Designing a 9-12 High School

High school offers big opportunities, personalized

We're adding ninth graders to our high school in 2017-2018 - making our school bigger and better than ever! Not only will our students, especially our ninth graders, have more opportunities at our expanded high school, they'll also have more support from their teachers, peers and other school staff.

We're working hard to intentionally make our large school building feel small. Students will have all the benefits of a comprehensive high school, with the personal connections and deeper relationships of a much smaller building. Check out the Making A Big School Small: 9th Grade Transition Overview.


Academic Culture

The Freshman Academy pairs a core group of three teachers with approximately 160 students to form a small learning community. Learn more.

  • In addition to teaching Science, English and Geography, academy teachers also help students develop good study habits and practice skills in collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
  • Teachers get to know their students personally, and work as a team to identify and address concerns with academic performance, as well as social and/or emotional issues. 

Personalized Learning

Students in grades 9-12 will have flexible time – called Pony Time - during the week to use in the way that best fits their needs.

  • For some it may be used for interventions or tutoring. Others might use the time for catching up on course work or collaborating on a group project.
  • Pony Time will be more structured for freshman and sophomores –focused on orientation to the school culture and academic planning.
  • Junior and seniors will have more flexible time to self-select their focus.

Social Emotional Support

Even before school begins, ninth graders will get connected with a small group of classmates as part of the Link Crew orientation program.

  • A small group of ninth graders (and tenth graders in 2017-18) will be paired with two junior or senior leaders.
  • The leader will help the “crew” get familiar with the building, as well as the social and cultural environment of the school.
  • They’ll meet for a full day before school starts, and will also meet monthly throughout the year for formal meetings and fun, informal activities.

Changes to the learning spaces at SAHS
To accomodate the addition of ninth grades, the high school is undergoing a significant addition and renovation project. Construction will be completed prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

The following facility changes will be made:

  • Reconfigure to a grades 9-12 high school
  • Add classroom spaces for ninth graders
  • Remodel science labs
  • Expand cafeteria and commons areas and improve circulation
  • Upgrade learning spaces
  • Complete orchestra pit/ auditorium upgrade
  • Add physical education, fitness and gym spaces
  • Upgrade to Pony Stadium entrance, restrooms, and concessions
  • Add multi-purpose practice fields