High School Intensive (HSI) Plan Policy

Updated 01/07/2021


As students prepare for the CAASPP ELA and mathematics Grade 11 tests, it is important to remember the CAASPP tests reflect California's state-adopted standards from grades 9, 10 and 11, which will help prepare students for college and a career in the 21st-century job market. These tests contain a wider variety of questions than traditional multiple-choice tests and include tasks that require students to explain how they solve problems. The tests allow students to demonstrate analytical writing, critical thinking, and problem solving skills along with their knowledge of facts in ELA and mathematics.

By participating in CAASPP, grade 11 students also receive information about their readiness for college-level courses after graduating from high school. Each CAASPP achievement level corresponds to a different level of college readiness under the Early Assessment Program (EAP). Students who are conditionally ready or not yet ready for college coursework are encouraged to further develop their skills during their senior year. The California State University (CSU) and participating California Community Colleges (CCCs) will use the ELA and mathematics assessments of the CAASPP System to determine students' EAP status, which will provide an indicator of his/her predicted readiness to take college-level English and mathematics courses when students begin college. The CAASPP overall score and achievement level for ELA and mathematics can be used to provide an early indicator of a student's readiness for college-level coursework. To that end, it is important we identify students who may not show readiness to meet standards on the Grade 11 CAASPP and provide as much support for these students as we can. One system of support we have developed is our High School Intensive (HSI) program, described below. However, Education Specialists and parents should work together to find additional personalized supports where needed for their students.

To learn more about the CAASPP tests, visit the California Department of Education (CDE) CAASPP System.

Who must participate in the High School Intensive (HSI)?

  • HSI Composition Course: All 10th-11th graders who have not demonstrated proficiency in grade 8 standards or readiness for high school level coursework in English Language Arts. Optionally, students in grade 9 are encouraged to complete the HSI Composition Course if they feel additional support would benefit them for an early start towards college and career readiness.

Note: Once a student has successfully passed the HSI Coursework, they do not need to repeat courses in future years.

Students in grade 12 who did not score a 3 or a 4 on the 11th grade English Language Arts CAASPP and who have not yet passed HSI Composition are highly encouraged to participate in corresponding HSI coursework.

  • HSI Math (For 9-12th grade students who have not yet passed Algebra 1):

All students in grades 9-12 who have not yet passed Algebra 1 must have an approved High School Intensive course placement. Please follow the Math Placement Policy for approved instructional options for students needing to pass Algebra 1.

Exemptions from the HSI Composition Coursework:

Students who:

  • have successfully passed a full year high school level AG English (college prep) course or Community College Course with an emphasis in writing with a letter grade of C or better
  • have scored a 3 or 4 on an 8th grade level (or higher) CAASPP ELA portion
  • have passed the ACT Aspire assessment covering grade 8 (or higher) Language Arts skills
  • are currently designated English Learners and are participating in an English Language Development

Exemptions from the HSI Math Coursework:

None. All students in grades 9-12 who have not yet passed Algebra 1 must choose an approved course according to the Math Placement Policy.

What is the High School Intensive (HSI) Plan?

The HSI Plan is an intervention program set up to help all CWCS students achieve readiness for the Early Assessment Program to address the increasing number of incoming college students who require remediation in English and/or mathematics, and to ensure students earn their diploma. Earning the diploma is the first priority in a student's educational endeavors, and therefore will take precedence over other elective activities when planning the Instructional Funds budget. The High School Intensive programs can be expensive, and the parent/student must keep this in mind when making requests for other activities. As budget allows, materials, course access, and Effective Educator oversight will be provided for the student at no cost to the ESs' student instructional funding accounts. HSI courses are broken down into manageable modules and include asynchronous instruction with scaffolding to maximize student support. Students are not required to have additional tutoring, but may opt to use additional tutoring to best support their success as determined by the parent and the Education Specialist.

Students who complete the HSI Composition (writing) course will increase their writing and critical thinking skills which will help with overall success in Math, Science, Social Studies and English classes, as well as better prepare them for success on the Grade 11 CAASPP and for life beyond high school.

  • Materials & Course Access: Students will receive necessary textbooks and access to the asynchronous instructional course modules for the needed subjects. ESs must ensure students have all necessary materials and can successfully access Canvas for the completion of the course(s).

HSI Composition Textbooks:
Common Core Coach for Composition I
Publisher: Triumph Learning
Common Core Coach Composition I Student Edition
Common Core Coach Composition 1 Teacher's Manual

HSI Math Textbooks:
Vary per course. Please refer to syllabus of chosen course.

Composition Placement: No placement Test is needed. All eligible students will enroll in the HSI Composition Course.

  • Once students have successfully completed the HSI courses (HSI Composition A/B, they are no longer eligible for the HSI program.

Intensive Guidelines:

  • Students who are eligible for the HSI program will complete a minimum of a 1-year (10 credits) course during the fall and spring semesters for each corresponding subject.
  • Although the program is designed to allow students to take additional time for mastery, students are encouraged to complete at least 2 modules per semester. Students must complete at least ONE module to avoid a final F grade.
  • Students will earn 10 credits (4 modules; 2.5 credits each) for English Language Arts Composition (which meet requirements of core ELA credits for graduation)
  • Students will participate in High School Intensive asynchronous instructional course modules for the duration of the year, but may work at their own pace and with any "knowledgeable other" needed to best support the student. Some of the assigned work will be submitted in Canvas by student (as outlined in the modules and on the syllabus) and graded by an Effective Educator assigned to oversee the modules. Students will also have a companion worktext and a variety of assignments that will need to be graded by ES, parent or knowledgeable other at home. Refer to the course syllabus for grading policy, specific assignment details and student / parent / ES responsibilities. Final grades for each module will be given by the assigned Effective Educator of the asynchronous instructional course modules.

New Enrollee Guidelines:

  • All new 10th -11th grade students who have not yet met composition mastery as noted above will begin Composition modules at Module 1. Credits earned will be prorated at the end of each semester based on how many modules are completed in 2.5 credit increments, only if a minimum of a single module is completed.

Why is High School Intensive required and what happens if a student misses their class?

  • The High School Intensive program is required for students identified at risk for not demonstrating proficiency towards college and career readiness or meeting the minimum graduation requirements.

The High School Intensive program is subject to the CWCS Truancy Policy and Procedure. However, the HSI courses are asynchronous and students can work on them at their own pace. Generally speaking, ESs should ensure students are on track to finish 2 modules per semester.

Attendance Issues:

  • Students who lag significantly behind in completing module coursework will be notified by the Module's Effective Educator so that students are aware they may be in danger of not completing the course by the end of the year. Although some students may need additional time to complete a module, ESs should monitor students closely to help ensure they are on track to complete 2 modules per semester. Students who are lagging behind may need to arrange for additional instruction (synchronous tutoring).

Start and End Dates

  • Students must make weekly progress in their class for the duration of the year or until all modules of the courses are complete.

How are Credits assigned?

  • Credits listed in the High School Intensive Options can only be assigned if student has completed the entire module and completed all class assignments.

Credits will be assigned in the following manner:

  • 2.5 credits per module completed (no credit for partial modules) up to 10 credits. The expectation is students will complete 5 credits per semester two (2) modules per semester)

ESs should ensure the student is ready for the rigor of these courses so that students are successful.

High School Intensive

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do students have to participate in High School Intensive?

Yes, if they fall into the guidelines above.

  • Can I opt out my Special Education Student?

Not necessarily. Students with IEPs (SPED Students) who are on track to earn a diploma are required by law to meet or exceed the standards. For many students, this is very challenging. However, with the HS Intensive Modules, students can work on mastering material at a slower pace, over an extended period of time. The HSI would be a good fit for many of our SPED students.

  • Can my student enroll in a-g ELA instead of the HSI Composition?

Any student who is ready for a-g coursework should be encouraged to enroll in an a-g class, however, they would also complete HSI Composition simultaneously. Students would earn English Language Arts credit for both courses. HSI Composition focuses specifically on composition skills needed to boost overall success in Math, Science, Social Studies and English classes, as well as better prepare them for success on the Grade 11 CAASPP and for life beyond high school.

  • What does "asynchronous course" mean?

All material in the Modules are asynchronous, meaning the student does not need to attend class at a specific time with a live instructor. They can work at their own pace to understand and master the material. As they submit designated assignments, an Effective Educator will provide feedback and encouragement via Canvas, email, or other communication tools.

  • If a student needs more instructional assistance than what the Modules offer, what should they do?

All material in the Modules are asynchronous, meaning the student does not need to attend class at a specific time with a live instructor. They can work through the course on their own pace but if they need more support, ESs can arrange tutoring, family members, co-ops, AESS, or whatever suits the students' needs and style.

  • Can a student set up their own intensive option?

No, students must complete the options provided; however, they can choose their own tutor or "knowledgeable other" if needed. They do not have to choose tutors from an approved list, and they may use instructional funding (aka: EUs) if needed.

  • What if a student is out of funding?

ESs may submit a Request for Additional Funds to their advisor with an explanation of why additional funds are needed. However, when budget allows, access to materials, course instructional modules, and Effective Educator oversight will be provided at no cost to ES's instructional funding account for the student.

For additional questions, you may contact [email protected]

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