Frequently Asked Questions
There are two parts to the enrollment process. Both must be completed before a student can begin at Carpe Diem-Sonoma Mtn.
The student:a) completes a short questionnaire and has an introductory interview with the principal.NOTE: THIS STEP MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE THE TRANSITION TEAM CAN MOVE FORWARD WITH A REQUEST.
and the student:b) meets with his/her current school counselor, who will assist in determining if the placement seems appropriate, and then bring the transfer request to the district Transition Team.
The Transition Team will act on the request, considering the student’s attendance, achievement, aptitude, and behavior; space available at the school; and whether the school can adequately address any special needs or circumstances the student might have.
NOTE: There is often a waiting list for available spaces. Students must continue attending and completing work in their current placement until the actual day of transfer. Failing to do so may be cause to delay, or even deny, the transfer.
The school day goes from 8:30 AM to 3 PM, with the teachers providing instruction from 8:30 AM to 2:15 PM (12:50 on Wednesdays). From 2:15– 3:00 PM each day is reserved for the teachers’ prep time and office hours; however, it is also an independent study period for those who need the extra time to catch up or to get ahead. Students—especially if they are new to the site—are sometimes asked to stay until 3:00 to make sustained, satisfactory progress towards graduation. The instructional day is organized into short, focused periods.
Instruction is focused primarily on the core subjects of English, history, science, and math at all high school grade levels. Students and staff work together to create an Individual Learning Plan, which details the courses necessary for each student to earn a high school diploma.
To move at a traditional pace toward graduation, students must earn 30 or more credits each semester. The core program at CD-SM may or may not provide sufficient credit-earning opportunities for students to achieve this, depending on an individual student’s credit status, ability, interest, and willingness to work. Many CD-SM students earn around 35 credits, especially if they are working hard to earn good grades. Some students find it necessary to earn a portion of these credits for work completed outside the regular school day.
How do CD-SM students earn enough credits, if they can’t do it all at Carpe Diem or Sonoma Mountain?More than enough work is provided each day for students to complete their core academic requirements. Those who are making up for previous failures, however, have to work more each day to graduate on time, or continue at their current pace and spend more than four years in high school.Those who want to graduate on time can earn additional credits through a combination of after-school courses taken through CD-SM, courses at another school such as Petaluma High or Santa Rosa Junior College, or through pre-approved independent study activities.Students who are in serious need of credit recovery may be better placed at another alternative site, such as San Antonio HS.
The average student needs 65 credits of elective coursework for high school graduation. Elective credit may be earned in several ways:
- CD-SM Physical Education – a limited program, with in-school and outside school components.
- Study Skills classes at CD-SM
- A limited number of elective classes offered at CD-SM
- Classes at Petaluma High School (during the afternoon block, on a space available basis)
- Limited classes at the Junior College--each junior college unit is worth 3.3 high school credits!
- Petaluma Adult School--limited availability for last semester seniors only
- Outside work experience (OWE)
- Summer school for seniors
- Pre-approved, accredited Online, or Correspondence Courses
Extracurricular activities are an important component of the overall program. Field trips and monthly day hikes are regularly planned. Attendance and participation are expected for CD-SM students to remain in good standing.
Students in good standing have the opportunity to participate in many activities at PHS/CGHS, including dances and even interscholastic sports. (A 2.0 GPA is required for athletic eligibility.) HOWEVER, CD AND SM DO NOT OFFER COMPETITIVE ATHLETICS AT THE SCHOOL SITE.
Students are entitled to all district services for which they qualify, including bus transportation, free or reduced lunches (at PHS/CGHS), counseling, career exploration, and appropriate assessments. Limited, part-time Resource Specialist support is available for qualified students. Some support services may be more readily available for students enrolled at one of the larger sites.
The staff consists of four full-time teachers and other personnel who provide additional clerical, counseling, and administrative support. The entire staff is committed to serving the needs of individual students by providing a high-quality program with an integrated curriculum. Students work with two teachers each day, who rotate between the two school sites to provide the complete core program in English, History, Math, and Science.