As the San Ramon Valley Unified School District braces for a projected decline in student enrollment, district officials have decided to partially consolidate its alternative education programs in order to accommodate the loss of revenue from a diminished student population.
Starting in the 2019-20 school year that begins in August, most programs at the Del Amigo High School in Danville will move to San Ramon's Venture Independent Study School -- located on the Dougherty Valley High School campus. The exception will be the district's adult transitions program, which will remain at the Del Amigo campus behind San Ramon Valley High School in Danville.
“As our enrollment declines, so does our revenue. As this loss of revenue begins to have profound impacts on the district, we must seek out ways to preserve and strengthen the valuable offerings at our schools while maintaining a strong financial position,” SRVUSD officials said in a statement.
The district’s Special Education Department will retain control of the Del Amigo campus, while principal Amy Oss will continue as the principal of the new combined site.
District officials say this consolidation will not only help ensure no loss of employment for staff members at either site, but it will also enhance the alternative education programs offered, primarily through the pooling of available resources.
For example, under the new model, Venture students will now have access to elective and career technical education courses taught by a Del Amigo teacher.
In addition to this, Venture’s close proximity to Diablo Valley College's San Ramon Campus provides the opportunity for Del Amigo students to dual enroll with the community college.
“The (SRVUSD) is proud of our long history of meeting the needs of all of our students through our alternative education programs at both Del Amigo and at Venture. We all know that not all student needs are the same. Offering alternative education options is crucial if we are to truly serve every child. As a district, we are committed to this philosophy,” district officials added. “Combining these schools onto one campus will enable the district to enhance both programs educationally for students.”
Data collected by the district's longtime partner Davis Demographics & Planning, Inc. indicate that over the next seven years, SRVUSD is projected to see an average decline of 536 students each year. By the 2025-26 school year the district's population is expected to drop to 28,250, from its current high of 31,999.
Davis Demographics says this is a trend that is not unique to the San Ramon Valley, and that school districts all across California will be facing similar enrollment issues.
A variety of factors contribute to the state's decrease in student population -- two of the largest being a low birth rates and families moving away.