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eCademy charter coming along
ecademy school construction 1
Pipeline contractor Greg Oxley mixes cement to be used during the remodel and construction at the new eCademy Charter at Crane School, scheduled to open in time for the 2011-12 school year. The old Crane campus will receive an internal and external facelift, along with infrastructure and landscaping improvements. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

Crane School’s make-over is moving right along, as the previous site of pre-school and Head Start classes becomes a modern technology-centered charter academy. The eCademy is the Turlock Unified School District’s first charter school and will offer four academic programs including K-12 homeschooling, 7-12 independent study, 9-12 online distance learning through the e2020 program, and 9-12 credit recovery (through e2020). e2020 is an online program where students will be able to log onto their NetBooks (which are given free of charge to all students enrolled at eCademy) from anywhere at any time and do their homework, lesson plans, lecture, participate in online classroom discussions and even have a hand in virtual labs. Students can also take part in hybrid classes.

A myriad of modernization projects, including extensive internal and external improvements, will give the campus’ five classrooms new HVAC systems, new windows, lighting, casework and up-to-date technology. In addition, campus bathrooms will be remodeled.

“The permanent building will be completely updated. Two new portables will provide over 2,000 square feet for a staff work room, a professional development center, office space and text storage,” explained Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Ed Felt. “Our completion date is Aug. 1 and we are on time.”

TUSD plans to launch an aggressive outreach campaign to boost enrollment for the 2011-12 school year at the new eCademy Charter at Crane School.

“Up until now people have heard about the school through word of mouth and we have 10 families interested in our K-6 program,” said eCademy Coordinator Manuel Cobarruvias. “We hope to have at least 25 students with one teacher by the time school starts.”

At the 7-12 level, students from the Freedom Education Center will automatically be enrolled into eCademy.

“We will have about 150 students, but we can grow, depending on the interest in either the online or hybrid programs,” explained Cobarruvias.

Currently, the 7-12 program will have five teachers but there is room for two more hires, depending on demand. Also, there is room for as many as 50 more students.

“I would say 200 is the most amount of students we can take,” said Cobarruvias.

Recently Freedom Education Center was awarded a three-year Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) accreditation and the stamp of approval will carry over to the eCademy for the K-12 classes.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.