Saving South Valley’s Reputation

image courtesy of the Ukiah Daily Journal

image courtesy of the Ukiah Daily Journal

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“South Valley is a bad school…” “South Valley is only where stupid kids go…” “You won’t learn anything at South Valley..” This is the reaction most people gave me when I told them I was going to attend South Valley. They were wrong.

In the beginning of my high school years I hated school. I failed 80% of all my classes freshman  and sophomore year. I never went to school and when I did go to school I never did my work. It felt to me as if Ukiah High School doesn’t pay attention to people like me who are falling behind. So, unfortunately, I fell in between the cracks. At the halfway mark of my junior year I was told I was going to be sent to South Valley because I was 40 credits behind. When I got the news that I had to leave Ukiah High School and attend South Valley — leave all my classes, and, most importantly, all of my friends — I was mortified. Since I had heard the bad comments about South Valley I really didn’t want to go.  I didn’t know anything about South Valley other than what people told me about it, and everything I was told was bad. South Valley had a bad reputation and I wasn’t to excited to go there, but in the end, I wanted to graduate, so I went.

I wasn’t expecting much on the first day. I thought I was going to have no friends, I would hate the teachers, and I would just be very unhappy. At first I was just the awkward new kid in my classes, but after a couple weeks I felt at home. South Valley’s teachers are really comforting,and friendly.The teachers make you feel comfortable because they always make sure you are doing your work and help you a lot to get it done. They are really nice and they always treat you with respect. However, it wasn’t just the teachers who were like this, the South Valley students (almost all of them) are the same way and there are closer relationships among the students.

I have more confidence in myself  at South Valley than I ever did at the high school because we have more one on one time teachers and they teach actual life skills that the students can take with them after they graduate. South Valley has implemented  advisory days, which are entire days dedicated to helping its students learn these “life skills.” Advisory days also help South Valley teachers have a huge bond with the students, which I think is the best thing a school can have. It is a good thing because it makes the students experience in school a lot better.

My experience at South Valley changed my whole outlook on school. I loved going to school all of the sudden. I liked my teachers! I did my work! I  even enjoyed doing my work! What was happening to me? It was South Valley, it was the environment, it was the teachers, and it was the help that I never felt I got at the high school. I feel like a lot of kids who go here feel the same as I do and we can work together to change the reputation of this school.

The reputation of South Valley was formed a long time ago. Maybe a long time ago South Valley was for the “bad” kids because the kids were, but now it isn’t.  It is the ideal place for students that fell behind and that maybe need a little bit more help. South Valley is a great school and they are not credited enough for it. I think that they have the best teachers and “support system” that any school could have. The teachers are there to help the students.  They don’t just “push them through” school until they graduate, but they help them with the school work they don’t understand and help them to actually succeed with life after school. I am thankful for this school, the teachers, and the lessons I have learned since I have came here. Therefore South Valley’s  reputation with people from other schools and the community needs to change.

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