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High School Intensive (HSI) Plan Policy


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 webpage. 

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

  • All 10th-11th graders who have not demonstrated proficiency in grade 8 standards or readiness for high school level coursework in English Language Arts and mathematics. Optionally, students in grade 9 are encouraged to complete the HSI Program 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 CAASPP and who have not yet passed Algebra are highly encouraged to participate in corresponding HSI coursework.

Exemptions from the HSI Program:

For Math:

Students who:

  • have successfully passed Algebra 1
  • have scored a 3 or 4 on an 8th grade level (or higher) CAASPP math portion
  • have passed the ACT Aspire assessment covering grade 8 (or higher) math skills

For English Language Arts:

Students who:

  • have successfully passed a full year high school level AG English (college prep) course 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 Intensive Intervention (i.e.: Escalate, 3-D Writing)

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 oversite 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. 

The HSI Algebra 1 course meets the requirements of the CWCS graduation policy required by EC Section 51224.5(c) and specified in Assembly Bill 220:


CW Algebra Graduation Requirement Policy

CWEB Algebra Graduation Requirement Policy

CWCV Algebra Graduation Requirement Policy

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 Moodle for the completion of the course(s).  

    HSI Composition Textbooks:

    Common Core Coach for Composition I

    Publisher: Triumph Learning

    TBE-T238NA Common Core Coach Composition I Student Edition $ 14.99

    T238NAM Common Core Coach Composition 1 Teacher’s Manual $ 29.99   

    Intensive Pre-Algebra Textbook:

    Common Core Coach Mathematics 8

    Publisher: Triumph Learning

    TBE-T119NA Math Common Core Coach Student Edition Workbook Grade 8 $ 14.99 TBE-T119NAM Math Common Core Coach Teacher Edition Workbook Grade 8 $ 29.99


    Intensive Algebra Textbook:

    OnCore Mathematics Algebra 1

    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (C/O Rainbow Resource)

    9780547873916 On Core Mathematics Bundle Algebra 1 $ 27.50

  • Math Placement:  Student will complete a proctored (by ES or designated staff member) Scantron for Math (only) by due dates (online). (Students will be entered into EdPerformance Series online system; student log-in and directions will be posted for ESs who must proctor or arrange for an approved proctored site for their student). The Scantron can be proctored in the spring or within the first week of school at the ESs discretion.  Parents may not proctor the scantron. The Scantron will help determine which HSI Math Level students will begin. Students who score in Quartile 1 or Quartile 2 will have recommended placement for HSI Pre-Algebra to ensure success in Algebra 1.  Students who score in Quartile 3 will have recommended placement for HSI Algebra 1. Students who score in Quartile 4 will have recommended placement for a-g Algebra 1. Some recommendations may vary as we use multiple measures. 
  • Level 0: Below 8th grade standards (TBD)
  • Level 1: Grade 8 (Pre-Algebra) standards (10 Modules)
  • Students may not need to complete all or any of the Level 1 Modules, depending on Scantron results
  • Level 2: Algebra 1 (10 Modules)
  • All students will complete all 10 Modules of Level 2
  • ELA 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, HSI Level 2 Algebra 1), 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 credit) course during the fall and spring semesters for each corresponding subject. 
  • Students will earn 10 credits for English Language Arts Composition (which meet requirements of core ELA credits for graduation) and/or 10 credits for Algebra 1 (which meet requirements of core Algebra 1 credits for graduation).  Students who are not ready to begin Algebra 1 may be placed in Pre-Algebra modules (HSI Level 1) and can earn 1-credit per module completed (up to 10 credits) of math credit.  Note: if the student already has 10 credits posted on his/her transcript for Pre-Algebra, the student will earn 1-credit per module for CA Math Standards (up to 10 credits) for elective credits, until they are ready to begin the Algebra 1 modules. 
  • 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 Moodle 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 passed Algebra 1 must complete the Scantron Math at Intake. ESs will place new students into the corresponding subject modules following the above criteria.  Late start students will begin math modules based on Scantron results. Late start students will begin Composition modules at Module 1. Credits earned will be pro-rated at the end of each semester based on how many modules are 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 5 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 5 modules per semester.  Students who are lagging behind may need to arrange for additional instruction (synchronous tutoring).

Start and End Dates

  • All students must complete their Math Scantron by posted due 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. High School Intensive Courses are assigned credits in CA Math Standards (special interest elective credit) for Level 0 Math; CA Math Standards (special interest elective credit) OR Pre-Algebra 1A & 1B (math credit) for Level 1 Math, Algebra 1A & 1B (general Algebra math credit) for Level 2 Math and/or Intensive Composition 1A & 1B (general English credit) course titles.

Credits may be assigned in the following manner:

  • Math: 1 credit per module completed (no credit for partial modules) up to 10 credits; Composition: 2.5 credits per module completed (no credit for partial modules) up to 10 credit. The expectation is students will complete 5 credits per semester for both Math and/or Composition.  
  • For example: Student completes Level 1 Pre-Algebra Math Modules 1, 2, and 3 by the end of the corresponding semester, they would earn 3 credits for Pre-Algebra A.

High School Intensive

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do students have to participate in High School Intensive?

Yes, if they fall into the guidelines above.

  • What Scantron score range would be needed to test out or opt out of HSI Math?

“Opting out" for these students would essentially mean the student will be completing a-g Algebra 1 or a college Algebra 1 course, which will be allowed with administrative approval.  ESs should ensure the student is ready for the rigor of these courses so that students are successful. 

Students who want to opt out so that they can complete Algebra 1 with a curriculum of their choosing must choose a curriculum that will meet or exceed the standards as required by EC Section 51224.5(c) and specified in Assembly Bill 220. Most alternative curriculum choices do not meet or exceed state standards for Algebra.  We must ensure students are successfully meeting and exceeding the Algebra 1 standards as required by law.  Algebra is the one course with specific Ed Code written about it, Algebra Graduation Requirements. 

Research shows that students who lag behind in math have an increased chance of struggling to pass Algebra 1 and have a higher percentage of not moving on to higher level math courses (Stoelinga, et al, 2013).  Our goal is to ensure all students pass Algebra 1 on their first attempt to graduate from High School, and to go beyond to higher level mathematics. 

In order to best support our students, we have designed a scaffolded and engaging Algebra 1 course in which students can work at their own pace to master material, one unit at a time, with the flexibility of using any knowledgeable other that fits their learning style to support them (if needed), while also receiving feedback and monitoring on the "back-end" from an Effective Educator. 

These asynchronous courses allow for more flexibility to meet the students' learning styles and learning pace to help maximize success in Algebra 1 and minimize frustration.  The idea of the Scantron is to help place them in remediation (if needed) and to help us determine which modules students might need more support in based on student's strengths and needs, not to necessarily attain an overall score that "opts them out" of supported Algebra.  

  • 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 pass Algebra 1 meeting or exceeding the standards. For many students, this is very challenging.  However, with the HS Intensive Modules, students can work on mastering material 1 unit at a time, over an extended period of time.  The HSI would be a good fit for many of our SPED students. 

  • My student finished Pre-Algebra and did very well. Can she enroll in a-g Algebra 1 instead of the HSI Algebra 1?

Yes, any student who is ready for a-g Algebra 1 should be encouraged to enroll in a-g Algebra 1 and would Not complete the HSI Algebra 1 Modules. 

  • Does Passing Score of DPT from a previous year exempt the student from HSI?

Yes, since this shows mastery of Grade 8 standards the student may want to consider opting for a more rigorous Algebra 1 course such as a-g.  However, see above for information about support this HSI Algebra course offers that may benefit these students. 

  • What Curriculum will be used in the HSI Courses?

The courses will be set up as Modules with instructional videos, practice, and additional tools to support the students.  Students will also be required to use specific print supports identified in the policy along with the Modules.

  • 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 Moodle, 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.

  • How will students be evaluated for ELA Intensive?

Students who have not met the CAASPP Exemptions (shown proficiency on Grade 8 ELA standards) or who have not passed a college prep English Class (with a C or better) will be required to complete the HSI Composition (Writing) Modules.  They will receive 10 credits for ELA upon successful completion of the Modules.

  • 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 eligible for both math and language arts HSI; do they have to choose an option for each subject?

Yes. See above.

  • 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.  

Students will complete the General Math assessment. Do NOT have students complete subject matter tests (Algebra or Geometry).

Student login:  five-digit District ID on Student Dashboard
Password: none needed; please just confirm student’s name

CW Site ID: retrieve from Staff Only Page Connecting Waters Only (not to be shared with parents)
CWEB Site ID:  retrieve from Staff Only Page Connecting Waters East Bay Only (not to be shared with parents)

CWCV Site ID:  retrieve from Staff Only Page Connecting Water Central Valley (not to be shared with parents)
Note: The Pop-up Blocker will need to be turned off while a student takes this test.

  • My student’s login isn’t working. What do I do?

Please be sure to check your student’s login to ensure it is working before meeting with the student to proctor the exam, or before sending the student to an approved proctor site.  If the login isn’t working, please contact

  • What is the Suggested Learning Objectives (SLOs) result?

This is the result the student receives at the end of the assessment. This result gives details about which specific standards the student should review in their Modules based on their test result.

  • How can I access the SLOs report for my student?
  • How can I get a copy of the paper version test and answer document if my student does not have Internet access?

Paper versions of the Scantron are not available.  If the student does not have Internet, the student must complete the test at an approved proctored site or with their ES at a library or at home using a hot-spot.

For additional questions, you may contact Shoni Johnson, Curriculum and Assessment Director at