K-8 Students in CUSD Go Virtual, Too

Following in the footsteps of a new online high school scheduled to open in September is an elementary and middle school program that will launch at the same time.

First there was the , which is scheduled to debut in September. Now comes a virtual K-8 from .

According to a district flier, the program will feature mostly online offerings, but the students can join in music and art activities at their home elementary school.

Capo Unified spokesman Marcus Walton did not return a reporter’s messages with questions about the new program.

The name of the program is Capistrano Virtual School, and credentialed teachers will support the students as they complete online coursework, the flier says.

The students will also participate in workshops, field trips and other activities, which will vary in theme and topic, throughout the year, the flier states.

Middle school offerings include math up through geometry, grade-level courses in English, social science and science, PE and Spanish 1A and 1B.

Items at the new school’s website were posted by Meg Ervais, who is listed as the administrator for Capistrano Home School, CUSD’s homeschool option.

The district is hosting an information meeting for parents interested in the program 6:30 1 p.m. May 1 at the CUSD headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

Orientations for parents wishing to enroll their children will be held in August, according to a Power Point presentation at the school’s website

Each family will be assigned a Capistrano Virtual School teacher/adviser. All Capistrano Virtual School teachers are certificated CUSD  teachers and have experience teaching a variety of grade levels and/or courses, the presentation states.

Teachers will be available by phone, e-mail and in person throughout the month to assist families, according to the slide show. They will evaluate student work as it is completed online and provide ongoing feedback on the work reviewed.

Parents and students will be required to attend a conference at the end of each semester, according to the slide show. Students receive credit based on the work they complete each attendance month. 

Students participate in all regular district and state testing. Tests are administered in the Capistrano Virtual School office, the presentations states.

Capistrano Unified already offers online education through a charter school, Capistrano Connections Academy. However, when area students choose that option, the district loses the funding to the charter, which is also a public school.

Capo mom April 05, 2012 at 10:17 PM
No need to wait for the district's response. Here is the bottom line; Parents, you do the work, we'll keep the money.
OC Mom April 11, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I'm glad to see that CUSD is offering parents yet another choice in educating their children. Make no mistake though, this is being offered in order to recoup some of the losses our district is facing because of parents who privately homeschool their children or even homeschool them thru another agency such as Connections Academy or another publicly funded homeschool program. As the article states in the last paragraph CUSD loses funding when another charter is chosen for homeschooling. I do think this can be a win win for some students who want to participate in Music, Drama or Sports at their Home School while still having less distractions or negative influences while focusing on their core studies at home. Those who are bullied, Learning disabled or who have health problems could benefit tremendously from this new choice.
shelly April 11, 2012 at 10:04 PM
OC mom, Of course it is being offered to students who would go elsewhere. Why esle would they offer it? Why would they offer an alternative if they did not see a need? And the money that is received for each student goes into the programs that support that student. CUSD is not a business. There is no profit made on each child.
OC Mom April 12, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Shelly, The need is for the District to recoup some of that money. They may not be profiting, but they're trying to save a sinking ship. The program sounds a lot like the Connections Academy that's already in place, but it allows the exracurricular participation. Again, I'm sure many parents and students will be thankful for another choice.
shelly April 15, 2012 at 06:28 PM
CUSD is not a sinking ship. It is the school district of our community.
shelly April 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM
southcountynative, Marco is a very good school. Take your son elsewhere if you feel it is unsafe. But there are many parents and students who feel Marco is a great safe school so they continue to go. I am happy your son has the opportunity to surf.
shelly April 17, 2012 at 02:51 AM
1. Marco has an api of 804 which is a high API. It missed its growth target for this year by 3 points in one category and 7 in another. It is hardly a failing school. 2. Not many kids moved from Marco. There are over 1200 kids who attend and it is one of the biggest middle school in our district. 3. CUSD is not a sinking ship. The state does not allocate equal funding to districts and this is not fair. But CUSD is has the highest test scores for biggest districts. 4. Everybodies taxes go into providing an education for our children. Private schools can discriminate based on intelligence, economics, gender, religion. Private schools do have to accept everyone. I do not want my tax dollars to go to schools that can discriminate. And yes if you choose to put your child in private schools then you shall pay for public school also just like everybody even those without kids. 5. I know many families whose kids attend or have attended and they love it. They have not encountered gangs at Marco. What does this mean, "One of which is relying on the school to provide most of the education including moral leadership"? There are drugs and alcohol problems at many schools including private schools.
shelly April 17, 2012 at 05:42 AM
1. There is nothing wrong with community college. It is a great option in this time of economic upheaval. It is college and it can be the stepping stone for some to Harvard. There are kids who went to Marco who went to Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, etc. Kids receive a great education at Marco. 2. I have no issue with the alternative online school. It is great that parents have another option if they are not happy with their school or they want an alternative education for their child. I think there are many parents who are very happy with Marco. You may not be but that does not mean the majority are not. 3. If you are talking about the admin. building I agree with you. I wrote letters to the district 10 years ago when the admin building was in the planning stages. I still think it was a mistake and overpriced. We are having a budget crisis that was caused by the economy tanking. Every school district in California is facing the same issues. CUSD is funded less per child than many other districts and this adds to our economic woes. But I don't think it is sinking. I believe that we have parents and people in our community who care about children and education and will not allow this to happen.
shelly April 17, 2012 at 05:48 AM
4. Everyone may not pay income tax but everybody pays sales tax. And many people pay property tax even if they rent because the landlord includes the tax when calculating monthly rent. There are many private schools who do discriminate based on economics, gender, religion, intelligence, etc. I am sorry that you feel your child is being discriminated against because he or she does not live in poverty. I am sorry you feel that your child is being discriminated against because a hungry child is fed so this hungery child is able to function in school because he or she is not hungry. I am happy that I live in a country that chooses to help its impoverished and help children who have no choice where they live. Unfortunately children have little to no power. I do not need to see an ID or SS in order to help a hungry child. You and some may but I and some do not. You may not want your money to go to this hungry child. I wish you could choose and you did not have to pay if you do not want to because there are many who would gladly take your place and pay more simply because the person they are helping is a child and children are vulnerable no matter if they have an ID or not. 5. Yes there are gangs but they are not roaming the schools. Private schools can and do discriminate. And drugs and alcohol are used in both public and private schools. Drug and alcohol abuse and use are pervasive in our society and the rich and the poor use them and they should not.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) April 17, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Well, southcountynative, if parents didn't know they could have opted out of Marco Forster, it must be because they don't read Patch! http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/deadline-looms-for-kinoshita-marco-students-to-transfer
shelly April 17, 2012 at 06:36 AM
southcountynative, My answer to your question is where my child wants to go. Because I have a graduating senior I know that is what it comes down to if he or she works hard. If your child works hard they increase their choices. He chose where to apply and he chose which admissions offer to accept. I don't know if everyone will rush for an online option. Some people want their children to learn to better deal with society and learn to get along with their peers so they will not choose an online school. It is not for everybody.
shelly April 17, 2012 at 06:42 AM
southcountynative, Which of the your statements do you stand by? "Thus, your kids and my kids are not able to participate in the same benefits, therefore, we are discriminated against by virtue of economics" "** I am personally offended at this point, at your remark regarding me feeling discriminated against because my children do not live in poverty. 1. I do not feel discriminated against. "
shelly April 17, 2012 at 08:30 AM
southcountynative, I gave you my answer. I choose the school my son wants to go to. If my child chose community college or tech school or to go to beauty school then I would advice my child to work hard and be the best he can be. Do you want me to choose Harvard? Do you want your child to choose Harvard? And if he or she doesn't will you be disappointed or supportive of his or her choice. In America we educate all children rich, poor, citizen, non-citizen. We have found that when hungry kids eat they do better in school. Impoverished children were coming to school hungry and we found that one of the reasons these children were not doing well in school was because they were hungry so we decided it will be better for all if we help feed them. If you want to line them up and assess their need and that is what you are advocating for I disagree. People just want what is best for their kids. I try not to judge people because I do not really know their situation. That is truly how I feel. It may not be economically sound but it is how I feel. I am sorry if I implied that online will mean that your child will not be able to deal with society. I have no idea. I am saying that the reason that some people will not choose it is because they would like their child to have the social experience of a middle school.
shelly April 17, 2012 at 08:31 AM
The aclu lawsuit was brought because some schools were charging for classroom material such as workbooks.
shelly April 17, 2012 at 02:41 PM
southcountynative, I do not ask who is legally here or not. I see children and families working and volunteering and caring for their children and just trying to get along and have a better life for their children. Native English or Native Spanish speakers, they are my childrens peers and their parents are my peers. As I said before I do not judge because I see parents who want what is best for their children and I see children eager to learn.


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