20 miles east of Los Angeles, Covina Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) serves the communities of Covina, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Irwindale. We educate almost 12,000 students across four high schools, three middle schools, and nine elementary schools. Despite these massive numbers, we operate under a “small district culture” where teachers and administrators know their students by name. Our administrative team and teachers share successful aspects of our programs, which include providing personalized services for teachers and students, and we share these successes to support other schools. As a result, we can pride ourselves on a 97% graduation rate while providing free or reduced lunch to 69% of our students.
Given the diverse population of the area, we have implemented several innovative programs, including a K-5 dual language immersion program in Mandarin, Spanish, and English. The area’s economy has a strong emphasis on the arts, film-industry culture, and tech. 100% of our students have access to high speed broadband internet and a personal, school-provided device.
Our Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, such as the Fine Arts and Media Entertainment pathway, provide students with skills that they can then use in professional settings. In partnership with Code to the Future, we have an elementary computer science magnet school program for grades preK-8 that creates a fun curriculum for students to learn coding. We have also leveraged our partnerships with Cisco and Microsoft to create Networking Academies in our high schools, giving our students the opportunity to study and earn industry-recognized certifications in networking, security, and cloud technologies.
In addition to our successful core classes, we augment students’ learning with more hands-on experience. In 2018, we joined Digital Promise’s Real World Learning Challenge Collaborative program to support our goals of student participation in Real World Learning (RWL) and virtual learning opportunities by connecting students with qualified specialists in specific fields of study that align with classroom curriculum. Through the program, we trained teachers on how to implement RWL activities in the classroom. This strengthened community partnerships and gave students an opportunity to participate in summer internships.