Long Valley Charters help students be successful in school and in life
From the very beginning, relationships have played a fundamental role at Long Valley Charters. Originally opened in 1871 as a public school and relocated to its current location in 1968, Long Valley faced closure in 2000. Parents, teachers and community members banded together to keep the Long Valley School campus in Doyle open; their collective effort led to 19 years (and counting) operating as a classroom-based charter school for grades preschool through eighth.
When Long Valley first renewed its charter, the school added a Personalized Learning porgram in Susanville for grades K-12, now operating as Thompson Peak Charter. In 2010, Long Valley added a comparable program in Portola under Long Valley School. The school explored multiple sponsors before finding a stable, supportive partner in the Susanville School District and Fort Sage Unified School District.
Amid the transformation, school Director Sherri Morgan says, “The staff and families have done an outstanding job staying focused on learning. Students have continued to grow and be nurtured.”
Such is the bond — the relationships — between faculty, parents and students. Now, with three programs, Long Valley Charters serve almost 400 students, transitional kindergarten through 12th grade, in Plumas, Lassen, Sierra, and Shasta counties.
“We work with many students who are in the ‘gifted’ category as well as those who struggle, because we meet every student where they are, academically and socially,” Morgan explains.
Through its Personalized Learning program, Long Valley offers a variety of educational options to help students and their parents personalize a path to academic achievement that reflects the unique interests, passions and needs of each individual. Those options include classroom-based instruction, Personalized Learning, home schooling and blended learning.
We require that students achieve mastery of the California State Standards; how they get there is where the individualization happens. We’ve begun to shift the question of, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" to "What problems do you want to solve when you grow up?" When students leave our program, they are prepared for college or the world of work as they have had the opportunity to reflect on their passions and take an active role in their learning long before they graduate.
Developing personalized educational plans for each child is a collaborative process
Each teacher develops a relationship with their student and the student's family. Sometimes this includes parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles which makes it a true family affair.
Again, the model for success comes back to relationships. Our teachers, when they’re hired, know relationships come first because we believe in the quote from Rita Peterson that, "You cannot teach a child until you reach a child."