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Students are selected to participate in the auto academy during the second semester of the 9th grade. The selection process is completed in accordance with the requirements of California Senate Bill 44. The process for selection is listed below:
- Meetings with all 9th grade students and parents: At an evening parent meeting, the Academy Director and staff explain the operation and all related benefits for participation in the ATPA. Applications are distributed.
- Small group meetings: Academy staff and selected academy students meet with small groups of students(may be done in designated classes) and/or parents to describe the program and answer questions. Interested students complete a preliminary application.
- Collect data: Information on each applicant is assembled from school records, teacher, counselor, and/or administrator input, and other relevant sources. All relevant data is input into an academy selection matrix. This matrix was developed to help assess the student for required entrance criteria and potential success in the program.
- Interview students: Applicants are interviewed individually by the academy director or other appropriate staff, and are rated on a pre-determined set of interview questions. Interview scores are input into the selection matrix.
- Make preliminary selection: A preliminary selection of students is made. These students are notified of their selection to the academy. When 35 students have accepted, and have returned their permission slips with parent signature, the sophomore class is complete. Other qualified students are offered a position on a waiting list (if necessary) to replace students who decide not to participate.
- Formal final selection: All "newly selected" academy students are interviewed by the SCHS administration. A formal acceptance letter, signed by the principal, is presented to the students.
LATE ENTRY GUIDELINES FOR ENROLLMENT IN THE ACADEMY
While the academy is designed as a three-year commitment, exceptions may be made to admit students at the second semester of the 10th grade or even at the beginning of the 11th grade. There are two reasons for this academy policy: (1) attrition reduces academy enrollment; and (2) a student transfers into the district or otherwise learns of the program and expresses a strong desire to enter the academy. However, late entry students need to :"catch up" with respect to the automotive "technical" coursework. Late entries are possible Only if space is available. Late entries will be offered to qualified, waiting list students first. Students may be deemed qualified technically through one or more of the following:
- The student has completed one semester of automotive instruction and is a second semester sophomore
- The student has completed one full-year of automotive instruction, and is a first semester junior
- The student has completed an ROP entry-level automotive course and is a first semester junior
No "late entry" student will be accepted without an interview with and the permission of the Academy Director/Auto Teacher. No "late entry" student will be enrolled later than the start of the second semester of the 11th grade year.
EARLY TERMINATION FROM THE ACADEMY
Because the Academy is designed to prevent dropouts, the ATPA staff takes extra care before making a decision to drop a student. Although high standards are continually maintained to ensure the programs' credibility, every opportunity is given to problem students to allow them to demonstrate improvement. Any decision to drop a student from the academy is normally made only after considerable consultation with the student, parents, the administration, and the academy staff.
The following conditions are indicators of a student having difficulty:
- poor attendance and/or chronic tardiness
- lack of homework/class preparedness
- poor grades
- poor behavior/bad attitude
Problem students will be dealt with in accordance with the discipline procedures outlined in the SCHS student folder and the signed Academy Behavioral Contract. Students are not dropped from the program until they have had ample warning about their difficulties, and the situation has been discussed with their parents, existing support options have been exhausted, and no improvement or positive change in their behavior has been noted. A "severe clause" may be invoked in cases where a students' action/behavior are considered a violation of a CUSD "no tolerance" policy, the students' behavior constitutes a safety liability, or the student requires a transfer to an alternative program. Sample actions that my cause the "severe clause" to be implemented resulting in immediate termination from the academy are, but are not limited to, the following:
- Drug involvement
- Weapons involvement
- Willful safety violation
- Expulsion from the CUSD
- Any action that would cause the student to be transferred to an alternative program that is not directly under the jurisdiction of the SCHS administration such as Independent Studies, Horizons, Serra, etc.