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FUHS attendance declines; Ivy, Oasis increases

Thursday, October 11th, 2012
Issue 41, Volume 16.
Andrea Verdin
Special to the Village News
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Fallbrook Union High School has seen a decrease in attendance in the 2012-2013 academic year, but the alternative Ivy and Oasis high schools have seen an influx in numbers.

According to Wilson Hatcher, assistant superintendent for Fallbrook Union High School District, Fallbrook High is down 107 students from last year, while Ivy is up three students and Oasis is up 23 students. However, there is a district-wide decline of 81 students.

"The Fallbrook High School decline is the result of some eighth graders last year in Bonsall and Fallbrook elementary school districts choosing not to attend FHS this year," said Hatcher.

While Rod King, principal of Fallbrook High, declined to comment and Dale Mitchell, superintendent of the district, was unavailable for comment this week, Melissa Marovich, principal of both Oasis and Ivy, was able to provide insight on possible reasons for the increase at her sites.

Marovich stated that while attendance at Ivy is "at capacity," total enrollment is eight to ten students less than last year at this time.

"Last year, Ivy had 154 students and this year Ivy has about 145. Due to budget cuts, I lost one section, which caused an overall reduction in the number of students I could enroll," she said. (Meaning the increase has been for the existing classes offered).

Ivy’s purpose is credit recovery, so the incentive to attend the alternative school is that students have the ability to catch up on course work needed for graduation. Once caught up, students can choose to return to Fallbrook High School and finish their graduation requirements or stay with Ivy and earn a diploma there.

"Last year, Ivy graduated approximately 65 students and another 25 former Ivy students graduated from Fallbrook High School," said Marovich. "The former students all attended Ivy, caught up, and returned for their senior year. Ivy is an accredited high school; our diploma is equal to any other."

Marovich stated that Oasis, the alternative involving home study, has seen a significant increase in students. Students become aware of the opportunities available at Oasis through word of mouth.

We are up about 10-12 students, most of whom were attending schools other than Fallbrook High School. The majority of the new students came from charter schools which operate programs similar to Oasis (like Escondido Charter or River Springs in Temecula), and they decided to attend within the boundary where they live. A few others were attending other high schools on inter-district transfers, and decided to try independent study."

The number of students that transfer from other FUHSD schools has remained the same as in years past, and the majority of students who enter the school as ninth graders enter from the Iowa Street Home School Program.

"Oasis High School offers a very individualized program – students meet one-on-one weekly with their teacher. The teacher, parent and student have a say in choosing coursework, and the feedback is immediate," said Marovich. "Parents also like the ease with which they are able to communicate with the teacher, and get updates on their students’ progress. Students can choose to accelerate and graduate early, and they can enroll in community college courses."

"There is a lot of freedom that comes with independent study – students can pursue other interests, such as sports, dance, modeling, etc.," said Marovich. "We currently have a student, a semi-professional boxer, who travels a great deal. Last year, we had a student who was very involved with rodeo competitions, and another who traveled with a dance troupe."

This year, Oasis began offering a fully online diploma program, in which students can "blend" their learning by taking one or two online courses in addition to traditional independent study.

Marovich also stated that Oasis also has a large amount of options available for students including UC A-G approved college prep classes, opportunities for Oasis students to play on Fallbrook High sports teams, some Advanced Placement courses, and more.

Hatcher believes that there are other elements that are impacting student choices, as well.

"Oasis is up because we added another teacher to accommodate the student waiting list," said Hatcher. "I think more students are interested in the Oasis program because it is mostly online self-study. Students meet with teachers one hour each week but do all of their course work away from the school site."

The California Basic Educational Data System’s (CBEDS) actual counts from last year to the preliminary counts this year:

School October 2012 October 2011

Preliminary Actual

FHS 2,527 2,634

Ivy 146 143

Oasis 111 88



Comment Profile ImageSucker
Comment #1 | Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm
It wasn't too long ago we were duped into believing that, based on a projected attendance explosion at FUHS, we needed to vote for a huge bond measure to remodel and expand the high school.The bond measure passed.It sure looks like the attendance explosion ain't happening. In fact, enrollment at FUHS has been down for the past several years.

I also remember we were told that the new theater/entertainment center at FUHS (which was built with this bond measure money) was supposed to be self-sustaning and would generate tens of thousands in profits. That ain't happening either.
Comment Profile ImageLaura
Comment #2 | Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm
It doesn't surprise me that FUHS has declining attendance rates given the great alternatives available. FUHS suffers from myriad issues, including unsatisfied and unmotivated teachers, cliquey students, gang&racial violence, terrible morale throughout campus, and an overall unwillingness/ineptitude to accommodate or encourage individuality on campus. FUHS is a breeding ground for herd mentality. I would encourage any student going through the FUHS program to look at the options available in the vicinity.

For me, FUHS promoted the worst and most destructive lifestyle; only through going to Oasis and Palomar College and escaping the trap of public school in a small town, I managed to go from a messed up expellee at FUHS to a Masters program at SJSU. If you or your child is "different" from the norm and you actually have the guts to promote that, don't stifle them. I would have kids at FUHS make fun of me EVERY DAY for reading novels in public, like it was some sort of ludicrous activity. Most of the people I know that matriculated through FUHS (granted, from my age group/generation) aren't doing anything important with their lives and are unsatisfied.

Bottom line: FUHS encourages kids to think inside the box. Have you ever heard that slogan in a positive light?
Comment Profile Imageformer parent of a fuhs student
Comment #3 | Friday, Oct 12, 2012 at 1:08 am
Might be because the school does not care about its students!!!!!
Comment Profile ImageFUHS class 02'
Comment #4 | Friday, Oct 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm
Sign of the times...
Comment Profile ImageMom of lots
Comment #5 | Sunday, Oct 14, 2012 at 10:12 pm
Thankful to homeschool.
Comment Profile Image@mom of lots
Comment #6 | Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 9:00 am
Homeschooling is a joke. What makes parents think they can teach their children academics like math and science? Kids not only need to be taught these subjects by "trained" professionals, but they need to develop essential social skills that public schools allow.
Comment Profile ImageFR86
Comment #7 | Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 9:44 am
The issues surrounding the sorry state of affairs at FUHS are many but it starts with the community that fails to support it and ends up with the teachers union that perpetuates the mediocrity that we have at the school. The board and the administrators are doing the best they can but they continue to be held hostage by the teacher's union. The first step should be to "break" the chokehold of the union, get rid of the tenured mediocrity that is supports, get young and progressive teachers into the system and evolve for the better. We all know what needs to be done.....
Comment Profile Imagehomeschool rocks
Comment #8 | Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm
Directed to @momoflots, you truly have no idea what you are talking about. Students don't "need" trained professionals. How many trained professionals spread thin by 35 kids in the classroom can possibly give my child a personalized education that suits his learning style and teach him better than I can one on one. Studies have shown that colleges are now actively pursuing homeschooled kids because they are adavanced in learning and more well rounded, having focused on their studies more efficiently. As far as socializing, why would I want my child learning all of the "social" problems a public school has to offer. That is not who I want teaching my kids how to socialize. Most homeschool parents go above and beyond involving their kids in social settings, sports, clubs, church groups where they can grow and nurture their social skills. Healthy alternatives that are far better for them. You need to think "outside" the box and do some research. Homeschool and charter schools are growing in record numbers. It's not just for the overprotective parent anymore.
Comment Profile ImageIvy Lok For Life
Comment #9 | Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 11:34 pm
I Love ivyyy High School And All The Staff There (: I Will Never Fergey My Ivy Experience !!! Once An Ivy Lok ALWAYS An Ivy Lok !!!! (:
Comment Continued : The comment above was written from the same location.
Post Continued
Comment Profile Image@former parent of a fhs student
Comment #10 | Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 11:41 pm
That is very true fallbrook.high doesn't care about their students they only see them as a number and unlike Fallbrook, Ivy Cares about their students.
Comment Profile Image@homeschool rocks
Comment #11 | Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm
Homeschool kids are dorks. They have no street smarts and go nowhere in life. This isn't even debatable.
Comment Profile Imagefall8r00k student
Comment #12 | Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm
Fallbrook teachers don't care about the students.... they just want money...
Espically all the securitys they don't do anything they ride in their carts all day... FUHS maybe is dangerous.... that's why students don't go their...
Comment Continued : The comment above was written from the same location.
Post Continued
Comment Profile ImageThe school securiy
Comment #13 | Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm
The security at school is bad - they don't do nothing at allllll......
They can't handle any situation at all...
Comment Profile Image@12 and 13
Comment #14 | Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm
Apparently the english teachers aren't doing their jobs. How can you be in high school and not know how to write proper english?
Comment Profile ImageERIN
Comment #15 | Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm
If I were grading comments 12 and 13. I would give them a D minus in ESL. Pathetic!

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Fallbrook Village News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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