Other Options for School

Parents bidding farewell to public schools have more options for their child’s learning than they may realize. The Conejo Guardian gathered information on public school alternatives to aid parents in transitioning out of public schools.

Private Schools

Private schools are a popular alternative to public schools. One local example is Hillcrest Christian School.

Hillcrest Christian School is an accredited, private Christian school with 403 students from preschool to 12th grade. Tuition ranges from $10,900 to $14,275. While teachers instruct students, Hillcrest fosters a family environment and offers many opportunities for parents to volunteer and participate in campus activities. Traditionally an in-person school, Hillcrest also offers an online academy for high school students. Dual credit is available through their online program. Hillcrest athletic programs include basketball, cross country/track and field, football, volleyball, golf and cheer. Students can participate in AP classes, theater arts, worship band and school dances. Retreats and field trips (including a trip to Washington D.C. for eighth graders) are built into the school schedule as well.

Contact Nancie Blumenthal for further questions: nblumenthal@hillcrestcs.org or visit Hillcrest’s website at www.hillcrestcs.org.

For parents looking to homeschool but who still want the support and opportunities that a traditional school provides, the Conejo Guardian recommends Trinity Pacific Christian School (TPCS). TPCS is a private, K-12, Christian school with 150-250 families; it costs around $550-650 annually per household. TPCS provides the resources of a private school while allowing families the flexible learning experience of homeschooling. Parents can choose the curriculum for their students, enroll in optional in-person TPCS courses, or do a mix of both. The school makes transcripts and offers classes, dual-credit and standardized testing while also offering a plethora of extracurricular activities. TPCS principal Kathrin Smith details a student’s opportunities at TPCS, which include: field trips, mock trial, basketball, volleyball, science fair, spelling bee, teen clubs, Christmas boutique, honor society, park days, baccalaureate, graduation, promotion ceremony, craft days, camps, and senior activities/awards.

TPCS is great for homeschooling families since it takes care of the legal side of things (transcripts) and invites students into a vibrant community with many social, athletic and academic opportunities. Contact Trinity Pacific Christian School with further questions at trinitypacificchristian.com or (805) 492-0863.

Homeschool

Homeschooling is a broad term that encompasses many methods of education. Parents choosing to homeschool can partner with institutions such as charter schools, private schools, or online schools for assistance in funds and curriculum. Homeschool in its purest form allows students a completely personalized education and gives parents full control over what their children are taught.

Homeschooling can be done with a homeschool group or unaffiliated with any organized group. Parents should note that accreditation is not necessary for homeschool groups or required by colleges.

Classical Conversations (CC) is a Christian homeschool program teaching classical education. The program reaches students across the world, and approximately 200 kids participate in CC throughout the Conejo and Simi Valleys. Tutors instruct students on weekly community days, while the rest of the week, parents instruct their children at home. Students can participate in field trips, dances, graduation, senior thesis, mock trial, and speech and debate. Classical Conversations offers support for homeschooling parents via practicum events which help equip and empower parent-teachers to home educate. Families will need to make their own transcripts and register as independent with the state of California when enrolled full-time in Classical Conversations.

For more information, visit: www.classicalconversations.com.

For questions, contact: Atucker@classicalconversations.com.

Homeschooling without a homeschool group is simple — parents choose curriculum, make transcripts, and are fully responsible for teaching and finding extracurricular activities. Parents must register their “school” with the state of California. Since families have no obligation to a group, schooling can be done in any style. This option provides great flexibility for families who want to travel and learn.

Online education offers families supplied curriculum and the flexibility of homeschooling. A benefit of online learning is that students can enroll in classes for schools across the nation. Liberty University Online Academy (LUOA), a private Christian academy, is a popular option among homeschool families. LUOA serves 15,000 students from grades K-12 and is both internationally and regionally accredited. Students can take dual enrollment, participate in athletic clubs, book clubs, Bible studies, Beta club and other special events. An LUOA education is student-led and teacher-supported. LUOA is intended for homeschool students, so parents play a large role in the education and success of their child.

Full-time students pay $549 for each year-long class in which they enroll. Contact for further questions: LUOAinfo@liberty.edu.

Charter School

 Charter schools are part of the public school system, but their school style gives parents the freedom to personalize their child’s learning experience. It is common for homeschooling families to register with a charter school in order to receive instructional funds (money parents receive to pay for school supplies and resources); however, not all charter programs offer funding for parents. Charter schools come in all shapes and sizes, offering both classroom-based and non-classroom-based education. Each charter school has its own governing school board with a unique set of members.

Blue Ridge Academy is a local, public charter school offering students online learning. Blue Ridge provides free, accredited, secular education to grades TK-12. Six thousand six hundred students take classes at Blue Ridge Academy. This style of education requires hands-on parent involvement like most other homeschooling.

Students have the option of earning dual credit with Moorpark College. Moorpark College courses are nearly free for homeschooling students and complement core education well. Park days, community activities and field trips also enhance a student’s experience.

Contact for further questions: info@theblueridgeacademy.com.

River Oaks Academy Charter is similar to Blue Ridge Academy; it is an accredited public charter school serving grades K-12. Three hundred forty students attend River Oaks Academy, both online and in person. Dual credit is also available. River Oaks Academy Director, Claudia Weintraub, describes parents as “academic facilitators” and says teachers are the “academic accountability” and “academic support.” They take pride in their passion-based and personalized learning. Parents are responsible for providing students with extracurricular activities.

Contact for further questions: Claudia Weintraub, Director; claudia.weintraub@roavc.com.

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