Tahoe/Truckee school district strengthens partnership with Adventure Risk Challenge | SierraSun.com

Tahoe/Truckee school district strengthens partnership with Adventure Risk Challenge

File PhotoA group of Adventure Risk Challenge students poses during an outing last summer.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The school district is joining hands with UC Berkeley in hopes of boosting test scores and preparing students for college-level English courses through early assessment testing and an innovative outdoor curriculum.

At Wednesday’s Tahoe Truckee Unified School District board meeting, Jennifer Gurecki, director of UC Berkeley’s Adventure Risk Challenge Program and#8212; a summer and after school program promoting English through the outdoors and#8212; told board members ARC will be incorporating an early assessment program designed by California State Universities and the California State Board of Education to identify struggling high school English students and to better prepare them for college.

and#8220;In our own district, according to Standardized Testing and Reporting test results, a staggering number of students are not prepared for college freshman English,and#8221; Gurecki said.

According to STAR test data, 76 percent of North Tahoe High School students and 69 percent of those at Truckee High would be required to take remedial English courses before being capable of basic level college English courses. The catch-up, Gurecki said, adds to the financial burden of already strapped families through extended graduation times.

Under ARC and#8212; already in place for some students at Truckee, North Tahoe and Incline high schools (Incline in the Washoe County School District) and#8212; Gurecki said the early assessment testing will allow the program to intervene through specifically tailored English courses.

Shuffling through a quick ARC performance review, Gurecki said since the program was first established seven years ago, it has been credited with strong student results.

and#8220;We’ve seen a 92 percent passing rate on the language arts section of California high school exit exam on our graduates over the summer, with 78 percent of them who are of college age are attending a two or four-year school,and#8221; Gurecki said.

While the program has traditionally worked with English-learners in the district, Gurecki said it is now open to all students wishing to improve English.

and#8220;What we really want to do is bring together all youth many of whom struggle with low academic standing, poverty or the lack of access to affordable extra-curricular activities,and#8221; she said.

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