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Site Visit: Watsonville High School
Watsonville, CA
April 30, 1999

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This week I visited the Partnership Academy at Watsonville High School. Academy teacher John Burdick teaches courses on video production. Students produce a daily news broadcast, PSAs and community-based projects. All seniors in the program will be attending college next fall--20 will be attending community college, and 22 are attending 4-year institutions.

During the visit, a team of 11th grade students was training 10th graders to produce the news program. One of the 11th graders commented to me about the skill level of the 10th graders--she seemed disappointed. But then she reflected on when she first started as an "anchor," and she pulled a videotape from when she first started, and show me how she has improved--a nice case of self-assessment. The trainers did a great job of coaching the novices, too. All in all, it was clear, even from this short visit, that students take charge of their learning and are developing a very strong future orientation.


Ralph Manak
BaySCAN Coordinator