Bonny Doon Elementary School
1492 Pine Flat Road in Santa Cruz
With classes starting back on Wednesday, Aug. 28, approximately 135 kindergarten through 5th grade students are registered for the upcoming school year at Bonny Doon Elementary.
“We’re getting lots and lots of late registration,” said Principal Stephanie Siddens, adding that with the current enrollment numbers, the campus’ population had slightly increased from last year.
Siddens said that the school would be welcoming new teacher Stephanie Sumarna, who will lead a 2nd and 3rd grade multiage class.
For the upcoming school year, Siddens said that the school would focus on preparing students for the Common Core standards being adopted by schools countywide. Students can also expect a continuation of the scientist guest speakers from last year.
On the campus itself, Siddens said that the school was close to having a solar power system installed and had recently finished qualifying for a green business certification.
Brook Knoll Elementary School
151 Brook Knoll Drive in Santa Cruz
Though new kindergarteners will have a chance to get to know the campus at an ice cream social on Aug. 25, Brook Knoll Elementary School won’t officially open its doors until the 27th when all students are invited to a Meet and Greet event. The first day of classes will be Wednesday, Aug. 28. Kindergarteners and transfers won’t be the only newbies — seven teachers begin their Brook Knoll careers this year, including Jen Woefel, Deb Avila-White, Ashley Rebiskie, Linda Baker, Adrian Myers, Carol Shih, and Kirsten Maure. In addition, Mike Igoe, Kathy Peterson, Kelly Reber, and Adam Wolff will be returning to Brook Knoll.
“We’re looking forward to Eagle Week,” said Principal Shar Ransom. “The theme of our year is ‘A Bird’s Eye View.’”
Brook Knoll is also excited about its new parent club, “The Eagle Connection.”
San Lorenzo Valley Elementary
7155 Highway 9 in Felton
Not much has changed for SLV Elementary, whose enrolment is relatively steady at 585 kids. However, the school has added a Pre-K program, offered to kids with birthdays between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1 who will no longer be eligible to register for kindergarten. SLV Elementary will welcome five new classroom teachers, one speech pathologist, and one occupational therapist. The Common Core math standards will make their debut, along with a brand new computer lab. The first day of class will be Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Vine Hill Elementary
151 Vine Hill School Road in Scotts Valley
For Vine Hill School, a nice-sized kindergarten class this year is worth celebration, according to Principal Michelle Stewart, who reported that the increase in lower grades will help make up for last year’s large graduating class. Four new teachers will join the school this year and four will return. The school will open its doors to teachers Elizabeth Rose, Natalie Serigstad, Julie Pierce, Hannah Walsh, Nicole Goldfield, Sarah Hannaleck, Angelique Bright, and Mary Dettle.
Most of the focus this year for Vine Hill is Common Core Standards implementation. The school looks forward to integrating GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) in science and social studies classes, as well as putting into place the Silicon Valley Math Initiative in math classes.
Vine Hill will also offer the Pre-K program. The first day of classes will be Wednesday, Aug. 28.
Scotts Valley Middle School
8 Bean Creek Road in Scotts Valley
With a student population of 600, SVMS is expecting a slight increase in registration, as well as a larger than normal amount of funding that comes with that increase in students.
“We’re really grateful that there’s a lot of money (this year),” said Principal Mary Lonhart, who mentioned that funding will allow for the use of iPads as teaching tools.
Three new teachers and one returning teacher will join the faculty: Holly Sinclair, Arnie Serigstad, and Tarin Beebe; and Marty Leshin, respectively. Like Vine Hill, SVMS will focus this year on transition to Common Core.
The first day of classes will be Wednesday, Aug. 28.
San Lorenzo Valley Middle School
7179 Hacienda Way in Felton
With 500 students registered for the coming year, SLVMS reported a slight increase in student population but not a big one. However, Principal Jeff Calden did report the incoming 6th grade class is “very, very big.”
Unlike other local schools, SLVMS only lost one faculty member last year as longtime history teacher Marty Rasmussed retired.
“The continuity (in faculty) is huge,” said Calden. “That’s pretty rare and pretty cool.”
The school also announced a new program this year called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Explained Calden, “It’s (for) your B and C students (who) have the ability to excel but for whatever reason aren’t.” The first day of class will be Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Baymonte Christian School
5000B Granite Creek Road in Scotts Valley
With 290 kids enrolled in kindergarten through 8th grade, and another 120 in preschool, Baymonte will maintain its small, closely-knit atmosphere this year with an 18:1 student/faculty ratio. New or returning teachers include Cassy Hazen, Maureen Kitch, Shanelle Atchley, Mike Lanham, and Hannah Balliet. Hazen, Kitch, and Atchley will do classroom instruction along with Lanham, who will teach Bible study completely in Spanish, and Balliet, who will help with the school’s new gluten-free bakery.
Other new things for the school include an accelerated program for reading and a community-run 5K race on Oct. 12 that will help fund new technology for the school.
Classes will start September 3.
Scotts Valley High School
555 Glenwood Drive in Scotts Valley
SVHS will open its doors Aug. 28 to the approximately 800 registered students, a slight increase from last year’s number. New faces this year will include Claire Spitzer (chemistry), Nora Kozyra (math), Julia Root (English), Judy Cogan (art), Clair Reiber (special education), Mystyn Block (special education), and Eric Byrd (IB biology). Mike Hanson has stepped up as new Assistant Principal.
As for curriculum, “Common Core’s the big one for everybody,” said Principal Valerie Bariteau.
- Editor’s note: San Lorenzo Valley High and Boulder Creek Elementary schools will open their doors on Tuesday, Aug. 27.