Castaic High School – Revolutionizing Education!
Castaic High School officially opened to students and their families in the Fall of 2019. The brand new campus, staff, and a principal with a goal to “revolutionize education” had spent months “building from the ground up,” preparing for the quite literal ‘school project’ to debut. Shortly into the first semester, community members were displaced as wildfires spread throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, and unfortunate terror struck with gun violence at another local high school. Through hometown disasters and tragedies, the small town of Castaic remained banded together; their new school facility serving as a symbolic beacon of light and community atop Valley Creek Road.
The 2020 semester began with plenty of plans and an optimistic outlook from Castaic High School principal, Melanie Hagman. Looking forward rather than back, Castaic High students and staff prepared for plenty of firsts in the upcoming year: Spring sporting events, club meetings, and relaxing moments on campus in the “Zen Den.” And even as schools were made to close their doors in response to COVID-19 mid-March 2020, Melanie’s initial plans did not disappear; her spirit of optimism did not fade.
Now, to the present day: The Fall 2021 school semester is quickly approaching, and Melanie and her staff have been busy all summer, preparing for the facility’s first full, in-person, ‘back-to-normal’ school year. But in the words of Castaic High students and staff, who have yet to experience a “normal” school year together… “#ThirdYearsACharm.”
Catching Up With Principal Melanie Hagman
Principal Melanie Hagman was just named the 2021 Region 15 Career Technical Education (CTE) Admin of the Year by the Association of California State Administrators (ACSA). While discussing her educational philosophy, Principal Hagman notes the importance of students being “masters of their own destiny.” It is important to Melanie and her staff that students know they have options post-graduation, and can begin exploring their budding interests early.
There are many amenities on campus that students either did not have access to, or had limited interaction with, when participating in distance learning. School dances, ASB events, club meetings, and classroom technologies are some highlighted student favorites, but as more students enroll and begin to explore trades as alternatives to four-year universities, Castaic High’s on-campus career pathways will be sure to take precedence. Castaic offers a welding laboratory to its future welders/builders/engineers; additionally, students can get a part-time college education by enrolling in classes at College of the Canyons as soon as their freshman year.
Thanks to Melanie’s influence, Castaic High offers students reimagined approaches to education: a redesigned grading scale, an emphasis on socioemotional development, and ‘advisory’ classes that serve as “more than just a homeroom.” Along with the entire Castaic High School family, these advisory rooms shall serve as a place for students to feel safe, while building significant bonds and lifelong skills with their teachers and fellow students.
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