Foothill Digital Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Can I ask more questions?

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    Sure! We love questions! Please contact Director of Enrollment Colette Sims. She can either answer your question or connect you with someone who can. She csn be reached at csims@foothillcds.org.  

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  • Is this the same curriculum as Foothill Country Day School?

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    Foothill Digital curriculum is personalized for each student. You may not see the same textbooks as the day school students, because effective online learning requires very different methods and tools. Like Foothill Country Day School, Foothill Digital's core curriculum is based on national standards and prepares students with the academic foundation and character to be successful in high school and live, learn, and work successfully in online and in-person communities.   

    All Foothill Digital students take core classes of English, mathematics, history, science, Spanish, and electives.  However, they will have choices for real time participation in their learning plan within those subjects. For example, all students study science, but if your child is really into jet propulsion or marine biology, we will work on incorporating those interests into science class. The beauty of this program is that it is flexible and custom!  

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  • Who are the teachers in Foothill Digital? Is this just an out-sourced or pre-packaged program?

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    Foothill Digital is a completely custom program. There is no pre-packaged curriculum. Core subjects are taught by Foothill Digital teachers who teach or have taught in the day program. It is possible that foreign languages and specialty electives could be taught by outside teachers in order to provide your student with the very best instruction.    

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  • How much time to we need to commit to school each week?

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    Each child will have an individualized schedule, designed around their needs. Most students will receive 30 minutes to 1 hour of live teacher instruction per subject, per week. In addition to that, they would need to complete several hours of independent study (videos, research, projects). Most students will be committed to about 20-25 hours a week in coursework and teacher engagement for school. 

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  • Will my child be competitive in high school applications?

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    Foothill has nearly 70 years of experience, a well-established reputation, and great relationships with many independent and public high schools. In fact, last year our students were accepted into more than 20 high schools across the state and nation. Our closest high school partners are looking forward to adding Foothill Digital students to their admissions pools.    

    Families often consider private or independent high school options for their students. Private and independent high schools across the country require the Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) for applicants. Beginning in 6th grade, Foothill Digital students will receive weekly instruction using Princeton Review's ISEE preparatory curricullum to ensure our students receive early and regular practice with this common standardized entrance examination. 

    All students in Foothill Digital receive support in applying to the high schools of their choice. In addition, all Foothill Digital students will receive one-on-one assistance in compiling a portfolio of their work to present to high schools.       

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  • Do you require vaccinations?

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    We will comply with all state and federal mandates for vaccinations. We do not anticipate requiring vaccinations for students in the Foothill Digital program, since they will not be attending in-person classes on our campus.  

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  • How is this different from the distance learning we had in COVID-19?

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    The move to distance learning was incredibly challenging but fortuitous in that we determined that a Foothill education could be experienced in the online space. Foothill day students did extremely well in distance learning during our campus closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome you to read about that, and hear from our parents on that topic here. 

    Foothill Digital is very different because our teachers and students are choosing to teach and learn this way. Flexibility, individualization, and responsiveness are the priorities for the curriculum and student experience. 

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  • Is Foothill Digital accredited?

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    We are pursuing full accreditation with both CAIS (California Association of Independent Schools) and the WASC Western Association of School and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Schools. Foothill Country Day School has been fully accredited since its founding in 1954.  

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  • Foothill is known for good public speakers. How will the Digital students get that skill?

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    You are right, traditionally, Foothill encourages public speaking through chapel talks, class plays, and other performances. We still value that! 

    Developing the skills to be a creative communicator in the digital landscape is critical to our students' futures.  Choosing the right digital tools to communicate effectively and engage others, present ideas in a compelling format, or create the original content to represent one's point of view is the goal of the Foothill Digital presentation curriculum: up to 4 times per year, students will be required to design a presentation and engage the Foothill Digital community.    

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  • Do you follow a regular school year calendar?

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    Foothill Digital follows the Foothill Country Day School calendar, spanning from September - June.  

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  • What if we want to travel as a family?

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    That's the beauty of a flexible program: it can be done anywhere! Your experiences while travelling can also be woven in to your child's curriculum so that it becomes an enhancement, rather than a disruption to their education.     

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  • Is this really like Foothill Country Day School?

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    Every aspect of Foothill Digital reflects Foothill Country Day School's Mission and Core Values. This new offering draws from the strongest elements of the teaching and learning experience honed for almost 70 years on our physical campus. Whether in-person at Foothill Country Day School or in community through Foothill Digital, our goal is the same: to engage and challenge students, and build the foundation in academics and character they will need to live successfully and make positive contributions to a complex and ever-changing world.  

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  • Will my child receive a Foothill diploma?

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    Foothill Digital students will have completed the same graduation requirements as Foothill Country Day School students. The Foothill Digital diploma will be designated with the Foothill Digital logo.    

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  • Will my child have choice in the classes they take?

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    All Foothill Digital students take the core classes of English, mathematics, history, science, Spanish, and electives.  However, they will have choices and meaningful participation in their learning plan within those subjects. For example, all students study science, but if your child is really into jet propulsion or marine biology, we will work on incorporating those interests into science class. The beauty of this program is that it is flexible and custom!  

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  • Why is there so little school time in Digital? Will my child be missing something?

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    Effective online learning should be designed as student centered, guided by clear objectives, and held accountable to student learning goals. Free from the challenges of in-person classrooms, your student will receive individualized attention to their learning needs, allowing for sustained engagment in the subject matter. This results in greater efficiency and greater retention. Independent learners simply don't need as much time to accomplish the same amount of learning. Think of it as "study smarter, not harder".      

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  • You mention assessments. Is this a lot of standardized testing? My child doesn't do well on tests.

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    We use multiple forms of data to assess student learning and growth. Sometime that is a standarized test, like the one you will take for admission to the school. But it can also be, for example,  a presentation, a portfolio of work, a video, or a student-built web page, for example. Part of our custom approach is determining what kind of assessment your child can best present in order to show us that they have mastered the material.    

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  • My child is in 4th grade. Can they attend Foothill Digital?

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    No. At this time, Foothill Digital is only accepting students entering 6th-8th grade. Please check back with us in the future -- we may expand!   

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