I am not a parents, but a former student at that school. Here's a little inside look at the daily life when I attended: The school is made up of 7 classes which are regulated on an odd day/ even day schedual. You attend your 1st period every day, then if it is an even day you attend 2, 4, and 6th period, or if it is an odd day you attend 3, 5, and 7th periods. Each class is 100 minutes long, and you get a 7 minute passing period, which, given the over 4000 students on campus, gives you just barely enough time to travel the 1 mile two and from classes to the next. Lunches, well there are 2 of them. With two caffeterias. Jocks and Cheer leaders on one side, Mexican's and Blacks somewhere in the middle, Asians down in the aphitheater and pot heads, rockers, dweebs, geeks, freaks, and the ones that dont fit in, on the other side. Most classes have 30 + students and thats putting it lightly. My choir had darn near 75 students the first year! Yes our school is new, and I am glad to have gotton out of there with the rest of my 678 member class. I find it unfortunate that my middle sisters class is 1000+ and my youngst sisters is 1500+. But we need to weed out the 'Boundry Jumpers' I have friends that bus out from Vallejo, Benicia, even San Ramon! Common guys, get out of my school and into your own!
It was my experience attending Deer Valley four years ago that the campus population was extremely divided. It didn't help to have two cafeterias either. It encouraged people to segregate. Not only did they not have to eat at the same lunch table, they didn't even have to be in the same building! 'Breaking bread' or sharing a meal with your peers was one of the defining moments of the day. Deer Valley practiced a traditional, dominant-centered teaching approach. The curriculum I experienced modeled after culturally dominant values rather than an anti-bias approach. I did not feel I was a part of an institution that upheld a pro-active approach to culture, race, class, gender or ability. I did not feel prepared for college. Deer Valley prepared us for memorization and scantrons. In college they want you to think, articulate your opinions and reason with your mind. I struggled with a few subjects in school, yet no one identified my learning disability until I reached college. Deer Valley placed too much importance on sports and not enough on acedemia, holistics or multi-culturalism. For example,we had this Multi-Culture event once a year that was supposed to create some kind of understanding to the predominately white student population. I'm sorry, all Middle Easterners don't belly dance, and very few Mexican people twirl elaborate dresses and sombreros. The use of a traditional and almost obsolete dances once a year is exploitive and demonstrates our bias by lumping a culture together by representing it with one group of dancing teenagers. (Some of the people in the audience, will only have this example portrayed for them for their entire lives!) Everyday should include and reflect each student and their place in the world. Put into perspective what life is outside of the school eco-system educators! As a teacher, I am.
Despite Deer Valley's past reputation of excellence in student government/ leadership, the current leadership program is creating tension that is creating an atmosphere of pain in the school.
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