“School. Only different”came to Menlo Park for the fourth year at Hillview Middle School this past week. As part of the school year 2016-17 cuts that MPCSD took proactively to prepare for potential loss in parcel tax funding, Hillview’s mini-course program was reduced from serving the school’s entire 900 student population to just the eighth grade class of 300 students. [Note: the parcel tax measure subsequently passed.]
Of those students, about one third attended the Washington, DC trip with five faculty members. The remaining 200 eighth graders on campus were given 8 exciting courses from which to choose, from perennial favorite Amazing Race to an entirely reimagined international cooking course.
While there are other inter-session programs in area schools, Hillview’s model continues to be the only example of such an undertaking in a public school with a large and diverse population.
Photo top: Ocean Odyssey students explore the shore and tide pools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach. Photo right: Amazing Race students conquer the ropes of the Challenge Course at Pacific Leadership Institute in San Francisco.