Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Paoze Thao


The majority of the public elementary schools in the City of Morgan Hill, California have been renamed to various special focus academies. But what does this mean for the students and families who are affected? How are these neighborhood schools earning their new label of an academy? The purpose of this senior capstone research project is to examine the impact of special focus academies on students and on how these normal public elementary schools have transitioned into public elementary academies. Through the use of a literature review, interviews with two teachers, two TOSAs, and two school administrators along with class observations from two schools in the Morgan Hill area, the findings reveal that there is a difference between traditional public schools and special focus academies. While regular public schools provide elementary education to students, the special focus academies provide similar education with dedicated time with the TOSA in various specialized fields.

Available for download on Monday, December 15, 2025

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