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CVHS Cancels Open House; SJH Changes Schedule

The two local high schools are finding ways to put more teaching minutes back on the calendar.

To recapture needed teaching minutes to complete the school year, Capistrano Valley High and San Juan Hills High schools have adjusted their schedules; in addition, Capo Valley High has cancelled open house.

Earlier, an audit the Capistrano Unified School District conducted found those two high schools had not scheduled enough instructional minutes throughout the year to meet state guidelines.

In a letter to parents last week, CVHS Principal Kevin Astor announced a number of changes to the schedule:

  • The three finals days at the end of first semester – Jan. 30 and 31 and Feb. 1 will now end at 12:52 p.m.
  • June finals –June 7, 10 and 11 – will also end at 12:52 p.m.
  • The two days students take the California High School Exit Exams will be full days of instruction.
  • The three days of standardized STAR testing will be lengthened by 30 minutes, with an end time of 12:32 p.m.
  • In lieu of open house, the school will have a full day of instruction.

“ Our goal is to minimize the impact on our community,” Astor wrote. Capo Valley serves Mission Viejo and the Village neighborhood in San Juan Capistrano.

San Juan Hill High School

San Juan Hills is taking a different approach, changing the end-of-day for the alternating “early-out” Mondays. While school used to end at 1:45 p.m. on those days, they now end at 2:13 p.m. Principal Tom Ressler made the announcement in a recorded telephone call last week.

“[Monday] will be our first early out with the new adjusted early-out schedule, meaning that sixth period will be dismissed at 2:13,” he said in the message. “This will be the new early-out schedule for the rest of the school year.”

The two CAHSEE days, scheduled for March 12-13, will get out early, 1:10 p.m. STAR testing will be full days and finals will end at 2:40 p.m.

San Juan Hills serves students in San Juan Capistrano, Capo Beach and Ladera Ranch.

SoCalAli December 18, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Thanks for giving information about how the two schools dealt with the same issue. It is a big deal to get rid of Open House - it's just one of two times a year when parents get to go into their student's classrooms - and that's not something any school should be getting rid of!
SoCalAli December 18, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Thanks for giving information about how the two schools dealt with the same issue. It is a big deal to get rid of Open House - it's just one of two times a year when parents get to go into their student's classrooms - and that's not something any school should be getting rid of!
Sharon December 18, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Thanks for showing parents that there is more than one way to deal with the shortfall of teaching minutes. Parents have so few opportunities to be involved once their kids reach high school and it is so important to have that personal interaction with teachers and staff. Back to School night and Open house are important to families and taking away one of only two nights all year is not a good solution.
Charles December 18, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Is this true? There are no other opportunities to visit with the teacher? In fact, open house (as compared to a personal meeting) is crowded and the teacher is overwhelmed with questions. Open house is normally just a teacher reading off a bunch of complicated formulas for determining grades and earning credits. It's pretty scripted. A parent who really wants to know how little Johnny is doing, would be better off contacting the teacher(s) to schedule a ten minute one on one meeting.
Capo Parent December 18, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Charles If you don't want to go to open house that's your prerogative. Don't bash open house and the ability it gives parents to interact with the school their kids go to. FYI, back to school night is completely scripted, so do you want to get rid of that too? How about graduation? Think before you post.
shelly December 18, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Back to school night is well attended at the high school level. Open house is not. I am not saying it is not important. I am just saying it is not well attended at the high school level.
Sharon December 19, 2012 at 06:25 PM
At CVHS, Open house is actually VERY well attended. Last spring, all of the lots were full and many hallways had lines of parents waiting to meet teachers. It is only one of 2 nights that the entire parent community is invited to the school all year and parents do come!
Penny Arévalo (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 06:42 PM
BTW, SJHHS hasn't had an open house since 2008-09 (its second year), according to the district.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Here's more from the district: The Open House at San Juan Hills High School was dropped at the suggestion of parents in the 2008-09 school year. Parents are encouraged to be involved in their child’s education. If they have any questions, comments, or concerns, they are free to contact their child’s teacher or school administrator directly. If a parent so desires, face-to-face meetings can be scheduled.

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