Article by Grace Payne
With fewer high school students meeting admission requirements for California’s public universities, Santa Rosa High School is offering new support for students taking English, math, science, credit recovery and other required courses.
The school has introduced a “student learning center” on its website, a page where students can find a menu of homework help and tutoring options offered by certain teachers and counselors before and after school and during lunch. Resources range from an hour of Cyber High credit recovery support on Tuesdays and Thursdays to 30 minutes of help with AP Chemistry on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Earlier this year, Santa Rosa City Schools District administrators told the school board that only 11 percent of graduates in 2021 earned grades of C or better in the A-G courses required for admission to the University of California and California State University. That is a decline from A-G eligibility rates that ranged from 22 to 26 percent between 2017 and 2020, according to a report presented at a June 8 board meeting.
Numbers for the class of 2022 were not included in the report, and district officials did not respond to a request for information for this article.
A-G courses are the series of 15 high school courses the UC and CSU consider necessary for high students to be prepared for a four-year university.
When asked how many Santa Rosa High graduates met the UC/CSU A-G requirements in 2021 and 2022, new Vice Principal Valerie Jordan said she did not have that information and referred interview requests to the counseling office.
Counselor Kris Bertsch said students with strong academic skills continue to meet the universities’ A-G requirements. The larger concern, she said, is that “graduation rates have dropped substantially.”
The school board in 2018 changed high school graduation requirements to mirror the universities’ A-G requirements. The board said the new requirements ensure all students are accessing college prep classes and have the option of applying to a four-year university after high school.
The change went into effect with the class of 2022 and required students to take an additional year of math and an additional year of language. Students must earn a D or better in these courses to graduate and a C or better to be eligible for UC/CSU admissions.