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Experience Credo High School

By: Lanny Lowery
November 9, 2018

Excitement, kindness, generosity, a welcoming spirit, a sense of adventure in all activities are things to be expected at a Saturday afternoon open house. These feelings will fill the air at Credo High School beginning at 1:00 P.M. on November 3rd. These and other positive feelings occur daily under any circumstances at this school. During all of the years that Credo was based at Richard Crane, I saw, daily, students and teachers in a collegial atmosphere participating in unique physical education activities, creating original musical compositions, and being engaged in serious academic discussions. My afternoon runs took me through the heart of the campus, and, to my delight, I witnessed intense educational activity in the final moments of the school day. Last month, as I took a formal tour of the campus at SOMO Village, I observed the wonderful connections between the students and the faculty and the staff. I not only desired to teach at Credo but also wished that I could be a student there. Even passing time between classes showed a relaxed nature, teachers and students enjoying moments of friendly encounters. Credo, a college prep public Waldorf high school, opens its doors Saturday to all interested eighth grade students and their families, as well as prospective transfer students. The Open House program begins at 1:00, and it is important for visitors to arrive at the beginning. Staff and teachers and the school’s community will engage with future students and families. Visitors will participate in hands-on activities and mini-lessons offered by Credo faculty while current students will present academic projects and musical offerings. Executive Director Chip Romer told the many advantages given to Credo students: “Credo High merges the power of the charter school movement with the effectiveness of Waldorf teaching, helping students, regardless of financial means, master critical thinking, creative expression, collaborative skills and personal responsibility in an engaging, rigorous college preparatory environment.” Romer pointed out that the school’s curriculum goes beyond the University of California “a-g” admission standards. Credo’s offerings include environmental education, world languages, visual and practical arts, theater, social emotional learning, physical education, and farming. Romer also spoke of a local advantage, and one that reflects the high quality of the school’s academic program. “Sonoma State has guaranteed admission to Credo graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher,” stated the director. Along with the academic program, students can participate in a variety of athletics and extra-curricular activities: soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, and golf. Romer proudly declared, “Weekly intramurals, a robust student council, and a variety of student-driven clubs are a rich part of student life.” During my September tour, I heard one instructor enthusiastically tout a unique environmental program. The school lives what it teaches. Romer explained that Credo as a tenant of SOMO Village “upholds some of the world’s highest sustainability standards and has been certified as a One Planet School and as a Planetary Leader by the international nonprofit, Bioregional, Inc. that implements the worldwide One Planet Living program.” Part of getting students involved in environmental studies is Credo’s developing agricultural program that is required in ninth and tenth grades and is an elective in the eleventh and twelfth grades. The school has a substantial garden and will be developing a two-acre farm in 2020. The impressive size of the school, fifty thousand square feet, contains many of the traditional features of any high school campus. Along with the thirty classrooms, there is a small theater and a large central commons with stage and performance areas, an art wing, a generous patio space for outdoor classes, a large lawn, and a soccer field. The school’s gym is Callinan Sports Center, six minutes away. To complement the Open House, Credo has materials about application, enrollment, staff, and curriculum. Parents of eighth grade students may also schedule a shadow day by calling the school’s enrollment from Credo director, Jodi Boyle, at 1-707-794-6004. Credo High School, so exciting to tour, so wonderful to meet the staff, so promising to hear about its far sighted offerings, enriches our community by providing an alternative education which is really traditional, creative, and provident.