Encore has now been open a week and there have been hundreds of emails, schedule changes, phone calls, and support being given to our teachers, parents, and our students. As we navigate through uncharted waters, we appreciate the patience and grace that has been exercised by our staff, students, and parents. This gives new meaning to "we are all in this together." (Yes, we are an art school so if you are now singing a song from "High School Musical" I understand.)
We appreciate your patience as we are navigating through the enormous amount of schedule change requests we have this year. I wanted to share with you that there are a couple contributing factors if you feel like it is taking longer to get to you than in year's past. I hope that this will help.
No scramble was held in the spring. This means that students did not have the opportunity to discuss class placements with their teachers. They also did not get to have the opportunity to figure out what their ideal schedule was based on a master schedule.
Families are/were confused about their family plan. Again, without having the opportunity to meet with everyone - many families were confused by the emails and the phone calls about Traditional / Hybrid / Independent Study / COVID-Distance Learning. As a result, a lot of students and families signed up for a program meaning to take a different program. As counseling made these program changes, it impacted classes so some classes had to be re-aligned to accommodate the changes.
The last set of assessments were not completed. In June, we have historically had one more set of assessments for students to level into the courses if they still have not been able to move into the level that they want to get into. Although we did hold assessments in August, this has caused some confusion with arts leveling and has caused some frustration as well.
Some programs have been discontinued due to low interest numbers or other impacted courses. Encore has more elective choices than most high schools. While we would love to offer every class that every student wants to take at the time that they want, budget/time/personnel restraints cannot allow us to do that. This year, Encore has discontinued Stage Tech and Scriptwriting. We apologize for this change.
Email and phone calls cannot replace in person meetings. One of the biggest obstacles that we are facing this year in schedule changes is that historically, we would make the change and then meet with the student in person to confirm the changes. Then, if there were additional questions or changes they could be handled in the in-person meeting with the student. Without that in-person meeting, all of the changes that could be done in a single meeting now become a thread of multiple emails. This slows the progress down on the schedule. Scheduling takes longer via email.
Please know that this list is not meant as an answer for everyone and we are still committed to making sure that we are all able to navigate this virtual world appropriately. Counseling is continuing to answer emails and requests as quickly as they can. We appreciate ongoing patience and please know that they will get to everyone as fast as they can. Thank you for your cooperation.
Don't forget, Back to School Night is this Thursday. Have a great week!
We are excited for a great year. Thank you for your ongoing support of youth arts and thank you for your ongoing support of Encore High School.
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Denise Griffin, CEO is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public performing arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. Encore offers full time, hybrid time, and independent study programs. Encore offers transporation from the Inland Empire and the high desert. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredited. Copyright 2020.