Wasc visiting Committee Report



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WASC Visiting Committee Report

North Valley Charter Academy

April 19-21, 2010

Catherine Henry, Chair

Librarian, Ridgeview High School, Bakersfield


Patricia Daniel

Program Specialist, West High School, Bakersfield

Brad Bixel

Lead Teacher, Opportunities for Learning –Lancaster, Ridgecrest

Jody Miller

Teacher, Bayshore Prep Charter School, San Marcos



Chapter 1 Student Community Profile

North Valley Charter Academy is an independent charter school enrolling students in grades 6-12. It is located in Granada Hills and serves students from several communities in the San Fernando Valley area, though most of the student body lives within a 6-mile radius.

NOVA was originally chartered as Imagine Academy in 2003, but problems with location and financing eventually forced a reconstitution of the school as North Valley Charter Academy in 2006. The school is currently located behind the Episcopal Church of St. Andrew and St. Charles and operates under a Conditional Use Permit which regulates the maximum number of students on the campus, and the hours of operation, including any extra-curricular usage. In spite of the restrictions of the CPU, however, the school has classrooms, athletic facilities and is planning an expansion which will include a library in the near future. There is not a cafeteria facility at the school but the administration has contracted with an outside provider to provide meals.

Since its inception, the school has averaged an enrollment of 245 students, with as many as 271 and as few as 231 in a given year. In addition, 66% of students at NOVA in 2008-2009 chose to return for the 2009-2010 school year. Some students opt to return to the regular system, but the majority remains.



Number of Students Enrolled by Grade 2005-2009




6

7

8

9

10

11

12*

Total

2005-06

23

30

27

31

30

7

0

148

2006-07

73

35

28

41

34

28

2

238

2007-08

30

68

30

48

29

32

5

240

2008-09

29

30

53

50

52

30

27

271

Fall 2009

16

31

29

58

45

36

16

231



Percent of Students Receiving Free/Reduced Lunch 2006-2009




% of enrollment

2004-05

~40% *

2005-06

~40% *

2006-07

56% **

2007-08

61%

2008-09

71%

Fall 2009

72%



Student Mobility 2006-2009




# Students Enrolled

# New

%

Enrollment New

Prior Year Enrollment

# Prior Year Seniors

# Possible Return

# Actual Return

% Return from Prior Yr

2005-06

148

70

47%

130

0

130

58

45%

2006-07

238

160

67%

148

0

148

81

55%

2007-08

240

106

44%

238

4

234

136

58%

2008-09

271

95

35%

240

8

232

184

79%

Fall 2009

231

72

31%

271

25

246

162

66%

The school is a targeted assistance Title I school and 72% of the student body is eligible for free or reduced lunch. The median family income in the area is $51,000. In addition, since the school has not made AYP either of the past two years, it is also a Program Improvement school in year 1. Though the school made participation, API and graduation rate goals, as well as overall proficiency rates in English Language Arts, none of the specific subgroups made proficiency rates in either math or ELA in 2009 and the Hispanic subgroup did not make proficiency rates in mathematics in 2008. NOVA also was a High Priority Schools Grant recipient beginning in 2006, but that program funding has been discontinued.

The goals of academic excellence, democratic leadership and personal growth provide the guidelines for both students and staff at NOVA. The staff’s first priority is to provide a safe environment for learning and to offer students the opportunity to graduate college and career ready. NOVA developed ESLR’s and was granted candidacy for WASC in 2006.



The majority of the student body is Hispanic, and is nearly evenly divided between students whose primary language is English and those whose primary language is Spanish. Though enrollment started out closer to the typical 50-50 balance, at the current moment, males outnumber females 3:2. The school has 15% EL students and 9% Special Education students.

NOVA has a large number of students who have not had success in other schools. In light of this, the school strives to make itself a safe place where students can experience academic and personal success. The ADA for 2008-2009 was 94%, an indication that this effort is paying off. Also, the school has a very low rate of suspensions and expulsions, 8.8% and less than 1% respectively in 2008-2009.



Average Daily Rate of Attendance

2006-2009

 

ADA

2006-07

88%

2007-08

95%

2008-09

94%



Expulsions,_and_Crimes_2006-2009'>Number and Percent of Suspensions, Expulsions, and Crimes 2006-2009




# of

Suspensions

Suspensions

% enrollment

# of

Expulsions

Expulsions

% enrollment

Crimes

2006-07

5

2.1%

0

--

0

2007-08

13

5.3%

0

--

0

2008-09

24

8.8%

2

<1%

0

The staff at NOVA has developed a reflective discipline program which provides students with time and support to reconsider negative behavior and decide on alternatives. They feel that this process has been responsible for the low rates of suspension and expulsion among students who have typically had behavior and discipline problems at other sites.

North Valley has a small Special Education population, 21 students, and it has no designated Special Education classes. Special Ed students at NOVA fall into the mild to moderate category. A Special Education coordinator is a part of the staff and handles IEP’s and as well as helping teachers provide services to those students.



Students Enrolled in Special Education Programs

(IEPs and 504s) 2006-2009




# Students

% Enrollment

2006-07

30

13%

2007-08

32

13%

2008-09

29

11%

Fall 2009

21

9%

The student body at NOVA is nearly evenly divided between primary English speakers and primary Spanish speakers, though the designated EL population is much smaller.

Number of Students Enrolled by Primary Language 2006-2009




English

Spanish

Filipino

Arabic

Farsi__German__Russian'>Armenian

Farsi

German

Russian

Chinese

Total

2006-07

181

55

1

--

--

1

--

--

--

238

2007-08

124

115

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

240

2008-09

143

123

2

2

--

--

--

1

--

271

Fall 2009

108

116

2

2

1

--

1

--

1

231



English Learner Students 2006-2009




EL Students

% Enrollment

Spanish

Filipino

Farsi

Arabic

Russian

Chinese

2006-07

39

16%

37

95%

1

3%

1

3%

--

--

--

--

--

--

2007-08

50

21%

50

100%

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

2008-09

58

21%

53

92%

2

3%

--

--

2

3%

1

2%







Fall 2009

39

17%

36

93%

2

5%

--

--

--

--

--

--

1

2%

For a school of its size, NOVA offers a variety of extra-curricular activities, including competitive sports teams, theatre and Odyssey of the Mind. The school will become a member of CIF in the fall of 2010 and students in theatre have participated in state-wide festivals and workshops. The students would like to have more possibilities available to them, but the Power Hour tutoring program, which allows students the time to re-learn and make up assignments, challenges the use of more after school time for such activities. The staff and administration feel that the Power Hour is too important to compromise.

Student Participation in Activities, Fall 2009

Activity

#of Students

% of enrollment

Athletics (Team Sports)

40

17%

Athletics (Self-Defense)

10

4%

Theater

20

9%

Odyssey of the Mind

10

4%

Peer Court

5

2%

Spirit Club

5

2%

Yearbook

8

3%

PowerHour and Tutoring

50

22%



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