The 21st century education is a constantly and rapidly changing landscape. In order for an academic institution to be effective it must endeavor to be a dynamic one. Those that do not adapt and improve will succumb to the pervasive fossilization of education that has been an unfortunate and costly characteristic of the American system, spanning at least the last half century. Clayton Valley Charter High School has certainly made change a priority. The charter itself is filled with not only specific and timely changes that were needed for immediate improvement, but the document also demonstrates a long-term commitment to staying on the cutting edge of educational excellence.
One of the ways in which CVCHS will continue to embrace a cycle of reflection, planning, and growth is our accreditation process. All public schools must be vetted by an objective and empowered third party in order to validate their program to the greater community; especially the academic, professional, and military communities. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is the agency that conducts this process. The recursive procedure of WASC includes, a self-study by the school, a visit from a WASC team, and a report to be written by the team. Nearing the end of our current accreditation term, CVCHS is currently involved in the self-study phase. Using the report that was written during our last WASC visit and analyzing our current data, the school's stakeholders come together to assess the progress and status of the school in order to create an action plan for future growth. Some of you may have been involved in one of our focus groups. We have had fantastic participation from staff, parents, and students and I want to take this opportunity to thank you all.
Our WASC team will be visiting in February of this year and we are very excited to show off our wonderful school. Though we have made great strides in our first year and a half as a charter, we recognize that the work will never be done. As the famous Vince Lombardi once said "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." And so after careful consideration and analysis of our school through the self-study process, the CVCHS team has articulated a clear and ambitious action plan, narrowed down to three main focus areas:
Focus Area #1: Implement curriculum, instruction, and assessment reflective of Common Core State Standards, College and Career Readiness, and 21st Century Skills.
Focus Area #2: Close the achievement gap for our high-risk and lower performing students.
Focus Area #3: Continue to implement and expand character development strategies and programs.
These focus areas are right in line with our vision of creating "first class citizens with a world class education." CVCHS has already began to close our achievement gap as evidenced by our impressive API result breakdown and our myriad intervention programs (our most impressive performance metric to date), professional development is well under way to make our transition to the Common Core as seamless as possible, and we continue to make character education a top priority of this institution.
Change really is a good thing. And though at times it can be scary and challenging, at CVCHS we will not shrink from our duty to "chase perfection."