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Pajaro Valley Unified School

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Pajaro Valley Unified School

Expanding Access to Education for Unique Student Populations

The Challenge: Ensuring Students Needs Are Met No Matter Their Location

Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) is home to nearly 20,000 students and 33 schools in Santa Cruz County, California, serving a unique student population of English Language Learners and migrant families who travel frequently. To support their students’ and families’ needs, the district had already implemented a variety of alternative education programs, including a school for credit recovery, a tech school and art school. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced school closures around the world in 2020, the district needed a virtual option they could rely on to support their unique student population.

Student enrollment statisticsPVUSD partnered with FlexPoint to implement their first-ever virtual academy, serving more than 250 students in grades 9-12, with 60% of those students classified as English Language Learners. Additionally, 5 to 10% of PVUSD’s Virtual Academy students are migrant students. Their parents work in agriculture and will travel between several states throughout the year depending on when crops are in season. Thirty to forty years ago, many of these students would have dropped out since they were missing so much school due to their parents’ rigorous travel schedule. But now, as long as the student has access to the internet, which the virtual academy provides through hotspots, they can access their courses.

The Solution: Customizable Curriculum and Easy-To-Use Progress Monitoring to Meet the Needs of Every Learner

With their unique student population in mind, FlexPoint licensed its award-winning digital curriculum – giving PVUSD’s students access to more than 180 digital courses to ensure they were able to continue learning, no matter where they live. Additionally, PVUSD leveraged FlexPoint’s course customization options to support students’ needs and monitor their progress. 

A feature from the FlexPoint curriculum PVUSD teachers like the most is the pre-test results dashboard. These results give teachers access to data highlighting the lessons students need additional support on, allowing them to quickly help them build up their skills before assessments. This type of personalized learning grows student success, as teachers can be even more in-sync with each of their students’ specific needs. 

Flexible Learning Pathways Implemented:

Learning program option blurbs

The Bottom Line: Student Success

Soon after partnering with FlexPoint, PVUSD’s Virtual Academy was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), whose committee was impressed with the FlexPoint curriculum. Earning the WASC accreditation ensures the school is legally compliant, and that graduates have a transcript that colleges and/or trade schools will accept.

“Each year, as our demographics shift, the curriculum meets the needs of every type of learner,” said Jennifer Ponzio, Principal of PVUSD Virtual Academy. “FlexPoint has made my job a lot easier as the curriculum is already aligned with state content standards and frameworks, as well as the common core state standards.”

Additionally, in the 2019-20 school year, 31% of the virtual academy’s high school students earned all A’s in their first semester, and 29% of students completed the year with all A’s – showing that even during a time of high stress and uncertainty, students were able to thrive with the help of comprehensive curriculum and teacher and staff support.