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eCademy Charter to see changes in coming years
eCademy 2
Emilee Kelley shows off her dog Jefe at eCademys annual "Bring Your Pet to School Day in 2014. The charter school is moving its K-6 home school program from the former Crane School campus on Minaret to Brown Elementary School. - photo by Journal file photo

While eCademy Charter School, the newest addition to the Turlock Unified School District, has only been open for four academic years, the school is revamping its program.

Coming changes to eCademy Charter's program include the relocation of the K-6 home school program, as well as the discontinuation of the secondary program’s 11th and 12th grades.

The eCademy Charter’s K-6 home school program will relocate to Brown Elementary School beginning with the 2016-17 school year. There are currently 19 students enrolled in the program, which is being moved in order to maximize the utilization of the eCademy campus, according to Assistant Superintendent Heidi Lawler.

“Since it is a home school program, we are able to place the students at any elementary,” said Lawler. “They have plenty of classroom space for the students at Brown, and in addition it will provide the opportunity for the students to connect to an elementary campus.”

The 7-12 secondary program at eCademy Charter will continue to accommodate 11th and 12th graders for two more years, but beginning in 2018-19 the school will only serve grades 7-10. According to Lawler, the change comes as an effort to replicate the BRIDGE Program that is currently in place at Turlock High School and Pitman High School.

The BRIDGE Program provides a hybrid approach of textbook and online learning to help at-risk 9th and 10th graders develop knowledge, skills and confidence needed to transition back into comprehensive high school.

“We have found that at the comprehensive high schools, the BRIDGE Program has been successful in helping students who have had difficulty in meeting the demands of high school,” said Lawler. “Removing the 11th and 12th grades will give us an opportunity to serve more students and have a better approach to transfer them into comprehensive high school.”

Lawler said that the counseling staffs at THS and PHS are in frequent communication with counselors at eCademy, providing students at the charter school with a convenient route into comprehensive classes.

eCademy also announced at Tuesday's TUSD Board meeting that it has adopted the crane as its official mascot, honoring the school’s previous name and tradition of Crane School. The motto “Experience equitable education” has also been established to represent the “e” in eCademy.