What can Valley Oaks offer to support my Homeschooling endeavors?
Curriculum – Valley Oaks will supply students with a complete grade level curriculum, including state-adopted textbooks that meet state standards.For students above or below grade-level, VO will supply grade-level appropriate texts and support materials.
What if the curriculum doesn’t meet my student’s learning style?
Special Order Curriculum – Valley Oaks will order approved “home-school friendly” curriculum after a student has been in good standing with Valley Oaks for one year. However, even during the student’s first year the resource teacher will help find a curriculum that will work for your student.
How will I learn to plan my student’s academic schedule and teach the subjects?
Resource Teacher – Your Valley Oaks resource teacher will be your mentor, helper, and biggest cheerleader as you teach your students. He/She will work with you and help you to plan out the school year and tailor your teaching to your students’ learning needs.
Parent Educator Workshops – Valley Oaks offers professional development for you, the homeschool teacher! Begin the year with the “Starting the Year Off Right” workshop, followed by our annual “KickOff Kamp”. Each of these special days will have workshops geared to develop your teaching skills, while we provide special educational opportunities for your children. Mid-year recharge comes with our “Winter Kamp”, which is another opportunity to gain new ideas for teaching. Special workshops may be scheduled within the school year as needed.
How can I know that my student is progressing academically throughout the year? How will I know if they are performing at their grade level?
Star Renaissance Testing – Valley Oaks offers three group testing sessions per year for students in grades 3-8. This computerized test gives an approximate grade level and percentile ranking nationally for your student in reading and mathematics. It also gives diagnostic steps to improve their scores. An advanced 2nd grader is welcome to test on Star Renaissance as well.
Kindergarten/1st grade Assessments – This oral and written assessment will be given at the beginning, mid-year, and end of the year by the resource teacher. Your resource teacher will then work with you on planning how to teach the grade level appropriate skills.
Curriculum Assessments – Within your curriculum, you will have chapter and unit tests. Your resource teacher will show you how to use these tools to assess, reteach when necessary, and plan for success.
State Testing – Because Valley Oaks Charter School is public, we participate in the California State testing for students in grades 3-8 during the spring of each year. Valley Oaks offers testing preparation classes which help the student navigate the online testing format and feel successful when they take the test.
What if my child is struggling with reading?
Reading Assessment – Valley Oaks offers an informal reading assessment for students who struggle with reading. Several teachers are trained in the Lindamood-Bell method of reading tutoring and can give this informal assessment.
Reading Tutoring – After a student has been assessed, Valley Oaks offers a reading tutoring class that meets twice a week, with specific skills taught during that time. The tutoring class is patterned after the Lindamood-Bell approach, and materials will be given to the parents to help them follow up with the method at home.
Tutoring with RT
What if my child struggles in other areas of learning? Or if I’m having trouble teaching him/her?
Student Study Team – This team has been formed to help you, the parent, and your student! Team members will brainstorm with you and your student to (1) find out the problem, (2) offer new ideas to help, and (3) follow up if needed with another brainstorming session.
I.E.P./504 – For students who need further assistance and with parent request, we will offer an IEP or 504 as per state requirements for students who qualify after assessment.
What do you offer to prepare my middle-schooler for high school?
Math Classes – For 6th-8th graders, we offer a 2 day/week class with a mathematics star teacher, Mrs. Uhtof! She will do the teaching and work with you on how to assess your students throughout the year.
Writing Classes – 6th and 7th graders will be offered a 1 day/week class with our HS English teacher, Mr. Peyton. Students will learn and work on different styles of writing, which will be compiled in a portfolio. This class will satisfy their middle school writing requirements for the year. 8th graders will begin the year with a 2 day/week Constitution Research Paper class with Mrs. Rosander and then will finish the year with a 1 day/week class with Mr. Peyton.
Constitution Class – 8th graders are required to pass a 4 part Constitution test in order to participate in the Valley Oaks graduation ceremony. This class will prepare them for the test, as well as work on study skills such as note-taking, homework, quizzes, etc. that will be necessary for high school.
Enrichment Classes – There are a variety of enrichment classes focused on the middle school students’ maturing needs. We offer Junior ASB Club, technology classes, science classes, literature classes, etc.
What about “socialization” for my home-schooled student?
Enrichment Opportunities- Valley Oaks offers a variety of classes and clubs for your student, including: Drama, Art, Guitar, Piano, Choir, Science, P.E., Spanish, Computer Skills, Literature, History, Lunch Clubs, Jr. ASB, etc. These classes are offered twice a week at our facility, on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Field trips and Special Events – Valley Oaks offers a variety of field trips & events each year, including: VO Back to School Picnic, group hikes w/Mrs. Rosander, Pulford’s Apple Farm, Harvest Festival, History Day, Camp Keep (6th graders), “Drop Everything And Read” events, Yosemite family field trip, holiday parties, holiday program, Elegant Evening of the Arts program, Valley Oaks Marathon, End of Year picnic, teacher/parent arranged field trips, plays, and more.
Family Opportunities – Valley Oaks Charter School purchases a membership for our families through the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest. This gives our families access to the Maturango Museum, the Rosamond Feline Facility, and the Buena Vista Museum. It also gives you an ASTC travel passport, which will give you free or reduced rates at museums across the United States. In addition, a Valley Oaks student ID allows free entrance to CALM, Kern County’s Living Museum for native animals.
Vendor Services- Valley Oaks contracts with a variety of vendors to provide unique classes for your Valley Oaks student. These include both Tehachapi and Bakersfield vendors. For a complete list, please see the Newsflash on our website.
Competitive Events – Valley Oaks participates in countywide events, such as: Battle of the Books, Lego Robotics, Science Fair, Spelling Bee, and Oral Language. While these events are for students in grades 3 and up, we encourage younger students to participate in the science fair by having a science showcase for them at our Valley Oaks site.
My student is in TK-3rd grades. What specific enrichment opportunities are there for students in these grade levels?
Enrichment Classes – TK through 3rd grade will be offered most of the same enrichment opportunities as the older students, with the exception of competitions and older grade-level appropriate material. A special class for TK students will be offered, with instruction for parents on ideas to incorporate at home. Art, Lunch Clubs, Drama (2nd grade & up), Music, Science, History classes will be offered throughout the year.
Vendor/Field trip/Special Events – TK through 3rd graders will have the same opportunities throughout the year to participate in vendor classes, field trips, and special events held by Valley Oaks.
How can I be involved at Valley Oaks as a parent?
Well, of course, you already are involved because you are your student’s teacher! But, we encourage you to help our school continue to grow and improve by signing up for:
PEP (Parent Event Planners) – Our Valley Oaks parents have the opportunity to help out in a variety of events by being involved in PEP club. You can sign up at our “Starting the Year Off Right” workshop or KickOff Kamp to help out on a specific event. Then plan on attending our bi-monthly PEP meeting (with childcare provided) to stay involved.
Town hall Meetings – We encourage all of our parents to attend and participate in our town hall meetings. These meetings are important events during which the school administration can communicate with our parents and students and in return, receive ideas, comments, and constructive criticism from them.
Surveys & Individual Meetings – We encourage our parents to participate in VO surveys so that we can continue to improve our school and implement new ideas to meet our families’ needs. Our door is open to you to come in and discuss ideas as well – we are “doing school” together and value your input.