Elements of the Program
Basic Structure: Sun Valley Charter School ("School") will provide year-round educational programs for students, in grades nine through adult, at multiple locations throughout Ramona. Each student will receive a personal education plan that can include, but is not limited to, classroom instruction, group work, independent research, supervised study, tutoring, seminars, labs, Internet instruction, service activities, internships, off-site instruction, and community college interface.
Mentors and Home Teams: Upon admission to the School, each student will be assigned a faculty mentor who will work with that student until graduation, providing academic and career guidance, research assistance, and moral support. Faculty members will mentor no more than thirty students, and will have a balance of students from each grade level. The faculty mentor and his/her students will meet as a group, each morning, before classes. These groups, or home teams, will promote interaction between students across grade levels, provide peer support, and encourage involvement and acceptance.
Modular Scheduling: The School will operate with modular scheduling and may incorporate a variety of learning activities. Large blocks will be used to enhance the learning environment and limit disruptions. Regular classes may meet only once during the week and will be augmented with seminars, labs, and/or independent research. Mathematics will be taught in a lab setting where students can advance at their own pace. In addition to the math lab, the School will have writing, research, and multi-media labs.
Read Aloud Theater: The School may sponsor a “Read Aloud Theater" that will operate every day. Faculty members, selected students, and parents will read novels or plays to the students for one half hour following lunch. The novel or play will be selected by the reader and approved by the Board. Students will listen to the book or play they find most interesting. No notes will be taken, and no tests will be given. Students will listen for pleasure only. This activity will stimulate imagination, increase vocabulary, and help students develop a love for books.
Technology: Classrooms and labs will employ the latest computer, audio-visual, and other technologies, compatible with those used in modern industries and businesses. Students will be trained to use this technology for instruction, research, and communication. Textbooks, historical documents, photographs, etc. will be disseminated to students via electronic media whenever possible. Attendance and other administrative functions will be processed electronically in the most efficient manner.
Certifications/Licenses: Students will be given the opportunity to qualify for certifications and licenses in many areas, including, but not limited to: Computer certification (i.e., Microsoft, Novell, etc.), first aid/CPR, amateur radio, etc.
Home Day: Each student, if chosen as part of their personal educational plan, may spend one day per week at home, working with a parent, guardian, or other appointed family member or close family friend. The Charter School will develop strict standards for a structure of Home Day. Home Day will be used to: work on personal projects, take field trips, explore family history, and develop adult interpersonal skills. Work will be entered into a log and counted as educational time by a credentialed teacher and consistent with independent study laws, rules and guidelines.
Campus Service: Students may, if chosen as part of their personal educational plan, participate in service activities on campus as a part of their course of study. In their first year, they may work with a professional to provide the necessary janitorial services on campus. In their second year, they may work with a professional to provide campus maintenance and landscape services. In their third year, they may work with a professional to provide campus food services. In each of these areas, they will learn practical life skills.
Community Service: Older students may participate in community service activities off campus. Students may be placed with charitable and non-profit organizations in the Ramona area to provide one day of service per week. This will help build a sense of community and start students on the path of lifelong service. This service may replace Home Day.
Internships: Those students who have chosen the practical skills path may be placed in internships with businesses or trade unions within their field of interest. They may work one or more days per week, at a business or in a trade, learning real world applications for their skills.
Community College Interface: Students may take a portion of their courses at local community colleges. They will be allowed to earn dual credit for the courses taken.