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Student opportunity varies around district

RHS+senior+Chris+Langlet+in+Dean+Gadway%27s+AVID+12+class.+Of+all+the+schools+in+the+RJUHSD%2C+only+RHS+offers+an+AVID+program.
RHS senior Chris Langlet in Dean Gadway's AVID 12 class. Of all the schools in the RJUHSD, only RHS offers an AVID program.

RHS senior Chris Langlet in Dean Gadway's AVID 12 class. Of all the schools in the RJUHSD, only RHS offers an AVID program.

(NICK PROVENCAL/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(NICK PROVENCAL/EYE OF THE TIGER)

RHS senior Chris Langlet in Dean Gadway's AVID 12 class. Of all the schools in the RJUHSD, only RHS offers an AVID program.

By CAM MEDRANO, Roseville High School

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This time last year, RJUHSD granted Oakmont High School sophomore Rachana Jonnalagadda an intra-district transfer from RHS to participate in the OHS IB program. District administrators handle intra-district transfers prior to a school years end, which are often times requested due to varied opportunities around RJUHSD.

According to executive director of personnel services Brad Basham, transfers are subject to district approval and must take site population capacity into consideration. Woodcreek High School is currently the only RJUHSD site closed to intradistrict transfers due to maximum student enrollment for the fall of 2018.

Jonnalagadda’s story is not unique. Site course differences such as the aforementioned may prompt students to request intra-district transfers if their desired school does not align with district boundaries.

For example, Roseville High School is the only site in RJUHSD which offers the AVID pathway. Other distinct courses may also include CTE programs such as culinary which is only offered at RHS and OHS. In comparison, Speech and Debate is a specialized elective not offered at RHS but is featured at schools such as WHS.

Jonnalagadda believes students should apply for transfers within the district in order to pursue their academic aspirations.

“They didn’t have IB at RHS and I wasn’t that interested in doing AP classes only,” Jonnalagadda said. “I believe that IB would hold more of a challenge for me because I would have to take all the required classes, whereas in AP, I would most likely just take classes that I know I can do well in.”

According to GBHS IB coordinator Bernadette Cranmer, 42 students applied for the IB program at GBHS for the 2018-19 school year. This number tends to include several intradistrict transfers each year.

“There are special programs at every school that draw students,” Cranmer said.

According to Cranmer, the growth of IB has created steady competition between IB and AP courses. While both exhibit several commonalities, Cranmer believes IB offers a superior comprehensive educational experience for students.

“[AP is] now trying to compete with IB by offering research and educational philosophy courses akin to the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge that are an essential part of IB,” Cranmer said. “However, make no mistake, AP and IB are not the same.”

OHS IB senior ambassador Claire Jordan also transferred to Oakmont in order to participate in the IB program.

“While I live in Granite Bay, I attend Oakmont because of the size and breadth of our IB program,” Jordan said.

Jordan believes that the expansion of IB within RJUHSD would benefit students and possibly alleviate the abundance of intra-district transfers.

“If the existing programs reach full capacity, establishing the IB program at another school would grant more students the opportunity to experience the IB curriculum,” Jordan said. “The diversity of choice is one of the strengths of Oakmont’s IB program.”

RHS principal David Byrd believes every high school offers every student a unique experience, influenced by the community and classes taken.

“One school can be a hundred school and another school can be four years old [and] it’s always going to be different,” Byrd said. “Different doesn’t necessarily mean better and it doesn’t necessarily mean worse”.

Although students may transfer out of RHS for various reasons, Byrd directs his focus onto the current state of courses offered at RHS.

“I’m not too worried about the people we lose or the people who don’t want to come here,” Byrd said. “I think we have to commit to who we are and who we want to be and what education we want to offer.”

Byrd believes AVID at RHS provides students with the opportunity to develop important educational and collegiate habits while leaving room for VAPA and CTE electives.

“We’re trying to create a model where you walk out of RHS as a well-balanced, well-adjusted student.” Byrd said. “I think we’re kind of approaching at RHS, our perfect balance.”

According to assistant superintendent Jess Borjon, specific site courses rely on adequate staffing to provide for the variety of courses offered at each site.

“Each site employs on average about 100 teachers,” Borjon said. “They all come with credentials, but they also come with passion and interest.”

According to Borjon, the culinary pathway offered at RHS and OHS are examples of programs limited to few schools but with high student interest. Culinary teacher Angela Ash began teaching at RHS six years ago and believes culinary provides students with skills that appeal to everyone.

(AARON PUGLIANI/EYE OF THE TIGER)
Culinary teacher Angela Ash leads her third period culinary class. Ash believes RHS currently offers a diverse section of courses that prepares students for their future.

“[RHS has] incredibly diverse human beings,” Ash said. “But the common thing is that they that they find great value in this program for any type of student like.”

Ash believes the variety of courses offers students the experience they may encounter in the future.

“I think that students should leave this campus with a diverse toolbox,” Ash said. “When you go to college…this is what you find. Just a nice little cross section of America and I just feel like we’re so lucky.”

This story was originally published on Eye of the Tiger on August 14, 2018.

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