Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MDUSD High School Academies, ROP, Opportunity

Until I became a high school parent, I had no idea these academies existed. There are many cool pathways for our kids to take, and interest academies to take part in. You can even learn to run a radio station at CVHS at the ROP class there. So I'm going to run a repeat post from last year, I am going to try to get updated information about any recent additions to the academies and pathways. If you know anything new, or anything that has gone away, will you let me know?

Around the district High Schools, there are several pathways students can take in high school. Did you know there are quite a few "Career Academies" located within our local schools and most are in very high demand. The trouble is, that some don't know about them. Others transfer to a high school specifically for a particular Academy.

I have asked the district rep to update me on this fall's academies. The list below is based on a report created for the Superintendent for the 2008-2009 year. I have to say, that even going to the websites of the individual high schools, in most cases, it is difficult, if not impossible to find any information about these academies and pathways. Check the individual school websites for information. If you know of others, or resources for any of these below, let us know!

Career Academies

Clayton Arts Academy at Clayton Valley High School
The ClaytonArts Academy is a three-block integrated program comprised of an English/social science core with a visual or performing arts specialty. The purpose is to provide an artistic avenue for students to fulfill their academic requirements and to provide them with intensive in-depth training in their area of interest. Current technology is used as a tool to prepare students for entry into the professional world. Ninth-Twelfth grade student schedules include a combination of classes from the specialized integrated Academy courses and the standard high school curriculum. The Art Specialty areas include Art, Drama, Photography and Video Production. Clayton Valley High School students indicate their interest in becoming part of the Academy by completing and submitting an application. This Academy is not an official or California Department of Education (CDE) funded Partnership Academy.

Communications & Human Services Academy at Concord High School
As an official and CDE funded Partnership Academy, this Academy brings together 150 sophomores, juniors and seniors into a strong, supportive academic environment focusing on communications and human services related careers. It combines rigorous academics with professional, community, college and career projects. The elements include work on community projects, taking college level courses, working with mentors and senior projects. The Academy’s mission is to assist those students who want to excel academically but may need additional support to do so. Any and all Concord High School students are encouraged to apply to be in the Academy. Students complete an application and are interviewed as a means to determine if the program is a good match for their interests and goals.

Engineering and Design Academy (link to brochure) at Clayton Valley High
In partnership with Chevron and Project Lead the Way. Developed as a smaller school with a school , the mission of the Engineering and Design Academy is to provide a firm educational foundation in the areas of math and science enhanced by problem solving and engineering applications. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, collaboration and teamwork skills necessary in our increasingly technological world.

Digital Safari Multimedia Academy at Mt. Diablo High School
This official and CDE funded Partnership Academy offers students a pathway of opportunity to careers in the area of computer-based Multimedia and Web production. The Academy provides a state-of-the art technology foundation for careers in Science, Engineering and business. The classes are integrated and the projects used to teach Multimedia are for those academic classes. Industry practices of cooperative development teams are used and students research topics on the Internet and develop software. Students develop storyboarding, planning and presentation skills. The faculty works closely with Diablo Valley College Multimedia Certificate program and courses are articulated. The Academy is for grades 10th – 12th and students indicate their interest by completing and submitting an application. Students are made aware of the expectations of participation through orientations. Students from throughout MDUSD may apply.

International Hospitality & Tourism Academy (IHTA) at Mt. Diablo High School
IHTA provides students the opportunity for excellence in exceptional careers in California’s fastest growing industry. Students are exposed to career pathways in Culinary Arts, Restaurant, Travel, teaching, Convention Planning, Hotel & Lodging, Management and Sales Merchandising by a team of highly qualified staff, with industry-related experience and backgrounds. Students receive hands-on training in a broad scope of careers offering entry, technical and professional level potential. Students have access to leadership training and community service participation. This is an official and CDE funded Partnership Academy. The Academy is for grades 10th – 12th and students indicate their interest by completing and submitting an application. Students are made aware of the expectations of participation through orientations. Only Mt. Diablo High School students are accepted into the Academy, while any MDUSD student may enroll in the ROP courses associated with the Academy.

FAME (Fine Arts, Media, Entertainment) Academy at Mt. Diablo High School
This is a course of study available to sophomores, juniors and seniors and focuses on the performing arts, such as drama, dance, chorus and instrumental music. All Mt. Diablo High School students are welcome to enroll and indicate their interest by completing and submitting an application. This is not an official or CDE funded Partnership Academy.

Bio-Tech Academy at Mt. Diablo High School
This is a course of study available to juniors and seniors interested in exploring the health or physical fitness career fields. In each grade, community sponsored internships partner students in developing real life educational experiences, which transcend the classroom. Students indicate their interest by completing and submitting an application. This is not an official or CDE funded Partnership Academy.

Careers in Education Academy at Ygnacio Valley High School
This is a college prep, career oriented, three-year program (10th-12th) for students interested in the field of education. It features small class sizes, field trips, individual attention, guest speakers and job shadowing. Additionally, seniors participate in a project in which they intern in an elementary classroom four days per week for their entire senior year. Academy students have the opportunity to sit for an articulation exam for college credit recognized by Diablo Valley Community College and California State University. Interested students from Ygnacio Valley High School complete and submit an application and all students are encouraged to apply. This is an official, CDE funded Partnership.

Health Career Partnership Academy at Ygnacio Valley High School
This is a college prep, career-oriented, three-year program (10th-12th) for students interested in the health care field. It features small class sizes, field trips, summer internships/jobs, individual attention, guest speakers, job shadowing, and e-mentoring. There is a special emphasis on exploration of career and college choices. Students have the opportunity to participate in leadership activities (Health Occupation Students of America.) Students indicate their interest by completing a letter of interest, along with parental permission. Students of all academic achievement levels are encouraged to apply. This is an official, CDE funded Partnership.

ACME (Architecture, Construction, Manufacturing, Engineering) Academy
at Mt. Diablo High School
This Academy began fall of 2007 at Mt. Diablo High School, building upon a successful Wood/Construction Technology program. Several industry partners are very involved in supporting the development of this academy, including local trade and manufacturing representatives. This Academy was just granted a California Partnership Academy Grant, effective 08-09 school year. Thirty-two juniors and sixty-two sophomores are registered for 08-09.

Eco-Tech Academy at College Park High School
Officially funded as a California Partnership Academy to start in fall 2009, this new Academy was developed by the Media Production Career Technical Education teachers (Video, Photography, Journalism) and incorporates the CPHS garden project into design to create a ‘green’ Academy. Science, Social Studies and English teachers will be part of the team.

Arts and Humanities Academy at Mt. Diablo High School
The newest Academy model at Mt. Diablo High School, this program incorporates graphic and media arts with the study of Humanities. Funded as a Specialized Secondary Program by CDE, it is evolving into an Academy model, serving 10th – 12th graders.

Here are some additional resources (not part of the report above):

Mt. Diablo High School Academies - LINK TO WEBSITE
IHTA - International Hospitality & Tourism Academy; DSA - Digital Safari (L); ACME - Academy of Construction & Mechanical Engineering; FAME Fine Arts Media & Entertainment Academy; Health & Fitness; AHA - Arts and Humanities Academy (L)

CCCOE ROP Program - Serendipity - HERO (Home Economics Related Occupations)/ROP Tech Prep Career Pathway. LINK TO WEBSITE (located on Mt. Diablo High Campus)

Clayton Valley High School - LINK TO CLAYTON ARTS and PUBLIC SERVICE Academies

Mt. Diablo High School also has a Junior ROTC (Military) program though again, I can't find any information about it. According to Wikipedia (which may, or may not, be accurate) "Mount Diablo High is also the only high school in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District to have a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program, excluding the continuation school of Olympic High. JROTC is not a recruitment tool and the main goal is to help students graduate."

Here is a link to a list of ROP programs at the various schools. If you have specific information about any of these, feel free to post it in the comments:

From that link it appears that:

Biotechnology/Biotechnology Accelerated may be offered at : Northgate, College Park, Concord, Mt. Diablo and Ygnacio Valley.

Sports Medicine/Advanced Sports Medicine may be offered at: Northgate and Clayton Valley.

Finance/Computerized Accounting at: Concord High

Computer Applications/Microsoft Office Certification: Concord High

Computer Science/ Programming/AP Java: Northgate High

Robotics Engineering Technology: Concord High

Public Services/Analytical Forensic Science: Clayton Valley

Introduction to Law: College Park

Automotive Technician: Clayton Valley, Concord High

KVHS Radio 90.5: Clayton Valley

Computer Graphics/Website Design: Clayton Valley

School websites:
Mt. Diablo High Academies

Concord High School

Ygnacio Valley High School

Northgate High School

Clayton Valley High School

College Park High School


  1. Since you are reporting on ROP programs, why not include the Sports Medicine program at Northgate High School? It is not an academy but has been an important part of the education and althetic experience for over 10years.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I have just updated the post to have a link to the ROP programs and courses available at the various schools. I wish I had more info about what each school offered. I will work on putting together a school by school offering, but it will require the help of those AT the schools.


  4. Clayton Valley also has ROP classes in computer graphics/graphic design and in web design.

  5. Don't forget SERENDIPITY RESTAURANT that is a fantastic program at MDHS. The Concordian covered that Academy HERE

  6. Late spring after students had registered and selected their freshman electives, a memo was received from Northgate HS. Northgate has been approved as an "Engineering Academy." Interested students must contact Ms Linda Hayes at Northgate to change their elective choices for this fall. Communication was not at it's best, and I don't know how many parents actually received this information.

  7. All Northgate parents who receive NG electronic messaging rec'd it twice and PFC sent out once. Foothill made those student aware also and NG is following up with incomming freshman. Excellent program for NG to have got.

  8. MDUSD Parent,

    I see that Paul and Steve have you drinking the kool aid again.

  9. Who is Steve? You don't mean Lawrence do you? And what kool aid?

  10. MDUSD,

    Yes I do mean Lawrence. By kool-aid I mean you are back to being like that PR guy for Sadam Hussein in the Iraq war when he said on the news, "The US is not in Iraq, we will repel any attack." Meanwhile in the background you can see US tanks driving around.

  11. Ha, ok, if the dark side is letting folks know there are some great academies in the high schools for the kids, then ok... I'm good with that!

  12. Northgate's Engineering Academy has been canceled until next year 2011/12.