How is Tesla different from other schools?
Tesla is an alternative school, we work on a trimester system allowing students more opportunities to receive credits. We also have smaller class sizes allowing students more time and attention from teachers.
I have a hard time getting to school in the mornings what time do classes start at Tesla?
Tesla offers a flexible schedule. Students are required to take a minimum of 5 classes. Classes can start as early as 7:45 am or as late as 9:37 am to accommodate students who cannot be at school that early.
I have a job in the afternoon, can I get out of school early?
Students who need to be off early can choose to take the earlier schedule starting at 7:45 am so that they can be out of school by 1:08pm.
I am behind in credits, can I still graduate on time?
That depends on how many credits you need and how hard you are willing to work to get those credits. Most students who are not over a year behind in credits can usually make the credits they need to graduate on time. Students have the opportunity to make up to 21 credits in a year. Students also have the advantage of having Digital High School right around the corner from Tesla. If a student needs to make more than the 21 credits at Tesla they can dual enroll with one of these other schools to make additional credits at night.
I am too far behind to graduate on time, what do I do?
Students in District 11 can attend high school until they turn 21 years of age. There is no rule that states you have to graduate after 4 years of high school. Some students need an extra year or two for whatever reason and there is nothing wrong with that. If you find yourself needing too many credits and you are turning 21 soon, you still have the option to take your GED at the Roy J. Wasson Campus with Adult and Family Education.
Can I graduate early from Tesla?
YES! We do not allow our freshman and sophomores to take more than 5 classes per trimester; however, juniors and seniors may take up to 7 classes per trimester. Once a student has their 46 credits required for graduation, they are graduated, regardless of which trimester it is or which grade they are in.
Does it look bad to colleges if I graduate from an alternative school?
Tesla does not give ABC grades; however, to get a passing grade at Tesla you must get at least 80%. We send letters to colleges on your behalf explaining that you received 80% or better for each of your classes. Students from Tesla are strongly encouraged to go to college. If you would like to go to college, Tesla staff will do everything they can to help you get there. Tesla also has representatives from PPCC who come to talk with students and help them sign up for PPCC. PPCC and Tesla staff make sure that the transition from high school to college goes smoothly.
I have had truancy issues at my current school, what are your truancy policies?
If you have an active truancy case at your current high school or middle school, we will continue with that case. Just because you switch schools does not mean your truancy case will go away. Tesla is an attendance-driven school. If you cannot attend school regularly, Tesla is probably not the school for you. At Tesla, we believe in giving all students a second chance. If you do not attend classes regularly at Tesla, you cannot earn credits. Tesla checks attendance on a regular basis. We do our best to help parents come up with solutions to help their students be successful. Our #1 goal is to have students graduate. Sometimes that requires interventions from Discipline Services or the courts. Please keep in mind that we are not trying to punish, we are only trying to help you better your future.
Is Tesla where kids go because they have been in trouble at other schools?
Tesla is an alternative school and 95% of our students are at risk of not graduating from a traditional high school. Many of our kids are at risk due to no fault of their own. We try to give all students a second chance, and have been very successful with seeing students "turn around", so to speak. We will not give up on a student if they truly want to graduate; however, if a student is causing problems at Tesla and does not make an effort to get their credits, they will be sent back to their home school. Tesla will not tolerate a student causing problems on campus. Any student caught breaking any rules will be dealt with accordingly.
If I graduate from Tesla do I get to have a graduation ceremony?
Yes! The Tesla graduation is very important to students, parents and staff. Tesla staff goes to great lengths to make graduation as meaningful as possible. You will have a cap and gown ceremony. The District 11 Board of Education and the Superintendent will attend your graduation. It does not matter if you graduated 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trimester, any student who graduated during the current school year is invited to attend graduation.
Why do I have to attend an information meeting before I enroll?
Because Tesla is not a traditional school, there are several pros and cons that families need to consider before enrolling. We want the entire family involved in learning what their role will be if you decide to attend Tesla. Tesla is a parent involved school, and parents need to be aware that they will be receiving phone calls on a regular basis and will be held accountable for ensuring that their child is at school on time every day. Students will also be held accountable for grades and attendance. If a student or a parent is not willing to take on the responsibilities that Tesla requires, we do not want you to enroll. We try to be as honest as we can about what is expected, and we want you to be honest about whether Tesla is a good fit for you or not.
Do you have a waiting list?
Although we try to get as many students in as possible, we have to look at class sizes and availability. If you have attended an information meeting and have made the required call back the next day, we will get your student's transcript to see if we have openings in the classes that he/she will need to graduate. If we do not have enough room in those classes, we will call to put you on a waitlist. Wait list times will vary, depending upon which classes we have openings in. We can only enroll for a short period of time at the beginning of each trimester. We do our best to make room for all students who wish to attend Tesla; however, due to our small size, sometimes that is not possible. We strive to get you in as soon as possible.
I am on an IEP, can I still attend Tesla?
Tesla has one special ed teacher who works with both our high school and middle school students. He/she must first look over your IEP to see if they have the resources to accommodate you. It is best to let us know in advance so that he/she has time to check on availabilities, if any. We will try to take as many students as we can who are interested in coming to Tesla, as long as we have the resources available to do so.
Do you have sports or other extra curricular activities?
Tesla has a student government and various clubs that are set up by the students with a Teacher to support. If you would like to participate in sports or other after school activities, you are able to do so at your home school in District 11. If the activity or sports team you would like to be involved with is not at your designated home school, you will need to get permission from that school to participate. Even though you are going to Tesla, participation in sports and other activities in District 11 requires you to keep up your grades and attendance. If you are falling behind, you will no longer be allowed to participate until you get your grades caught up or you start attending school regularly.
Is transportation provided?
I am pregnant, what services does Tesla offer?
Tesla offers a wonderful opportunity to teen parents. Tesla offers classes in early childhood education through the Career Pathways program. We also work with the Early Learning Center, which has an on site daycare for students who have children between the ages of 6 weeks and 3 years old. click here for information on the Early Learning Center
Do you have elective classes?
Tesla offers several elective classes such as Painting, Ceramics, Digital Photography, P.E., Yearbook, and General Art.
If I go to Tesla for middle school can I stay for high school also?
We strongly encourage our middle school students to at least try to go to a traditional high school. We would like them to get the experience of what a traditional school has to offer. Having attended Tesla middle school does not guarantee a spot in Tesla high school. You will still be required to go to the information meeting and enrollment process the same as any other student who is interested in attending.
Can I go off campus for lunch?
At this time The Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus is an open campus and you are allowed to leave campus. However, if the privilege starts to cause problems in the community we may have to look at closing the campus for individuals who abuse the privilege.