The Quetzal program is an alternative education placement option that is available for students enrolled in Alta Vista Alternative High School or Alta Vista Alternative Junior High. Students offered enrollment in Alta Vista and the Quetzal program option have gone through the district expulsion process, have been recently released from long-term incarceration, or have been referred through the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) process.
Enrollment and departure from the Quetzal program is open and ongoing. Though a large number of students make the transition at the quarter or semester of the school districts traditional calendar. The length and continuous aspect of the students enrollment is also animated by various other factors. These factors result in enrollments that can vary from a couple of days to well beyond a year of interrupted or uninterrupted enrollment. This leads at times for a student’s enrollment status to fluctuate from enrolled to unenrolled.
Once students complete or show progress on their terms (expulsion agreement requirements) provided to them by the school district they are transitioned to another program within AVAHS, to La Cuesta Continuation, or to a traditional school site within SBUSD. The choices of programs available to students varies depending on the stipulations agreed upon with the school district.
Quetzal is held in an innovative classroom setting where team teaching occurs using an integrated curriculum and theme-based units. We are deliberate in our instruction, maintaining high standards for all of our students, while differentiating our lessons to meet students where they are academically. In our Unit we include English Language Development (ELD) support and specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE) strategies in the core content for all learners. Our focus for instruction is to make learning meaningful, where all students have access to tools and ideas that may help them comprehend the information.
At Quetzal, there are two full-time credentialed teachers and one full-time classified paraeducator (6 hours per day) that work with students on a daily basis. Additionally, a credentialed math teacher works with students daily as does the Special Education case manager.
Multiple outside organizations work with Quetzal students on a weekly basis. Students are given the opportunity to garden, to strengthen their social-emotional mood management, to participate in team-building activities at the Boys and Girls Club, as well as, a monthly excursion where students engage in reading and writing activities. This focuses on prioritizing our students health, which is a Quetzal tenant. On a referral basis, some students receive drug, alcohol and family counseling. The maximum class size of Quetzal is 26 students and it is located in two large classrooms on North campus (La Colina Jr. High school).