The Acorn

A Message from the Principal of AOC, Dr. Fine

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Academy of the Canyons News for the Week of 3/28-4/3

Greetings AOC Families,

Happy Sunday! And, to our families who celebrate, Happy Passover! Chag Sameach! And, Happy Palm Sunday!

Starting tomorrow, March 29th, we enthusiastically welcome students back to the physical campus. For the next eight weeks, our temporary home is located at Castaic High School. This is where our teachers and office staff are now located. We greatly look forward to seeing students in person and continuing online in our blended learning format. Please see our video tour below.

Click here to access the Weekly Bulletin. This Friday is a FLEX (Tues./Thurs.) schedule. Inside the weekly bulletin, read about scholarship information, club news and a reminder for free meals for all youth under the age of 18.

If you would like your child to have free meals at Castaic High School, please have them register online for the free breakfast/lunch. Students must sign up in advance for their meals. They must use their student gmail account to sign up. Information and link can be found in the Weekly Bulletin.

There is no school from April 5th-April 9th for Spring Break. Have a safe and joyful break! There will be no "Acorn" message on April 3rd. In advance, Happy Easter to all of our AOC families who celebrate!

Have a great week, AOC!


Dr. Juliet Fine

Welcome to the Castaic High School Campus!

Tour of Castaic High School, Temporary Home of AOC

Watch this video for a virtual tour of Castaic High School.
Crisis Go check in at Castaic High School for AOC

"Crisis Go" Check In System for Student Safety

Watch the video above. Students will enter campus after parents submit and fill out the "Crisis Go" questionnaire. A QR code will be sent to the student i.d. card and will pop up after the questionnaire is completed. Parents/guardians can screen shot and text message the QR code to students.
Where is the attendance office and Mrs. Walusco at Castaic High School?

What do you do if you are tardy? Where is the attendance office?

Watch this video to see where you will find Mrs. Walusco in her attendance office at Castaic High School for our AOC students. You will make a right turn after entering the front gate and she will be available to help students. This is also near the location of our quarantine area. If your student demonstrates covid symptoms, they will be found in the front of the school underneath the covid quarantine tent.
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Return to School on March 29th

AOC Parents and Guardians,

Please note the following information for the return to in-person learning at Castaic High School. These are key points that we have discussed with all students coming to the physical campus:

  • Safety is our #1 Priority-Students and staff must adhere to all k-12 covid-19 guidelines for reopening schools. For on campus students, we will also be participating in safety drills at Castaic High School within the first few weeks of schools. This includes lockdown, fire and earthquake drills.
  • Arrival Time-You can arrive no earlier than 7:30am.
  • Departure Time-You must leave campus no later than 3:30pm. If there is a conflict with COC classes, please contact Dr. Fine and Mrs. Herrera.
  • Valet-For the valet, enter campus and turn left. Similar to the Disneyland parking lot, please follow the cars in front of you.
  • Changes from Blended to Online or Vice Versa-If you are requesting a change from blended learning to online or online to blended, this requires us to process this change. It is not automatic. Please notify the main office so we can confirm your cohort and make the necessary administrative changes. This must be communicated in advance. Please know that a great deal of planning goes into our classrooms, and the teachers and the administrative office have prepared for the number of students returning and those remaining at home.
  • Cafeteria-The cafeteria is only available for grab n' go prepackaged breakfasts and lunches. They are free but you must register in advance.
  • Masks must be worn at all times. There are disciplinary action taken if a student intentionally does not adhere to all covid-19 guidelines.
  • Social-Distancing-Student must maintain social distancing guidelines at all times.
  • Exiting Campus-To leave campus, you must have an "open" sticker on your i.d. card. If a parent does not want you to leave campus, then please notify the school.
  • Open Periods-For open periods, students must be located in the science labs. There is no eating in the lab spaces. Students may bring a water bottle with a straw and step outside if they need to take a drink.
  • Where Students Eat-During lunch, there is plenty of outdoor spaces to eat lunch. AOC students will be asked to eat in the outdoor amphitheater area.
  • Lanyard and I.D. Cards Required-Students must wear their lanyard and student i.d. at all times while at Castaic High School. This is so we can easily identify our AOC students and for safety reasons. This is their entry access into the school and allows them to exit campus with the open stickers.
  • COC Classes-If a student has a COC class that ends beyond 3:30pm, they must take that class at home. Please notify us if you have any questions about this. Supervision in the computer lab ends at 3:30pm at Castaic High School.
  • Crisis Go pre-visit certification must be completed before entering campus.
  • Access to the library will be available by appointment. There are only 40 students allowed at one time and Castaic also hold classes at various times throughout the week. Space and times will be limited. This will be communicated to our students by Castaic's Librarian, Mrs. Hermelin.
  • Parking-No parking passes are needed for AOC students. They will park in front of the school off to the right. They will be show where to park the first few days of school.
  • Drive Slowly, Deer-remember to drive slowly and safely up the hill to Castaic. There are deer who are known to cross the street and we want everyone to be safe. Accidents can occur on the road or in the parking lot. Please drive safely and slowly. Give yourself plenty of time to drive up the road.
  • Bring Your Own or Borrowed Device Charged-Students must bring their own charged device. If they forget or it is not charged, we have devices available for use.
  • Symptoms of Illness-If you are sick, you must stay home and complete class online.
  • AOC Identification Cards- If you do not have your i.d. card with you, students cannot easily leave campus. It will require processing time and may delay your exit or entrance. It will take more than a few minutes to print a new schedule and confirm your open periods (up to 15 minutes depending on how busy the office is.). Students must notify us immediately if their i.d. card is lost or stolen.
  • Comprehensive Campus-Castaic High School is not an open campus and is a comprehensive campus. There is one entry and exit point.
  • School Therapy-Jacquie Pershing, our school therapist is still available by appointment. She will be at Castaic High School on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Help Needed/ Lost-Signs are posted to easily identify the AOC classroom locations. They can also be found in IC on the student schedule (Thank you to Mrs. Herrera for making that change for us!)
  • ASB students are also here to help because they have toured the campus many times. They can be of assistance as needed and Castaic High School's campus supervisors in addition to Mr. Loper, AOC's Head Campus Supervisor work in collaboration and are here to support our students and families.

Please reach out to us with any further questions or comments. During this transition, we are here to support our students and families.

Click on the link above to see the "Return to Campus" fact sheet.
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Drive with Caution to Castaic! Deers May Cross Unexpectedly

Hi AOC Students and Families,

Please drive with caution, slowly and safely around Castaic High School. Families of deer populate the area and are known to cross the road and can also damage vehicles. Thank you for your understanding!

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Thank You, AOC Students, Families and Staff!

Dear AOC Families,

I want to thank you for trusting us during this important transition. Since the fall, our teachers and staff have prepared for this moment and as a staff, we are very excited to see our students in person and online.

To our students, thank you for embracing one more challenge. For our freshman coming to campus, you have never been on a high school campus as students and we can't wait to see you. For our Seniors, these are your last moments with us and we want to cherish this time together and celebrate you. For sophomores and juniors, you will help us plan for the future of AOC and walk this unique journey with us.

As a principal, I'd like to give a special recognition to our teachers and staff for making a seamless transition to Castaic High School. They have been working diligently around the clock to prepare for this moment. And, thank you to our outstanding ASB for putting together video and in-person tours to help welcome students.

For our students, families and staff, this is one more transition; it can feel both challenging and exciting. Throughout this time, we want to thank you for partnering with us as one community. Thank you for your support and understanding.

With Appreciation,

Dr. Fine

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Thank You, Mrs. Pershing, Wellness Coordinator!

Thank you to Jacqueline Rousseaux-Pershing, our school Wellness Coordinator, therapist, social worker. Mrs. Pershing is honored this month along with other social workers for her contributions to our students' mental health and wellness. As a Wellness Coordinator, she dedicates her time to helping our students at AOC and Valencia High School. We thank Mrs. Pershing for her work at AOC!

The theme for Social Work Month 2021 is Social Workers Are Essential. Social workers are essential to community well-being.

As practitioners, social workers are trained to help people address personal and systemic barriers to optimal living. They are employed to effect positive change with individuals, families, groups and entire communities. During Social Work Month take time to learn more about the many positive contributions of the profession,

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The William S. Hart Union High School Spring Break is scheduled for the week of April 5th-April 11th. We resume school on April 12th. Have a safe and restful break!
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Happy Passover to our AOC families who celebrate. We hope that you have a joyous and peaceful celebration with your family.
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For our AOC families who celebrate, in advance on April 4th, we wish you a very Happy Easter!
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Academy of the Canyons

Located on the campus of College of the Canyons, AOC is proud to be the middle college high school in the William S. Hart Union High School District serving students 9th-12th grades in the Santa Clarita Valley. Students have the opportunity to earn between 24 and 44 transferable college units, prior to receiving their high school diplomas. Upon graduation, the majority of Academy students pursue their post high school education by continuing at COC and completing their college transfer requirements in only one year after high school. Other AOC students go directly into a four-year university, bringing their community college units with them and placing themselves well into their freshman and sophomore years at the college level. While attending AOC as a high school student, community college tuition is waived for established California residents.