Plano ISD Academy High School FAQ

How do I know if my child is the right fit for the PISD Academy High School?

ACADEMY CULTURE

At Plano ISD Academy High School, students are called learners. Teachers are regarded as facilitators. Learners and facilitators have exceptional ownership of the learning experience and their school environment. Working on projects and in teams, learners are accountable to their peers and demonstrate a level of responsibility similar to what they would experience in a professional work environment. Instructional goals and experiences set the structure for a learner’s day, rather than a defined bell schedule. Learners have places to report to for learning, but no bells will direct them there. Facilitators work individually and in interdisciplinary teams within flexible blocks of time to facilitate instruction for groups of learners. Learners are connected and self-directed collaborators. The school building promotes collaboration and individual accountability in the design of flexible learning spaces. Learners become active participators in the school community. They contribute to the creation of norms and traditions at the school. They also participate in the development of a structure that addresses norm violations. There is exceptional ownership of the learning experience and the school environment by learners and staff.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Connections to the community include assistance in the development, facilitation, and evaluation of projects/problems; opportunities for service learning; job shadowing; mentorships; and internships.

Additionally, there is an active presence of corporate partners throughout the building. Their dedication to Academy High School is exemplified through a living model of learning by regular interactions with learners and staff.

COURSE OFFERINGS

The course names below represent the credits that learners will complete during their 9th – 12th grade years at Plano ISD Academy High School:

English I-IV;  World Geography, World History, US History, Economics, Government; Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Systems, Scientific Research and Design; Algebra I, Algebra II, Mathematics of Engineering, Geometry, Statistics and Data Analysis, Pre-Calculus, Calculus; Art I (Art and Media Communications), Art II (Electronic Media), Art III, Debate, Digital Design and Media Production, Web Design, Computer Science, Foundations of Personal Fitness, Health, Engineering Design and Presentation, Engineering Design and Problem Solving, Principles of Manufacturing, and Problems and Solutions.

 

There is not a formal athletics or fine arts program. Learners have the opportunity to experience these activities in a different format not outlined in a set course. These experiences might include incorporation of interest in a project or through extracurricular clubs.

The following language options are available for learners:
Spanish I/French I; Spanish II/French II;  Spanish III/ French III; Spanish IV/French IV; Spanish V/French V

Other requirements over the four year period:
Community Service, Capstone Project, Internship

Learning experiences span over a variety of combinations of content areas and learners have access to other resources to supplement their learning, such as online resources and blended learning opportunities.

DRESS CODE

The dress code at Plano ISD Academy High School reflects similar standards outlined in Plano ISD Student/Parent Policy Guide. There are days when learners’ attire reflects the professional environment that will be fostered in the school. These days are provided to learners in advance.

DISCIPLINE

Plano ISD’s Student Code of Conduct outlines offenses that are subject to disciplinary action in one of three categories: campus discipline management, discipline alternative education placement, and expulsion. The code of conduct can be found at the following link: http://pisd.edu/students/code.of.conduct/index.shtml

Learners help set the campus structure to address offenses that fall under campus discipline management.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Learners and facilitators have opportunities to develop a variety of clubs and activities that reflect learner interests. Learners are notified of the process to start a club during the first weeks of school.

Since Plano ISD Academy High School is the home campus for learners, they do not go to other campuses to participate in extracurricular activities.

Learners have the opportunity to earn patches on a letterman jacket. Learners assist in the identification of areas, as well as in the creation of a structure to earn the jacket.

FOOD AND NUTRITIONAL SERVICES

We participate in the Child Nutrition Breakfast and Lunch program that is available at other PISD schools. Breakfast and lunch service is provided for learners and are run by the PISD FANS (Food and Nutritional Services) department. A microwave is accessible and menus are posted. PayPAMS is available, as well. Fund balances from middle school accounts will automatically transfer to the learners’ accounts at Academy High School. Free and reduced applications are available.

All Plano ISD students, grades K-10, are required to observe a closed campus policy during the school day. Learners in 11th and 12th grade at Plano ISD Academy High School have the option to make the decision regarding off-campus lunch.

 

GRADING

The grading system designed at Plano ISD Academy High School encourages and supports academic and personal inquiry, innovation, creativity, trial/error, risk-taking, collaboration, teamwork, timely critical feedback, and academic understanding and excellence. There is a four-part grading structure: scores, digital portfolio, matrix focused on content related outcomes and matrix focused on critical skill learning outcomes. Critical skills provide learners with feedback regarding 21st century skills. Through this process, learners and parents have more detailed and accurate information on strengths and areas for growth.

There are no leveled courses available at the Academy. Beyond the top 10% required by state law, learners are not ranked. All Academy transcripted courses receive grade points, but none receive weighted grade points. There is a uniform GPA. Learners receive honor and distinction in relevant skills, such as teamwork, initiative, leadership, service, etc.

The school operates on a nine-week grading period. Work outside of the school day occurs as learners complete tasks towards solving a problem, or finishing a project. Assessments are given over content in a variety of settings. Learners take End-of-Course-Exams at the completion of a course.

Training is provided for Canvas, the learning management software system, to learners and parents at the beginning of the school year.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Plano ISD Academy High School learners graduate under the Foundation/Endorsement Plan at the Distinguished Level of Achievement with STEM and Multidisciplinary Endorsements.

Other requirements over the four year period:
Community Service, Capstone Project, Internship

 

LEARNERS

We currently have 420 students who represent the 9th -12th grades.

LOCATION OF SCHOOL

The campus is centrally located at 1701 Alma Drive, Plano, TX 75075.

MASCOT

Plano ISD Academy High School is home of the Titans. There is an academic logo, signified by a shield with three gears on it and a flame on top. The school mascot combines the imagery of a gear and warrior. The gear represents connections and collaboration, and the warrior’s helmet represents the passion, strength, and resilience that Academy Titans possess.

PARENT AND LEARNER RESPONSIBILITIES

Learners and parents commit to working with Academy Staff and partners to develop the habits of our “Profile of a Graduate.”

A student handbook containing expectations and guidelines specific to the campus (such as parking, attendance, make-up work, etc.) will be provided at the beginning of the school year.

PROJECTS

Projects are consistent within each grade level. (Ex: all 9th grade learners are working within the same project) The driving question within each project is broad enough that the final product can vary greatly among groups. Each project has different constraints put upon it; the facilitators have strived to create as much learner voice and choice as possible. Learning outcomes for the projects have been determined. Learners have the responsibility of gathering the evidence to demonstrate understanding of those outcomes.

Learners move within the day within similar groups for the duration of a project. The learner to facilitator ratio is 30:1. Groups change by project.

SCHOOL HOURS

School hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Learners are able to enter the building as early as 8:30 a.m. and remain inside the building until 5:00 p.m. These times can be flexible if supervision is available outside of this time frame. These opportunities are communicated to learners in advance.

SECURITY

Plano ISD Academy High School is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for learners, staff and visitors. In an effort to accomplish this goal the district provides a comprehensive security program that is consistent across schools. A few of the security measures that are implemented on campus are: CCTV camera systems to monitor the interior and exterior of the building; access control system; RAPTOR electronic visitor management system; and criminal history background checks for all consistent volunteers and mentors.

All exterior doors of the school building remain locked during the school day. Learners may enter through the doors by the bus lane before and after school only. In order to protect security of the learning environment, entrance to and exit from the building occurs through the main front doors that are equipped with electronic access control equipment. The front doors are on the northeast side of the building facing Alma Rd.

Visitors enter the building through the main front doors and wear appropriate name badges.

Learners have access to the Fab Lab and Fitness Center only when supervision is available.

TECHNOLOGY

Each learner is provided with a technology device for maintaining work and school use. With open access to resources, learners become self-directed and responsible seeking knowledge on their own. High expectations for appropriate use of technology are provided and maintained. Learners may bring their own personal device to school.

Learners receive a Google Chromebook provided by the school. Learners can access Plano ISD remote desktop within the chromebook, giving them access to Microsoft Office and other software packages.

There are standalone computers on campus with higher processing units and learners have access to other devices on campus that fit the needs of various projects.

To facilitate the digital learning environment, there is greater access to resources online, as well more powerful Wi-Fi connections.

TRANSFER GUIDELINES

Upon acceptance to Plano ISD Academy High School, families make a commitment to graduate from the Academy. However, if a transfer to the zoned campus is needed for the learner, the commitment to complete the school year is mandatory. There will not be an opportunity to transfer in the middle of the school year. The learner will present before a board of administrators and facilitators why a change in learning environment is needed. Parent participation in the process is required. This board will approve or deny the request.

If a change in placement is desired before July 1, please contact Mrs. Conner, counselor, at pam.conner@pisd.edu

Schools will facilitate the transfer of all records to Plano ISD Academy High School.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation is provided to Plano ISD Academy High School. A model similar to summer school bus routes is created that picks up/drops off learners at their zoned campus (either middle school or high school.)