School district asks for personal input on school curriculum


Taisiia Yakovenko

A student voicing the ideas of the table group at the end of discussion.

Taisiia Yakovenko, Staff Writer

In an attempt to gain more input from the community, the Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) organized a Community Engagement event on Oct. 2.

Superintendent Mary Streshly said, “We wanted to hear parents’ and students’ voices on this issue.”

Students, parents, teachers, and public officials came together to discuss the school’s curriculum and approach to learning.

“We will continue to ask the schools to grow and develop in order to meet the needs of the ever-changing society,” Streshly said. “We want to give students an opportunity to speak on the issue.”

The public officials asked those who attended to talk about the effectiveness and safety of the current high school environment.

During the meeting, many participants discussed changing the approach to learning, making a clear distinction between rigor and difficulty.

“‘Drill and kill’ method does not work anymore,” said Ralph Crame, Carlmont High School’s Principal. “We want to make people learn through thinking about the problems.”

The district desires to revise their learning strategies in order to make the students more engaged in the process, help them develop better cognitive skills, and make them better prepared for the future.

“We try to get away from the ‘memorization’ technique,” Crame said. “We want to make the classes more interesting for the students by stepping away from too many lectures and encouraging collaborative learning.”

The district officials put together the meeting to get some personal input, in addition to online surveys that were sent out earlier.

“These meetings are deeper since they allow for more personal input than surveys,” Chris Thomsen, a board trustee, said. “These meetings also allow for more channels of information and more opinions to be heard.”

The district officials plan to use these surveys and meetings to determine where they need to invest the most money into for the upcoming years.

Thomsen said, “We make up a governance group for the district that sets goals, establish policies, and distributes the budget.”

The meeting was another way to make sure that the budget gets distributed fairly so that all schools in the school district could have the resources to improve their learning environments.

Using the advice from the meetings, Carlmont High School strives to make the environment better and safer for its students.

“Carlmont feels like a community,” Crame said.