Dear Sonora Students, Staff and Parents,
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 2017-2018 school year. I am very excited to serve all of you in my fifth year as your principal. Last school year was a most successful one at every level; academically, athletically and as a school community. As great as the last school year was for Sonora, the 2017-18 school year has the potential to be even better. To do this, your continued help, leadership and support will be needed at our great high school!
Looking back at our previous school years we have much to celebrate and be thankful for! Our staff, students and parents helped our school to earn a 6 Year Accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This was a six-year effort by our school community and we are so proud to have earned this distinction for our school this past year! In addition, our school earned one of the first Gold Ribbon School Awards for our iPaTh Program, a Title I School Award from the California Department of Education and we were one of five schools in the Nation to receive and implement the Equity and Excellence (E2) Grant for our International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. We also welcomed our amazing new IB Coordinator, Mrs. Shannon Appenrodt to her new position and she has already made a tremendously positive impact on our staff, students and parents in the IB Program!
Our staff continued to engage in the review and revision of our instructional programs with the Elevated Achievement Group to ensure all students were performing at the highest levels in the classroom. This was one of our Action Plan Goals as developed by our staff during our last WASC visit. This definitely paid off as we had an amazing year of testing as the results for the CAASPP test reflected positively on our students and staff. While this is a new test in 2016, with new measures for student success, 88% of Sonora students scored at or above standards in English and 70% score at or above average in Math. We will take these data and celebrate our students’ success and also look for areas to increase student achievement in the classroom. Attendance numbers continue to improve at Sonora where we again posted an increase in student attendance from the last school with a year to date total of 97.64% the highest in an 11 year history at our school. Finally, the 2017 rankings for the US News and World report have ranked Sonora High School in the top 4% of 29,070 high schools reviewed in the country, and in the top 10% of 2,199 high schools reviewed in California and we are listed as above average for the California index of college readiness and API. Our staff, students and parents are to be heartily congratulated for these results!
The 2016-17 school year was very successful for both athletics and activities. Our athletes achieved at the highest levels this year with teams reaching the CIF playoffs in boys water polo, girls and boys basketball, wrestling, baseball, track and field and swimming. Our Sonora Dance and Drill Team won two National Championships in large and small military. Our Sonora ASB did an outstanding job of starting the year with tons of school spirit and continued to encourage our Raider Pride by planning and implementing fantastic dances and pep rallies. I am proud to say that our Sonora Students and Staff were very involved in our local community. Approximately 30 staff and over 450 students started our Winter Break at Sonora by participating in the 26th annual Sonora Food Drive. The Food Drive served over 100 local families by providing two large boxes food, blankets, and toys during the Christmas season. What a thrill it was for all of us to engage in this Raider Pride throughout the school year!
In the 2017-2018 school year we are excited about building upon our successes academically, athletically and continuing our positive influence in the community. During this school year, we will be focusing on our 2023 WASC Action Plan as we continue to review data to evaluate, revise and refine our instruction to ensure all of our students are performing at their highest academic levels. This year we will be implementing the third year of our Raider Revolution, our during the school day tutorial and acceleration program. Each day students who demonstrated a need in English or Math, based on academic data collected in the last school year, will receive direct instructional support from our Sonora teachers. Students who meet all academic requirements may use this time to study or attend acceleration sessions from their assigned teachers. Finally, Sonora will be in year four of our Excellence and Equity Grant (E2) as we continue to increase the diversity and access for underrepresented students in our IB Program. This year we will continue the professional development opportunities for our teachers, increase our outreach efforts and continue to increase access for all students into to our IB program.
I am looking forward to another amazing school year in service to our students, parents and community.
Best to you all,