High School – Looking for a New Option?

Award-winning curriculum, state-of-the–art school facilities, individualized attention, small group learning environments, consistent course content… Interested?

New Charter High SchoolWith future state budget cuts we will continue to see an impact on our children’s education. The loss of class-size reduction in 9th grade has hurt our incoming freshman class and left them without the individual attention given to classes that have preceded them.  Some district high schools are facing the possibility of losing AP classes and electives.  Our teachers are struggling to accommodate larger classes with less time.

Out of adversity, often comes innovation.

Flex Academy is a charter school organization with proposed plans to open Mt. Diablo Flex Academy here in the Mt. Diablo School District attendance area in fall 2011 and in San Francisco in fall 2010. The San Francisco location is in downtown San Francisco, close to BART, open to students throughout the Bay Area and is currently accepting enrollment applications. Student can attend Flex Academy in San Francisco this year and transfer to Mt. Diablo Flex at a later time. Flex Academy is tuition free and offers the following:

  • California’s first full-time, five-days-a-week “hybrid” high school, serving students in grades 9-12 from anywhere in the Bay Area
  • Engaging and personalized learning that truly maximizes each student’s full potential
  • Award-winning curriculum that meets University of California “a-g” requirements
  • State-of-the-art digital tools and online courses and resources
  • A robust catalog of 130 core and elective courses, many of which aren’t offered in other high schools  – Course List
  • Classes and small group instruction with highly qualified, California-credentialed teachers
  • Books, materials, and laptops for each student to help facilitate the learning process
  • Tuition-free public education
  • Small class sizes for more personalized schooling, plus after-school clubs, tutoring, and sports

This new charter school option is being called a “hybrid” due to the fact that it will provide the best attributes of a traditional school, a sense of community, academic supports, clubs and activities and the best attributes of online schools, with their differentiated learning, broad course offerings and continuous feedback through assessments built into the curriculum.   At Flex Academy the majority of classroom instruction is delivered online at a new state-of-the-art school facility. On-site and online credentialed teachers will have the ability to spend more individual time with students and facilitate small group discussions and projects. In addition, students will have the opportunity to individualize the pace of the course content by spending extra time where needed and moving ahead if ready.  Flex Academy offers a wide breadth of electives and AP courses including; Computer Programming, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, and Anthropology, just to name a few.  Online curriculum provides consistency of content for all students and offers students the ability for meaningful review of lectures and materials at anytime.

If you would like to attend an informal get-together where you can ask questions of the Flex Academy Founder/Superintendent and the  San Francisco Flex Academy Principal, please contact me for more information.  mdusdvoice@gmail.com

Flex Academy

Chat with Mark Kushner, Superintendent/Founder of Flex Academy

Alan Frishman, Principal S.F. Flex Academy

August 10, 2010

7:00 pm

Walnut Creek

For Information and RSVP mdusdvoice@gmail.com

Mt. Diablo Flex Academy is proceeding through the charter process for approval of the new school in this area.  Flex Academy has already obtained approval to open one school in San Francisco (receiving unanimous approval at the state level) and three in Santa Clara County (receiving unanimous approval at the county level). After being turned down by MDUSD, Flex Academy is in the appeal process and is confident that they will be successful either through the County or State approval process. There is currently a great deal of pressure both at a national and state level to provide parents school choice by approving new state charter schools that meet high quality standards.  Provided below are bios for both Mr. Kushner and Mr. Frishman.

About Mark Kushner

Mark Kushner is one of the country’s leading charter experts as a charter school founder, state charter commissioner, and instructor on charter schools at Stanford University. In 1995, he founded and led Leadership High School in San Francisco, one of the pioneering charter high schools dedicated to equity and excellence. In 2001, Mr. Kushner next founded, and led as CEO, Leadership Public Schools (LPS), a prominent charter management organization dedicated to serving low-income students in California. LPS is now ably led by the former chief academic officer of Oakland Unified School District and Mr. Kushner serves on the board. In 2008 he joined K¹² Inc., the country’s leading provider of online courses.

A former high school English teacher, coach, school administrator, and attorney, Mr. Kushner also serves on the board of trustees of San Francisco University High School and the Town School for Boys. Selected honors include the Harvard Club of San Francisco’s Secondary School Educator of the Year, and the Hart Vision Award, the highest award given to charter school educators in California.

Mr. Kushner earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University, a J.D. from University of San Francisco and an Ed.M from Harvard University. He also completed graduate work in literature at The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Oxford University. He is married to Dr. Mimi Winsberg and has two children. Recent honors include the Hart Vision Award for School Site Administrator, the highest award given to charter school educators in California, and the Harvard Club of San Francisco’s Secondary School Educator of the Year.

About Alan Frishman

Mr. Frishman has a long and distinguished career in school leadership, most recently with New Leaders for New Schools where he served as support to ten area schools (seven high, one middle, and  two elementary schools), and coach for nine principals, six assistant principals, and five teacher leaders. He worked with two schools and two principals in partnership with Partners in School Innovation and was a presenter to resident principals-in-training.  He has extensive experience as a High School Principal, leading innovative programs and driving school reform. He founded, led, and maintained groups whose primary focus is school reform at both the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and the Anneberg Institute of School Reform. He holds a B.A. and a M.A.T. from Yale University.

San Francisco Flex Academy website

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5 thoughts on “High School – Looking for a New Option?

  1. Theresa,
    There will be another opportunity to meet on the 19th in San Francisco and tour the school. I will be posting that information soon.

  2. This is an intriguing new option for families in the Mt Diablo district. We are fortunate that even though the district opposed this option for our area (unlike SFUSD, which was willing to support this innovative new model), the state is likely to approve the charter as a public school alternative for our children. The old public school monopolies like MDUSD are gradually losing their grip, and that will be good for families everywhere who desperately need more alternatives.

  3. Interesting. I’d heard of the SF Flex Academy and the one in Santa Clara. Didn’t realize there is an attempt to open one here in Contra Costa.

    I would love for the Flex Academy to offer true hybrid schooling, with part-time enrollment available to families. We homeschool currently, but I’d love to have the option of having my kids take a handful of classes like lab science, PE, etc. Things that really are best done in a group setting.

  4. Pingback: C.C. County Board of Education Votes 4-1 to APPROVE Mt. Diablo Flex Academy Charter School! « MDUSD VOICE Blog

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