San Juan Capistrano-based JSerra Catholic High School is adding a new online curriculum to its current offerings, becoming the first Catholic high school in Orange County to offer such a Web-based educational program, according to the institution.
Heading up the program will be Jonathan Horowitz, who has served for the past three and a half years as principal of Capistrano Connections Academy, an online school serving 1,600 students in five counties.
“JSerra has demonstrated incredible vision in embracing an online curriculum for its students,” Horowitz said. “It will enable the young school to enroll students from a broader geographic region as well as allow for more diverse coursework for students. They are the first Catholic high school in the region that I’m aware of to embrace online education, and they will likely be a model for others.”
In its early stages, the program will allow eighth-grade students to get a head start on their freshman year by taking summer health classes from home. Students also will have the option of taking additional courses outside the classroom. The platform will be designed to allow students to be “online graduates,” although they will spend time on campus to “preserve the culture,” according to the school.
In addition, Horowitz plans to meet with teachers and staff members on an individual basis get ideas and feedback for the new program.
“The program will be comprehensive, complementing the existing courses and extending new opportunities that run the gamut from competitive Advanced Placement classes to foreign languages to everything in between,” said Horowitz.
JSerra first began student instruction in 2003. Since then, it has risen to become one of the top university preparatory institutions in Orange County.
The new program adds to the school's "value proposition," said JSerra President and CEO Frank Talarico.
“We have a medical magnet partnership with Mission Hospital, are about to launch a business magnet program with UC Irvine and are working toward programs in law and engineering,” he said. “It’s not just our $110-million campus that sets us apart. At JSerra, you get it all – incredible facilities, some of the most accomplished teachers, innovative new programs – all in a safe and wonderful community-focused environment.”
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