and a 4 or higher for the overall score on the CELDT test to be considered FEP (Fluent English Proficient). The overall score must indicate a 4 for "early advanced."
The EL team will look at each individual student and the scores earned on the CELDT test. If a student earns, for example, two 5's and two 3's, the team will discuss the possibility of the student becoming FEP and/or redesignation.
- Grades K-12
- English Language Learners Only
- Test Administration in October - Dates and Locations TBD (Assessment will be administered by trained proctors.)
- Results are provided by the California Department of Education and sent to the school. Once received, results are mailed to the parents.
ELPAC (English Language Proficiency Assessments for California)
The ELPAC will be the successor to the CELDT. The CELDT is the current required state test for English language proficiency (ELP) that must be given to students whose primary language is one other than English. The California Department of Education (CDE) is transitioning from the CELDT to the ELPAC as the state ELP assessment by 2018. The ELPAC will be aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards. It will be 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).
English Language (EL) students are targeted for CELDT/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.
- Excel Academy students are in an English Language Mainstream academic program with an EL Support Course, or support from their Education Specialist. The mainstream curriculum is taught and/or supported by CLAD certified teachers and includes vocabulary, visual, and thematic based support. English Learners are accommodated within this curriculum by providing multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery on all assessments, including writing assignments.
Criteria for re-designating (RFEP) EL students
The following criteria are used in tandem to determine re-designation:
- Early Advanced or Advanced on the CELDT (with no subscore below Intermediate)
- Parent Approval
Teacher or Assessment Coordinator approval based on work product, performance in courses, or other relevant academic criteria
CAASPP - California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress
- The California Science Test (CAST) is an online test based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Participation in the CAST is required for all students in grades five and eight, and for the pre-selected high school grades.
- All local educational agencies (LEAs) with eligible students in grades five and eight will administer the CAST. LEAs with eligible students in high school (i.e., students in grades ten, eleven, or twelve) will be pre-selected and only one grade will participate in the spring assessment. The CAST uses the current California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test delivery system and will only be administered online (www.caaspp.org).
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).
- Grades 3 - 8 and 11
- ELA and Math – Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT)
- ELA and Math – Performance Tasks (PT)
- SBAC testing begins in April and concludes in June - Dates and Locations TBD
- Registration for the SBAC ELA/MATH/CAST will take place online. Information will be emailed to parents in February.
- At testing sites, cell phones are highly discouraged, and no electronic devices are allowed at the test sites.
- Parents are notified as soon as logistically possible when students have completed testing. Parents are welcome to stay in a waiting area, but are not allowed in the testing rooms.
- Parents cannot be texted when students are waiting in testing rooms due to the prohibited use of technology in those areas.
- Parents are texted upon student entry to check-out room/area.
- Photo ID will be required at pick-up.
- Siblings picking up students MUST be old enough to have a photo ID.
- Students may bring water and lunch to testing.
- Students will be encouraged to take breaks during testing (i.e. restroom and snack breaks).
- Parents MUST review this information with their students.
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).
- Grades 5, 7 and 9
- Dates Vary in March through May
- The PFT is administered by Education Specialists. Education Specialists will provide Excel Academy’s Assessment Coordinator with the results for each student tested.
- Accommodations for Special Education students will be outlined in their IEPs or 504 Plans.
- If a parent states a student needs additional support, the Education Specialist will need to notify the Assessment Coordinator to verify accommodations.
- Aerobic Capacity – One Mile Run
- Abdominal Strength and Endurance – Curl Up
- Upper Body Strength and Endurance – Push – Up
- Trunk Extensor Strength and Flexibility – Trunk Lift
- Flexibility – Shoulder Stretch
- Recording of Height and Weight
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-12. This particular assessment will be given in the Fall to provide Education Specialists and parents pertinent knowledge to assist with academic support and guidance, and in the Spring to determine growth and goals prior to state testing.
- Test Administration – Fall (September) and Spring (March)
- The benchmark assessments will be administered by the Education Specialist or parent within the set testing window. There are ten school days within the testing window. Students are given five school days to complete the math assessment and five school days to complete the reading assessment.
- Students enrolled after the winter break will only take the i-Ready benchmark assessments in the Spring.
- Education Specialists must make sure each student on their roster (grades 2-11) have completed the assessments within the set testing windows. Parents will have 10 school days to administer the test.
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 the students’ ESs.
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 a Progress Improvement Notification (PIN) being issued to the student. Please refer to the Outline of Responsibilities that May Result in Involuntary Withdrawal for further details regarding Excel Academy’s Progress Improvement Notification Policy.
Final Examinations for Online Courses
All students taking online courses (where applicable) through Excel Academy’s approved vendors, will need to take final examinations proctored by Excel Academy Education Specialists and or the Assessment Coordinator in the Fall and Spring.
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and 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. Encourage your families to explore and discuss the practice tests with their students.
- Test Practice for Common Core (by the grade level) Barron's Core Focus Workbook - Language Arts and Math combined
- Critical Thinking Test Taking Practice for Math (by grade level)
- Spectrum Test Prep - (Updated and revised for grade levels)
Physical Fitness Test (PFT) – California
The Healthy Fitness Zone standards are available st the following California Department of Education Website: FITNESSGRAM: Healthy Fitness Zone Charts
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 CPCS. Dates can be found online through collegeboard.org and actstudent.org. Please save these addresses as you will need to refer to them often in your child’s high school education.
PSAT / NMSQT
The Preliminary SAT®/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a co-sponsored program by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It is a standardized test that provides firsthand 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 CPCS. Please visit collegeboard.org for more information.
School Policies, Procedures & Regulations
School Safety Plan
Excel Academy seeks to provide a safe environment for its students, parents, staff, ESs, and Administration. For more information on Excel’s emergency procedures and policies, please review our comprehensive safety plan here.
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
- The unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.
- Something used and represented in this manner.
Examples of Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty include, but are not limited to:
- Quoting someone else's words, sentences, paragraphs, or an entire paper without acknowledging the source
- Paraphrasing someone else's ideas, opinions, or theory without acknowledging the source
- Imitating someone else's structure or argument without acknowledging the source
- Using more of a source than you acknowledged in your citation
- Copying a fellow student's work, paper, and/or essays and turning it in as your own
- Copying another student's computer file and submitting the work as your own, or allowing such to happen
- Buying an essay, paper, or written work online without acknowledging the source
- Copying answers from a teacher’s manual rather than using the manual to check answers
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.
Process for Addressing Incidents of Academic Dishonesty
If a student is suspected of plagiarizing or academic dishonesty:
- The teacher of record will confirm the student plagiarized or has been academically dishonest
- The teacher of record will consult with school administration to set up a plan to help the student learn about plagiarism and academic dishonesty, and how to avoid it in the future.
- The student will be required to redo the assignment by the following learning period meeting and may receive a reduction in the grade of that assignment depending on the age of the student and the severity of the academic dishonesty. Individual school programs may have specific criteria in this regard. If the student does not redo the assignment, the student will receive an F/0.
If a student is suspected of plagiarizing or academic dishonesty for a second time:
- The student will receive an F/zero for the assignment.
- A conference call with teacher, parent, and school administrator will be scheduled to explain seriousness and to provide additional support.
If a student is suspected of plagiarizing or academic dishonesty for a third time:
- The student receives F/zero on the assignment.
- The student will receive a reduction of one letter grade for the entire course, regardless of which courses the first two offenses occurred.
- Conference call with teacher, parent, and school administrator (guidance counselor).
- Student may be subject to discipline in accordance with applicable due process provisions in accordance with the relevant charter petition, which is available upon request.
- The student receives F/zero on the assignment.
- Student will receive an F/zero for the entire course, regardless of which courses the first three offenses occurred.
- Conference call with teacher, parent, and school administrator (guidance counselor).
- Related education records, including disciplinary records, may be provided to colleges or other school districts where the student seeks to enroll or transfer as permitted in accordance with applicable law.
- Student may be subject to discipline in accordance with applicable due process provisions in accordance with the relevant charter petition, which is available upon request.
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:
- 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.
- The school administrator will investigate and respond with a written determination within ten (10) working days
- 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. 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 the vote of a simple majority and the decision is final.
Internet / Computer System Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
CCFS 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 of 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, 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 school may occasionally require new registration and account information to continue the service. This will require the School to give out certain portions of student’s personal information to one or more 3rd party vendor(s) required for this requested service, such as logon information, etc. Student and parent’s signatures of this policy and use of said 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:
- Devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud or extort or,
- Wrongfully control or obtain money, property, or data.
- Knowingly accesses and without permission adds, alters, damages, deletes, or destroys any data, computer software, or computer programs which reside or exist internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network.
- Knowingly and without permission accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer system, or computer network
- Knowingly introduces any computer contaminant into any computer, computer system, or computer network.
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:
- Using the school funded Internet/computer system for illegal, inappropriate, or obscene purposes or in support of such activities
- Utilizing the school funded Internet/computer system for any illegal activity including violation of copyrights or other contracts relating to licensed uses.
- Intentionally disrupting equipment of system performance.
- Downgrading the equipment or system performance.
- Damaging or misusing any hardware or software.
- Utilizing the school’s computing resources for commercial/financial gain or fraud.
- Pirating and/or theft of data, equipment, or intellectual property.
- Gaining or seeking to gain unauthorized access to resources or entities.
- Utilizing the system to encourage the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco or any promotion or attempt to promote any unethical behavior.
- Using harassing, abusive or obscene language.
- Annoying, harassing or intentionally offending another person.
- Introducing computer viruses into the system.
- Forging electronic mail messages or using an access owned by, or used by another.
- Wasting of resources.
- Invading the privacy of others.
- Possessing data in any form (including hard copy or disk) which might be considered a violation of these rules.
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:
- Suspension of school funded Internet access
- Revocation of school funded Internet access
- Limitations of school funded computer access
- Revocation of school funded computer access
- Disciplinary processes up to expulsion or involuntary withdrawal
- Legal action and prosecution
- Financial liability for loss of Internet/computer system
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.
Student Freedom of Speech / Expression
CCFS 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 the: (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 program 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.
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:
- using an inappropriately loud voice;
- using profane, vulgar, or obscene words or gestures;
- belittling, jeering, or taunting;
- using personal epithets;
- using violent or aggressive gestures or body-language;
- repeatedly and inappropriately interrupting another speaker;
- repeatedly demanding personal attention at inappropriate times;
- purposefully and inappropriately invading personal space;
- purposefully ignoring appropriate communications;
- wrongfully interfering with another person's freedom of movement;
- wrongfully invading another person's private possessions; or;
- any other behavior that inappropriately disrupts school-related activities.
In the event that any party is uncivil during a school-related activity, the following steps will occur:
- Communicate - The party experiencing the uncivil behavior will communicate that the behavior is not civil and that the uncivil behavior must cease immediately.
- End Activity/Meeting - If the uncivil party fails to correct the uncivil behavior as directed, the affected party shall end the activity/meeting.
- Referral - The reporting party shall refer the situation to 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.
CCFS 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:
- Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that pupil’s or those pupils’ person or property.
- Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health.
- Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance.
- Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
“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.
CCFS 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 CCFS property, including any owned or leased buildings and in school vehicles, at all times by all persons, including employees, students, and visitors.
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.)
Homeschool Attendance, Student Support, and Involuntary Withdrawal Policy
Independent Study Policy
CCFS 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. CCFS 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. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. 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. 5. The Executive Director shall establish regulations to implement these policies in accordance with the law.
Outline of Responsibilities that May Result in Involuntary Withdrawal
Regular attendance is very important to the success of both your student and our school. Charter schools are funded based on “average daily attendance” or ADA. “Attendance” means when a student is engaged in educational activities required of them by the school, on days when school is actually taught. (5 C.C.R. 11960(a).)
Since our schools are nonclassroom-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 scheduled/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 program, and/or being classified as truant and reported to the proper authorities. Please review the more detailed attendance policy for more information.
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 Academic Integrity Policy
- The Civility Policy
- The Acceptable Use Policy
Additional Parent / Student Responsibilities
The parent/guardian is also responsible that/to:
- The student completes all mandated school assessments
- Providing any necessary documentation or information to school in order to record attendance in accordance with applicable law
- The school receives all required documentation for continued enrollment, such as proof of residency
- Respond to the school’s communication and if unable to be reached within the first 10 school days, the student will be involuntarily withdrawn.
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 ten school days. This meeting will take place to ensure the student is back on-track.
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 Notification - Meeting with School's Educational 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 will be scheduled with the school’s educational team within five days. The school’s educational team will include the student, parent, teacher, and school designee. The purpose of the meeting will be to develop a plan to support the student’s success. An additional follow-up learning period meeting must occur within ten 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, and the student will receive the third notification from the school.
If the reason for the notification is that the parent or student missed a learning period meeting, a follow-up meeting must occur within five school days.
If a parent or student fails to meet the responsibilities mentioned above for a third time within the same school year, an evaluation will be conducted to determine whether it is in the best interests 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 and 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 withdrawn from the school. This letter will be sent by registered 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. (51747)
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.
Suspension / Expulsion Procedures
For Excel Academy students within either Acton Agua Dulce Unified 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.
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:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the school receives a request for access.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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:
- To other school officials, including teachers, within the educational agency or institution whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met.
- To officials of another school, school system, or institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34.
- To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as the CDE. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
- To State and local officials or authorities to whom information is specifically allowed to be reported or disclosed by a State statute that concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve, prior to adjudication, the student whose records were released, subject to §99.38.
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36.
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37.
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:
- A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production
- An annual yearbook
- Honor roll or other recognition lists; and
- Graduation programs
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:
- Date of birth
- Dates of attendance (e.g., by academic year or semester)
- Current and most previous school(s) attended
- Degrees and awards received
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.
Title IX Notice of Nondiscrimination
CCFS 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:
Lisa Newhall, Executive Director of HR and Special Projects
1782 La Costa Meadows Dr., Suite 102 San Marcos, Ca 92078
Annual Notice of Uniform Complaint Procedures
CCFS 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 fee charged to a pupil as a condition for registering for school or classes, or as a condition for participation in a class or an extracurricular activity.
- A security deposit, or other payment, that a pupil is required to make to obtain a lock, locker, book, class apparatus, musical instrument, clothes, or other materials or equipment.
- A purchase that a pupil is required to make to obtain materials, supplies, equipment, or clothes associated with an educational activity.
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 program lead/director under the Uniform Complaint Procedures. A complainant unsatisfied with the decision of the program 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:
Lisa Newhall, Executive Director of HR and Special Projects
1782 La Costa Meadows Dr., Suite 102 San Marcos, Ca 92078
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.
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 so 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 the 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 transcripts.
If the minor and parent are unable to pay for the 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 transcripts of the pupil will be released.
Suicide Prevention Policy
Prior to the 2017-2018 school year, 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Students will have access to national resources which they can contact for additional support, such as:
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline –1.800.273.8255 (TALK),
- The Trevor Lifeline – 1.866.488.7386, The Trevor Project
- All students will be expected to help create a school culture of respect and support in which students feel comfortable seeking help for themselves or friends. Students are encouraged to tell any staff member if they, or a friend, are feeling suicidal or in need of help.
- Students should also know that because of the life or death nature of these matters, confidentiality or privacy concerns are secondary to seeking help for students in crisis.
- For a more detailed review of the school policy, please see our full comprehensive suicide prevention policy.
This policy has been developed and adapted from the” Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention,” which is a resource that outlines comprehensive model policies and best practices for schools to follow to protect the health and safety of all students. This resource was developed by examining strong local policies, ensuring that they are in line with the latest research in the field of suicide prevention, and identifying best practices for a national framework.
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 program’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:
- Lacks a regular, fixed and adequate nighttime residence (substandard housing, no water or electricity)
- Is sharing housing due to economic hardship (doubled up/tripled up)
- Is living in a public place not designated for sleeping (cars, parks, abandoned building, motels, trailer parks and campgrounds)
- Is an unaccompanied youth
- Is a child or youth awaiting foster care placement
- Is a child abandoned in a hospital
- Is a migrant child who qualifies under any of the above
Homeless Students’ Rights
- Be immediately enrolled in school without a permanent address.
- Continue in the school that the student attended before becoming homeless.
- Go to school, no matter where the student lives or how long he/she has lived there
- Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of required school records or documents
- Enroll and attend classes even while the school and parent seek to resolve a dispute over enrollment
- Receive transportation to his/her school of origin as long as he/she is homeless, or if the student becomes permanently housed, receive transportation until the end of the academic school year
- Participate in tutoring, school-related activities, and/or receive other support services
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/.
Contact Information and Communication Policy
A valid, working email account is required for all teachers, parents and recommended for students. Parents and/or students must provide contact information, which can include email, phone number, and mailing address. If a teacher, 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 this information is kept current.
Excel Academy does not supply student email accounts but recommends that teachers, students and parents/guardians supply separate 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. All students/parents are expected to meet with their ES each reporting period.
It is the responsibility of the ES 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.
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.
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.
School Communication Responsibilities
Email or voicemail sent to administrative personnel Monday through Thursday between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm Pacific Time (PT) will be addressed within twenty-four (24) hours of the time it was sent. Email or voicemail sent between 9:00 am and 6:00 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.
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:
- School budget, including the LCAP
- Fundraising and Grants
- School Program Development
The PAC will serve to share information about the school with the parent community, invite feedback and ideas from the parents on the school, and involve students in the school conversation. Dates of future meeting 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 program. 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 email@example.com to inquire how to become involved.