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The Focus is on Students and Studies at Clayton Valley Charter High School

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Choir trip to Seattle, new athletic facilities, Eagle Arts Expo, and upcoming Senior Ball are all a part of the Clayton Valley Charter High School's recent July 2012 comprehensive conversion to a charter school. In four years, CVCHS has become a vibrant charter school that greatly improved its Academic Performance Index score by 62 points in its first year, which was the largest growth for a California high school in 2013.

As far as academics go, Executive Director David Linzey brags, "CVCHS has a 97% graduation rate and 96% college admissions rate. As a result of high academic standards, CVCHS received a six-year 'full term' of accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges." In four years, CVCHS has become a vibrant charter school that greatly improved its Academic Performance Index score by 62 points in its first year, which was the largest growth for a California high school in 2013.

Located in Concord and with a student population of about 2,000, converting this high school into a charter school worked wonders for the student, teacher and staff attitudes turning lackluster performance and attendance as a regular public school into an exciting charter school where everyone works together. Linzey has said, "Students don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

The Target Case Management (TCM) program helps students whose grades are low. Linzey exclaims, "The TCM program is demonstrating positive results that are 'off the chart'!" Academic success is due to positive adult-to-student relationships that offer a few intervention programs. Students with grades of D or F are given an academic counselor or school administrator who assists the student with support, accountability and skill building. "Research shows that students perform better when they know that adults on campus take an active personal interest in their academic growth and achievement," Linzey tell us.

The staff regular meet with each student and coach her/him, develop a path to academic improvement and get parents involved in the student's progress. Students study the other three Rs: Rigorous instruction, Relevant application of lessons and nurturing Relationships with students. "These are the keys to making sure students are college bound and career ready," states Linzey.

But why a charter school? Linzey explains, "Charter schools have more freedom from the many regulations of public schools. They allow school leaders and parents more authority to make decisions. Instead of being accountable to rules and regulations like traditional public schools, charter schools are focused on the students and academic achievement and upholding their charter." Focusing on students and studies is what a good school is supposed to provide.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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