EPACS 6th graders were selected to do a blended learning pilot conducted by CFY, a national nonprofit which helps students, teachers and parents use computers to improve educational outcomes. “Blended learning” refers to the personalized learning experience that is created through the integration of technology into curriculum and instruction. “EPACS is already a leading school in terms of innovation,” says Grainger Marburg, CFY’s Bay Area Executive Director. “We are excited to work with them because we think our blended learning model can help take their instruction to the next level.”
In January, the 6th grade families attended a workshop on digital learning activities and every family received a computer to take home. Parent Rocio Tapia said, “Now I’m going to be able to help Miguel with homework. I’ve struggled in the past and had to get the older kids to help. Now I can help him”. The 6th grade teachers are working with a CFY coach to differentiate their math instruction and leverage the online tools in the classroom and on students’ home computers. Teacher Lily Diamond reflected, “I will have more opportunity to differentiate my lessons, pull small groups together, and have the kids be more engaged”. Former EPACS math teacher and instructional coach Marie White is in charge of the content the CFY online platform, Power My Learning. The CFY coach will also work with the 7th grade teachers next year to continue to maximize the students’ learning environment.
On Thursday, January 24, EPACS and Phoenix Academy students were among the approximately 40 students and educators from East Palo Alto public schools who participated at the Google campus in a private tour and design workshop specially tailored to promote their interest in STEM education. “Learning how to design is a great first step to igniting curiosity and energy around problem solving -- and the technologies required to build those solutions,” said Suz Burroughs, a member of our Advisory Board and the Google Global Innovation Programs team who spearheaded the day. The trip represented a partnership effort between Google, EPACS, Phoenix Academy and the Ravenswood Education Foundation (REF).
The campus tour gave students a taste of some of the unique features of Google's workplace, from cafes where employees from different departments can mingle to ping pong tables and soccer fields to keep Googlers (Google employees) healthy and energized. A team of Google leaders shared their educational backgrounds with the students. The Google leaders then coached student groups through a customized workshop, using sticky pads, white boards, and Legos to explore ideas for building community in their schools and neighborhoods. The workshop introduced the students to the design thinking approach from the d.school at Stanford University and widely used at Google and other innovative Silicon Valley companies.
The day at Google also served the spirit of community building by bringing together students and educators from charter and non-charter public schools within the Ravenswood City School District (RCSD), promoting collaboration that remains rare between charter and non-charter schools in our national school system. “Bringing together students from five schools to collaborate in support of their community was quite inspiring. It was great to see how the ideas flowed once students realized everyone around the table was equally committed to their city,” said Robert Pronovost, STEM Coordinator for RCSD’s non-charter schools, three of which were represented by students at the Google workshop.
“We’ve appreciated Google’s connections to our community on multiple levels, and today’s tour and workshop has really highlighted new possibilities for connection between educators and students in our community,” said Mike Berman, our Director of Development and Community Partnerships. Many thanks to Suz and the team at Google for an unforgettable experience!
Aspire Public Schools was selected as one of the few school systems across the country to receive a major federal grant to help develop our teacher development, evaluation and compensation system. Click here to learn more about leading work with The College Ready Promise.
The state of California uses a measure called "Similar Schools Rank" to compare schools that serve a similar demographic population. Based on student achievement data, 100 schools with a similar population are grouped into deciles, which are ranked 1 to 10 (10 being the highest). EPACS has been ranked a 10 out of 10 since 2001, and then year, our school was ranked first among all 100 similar schools. Click on the image to the right to see other impressive data about our students.
EPACS Press Coverage:
- East Palo Alto charter students earn top scores
A recent article about our amazing 2010 test scores. Palo Alto Online, September 13, 2010.
- Raising the Bar: Charter schools boost results in East Palo Alto
A front-page feature article about the amazing work our school is doing in East Palo Alto. Palo Alto Online, December 15, 2009.
- East Palo Alto's Phoenix Academy graduates first class
Our high school's first graduation ceremony. San Jose Mercury News, June 18, 2010.
- Phoenix Academy's first grads are college-bound
This article highlights our school's tremendous work-ethic and tight-knit culture that led to our seniors' 100% college acceptance rate. Palo Alto Online, May 14, 2010.
|EPACS-EPAPA Pancake Breakfast 2011|
On November 5, 2011, our entire school community gathered to celebrate our school's achievements and our amazing sense of family. Students, staff, families, and community supporters came togehter to enjoy good company and great food. Check out some pictures or read more...
|EPAPA Ribbon-cutting - Oct 15, 2011|
On October 15, 2011, over 200 students, staff, families, supporters and volunteers came together to celebrate the opening of our new middle and high school campus on Garden Street (just down the corner from EPACS!). They also planted nearly 100 trees to beautify the campus. Learn more:
- See more photos from the day.
- Donate a brick to support our school.
- Sign up to help plant fruit trees on January 16, 2012!
|EPACS-EPAPA Field Ribbon-cutting|
A big thanks to some local landscape contractors, especially Jim Everett, and the Franklin and Catherine Johnson Foundation, for their support in renovating our field. Read more about the ribbon-cutting celebration and see a video of our students racing onto the new grass here...
- In August 2009, Goal Posts were donated to EPACS to be used on the back field. This has been a very exciting development for our students, who now have a way to play soccer during recess and PE! As the year continues, we would like to work on getting funding to install irrigation, so that the field can be made safer for athletics during and after school. If you are interested in helping us raise funds to develop the back field, please be in touch with Monika Nagy, Director of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the school at 650-614-9100.
- Our own PE teacher, Stephen Ashford, spreads the word about education with a new music video about staying in school, produced with local bay area rap artists and Transvideo Studios.
- Weekly Holiday Fund tops $3 million mark: Multi-year grants launched to help agencies achieve greater impact on community needs
Palo Alto Weekly, May 1, 2007
- Rappers Spread the Word
Palo Alto Daily News, February 25, 2007
- Digging into Nature: Environmental Volunteers lets kids get their hands dirty learning natural science
Palo Alto Weekly, January 17, 2007
- "Ravenswood Board Rejects High School: Supporters Disappointed; Appeal Pondered."
San Jose Mercury News, May 13, 2006
- East Palo Alto 'Aspires' for New High School
Palo Alto Daily News, Wednesday, April 12, 2006
- Swing Kids: Rock steps, turns and even the electric slide are all in an afternoon's work for fledging ballroom dancers
Palo Alto Online, March 24, 2006
- Sex ed classes help Ravenswood students make healthy choices: Extracurricular program aims to prevent teen pregnancy
Palo Alto Weekly, January 12, 2005
- Community, Volunteers at E. Palo Alto School Cleanup Get A for Effort
San Francisco Chronicle, May 7, 2004
- E. Palo Alto School Wins PG&E Grant
The Oakland Tribune, August 22, 2005
- Off the Wall: East Palo Alto Mural Project teaches kids about art, history and community
Palo Alto Weekly, July 26, 2002
- SCHOOLS: Charter school proposed in Ravenswood
Palo Alto Weekly, April 16, 1997
- Palo Alto downplays impact of test scores
Palo Alto Weekly, January 23, 2002
- Meeting the teaching challenge: A new nonprofit hopes to channel talent and energy into schools that need it most
Palo Alto Weekly, April 25, 2001
- The charter school challenge: Notes from two pioneering California charter schools one a success story, the other a failure
Salon.com, May 30, 2000
- New school charts course for future: East Palo Alto Charter School opens Sept. 2 with a focus on student and parent involvement
Palo Alto Weekly, August 20, 1997