OUR FOCUS IS ON LEARNING AND CURRICULUM
- El Puente School believes all students deserve a challenging, motivating and relevant education. Curriculum is focused upon essential standards and aligned to the California State Standards.
- El Puente School is focused on providing high quality and current textbooks and curriculum materials that are aligned to the California State and adopted by the Salinas Union High School District.
- Each teacher is expected to establish an environment that encourages and supports instructional consistency. Parents are encouraged to meet with teachers if they have specific questions about curriculum.
Upon enrollment at El Puente School, parents and students are required to meet with the counselor and the teacher to sign a Master Agreement. The Master Agreement is the legal document that allows districts to offer students the option to study independently. Students will be doing work in class, but students will also receive some homework. At El Puente School any homework will be extended work that reinforces class instruction and allows students to earn more credits.
INDIVIDUAL LEARNING PLAN & FUTURE GOAL SETTING
The counselor will work with each student to develop an Individual Learning Plan which will be reviewed with parents. The plan will serve as a guide for students. Students are expected to follow the plan in order for them to meet their requirements to graduate on their targeted date. The plan is updated during the year. The plan also contains goals and objectives to be attained after graduation.
Students are placed in a class after their transcript has been reviewed and the course(s) needed to complete are identified. Students are placed in class according to subject area. The expectation for the student is to earn 2 credits per week. The student is expected to come 70 minutes each day from Monday to Friday and work at home 5-6 hours daily. Once a student completes one course, a schedule change will be made. There are other reasons why a student’s schedule should be changed. Some changes are made to take an elective class, R.O.P., or other special circumstances. Class changes will only be made by the counselor. Some changes will require authorization by the Principal. Students are expected to complete three classes each semester (30 credits). Students that need extra support to learn English will be required to take two classes.
One of the best ways that we can partner together is through Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences. These conferences are mandatory for students that are not progressing. Students are expected to complete three classes each semester (30 credits).
DESIGN OF THE INDEPENDENT STUDY COURSE WORK
Independent study is not for all students at the middle school and high school level; independent study requires a high level of commitment, motivation, organizational skills, and self-direction not unlike the level required by college students. We view all of our programs as ―Personalized Learning. Students are enrolled in one subject at a time and are to attend five days per week. All assigned work by each credentialed teacher is to be completed by the student in order for the work to be considered for credit. The credentialed teacher reviews all completed assigned work from the student and grades the assignments. From the completed work, samples are pulled to showcase student mastery of academics. An independent auditor will review these work samples annually. The credentialed teacher assigns a time value to the completed work, which is translated into average daily attendance (ADA) for the school. EPS utilizes a block schedule of 70 minutes, resulting in, among other things, lower class size; focus on fewer courses at a time, and a positive culture of achievement on campus. All students are required to attend daily until they complete the subject assigned. Once the class is completed, the teacher gives final grades and credits and sends the student to the counselor to get the next class. For those students who need more support, they will be required to spend additional time in school attending classes to develop their English Language. Our middle school program is a self-contained program. Classes run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:01 p.m. each day Monday through Friday. (See bell schedule for lunch break.)
All students enrolled at El Puente School participate in all testing and assessments administered and/or created by El Puente School. If parents do not have their student participate in state testing, parents jeopardize the ability of El Puente School to operate as a public school of choice. We value testing opportunities for students and encourage each and every parent to have their student participate annually in the Smarter Balance testing CAASPP. California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program was eliminated and replaced by a new set of assessments called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). For the 2015 school year, the CAASSP included a mix of online and paper-pencil assessments. The online component contained the Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy and mathematics tests. The paper pencil science assessments of CAASPP included the California Standards Test (CST), California Modified Assessment (CMA) and California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA). There was also the optional Standards-based Tests in Spanish for reading/language arts. The CST is a multiple-choice test in science for varying grade levels. The CMA is a modified assessment for students with disabilities who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The CAPA is an alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to take the CST with accommodations or modifications or the CMA with accommodations. For more information on the CAASPP assessments, please visit www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca.
English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Summative and Initial Field Test
In fall of 2016, selected local educational agencies (LEAs) throughout California will be invited to participate in the Summative Assessment (SA) and Initial Assessment (IA) field tests. The SA and IA field tests will gather data from approximately 60,000 students (from 1,730 schools) who represent the diversity and the geographic composition of schools from northern, central, and southern California. This data collected from the field tests will provide information about the performance of the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) test items. LEAs and students will not receive performance reports for the field tests. The SA and IA field tests will be administered to randomly selected English learner, English Only and Reclassified Fluent English Proficient, and Initial Fluent English Proficient students.The following are the field test administration dates:
- SA Field Test Window: March 6–April 14, 2017
- IA Field Test Window: August 28–September 22, 2017
California English Language Development Test (CELDT)
The California English Language Development Test (CELDT) was 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. The CELDT will be replaced by the ELPAC.
El Puente School is a high school within the Salinas Union High School District. This means we issue diplomas the same as any of our other high schools. We have a full graduation ceremony that takes place on the last day of school. All students who complete graduation requirements before the school year ends withdraw early from El Puente School as graduates, but return for the graduation ceremony.
SCHOLARSHIP & FINANCIAL AID
Each year scholarships are available to graduating seniors who plan to continue their education. Scholarships range from one hundred dollars to several hundred dollars. Students can also apply for state and federal grants which range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Questions about college scholarships and financial aid should be directed to the El Puente School counselor. Staff will assist students to identify scholarships and complete applications for scholarships and financial aid.