A-HA! Almond Acres At-Home Academy

If you’re considering alternatives to classroom instruction for fall 2020, check out Almond Acres’ flexible At-Home Academy option. This exciting choice is open to all — not just current Almond Acres Charter Academy (AACA) families.  

Our At-Home Academy is a distance learning option for a limited time.

Our charter and our Almond Acres charter school are not changing. Rather, we are offering an additional option for families this fall. 

Our At-Home Academy offers the consistency and minimal disruption many families crave right now.

Our Covid 19 plans for in-person learning are in flux much like schools everywhere. At-Home Academy offers a reliable, uninterrupted approach that is integrated, prescribed and responsive. 

COVID response plan

Our At-Home Academy is an iteration of AACA’s distance learning.

Being a small school allows us, at AACA , to nimbly adapt to the changing needs of our families. This past spring during the pandemic our AACA distance learning program debuted our strength in designing education that’s outside the box of traditional school programs. 

95% of our survey-responding AACA families felt our distance learning program exceeded or greatly exceeded expectations

Our At-Home Academy is a timely option to traditional classroom instruction.

Our recent distance learning metamorphosis and its success catapulted us to think further about ways to support our families for fall 2020. We feel energized and excited to add a distance learning At-Home Academy for all families who want this comprehensive educational opportunity.  

Our At-Home Academy is more flexible.

Our At-Home Academy allows for flexibility and autonomy in schedules. Parents organize the school day and pacing of school work around household schedules and rhythms.

Parents are the learning coaches for your children.

By choosing our At-Home Academy, you’ll receive comprehensive AACA curriculum guides, training opportunities, and regular school collaboration. 

Parents have more control.

Our AACA At-Home model consists of instruction happening in the home while families absolutely maintain the close family/school connection that is special to AACA. 

We use the same curriculum for A-HA and site-based students.

Students in the At-Home Academy will use the same curriculum as peers in the site-based model. At-Home Academy students will also enjoy curated, self-directed versions of our Service and Project Based Learning units.  These are a core component to our beloved AACA academic program. Additionally, when safety allows, all students will be encouraged to participate in our many field trips and guest speaker presentations.

Our ACCA At-Home Academy families will foster positive behavior and good citizenship lessons together at home.

You can choose to join our daily virtual Shared Start assembly where we enjoy learning from the Habits of Mind or the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or watch it later when it’s convenient for you. 

No one is missing out.

AACA’s vibrant school culture and climate is still all yours. At-Home Academy parents can participate in events happening on campus virtually or in-person whenever possible.  You can participate in Shared Start, the Program Site Council (AACA’s equivalent to a PTO/PTA) and attend our Growing Great Kids webinars (available on demand) where we share and learn strategies to assist with a variety of parenting scenarios.

At-Home Academy families share in all of the school-wide virtual or in-person – both activities AACA offers.

These include annual events like: 

  • Maker Faire
  • Musical theatre production
  • 8th grade promotion
  • Kinder Celebration
  • Read Run Relay
  • Talent show
  • Back to school night
At-Home families are encouraged to attend our 2x/monthly Friday virtual celebration events.

These include awards assemblies, positive behavior reinforcing events and more. 

Almond Acres Charter Academy is designing this At-Home program to meet the needs of our current families and any future families.

If you’re interested in exploring the At-Home Academy program now available through AACA, please email us: info@almondacres.com or call our school office at 805-467-2095. 

Enrolling for Almond Acres and At-Home Academy is the same.

Since AACA is a charter school, and we are a school of choice, no interdistrict transfer is required to enroll. Enrolling for in-person AACA and At-Home Academy is the same – parents just need to check a box during the enrollment process

Learning Options graphic

About AACA

Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in northern SLO County an additional choice in public education. The school is located in San Miguel and is open to all students in all communities. AACA’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul. We grow great kids! 

Flexible = Exceptional

We’re Nimble. At Almond Acres we had to adapt to COVID 19 like every other school, and we adapted fast. From our surveys, 100% of our families were satisfied with our transition to distance learning. Here are some key reasons why: 

  1. We maintained! We held on to our routines and programs in the first week of closure. Shared Start kicked off every morning and teachers re-engaged all students into the class. Our students and families could count on us consistently —  every morning M-F at 8:00 am! We saw each other, connected and set the tone for the day ahead. Staff and our student leadership team ran the meeting and each day had a theme, same as it did at in-person school. Mondays we addressed the habit of mind and Tuesdays we reiterated TeRRiFiC citizenship. Wednesdays we wished happy birthdays. Thursdays we shared what makes us thankful. Fridays we shared some funnies.  Best of all, our students showed up! We got 150-200 views daily and some kids kept wearing their uniforms! 
  2. We kept it simple and consistent! We used the same apps and platforms across all classes and grades. Flip Grid, Zoom, Google classroom. Parents, families and students all learned and accessed the same distance learning protocols, regardless of their grade. If one application didn’t work for all grades of our kids, we changed it. Quickly! 
distance learning
  1. We stayed connected! We set the expectation early – and we met it — that students would see their teachers everyday. If they weren’t online, we’d give them a call. We worked together to problem-solve and to maintain structure. 
  2. We shared! Photos, funnies, student artwork, creations and birthday wishes. We are a community first and foremost and we showed it even when not together in the same building. Character development is an enormous part of our curriculum and we continued our commitment to it, even when learning from afar.
boy in AACA green shirt
  1. We persevered! We even continued annual events virtually such as the Read and Run Relay, Maker Faire, and a Talent Show! 

We’re immensely proud of our Almond Acres family for how well we ALL adapted to  COVID19 and the uncertain landscape. We are energized by the positive reviews we continue to receive from families — students and parents — about how we did. And whatever is decided for Fall 2020 and the school year ahead, you can bet we will be ready to share, maintain, connect, keep it simple and consistent, and persevere! 

Every child is unique. At Almond Acres tuition-free public charter school, we serve grades K-8 and we educate the whole child: heart, mind, body, and soul.  Our focus on meaningful educational experiences within our community embraces service and project-based learning.  We also emphasize character development and strong citizenship standards alongside our robust curriculum. We are enrolling now. We grow great kids! 

Almond Acres Offers a New At Home Distance Learning Option for the 20/21 School Year

Following the great success Almond Acres Charter Academy (AACA) experienced with its recent distance learning program, the school is excited to announce that it will be enrolling students in a new At Home Academy program beginning in the Fall of 2020.   Being a small school allows AACA to respond to changes in the needs of their families with swiftness and AACA’s distance learning program demonstrated a strength in designing education that truly is outside the box of traditional school programs. 

AACA has been providing a site based instructional program since the school began in 2012.  When COVID-19 forced districts across the state to close their doors and transition to a distance learning model, AACA recognized an opportunity to expand its program offerings. When survey results reported 95% of families felt the distance learning program exceeded or greatly exceeded expectations, the AACA team felt confident in once again implementing a programmatic change.

During the distance learning program, parents were surveyed several times to gauge their feelings on the possibility of a at home option moving forward.  Multiple families reported they were interested in exploring an at home option and their reasons were varied.  Some expressed a long term desire to do distance learning but they were reluctant to forego the school culture and climate offered at AACA.  Other families shared concerns about possible restrictions in the form of health and safety guidelines that may be in place when schools reopen.  The administration examined multiple options for an at home program and created the Almond Acres At Home Academy.

The AACA At Home program will consist of instruction happening in the home while families maintain the close family/school connection that is special to AACA.  Parents will be provided with comprehensive curriculum guides, training opportunities, and regular school collaboration to provide the primary instruction.  Parents will also have the opportunity to participate in the Program Site Council (AACA’s equivalent to a PTO/PTA) and attend AACA’s Growing Great Kids webinars where they will learn strategies to assist with a variety of parenting scenarios.  

Students in the At Home Academy will not only be using the same curriculum as their peers in the traditional model, they will also be given self directed versions of the various Service and Project Based Learning units that are a core component to AACA’s academic program.   Additionally, students will be encouraged to participate in the many field trips and guest speaker presentations connected to those units.

All of the school-wide activities offered at AACA will include the families enrolled in the At Home program.  Some of these include annual events such as Maker Faire, musical theatre production, 8th grade promotion, Kinder Celebration, Read Run Relay, and talent show. The families will also access a daily virtual Shared Start assembly where they will receive instruction on the Habits of Mind, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and the positive behavior expectations that grow citizenship traits in all AACA students. Families will also be encouraged to attend the new Friday celebration events (awards assemblies, positive behavior reinforcer events, etc) being held twice monthly.  AACA has successfully held several of these events virtually during distance learning and will continue to do so if required by safety guidelines.  

In addition to these program components, families would be encouraged to participate in outside of school events.  AACA hosts a Meet the Teacher Picnic before school starts and the At Home families will be introduced to the various grade level teachers, support staff, as well other AACA families.  Back to School Night, Open House, and the annual Art Show will also include these families and showcase student work completed as part of the At Home Academy curriculum.   

“As a small charter school, we have the ability to quickly respond and affect change.  This At Home Academy will allow families to be part of our school, implement the framework and philosophy, receive guidance from staff, and still have flexibility based on their individual needs.  We are able to use much of what we created and implemented during distance learning to then create this additional option.” stated Amy Baker, Program Director. 

Almond Acres Charter Academy is designing this At Home program to meet the needs of its current families and any future families.  If anyone is interested in exploring the At Home program now available through AACA,  information can be obtained by emailing info@almondacres.com.  Since AACA is a charter school, and therefore a school of choice, no interdistrict transfer is required to enroll.

Enroll now!