Our BCS Family

faq

Learning at BCS is a lifelong journey. Connect with us here to stay a part of the BCS family.

General Questions

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools open to all California residents. Since BCS is a charter school, we are free to innovate and modify our program without the bureaucratic rules and outdated structure found in many traditional public schools.

  • Public charter schools are created by parents, educators and communities to promote innovation in the classroom and offer parents another public school option to better meet their child’s specific needs.
  • Public Charter Schools are accountable for clear, successful, measurable student outcomes and must comply with all state and federal mandates.
  • As a public charter school, BCS is free to design programs that ensure every student’s individual abilities and passions are nurtured. This freedom allows us to provide additional instruction with credentialed specialists in Foreign Language, Art, Music, Drama, Dance, and Science and Technology.

What sets BCS apart from other public schools?

At BCS, we focus on educating the whole child, providing a robust visual and performing arts program and integrating science and technology in new ways to spark a lifelong love of learning in our students.

  • Our low teacher to student ratio fosters a strong sense of community.
  • Through our integrated K-8 program, BCS offers a collaborative community environment that augments academic excellence with social and emotional growth.
  • We are dedicated to individualized learning; every student creates his or her own learning goals at BCS with curricula tailored to his or her specific needs and skill levels.
  • BCS empowers every student to become a leader inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Our teachers are dynamic, highly qualified professionals focused on honing their craft. All classrooms have certified grade-level teachers and credentialed associate teachers.
  • On average, BCS offers students 10% more instructional minutes than traditional public schools.

How large are classes at BCS?

At BCS, we are committed to maintaining small class sizes because research shows that “smaller learning environments create happier, safer, higher achieving students.” (Oxley 2001)

  • In Kindergarten through 3rd grade, classes average less than 20 students.
  • In 4th through 8th grade, classes average 25 students.

What is the enrollment process at BCS?

As a school of choice, BCS, like all public charter schools in California, is open to any student in California who wants to attend. Families interested in attending BCS must submit an enrollment packet for their child.  However, submitting an enrollment packet for your child does not guarantee him or her a spot at BCS.

Demand for the BCS approach to learning grows year after year, often exceeding our enrollment capacity. If there are more students interested in attending than we can accommodate, a random public lottery determines who is admitted. In this case, only enrollment packets submitted during the Open Enrollment Period, which runs from November to January of the previous school year, will be included in the lottery. Any packets submitted after January will be prioritized after those submitted during this period.

For more information about the lottery process and open enrollment, please take a look at our Enrollment FAQs.

Does BCS charge tuition?

No. BCS is a public school, free and open to all students in the state of California. Every child who attends BCS receives an innovative, rigorous, and well-rounded education at no cost to his or her family. Read our board policy on student fees here.

How is BCS governed?

As a public school, BCS is evaluated and overseen by federal, state, and county authorities, a board of directors, and local parents who have exercised their choice in public education.

  • At the heart of the charter school model is the belief that all schools should be held accountable for student learning.
  • Our governing board is made up of key BCS stakeholders – including teachers, administrators and community leaders – aligning responsibility and accountability.

For more information about the BCS Board, please take a look at our Board Room FAQs.

What is the BCS Foundation?

The Bullis-Purissima Elementary School Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization independent from BCS. By providing critical financial support to BCS’s education programs the BCS Foundation and its generous donors enrich the academic experiences of all BCS students.

 

Curriculum/Program Questions

What programs are offered at BCS?

The BCS model allows us to build on the core academic subjects and provide an enriched award-winning curriculum that emphasizes individualized, experiential and project-based learning.

  • Through the Project-Based Learning and Design-Thinking processes, students are actively engaged in their learning and are provided ample and meaningful opportunities to develop 21st century skills.
  • Every student benefits from integrated S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) curricula, with access to the MakerSpace and a FabLab.
  • Every student participates in drama, dance, vocal and instrumental music, art, and physical education as part of the core curriculum in every grade at BCS.
  • As part of our mission to teach global citizenship at BCS, our foreign language program is available to every student, beginning in Kindergarten.
  • Co-curricular classes, designed to enhance standards-based material being taught in homeroom classes, allow students to develop their individual interests and passions during the regular school day.

How does the Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program work at BCS?

If your child qualifies for Transitional Kindergarten at BCS, his/her registration will be placed and drawn with the Kindergarten registrations during the enrollment lottery. The TK students will be placed in Kindergarten classrooms as appropriate, but they will follow a modified curriculum that will be supported by his/her Focused Learning Goals.

For more information about the enrollment process, please see our enrollment FAQs here.

What extended day Extra-Curricular activities are offered at BCS?

Optional extended day extra-curricular classes (morning and afternoon) are taught by BCS staff and provide opportunities for students to explore their passions and connect with role models who share their interests. Click here to see a sampling of extra curricular classes offered at BCS.

  • BCS encourages its students to explore their passions in the visual and performing arts in both our K-5 and 6-8 programs. All students have the opportunity to participate in one of our award-winning choirs, band ensembles (including guitar, strings, steel pans, and traditional bands), dance teams, drama productions (fall play or spring musical), or colorguard.
  • Middle school students in grades 6-8 have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of after school sports, including archery, table tennis, running club, volleyball, basketball, soccer, and fencing.

What sets BCS’s middle school apart from other middle schools?

The BCS middle school program (Grades 6-8) offers block scheduling, more opportunities for individualize learning, and “intersessions” where students move beyond the classroom and engage in active learning in the real world.

  • BCS uses Focused Learning Goals and mentors to meet individual student needs and nurture special talents.
  • BCS’s integrated K-8 model provides middle school students with opportunities to be leaders and role models for students in the lower grades.
  • Advisory classes meet every week to address social and emotional learning, work/study habits and curricula specific to the needs of middle school students.
  • Office hours with credentialed teachers in every subject area are available for every middle school student four times a week, including the FabLab.
  • Longer periods (65 minutes), flexible block scheduling, and integrated teaching teams allow for more meaningful instruction across all subject areas
  • Intersessions , which are three-week periods of intensive hands-on experience, give students the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of a particular subject area, in a real world learning environment. Past intersessions have included Cooking/Woodworking/Sewing, School of the Future Architecture and Design Challenge, and Educational App Design.

How does BCS Middle School prepare my child for high school?

The BCS Middle School program provides every student with unparalleled enrichment opportunities to promote learning and leadership and set them up for success in high school.

  • The BCS academic program far exceed state standards; our highly qualified faculty, equipped with subject-area expertise, challenge students to reach their full potential.
  • Project-based learning, integrated across all subject areas and our flexible block schedule provide students with opportunities for depth and mastery.
  • Individual focused learning goals foster student accountability, social emotional well-being and nurture individual passions.
  • At BCS, students are immersed in authentic experiences and real-world applications to reinforce classroom learning.
  • BCS’s emphasis on student voice and confidence prepares every student to be an advocate for his or her own learning.
  • BCS cultivates a student-driven environment that prepares every student to be an advocate for his or her own learning.

Does the BCS Middle School Program offer sports?

BCS offers a wide variety of extra and intramural sports for students to participate in.

  • Seasonal extramural sports, such as volleyball, table tennis and triathlon, provide students with opportunities for team play as well as interaction with other schools.
  • Intramural sports, such as a are available during the school day.

How does BCS meet the needs of learners at all levels?

BCS’s dedication to individualized learning ensures that we meet the needs of students across a spectrum of learning styles and levels and help every child read their full potential.

  • Individual learning differences are addressed and supported through Focused Learning goals (FLGs) in every subject area, flexible classroom groupings, low teacher to student ratio, and small class sizes.
  • The Student Study Team (SST) provides support and assistance to classroom teachers and parents seeking alternative intervention strategies for working with students who are experiencing difficulties due to behavioral, emotional, motivational, and/or family problems or because they are limited- or non-English proficient.
  • Working as a team, the student, parent, teachers and school administrator identify the student’s strengths, assets and areas that need special attention so that an appropriate improvement plan can be designed and followed throughout the school year.
  • The convergence of an SST is the first place to begin if you feel your child may benefit from any special educational programs offered at BCS, and can be discussed with a child’s teacher or administration.

How does BCS work to support students who may be experiencing difficulties?

The Student Study Team (SST) provides support and assistance to classroom teachers and parents seeking alternative intervention strategies for working with students who are experiencing difficulties due to behavioral, emotional, motivational, and/or family problems or because they are limited- or non-English proficient. Regular members of BCS staff who may serve on the SST with the parents are the principal, assistant principal, school psychologist, counselor, resource teacher, speech and language therapist, reading specialist and classroom teacher. Other persons who may participate include the student and appropriate support professionals from the community. Through collaboration and dialogue, a specific plan is developed for meeting the student’s particular needs. The goal for the majority of these students is short-term remediation and continued integration into the mainstream classroom. When the SST feels that there is an indication of a learning disability, the team formalizes a plan of action and, in consultation with the parents and with their permission, determines the appropriate tests to administer.

The convergence of a SST is the first place to begin if you feel your child may benefit from any special educational programs offered at BCS, and can be discussed with a child’s teacher or administration.

How does BCS work to support Special Education students?

When testing indicates that a student qualifies for Special Education services, an IEP team, including the parents, teacher(s), resource specialist, psychologist, and administration, convenes. The areas of the student’s needs are determined and the special education staff develops Individual Education Plans (IEP), working with the classroom teachers to modify instruction and assignments, and coordinate support programs as necessary. Review on the progress of IEP goals occur tri-annually and a formal assessment annually, each entailing written reports, are sent home to the parents. Parents, classroom teachers or other staff may request a review of the IEP in order to update and modify the plan prior to the annual review.

All students with special needs are taught through a collaboration of staff efforts. The Resource Specialist program is designed to fit the individual needs of the students. Students may be seen on a pullout basis, addressing the issue in their IEP and/or a collaborative basis in the classroom working on assignments within the classes.

BCS also employs a Speech and Language Pathologist, an Occupational therapist, and an Educational Psychologist. Parent authorization is required prior to the testing of a child. If a parent feels that his or her child may benefit from this program, the options can be discussed with his/her teacher.

How does BCS work to support english learners?

The goal of our English Learner (EL) Program is to facilitate English language acquisition that will allow our EL students to compare academically with their English-only peers, to have access to the core curriculum and all other programs, and to maintain their self-esteem and cultural identity. This is accomplished through specialized instruction in English in a safe, contextually rich small group setting either within the class or as a pull-out. Techniques used include the natural approach, total physical response, and action sequence stories. Technology may also be used to assist fluency and vocabulary development.