Handbook » Individualization and Pacing

Individualization and Pacing

 
Due to the design of the linear calendar, students in a traditional school are expected to progress at the same rate during the school year. High-performing students may be held back, and low-performing students may be left behind. All students are presented the same lesson at the same time. Students are often not required to master the lesson objectives before advancing to the next grade level. Advancement of students before they are ready may result in gaps or deficiencies of knowledge that is essential for success in the next subject level.
 
Within the program, every child can progress through the curriculum at his/her own pace if he/she is meeting the minimum progress requirements. We understand that our school is academically rigorous. Meeting the challenge of completing one year of course work in this model can be demanding. Our certified teachers are here to assist Learning Coaches to meet the associated challenges. Learning Coaches may utilize teachers’ expertise as students progress through our program. Students are allowed the flexibility in working ahead in assignments, but no more than a week ahead.
 

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION PLANS

In High School, counselors develop Graduation Plans that chart the path to graduation. The goal is to complete all high school graduation requirements in four years or less. Graduation plans are developed as part of the Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP) process. Students will participate in activities designed to help them explore post high school options such as career interest surveys, goal setting, job applications, job shadowing/internships, scholarship applications, financial aid planning, community service, and completing the FAFSA. The ICAP process will help students identify specific courses that will help him/her to meet post- secondary goals. Graduation Plans are updated each semester and are available from the Quick Links area on your landing page. Access your plan-on-demand to know your progress toward graduation. Please review your Graduation Plan carefully for accuracy.
 

EARLY COURSE COMPLETION

It is important to consider the long-term goal of early completion of courses to determine the best path for the student. Students who wish to work ahead to graduate early are encouraged to work with the Gifted Resource Coordinator to develop a plan to additional courses and/or accelerated pacing. High School students will also need to work closely with the counselor.
 
Demonstrated success in current courses is required before exploring accelerated pacing or early graduation paths.
 
In Elementary and Middle School, students who wish to work ahead in individual courses must request approval from the teacher. Demonstrated success in the course and a plan for two-way communication for the purpose of feedback and instruction is required to work ahead. Completion of all assignments, including the final exam, is also required.
 
In Elementary School, students may also assess out of individual units to compact the curriculum into a shorter length of time. Students may take the unit or semester assessments and if he/she achieves a score of 80% or higher, the student may move on to the next lesson/unit. As a student assesses out of the curriculum, Learning Coaches will mark the “assessed out” lessons in the unit as skipped and move on to the next unit. When a student encounters a unit in which he/she is no longer mastering the objectives, at 80% or more, he/she should begin working through individual lessons in this unit.
 
It is important while doing this that the student is completing a minimum of one unit test or lesson each day, with an average of 5 lessons a week. If he/she assesses out of a unit on Monday, this would count as one lesson and he/she would start on lesson 1 of the next unit on Tuesday, and so on. Students are given credit for the lessons skipped towards course promotion but skipped lessons do not count toward progress goals and report card grades. To ensure continual growth, consistent progress at an average rate of 5 lessons per week in math and language arts is required to meet progress goals. Please contact your child’s teacher before you begin as students are still responsible for meeting Teacher Graded Assignments for the course to assess out of the curriculum. It is important to be working with your teacher during this process. To course promote or grade promote student must complete 100% of all coursework.
 
Fifth grade students wanting to promote to 6th grade courses must meet above criteria AND conference with Middle School Principal for approval. Due to Middle School courses being based on semester, 5th grade students cannot move into most 6th grade courses mid-year.
 

ASSESSING OUT OF CURRICULUM
(PROFICIENCY BASED PROMOTION)

Proficiency Based Promotion is a process that awards credit for students’ knowledge in the core curriculum areas, including reading, language arts, math, science, social studies and some electives, through an assessment process through testing.
 
OVCA provides opportunities for the testing to take place at least twice per year at locations around the state. Students demonstrating proficiency will have the opportunity to advance to the next level of study. Failure to demonstrate proficiency will not be noted on the student’s transcript. Students who do not demonstrate proficiency may submit another request to sign up for testing during the next testing window.
 

SEVENTH COURSE OPTION
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Students are expected to attend full time at OVCA. Students are enrolled in six courses per semester through a combination of courses at OVCA, Career Tech and/or colleges through concurrent enrollment. The only time a student may be enrolled in less than six courses, per state law, is when it is past their 4-year graduation date and less than 6 courses are needed to graduate. Students may request to take more than 6 courses to catch up on credits Requests for taking a seventh class will be made to the counselor and approved by the Head of School. Certain requirements apply for enrolling in a seventh course:
  • Students who have completed one full semester with OVCA and passed all courses may elect to take a seventh course the following semester.
  • Students may continue to take a seventh course provided they continue to pass all courses in which they are enrolled. Contact your counselor to discuss the seventh course option and determine how that will impact your student’s individual graduation plan.
 

FINISHING THE YEAR EARLY

Students who finish 100% of their assigned courses, including all unit and semester exams, and fully participate in state and district testing may request approval to receive additional coursework/assignments or end their school year early. Per the truancy policy, if students are finishing more than 15 days early, they must still complete at least 4 instructional activities (assignments or attend Class Connect sessions) every 15 days.
 

GRADE LEVEL PROMOTION AND RETENTION

Students are expected to make sufficient progress in mastering a year’s worth of curricular objectives in a year’s time by following a consistent and regular schedule of schooling. In doing so, it is expected that students will be promoted to the next grade level at the end of an academic year.
 
ELEMENTARY
Promotion and retention for third graders is pursuant to the Reading Sufficiency Act (70 O.S.§ 1210.508C). Except at third grade, grade level promotion or retention is based on a comprehensive view of multiple criteria including, but not limited to, reasonable progress in skill development, satisfactory attendance, satisfactory progress through courses based on start date, age, social/emotional maturity, and eligibility for special education services.
 
Conferences with the parents are conducted throughout the school year to discuss the student’s progress. Parents will be notified of possible retention at the beginning of the second semester. Grade promotion or retention decisions will be made on or before the last day of school.
 
MIDDLE SCHOOL
All students in grades 6-8 must pass 3 out of the 4 core courses (Math, English, History and Science) with a letter grade of D or better to be promoted to the next grade level at the end of the school year. Administration may also consider other factors such as age, social/emotional maturity, and eligibility for special education services. Grade retention decisions will be made on or before the last day of school. Parents will be notified of possible retention at the beginning of the second semester. Grade promotion or retention decisions will be made on or before the last day of school.
 
Whenever a teacher or teachers recommend that a student be retained at the present grade level, the parent, if dissatisfied with the recommendation, may appeal the decision by complying with OVCA’s appeal process. The decision of the board shall be final. The parent may prepare a written statement to be placed in and become a part of the permanent record of the student stating the reason(s) for disagreeing with the decision of the board (70 O.S.§70-24-114.1).
 
A parent may request retention of a student based on age, maturity, or academic achievement by contacting the principal. The principal may provide guidance to assist the parent in the decision.
 
HIGH SCHOOL
High School students are promoted based on the number of credits earned. Credit is granted for courses in which the student earns an A, B, C or D. Credit is not awarded for courses in which a student earns an F (below 60%).
 
Grade level classification is determined by the number of credits a student has at the beginning of the school year and will not change until the next school year.
 
This means that a student will not change classification mid-year no matter how many credits he/she has. To be promoted, students must have at least:
  • Five (5) credits to promote from 9th to 10th grade.
  • Eleven (11) credits to promote from 10th to 11th
  • Seventeen (17) credits to promote from 11th to 12th. At the end of first semester, parents of students that are not currently meeting the requirements to grade promote or graduate based on number of credits earned during the first semester will be notified.
 

READING SUFFICIENCY ACT (RSA)

RSA provides seven “good cause” exemptions for some students who score Unsatisfactory on the reading test:
  • English learners who have had less than two years of instruction in English and are identified as Limited English Proficient /English learner on an approved screening tool may advance to fourth grade.
  • Students with disabilities assessed with the Oklahoma Alternate Assessment Program may advance to fourth grade.
  • Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of performance on an approved alternative standardized reading test may advance to fourth grade.
  • Students who demonstrate through a teacher-developed portfolio that they can read on grade level may advance to fourth grade.
  • Students with disabilities who take the OSTP and have an IEP that states they have received intensive remediation in reading and have made adequate progress toward their IEP reading goals may advance to the fourth grade. Adequate progress is defined as 70%.
  • Students who have received intensive remediation in reading for two or more years and who already have been retained may advance to fourth grade. Transitional grades count.
  • Students facing exceptional emergency circumstances that prevented the student from being assessed during the testing window may advance to fourth grade. This exemption must be approved by OSDE.
 

RSA GRADUATION LAW CONDITIONS

There are four conditions that can be met that would mean automatic promotion to the 4th grade.
  • Meet RSA Criteria on the State Reading Test
  • Demonstrate Reading proficiency on a State-Approved Screening Assessment
  • Meet one of the seven Good Cause Exemptions
  • Unanimous decision by the student reading proficiency team
 

PROBATIONARY PROMOTION

A student who does not qualify for automatic promotion to the fourth grade may be evaluated by a Student Reading Proficiency Team. If each member of Student Reading Proficiency Team unanimously recommends the student for probationary promotion, the student shall be promoted to the fourth grade.
 
Once the Student Reading Proficiency Team has made a unanimous recommendation, the recommendation shall be submitted to the Head of School for approval if promotion is the best option for the student.
 
If the student is allowed a probationary promotion, the Student Reading Proficiency Team shall continue to review the reading performance of the student and repeat the requirements of this paragraph every school year until the student demonstrates grade-level reading proficiency as identified through a screening instrument for the corresponding grade level in which the student is enrolled.
 

GRADE PLACEMENT FOR STUDENTS ENTERING FROM HOMESCHOOL

OVCA welcomes students who have previously homeschooled or attended a non- accredited school. Appropriate grade level will be determined primarily based on placement tests that assess mastery of the Oklahoma Academic Standards.

All new students may request a proficiency assessment for the purpose of determining appropriate course placement within thirty (30) days of enrollment or re-enrollment in OVCA. This request may be initiated by a new student or the student's teacher, parent, or legal guardian. Any student currently enrolled in the district who was not enrolled in the district during all or part of the immediately preceding school term, excluding summer school terms, shall be considered a new student.
Placement tests can only be taken once per subject. Tests will be maintained for at least one year. Other relevant factors such as age, maturity, or enrollment in Special Education Programs may also be considered.
 
High School students are placed in a grade level according to the number of credits earned. To obtain High School credit, students entering OVCA from homeschooling or other non- accredited schools need to take a placement test or submit a portfolio to earn credit for previously completed courses. Students must score a 60% or better to earn credit. To obtain High School credit, students that have completed a state testing exam and passed with a score of “Proficient” or “Advanced” may use the state test as a demonstration of course mastery rather than taking a placement test to earn credit. Upon passing a placement test, the grade on the incoming transcript will be transcribed onto the OVCA transcript. If a state test is being used as in lieu of a placement test, a score of Advanced will be transcribed as “A” and a score of Proficient will be transcribed as “B”. Courses transcribed as a result of a placement test will receive basic weight.
 

CREDIT RECOVERY

Students who previously attempted a high school course for credit and did not pass; who have partial credits for a core course (Math, Science, History, and English); or who have a credit deficiency that would extend their graduation date, are eligible to enroll in a Credit Recovery version of the course. Students may also recover credit through assessment by successfully passing an end of course exam with a score of 60% or better. Students who fail two or more courses in the fall semester could be automatically placed in Credit Recovery in place of one or both of their spring electives. Students needing to make up credits may enroll in Credit Recovery courses beginning on the first day of each semester according to the following guidelines:
  • Students who need to make up 1.0 or more credits AND who did NOT pass all courses the previous semester will enroll in Credit Recovery course(s) as their elective choice(s).
  • Enrollment in a Credit Recovery course to replace an elective course MUST take place within 10 days from the student’s start date to avoid the dropped course showing on the transcript as incomplete.
  • Students may add another Credit Recovery course after they complete their current course, provided there are at least 6 weeks remaining in the semester. It will take up to four business days to close a Credit Recovery course upon completion and to order a new course.
  • So long as students continue to be successful in their Credit Recovery courses and their regular courses, OVCA will not limit the number of Credit Recovery courses that can be completed within the given guidelines.
 
Students will work actively to finish Credit Recovery courses within 6 weeks of course start date. Additional time is available for students under special circumstances one week at a time. Extensions must be approved by administration. Completing Credit Recovery courses within the 6-week period allows for additional recovery courses to be taken within the same elective slot. This is crucial for many to remain on track for graduation.
 
No physical materials will be provided for Credit Recovery courses. Online versions of textbooks, worksheets, and student guides will be incorporated into the course. Any novels or other materials needed must be obtained by the parent or student. If you cannot find the novel at the local library and cannot afford to purchase one, contact your course teacher.
 
Teachers will regularly monitor student progress in the course and may request students complete specific lessons depending on the results of diagnostic tests, lesson quizzes, and unit tests. Teachers will hold regular Class Connect sessions and may require students to attend to check for understanding or offer needed support. Please note: A grade of 0 will be entered for each assignment and students will work until they reach their desired final grade.
 
Transcripts will be updated at the end of each semester, but grade level is only changed once prior to the start of each school year.
 

SUMMER SCHOOL FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

OVCA offers Credit Recovery courses in Summer School, as well as a selection of courses for first time credit. Students may take a maximum of three single-semester courses during each summer session. The fee for Summer School courses, as well which courses will be offered, will be determined prior to the end of each academic school year. Detailed information will be sent through email in late spring. Students will be required to discuss summer school coursework with their counselor to ensure courses align with their graduation plan.
 

CREDIT BY EXAM BOOTCAMP (CBE BOOTCAMP) FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

OVCA offers CBE Bootcamps to students that earn a final non-passing grade of 30-59% in a course. At the conclusion of each semester, students will be required to attend bootcamp sessions (at no cost) to go over material from the course and take a proctored assessment to earn back the credit. Students that complete their bootcamp sessions and pass the assessment (minimum score of 60%) will still have a failing grade on their transcript but will show the class as retaken with the new grade. If students attend the bootcamp sessions and do not pass the assessment, they will not be penalized. This opportunity is only offered to current students and students that are returning for the subsequent semester. Dates will be communicated toward the end of each semester. Bootcamp sessions take place 1-2 weeks after final exams.
 

CREDIT FOR EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Students participating in outside of school extracurricular activities (such as band, athletics, foreign language, or art) may apply for credit consideration at the end of each applicable term (not guaranteed) based upon the below criteria. Students must discuss this option with their school counselor no later than the end of August for semester 1 or end of January for semester 2. The final decision to award credit is determined by the principal and Head of School. All documentation is due to the student’s counselor no later than the last day of the semester.

The following will be reviewed and taken into consideration when determining if credit will be awarded:
  • Time spent: including but not limited to direct instruction, practices, and performances (60 hours per semester minimum for consideration)
  • Material covered: for activities where state standards exist, the content covered must match the state standards
  • Teacher/Coach qualifications
 
Students must submit the following items:
  • Syllabus and/or course schedule
  • Signed statement from teacher/coach regarding time spent and summary of performance on activities and progress
 
OVCA reserves the right to ask students to complete a competency exam for courses with existing state standards. Students can earn a maximum of 1.0 credits per year with a Pass/Fail grade, which does not count towards GPA. An extracurricular activity will not impact a student’s schedule. Students are still required be enrolled full-time and in six courses.
 

 

This information is from the Board-approved OVCA Handbook for SY 2021-2022