Exciting Things in Antioch Unified School District

By Tami Barrera

There’s lots going on in the Antioch Unified School District from awards to innovative learning academies to providing air-conditioning and other upgrades to older schools.

The Science Department at Deer Valley High School, which is led by Jeff Adkins, has won awards for projects regarding how we live on this planet and take care of it.

AUSD officials have learned that breaking learning up into smaller communities will give students more of an interest in completing school and at a higher level. A federal grant given to Antioch High School will be utilized to give a competitive edge to incoming freshmen. To create this strong foundation in 2011-12, they will be implementing a week of welcome that will launch these future dreamers of tomorrow into desiring more when it comes to knowledge.

As the student advances through the years learning and gaining insight into themselves and what they have to offer, they will find that their horizons can be broadened by the many choices that will be presented to them in the form of academies.

Deer Valley High offers the Business Tech Academy, which mimics the work environment to prepare them for their future beyond the walls of school. Deer Valley also offers the Science Research Academy, which has 19 students that will be graduating from this program this year and all are headed to college.

Deer Valley has also been accepted as one out of 25 schools in the country that has been asked to participate in the Teacher-in-Space program in which they will be launching a probe into space.

Dozier-Libbey Medical High School will have its first graduating class in 2012. At this high school they are determined to integrate health care across the curriculum, and they utilize CURE which is Creating Understanding and Relevance Every Day.

Deer Valley also provides the Performing Arts at Delta Academy. It opened its doors in 2008 on the Bidwell campus site with great vision and pride, and interest has more than doubled with its move to the Deer Valley campus.

Deer Valley Law Academy opened in 2009 with 90 freshmen and now has 240 students enrolled from 9th to 11th grade. This academy derives its learning model from work-based learning. Next year they will incorporate job shadowing, monitoring and community service.

Antioch High School has the EDGE Academy which stands for Engineering and Designing a Green Environment. The academy’s vision is learning designed, knowledge constructed, life engineered and environment sustained. EDGE is for students who learn best by working on projects that require using their brain and hands together.

The Measure C bond funding is making great strides with much needed improvements to the schools. Belshaw Elementary now has a new HVAC system with electrical upgrades, accessible classroom sinks, along with accessible stairs and ramps. Kimball has new security fencing, drinking fountains that are surrounded by gates so as to limit vandalism, new Clerestory windows and new HVAC in five classroom wings.

Antioch Middle School received much needed electrical service, new serving line flooring in the cafeteria, new kitchen hood and 3 compartment sink, new multipurpose room HVAC that was accompanied by a stage lift, interior walls, and library rooftop HVAC.
Park Middle School gained new accessible stairs and a ramp, a new front entrance to the school and new kitchen hood and equipment.

Antioch High School’s Beede Auditorium now has HVAC and an exterior lobby facelift. Phase two of construction will begin in the fall. For more information go to www.antioch.k12.ca.us and click on Community Information at the top of the page and then click on Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.

While times are hard and money is tight it is nice to know that there are people out there that do care about our educational future and where we can head as a district unified. With all this focus on higher education and enriched learning AUSD looks to be headed in the right direction. No matter what happens all around us, we are all a part of the same team striving to give the children what they need, a better learning environment in which to understand the world in which we all inhabit daily.

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