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OPINION: SBHS superintendent welcomes the new school year

Shawn Tennenbaum says enthusiasm on campus, new strategic plan and Advanced Placement success are reasons for optimism

Dear San Benito High School District Community Members,

The first weeks of school are an exciting time of year in the San Benito High School District, following a summer of ongoing facilities upgrades made possible by community support of school bond measures, as well as the forward-thinking leadership of our Board of Trustees. 

We are fortunate to have a staff eager to inspire the 3,000 students we have welcomed to campus and we were proud to welcome 18 new certificated staff members to school this year – half of whom are Baler alumni. Positive energy abounds and the enthusiasm and excitement to teach and learn are palpable.

Much has been accomplished since June, including the opening of the state-of-the-art Career Technical Education building and modernization of existing buildings, including classroom updates designed to enhance the educational environment. We are committed to continual improvement of the learning and working environment for students and staff, with a primary focus on academics.

We are proud to announce that enrollment in the 18 Advanced Placement classes offered at SBHS has shown the largest increase in the past half-decade, and are excited to share that our AP students this past year, for the first time, outperformed both the state and global passing percentage rates. Nearly 19 percent of the student population was enrolled in an AP class in the 2016-17 academic year and our AP Calculus AB students met the state’s passing rate for the first time in the past five years.

With the district’s new Strategic Plans nearly complete following months of collaboration between staff, faculty, students, the administration, the board and the community, we will have a document that will guide how our district allocates resources for students and staff in the coming years.

As your superintendent, I look forward to a positive and productive school year, building on our recent accomplishments while setting our sights on making the school the best it can be.



Shawn Tennenbaum, San Benito High School District Superintendent   

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The expansion of AP classes and the improvement in AP results are highly commendable and much appreciated, I do hope that these positive impacts extend to the lower socio-economic population which is overwhelmingly Hispanic.  We have to find a way to close the gap between the groups by lifting the under performers.

My personal experience is that if you're lost early on - let's say the first few weeks in algebra class - you may never get caught up for the year.  Remediation is the key along with goals that require some "stretch."  Whatever else we do. we should not dumb it down, we have to bring the students up to the standard not the other way around.  For many students High School is their last contact with the formal education system

Keep it up, we're making progress, but we have a long way to go...

Marty Richman

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