BELLFLOWER – Las Flores Home Education Independent Study Academy, home to Bellflower Unified’s highly innovative hybrid home-study program, will hold an information session at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 2 for parents interested in enrolling in a ninth-grade program being added for 2015-16.
The ninth-grade addition is part of the steady expansion of the Academy, which supports traditional homeschooling and offers a hybrid program in which district teachers provide math and English language arts instruction three days a week and optional enrichment activities on Fridays.
La Flores opened in 2012-13 as a K-6 school and added grades seven and eight the following year. Enrollment, originally 35, quadrupled to nearly 150 students in 2014-15.
“We’ve been extraordinarily pleased with the response to our Las Flores program,” Bellflower Unified Superintendent Dr. Brian Jacobs said. “We are succeeding in providing a deep level of support for homeschooling families that delivers rigorous core instructional programs attuned to the new California Standards.”
For example, Las Flores’ size and focus on core instruction allow teachers to customize their approaches on a student-by-student basis, offering more advanced curriculum where appropriate and reinforcing skills as needed.
Now, said Jacobs, it’s time to take the program to the next level.
Many homeschooling families shift children to traditional high schools in ninth grade because of the challenges involved in securing college recognition of credits earned for homeschooled classwork.
The Las Flores Independent Study Academy will help families over that hurdle, enlisting highly qualified teachers from within the district to provide instruction in such core subjects as English language arts, math and biology – all certified to meet the A-G requirements of University of California and California State University campuses. Teachers also will monitor use of an online program through which students can study topics on their own, to ensure colleges recognize those credits as well.
“We’re taking a very cautious and deliberate approach to this expansion,” said Las Flores Program Administrator Tami Zylla. “We are capping our ninth-grade class to ensure we provide the same high level of service for our high school students as we do now for students in K-8.”
Ninth-grade enrollment will be limited to 30 students, with registration packets due by Thursday, June 18.
Classes will run for 45 minutes apiece separated by study periods, creating a college-like atmosphere in which students can pursue studies with the support of district materials and technology. If desired, students also can sign up for electives at Bellflower and Mayfair high schools.
Zylla – who was recognized as a Los Angeles County teacher of the year in 2008 – noted that a strength of the program is the unity of mission across Bellflower Unified to provide services for homeschooling families and the dedication of parents to their children’s education.
Students, for example, routinely engage in community outreach and support activities, including a toy drive in December, support for leukemia sufferers and donations to a women’s recovery home.
LAS FLORES NINTH-GRADE INFORMATIONAL MEETING
- When: 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 2
- Where: Las Flores Educational Center, 10039 E. Palm St., Bellflower
- What: Information on new class, registration packets available
- Cap: Class is limited to 30 students
- Registration deadline: Thursday, June 18
- More information: 562-804-6565