[KHTS] – Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School will celebrate the graduation of their first senior class on Friday, June 6 at 5 p.m. in the school’s Shakespeare Theater.
The school has come a long way since Executive Director Amber Raskin first opened the doors in 2008, with a student population of 50.
This spring, SCVi will graduate 25 seniors, but the school expects an incoming freshman class of 100 next year, out of 900 total students.
The program is definitely growing, said Natasha Mackinnon, upper school director.
Thirteen seniors have already been accepted to universities around the nation, including the University of California at Berkeley, UC Davis, the Art Institute of Philadelphia and Franklin & Marshall College.
“We feel like colleges are really looking for unique programs like ours,” Raskin said.
The goal of high school education at SCVi is to foster flexible, project-based learning that prepares students for the real world, whether at college or in the workforce.
“We don’t just teach rote work, we actually teach them life skills…” Mackinnon said. “We teach them these 21st century skills that they can actually utilize immediately.”
Seniors at SCVi participate in community projects, help with the younger grades, and each of them were required to complete a personal project in 10th grade, as part of theInternational Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
The program trains students in critical thinking and an international perspective. SCVi has been an IB World Schoolsince October 2013.
Mackinnon said that the students’ projects often vary widely–from inventions, to programming, to social entrepreneurship.
SCVi will also be certified as part of the New Tech Network next year, providing education that is project-based and technology rich, something that the school already focuses on, Mackinnon said.
“It’s not just understanding a math problem,” she said of the school’s approach to education. “(The students) understand the why, the how…”
Students at New Tech schools graduate at a 14 percent higher rate and enter college at a nine percent higher rate than the national average, according to statistics provided by Mackinnon.
For more information about SCVi Charter School and their first graduation on June 6, click here.