Students have say in Mountain House High offerings
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Oct 04, 2013 | 3965 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mountain House residents viewed samples of the new high school’s interior and exterior materials, including carpet, flooring and artificial turf for the future school stadium, during a community meeting Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Bethany School. The high school is under construction and is slated to open in August. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Mountain House residents viewed samples of the new high school’s interior and exterior materials, including carpet, flooring and artificial turf for the future school stadium, during a community meeting Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Bethany School. The high school is under construction and is slated to open in August. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
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Samples of the Mustangs logo on the bleachers of the future Mountain House High School gymnasium were displayed during a community meeting Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Bethany School. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Samples of the Mustangs logo on the bleachers of the future Mountain House High School gymnasium were displayed during a community meeting Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Bethany School. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
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MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Sabrina Wright is looking forward to studying biomedical science as one of the first students at Mountain House High School when it opens in August.

“It’s awesome,” the 15-year-old said. “I’m excited about being in the first graduating class.”

Wright was among about 150 town residents who attended a community informational meeting hosted by high school Principal Ben Fobert on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Bethany School.

The meeting was an opportunity for school officials to share results of an online student survey about class preferences, discuss construction updates and field questions from parents of future students.

According to Fobert, 175 members of the 2014-15 freshmen and sophomore classes replied to questions about their preferred electives, sports and core subjects.

Among the top electives chosen was Wright’s pick — “Principles of Biomedical Sciences” — which was second only to computer science-information technology.

“I like (biomedical science) because I like science,” Wright said. “I wanted to do the most challenging classes to get good grades to get into a good college.”

Other highly ranked options were photography, video production, engineering, journalism and foreign languages, such as Spanish and French.

The survey was open to the roughly 500 students who will attend Mountain House High School when it opens in August.

“I’m not surprised with what is most popular,” Fobert said. “I really want to know specifically what they are going to take next year. We really got a good idea.”

Popular extracurricular activities included robotics, student government, speech and debate, science and math teams and band.

Fobert said one surprise in the survey results was the ranking of sports teams by students.

“We’re able to field a football team, but it’s not the highest chosen one,” he said. “The highest chosen sport is a swimming team, and then boys basketball, and then track and football.”

A campus pool is scheduled for the third phase of construction, Fobert said, and won’t be built immediately. He said the pool and the theater, library and art-vocational education buildings are among the projects that have yet to be funded.

He said, however, that if students want a swim team, the school will rent time at a pool somewhere until it can build its own.

The meeting Tuesday was the second community meeting about the high school, Fobert said. The plan is to have monthly meetings, with more scheduled as construction nears completion.

During the question-and-answer period, Fobert was asked about a variety of topics, from curriculum to campus lockers, but the most significant involved partnerships with local community colleges.

Fobert said he has been working with officials from San Joaquin Delta and Las Positas colleges in Stockton and Livermore. He wants students to be able to take classes and possibly earn an associate degree before graduating from high school.

“People are asking the tough questions,” he said. “People want to be reassured we are coordinated and we have a plan. They want to make sure they have input into what goes on.”

After the meeting, residents were given an opportunity to look at samples of the school’s interior and exterior materials, such as carpeting, flooring and artificial turf for the school stadium.

“It was very enlightening,” said Ron Estrellado, whose daughter attends Kimball High School. “I’m really looking forward to the curriculum that’s going to be offered. I like the transparency in the decision making.”

Jeff Linsangan, whose daughter is in eighth grade, said he was looking forward to the opening of the local high school in August.

“It’s supremely exciting,” he said. “They’ve got an excellent start with progressive learning strategies.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

 
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