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Happy Spring, 2023!
My name is Terry R. Anderson and I am the Director of Administrative Services for Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District. In this position, I am responsible for writing grants for the district, oversee school safety and security, School Attendance Review Board (SARB), and other duties necessary for the improved operations of the district. I also act as principal for El Puente High School, Firebaugh Community Day School, and Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School. When I accepted this new assignment in the district, I created a 5-year plan to fundamentally transform our alternative and adult education programs that would serve our students and the community with services far beyond what had ever been offered before. This 5-year plan (6 really, because of the pandemic) included accreditation of its two diploma-granting schools, two-time recognition from the California Department of Education as a Model SARB program, a California School Boards Association (CSBA) award in their Assessment and Accountability category, record enrollments in adult education, record numbers of high school graduates and US Citizenship earners, and record amounts of funding that I was able to acquire so that our program needs could be expanded and would not encroach on the district's general fund. El Puente High School successfully navigated a lengthy application process to be recognized as a Model Continuation High School by the California Department of Education and the CCEA. A visiting team validated the information contained in our application and the CDE officially notified the district office and EPHS staff on February 10, 2022 that we were indeed bestowed with that significant designation. This state-level recognition of El Puente High School as a quality institution is truly a milestone its history. This "Model Continuation High School" distinction will last 3 years (2025), after which time we will again demonstrate to the CDE that EPHS is truly a high-quality institution that meets the needs of its community. I will continue to sustain and further improve all offerings at FACE and district programs during the time I have remaining in this current assignment
Just a little background on my time here in Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District….. I came to Firebaugh in 2008 to be the principal of A.E. Mills Intermediate School (elementary). I then became the principal of Firebaugh High School for 7 years (from which my son graduated) before accepting the newly-created district assignment at FACE in 2016. Of the seven (7) schools within our district, I have been principal for five (5) of them, and it has been an exciting journey. My wife and I both live in the community and enjoy being a part of what makes Firebaugh so special and unique in the valley.
It has been rewarding to assume the duties and responsibilities of my current position and continue the improvements to the three academic institutions at the Firebaugh Alternative Community Education (FACE) campus. I am proud of the positive transformation and growth that has taken place on our campus and I am confident that our improvement will continue at a robust pace. Academic achievement has improved steadily and the climate and culture of our campus is positive and safe.
At El Puente, all students who came to us at the beginning of the school year were provided with an academic plan to either reintegrate back into FHS after completing their credit recovery goals, or remain and graduate from El Puente High School. Instruction and curriculum is now offered through our online platform called Accelus. Students are still required attend school each day and are monitored and assisted by a fully-credentialed teacher. All core courses are A-G approved. We are fulfilling our mission of remediating the credit deficiencies of students and creating the opportunity for them to become FHS or EPHS graduates. Many FHS students come to El Puente and see it as a "School of Choice" as it is WASC accredited and meets their post-secondary transition plans. El Puente is also a member of College Board, and student can take AP courses online through our Acellus platform.
At Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School, our enrollment numbers have rebounded since the pandemic and we have returned to the robust program we once had. We have resumed the number of classes in our morning and evening sessions. Courses offered are ESL Civic Participation, ESL Citizenship Preparation, ESL Digital Literacy, and our High School Diploma program. The number of adults earning their high school diplomas continues to increase. The courses are offered online for the convenience of working students and is indicative of our mission and vision for our adult education program to assist community members in attaining academic and workplace skills. Firebaugh Adult Education students taking ESL Citizenship Preparation continue to successfully pass the USCIS exams and become US citizens in historic numbers. Through our Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult Education program, students acquired English fluency and are now able to expand their career opportunities.
Both El Puente High School and Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School are WASC accredited and both received their 6-year term of full accreditation. Being accredited offers a wide array of career advantages to our diploma earners.
Lastly, I would invite all visitors to our website to explore the various links and pages that would further inform the reader of our programs, events, dates, and opportunities that are available to students, parents and community adults. This will be updated periodically. Please note that there are pages that are unique to all programs – El Puente High School and Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School, especially. At FACE, we encourage all students and parents to become involved within the school community --- especially as it pertains to our students’ academic progress, workforce development, and the holistic social and emotional growth of our EPHS and CDS students that will prepare them for college and career opportunities.
Sometimes there are misconceptions about what a continuation high school is. This article will address those misconceptions and illuminate just how special El Puente High School is for Firebaugh students.