This is a very exciting time for the Sonoma Valley Unified School District with some terrific work being done at our high school. On the drop-down bar in the middle of our webpage you will find the following:
- Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Sonoma Valley High School Design Team
- Dispelling the Myths of Rigorous Programs for All
- Frequently Asked Questions regarding College and Career for All
- Community Forum PowerPoint Presentation
I believe these documents will answer many of the questions you may have about programs changes at SVHS. I know there is great interest in this work from our community is this is excellent news! As a district we know that we simply can’t prepare students for rigorous academics beginning in 9th grade; we need to start from pre-school and work our way up! We have tremendous efforts going on at all levels in terms of academic support and enrichment – much more than we have ever had in the past and this would not be possible with our community partners.
As superintendent, I have a K-12 perspective and it’s times like this that being both a high school and middle school teacher as well as an elementary principal is extremely helpful; I do understand that needs at all levels of our organization. We have significant needs throughout the district and while this is true, we are actually one of the more fortunate districts which actually still has class size reduction in grades K-2, no furlough days and we are still able to offer summer school programs for students who need additional learning time.
As a quick summary, the Sonoma Valley High School Design Team is developing programs so that students are placed in teams in the 9th grade and all students will complete a-g approved courses in science, math and English as 9th students. Teachers will work in collaborative teams to support students and program – the 9th grade program has been the main focus of the Design Team.
In terms of graduation requirements and changes to these requirements, as a district, we continue to gather input from all stakeholders before making decisions regarding program specifics. Just as a point of clarification: Within the state of California, students meet eligibility for attendance at four-year universities by completing a set of requirements which include the following: a) 2 years of history /social science, b) 4 years of English, c) 3 years of math, d) 2 years of lab science e) 2 years of a foreign language, f) a year-long visual and performing arts course and g) a year-long college prep elective; a total of 15 courses. These requirements are also known as “a-g” requirements.
I feel strongly that all students should complete these requirement, knowing that some students will need additional time and support to do this and we need to be sure to build this support into the school day. We also know that some students will need a different type of program and we need to be sure that we have “safety nets” in place for all students to be successful in high school.
We are hosting community forums to discuss freshman teams and preparing all students for College and Career
Below is the specific information for the forums:
Tues. Feb. 15th 6:30 – 8 PM Adele Harrison Middle School (in English with Spanish translation)
Thurs. Feb. 17th 6:30 – 8 PM El Verano Elementary School (in Spanish with English translation)
We look forward to seeing you all!