San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District
San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

San Lorenzo Valley classrooms still have hundreds of students fewer than they did before the coronavirus pandemic and massive wildfires rocked the region.

While San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District administrators point to figures showing enrollment increases at its elementary schools, a continued decrease in the student body at its main charter school, the high school and its middle school since last year has resulted in an increase of just three pupils overall.

That’s more than 300 fewer learners in its classrooms and online study halls than prior to the pandemic and the CZU Lightning Complex Fire.

A recent survey shows that more than 94% of students across its campuses say they feel welcomed at their school, the school board reported.

Around the same percentage at Boulder Creek Elementary and San Lorenzo Valley Elementary say teachers let them know if there’s an academic or behavior concern, although that number drops to 85% for San Lorenzo Valley Middle School and 78% for San Lorenzo Valley High School.

Nearly 90% of elementary students agree they have opportunities to provide input and feedback; however, just 87% at SLVMS and 77% at SLVHS feel this way.

About nine out of 10 parents across the district say their child feels like an important part of the school community.

But when it comes to behavior programs and support, BCE, SLVE and SLVHS parents gave ratings in the mid-80s, with just 78% from San Lorenzo Valley Elementary parents, when asked if these are communicated and effective.

Boulder Creek parents were much more enthusiastic about the quality of education their kids received than those who send their children to San Lorenzo Valley Elementary.

While around 95% of both parent groups felt their children were getting good Math, Writing and Reading instruction (with BCE parents even giving a 97.5% score for Reading), when it comes to Science, Boulder Creek parents gave a 96% compared to 90% for SLVE.

The difference was even wider for Physical Education, with 96% of BCE parents liking what they’re seeing, compared to 87% for SLVE.

When comparing these academic ratings for SLVMS and SLVHS, the results were mixed.

The parents of high schoolers were happier with the English and Science instruction (95% and 98% respectively, versus 86% and 90%), while SLVMS did better in Social Studies and Physical Education (96% compared to 89% for both subjects).

The middle school and high school were virtually tied in math (with 85% in both cases happy with the teaching caliber).

On March 27, Superintendent Chris Schiermeyer told the Board of Trustees the Basic Aid Supplemental funding will go down by $580,000 each year for the next three years, totaling $1.644 million.

“A contributing factor to this is the decrease in homes being sold in the San Lorenzo Valley,” the board minutes stated.

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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