Trustees of the Winters Joint Unified School District received their annual “2020-21 Year in Review” charter school presentation during the Oct. 21 meeting.
J.J. Lewis, Superintendent and CEO for Compass Charter School of Yolo narrated a slide presentation sharing Compass’ mission, vision, governance, data and finances.
A charter school is an independently operated public school that is granted greater flexibility than a traditional public school. Charter schools operate under a “charter,” which is a contract between the charter school and its authorizing agency.
Compass is the homeschool and online charter school authorized by the Winters JUSD which in return receives a fee to provide oversight.
Although the name would infer that Compass is focused in Yolo County, it incorporates and enrolls students residing in Colusa, Lake, Marin, Napa, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter and Yolo counties. Enrollment is “scattered across the region,” said Lewis.
Of the charter school’s 720 student population, only nine were reported to reside within the boundary of Winters JUSD. Lewis said that 45 Winters High School (WHS) students are concurrently taking Compass independent study courses and although they are not enrolled at Compass or part of the 720 number, they are “supported by Compass.”
Compass’ mission statement declares, “Our mission is to inspire and develop innovative, creative, self-directed learners, one scholar at a time.” Their logo’s tagline is, “The Gold Standard for Virtual Education.”
Compass provides classes in TK through 12 grade and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) as a school and is National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCAA) accredited for their high school courses, “which we believe is one of the feathers in our caps as a virtual charter school,” Lewis said.
The presentation covered the entire school without academic delineation between Winters charter students and all students throughout the charter. Lewis responded to an email, “We do not currently track our data in this manner.”
Compass diagnostic assessment testing results for TK through fifth grade revealed that 79 percent of students were reading at grade level at the beginning of the year, a number that improved to 84 percent at year end. Math proficiency for this group slipped from 79 percent at grade level at the beginning of the school year to 72 percent at year end.
“We’re doing great in reading, great growth in reading, math needs some additional TLC,” Lewis said.
For sixth grade through 12 grade, 56 percent of the students were reading at grade level at the beginning of the year and improved to 61 percent by year end. These same students started the year in math with 35 percent performing at grade level, but slipped to 34 percent by year end.
Lewis closed his presentation stating, “I appreciate always the strong partnership that we have between Winters and Compass. I think this is a great point of pride between our organization and the district.”