FAQ2021-11-28T22:17:28+00:00

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQs

I am very interested and want to enroll. What are the next steps?2023-05-31T01:08:47+00:00

Great! We look forward to meeting you. Please visit our enrollment page for the next steps.

Are you a California PSP?2023-05-31T00:20:32+00:00

Yes. We register with the state of CA every year as a private school. If you register with us, you do not need to file any additional paperwork with your state to homeschool your children.

CDS Code: 44 75432 6147615

If we enroll with you do we have to submit any information to our state?2023-11-24T23:01:47+00:00

No. You do not submit ANY information to the state. If you enroll with us, you have met the legal requirements of enrolling your child in a school. (Please check the compulsory education laws of your state). We NEVER give your family’s name or any information to any government institution whatsoever. (except for colleges where your child may apply). Your information stays with us. If you live in California, you do not have to file a Private School Affidavit OR enroll in any other homeschool program.

Do you work with students in every state in the USA?2020-08-03T20:19:40+00:00

Yes, we work with students in any state, and even internationally. Enrolling with Pacific Sands Academy will meet the requirements of most states compulsory attendance laws.

Are you Accredited?2023-11-24T23:15:37+00:00

Yes. Pacific Sands Academy is accredited by the National Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools (NALSAS). This is an accreditation that allows for the most freedom and flexibility in choosing the wide ranging curricula we as Pacific Sands Academy families use. Because of its alternative nature, there is some chance that this accreditation will not be accepted by all institutions. (But this is quite rare in our experience.)

Do you have an official school profile?2022-02-26T20:30:52+00:00

Pacific Sands Academy is an independent  private school in the state of  California, also known as a Private School Satellite Program.  CDE Code: 44 75432 6147615. 

Pacific Sands Academy

216 Mount Hermon Road Suite E

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

831-515-8250

info@pacificsandsacademy.com

Director and Head Teacher: Shauna Reisewitz  831-515-8250

Family Liaison: Maryam Shafaghi  831-331-9749

Intern and Support: Katina Hago-Saenz 805-504-5605

The Director of Pacific Sands Academy, Shauna Reisewitz,  holds valid California Teaching Credentials for both Multiple Subjects and Single Subject (Science) and  is CLAD certified. She works directly with each enrolled high school student. 

We also work closely with West River Academy, and some of our students are in the program Pacific Sands Program of West River Academy. Students in this program receive diplomas and transcripts from West River Academy, but still work directly with Shauna Reisewitz.  

West River Academy

33721 Bluewater Ln. 

Dana Point, CA 92629-2173

CDS Code: 30 66464 6134720

Director of West River Academy : Peggy Webb

West River Academy is Accredited by: the National Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools. 

We offer an interest led, self directed focused program, and students of both programs work closely with Shauna Reisewitz to set and follow Individualized Educational Plans based on student strengths and interests, following curricula appropriate to each student’s learning styles and strengths. 

Grading Scale is based on mastery of subject matter:  90-100% A, 80-89% B,70-79%C, 60-69% D and 59% and below F.  We award AP credits when students pass the AP exams. Honors credits are occasionally awarded when a student works at an extremely high level, and completes honors curricula.


Student Population as of January 2022

 

Grade levels     #Enrolled PSA      #Enrolled PSA Program of WRA      Total
KN – 3 10 3 13
4-6 6 1 7
7-8 3 2 5
9 0 2 2
10 1 3 4
11 0 4 4
12 5 9 14
Total number 25 24 49

 

Number of Graduates from the 2020-2021 School year: 12   

Expected Graduation 2022: 17

Known College Acceptance 2016-2021 

Quinnipiac, Cal Lutheran, Hampshire, Wheaton, American University of Paris, Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Orange Coast College, Central Oregon Community College, Foothill College, Sierra College, Midlands Technical College. 

Updated 2/2/2022

If we are in a charter school can we enroll with you?2023-05-31T01:11:59+00:00

No. California state law prohibits students from being enrolled in two schools at once. However, we can work with your teen as a non-enrolled student to create monthly work samples, if this is a struggle for you. This would be an out-of-pocket expense, as we are not a vendor at any of the charters. Please set up an appointment with our director for more information. 

What does your enrollment fee cover?2023-11-24T23:05:43+00:00

Enrollment in Pacific Sands Academy meets most states’ compulsory education laws.  Your child’s private information does not go any further than our system. We also offer a Zoom graduation ceremony in December/January and May/June of each year. For teens, enrollment in our school allows for dual enrollment at local community colleges and access to work permits. We also maintain your child’s educational records and pass these onto future schools as requested. 

What does Monthly tuition cover?2020-08-03T20:22:15+00:00

For teens, monthly tuition covers mentoring meetings.  We have found over time that different teens prefer (or need) varying amounts of mentoring meetings, so we have developed a three tiered system. Families can pay tuition for 1 meeting, 2-4 meetings, 5-8 meetings, or even more. 

Do you offer online classes?2022-03-18T19:52:16+00:00

We do not offer online classes per se, but we do give credits for students who take online courses  through organizations such as Coursera, Future Learn, Khan Academy, Master Courses, Duolingo or even YouTube.  We also have subscriptions to programs that students can access: for example, Thrively (which  personalizes education and content to student interests), Curiosity Stream, and Skillshare. 

How long are meetings?2020-08-03T20:23:16+00:00

Meetings tend to run about thirty minutes and there is some flexibility. Some students prefer longer meetings and they “double up.”

How do you meet with students?2020-08-03T20:23:31+00:00

Zoom is our typical way to meet with students. We can also utilize the telephone if that is preferred by your student.

What if my teen needs daily check ins?2023-11-24T23:06:47+00:00

We have a partner program,Vision Quest for Teens that does this work. For $700 per month, your 6th-12th grader can get daily support. A California Credentialed teacher is in a Google classroom from 9:30-5 PM daily and meets with students throughout the day.  We do not, at this time, offer a similar program for our younger students.  

How does my teen earn credits/units towards high school graduation?2020-08-03T20:26:57+00:00

Teens can earn credits for their natural strengths and passions. For example, if they play in a band, they earn instrumental music credits; skate- earn PE credits; build a skate ramp- construction or woodworking credits; follow politics –earn government or current events credits; love taking pictures– photography credits.

We also find ways for students to earn credits for subjects they don’t typically enjoy. For example, we have some math games for Algebra and Geometry, and use YouTube, Historical fiction or scientific feature films and documentaries of interest for social studies and science credits.

In addition, students can earn high school credits for interesting pursuits that you may not find in a typical high school. We have students who have earned credits for courses like Aviation, Crime Investigations, Personal Growth, MakeUp Skills, Gaming Logic and Strategy, Anthropology, and History of Latina Women.

 

Do You do Credit Recovery?2021-11-28T21:54:22+00:00

Yes. Sometimes students just need a year’s break from regular high school. Students can enroll in the Pacific Sands Program of West River Academy and earn credits that they can then most often take back to their high schools. (We recommend you check with your high school counselor first). Some high schools will allow students to earn credits at a different online school (us) while still attending their high school.  Students can also work over the summer to earn extra credits.

What if as a a parent I want my kid to learn about particular subjects that they aren’t interested in?2020-08-03T20:34:56+00:00

Ultimately to move forward with a family, we need to have the student’s buy-in to the program. We operate very much on a respectful relationship basis with our teens and don’t force learning in any subject that the teen rejects. However some parents come to an agreement with their teens that they will allow and pay for this program if their teen agrees to learn a particular subject, or have a particular number of hours per day to do their “school work”. This has happened occasionally. We enjoy working with parents and teens to come up with a program that is more than satisfactory to all parties involved. 

What is the graduation requirement?2021-11-28T21:54:15+00:00

To graduate from Pacific Sands Academy, students must complete an online portfolio or powerpoint presentation that celebrates their strengths and interests. We want students to be able to use this portfolio for their next step in life- whatever that may be. We also work with students to create a resume as part of their requirement. 

Can my teen graduate early?2021-11-28T21:54:07+00:00

Yes! Teens can graduate when they are ready to take their next steps in life. Some students come to Pacific Sands and graduate within a month, others will stay for 5 years or more…  Our youngest graduate was 14 years old.

Can an adult who never graduated from high school get a diploma?2023-05-31T01:10:32+00:00

Yes. We work with adults. If they meet the graduation requirements of Pacific Sands Academy, they can earn a high school diploma.

I don’t understand the teen mentoring plans. How do I pick the appropriate tier for my student? Is there flexibility?2020-08-03T20:28:51+00:00

Generally, most students fit in the 2-4 meeting per month plan; however,  we will discuss the best fit for your teen in our initial meeting. We can be flexible as we move forward through the year. If we find that your teen needs more time, we can discuss moving to the longer time tier. If they need less time, we can move forward to the shorter-time tier. However, you will be responsible for payment of the tier you choose until we have a discussion and change programs the following month. 

So what do you offer for families with younger children?2023-11-24T23:11:31+00:00

Families can sign up and receive support from a CA Credentialed teacher with over 20 years of homeschool teaching experience. You will receive ongoing curriculum guidance and homeschooling support in monthly meetings. You also can text your family support teacher any time for support. We can discuss more in our initial meeting. Contact Maryam Shafaghi at mkshafaghi@gmail.com for more information. 

What about my middle schooler?2021-11-28T21:53:38+00:00

We tailor our program to each family. If your middle schooler is ready for independent teen meetings, you can use some of your family meetings for independent teen mentoring.

What if i just need a little bit of support to get going on my homeschooling journey?2021-11-28T21:53:31+00:00

You can hire our K-8 specialist directly for a month or two to get yourself situated. She comes highly recommended. Contact Maryam directly at mkshafaghi@gmail.com

What if we want to travel as a family?2020-08-03T20:30:13+00:00

Traveling is one of the greatest ways to learn about our world. We absolutely support and love traveling.  As you travel we would still love to meet with you and hear about your wonderful adventures!

Can I enroll in your school and not pay monthly tuition?2023-11-24T23:12:30+00:00

Yes. All of our monthly programs are optional.

Are there any sibling discounts?2023-11-24T23:12:53+00:00

Yes! K-8 siblings receive a $200 discount on enrollment, and high school siblings receive a $100 discount on enrollment. 

Siblings can also share monthly mentoring plans. 

 

What are some unusual/impressive things your teens have done while enrolled in your program?2023-11-24T23:14:20+00:00
  • One student earned an A.A. from her local community college at the same time as earning her high school diploma.
  • Several students spend a lot of time at barns with their horses and compete in equestrian or rodeo events.
  • One student lived on a ranch raising championship colts.
  • One student sailed around the Atlantic on a tall ship for a year. 
  • One student is building a plane (and his own work truck). 
  • Another completed his pilot’s license at 16 years old. 
  • One kid went from a skinny 110 pounder to a confident strong bodybuilder. 
  • One student likes to do Civil War reenactments.
  • More than one student has worked on developing their own video game.
  • Several students focus on playing instruments.
  • Some students graduate early and have earned Legal-18 status in the entertainment industry.
  • Some students surf or skate every day.
  • Some students are active in their community scout programs—Sea Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts.
  • Two students competed in video games and got into the top 100 of the world, one in Fortnite and League of Legends.
  • Some students have their own small businesses.
What colleges have your graduates been accepted to?2022-09-13T23:12:01+00:00

Our students have been accepted into several small liberal arts colleges:  Quinnipiac, Cal Lutheran, Hampshire, Wheaton, American University of Paris, University of Connecticut, College of the Canyons, Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Florida Southern College, Oral Roberts University, William Jessup University, Loyola University New Orleans to name a few… They also have attended community colleges such as Cuyahoga Community College, Orange Coast College, Central Oregon Community College, Sierra College, and Ventura Community College. Some students have gone on to bigger state schools such as University of Washington and even graduate school! 

 

Do you require a particular curriculum be followed?2021-04-05T21:13:52+00:00

We do not have a required curriculum. You have absolute power to choose the curriculum that best suits your family, and for families who want it, we help you find a curriculum that best matches your needs. For our teens, we come up with ideas and educational plans that become a unique curriculum for each teen. If you have a particular curriculum you love for any subject, we support you in following that curriculum.

Can our schooling be religious in nature?2021-04-05T21:12:50+00:00

Yes, we believe in freedom of religion. Your curriculum can absolutely follow the religion of your choice, or it can be secular.

California question: Can my student receive AG Credits?2024-01-28T00:46:23+00:00
For students seeking credit recovery in California high schools (where they want to graduate form their local public high school), it’s important that they ask their high school counselor if credits will be accepted from our program. If needed, Pacific Sands can provide an AG Curriculum Guide for the high school to review, and students will be asked to follow it to earn credits marked with AG on their transcripts; again, within these guides we find ways to meet the requirements that work for each student. Most high schools do not require this, but we have seen situations where they ask.
throwing hat into the air
wakeboard

Schedule a quick call to discover your education options and learn if our program is a good choice for your student.

Schedule a quick call to discover your education options and learn if our program is a good choice for your student.

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