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April 2021
Here is the latest Join Our Movement Letter from Excel Academy's
Executive Director, Heidi Gasca.
We have added the Join our Movement volumes
to the home page of our website. 
Join Our Movement

Self-care for kids:

6 ways to self-regulate

"Self-care isn’t something most kids think about. But just like the adults in their lives, kids can get stressed. In fact, with the pandemic, some kids are more anxious than ever. They don’t always have strategies to help them self-regulate.

Here are six activities kids can use to self-regulate (without needing adults to do it with them or for them)." 

Click HERE
Earth Day is Thursday, April 22nd! We hope your family will get involved! 
Earth Day is fast approaching. The “League for Green Leaders" program offers lesson plans with online and unplugged activities for Earth Day that are empowering, playful, and action-based.  Students can join the “League for Green Leaders”, a year-round live online competition for kids in grades 3rd-8th. It’s not a video game. It’s a competition based in the real world. Students play to learn, play together, and play for our future.
Click Here
May Field Trips are open for registration!
Remember to sign into your field trip account
on the school's 
website to register. 
Practice Entry Form
CA Student Media Festival website.
New for Excel Academy Students~
Big/Little Buddies!
  • Teacher of Record chaperoned virtual session
  • Opportunity for High School student volunteer hours
  • Socialize, share hobbies & talents 
  • Learn from others & have fun!
Buddy Program Interest Form
Our Excel Academy spiritwear
store is open! 
*10% of sales will help support Excel Academy Charter School programs.
Spirit Store

Please follow Excel Academy on Instagram and Facebook to connect with fellow parents to share resources and
homeschooling experiences! 
We encourage our families to join our Excel Academy social media sites. Being an active part of these sites will allow families to receive important school updates and reminders via our Instagram and/or our private Family Facebook Page and also make them feel a part of the school community as a whole.  Also, join our private Facebook groups for families in your region! Please visit our social media sites and join using the links below!

i-Ready Update

The i-Ready testing window is now closed and your ToR will provide you with your students’ score reports. New, valuable, personalized lessons are available for your student that will target skills and strengthen any learning gaps in eighth grade or below. Please reach out to your ToR for further details. 


Kindergarten and First Grade Paper Pencil Assessments Update

Students who did not complete the spring i-Ready benchmark assessment will be taking the paper pencil assessments in May. The assessments will be administered virtually. Please reach out to your ToR for further details.


CAASPP Update - TESTING WINDOW - 4/12 - 5/14

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System consists of the following assessments:

  • Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy and mathematics - Grades 3-8, 11

  • California Alternate Assessments for English language arts, mathematics, and science (Participation determined through IEP team guidance)

  • California Science Tests - Grades 5, 8, & 11 (and 12th grade if the student has not taken the CAST in high school)

Parent and guardian resources:

  • Click practice and training tests

  • Sign in as GUEST

  • Choose grade level



***Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CAASPP testing will be virtual this year and will begin the week of April 12th. Your ToR will proctor the assessments, and will be sending out information regarding the assessments and your students testing dates. Students in grades 3-8, 11 and 12th graders (who did not take the science test during high school) are required to participate. 

***Your student(s) will need pencils and scratch paper to complete the assessments. Phones, Smartwatches, and other technology devices will not be allowed during testing. Please make sure your student gets plenty of sleep and eats a well balanced meal before testing. Students will be allowed to take breaks during testing. Always encourage your students to try their very BEST! We are proud of our Excel Eagles! 🦅


***The CAASPP secure browser MUST be installed on your device prior to your student testing. Please refer to this link to access specific details regarding the operating systems, supported devices, related requirements, and the steps to download the secure browser.


***In preparation for the upcoming CAASPP assessments, your ToR provided parents/guardians/students with paper pencil EACS Test Prep Packets across all grade levels that have been created by our incredible ToRs and are aligned with the strategies, vocabulary, and skills students should know in ELA and math. These optional packets are incredible resources for your students! Please make sure to read the cover letter that is attached to each packet for specific details and instructions. 


Grades 3- 8, 11 - Assessment Resources links - CAASPP and ELPAC Practice Tests:

Follow the same steps outlined above to access the practice tests. 


ALL English Learners (EL) - Summative ELPAC Assessments

Having English Learners take the Summative ELPAC practice tests is highly recommended. Practice tests can be found on Excel Academy’s website under Parent Tools and Assessment Resources. All designated English Learners will take the Summative ELPAC in March and April.

Parent and guardian resources:

  • Click practice and training tests 

  • Sign in as GUEST

  • Choose grade level


  • Tests for grades 3-5 are the same, 6-8 are the same, 9-12 are the same


Tamara Murphy is conducting weekly Summative ELPAC test prep workshops that focus on two of the four domains that our students will be tested on: listening and speaking. EL students are highly encouraged to attend. These sessions will continue throughout the school year and will focus on various aspects of all domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing to build language skills and fluency. What an awesome opportunity for our students! 


English Language Development (ELD) Curriculum

Please encourage your students to complete the required English Language Development (ELD) Curriculum daily. If you have any questions about ELD Curriculum or EL Paired Workshops, please contact your ToR or Excel Academy’s Title 1 Coordinator, Tamara Murphy at For all testing related questions, you can reach out to your ToR or to Jenny Craig, Assistant Director of Assessment and Community, at


Eagle Hour 

Eagle Hour is offered weekly on Thursdays at 11 a.m.. Students are encouraged to attend to get to know other students within Excel Academy, and have the opportunity to engage in a lesson and tutoring session. Please refer to ParentSquare for more information.

Click Here for Secure Browser Directions
 i-Ready Rockstars  
                          Emmet H.                                              Damian T.
                     Makayla P.                                                    Ginger J. 
                      Tristan M.                                                     Dana L. 
                    Isadora B.                                                      Ethan H.
                     Abigail O.                                                Alina & Derek S. 
                     Milo A.
Excel Academy Student Council


Student Council General Meetings: 

 Join us on April 7th and 21st @ 1:00pm for our Student Council General Meetings.

Student Spotlights
Ellie Byun
is a local History Day winner and is going to state for
National History Day!
Electroencephalogram: The start of understanding the most complex form of communication
Junior – Individual – Exhibit
Fifth grader Faith Dart is proud of the progress she's making in math. Way to go Faith! Keep up the awesome work!
Content and Community Provider (CCP) Spotlight- Virtual Classes
The Etiquette Factory with Ms. Jenn
The Scoop on SPED

*More high school details can be found on the Excel Academy website~


Counselor Corner: 

  • Academic Counseling

It’s time to schedule classes for next year! Work with your ToR to schedule a guidance meeting with your Counselor to review your 4-year plan and discuss post-graduation goals.


As a reminder:


Melissa O’Dell services students living in Orange County, Riverside County, & San Diego County. Sign Up for ToRs.


Lisa Durham services students living in LA County & San Bernardino County. Sign Up for ToRs.





Please let your Teacher of Record know when you have decided which college/trade school you will be attending, so they can share with the High School team. We want to celebrate with you!

  • Mental Health Center 

Do you need or want to talk about feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and/or sad about life, school, and/or what issues are occurring in the world? Schedule an appointment with Lisa Durham today by clicking on this link: Calendly Sign Up.


Below is information about a free online student event to address mental health for California high school students from May 4 to May 6:

Click Here to Register

Need ideas on how to take care of yourself? 

Check out the flyer below for some fun ideas!



“Mark your calendars for National Student Leadership Week on April 18–24, 2021. This year’s theme, “Leadership Unlimited,” celebrates the boundless potential of students who have stepped up as leaders within their communities even in the face of unique challenges.”


Essay and Visual Arts Scholarships to Raise Awareness of the Armenian Genocide - Friday, April 9, 2021. Instructions and Directions



High School Webinars: Zoom Link 

*Through phone use Meeting ID: 97287766619 Passcode: 272993

Please join us each month throughout the school year for our high school webinar series. These webinars include a variety of different topics that are geared towards supporting students in grades 7th-12th. See flyer below for more details:


Excel Academy Middle School Classes!

Excel Academy is offering middle school classes on Tuesdays!  We are so excited and HIGHLY encourage every middle school student to participate!  There will be English, math, and science
classes offered this year.

Each course costs $150/semester with an additional cost for required curriculum.  
Please register your student by filling out the form that is linked on the Class Schedule.  

Click on the Middle School Class Schedule for more information!

Parents, please sign up on the Middle School Class Sign Ups and place a PO using the "ETL Provider" dropdown.  Write the course name and teacher name in the description.)
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