The Mountain Valley Academy independent study program serves students in grades TK-12 on the Ramona Community Campus. Independent study students in all grades may study exclusively at home or take advantage of the on-campus options. The program is provided by means of an independent study enrollment agreement, which is signed and entered into by both parents and students with the Ramona Unified School District. This agreement places a significant responsibility on the family, but can be a very rewarding and successful experience for those who make the commitment. Independent study is an alternative to classroom instruction, but not an alternative curriculum. All course work must meet the California Academic Content Standards. Mountain Valley Academy implements the academic standards within the context of appropriate independent activities. We, the teacher/parent/student team, individualize the curriculum to meet the student’s needs but we do not alter the Academic Content Standards. Mountain Valley Academy blends the best of the classroom and the independent education experiences. Each student’s parents and teacher meet at least every 6 weeks to revise the student's file. This ongoing communication ensures that each student is carefully monitored. As part of an alternative school, the program is available to all students whose families wish to work through independent study, regardless of past academic performance. The program has been found to work as well for students experiencing difficulties, as for students who are gifted and talented. The program is chosen for a variety of reasons: occasionally a student has a hobby or interest which requires some travel; some families prefer an experience which fosters family cohesiveness; some students have learning styles or challenges which require a greater measure of supervision or simply a less stimulating environment. Independent study students are often at an advantage for social opportunities because of the flexibility of their schedules. Students who work and learn together become a community. Mountain Valley Academy students build this sense of community through the many on campus activities including the classroom option, electives, sports, etc. The independent study teacher creates, evaluates and supervises the instruction, for all his students. The teacher provides a wide range of services for parents and students. These include: newsletters, individual tutoring or academic testing as needed, small group tutorials and workshops, parent training seminars, check-out of school and media center books and materials, phone conferences, and appointments. Additionally, parents within the program provide a rich network of human and material resources for each other, resulting in a quality experience through shared community efforts. SERVICES Parents are encouraged to choose any services, which will enhance their student’s experience, but are not obligated to use all of them. The following is a list of some of our most important service features:
- Individual Tutorials - These are scheduled with the teacher as needed to reinforce skills and produce confidence in your learner.
- Additional Conference Time - In addition to the regular meetings between parents and teachers, parents may request additional conferences to get help over a rough period, to solve a specific problem, or get off to a good start if you are new to home study.
- Newsletter Communication - A monthly newsletter will be emailed to all HS families. (Hard copies also available). A weekly newsletter will go home with students in grades K-8. These publications will contain information such as upcoming conference appointments, meeting reminders, due dates for assignments, class and school events, and information about classroom assignments and activities.
- Enrichment Lessons and After School Clubs - Mountain Valley Academy has specialty tutors in the areas of drama, art, music, Spanish, chess and speech and debate, and sports. These programs add interest, variety, and expertise to the home study experience.
- County Media Services - Literature, educational videos, and equipment can be ordered on an ongoing basis from the San Diego Media Center. These additional materials can go along way toward avoiding “textbook tedium”!
- All School Events - These may include: International Day, Author’s Fair, Science Fair, Fine Arts Night, Career Day, Literature Day, History Fair, and Geography Fair.
- Assessment - In addition to the ongoing, informal assessment of student progress during the two-day class time, teachers will provide individual academic testing for students as needed. Standardized tests and multiple measures assessments are also given each year.
- High School credited online classes - core classes for students grades 9-12 in the area of math, science, social studies, English are available online for student use
- Robotics – 1-12 students will have the opportunity to participate in age appropriate robotics competition where they learn to build & program a robot. High School students compete through the first Robotics & students grades 1-8 compete in lego competitions
- Library – Ramona Community School offers library services appropriate for all ages K-12 grade. The library will be open to students 9:00-1:00 Monday – Friday. Computers are available to students for internet research.
- Compass Learning – Beginning the fall of 2007 students grade K-8 will have the opportunity to participate in online academic support in the areas of math, social studies, language arts & science. The program features “artificial intelligence” that will tailor make a lesson to meet individual academic needs.
- MAP – Students are accessed three times a year in the areas of math, reading, language usage. MAP (measures of academic programs) to align to the California State Standards and will measure academic growth assisting teachers as their next steps in learning.