Pacheco High in Los Banos gets $240,000 grant for Common Core planning

Pacheco High School in Los Banos has received a three-year, $240,000 California Academic Partnership Program grant.

The money will be used to support implementation of Common Core standards and related assessments, improve instruction and increase the number of students who take credit-bearing college courses and succeed in college.

Pacheco High School is joining the Merced County Office of Education, Merced College and the University of California’s Center for Educational Partnerships in the grant process.

They will work together to identify where changes can be made in each organization to create educational success for county students.

Preparing for college or careers are no longer two separate high school paths, it has become one, said Steve Tietjen, Los Banos Unified School District superintendent.

“Our aim at LBUSD is to make sure that we implement the Common Core state standards in a way that helps prepare all students for successful transition to career and college pathways,” he said in a news release.

“The CAPP grant will reinforce this goal of ensuring all students are provided the instruction that they need, when they need it, in order to be successful members of our great society. I am very encouraged that this grant will lead to tighter linkages between our K-12 system, Merced College and UC Merced as well,” Tietjen said.

As school systems across the county shift to Common Core instruction and a new generation of assessments, the grant will support Pacheco High as a demonstration school in the Central Valley.

Pacheco will be a model for the types of support given to students to better prepare them for college, job training or the work force, creating smooth transitions from high school to careers or higher education.

Pacheco received grant funding based on students’ academic needs, among other criteria.

“The advent of the Common Core state standards provides a unique and powerful opportunity to strengthen and grow ‘professional capital,’ stressing the importance of both individual human capital and social capital,” Steve Gomes, county superintendent of schools, said in the news release.