Pleasanton FLEX Academy (PFX)
UPDATES TO COMMUNICATION 8/10/2020
Additional Clarification Re: Dr. Haglund's 8/4/20 Email
We appreciate all of the time and thinking that went on in the homes of our families regarding the selection of a program model for the 2020-2021 school year. The original requests for secondary FLEX were far higher than we anticipated and presented unexpected challenges that were difficult to mitigate without negatively impacting student course selections across the secondary level. Since all Pleasanton students are scheduled to begin in a remote learning format, the need for a separate program became less critical for the start of school.
While we understand that this is a shift from the original plan, it is the least disruptive solution for the start of school. In order to best provide students with a wide array of classes and prepare for any potential return to campus for non-FLEX students, the FLEX students have been clustered as much as possible in sections at their school of residence.
When a return to in-person learning occurs at the sites, students who are part of secondary FLEX will continue learning at home. The details of how specifically this will function depend on a variety of factors, and we are unable to provide specifics at this time. Please know that we will do everything possible to avoid disruption for our students, if and when restrictions are lifted and we move towards a partial reopening of our schools.
What is the FLEX Academy?
The Pleasanton FLEX Academy (PFX) is a program that is part of the Pleasanton Unified School District. Students who opt-in to the FLEX Academy in the 20-21 school year remain enrolled in their school of residence. Students in the FLEX Academy are able to participate in graduation ceremonies and other activities at their school of residence and transcripts will reflect that they have taken the courses and graduated from the school of residence. One important difference between the FLEX Academy and our hybrid program (during the COVID-19 Pandemic) is that the FLEX Academy will not require in-person attendance during the 20/21 school year, whereas the hybrid program may require students to go back to school in-person as soon as conditions are safe.
The format of the FLEX Academy can be entirely distance learning. Our classes will meet with each of their teachers daily, for between 15-25 minutes minimum (dependent upon the course), via zoom. Due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, we will only offer in-person support to students/families that are comfortable. Our flexible meeting spaces are located at 245 Abbie St. in Pleasanton, CA. Post-COVID we will use these spaces for occasional in-person full class meetings, lectures, guest speakers, lab activities, and other events. We also have a testing center where our students can take their assessments while being proctored. Our teachers are Pleasanton Unified School District teachers who are experienced, highly-qualified, and credentialed in their subject areas. Our courses, unless otherwise specified, will follow the Pleasanton Unified School District course descriptions and will utilize robust digital tools to deliver content, connect with students, provide assessments, assignments, discussions, and activities to ensure a high level of learning for each student.
Curriculum & Instruction
Most courses in the FLEX Academy adhere to the PUSD course descriptions with our highly qualified PUSD teachers as the teachers of the course. Delivering instruction in an entirely remote modality requires a multitude of tools to be available to our instructors. Our learners have a variety of needs and our digital tools will allow us to ensure that each student has the best experience. In conjunction with the PUSD curriculum and Zoom meetings, the Learning Management System (LMS) and the University of California A-G approved content from our digital learning partner Edgenuity, will be used to enhance the remote learning experience. The Edgenuity platform provides us with the LMS which is tremendously helpful for providing students with individualized support and will allow us to progress monitor much more effectively. Additionally, Edgenuity may be used for intervention and enrichment when appropriate and desired. Some of the courses that are exclusive to FLEX do not have a parallel PUSD course, these Edgenuity A-G approved courses will be used as-is and taught by our PUSD instructors. It is important to understand that all students in FLEX will receive curriculum and instruction that is carefully curated by our expert PUSD teachers to meet all of the standards and learning objectives of the courses. These experienced, expert teachers will be making all decisions about content delivery as they do in each classroom in PUSD. Additionally, FLEX Academy students will have access to PSAT, SAT, and ACT test prep and other exciting mini-courses for enrichment throughout the school year.
Students in FLEX Academy will have access to all of the print instructional materials that are used at the other school sites. These materials will be available for pick up prior to the start of school. Pick up details are forthcoming.
Student and Parent/Guardian Responsibilities
A flexible learning format and environment work very well for some students. An option that is differentiated and offers a different experience than the comprehensive school sites is just what is needed for others. However, a flexible format will require a different commitment from students and families. While the program itself has built-in progress monitoring and many supports for students who may struggle it is still very important for families to remain engaged in understanding the learning process. Regular opportunities will be provided for families to engage in chats with the FLEX Administrative team and participate in specifically designed webinars to learn more about ways to support their students.
Families are encouraged to enroll in a full FLEX schedule consisting of 6 classes in high school and 7 classes in middle school. For students interested in courses that are not offered in FLEX Academy, a minimum of 4 high school classes and 5 middle school classes are required in FLEX. Students who request to concurrently enroll in courses at their school of residence must be willing and able to attend in-person when safe to do so.
Additionally, eligible students may concurrently enroll at Las Positas college to take additional courses of interest to them that are not offered through FLEX or our comprehensive high schools. Students in FLEX may continue to be enrolled in courses through Tri-Valley ROP.
It is strongly recommended that students commit to the FLEX Academy for a full school year as the majority of PUSD middle and high school courses are year-long courses and movement will be disruptive to the learning process for the student. At a minimum, students must commit to the FLEX Academy for a semester. Requests to move back to the in-person model may be considered on a space-available basis.
Counseling and Social-Emotional Support
Students will continue to have access to a secondary academic counselor and a support counselor while they are enrolled in the FLEX Academy. Students will continue to receive opportunities to learn about colleges and other post-secondary options.
Clubs and activities specially designed for the students of FLEX Academy will be made available to all students. It is important, as FLEX Academy is a different way to do school, that our students remain connected to their peers and mentors. To this end, students in the FLEX Academy may participate in clubs, dances, and sports at their school of residence, when deemed safe for those activities to resume.
Students with an IEP or 504 plan
Since FLEX Academy is an optional program, students in special education who request FLEX will need to have an addendum to their IEP. The IEP case manager or site administrator can help to determine how IEP services will be supported while in the FLEX Academy. The IEP team should discuss if the FLEX Academy structure will meet the individual needs of the student.
Students with a 504 plan may have their accommodations met in the FLEX Academy without any changes to their 504 plan. Again, a discussion with the site 504 coordinators may be needed to outline how a 504 plan will be implemented while in the FLEX Academy.
The courses in the table below (Current PUSD Courses) are those that can reasonably be offered to students in the FLEX Academy in the 20-21 school year. The second group of courses (FLEX only in the table) is available to students who enroll in FLEX Academy for the 20-21 school year. As is the case with all of our secondary schools, whether or not a course is ultimately offered will depend on total enrollment numbers.