Published : Monday, February 19, 2018 | 12:43 PM
Aveson Charter Schools announced this week the expansion of its Aveson Global Leadership Academy (AGLA) Flex Studies and Aveson Center for Independent Study (ACIS) Home Study programs starting with the 2018-19 school year. According to Aveson Executive Director, Kate Bean, these programs highlight Aveson’s commitment to providing students with a personalized, experienced-based learning environment.
“From day one we recognized that not all students learn in the same way or at the same pace,” said Bean. “That’s why we continually innovate and provide opportunities for kids to learn in a way that is successful for them.”
Flex Studies is a unique option for students in grades 6-12 who are motivated, independent learners comfortable working in a more flexible setting than a traditional classroom. They also are interested in actively combining in-classroom learning with real-world experience.
Flex Studies students learn in a classroom setting on the AGLA campus three days a week. The two remaining Flex Days allow students to choose how and when to complete work, explore their passions or participate in learning opportunities outside of a typical school structure. Current students spend their Flex Days studying in a variety of places including their home workspace, coffee shops, a favorite library, and taking classes at local community colleges or co-ops. They also utilize Aveson’s Flex Space for an independent work environment on campus.
The goal of the Flex Studies program is for students to work through their advisor-driven class assignments within a schedule that works best for them. Each student meets grade-level outcomes through learning based on his/her interests, learning style or preferences, and goals. Aveson advisors create all curriculum and parents serve as learning coaches or extra support for making sure students complete the assignments or projects on their Flex Days. Students have the freedom in their schedules to be involved in the community through jobs, internships, volunteering, and field trip exploration.
“We value students developing an understanding of their learning preferences and passions, and we’re here to support them in their process,” says Elena Marquez, Director of the Aveson Flex Studies Program. “Our program gives learners a breadth of choice in their learning and the opportunity to build a whole-life learning experience.”
Conversely, at the elementary level, two home study options, Choice and Hybrid, comprise ACIS which serves grades TK through 5. These options give learners the benefits of highly personalized academic instruction at home while simultaneously providing a school community. How much a learner utilizes the school community depends on the program they choose.
In these home study experiences, the parent takes on the role of home educator, actively planning and delivering the student’s learning plan. Credentialed Independent Study Advisors (ISA) are partnered with each family to provide support and resources to the student and the home educator. Each student receives a curriculum package including various online and print resources for core subject areas. Instructional funds are provided on a per-student basis for the acquisition of additional curriculum resources, consumable classroom supplies, plus campus-based and community-based classes.
The new Choice Home Study program will allow students to pursue an education designed just for them in their home environment and gives families the greatest flexibility in the allocation of instructional funds and resources. Choice families will access the ACIS and greater Aveson communities through Celebrations of Learning, school field trips, family outings, parent support groups, special events and more.
Alternatively, the Hybrid Home Study, now going into its tenth year, remains an excellent option for families who value a classroom experience, a consistent peer group and increased contact with the independent study advisor. Hybrid families use a portion of their provided instructional funds to choose from a menu of campus-based classes, totaling up to two days on campus. Opportunities include a Monday Innovation Day with an emphasis on building 21st-century skills such as communication, collaboration and problem-solving through a STEAM curriculum, and a Thursday Workshop Day including topics such as performing arts, culinary arts, visual arts, writing, science, and math. Both Choice and Hybrid families also have the option to select “Harvest Garden” classes provided through a partnership with Descanso Gardens.
All 5th graders graduating from ACIS will receive priority enrollment at AGLA for grades 6-12, which includes both the regular school and the Flex Studies program.
“ACIS provides the best of two worlds for the ever-increasing population of students and families interested in pursuing education from a home base,” says ACIS Director, Debbie Carraway. “We’re here to support students and their home educators while at the same time giving them the opportunity to collaborate in a school environment.”
For more information about these programs, go to www.aveson.org. All students interested in either program must apply to the Aveson admissions lottery by February 23, 2018. Applications can be submitted through the aveson.schoolmint.net admissions portal.
An optional school tour for AGLA and Flex Studies will take place on Tuesday, February 20, 9:00 a.m. at the AGLA campus, 575 West Altadena Drive, Altadena. On-going information sessions for the Home Study Program are listed on the Aveson website.