Parent FAQ

About  Charter Schools
Enrollment Process
Working with an Education Specialist (ES)
Instructional Funding
Vendor Information
Learning Records
Homeless Liaisons
Employment Opportunities

About  Charter School

Fast facts:

  •  is managed by Innovative Education Management (IEM).
  • IEM Charter Schools are home-based, publicly funded, independent study charter schools. We are required to follow the same rules as a regular/traditional California public schools when it comes to state testing, grade level standards, and attendance.
  • IEM Charter Schools are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • IEM Charter Schools are public schools, we do not charge tuition or fees.
  • Students are assigned to an Education Specialist (ES); the ES is a credentialed teacher who oversees the student's education. The parent/guardian serves as the day to day teacher.
  • IEM Charter Schools do not have a set curriculum; families work with the assigned ES to develop individualized learning plans based on their educational philosophy and student’s learning style.
  • Families meet face to face with their assigned ES once every 20 school days.
  • IEM Charter schools allot funds to each ES for each student they serve to use towards approved non-sectarian educational materials, curriculum, and contract programs.
  • IEM Charter Schools are not able to guarantee enrollment; ES assignment is first come, first serve, based on the date received of applications and when we have ES availability within each geographic area.
  • IEM Charter schools are “Parent Driven.”
  • The President of Innovative Education Management, Randy Gaschler, wrote the book Parent Driven Schools.

Are you implementing Common Core?

  • Yes. 2014 was our transition year into Common Core and the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Common Core standards and assessment requirements were fully implemented in the 2015 school year.
  • IEM schools have been providing ESs and parents with training modules to prepare for Common Core.

For more information about curriculum and common core please visit: 

For information about state mandated testing and assessment requirements please visit: 

Enrollment Process

How do I apply?


Please do not disenroll from your current school. Acceptance of a student’s enrollment application does not constitute enrollment with an IEM school. Students are not considered enrolled until they have met with their Education Specialist and signed the Student Agreement.

What documents do I need to submit with my enrollment application?

Required Forms

  • Birth Certificate (copy only) – All Students
    • Other acceptable forms include, but are not limited to U.S. or foreign birth certificates
      • adoption records
      • passports
      • baptismal records
      • previous school records
      • other forms of U.S. or foreign government-issued identification
      • affidavits from a parent/guardian or pediatrician
  • Immunization record – All students (In accordance with Senate Bill 277, please submit record of any immunizations received. Records will be accepted whether complete or incomplete.)
  • Health Exam – TK, Kindergarten and 1st grade students
  • Oral Health Exam – TK, Kindergarten and 1st grade students who are entering a CA public school for the first time

Required Forms if Applicable

Special Education Documents if Applicable

  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) – Most recent, whether active or inactive
  • 504 Plan – If drafted
  • Or, if no IEP, a copy of all assessment reports

What are the policies on immunizations?

  • As a California Public Charter School, we are required to follow the immunization guidelines set forth by the California Department of Health. Please visit the Shots for Schools website for the most recent information regarding the requirements for immunizations at or contact your local health department.
  • Guide to parents for immunizations

When can my child start kindergarten?

  • To start kindergarten a child must turn five on or before September 1st.

Must children attend transitional kindergarten or kindergarten?

  • Parents and guardians are currently not required to enroll children in transitional kindergarten or kindergarten (EC Section 48200).

Do you offer Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

Yes. We offer TK and the following is our approved policy.

  • Kindergarten age appropriate students are allowed to choose TK if their 5th birthday is between the last day of the school year -September 1st.
  • A child is eligible for TK if he or she turns five between September 2nd-December 2nd.
  • Students who turn 5 after December 2nd  will be eligible for TK on their 5th birthday and for the remainder of that school year. These students will need to start kindergarten in fall semester of the next school year and not continue another year of TK.
  • TK students are required to submit an immunization record if one exists (In accordance with Senate Bill 277 please submit record of any immunizations received. Records will be accepted whether complete or incomplete.)
  • TK students are required to have a completed health exam and oral health exam for school entry.
  • Children who are age-eligible to attend kindergarten, but choose to enroll in TK will need a signed Kindergarten Continuance Form verifying that the parent/guardian agrees to have his/her child continue in kindergarten the following year.

If a family enrolls in TK, whether the student is kindergarten age or TK age, they are committing to the two-year program. The exception to a two year program is for students who turn 5 after December 1st but before the end of the school year. These students will not have a two year program and must begin kindergarten at the beginning of the next school year. Students actively enrolled in TK are promoted to kindergarten the following year. We do not promote from TK to first grade and we do not change grade levels mid-year for actively enrolled students.

My child will turn 5 after December 2nd, when can I apply for enrollment?

Enrollment Application Acceptance Dates

Families who wish to apply for enrollment in the current school year may apply at any time during the school year up until enrollment closes in March.

Families who wish to apply in advance for future enrollment may apply under the following guidelines:

  • To apply for the fall/1st semester of the current school year, applications will be accepted beginning in January, prior to the start of the following school year, until the last day of the 1st semester.
  • To apply for the spring/2nd semester, applications will be accepted beginning on the first day of the school year in August, until enrollment closes that following March.
  • Applicants who will turn 5 after December 2nd may follow the same guidelines above, but they may not enroll until the date of their 5th birthday. Applicants who will turn 5 after enrollment closes for the school year will not be eligible to enroll until the following school year when they are age eligible to attend Kindergarten.

Please note: Acceptance of a student’s enrollment application does not constitute enrollment with an IEM school. Students are not considered enrolled until they have met with their Education Specialist and signed the Student Agreement.

What happens after my enrollment packet is completed?

  • Once student records receives a complete enrollment packet with ALL required documents, the application will be processed. 
  • Once the application is processed the student(s) will be placed on the prospective student assigning list.
  • Special Education applications will be sent to our Special Education department for review.
  • Once an ES is available, your student will be assigned. The ES will contact you to set up an enrollment meeting.
  • You are not officially enrolled until you have met face-to-face with an ES and signed a student and charter agreement.

How can I check on the status of my application?

  • Please allow 3 business day for the office to process your enrollment packet.
  • If you apply using our online application website, you can check your application status by logging into your online application account.
  • If you apply by downloading and sending in your application you can check your application status by contacting Parent Support 800-979-4436.

Why can’t you guarantee enrollment?

  • Enrollment is based on a first come, first serve basis by the date received of your completed application packet and when we have an ES with space available in your geographic zip code area.
  • Until the ES has met with your family and you have signed a student agreement these numbers continue to be adjusted.

I would like to talk to a live person about your schools. Is there a person I can call?

  • Yes. Please call our Parent Support at 800-979-4436. We're also available by email at 

Is there an enrollment cutoff date?

  • Yes. The enrollment cutoff date slightly varies each year; closed enrollment is in February.

When do you start accepting applications for the fall/spring semester of each school year?

  • We start accepting 1st Semester/Fall applications each year on January 1st.
  • We start accepting 2nd Semester/Spring applications each year on the first day of school.

Does your school have a Special Education program?

  • Yes, we have a Special Education program that provides a variety of services based on a student's IEP as well as having a program that meets both federal and state Special Education legal requirements.

Can I be enrolled in another school while attending?

  • No. We are a public school and do not permit dual enrollment.
  • However, you can apply to our school while enrolled in or applying for other schools. Once you are officially enrolled, you must immediately unenroll with any other school(s). There may be no overlap of attendance.

My children attend a private school that I pay for out of pocket. The school does not file an affidavit with the state. Can I enroll my child at your school and keep him/her enrolled at the private school since an affidavit is not filed and I am paying out of pocket?

  • No. California law prohibits dual enrollment situations and IEM schools are very careful to never be in a situation of dual enrollment.

Can a student expelled from another school enroll?

  • The expulsion report must be submitted with the application to be reviewed by the director who will make the final determination.

After attending the charter school can a student enroll in a traditional school?

  • Yes.

Working with an Education Specialist (ES)

When can I meet with an ES?

  • The first meeting with an ES will be once your student(s) has been assigned to an ES and he or she contacts you to setup and initial enrollment meeting.
  • Once you are enrolled you meet face to face with your ES once every 20 school days.

Where do I meet the Educational Specialist?

  • You meet in a location that is agreeable to you and the ES like a local library, another public facility, or sometimes your home.
  • ESs are not required to meet at the family's home; however, in some instances this can be an option. This will be decided between you and your ES.

Will I be assigned an ES who lives near me and fits with my child’s style of learning?

  • ES assignment is based on the date received of your application and your geographic zip code area.
  • Your ES may or may not live in your immediate area but will come up with a mutually agreed upon location, date, and time that fits with both of your schedules for your learning record meetings.

Can I request an ES who matches my educational philosophy?

  • ESs are required to be well versed in different styles of learning and will work closely with you to best understand your child's learning needs.
  • Each of our ESs is committed to parent choice while providing professional consultation in alignment with grade level standards.
  • Each ES has an advisor who is also available to families if there are any questions or concerns that the family and ES need guidance with resolving.

I want to have a long-term partnership and not constant change.

  • The ideal situation is a long-term partnership and change is avoided whenever possible.
  • IEM Charter Schools hire ESs as needed to accommodate the growth and needs of our students.

How long/often are the meetings?

  • Mandatory Learning Record Meetings take place at least once every 15-20 school days.
  • Meetings may not exceed 20 school days
  • The meetings are typically 1 hour per student, unless there are assessments in which case, it may be longer than 1 hour per student.
  • A missed meeting results in the issuance of a truancy.
  • Two truancies result in being dropped from the school.

Instructional Funding

How does school funding work?

  • The instructional funds (IF) are set up in an IF account that is managed by the ES. When families are placing orders for curriculum or supplies with an approved school product vendor, or signing up for classes with an approved school service vendor, the ES will issue a purchase order from the family's IF account to the approved vendor.

  • The 19/20 IF amount is up to $2,700.00 (TK-8 students; per student); $1,350.00 each funding period and $3,000 (high school students; per student); $1,500.00 each funding period.

  • The state of CA funds our schools based on the average daily student attendance.

  • IF rates are subject to change each year based on state budget.

  • IF is prorated by day for late enrollment.

  • The ES will check out curriculum and materials purchased from approved product vendors to the families and sign the student(s) up for classes with approved service vendors.

  • All materials purchased with IFs is the property of the school and must be returned upon leaving our school; including consumables. Parents will be responsible to pay for materials lost, stolen, damaged, or not returned to the school.

How often are Instructional Funds (IF) allocated and what are the amounts?

  • The Instructional Funds are dispersed 2 times a year into the ESs budget. The total funding amount is divided in half and added to instruction funds twice a year.

Why do your schools have so much more money for instructional funds than other charter schools? How can you do that?

  • All charter schools receive the same state funding. Each school (charter or otherwise) decides how to spend their funds in a way that will best meet the needs of their students following the philosophy of that charter school. For each school, this looks a little different.

Can I use my instructional funds to pay for my child's team sports, such as his or her soccer team or baseball team?

  • No. IFs cannot be used to pay for team sports. They can be used to pay for lessons that teach specific skills and must be done through an approved vendor.

Is your school compliant with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)?

Can I be reimbursed for curriculum I have already purchased or registration fees I have already paid?

  • No. A parent cannot be reimbursed using state dollars by the charter school for any out of pocket expenses that have already been paid at any time for any reason.

Can the funds be used for extracurricular activities? If so, what options are there?

  • Yes. However, you must be using an approved vendor and the student’s educational needs in the core areas are being met. The ES must have evidence that the student has the materials that he/she needs for the core areas prior to placing a purchase order for anything extracurricular. The options can be explored with the ES but music lessons, dance lessons, and swimming lessons are just a few.

How are consumables and non-consumables handled?

  • All materials ordered with state funding, including consumable items, such as workbooks, pencils, paper, clay, and any other materials consumable in nature, are the property of the school.
  • Materials are loaned to enrolled students for their educational usage only. The items must be returned to the school via the assigned ES when the student is done using that item, or when the student leaves the school.
  • If an item has been “consumed” by the student—used up and no longer usable by any other student—then it can be “archived” by the ES.
  • If a student disenrolls or is dropped by the school prior to the end of the school year for any reason, all materials must be returned to to the school within two business days. Families will be billed for any items not returned, including those that are consumable in nature. Student transcripts will not be released until all materials are returned.

What happens if I lose or break something that is property of the Charter School?

  • You will have to pay to replace the lost or broken item.

Can I purchase religious curriculum with my instructional funds?

  • No. IEM schools are public schools. State funds may not be used to purchase religious material.

Vendor Information

Can I add new vendors? How long does the process take?

  • Actively enrolled families can put in requests for new vendors; those requests go to our Vendor Relations department for review and determination.
  • There is no guarantee of vendor approval; vendors must meet certain criteria and be determined as an appropriate fit by our Vendor Relations specialists.
  • There is not guaranteed timeline on this, since it depends largely on the vendor completing and submitting their welcome packet information and contract.
  • We require Live Scan for service vendors; this is part of their initial setup packet requirements.

Does a vendor have to be in the system prior to the first day of school or can they be added during the school year?

  • Vendors can be added throughout the school year.

Do you have an approved vendor list?


Learning Records

How much reporting/documentation is required?

  • Attendance is kept by the parent, but must be verified by the ES.
  • The parent will also keep track of concepts and activities that were done over each learning period. These items are reported to the ES at the monthly meetings.
  • The student must be able to show enough learning to correspond to the amount of attendance claimed. This may be done through written work, video footage, pictures, and/or discussion.
  • The ES must interact with the student and/or view the full body of student work at each meeting on the concepts he/she learned that period.
  • The ES will collect 2+ work samples from each subject area or HS courses per semester for the official learning record portfolios.
  • The ES is responsible for keeping official learning records.

What samples need to be provided?

  • Samples are reviewed and collected for all subject areas or HS courses by the ES at the monthly meetings.

How flexible are you in terms of classical, chronological history, nontraditional curriculum, etc... Do I have to keep a daily log for PE and workbook samples for other subjects?

  • IEM schools are standards-based schools and the way in which the standards are met is very flexible.
  • A daily log and workbook samples are not required, but samples are required to be provided to your ES at each learning record meeting.
  • Students are required to work toward state mandated standards
  • The ES must be able to verify that the student learned enough to constitute the amount of attendance claimed (regardless of the educational style). This can be verified through pictures, video, discussion, and written work.
  • There are restrictions and special policies regarding high school curriculum choices. Please visit the Guidance page of the schools website for detailed High School information.

Do you plan field trips, and will they be in my area?

  • Field Trips are planned by our Group Educational Activity Coordinators. On average, one trip is offered each month. Trips are scheduled in a variety of locations and on different days of the week/at different times. This is in an effort to allow as many students to participate as possible. You may sign up for a Field Trip via your ES. If you have suggestions for future trips, please let your ES know.

Can my high school student attend community college?

  • Yes. High school students can be concurrently enrolled if they qualify for attendance based on the standards set by that college for high school students.. They must be enrolled with the school for a minimum of 20 units and cannot take more than 20 units from a college within a semester.

How is advisement and record-keeping for high school students handled?

  • Record keeping is done online for K-12 by the ES and kept at the management company office (IEM) in Placerville.

How many units are required to graduate?

  • 210 credits are required to graduate
  • All core HS subjects must meet Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements.

For more information about high school, please see the Guidance page.


Do you support/encourage parent networking?

  • We strongly encourage parent networking and support. It is key to the success of the school.

Do you have a Parent Council?

  • Yes. Each school has a Parent Council which is actively involved in the school. The agenda and minutes from Parent Council meetings are posted on the schools websites.

For more information about Parent Council please visit:


Homeless Liaisons

Questions about McKinney Vento Homeless Students Right, contact the schools McKinney Vento Liaison:

  •  | 800-979-4436

Employment Opportunities

IEM Schools Employment Opportunities:


Do you have suggestions for other school options I can pursue while waiting for enrollment into the IEM school of my residence?

Contact Us

4535 Missouri Flat Road, Suite 1A
Placerville, CA 95667

Counties Served

San Benito
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
San Mateo


English English


ACS WASC Accredited
WASC Accredited
Independent Study
Individualized Learning Plans
Parent Choice