Navigating a Digital World

Today’s parents are raising children in a world very different from the one in which they were raised. Our kids are increasingly connected via the internet and rely on technology for a large portion of their learning from smart tech to computers. And it’s no secret that despite the convenience of connection at our fingertips, technology and social media can have a big impact on our children’s development. 

Almond Acres is acutely aware of the challenges parents face in raising children to be well-rounded, secure, and confident adults. You are tasked with helping kids balance time spent online with time outdoors; with using tech to your advantage or taking a break for mental health. You are working hard to navigate the ever-changing relationship between kids and technology. 

Almond Acres wants to reduce the stress of technology on kids and families today. The best way we know to do this is through education and helping students make informed choices. Our comprehensive mission to grow good digital citizens is effective and visible: our middle school teachers and families report fewer instances of social media drama or bullying. 

The absence of online drama translates into confident, engaged, more content middle school students. Early education works and we are proud of our efforts. 

Our Mission

More than ever, we know that parents can’t do it alone.  That’s why being a good digital citizen is built into our curriculum. It’s our value. We’ve even written it into our mission statement:  

Almond Acres Charter Academy will promote and model positive uses of digital spaces in every classroom. We will build a culture of digital health across our school by incorporating character building into our digital citizenship instruction. 

We realize that our children will be shaping the world of tomorrow through their online identity

and digital footprint. It is our job as educators and parents to make sure they are prepared to share their voice with confidence and without regrets. 

We will ensure this happens by demonstrating the value of technology in enhancing achievement, improving students’ attitudes about themselves, and promoting the value of citizenship in the 21st-century digital world.

How We Do It

Starting in kindergarten, we begin talking about how to use technology responsibly and respectfully. Young students are exposed to different types of media and are guided as they explore the World Wide Web.  

Digital footprint is a phrase our students know well. From an early age, we teach that what we do online is an extension of ourselves that is very difficult to erase. We believe in always acting with integrity online. 

Throughout the elementary years, students are introduced to the concepts of online privacy and media literacy. We talk about navigating media and news outlets and how to evaluate a source for trustworthiness.

Our commitment to the whole child means that we weave decision making and social emotional skills into everything we do. Strong character is essential to support students as compassionate leaders among their peers.

AACA middle school students on field trip to Camp Roberts Historical Museum

Tech & the Middle School Years

Teens and tweens, with their rapidly growing brains, are in a particularly vulnerable place when it comes to technology use. Middle schoolers are making sense of the world around themselves and developing an identity among their peers. And they are very savvy tech users—and have probably surpassed their parents’ understanding! 

The power couple of digital citizenship and social emotional learning, has shown to improve academic performance and decrease conflict between students. Almond Acres students gain leadership skills and develop empathy so they can be a shining example of positive social media use. 

Almond Acres middle school students are invested members of our community. They know they are held accountable for their actions while also given the space to stretch into themselves. Our well-rounded curriculum and engaging environment provide a safe, supported place for middle schoolers to navigate the world.  

As always, our students know that they can talk to us about anything they see on-line.  We have zero tolerance for bullying and we encourage students to stand up for their peers and friends to report social media abuse when they see it. We are here to help students solve problems and care for each other.  

Common Sense Certified School

Almond Acres is proud to be a Common Sense Certified School. Teachers incorporate digital citizenship lessons into classes each year that are age appropriate and designed to build upon each other as students age up. By the time students reach 8th grade, they have had the opportunity to develop lifelong habits.

Our time-tested and well-balanced approach to learning means our students have the opportunity to develop in all ways—heart, mind, body and soul.  We create balance through exposure to arts and sciences, athletics and our Habits of Mind program, preparing students to enter the digital world with a little prudence. 

For 10 years, Almond Acres has partnered with K-8 families to help children navigate a digital world. We are proud of our outcomes and think you will be, too. Enroll today to get started for Fall 2022.  

About AACA

Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in northern SLO County an additional choice in public education. Located in Paso Robles in a newly built, state-of-the-art facility, AACA is open to all students from all communities. AACA’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul. We grow great kids! 

A Slam Dunk: Sports & AACA

Five Almond Acres middle school athletes and their coach gather at a Cross Country meet

Almond Acres may be a small community school, but our sports offerings are anything but! 

AACA is proud to offer a robust athletic program that includes after competitive teams and intramurals. It’s just another way the entire Almond Acres community is working to grow the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul

In addition to our health and recreation programs and top notch academics, we nurture our students to grow into the best version of themselves through skills gained by being part of a team. Our athletes develop confidence, leadership skills and life-long friendships. They learn to win with grace and handle disappointment with dignity. 

There is no greater time to find a sense of belonging and community than the middle school years. Our middle school sports offerings are designed to give students a chance to showcase their skills and learn new things. Sports are a social outlet and they’re a lot of fun! 

If your middle school student is looking to grow his/her athletic development and have fun at the same time, we offer the following sports: 

Fall

Flag Football (Co-ed)

Volleyball (Girls)

Cross Country (Boys & Girls)

Winter

Basketball (Boys, Girls & Co-Ed teams)

Spring

Track & Field (Boys & Girls)

Volleyball (Boys)

Ultimate Frisbee (Co-ed)

Almond Acres is part of a regional league that competes against nine other schools in the area. Middle school athletes play against other schools our size, preparing them for more competitive teams when they reach high school, but still allowing a fair playing field. In cross country, competitions are divided by age group and open to everyone in our area, regardless of school size. 

The brand new gymnasium at Almond Acres Charter Academy for K-8 sports and physical education. 

Our elementary students don’t miss out on any of the action, either. Sports at Almond Acres are open to all students so they can experience being part of a team and explore their skills and interests. Sports provide our elementary students the opportunity to be with friends, move their bodies and have fun in a low risk environment, as well as prepare them for middle school athletics. 

Fall

Volleyball 

Cross Country (all grades)

Winter

Basketball (3rd-5th grade)

Flag Football (3rd-5th grade) 

Spring

Track & Field (all grades)

Ultimate Frisbee (3rd-5th grade)

Sports teams at Almond Acres extend our mission of developing the whole child beyond the hours of a typical school day. We know that kids who play sports show increased confidence, sharper brains, sleep better and develop stronger hearts and lungs.  All things essential for children to grow into the best version of themselves. Sports at AACA are a win-win!

Join us at Almond Acres as we cheer on our athletes–there’s a team for everyone here!

About AACA

Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in northern SLO County an additional choice in public education. Located in Paso Robles in a newly built, state-of-the-art facility, AACA is open to all students from all communities. AACA’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul. We grow great kids! 

Random Public DrawingThursday, March 25th at 6pm

Join us via Zoom for a random, public drawing to determine enrollment and waitlists for the 2021-2022 school year!