If you look at the vision statement in our charter petition, there are three words in bold and all caps - RIGOR, RELEVANCE, and RELATIONSHIPS. These core values drive our program at CVCHS and we strive to keep them at the forefront of every decision we make as we continue on our journey from good to great.
Perhaps our greatest realization of the three "R"s can be found in our academies. Academies, also known as small learning communities or schools within a school, are defined by the California Department of Education as follows:
"Generally, a small learning community (SLC) is any individualized learning unit within a larger school setting. Schedules allow students and teachers to meet together often. Combinations of small learning communities, teacher teams, and vertical looping are used to create learning environments where students and teachers come to know and care about one another. A growing body of research shows that when large schools are reorganized into smaller, discrete learning communities and a distinct group of adults team to teach together and support each student, young adolescents experience more psychosocial comfort and demonstrate increased achievement. Creating smaller learning communities within larger schools creates opportunities for connection and enhances the likelihood of student success. SLCs provide opportunities for meaningful participation encouraging students to take responsibility for learning."
Clayton Valley Charter High School is proud to offer four different academy programs:
1) The ClaytonArts Academy is our oldest academy, started over 15 years ago. A three course integrated program comprised of an English/social science core with a visual or performing art specialty, the purpose of the CAA is to provide an artistic avenue for students to fulfill their academic requirements and to provide them with intensive, in-depth training in their area of artistic interest.
2) The Public Service Academy has been around since 2004. The PSA is focused on rigorous academic achievement through English and Social Science with an embedded theme of citizenship and service. They offer a project/problem-based curriculum while providing meaningful involvement in the community and top-notch preparation for post high school education and careers.
3) The Engineering and Design Academy is a successful career pathway program designed to provide a firm educational foundation in the areas of math and science enhanced by problem-solving and engineering applications. Emphasis is placed upon the critical thinking, collaboration, and teamwork skills necessary in our increasingly technological world. *
4) The Medical Careers Academy is our newest addition to the academy options. They aim to prepare academy students for medical careers in the 21st century by providing the educational foundation, community mentorships, leadership training, and hands on skills in the field of biomedical sciences. A science/English core program, the MCA has also established a site HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) chapter. *
*Both the EDA and the MCA are members of the non-profit organization "Project Lead the Way." PLTW is the nation's leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs, offering world-class curriculum, high-quality teacher professional development, and outstanding partnerships.
Each of these academies are managed by a team of dedicated and experienced teachers who are passionate about their programs and spend countless hours making them effective. If you ask a teacher or student involved how they feel about their academy the most common descriptor is the word "family." This is truly a mark of success. At CVCHS we will continue to support our small learning communities and grow opportunities for students to be involved.
Academy applications for the 2014-15 school year are now available on our website (claytonvalley.org) under the "academic programs" tab. Academy applications are due no later than February 7th. If you have questions please use the contact information on the website.