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Educationally Speaking: March 2013

Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Issue 13, Volume 17.
Dale Mitchell, Ed.D
Superintendent Fallbrook Union High School District

The truth about Fallbrook’s high schools

One of the challenges facing the Fallbrook Union High School District is the willingness of too many people to conveniently believe lies and falsehoods about the various aspects of education to which students have access. Let’s examine some realities:

Fallbrook Union High School District is proud of the diversity of programs and services available to meet the needs of our students. Our students are successful, both while in high school and also as they pursue college and career opportunities. As a parent or community member, to think and believe otherwise is to believe a lie. Annually, many of our students qualify for and attend the most prestigious universities and colleges in the country… and succeed when they attend. There is a guaranteed admission program in place with California State University San Marcos for those students who meet academic performance expectations. There is also the AVID program designed to enable low socioeconomic and underrepresented minority students to attend college. Many do.

Our students have opportunities for career preparation in a variety of areas. These include child care, restaurant occupations, computer applications, auto, agriculture, wood, and metal. Interested in educational or career options in the visual and performing arts, our students excel and pursue post high school educational options in instrumental music, vocal music, visual arts, film, and dance. Career options are a reality for our students. Our students also have access to positive social opportunities and counseling and guidance for personal growth; this can be on an individual basis or through clubs and groups before and after school. They are all aimed at students learning and modeling positive behavior. Students also can excel at sports and learn to work with their fellow students as a team.

Looking for alternatives to a comprehensive high school, students can find them at Oasis High School and Ivy High School. Oasis High School is an Advertisement
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independent study program in which students can pursue their education through a fully online option or a blended option that includes both traditional textbook and online learning activities. If neither a comprehensive high school setting nor an independent study option works best for a student, Ivy High School may be the answer. In 2012, it was recognized as a California Model Continuation High School. The staff and students have built upon this foundation to further improve the quality of these learning opportunities.

School safety is the area where I see many parents and community members willing to believe a lie that our schools are not safe. They respond to random, unfounded threats as if they are a reality and a part of the daily life of our schools. They consider a group of Latino boys as a gang when what they are is a group of boys of the same ethnicity who share common interests. Our reality: suspensions and expulsions for aggressive behavior are down; no intruders have come onto our campuses and harmed our students or staff. Do we have a challenge with drugs and alcohol? Yes, we do, as many high schools do. However, to place the blame and responsibility directly on our schools is a convenient way of avoiding the truth that many of our families in our community have problems with drugs and alcohol. What are you/we doing to confront these challenges in our community? Our schools are safe and students can participate in quality learning experiences that give them success now and prepare them for future success. If you don’t want to believe me, I invite you to contact our school staff or me and arrange for a visit. If you don’t want to believe me and you don’t want to visit our schools, I hope you choose not to believe lies and to communicate lies to others.



Comment Profile ImageQuestions
Comment #1 | Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm
Can we be provided with statistics rather than opinions? How many students go to a four year college? How many kids are under contract with UC San Marcos? If students are succesfull, why is the school in its third year of PI? How does FUHS compare to other schools with the same programs you mentioned, AVID, Ag, etc.? Is Fallbrook High way above the rest? Are there more students opting out or in to Fallbrook high?

thank you.

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