LIVERMORE -- In a move described as "purely operational," the city's two continuation high schools, Phoenix and Del Valle have merged under the Del Valle High banner.
The Livermore Valley Unified School District board unanimously voted to approve the change, which has already simplified work for teachers and school administrators. The schools for teens believed at risk for not graduating on time -- numbering about 150 students -- already shared the same classrooms and resources, but kept separate names due to concerns over funding levels.
The district used to get additional money for Phoenix as a "small, but necessary school" according to district board member Anne White. But with the state's new funding formula instituted this year, she said, Phoenix would've no longer received supplemental funding.
The decision for the merger was made last month, District Assistant Superintendent Cindy Alba said, after the district discovered the schools would get the same amount of money even if they were combined under one name.
"Operationally, it's just been more challenging," Alba said. "There's no real reason to keep the schools separate."
The move won't affect students or class offerings, but teachers should see their work get a bit easier to manage. Del Valle Continuation High School English teacher Jenna Joseph said she previously had to take roll and input grades on two different computer systems, taking up valuable classroom time.
"It was complicated and confusing," Joseph said. "Nobody seemed to see the need for it anymore."
The two schools had separate campuses until they were combined in the mid-2000s, complicating registrations, school transcripts and counseling, Joseph said. Del Valle Principal Darrel Avilla added that the change has already helped staff and administrators from having to duplicate their efforts.
"I'm really glad from a teaching and administrative standpoint that we're all under the same umbrella," Avilla said. "Fortunately, for the teachers, it's been great."
Del Valle Continuation High School is an alternative school for students who lack credits to graduate or prefer smaller class sizes. The school offers the same courses as regular high schools, and added a culinary academy this year.
Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.