Vision 2000 Educational Foundation/College Prep Math & Reading Academy
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Organization Details

Programs

Description
This information is meant to provide a general overview of the Vision 2000 College Prep Math & Reading Academy at CSUS. The basic facts about this program are outlined below, but we will gladly respond by written communication or in person to any remaining questions left unanswered.

Purpose of the Academy:
The Math & Reading Academy was established to expose students as young as five years of age to pursue a college education and become self-sufficient. This exceptional program has been operational for over 15 years and was designed for two major reasons:
1. Far too many students fall behind in math and reading in the elementary grades and never catch up. Without focused intervention, these students miss out on acquiring a solid academic foundation and the basic building blocks to enable them to do grade level work. They are passed on, unprepared year after year after year until they reach middle and high school. If they were unable to complete the work assignments in elementary school, their chances of mastering more difficult work as they move through the secondary level are remote to nil. Many of these math and reading deficient students will struggle through every painful year and will not be prepared for high school or college, they are destined to become dropouts and enter a competitive world with little or no skills. Most prisons are filled to capacity with inmates who are dropouts and whose education took a turn towards failure in elementary school and never caught up. Since education is the preeminent gateway out of poverty, students must become competent in the most basic of reading and math as they receive guidance and preparation for 21st Century employment.
2. Why take students to a college campus? Daily transportation to the university is provided because many children and their parents have never been on a college campus and offering the academy for kindergarten-8th grade at CSUS exposes them to a new world of possibilities. The intent is to take away the mystery of enrolling in, attending, and financing college. Students at all ability levels should be aware that college is not reserved for a privileged few, but for all those who successfully complete their work in elementary, middle, and high school. They are told that the more education they receive, the better positioned they will be to earn a decent living and take care of themselves and their families. Graduating college is embedded in the minds of some children as soon as they are able to talk. The message, like the institution should be there for all children. As a starting point, the cornerstone of the academy is a great equalizer; to turn poor children into proud, self-sufficient adults.

The major components of the program are listed below and include but are not limited to:
- Purpose of Classes on a College Campus
- Attendees
- Academy Schedule
- Staffing and Class Size
- How Instruction is Organized
- Instructional Supports
- Student Behavior
- Meals and Transportation
- Safety
- Parent Involvement
- Graduation
- Evaluation of the Academy

Who Attends the Academy?
- The district identifies and selects the lowest achieving students for admission to the academy. Student participants include Kindergartners through 8th graders.

What is the Academy Schedule?
- The academy meets every day, Monday through Thursday beginning in June and ending in July with graduation. Classes begin at 8:00am and the day ends at 1:00pm.

How is the Academy Staffed and What is the Class Size?
- Each class of students is staffed by a diverse cadre of credentialed teachers many of whom are bilingual and fluent speakers of Spanish and Hmong and instructional assistants who are highly skilled university students who, upon graduation, will enter math based careers such as pre-med, computer science, and the field of engineering. Several are studying high level and advanced math. In addition to being highly qualified, some aides are current district employees. The staff includes both male and female role models who come from diverse backgrounds that are representative of the students who attend the academy. The student-teacher ratio is purposefully established at 12-1 to give underachieving students an opportunity for the individualized attention they need to catch up and demonstrate growth.

How is Instruction Organized?
- Students are on task from the time they enter the classroom until they depart for their nutrition and lunch breaks which are provided daily for each child. Prior to the beginning of the Academy, a pre-test is administered to determine the appropriate skill level placement and where targeted instruction should begin. All instruction and instructional materials are researched based and are fully aligned with the California State Standards. Test taking strategies are an integral part of the curriculum. A midterm assessment is conducted to determine if any changes should be made in student learning plans. At the end of the academy, a post-test is conducted to determine the degree to which student progress has been attained. Pre- and post-test results are reported in written form and disseminated to parents and to district personnel.

What Instructional Support Mechanisms are in Place?
- An instructional coach and the academy's director meet with instructors on a daily basis to share successes, discuss student work, offer new strategies, and identify issue areas of mutual concern. Every caution is taken to prevent concerns from growing into problems. Teachers are provided all the materials and supplies they require to get the job done. In addition, they are granted paid time to collaborate and plan for their students.

What About Student Behavior?
- Parents and principals are usually surprised to learn that the students who traditionally end up in the principal's office at school have gone through the academy with no referrals or behavior problems. Seldom does our staff encounter disciplinary problems and when they do, students are heard, treated fairly, and the problem is addressed immediately.
- Students are expected to abide by the same rules on the CSUS campus as those proscribed at their regular school. Academy classes are interspersed throughout the campus and students are studying side by side in classrooms that are next door to college students. A part of the academy experience teaches students to adjust and rise to expectations. Academy students are generally too busy learning to get in trouble but on those occasions when students engage in unacceptable behavior, counseling or mentoring services are provided.

Meals and Transportation
- Vision 2000 provides a nutritious breakfast, snack and lunch to students, teachers and aides each day. Transportation is provided free of charge to all students and to those parents who wish to attend related academy activities including classroom observations.

Budget
- An itemized operational budget is available upon request.

How is Student Safety Assured?
- To date, the academy staff has never lost a child. Because all students walk to school and are unaccustomed to riding a school bus, any anxiety about this experience is alleviated through employment of aides who ride the bus to and from the university with students each day. Aides appear at the school where children are picked up at least 20 minutes before the first child arrives and remains until all children are safely on board. Once they arrive on campus, the aide walks students to class where the teacher is waiting to greet them. Children are never left unattended and are always under the supervision of staff.

How are Parents Involved?
- Parents are an integral component of the College Prep Math & Reading Academy and their involvement is critical to the success of the program. From the outset, parents are positively engaged in the academy. Once students learn of their selection to attend the academy, parents are required to attend a Parent Orientation at the Alumni Center on the CSUS campus to engage in conversations about the academy, its purpose, student expectations, academy rules and the details of their children's summer experience. They are introduced to the staff employed to teach their children and are apprised of their backgrounds and accomplishments. Here parents have an opportunity to state their expectations and in open dialog, voice their opinions and engage in a question and answer forum. Parents learn that they will receive calls from teachers on a regular basis to make them aware of how well their children are progressing. In order to keep up with the status of their children's education at all times, parents receive progress reports.
- They are invited to observe their children on campus, to volunteer and participate in all events, especially "Career Day" and field trips to the Sacramento Zoo, the Crocker Art Museum and next year, the State Capitol. As a major culminating experience, they are encouraged to attend graduation, to eat as a family and celebrate their child's successes. Meals are provided free of charge for students and their families at both the Parent Orientation and Graduation.

Graduation
- Each year, graduation is a spectacular event that is held at the California State University Ballroom. Last year over 1,500 parents, district personnel, board members, and well wishers attended the event to help celebrate student successes. A student is usually selected as the graduation speaker and board members proudly observe the students as they receive their well-earned completion certificates. The President of CSUS brings greetings from the university and provides words of encouragement.
Budget
$125,000
Program Successes
- Vision 2000 has a proven track record of effectiveness and double digit gains are regularly achieved in a short period of time.