Back to School Preview: San Lorenzo Valley schools
by Press-Banner
Aug 21, 2014 | 577 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The following is the final installment of the Press-Banner's two-week Back to School preview. This week, we will highlight the schools located in the San Lorenzo Valley.

Tuesday, Aug. 26 is the first day of classes for the schools in the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District, which enter their first year under the leadership of new Superintendent Dr. Laurie Bruton.


San Lorenzo Valley High School

7105 Highway 9 in Felton



Led by Principal Karen van Putten, the staff at San Lorenzo Valley High School remains largely unchanged from the previous school year, save for the recent hiring of Spanish teacher and 2004 SLV alum Rebecca McCabe and Athletic Trainer Andrew La.

In addition to continuing to implement Common Core standards, van Putten said that the school is dedicated to helping its students prepare for their college and career pathways.

This year, she said, the school will be offering new Advanced Placement courses in Studio Art and Physics 1, as well as advanced levels of ceramics, and digital photography.

Also new this year, van Putten said, is a collection of touch-screen Google Chromebook computers designed for use by math students.

Students will also be able to participate in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, a 4-year elective course designed to equip them with college-level study skills.


San Lorenzo Valley Middle School

7179 Hacienda Way in Felton



More than 500 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students are expected at SLVMS this year, said Principal Jeff Calden.

Nearly a third of the school’s staff is new to the campus, Calden said, as there were a number of retirements after last year.

“It's exciting and interesting this year,” he said. “Seven new teachers out of 25, it’s going to be a cool mix.”

Joining the staff this year will be language arts teacher Eileen Dressler, social studies teacher Rex Olivieri, math teacher Nolan Pfyl, science teacher Emma Stansbury, and directed studies teacher Sue Benasso.

This year, Calden said, in addition to Common Core-based math programs, students will be offered elective courses such as journalism and Motion in Machines, a science-based course.

Students can also participate in AVID, a high school and college-prep class that serves as the precursor to the program in place at the high school.


Boulder Creek Elementary School

400 Lomond Street in Boulder Creek



Entering her second year at the helm, Principal Denise Fosburgh said that she expects approximately 527 students at Boulder Creek Elementary this year.

Joining the BCE staff are fifth-grade teacher Dana Thomsen and science teacher Patty Hayes, Fosburgh said.

For the upcoming school year, she said, the school will continue to implement Common Core standards in all subject area, with a major focus on math and technology.

The expected 527 students, represents an increase in the student population, Fosburgh said.

This year, she said, student will be participating in “The BCE Way,” which is the school’s positive behavior intervention program.


San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School

7155 Highway 9 in Felton



Principal Shannon Calden said that, come Aug. 26, she expects approximately 635 students between the transitional kindergarten and fifth grade, a number she describes as “up a good 30 kids from last year.”

There are so many new students, she said, that “there's potential I could be hiring a new kindergarten teacher by the end of the week.”

New to the SLE staff this year is third-grade teacher Mike Cassidy, first-grade teacher Kelly Volheim, and fourth and fifth-grade science teacher Emma Stansbury, who will divide her time between the elementary and middle school.

This year, Calden said, the school’s focus “is really going to be implementing those Common Core standards” in math and language arts.

She said that the school’s staff is also dedicated to creating a positive student culture on campus through the use of the positive behavior system, called “The Bobcat Be’s” — be safe, be responsible, and be respectful.


San Lorenzo Valley Charter School

7101 Highway 9 in Felton



An umbrella school that includes Nature Academy, various homeschool programs, Mountain Independent Study, and Coast Redwood middle and high schools, San Lorenzo Valley Charter School administrators are expecting approximately 300 students this year.

According to Principal Rhonda Schlosser, the school’s programs work with students and parents to develop thematically based individualized learning plans.

The programs cover students from kindergarten through 12th grade, she said, and implement the same type of Common Core curriculum as seen at the more traditional schools.


St. Lawrence Academy

6184 Highway 9 in Felton



Monday, Aug. 25 is the first day of classes at the private kindergarten through eighth-grade campus in downtown Felton. Representatives were unable to be reached before the Press-Banner’s deadline.

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