Canyons District’s new high school has a sparkling new name.
The Canyons Board of Education voted Tuesday, July 14, 2015 to name the campus Diamond Ridge High. The alternative high school will open Aug. 19, 2015, the first day of school in CSD from the coming academic year.
On the first day, up to 80 students are expected to be attending classes at Diamond Ridge High. The first group will be made up of 16- to 18-year-old students who have been pursuing a high school diploma at Entrada, Canyons’ adult high school.
Canyons Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie said the new name appeals to students and brings to mind the meanings of the ski-trail rating signs seen on the slopes of nearby resorts. “Skiers know that runs marked with a diamond suggest difficulty and challenge, with great rewards at the end,” said Dr. McCarrie
In addition, the moniker continues the tradition of Canyons District high schools bearing names depicting the geographical surroundings. “The ‘ridge’ in the name,” she said, “suggests a high geographical point with beauty and vision.”
In the future, if students wish to attend the new school, which will initially be housed in buildings on the campus of the Canyons Technical Education Center, 825 E. 9085 South, they would first need to discuss the possibility of enrollment with the counselors at the school where they are attending. New-school enrollments won’t begin until January 2016.
The Board of Education in March approved a proposal to open an alternative high school in Canyons District. Currently, CSD students needing alternative programming leave the District to attend other districts’ alternative high schools or enroll at CSD’s Entrada Adult High School. Unfortunately, the students ages 16-18 who chose to go to into the Adult Education program instead of an alternative high school were counted as “drop-outs” by the state.
For now, the new CSD alternative high school will be for juniors and seniors, said Karen Sterling, Canyons District’s Director of Student Advocacy and Access. Sterling also said Diamond Ridge’s administration is dedicated to reducing the non-academic barriers that hindered the students’ attempts at success in the traditional high school setting.
Each student at Diamond Ridge will have an individualized plan to guide him or her to graduation. The students, with the help of counselors and school staff, will map out the courses they’ll take, given the time they have available outside of work or family obligations. Sterling says the student-specific scheduling effort supports working students or those whose family obligations make it challenging to maintain a traditional school schedule.
Diamond Ridge also has an accelerated pathway to earning credits. The school will hold two terms per quarter so students who may be credit deficient can earn the credit faster and move on to the next class leading to the fulfillment of credits toward graduation. The aim is to assist students to get enough credit to graduate on target with their peer group.
“Our intent with Diamond Ridge is to maintain high standards, high expectations, high rigor and provide an environment that has highly individualized supports,” Sterling said. “By focusing on the unique needs of Diamond Ridge students, we believe we can help each student experience success on many levels, including the achievement of a high school diploma.”