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Horizon Charter Schools Own Rosa Beach Interviewed on "Buenos Dias Celina" Radio

Mrs Celina Rodriguez, a former anchorwoman for CNN and Telemundo interviews Horizon Charter School Virtual educator, Mrs Rosa Beach on her radio program "Buenos Dias, Celina" on Digital Education.

Celina introduces Rosa as an innovative educator, a pioneer professional and former professor who has extensive teaching experience at the university and public schools.  At present, she is the chair of the Spanish Department and teaching courses online at the Virtual Learning Program at Horizon Charter Schools, a model school in Northern California.

Rosa shares with the audience educational terms used for digital education such as, blended, hybrid, face-to-face and other methods used in online education. She also describes a
virtual classroom in which is free of paper, but surrounded with other
resources such as e-books, recordings, videos, e-boards, laptops, microphones,  and other instructional materials available nowadays to support quality learning.  

In addition, Rosa speaks about how parents and students can benefit from online classes because of the flexible schedule. They can take classes at home or in any place with a computer and internet service. If a student misses a class, he/she can watch the recordings pertaining to the
lessons and will submit assignments online.

Rosa proudly speaks about her students at her virtual classes, who are very academic oriented,  talented and eager to succeed. They are motivated in taking classes virtually because they want a flexible schedule, small classes and to feel safe.

Rosa cautions parents that they should verify that schools have proper accreditation and
meet educational standards.  This way, courses taken online can be acceptable and transferable to colleges or universities in the future.


Horizon Graduate Featured on America's Got Talent

Tosha Hanford is a recent graduate from Horizon Charter School, and her group of six ice skaters/aerialists recently auditioned for America's Got Talent.

Tosha and "Aerial Ice" are hoping to "spread the word" about her group
to garner interest and support, and to help when the time comes for America to vote.

Those that would like to support Aerial Ice, can tweet to the following, to let judges know you support a former Horizon graduate.

 Tweet 'Make Aerial Ice the Wildcard' 

Tweets should be addressed to the following:







HCEA Statement

HCEA members have continued to work collaboratively with all HCS staff involved in the school through the Program Decision Team process. This process has given clarity with a common voice to teachers in various key areas within the school. Thank you to the teachers and staff who have volunteered to serve on the committees. In addition to attending PDT meetings, they have conducted research and drafted proposals that include creative and innovative ideas.

HCEA is thankful and confident that our current administration is closely monitoring the programmatic, fiscal and legal issues that have developed over the past several months, all the while continuing to be transparent.

Also, a special thank you to those who worked and continue to work on the charter renewal. Your vision, direction and forward thinking will lead to a bright future.

As the school year comes to a close, HCEA also wants to recognize our family’s and student’s commitment and dedication to academic excellence that meets and exceeds the California State Standards in English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Science. In addition, we are very proud of our students’ quests towards HCS Board Ends: in the pursuit of their own interests, in being successful consumers and producers of ever changing technologies, in having a deeper understanding and appreciation of the visual and performing arts, and in being productive members of our global community by demonstrating critical thinking and effective problem solving skills to help identify and solve the issues that face our community, state, nation and world today. We have seen some examples of that during this school year through student presentations in this board meeting.

Lastly, HCEA showers congratulations on our graduating seniors who have completed their education with Horizon Charter Schools and are now better prepare to enter the workforce or continue with higher education. Congratulations to the Horizon Charter Schools graduating class of 2013!

Auburn Campus Presentation

The Horizon Charter Schools' Auburn Campus will be presenting Rogers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" on Friday, May 3rd at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 4th at 4:00 p.m.

If you have never seen one of our productions, make Cinderella your first!!!! We have a cast of over 45 students ready to entertain you beyond belief!

The performance will be held at the Auburn Grace Community Church located at 3126 Olympic Way in Auburn.

Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $5.00 for students.

For further information contact Linda McGillicuddy at 916-408-5214

Radio Interview

Sacramento Capital Radio's own Beth Ruyak and Horizons CEO Craig Heimbichner Discuss Alternative Education and the evolving Homeschool Approach.

As part of a series of interviews about alternative education, Beth Ruyak discusses the interest many parents have about non traditional ways of seeking to educate their children. Listen to the conversation here:

Spring College Fair

FREE EVENT!  Sunday, April 21, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Mira Loma High School Gym, 4000 Edison Avenue, Sacramento.

Everyone is welcome. A great way for students to begin their college search.

Over 100 college representatives will be on hand to speak with students and/or parents. Go online beforehand at to register.

Save Time! Print a registration page to take with you so the college reps can scan it. This will eliminate the need to fill our inquiry cards.

See more information by going to

The 19th Annual "College: Making It Happen!" Event

The Saturday, April 13, 2013 program, being held at Sacramento State is a collaborative effort with Los Rios Community College District, US Davis Undergraduate Admissions and Early Academic Outreach Program, Sacramento Cal-SOAP Consortium, Breakthrough Sacramento, ScholarShare, and other community and educational organizations. This program is intended to help reaffirm the message that college preparation begins many years before the final year in high school, and that college planning is a family affair.

For more information and how to register, click here or contact Ondria Chappel: 916.278.2481 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Auburn Science Fair 2013

We, at the Auburn Charter Academy, would like to personally invite you and the community to our science fair on March 22nd.

We have so many exciting presenters coming to our science fair with amazing activities for all ages!

Some of the presenters at our fair include a Paleontologist, ER Doctor, Veterinarian, Entomologist, Nurse Practitioner demonstrating Nueroplasticity, a Nuclear Electrician, Nutritionist, and much, much more. 

Students will learn how to cast a broken bone, get fingerprinted at our Forensics station and learn about meteorology at our weather station. They will also explore the different parts of the brain with an interactive student project, take someone's blood pressure and measure oxygen saturation on "Lucas." Have you ever heard of a flying motorcycle? How about a solar car? Come see these at the fair. 

Our goal is to have children aspire to be something they never thought they could be! Come share the dream!

We will be selling pizza as well as other food and drink items as part of our fundraiser.

Please see the attached flyer for more details.   science-kids

We hope to see you on Friday, March 22nd!

Maria Blix

REACH & SKIE Principal



Click HERE for the flyer

Congressional Art Competition for High School Students

The winning entry from each Congressional District across the U.S. will be displayed for one year in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capital. Winners will be invited to the unveiling of the exhibit, and a reception in June, along with 2 round-trip airline tickets. Deadline to submit artwork at 8700 Auburn Folsom Road Suite 100, Granite Bay, 95746 is March 25. Please click here for guidelines and application.

Statement regarding the closure of the Accelerated Learning Academy (ALA) Program

January 17, 2013

As an educational organization, Horizon Charter Schools (HCS) places a high priority on maintaining safe learning facilities while prudently managing financial resources during these challenging economic times. Recently, circumstances have necessitated difficult decisions regarding the ALA program, including the removal of the program from two facilities, a change in the instructional delivery of the program, and ultimately the closure of the program.

Horizon did not initially eliminate the ALA program operating in two separate facilities, but maintained one set of primary classrooms while offering independent study and other virtual learning options, including alternative placement in other Horizon programs as available, for any displaced family. In spite of Horizon's best efforts, and against Horizon's desires, the closure of ALA occurred this past month. Horizon regrets the difficulties this closure has brought to affected families. Some families were able to find alternative placement within Horizon and some have expressed positive reactions to their new courses of study for their children. On the other hand, some families, now no longer with Horizon, have expressed an interest in a review of these events and a more complete explanation. This public statement is intended to provide a final comment following an internal review, in an attempt to answer any lingering questions.

HCS has a proven track record for educational excellence

Horizon is the fifteenth Charter School in California, now in its nineteenth successful year. Horizon consists of two charters, or schools, which encompass numerous programs within six counties, embracing eleven facilities that include a curriculum resource center, and numerous other facilities in support of various independent study options. Horizon's 2,700 students participate in a program aimed at combining academic excellence with personalized learning. These students participate in a wide array of independent study options with varying classroom support. Many Horizon students have excelled academically, winning scholarships to top academic institutions. Visit the Horizon website to see testimonials and letters from satisfied parents who value and respect the educational programs Horizon offers their children. As Ross Hougham, a Horizon Charter School Educational Foundation Scholarship Award Winner states, "Horizon has a very special place in the lives of so many people, giving them the opportunity to educate in the way that is best for their personal situations and needs. This has been a blessing to countless families including my own."

HCS has been victimized by a third party management company

The current Horizon administrative leadership team inherited a set of business practices and contracts that have been problematic. For the classroom support of the ALA program, Horizon used a third party intermediary company as a property manager for its facility at 290 Technology Way in Rocklin. This firm, Group Access, was paid a monthly management fee out of which it had responsibility for directly paying rent to the landlord. Over the past three years, Group Access has been paid consistently by Horizon for facilities and technology services. Horizon is current with its financial obligations. Unfortunately, Group Access is not.

As confirmation of the above statement, Horizon was given a notice regarding the property at 290 Technology Way, this week, indicating that Group Access had not paid Wells Fargo Bank, even though Horizon is current in its payments to Group Access. But this is only one aspect of the difficulties involved with this third party company.

Traffic hazards were the primary reason the 290 Technology Way facility was closed

More to the point, Horizon learned directly from Placer County that Group Access misrepresented Horizon to the landlord and the County also, changing the number of students that would be appropriately housed at the facility and the very purpose of the facility. As a result, Group Access obtained an improper permit not fitting the true safety needs of the ALA students at this facility. Consequently, the traffic congestion quickly became a recurring problem. Horizon held several open meetings with parents to discuss the growing problem of cars speeding through the commercial parking lot to drop off and pick up children. Horizon also retained a parking control firm to help ease the situation, but some drivers continued to disregard warnings and safety procedures. When several near misses almost led to accidents in the parking lot, and following several warnings, the decision was made to remove the ALA students from this facility. Because of liability and concern for student and staff safety, Horizon could not in good conscience allow the situation to continue. Safety had to be our highest priority, and indeed the Horizon Board Ends mandate that the CEO will "provide a safe environment."

The Lincoln facility was affected by declining enrollment. Horizon had searched for a more suitable facility for the ALA program for months. Over the past summer, Horizon located an alternative facility near Carmichael that would have accommodated the entire K-12 program. However, this option was not fully embraced by the ALA community, and was ultimately abandoned by Horizon. ALA had therefore stayed at Technology Way and moved some of the primary grades to the Lincoln Life Center. As a consequence of all of the problems with the eventual Technology Way closure, Horizon was forced to review the financial viability of keeping the ALA program open at the Lincoln Life Center and continuing to offer a virtual learning, independent study model for the higher grades. Unfortunately, enrollment declined, affecting the overall program. It is important to remember that Horizon is a non-profit public charter and as a prudent manager of taxpayer funds, Horizon must make sound financial decisions. Like many other school districts in our region, facility closures have become a sad fact of life. For example, Sacramento City Unified School District is looking at closing eleven campuses. San Juan Unified closed several campuses last year. Tragically, no option open to Horizon seemed to retain enough enrollment to justify continuing the program, and after months of effort, Horizon made the difficult decision to close the program.

HCS is reviewing all financial transactions that contributed to this problem

To get to the bottom of this complicated situation, Horizon has retained a respected outside fiscal advisor, Ms. Terri Ryland, to meticulously and thoroughly examine all financial records. Ms. Ryland is an experienced former chief business official and is used by many school districts and county offices of education to review the finances of public schools. Ms. Ryland has been examining documents, contracts, emails and financial statements for several weeks now. Upon completion, her comprehensive report will be presented to the Horizon Governing Board.

Horizon Charter Schools is committed to continuing to meet the unique needs of its families and their children. Horizon remains strong, viable, with both schools open, serving numerous satisfied parents. The Horizon administration has received strong statements of support from both its certificated teaching and classified unions. Horizon regrets the closure of ALA but wishes well those who have embarked upon new plans with other schools. Horizon remains committed to its core mission and looks forward to bringing this matter regarding one of its many programs to a close.

New Horizon Vendor Search Tool!

December 11th,2012

Parents are now able to go to our school website and search for field trips, service vendors and curriculum vendors by keyword search, zip code, and distance. You can see an entire list of vendors by category or choose to search by keyword or zip code preference.

We hope that these changes in response to parent request will make it much easier to find the field trip activity, service vendor or curriculum vendor that will best serve your student's needs.

To see the new vendor search tool please visit our homepage and use the parent information drop down menu.

Facebook Contest!

December 5th, 2012

Facebook activity is growing quickly in response to our Visa card Facebook contest. The event just started so be sure to "like" us on facebook and click on the link that registers you for the free drawing. Contest ends just before we leave for our holiday break so please don't miss out.

You can find our Facebook link at the bottom of the home page!

Need Money For College?

November 15th, 2012

Looking for money for college? Check out this link:, is a free resource and you can register for email notifications when scholarships are posted so you don't miss a deadline. You can also download a copy of their newsletter. These are not loans that have to be repaid so don't let finances (or the lack of them) stop you from reaching your goals! Go online today and take a positive step toward your future.

iPad Drawing Winner Announced

November 14, 2012

ipadwinner121113smallColter Gray is the latest winner in Horizon's Apple iPad drawing and arrived with his family at the main Administrative offices in Lincoln this morning to celebrate.

This fantastic young man is in the second grade and is assigned to ST Marianne Hansen. Colter explained to the group of fifteen staff that he was so excited when he heard last week that he was the winner that he could hardly think of anything else. Colter's name was picked from over one thousand names of new students that had enrolled since February 16th,2012. His dream is to become an animator for the Disney corporation and we hope that this award will contribute in some small way to his career success.

Colter's parents and sister spoke about how appreciative they were for the award and how proud they are of his dedication and school success. The family has had other children in Horizons and have been thrilled with the school wide emphasis on personalized learning.

All in attendance were impressed and spoke about how proud they were of this young man.

New Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Cynthia Verdugo Wood. Dr. Wood

MAY 25, 2012

It is my true pleasure to announce that we have a new Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Cynthia Verdugo Wood. Dr. Wood is not new to many of you, since she served Horizon for several years and left a deep and favorable impression on many people. And I can truly say that Horizon has never left her heart. With a long and distinguished career in education, Cynthia has numerous accomplishments that would be difficult to compress into a brief email, including experience as a teacher, principal, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Director of Educational Services, Regional Manager, and Superintendent. Most importantly, she has a true passion for fostering the unique educational mission which distinguishes Horizon: a focus on high academic achievement combined with personalized learning and parental choice.

I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Cynthia Verdugo Wood and look forward to welcoming her to Horizon on June 4th.

I also wish to mention and highlight our exceptional Classified employees. This week is National Classified Employees Week, and the value of each and every Classified employee at Horizon cannot be overstated. We have been updating job descriptions to reflect all that they do, and the task is not easy, because we have so many who are "above and beyond" in their approach to service. Please take a moment to thank them as you see them helping and working so hard for Horizon.

On this last day of school, I reflect that this has been an extraordinary year. But I have a deeper certainty than ever that Horizon will be soaring to ever greater heights. It has been my privilege to serve you this school year, and I look forward to partnering with you for many years to come.

Have a truly wonderful summer.
Craig Heimbichner

Teachers Who Make a Difference!

Three of Horizon's teachers have been honored by the Placer County Charter Administrators. During a ceremony held in Auburn on Monday, May 7 at The Ridge Golf Course, Horizon teachers Joan Oakes, Annette Darling, and Donat Brice were recognized as Teachers Who Make a Difference. 

Joan Oakes Joan Oakes is thorough, efficient, and seeks to make learning fun and interesting as she conducts hands-on experiments and organizes field trips for her students to enjoy. She communicates well with her students and parents and goes the extra mile to help them be successful. She is a team player and an outstanding teacher. We are grateful to have her as part of our Rocklin Academy of Math, Science and Engineering.


Annette Darling Annette Darling has made a difference with Horizon Charter Schools. Se began the first Transition Program and has done so with compassion toward students, parents, and staff. She is able to motivate students with words of encouragement and understanding and instill a love for learning in her students by providing them with ample opportunities for success. Annette brings to life the words teachers live by, "all children can learn."


Don BriceDonat Brice has made a very positive impact on the school campus this year. He is a caring teacher who encourages students to reach their potential. Don always puts students first and is truly making a difference.




Other Announcements

Horizon Charter Schools named among the top 25 high schools in the Sacramento area based on SAT scores by the Sacramento Business Journal! See the entire article by clicking  here.

Horizon is pleased to announce that families will see a significant increase in student funding for the 2012/2013 school year.

All new students enrolling in Horizon by October 31st will automatically be entered in a drawing for a new IPad 2 tablet computer! See Details »

Sacramento Leadership Program (SLP) is hosting an Open House on April 30th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 1909 Seventh Street in Sacramento. For more information, contact the Program Administrator, JaDene Jones, at 1.800.338.8019 ext. 5.

Horizon's RAMSE Students Participate in Placer County's STEM Expo

Kim Ross

What a wonderful day for RAMSE students at the Placer County  Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Fair on March 24th. Congratulations to the following students who met requirements of the rubric in the judging at the fair:

  • DJ Cook for "Hot Iceberg" Rube Goldberg
  • Galina Pevertov for Reverse Engineering Screwdriver
  • Chris Johnson for "Tea Maker" Rube Goldberg
  • Kimberly Ross For Science Fiction Story "SRJ"
  • Samantha Bertrand for Scientific Inquiry "Water Compression"
  • Titus Hodges for Invention "How Sharp is Your Knife?"
  • Avenir Fleyshgauer for Revers Engineering Cell Phone
  • Monica Stofan for Science Fiction story "Monica's Science Project"

Writing Contest Winners Announced

Horizon Charter Schools are pleased to announce the winners of the Spring 2012 Essay Writing Contest. 1st place winner is ST John Staley's 9th grader Lindsey Rogers ($250 Target gift card), and 2nd place winner is ST Laura Kelley's 8th grader Lindsey Henricksen ($100 gift card).

Both girls submitted 100-word essays on "Why I Love Horizon" which are viewable below. Congratulations Lindsey and Lindsey! Way to go! Congratulations also to the parents and STs who worked together with these students to help them achieve academically and personally. Great teamwork!

2nd Place Essay by Lindsey Henricksen
I love Horizon because I have the freedom to be me. I have choices in the ways I can learn. Since I think "outside-the-box", this works really well for me. Whether I'm studying Algebra in my awesome virtual learning class; watching Discovery Education streaming videos so I understand Social Studies better; making a creative lapbook on the Periodic Table of Elements; or just reading my textbooks, I'm learning what I need to know. I love homeschooling with Horizon because learning is exciting and fun, and I still have time for guitar and horseback riding lessons!

1st Place Essay by Lindsey Rogers
Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, "Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education." As exhibited in this quote, intelligence is not only found through the reading of text books, but also through life lessons. Horizon Charter is where we see this approach to teaching put into practice.  Teachers encourage students to reach for their best and achieve high goals, while also developing character through pursuing excellence. As students of Horizon, we have the opportunity to use a variety of curriculums and to use funds in which we can further our education and be well-prepared for our futures.


What They're Saying

It has been rewarding to observe the value of a personalized approach in the education of Horizon students.

— Jennifer Carroll
Regional Administrator




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