Programs Offered
Akers offers many programs to meet the various needs of our students. The programs range from helping to meet the needs of students who struggle academically, to strengthening special talents, to fostering leadership skills, and to challenging the academically gifted students.

Accelerated Reader Art California Junior Scholastic Federation Elective Classes 
Extra Curricular Sports Intramural Sports
Library/Media Center
Music / Band
Outdoor Education
Peach Blossom & Poetry Festival  Physical Education
Resource Specialist Program (RSP)
Special Day Class (SDC)
Student Awards
Student Council
Student Services
Student Study Team (SST)
Technology
Volunteers

 




Accelerated Reader
All students may use the Accelerated Reader (AR) program, which is a computer based reading assessment program using a selection of books. After reading a selected book, students take a basic compreshension AR test or an advance reading skills literacy test (ARL) on the book. The classroom teacher monitors student progress.

Accelerated Reader Book Finder-using this website, students can tell if an AR or ARL test is available for a specific book. Students can also find out the reading level of the book and the number of points earned for passing the test on the book.

Art
The students in grades 1-3 come to art once every two weeks. The 4th and 5th grades attend once each week. The 6th through the 8th grades will attend according to a four day rotation with their home rooms. There is a ceramics elective offered during 8th period for students in the 6th-8th grades.

California Junior Scholastic Federation
Akers has a local chapter of the California Junior Scholastic Federation. To become a member, a student must earn ten points for each of three semesters. Previous grades earned at other schools may be used if the application is made at the appropriate time. Students in seventh and eighth grade are eligible. An "A" receives three points and a "B" receives one point. No other grades receive points. Good citizenship must also be maintained. Subjects considered are language, reading, math, social studies, and science. Students must apply on their own as no one qualifies automatically.

Elective Classes
Elective classes are currently offered to students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. They vary from year to year and sometimes change within a school year. Students have two elective periods each day with sports as one of the electives should students try out for a sports team. Electives are offered eighth and ninth period.

Sixth grade students will be assigned an elective class and will rotate through the different electives assigned to sixth graders. Seventh and Eighth graders choose electives each trimester.

Students in Beginning or Advanced band remain in that elective for the entire year as part of a commitment to the program.

The only students that do not get to choose an elective class are those who are in a benchmark class. Benchmark classes work on basic grade level skills in Reading, Language, and Math. Students that are assigned a benchmark class will remain in that class until they pass the prescribed benchmark test or a parent checks them out in writing in the office.

Extra Curricular Sports
Akers provides an interscholastic athletic program in which our teams compete with other elementary schools in the area. The goals of our athletic program are (1) to teach and develop proficiency in the skills associated with each sport and (2) to develop the personal qualities of discipline, commitment and sportsmanship associated with being a member of a team and (3) to develop an appreciation for having life long fitness habits (4) to recognize that EXCELLENCE only comes through effort and the desire to BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE.

6th to 8th Grade Sports
Fall athletics at Akers features teams competing in volleyball for the girls and football for the boys. Cross-country for boys and girls is available. In the winter, basketball is available for all students. In the spring, there is boy's baseball, girl's softball, and Co-ed track. Our league is very competitive. To be on an Akers team you must try-out and be selected by the coach. Our teams compete in a league with the following schools: Stratford, Central Union, Island, Kettleman City, Kings Christian, MIQ, Neutra, and Armona.
West Kings Athletics League

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Intramural Sports
Unlike noon recess at most schools with grades seven and eight, our upper grade playground is very peaceful. One of the primary reasons is intramural sports. Many students who do not play on a given day watch other students play. This process helps keep our playground peaceful.

All students are able to participate--ability is not a factor. We provide many students with a purposeful activity but do not restrict the games to those students who qualify for school athletic teams. Intramurals is a program of sports competition between homeroom teams. Participation is voluntary as games take place during the lunch hour. The sports played include volleyball, basketball, track and field, free throw shooting, soccer or newcomb, mushball, and several other activities.

Library Media Center

Music/Band

Outdoor Education
Every year the sixth grade students at Akers travel to Yosemite National Park for a three day outdoor education field trip. On this trip, the students learn about the geology of the park, the Yosemite Indians, and the plants and animals which make their home there. Many of them also experience camp life for the first time. All sixth grade teachers prepare students for this exciting learning experience.

The students, chaperones, and teachers stay at Camp Sugar Pine which is located just outside the entrance gate to Yosemite National Park. During the three days, everyone participates in hikes and fills up on delicious food. One hike is in Yosemite Valley. On this hike, students enjoy seeing a waterfall and climbing in Indian caves. Another hike is to Sentinel Dome and Glacier Point. As part of this hike, students participate in a "One Mile Silent Walk". This silent, one mile walk is especially enjoyed by the counselors and the teachers. The students enjoy going in the store at Glacier Point. The final hike includes a tram ride. Everyone rides a tram to a museum located in Mariposa Grove. While on the tram, naturalists inform everyone about the redwood trees and the history of the area. Once students get off the tram, they walk about one-half a mile to the parking lot where the bus is waiting.

At night, students sing songs, read limericks written about the trip, and perform skits around a campfire. Snacks are enjoyed by everyone and then it is off to bed. Eventually, everyone settles down and is soon sound asleep---unless a counselor yells, "Bear"! 

Peach Blossom & Poetry Festival
Each year, California State University, Fresno, sponsors the Peach Blossom Festival of Oral Interpretation. First through sixth grade students memorize a poem and present it to their classroom. Two entries from each classroom will then audition to fill our ten slots in the festival. Our student representatives always do a great job, with most receiving Superior or Excellent ratings.

Physical Education

Resource Specialist Program (RSP)
The Primary Resource Specialist at Akers Elementary School, along with the Resource instructional aide, works with children identified as needing Special Education help in grades K-5. Instruction is done with small groups, individually or with the homeroom teacher on a collaborative basis. Children must be identified as having a learning disability and the need for remediation determined. The Resource Specialist Program (RSP) comes under the umbrella of Special Education services. If a student qualifies for RSP in one district, he or she will automatically transfer into the RSP program in a new school district.

The transition from one school district to another is much smoother for the student if the parent brings the special education paperwork when enrolling a child in a new school. At the new school, the Resource Specialist Teacher will review the special education file of the new student, confer with the teacher or teachers who see this student and assess his or her needs. A meeting will then be held with the parents, teachers and administrator to develop an appropriate individual education plan (IEP).

With the help of Senate Bill AB777, the Resource Specialist teacher is able to work with students (for a short time) who are struggling academically but have not been identified as learning disabled, as long as there is room in the intervention program. These students are placed in the program after a need is established through the Student Study Team process and parental approval is received.

SRA Corrective Reading and Step-Up-To Writing are also programs that are used to assist students in improving their academic skills in core curriculum for Reading and Writing.

Akers also offers an upper grade (6-8) Resource Specialist who works with identified children. Instruction is accomplished through small groups, individually, or with the homeroom teacher on a collaborative basis. An RSP aide is also available to work with identified students.

Special Day Class (SDC)
The special day class (SDC) program is designed to give students with special needs a structured environment where their individual needs can be addressed. This class has a certified special education teacher, who is highly qualified, and a full time instructional aide with years of SDC experience. The class size is generally smaller than regular classes and grants the teacher and aide the opportunity to provide the students with one on one attention. This setting is created to provide the direct instruction needed, address each child’s individual needs, and provide an environment where students can become actively engaged.

Students within the 6-8 grade SDC program must be identified as having a disability and need more intervention than the resource program can provide; this is to address their individual needs so the students’ may benefit from this type of placement. The students attend the SDC for their particular subjects that they need more intervention in according to their IEP’s but are mainstreamed with other class members for their other class subjects.

The teacher and aides of the SDC program collaborate with the general education teachers to discuss curriculum, exchange ideas or strategies for working with the special needs students, discuss and review researched educational age appropriate materials and practices, etc. In order to assist the students in maximizing their potential, the SDC teacher support and encourage parental involvement. The SDC teacher will do their best to communicate with all parents to keep them highly informed of their child’s needs, progress, etc. and ask for their valuable input regarding their child. It is a given fact that parental involvement does help students to improve in student performance.

Our aim is to serve these students providing the individualized instruction for them to achieve academic success. Our objective is to address their IEP goals and obtain mastery. It is with these efforts that we will strive to provide a rich SDC environment.

Student Awards

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Student Council
Student Council is made up of fourth through eighth grade students who want to make Akers School a great place to be. Student Council coordinates school activities such as dances, fund raisers, assemblies, special activities like dress-up days, and some field trips. They are also responsible for paying certain bills. Meetings are held every other Wednesday.

Each year Student Council leaders are chosen by the student body. Students who are running for President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer have to make speeches to the fourth - eighth grade students. The students then vote for the person they feel will do the best job.

Each homeroom chooses two representatives to go to the meetings. Usually, one girl and one boy from each homeroom are the representatives. Going to the meetings and reporting student council information to their class is the representatives' responsibility.

Student Services

Student Study Team (SST)
Each year, a staff member will work with a student who seems to be bright and willing but just doesn't seem to succeed as often as anticipated. Sometimes these students begin to show frustration and may even begin to dislike a subject. This is a good example of the type of student that will be discussed at a Student Study Team.

We hold many Student Study Team sessions at Akers each year. The team is composed of the principal, the Resource Specialist Program teacher, any classroom teacher who works with a given student, the psychologist, and the parents. Sometimes a counselor, nurse, or speech therapist may also join the team.

The normal purpose of the team is to discover why a student is not succeeding at a higher rate. Often, by combining the knowledge of the team members, another technique or process can become apparent. Sometimes counseling, medical tests, academic tests, or psychological tests may be requested.

In a certain percentage of cases, it is discovered that a student has a learning handicap and thus qualifies for extra help in order to succeed in school. These students, with parental permission, may be assigned to a Resource Specialist Program teacher or to a Special Day Class teacher. In either case, an individual learning plan (IEP) will be written by the team. This plan must be approved by a parent or guardian prior to implementation.

As a result of our Student Study Team meetings, more students at Akers are happy at school and are progressing in their academics.

Technology
Our K-8 technology curriculum is based on the belief that curriculum comes first and technology is the tool used to demonstrate knowledge of curriculum areas and to access needed information.

Everyone at Akers School has equal access to current technology to support their educational goals and needs. We have two Macintosh computer labs and networked computers in every classroom. We also have laptop computers available to all sixth - eighth graders. Every computer in the school is connected to the Internet.

Students use a variety of software programs as well as Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, Wikis, podcasts, and Google Tools to complete computer projects that tie into California State Standards. Students also learn Information Literacy Skills. When using Internet, students use these skills to conduct advanced searches, evaluate web pages, take notes without plagiarizing, cite web information and graphics.

Technology Plan 2010-2013

Volunteers
No educational program can be successful without help from the parents and the surrounding community. Akers School has been fortunate to be able to count on parental support as well as support from many different community elements.

We believe parents should be involved as decision makers. The annual Parent Survey is a very successful way in which parents are involved. Survey results are published so school officials and the community at large can share the information

Our school policy is to have visitors sign a volunteer log in the Akers Office. After signing in, parents meet their children for lunch, visit or work in the classrooms, and view student work displayed around the school. Before a parent is able to volunteer at the school they need to complete a volunteer training session offered through the district office. To learn more about the district's volunteer policy and training dates please click on this Volunteer Link.

Akers School actively encourages parental involvement in the instructional program. Parent volunteer request forms, detailing specific ways help is needed, are sent home at the beginning of the school year. The results provide a file of resources and the kind of volunteer support we can call upon. Classroom assistance is encouraged, but working parents who wish to help are given jobs they can do at home. Several parents assist in classrooms daily during the hours that their children are in class. Parents can be found in classrooms listening to children read, tutoring in specific areas, correcting work done by students, and sharing specialized job information or hobbies. They also prepare materials and do tasks that free the teachers to spend more time with the students and help as a room mother/father, providers of transportation, and serve as members of the School Site Council.

Parents are teachers and they are asked to listen to their children read every night through the use of many schoolwide programs (Accelerated Reader) and individual classroom incentives. Many parent/teacher conferences are held during the year where the teacher and parent mutually decide what efforts they will make to help the child.

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