K-8 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Tustin Connect K-8


Who can enroll at Tustin Connect?
Any K-12 student residing within Tustin Unified may enroll at Tustin Connect. Students who reside outside of Tustin Unified need to complete interdistrict transfer paperwork with their current district of residence before they are able to enroll.
If a student has an IEP, the IEP team must consent to independent study and determine that it is the best placement for the student. Please contact your school’s IEP team prior to enrolling at Tustin Connect.

What modifications or changes are expected as a result of COVID-19?
Tustin Connect will follow all of the same guidelines for social distancing and in person instruction as all TUSD schools will follow.  Additionally, Tustin Connect students will have the option to conduct their weekly check in meetings in person or virtually throughout the year.   

How much does it cost to attend?
Tustin Connect is a public school operated by Tustin Unified District. There is no tuition.

When can students enroll?
Due to limited space in the program, it is recommended to start the enrollment process between March-June prior to the school year you are seeking enrollment. Enrollment is ongoing, so students can enroll throughout the summer or transfer to Tustin Connect at anytime during the school year if there is space. Students can also transfer back to their school of residence at anytime if they feel that Tustin Connect is not fully meeting their needs.

How do I enroll?
The first step is to meet with our counselor or lead teacher to determine if Tustin Connect is a good fit. Call us at 714-430-2052 to make an appointment.

Who are the teachers?
Highly qualified and fully credentialed teachers from Tustin Unified are carefully selected to provide students with a rigorous and engaging learning experience.

What type of technology do students need?
Students are encouraged to use their personal computer or tablet if available. Devices are also available for use at Tustin Connect and students in grades 5th-8th can check out a device if they do not have access to one at home.

How is Tustin Connect different from a traditional school?
The student’s learning at Tustin Connect is substantially equivalent in quality and quantity to traditional classroom instruction. The main difference is that Tustin Connect students have increased flexibility. In addition to weekly required class time, students can work and learn at their own pace, from any location, and at any time. Weekly class time ranges from 1-3 days per week and provides students the opportunity for peer collaboration on teacher-led instruction.

What if my child is an advanced (gifted) learner or a struggling learner?
Independent study is designed for students who are academically motivated and have parent support. Our teachers work carefully to provide standards-based instruction to ensure maximum learning and student success. We challenge all students to stretch to reach their full academic potential. 

Do students receive grades?
Yes, students receive the same report cards and grades as other students in the Tustin Unified School District. Middle school students receive letter grades and elementary students have a standards-based report cards that indicates their mastery of the academic standards.

Are there opportunities to be involved at the neighborhood schools?
** Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Dual Enrollment will not be available for the 2020-2021 school year

Yes. Middle school students (6th-8th) can be dually enrolled at Tustin Connect and their Tustin Unified middle school of residence. Students have the option to enroll in 1-2 elective classes at their middle school of residence.

Elementary students can participate in PE, music, art, and other events at their elementary school of residence. Note that dual-enrollment is subject to approval by the administration of Tustin Connect and the school of residence.

How often do students attend or check-in at Tustin Connect?
Students must check-in with their teacher to submit work and receive new assignments weekly. Students must attend their assigned class day, and have the additional option to attend lab hours up to three times a week. Student attendance is based on completed work, so it is essential that students complete all of their assigned work every week.

Will my child have social opportunities with other students?
Yes. In addition to being able to participate in activities and classes at your school of residence, students can also participate in collaborative learning days, lab hours, and other activities hosted at Tustin Connect.

What type of student is a good fit for Tustin Connect?
There is no “typical” student at Tustin Connect. Tustin Connect meets the needs of many different types of students. Some of these students include home-schooled students, elite athletes, musicians, actors, gifted children, ill students, and other students and families that want a more flexible learning environment. Independent study is best for students who are academically motivated, self- starters, and have committed parents or guardians who are able to provide support at home and monitor learning.

How much parental involvement is required?
Since much of the students' time is spent outside the physical classroom, successful students at Tustin Connect have a high level of parental involvement. Parent participation is essential, especially for the elementary students. At all levels, parents are expected to check-in regularly with their child and provide support as necessary. Parents are responsible for ensuring all work is completed and submitted to the teacher for evaluation.

What curriculum is used?
Our teachers provide standards-based instruction based on the TUSD adopted curriculum in a blended learning environment (combination of online and and traditional). Some of our curriculum includes content from IXL, Newsela, Acellus, Khan Academy, Freckle, Actively Learn, and much more. Our students apply their learning through online tools such as Google Apps and various educational online tools.

Can a student with an IEP enroll? 
Special education students may not participate in independent study unless it is specified as an instructional method in their IEP (EC Section 51745 c). Please contact your school’s IEP team regarding possible enrollment. 

I have other questions that are not answered here. What should I do?
Call us at 714-430-2052 to make an appointment. Please note the office is closed through July 20, 2020.  Please email questions during that time to our principal, Erick Fineberg at efineberg@tustin.k12.ca.us.