Innovations Academy FAQs
School structure and operations:
What will the schedules look like at Innovations Academy?
- K - 5 grade students will be on a traditional year, trimester schedule
- 6 - 8 grade students will be on a traditional year, semester schedule
- 9 - 12 grade students will be on a block schedule (similar to Vista del Lago)
- Bell schedules for each grade will vary but will be similar to traditional schools
How will students be engaged in this environment?
Student engagement will be monitored in two ways: live, daily instruction, and independent work. The expectation is that cameras will be turned on in order to interact with their teacher and classmates. Teachers will track daily engagement during live sessions, as well as completion of assigned lessons. For independent work, this would be monitored just like homework in the traditional setting.
How many students will be in each class?
Class rosters will match District-wide teacher-to-student ratios.
Will there be any in-person opportunities for socialization, field trips, etc..?
Yes, there will be opportunities for in-person socialization and field trips throughout the year.
Will there be materials to pick up, how will that look?
Yes, materials pick up will take place prior to the first day of school, and materials drop off will take place at the end of the school year. Students will receive all needed materials for the school year at the materials pick-up at the beginning of the year, however, if there are materials needed mid-year we will provide those pick up opportunities as necessary..
How is the Virtual Academy different from Distance Learning?
Distance Learning was a crisis response to a national pandemic. Innovations Academy is a new school, designed to offer an additional learning option. Students will have a similar structure to their day as they do in a traditional setting, however, their learning environment will be primarily virtual with daily teacher interaction. In-person social activities and field trips will be made available throughout the year. It is important for students and parents to understand that the day-to-day educational experience will be very similar to what students now experience with distance learning. If the current modality of distance learning is working well for your student, the Innovation Academy will likely be a good fit for them.
How is Innovations Academy different from the Homeschool Charter School and Walnutwood Independent Studies? Haven’t we always had a virtual option?
FCUSD has never offered a virtual school. Innovations Academy is not the same as Distance Learning and is different from the alternative learning options we offer in our homeschool charter and independent study programs. A description of our alternative learning options is below:
- Homeschool Charter (K-8): In this option, the parent/guardian is considered the student's primary teacher and delivers daily instruction to their student(s) with guidance from a credentialed teacher. Students and parents meet with the credentialed teacher every 10 days. The curriculum can be adjusted to meet the individual needs of each student.
- For more information, please visit: www.fcusd.org/homeschool
- Walnutwood Independent Studies (9-12): In this option, the student meets with a teacher for 45 minutes once a week, and then works independently the rest of the week.
- For more information, please visit: www.fcusd.org/whs
- Innovations Academy (K-12): This option is made available to students who want daily instruction from credentialed teachers through an online platform. Students are required to attend live sessions for attendance and to receive daily instruction on academic content. They will be required to submit/complete assignments by specified due dates, but have flexibility throughout the day on when they complete their independent assignments.
Will I be able to enroll my student after the deadline?
Due to the nature of staffing, this deadline must be adhered to. However, based on enrollment into the program there may be a future opportunity for enrollment. If this occurs, and additional enrollment dates are opened, we will communicate with families.
If I enroll in the virtual academy, can I transfer to my school of residence mid-year?
Transfer applications will be made available at the grading periods. All FCUSD school transfers are dependent on availability at the desired school site. It is also important for parents & students to realize where they are in the curriculum may be different than where their traditional home school is in the curriculum. So transfers, even at the grading periods, might prove challenging for students.
Note: Innovations Academy will be operating on a block schedule for grades 9 - 12, similar to Vista del Lago. This would create a further challenge for students looking to transfer back to Folsom High School or Cordova High School mid-year. Also, students in Vista del Lago’s attendance area are not guaranteed a spot back at Vista del Lago once enrolled in the Innovation Academy.
If my student is in a traditional school and needs to go on independent study for a limited time, can they attend Innovations Academy during that time frame?
No. Innovations Academy is a separate school that operates just like traditional schools, only virtually. Rostered students will have teacher and classroom assignments that have been balanced according to state guidelines. Students needing independent study would need to register through our independent study program at Walnutwood High School.
Instruction and academic supports:
Will teachers be from current FCUSD schools?
Will there be A - G courses for high school students?
Yes, A - G courses will be available
Will there be AP and honors courses for high school students?
Yes. Both AP and honors courses will be available based on student enrollment/interest.
Will there be supports for students who need help with meeting grade-level standards?
Yes. Foundation level courses will be offered as well as intervention sessions with teachers.
Will Innovations Academy offer any in-person support for academic or SEL interventions?
Yes. While the vast majority of interaction will be virtual there may be opportunities for in-person interaction to support academic and social emotional learning.
What services will be provided for students in special education?
Special Education at Innovations Academy will include Resource/Learning Support, i.e. specialized academic instruction in a pull-out/push-in model and related services (i.e., speech).
Students requiring more intensive services including self-contained classes and other programs will have offers of FAPE provided through the District’s continuum of services at our physical locations.
Will the District provide Chromebooks and hotspots for students in the virtual academy?
Yes: all students will receive a tech package that includes a Chromebook and case. There will be hotspots/connectivity solutions if needed. There will also be a system in place for students to submit support requests if issues arise with District devices or software.
Will my student be able to participate in athletics?
Students living within the FCUSD attendance area will be able to participate in sports at their school of residence. Students will need to follow the same deadlines and requirements dictated by the sport, school, and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). Middle school students may participate in non-cut sports (e.g., track, cross country, and wrestling). High school students may participate in cut and non-cut sports (all sports).
Can my student join classes during the day at their school of residences, such as band or drama?
This option is possible, pending scheduling and availability, and on a case-by-case basis.
Will Innovations Academy have School Counselors?
Will teachers teach multiple subjects and/or grade levels?
Teachers with subject-specific credentials may teach multiple grades or subjects. This will be determined by enrollment numbers, just as it is currently in our traditional school sites.
Will there be advanced education opportunities such as GATE or STEM?
While the school itself is not focused solely on GATE or STEM, our teachers are very versed in differentiating instruction to meet the needs of their students. STEM activities are included in our lessons.