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Plumas Charter directors explain plans for the 2017-18 school year in Indian Valley

Next year Plumas Charter School’s presence in Indian Valley will look a whole lot different than in the previous five.

By now most area residents know that Indian Valley Academy will no longer be on the Greenville High campus. To assuage possible misinformation and rumor, Plumas Charter School held a parent and community meeting Thursday, March 30, at GHS to answer questions and to present information regarding what the 2017–2018 school program will look like. Thirty people attended.

Quincy site coordinator Patrick Joseph gave an overview of the history of charter schools in the U.S. over the last three decades and reiterated that PCS is a public and nonprofit school system. There has been a history of misinformation about PCS’ status, according to Joseph. Currently PCS is one of 1,200 charters in California.

He also touched on the independent study versus seat-based models of instruction. Indian Valley Academy had technically been an independent study program, but in recent years had tried to be more like the traditional model due to its partnership with GHS.

Joseph emphasized that PCS operates under what’s known as the mega-waiver — which has similar curriculum requirements as the traditional model without the “decades of regulation and codes.”

Ryan Schramel, the IVA director, then took over the program by explaining what the 2017–2018 year will look like. The middle school — grades sixth through eighth — will return to the original IVA location at the education building behind the Methodist church in Greenville, while the high school will move to Taylorsville.

There will be transportation available for students from both downtown Greenville and the Taylorsville T to Taylorsville.

Most parents had concerns about what athletics would be like next year. Schramel reported there is a California Interscholastic Federation application submitted and he felt confident it would be accepted. Sports in the planning stages include cross- country, co-ed soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, track and field, and golf. He also stated the possibility of volleyball depending on student interest. He reported that a local property owner has built a court on his property and would be offering its use to the school. Separate from the CIF application is the possibility of a ski and snowboard team.

Schramel commented that he felt strongly that PCS consider the number of travel days playing in a leagues costs students academically. He said  he was willing to have IVA students participate in sports on an independent basis so IVA could choose participation that would not add stress to academics.

The students themselves will determine part of the transition to new locations and the culture for the new school sites. Schramel announced that there will be a project-based learning segment on school culture starting May 15. In small groups, students at IVA will study and make recommendations on the design of the physical space, dress codes, enrichment programs that will be included and what the student handbook should include.

Schramel also unveiled the schedule for the 2017–2018 school year, which adds an extra week of math to the school year by having an hour devoted to the subject four mornings a week. Humanities will be blocks on two days a week and sciences will be blocks on the other two days before lunch each day. Wednesday will be a student support and or independent study day in the mornings.

Afternoons will be dedicated to enrichment programs, electives and physical education from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., with the details of those offerings to be decided this summer.

The current eighth- and eleventh-graders will undergo SBAC Testing starting next week. The testing measures skill level in English language arts, math and science.

The last item of information  concerned two program updates. One is the “New California History Framework” designed throughout schools across the state to integrate history with English language arts and other humanities for a fuller and richer experience in learning.

IVA’s program will also be expanding outdoor education programs in the fall. Both Joseph and Schramel commented on the Quincy site having gardens and accessing the Feather River College climbing wall as part of the outdoor education programs that are both popular among students and are changing the dynamics of outdoor education.

Returning enrollment for Indian Valley Academy begins April 1 and continues through April 27.

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