Our Parent Partnership
Alliance Charter Academy was founded by parents. Parents participate in our school at every level, from board member to administrator, from Education Specialist to classroom volunteer. Parents help set the vision for the school, engage in instructional activity, and volunteer in the daily operations of the building. Parents attend classes with their children, and they act as instructors at home, carrying out the plan put into place in conjunction with the student and the Education Specialist.
Parents as Educators
At ACA, parents take personal responsibility for implementing curriculum for the home-study portion of a student’s Personal Learning Plan. As the student matures, the student takes on more and more accountability for his or her own learning, while the parent continues as a guide, learning partner, and advocate when necessary. Parents also act as coordinators for academic activities such as Battle of the Books or Destination Imagination, helping to manage teams of students competing in events and raising funds for event travel.
Parents in the Classroom
Parents are often in the classrooms of ACA’s onsite classes. Parents of younger children (grades K-3) are required to attend all onsite classes with their children. Parents of children in grades 4-6 are asked to remain on school property while their children attend onsite classes. At least twice a semester, parents of middle and high-schoolers are asked to attend their children’s onsite classes to foster communication with teachers. Parents are welcome in the classroom at any time, and many of our parents continue to attend classes with their middle and high school students when those students need additional support in the classroom.
Parents as Volunteers
ACA asks families to contribute at least 30 hours of volunteer service to the school each year. On any given day, you will see parents answering phones in the front office, weeding the flower beds in front of the school, or taking out the recycling. These volunteer hours are coordinated and tracked by our Volunteer Coordinator, who is a member of the Parent Action Team.
Parent Action Team
The Parent Action Team, or PAT, is an open group of parents who meet weekly to coordinate the fundraising, event planning, and volunteer needs of the school. Any member of the school community, including students, teachers, administrators, and, of course, parents, may attend meetings and participate in PAT activities. PAT oversees the fundraising calendar, distributes funds for purchases that benefit the school as a whole, and organizes events such as the Semester Showcase, Graduation Ceremonies, Field Day, and Back to School Picnic.
Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
The Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) is an online reading, math, and science assessment given to students at grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and high school. High school students begin taking the high school test as freshmen and continue to take the test each year until they receive a passing score. Students may take the test up to three times each year. Students must pass the OAKS reading and math test in order to graduate. The science test is only administered in grades 5, 8, and high school.
- OAKS is an online test covering reading, science, and math. The test will be given in our computer lab at ACA. Parents may know the results of the test as soon as the child finishes.
- Students generally finish each test in 45 minutes, but there is no time limit.
- OAKS will adjust the question difficulty based on student responses.
- Students may use calculators and/or math manipulatives (fraction rods or tiles, play money, cardboard clocks, etc.) to help them solve problems.
- Math and science questions and response choices may be read aloud to students.
- Only trained proctors or parents who have attended a test security training are allowed to sit in the room with students who are testing.
- OAKS is administered at ACA in March of each school year.
State Writing Test
The state writing assessment is administered to students in 11th grade. The writing assessment is typically conducted over three 60-minute periods, but students are given additional time if needed.
Day 1: Students are given the choice of three writing prompts. The first day is designated for pre-writing activities such as brainstorming, outlining, word clustering, webbing, etc. Students may also use a graphic organizer provided by the Oregon Department of Education. Students may begin to write a rough draft if ready.
Day 2: The second day is for writing the rough draft. Students may bring a dictionary, word list, Franklin speller, and thesaurus as resource materials. Students may also use a word processor.
Day 3: The third day is for students to work on a final copy.
- We administer the test at ACA in February of each school year.
- Students are scored on the six writing traits—ideas and content, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.
- The tests are sent to independent evaluators.
- Results are given in the spring.
State Work Samples
Similar to the monthly work samples that ESes collect, the state also requires a formal work sample that is collected every year in the areas of math, science, writing, and speaking. The samples are assessed by ESes and are used to track yearly student growth. The work samples are completed at school under the direction of the ES or classroom teacher.
Parent Action Team
The Parent Action Team, or PAT, is an open group of parents who meet weekly to coordinate the fundraising, event planning, and volunteer needs of the school. Any member of the school community, including students, teachers, administrators, and, of course, parents, may attend meetings and participate in PAT activities. PAT oversees the fundraising calendar, distributes funds for purchases that benefit the school as a whole, and organizes events such as the