Academy programs (formerly AdvancePath Academy)
In the fall of 2015, we are excited to launch our new Academy programs at Encina, San Juan and La Entrada high schools.These programs replace the AdvancePath academies at each of those schools. San Juan Unified’s contract with AdvancePath Learning expired June 30, 2015. However, we sought to offer a similar, expanded model for students in need of credit recovery. The new, district-run academies offer the same flexible, non-traditional learning environment, but with increased academic and extracurricular opportunities. And with a greater focus on synergy with the host campus, the academies will offer students a chance to feel connected to a larger school community, if so desired.
The Encina Academy, San Juan Academy and La Entrada Academy will be taught by the same San Juan Unified teachers at the head of the former AdvancePath sites, but those teachers now will more easily enjoy all of the district’s resources and supports. In another critical difference, the new academies will be governed by the administration that leads each school site, and counselors and other staff members will take on the responsibility of enrolling, supporting and supervising the Academy students, just like any other. That tighter integration into the fabric of the school site allowed San Juan Unified more direct oversight of the program, which improves quality control, accountability and the fiscal health of the district.
Critical components of the previous credit-recovery model will continue. All three academies will be open to any San Juan Unified student, regardless of their home school. Like AdvancePath, each Academy will follow a “blended-learning” model: Students will be required to attend class on campus for four hours every day, ensuring one-on-one and small-group instruction to complement self-paced, online learning. Students can choose to attend in the morning or afternoon. The Apex Learning curriculum will remain at the heart of the program.
However, Academy students now will have access to brand-new technology purchased by the district as part of the AdvancePath transition. They also will have the opportunity to “co-enroll” in career and technical education courses offered at their campus, or participate in electives and extracurricular activities, such as sports, drama or music programs. Many AdvancePath students previously reported feeling a lack of connection to their host schools and had few opportunities to experience the school culture and community first-hand. The new Academy model encourages such interaction for any student seeking it – without requiring it for any one that doesn’t.
An additional benefit of the new model is its availability to traditional high school students who want to traditional high school students who want to continue their comprehensive high school career but need an avenue for catching up on credits. Such students have the option to “co-enroll” in an Academy program.
The AdvancePath transition is a critical step in San Juan Unified’s efforts to expand alternative offerings for students who are not successful in, or engaged by, the traditional, comprehensive high school model. District officials are committed to the success of the new Academy program and will continue working toward a goal of strengthening and expanding alternative opportunities at all high school campuses in the future.
Students can enroll or co-enroll in an Academy any time of year. For more information, call (916) 979-8050. Interested students also should contact their counselor or the campus where they’d like to enroll.
Last Modified on February 17, 2016