How to Find the Best School in Paso Robles, California

How to Find the Best School in Paso Robles, California

Parents either contemplating transferring their child to a new school or searching for a school for the first time are likely to have plenty of questions. How much choice do we have? What options are available for schooling? What factors should I consider in choosing a school? And so on.

Parents who want to find the best school in Paso Robles, California will have plenty of options as the number of school choices generally increased over the last few years. Many, however, also find it difficult to choose the best school for their child given the abundance of options. Here’s a guide on finding the best school for your child in Paso Robles, California.

Assessing Your Needs

The first step in selecting a school for your child is to assess his or her needs as well as your family’s requirements. Keep in mind the personality of your child as a quiet and shy child will likely do better in small class size or a smaller school. If your child is showing potential in either music, sports, or science and math, then it might be better to enroll him or her in a school that has programs in special areas. 

Ask yourself these questions. How much importance do you place on proximity? Is it necessary that the school is located either at your workplace or near your home? Do you require a school that offers before and after school care?

Knowing Your Options

Parents have different choices depending on their location and the supply and demand for some schools. For example, some schools will have more applicants than the number of students they can actually take in. Or it could be difficult to transfer the child to a highly popular school located outside Paso Robles city.

Parents can choose from different kinds of schools. Below are the choices.

Considering neighborhood schools in Paso Robles, CA?

Many parents often prioritize getting their child into the neighborhood school. If this is the case, then it is best to check your local district’s rules and boundaries to know which school your kid will likely be assigned to. You should also find out the rules for attending other schools such as magnet schools, charter schools, or schools within your local district or outside of it.

Considering magnet schools in Paso Robles, CA?

Magnet schools are also offered in various school districts. These are schools that provide specialized education in various areas such as sciences and math, technology, or arts. Some magnet schools also have different structural organizations like operating on a year-round schedule or mixing various grade levels in one classroom. Magnet schools do not have to comply with neighborhood boundary rules. They also attract students throughout and outside the school district.

Considering charter schools in Paso Robles, CA?  

Public education has transformed in recent years and one of the significant changes in the growth of charter schools. These are public schools that are free from the traditional school regulations set by the state. Charter schools are governed instead by charter agreements approved by local school boards, which means that they can be shut down if they fail to meet the requirements of their charter. Parents can send their children to charter schools within or outside their school districts as charter school enrollment does not follow neighborhood boundaries. Charter schools with high demand typically use the lottery system to determine eligibility to attend.

Considering private schools in Paso Robles, CA?

Private schools, unlike public ones, do not receive funding from the government. They also craft their own criteria for eligibility and admission. Their teaching methodology, curriculum, and enrollment procedures are also set by its board of directors, principal, teachers. Private schools can also hire teachers without credentials.

Considering alternative schools in Paso Robles, CA?

Alternative schools are typically schools that have different education philosophies from traditional schools and programs. Usually, these schools have small class sizes and offer emotional and social development or a self-paced curriculum. The term alternative school is used to describe a wide range of schools. As such, it is best to ask why a particular alternative school you’re interested in has been classified as an alternative.

Research the School

After narrowing the choices, you can start researching the schools’ profile, teacher-student ratio, test scores, and ethnic make-up, among others. You can also check parent reviews if there are any to get feedback on leadership, management, and quality of teachers so you can compare your choices better.

You can also consider visiting the campus as no amount of research and reading can replace the insights to be gained in checking out the school physically. A short visit where you are armed with the right questions and a list of things to check out will help you make a well-informed decision.

You can create a list of features that you wish for in the future school of your child. Below are some of the basic features to look for according to the U.S Department of Education website:

  • High-quality teachers and staff
  • High expectations
  • Rigorous curriculum
  • Busy, visible children
  • A great welcome for visiting parents
  • The openness of staff and management to answer questions
  • Robust parent-teacher association

Below are some questions you might want to ask during the school visit.

  • How do you train, support, and monitor teachers?
  • How much homework do you give to students?
  • How do you handle the behavioral problems of students at the school?

Take the time to think and list down the questions you want to be answered during the school visit. Write them down so you don’t forget to ask them.

Check Enrollment Procedures and Applications for Schools in Paso Robles, CA

After you’ve made a choice, then find out about enrollment requirements. Public schools usually require your child’s immunization, and health records, and proof of address. If you are going for the neighborhood school, then make sure to research all the paperwork needed for enrollment in Paso Robles city as well as application deadlines.

In the end, it’s not easy to find the best school for your child given the many choices and the different variables at play for parents. It is necessary to take the time to know the different options, narrow them down according to your requirements, and research thoroughly each school in your narrowed list. Don’t forget to consider your child’s needs as it is a crucial factor in choosing his or her school.

References:

https://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/10-tips-for-choosing-the-best-school-for-your-child
https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/choosing-a-school/

Almond Acres Offers a New At Home Distance Learning Option for the 20/21 School Year

Following the great success Almond Acres Charter Academy (AACA) experienced with its recent distance learning program, the school is excited to announce that it will be enrolling students in a new At Home Academy program beginning in the Fall of 2020.   Being a small school allows AACA to respond to changes in the needs of their families with swiftness and AACA’s distance learning program demonstrated a strength in designing education that truly is outside the box of traditional school programs. 

AACA has been providing a site based instructional program since the school began in 2012.  When COVID-19 forced districts across the state to close their doors and transition to a distance learning model, AACA recognized an opportunity to expand its program offerings. When survey results reported 95% of families felt the distance learning program exceeded or greatly exceeded expectations, the AACA team felt confident in once again implementing a programmatic change.

During the distance learning program, parents were surveyed several times to gauge their feelings on the possibility of a at home option moving forward.  Multiple families reported they were interested in exploring an at home option and their reasons were varied.  Some expressed a long term desire to do distance learning but they were reluctant to forego the school culture and climate offered at AACA.  Other families shared concerns about possible restrictions in the form of health and safety guidelines that may be in place when schools reopen.  The administration examined multiple options for an at home program and created the Almond Acres At Home Academy.

The AACA At Home program will consist of instruction happening in the home while families maintain the close family/school connection that is special to AACA.  Parents will be provided with comprehensive curriculum guides, training opportunities, and regular school collaboration to provide the primary instruction.  Parents will also have the opportunity to participate in the Program Site Council (AACA’s equivalent to a PTO/PTA) and attend AACA’s Growing Great Kids webinars where they will learn strategies to assist with a variety of parenting scenarios.  

Students in the At Home Academy will not only be using the same curriculum as their peers in the traditional model, they will also be given self directed versions of the various Service and Project Based Learning units that are a core component to AACA’s academic program.   Additionally, students will be encouraged to participate in the many field trips and guest speaker presentations connected to those units.

All of the school-wide activities offered at AACA will include the families enrolled in the At Home program.  Some of these include annual events such as Maker Faire, musical theatre production, 8th grade promotion, Kinder Celebration, Read Run Relay, and talent show. The families will also access a daily virtual Shared Start assembly where they will receive instruction on the Habits of Mind, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and the positive behavior expectations that grow citizenship traits in all AACA students. Families will also be encouraged to attend the new Friday celebration events (awards assemblies, positive behavior reinforcer events, etc) being held twice monthly.  AACA has successfully held several of these events virtually during distance learning and will continue to do so if required by safety guidelines.  

In addition to these program components, families would be encouraged to participate in outside of school events.  AACA hosts a Meet the Teacher Picnic before school starts and the At Home families will be introduced to the various grade level teachers, support staff, as well other AACA families.  Back to School Night, Open House, and the annual Art Show will also include these families and showcase student work completed as part of the At Home Academy curriculum.   

“As a small charter school, we have the ability to quickly respond and affect change.  This At Home Academy will allow families to be part of our school, implement the framework and philosophy, receive guidance from staff, and still have flexibility based on their individual needs.  We are able to use much of what we created and implemented during distance learning to then create this additional option.” stated Amy Baker, Program Director. 

Almond Acres Charter Academy is designing this At Home program to meet the needs of its current families and any future families.  If anyone is interested in exploring the At Home program now available through AACA,  information can be obtained by emailing info@almondacres.com.  Since AACA is a charter school, and therefore a school of choice, no interdistrict transfer is required to enroll.

Enroll now!

Almond Acres Charter Academy open enrollment starts Jan 15

Open enrollment for Almond Acres Charter Academy(AACA) in San Miguel starts Jan 15. Those interested in attending the academy during the 2018-2019 school year are encouraged to submit a request for enrollment. Enrollment forms can be found on the AACA website.

Requests for grades K-8 are being accepted. Open enrollment will extend through Mar 15. If at the end of open enrollment there are more applicants than spaces available in any grade level, then a random public lottery will take place. After Mar 15 requests will be taken and classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The academy is hosting campus tours and enrollment presentations in the coming months. Tours will provide the opportunity to meet with Executive Director, Bob Bourgault, and learn about AACA’s philosophy and framework. Tours and presentations are at AACA, 1601 L Street in San Miguel on the following dates and times:

  • Jan 25 at 8 a.m.
  • Feb 7 at 5 p.m. This is an enrollment presentation and the location will be announced.
  • Feb 15 at 8 a.m.
  • Mar 1 at 8 a.m.
  • Mar 8 at 8 a.m.

For more information, please visit the AACA website or call the office at (805) 467.2095. 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 San Luis Obispo County an additional choice in public education. The school is located in San Miguel and is open to all students in all communities. The academy’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul.

via: Paso Robles Daily News

Almond Acres Charter Academy starts its third year

Almond Acres Charter Academy, a K – 8th grade tuition free public charter school in San Miguel, started its third year of operation this week with nearly double the enrollment from its first year of operation. The school was founded by a group of parents and educators from the North County seeking an alternative to the traditional education programs. They believe that children and their families should have a choice when it comes to tuition free public education, and therefore started the school.

Co-existing on the campus of Lillian Larsen Elementary School in San Miguel, CA, the new school is dedicated to providing all kindergarten through eighth grade students with an academically challenging and cooperative educational environment rich in authentic experiences emphasizing core curriculum, the arts, character development, and 21st century knowledge and skills that will ensure happy and successful lives.

At the core of the Almond Acres Charter Academy is the belief that all children have the innate ability to learn and succeed in the classroom. The educators believe a love of learning comes naturally in an environment that centers on empowering students to be active participants in their own education. This is achieved by providing students with the skills necessary to identify their strengths and struggles as learners, their individual learning styles, and the settings in which they are most capable of excelling.

Almond Acres Charter Academy creates cooperative and strong partnerships between teachers, students, parents, and the community that best allows students to realize their own unique interests, talents, and abilities. The school considers successful members of the 21st Century to be those individuals who are intrinsically motivated to learn, have diverse yet well-developed interests, and act effectively and constructively in all that they do.

To support the mission and vision of Almond Acres Charter Academy, the administration with the support of the school board have invested heavily in technology, resources, and talented and experienced teachers from all over the country. Here are some recent achievements over the last few months:

  • The school installed a state of the art internet infrastructure graciously donated by a regional business that provides the teachers and students with the bandwith and abilities to support their individualized learning and leveraging of technologies.
  • It secured over 130 iPads and over 75 Samsung Google Chromebooks. This complements 75 Apple Macbooks and iMacs already in use.
  • All classrooms have been fitted with Apple TVs to enable seamless connectivity between the teachers’ lessons plans and available technologies in the classrooms.
  • The school is reaching its goal of 1:1 technology
  • Hired new teachers from California and as far away as Florida to support the school’s organic growth and continue to build on the Charter philosophy
  • Hired new assistant executive director who will ensure the character traits that the school teach are implemented.
  • Hired a support services director who comes with decades of experience in integrating children with special learning needs into the mainstream classrooms.

The administration and teachers are supported by a dynamic School Board that is comprised of the school founder, parents, and community business members. The leadership of the School Boards ensures that the Administration has the resources to develop 21st Century citizens.

Almond Acres Charter Academy welcomes visits to its campus and is excited about the start of its third school year. The school and children are poised to go from “Good to Great”.

Via: Paso Robles Daily News

Our Culture of Learning: Empowering Students to Take the Wheel

“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

Dr. Maria Montessori
An Almond Acres Charter Academy student takes a huge leap into a sand pit

Just as parents know that each of their children is unique, we, too, know that each child that walks through the doors of Almond Acres Charter Academy is endowed with their own set of talents, skills, and dispositions. We believe the first step to learning is to honor and understand the individuality of each student: we affirm their strengths and struggles so that we can then stretch and grow them into the best version of themselves.

A student who takes ownership of their learning is motivated, engaged, and self-directed. Is there a more perfect description of our AACA students? Our talented teachers know that learning isn’t imposed upon the unwilling, which is why we provide the opportunities and support for learning to flourish while assuring our students of their capacity to achieve. Here’s how we intentionally design our curriculum to create a learning environment that develops the heart, mind, body, and soul. 
From the start of our K-8 school, we put learning in the hands of our students through authentic project-based learning that is both meaningful and creative. Cultivating future leaders is also an essential part of growing great kids. Our students develop leadership skills based on Stephen Covey’s popular work, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

We foster academic achievement by:

  • Hiring fully credentialed CLAD or BCLAD certified teachers
  • Adopting research-proven instructional strategies
  • Incorporating 21st century learning technologies in every classroom
  • Adhering to current state standards in all subject areas
  • Using service and project based learning units of study 
  • Wearing school uniforms to promote harmony among peers
  • Participating in California state mandated tests  
  • Supporting classrooms with paraeducators
  • Providing more one-on-one instruction
  • Integrating physical movement, visual and performing arts, and music to enhance learning

Destination Imagination Enrichment Program

Many of our students also participate in Destination Imagination, a competitive, international STEAM based after-school enrichment program.  Many of our teams have made it to the State Finals, and one team has attended the Global Finals! We are proud to offer Destination Imagination programs that are unique to North County schools.

Four Almond Acres Charter Academy students have the opportunity to touch a snake with the help of a community adult

We believe all children can learn and succeed

At the core of Almond Acres Charter Academy is the belief that all children have the inherent ability to learn and succeed. We help our K-8 students identify their individual learning styles and their innate intelligences, while providing settings in which they are most capable to excel. Our school is proud to offer Personalized Learning Portfolios (PLP) for every student, small class sizes in a small school environment, flexible spending, contemporary technologies, and a high level of family and community interaction.

We believe that a love of learning comes naturally in an environment that focuses on empowering students to be active participants in their own education. Join us and help your child grow into his or her best self!

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. Open to all students from all communities, AACA is currently in a temporary Paso Robles location until our new purpose built building opens for the 2021-2022 school year. 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!