Gavilan College instructors began teaching a select number of evening courses on the San Benito High School campus this week as part of a “multi-level collaboration” between the two education institutions, according to a Jan. 29 announcement.
Students enrolled at Gavilan College can now register for biology, communications and English classes, which will be held on the 1220 Monterey St. high school campus. The college courses began Jan. 29 and run through May 25.
The classes are not dual-enrollment courses open to high school students. However, officials from both schools have expressed an interest in pursuing dual-enrollment as an opportunity for high school students to begin work on college credits prior to graduation.
“We are very proud of the efforts of both organizations to see this vision become a reality,” San Benito High School District Superintendent Shawn Tennenbaum said of the partnership between the district and Gavilan.
Other collaborative projects between the high school and the community college on the horizon are a math boot camp and Summer Scholars Academy focusing on English language arts, according to district staff.
Gavilan courses being offered in the high school classrooms in the evening include: Biology 10 (Principles of Biology); Biology 7 (Anatomy); Communications 1A (Introduction to Public Speaking); and English 250 (Practical Writing). These classes meet twice weekly.
The communications class, taught by San Benito English teacher Vincent Parker, is being held Monday evenings from 6-9:10pm.
Tennenbaum described the new partnership with Gavilan as “the beginning of a great relationship which affords our community more educational opportunities.”
Partnership includes math, English curricular development
Gavilan hired four San Benito High School teachers to participate in 30 hours of curriculum development and another 30 hours of direct instruction to high school students in a combination of after-school and Saturday workshops as part of a Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Math Boot Camp.
The focus will be on 11th-grade English Language Development students, in preparation for the SBAC test in April. There will also be co-taught enrichment seminars for seniors preparing to take the Gavilan College placement exam.
In addition, Gavilan hired six San Benito High School teachers to lead a Summer Scholars Academy with an English language arts focus to participate in 30 hours of curriculum development, which is already underway, and 30 hours of direct instruction to students during the summer.
The focus of the five-day, six-hours-per-session academy will be on offering enrichment instruction and activities to ELD long-term learners and completion of the seminar will be part of a student’s ELD reclassification. Teachers will work in pairs to focus on a specialty—reading, writing, creative expressing or speaking.
“It should be an immersive experience,” said English Department Chair Carissa Alvarez. “The idea is to help the kids see that they do, in fact, have something to offer in a college setting. We want them to explore their identify and, in turn, become inspired to push their education further than high school, whether it be to attend a community college, trade school or university.”