The program held at Vista Grande Elementary School is open to all students in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.
The Goal of the Vista Grande Alternative Program is to encourage students to progress to the best of their potential. Active parent participation is a strong component, as is instruction that utilizes whole class, flexible small grouping, and one-on-one instruction. Academic instruction is based on the traditional district curriculum and augmented with the following elements:
Alternative classes have a lower child to adult ratio, achieved through paid aides and parent volunteers. Each class has approximately 24.5 hours per week of para-professional help, including 5 hours of time with a specialized reading aide (grades K-2) or math aide (grades 3-5).
Students in Grades 1 and 2 receive an additional 45 minutes of instruction per day than in the Traditional Program.
Students receive the enrichment of Spanish instruction, beginning in Kindergarten.
Students remain together as they transition from grade to grade, facilitating consistency and a deep level of camaraderie in their social and learning environment.
The program relies on active parent participation in and out of the classroom, as well as frequent communication between parents and teachers. An annual donation from each student pays for para-educators, Spanish instruction, supplies and other essentials deemed necessary by the classroom teacher and/or Alternative Program Board. This is an annual donation, requested at the beginning of each school year that a child participates in the program.
The governing board of any school district may establish and maintain one or more alternative schools within the district.
For the purpose of this article, an alternative school is defined as a school or separate class group within a school which is operated in a manner designated to:
Maximize the opportunity for students to develop the positive values of self-reliance, initiative , kindness, spontaneity, resourcefulness, courage, creativity, responsibility and joy.
Recognize that the best learning takes place when the student learns because of his/her desire to learn.
Maintain a learning situation maximizing student self-motivation and encouraging the student in his/her own time to follow their own interests. These interests may be conceived by him/her totally and independently or may result in whole or in part from a presentation by the teacher of choices of learning projects.
Maximize the opportunity for teachers, parents and students to cooperatively develop the learning process and its subject matter. This opportunity shall be a continuous, permanent process.
Maximize the opportunity for the students, teachers and parents to continuously react to the changing world, including but not limited to the community in which the school is located.
Grades 1 and 2 have a longer school day.
Lower child to adult ratio is achieved through paid Para Professionals. All classes receive 24.5 hours of Para Professional time. 19 hours of this time is general aide time. The remaining 5 hours is specialized time in Reading (grades K-2) and Math (grades 3-5).
Classes stay together throughout the program. Teachers coordinate students' transition to the next grade.
- Spanish language instruction
- Computer instruction
- Emphasis on parent/teacher/student partnership in education.
- Parent input through Advisory Board
- Periodic student led conferences with portfolios and report cards.
- Participation as one school with Vista Grande traditional program including school library, computer lab, weekly VGTV broadcast, art, science, music, as well as grade level and school-wide activities throughout the year.
- Program is highly successful..
The Advisory Board is comprised of nine members: seven elected parents, the school principal and one teacher. One teacher representative and at least one parent representative from each class attend monthly meetings of the Advisory Board.
The program is open to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. There is no screening process and acceptance is determined solely on a space available basis with priority given to siblings. If necessary, to prevent diversions, priority may be given to Vista Grande resident students.
Attendance at an Orientation Meeting prior to enrollment is mandatory for all entering students.. This ensures that the parents are making an informed judgment as to whether the program is appropriate for their child.
How do I apply for the Program?
After you have completed the entire kindergarten registration process at your resident school, you can get further information and pick up an application at Vista Grande School office. All paperwork must be completed and returned to the Vista Grande office by February 28, 2013. Applications will be chosen by lottery according to the Kindergarten Admission Policy for the program. Applications may be submitted anytime for grades 1 through 5. Class assignments will be available one week before school begins.