Stillman Valley High School (SVHS) offers an impressive array of academic and elective courses as well as activities and experiences that broaden and enrich their students’ learning and opportunities. Both academic and career-based classes meet the needs of learners with diverse goals without compromising rigor or quality of academic performance, an important value of Schools of Opportunity. Curriculum offerings extend from multiple agriculture/horticulture classes to industrial technology to college preparatory and numerous Advanced Placement and Dual Credit offerings. In fact, eight of the nine departments at the school have a college-level course or workplace certification attached to at least one of their courses as the district maintains strong ties with local colleges. With a range of career-focused and academic courses such as agricultural business management, landscape/turf management, web design, entrepreneurship, film and literature, statistics, sociology, conceptual physics, symphonic band, and strength and conditioning, Stillman’s course guide reads like a much larger, comprehensive high school.
The school does not systematically exclude students from taking challenging classes or participating in the arts or other enrichment experiences. With no “gatekeeping” policies to restrict access for students, Stillman incentivizes students to take rigorous courses. The result? Forty-three percent of the high school students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses last year.
The stated goal of the school and the district is to have each student leave college or career ready. While this terminology is common in schools today, Stillman Valley High School is doing it--and quite effectively-- by providing clear career pathways and programs of study for students to receive a workplace certification or credential, or earn college credit. Despite the small size and severe budget cuts in recent years, SVHS Valley High School prioritized its commitment to preserve a curriculum designed, as the superintendent describes it, “to help all students reach their next level.”