A new school is opening in Oceanside Unified School District, designed to offer personalized learning.
Parents and students who are looking for more online learning opportunities and a customized learning experience now can enroll at Surfside Educational Academy (SEA), a K-12 school that offers distance, blended or direct classroom instruction based upon student needs, alongside programs such as career technical instruction, on-site childcare, and an overall commitment to building positive relationships.
When OUSD's independent study and continuation programs were placed under the same roof last summer, staff saw an opportunity to design a new all-encompassing program that could meet "a spectrum of student needs," according to Principal Eric Frandsen. They began visiting model programs around the state and surveying students, finding that they "really were looking for flexibility and choice" as well as close relationships with teachers and peers.
SEA is open to students of any age who are in need of a flexible learning model or more direct student-teacher connections. This can range from a young kindergartner whose parents want to partner with the teacher or shape how many days of instruction per week, to a competitive young athlete who needs distance learning options.
As a counselor at SEA, Kim Takatsuki's role is to meet with families and assess their needs, the students' s styles, and more to best tailor their education model.
"One of the things that I always want students to know is that we're here for them, and we have the capacity to center their learning program around them," said Takatsuki, who is most excited to get innovative as students return in the fall and may be looking for alternative learning models.
When students enroll in Surfside Educational Academy, they work with counselors like Takatsuki to design a custom academic plan in terms of learning structure, instructional materials, and schedule, which can be adapted over time. Staff are also able to assist English learners, students with special learning needs, and those who benefit from social-emotional support.
Students can enter into the program at any time of the year or in any grade level. College-driven students can finish high school and meet college A-G requirements, while career-focused individuals would have a pathway to enter into MiraCosta College's Technical Career Institute. Career prep courses at SEA focus on construction and hospitality, alongside elective courses on development and career planning. Students can also participate in After School Enrichment activities including athletic teams and cultural art groups.
Ongoing developments on the school site, formerly known as Ditmar, include a new fully equipped childcare center where students with children can drop their kids off for free, new classrooms and other campus updates.
For more information, visit www.oside.us/nontraditionaled. New students can enroll online, or families can contact the school directly.