Liberty Ranch High School
Grades Nine through Eleven
“Pursuing Academic Excellence”
Liberty Ranch High School is located in Sacramento County, just outside the northeast boundary of Galt,
California. It serves both a rural and suburban population and was built in response to overcrowding at its
sister school, Galt High School, when a building boom began in the 1990’s and the early 2000’s. Liberty Ranch High School opened on August 18th, 2009 with an initial student population of 589 students; 345 9th graders and 244 10th graders. We currently have a student population of 1145. The students enrolling in Liberty Ranch come from four different feeder schools from four different districts. These students come from a varied background, from living on farms and dairies, to federally subsidized housing, to homes ranging into a price range well above $500,000 and reflect the surrounding areas diversity. Forty-three percent of our students receive either a free or reduced lunch.
Until the recent downturn in the economy, Galt was a growing bedroom community with much of its population traveling to Sacramento, Lodi, or Stockton for employment. The city of Galt was founded in 1869, and while the area economy has been primarily based on agriculture, there has been increased economic expansion. During the last ten years the employment picture has been brightening with increased job opportunities in manufacturing, construction, and retail.
The campus of Liberty Ranch High School was proposed in an area of increasing home construction and rising student population. With the world-wide recession, home construction in the area halted and the school is currently surrounded on three sides with farmland. A person traveling one block to the west will enter a suburban community, while that same person heading east would encounter a rural area of crop farming and dairies. Though faced with declining enrollment, the Galt Joint Union High School made the decision to honor its promise to the community by opening Liberty Ranch High School on August 18, 2009.
Students enrolling in Galt Joint Union High School District as freshmen enter from one of four feeder schools from four different districts; Arcohe, New Hope, McCaffrey, and Oak View. With the district adopted school attendance boundaries, Liberty Ranch High School draws from Arcohe, New Hope, and McCaffrey, but students from Oak View may request an instra-district transfer. The school follows a traditional school year calendar and currently serves students in all four grade levels. With the current transportation rules, the majority of our students walk or receive transportation from family and/or friends. Students who attended Arcohe and New Hope receive bus transportation.
Classes and programs are offered at Liberty Ranch High School to address the needs of our diverse student population, including but not limited to, the following:
• The Liberty Ranch High School student population includes a substantial number of Special Education students; currently the 102 students served are in Resource and Special Day Class settings. The majority of special education students are mainstreamed for some or all of their core and elective classes.
• Liberty Ranch High School’s student population includes 54 English Learner students, mainly Spanish speakers, who require supported curriculum and English Intensive Support classes (Edges).
• There are many advanced and GATE students who are offered honors and AP courses to meet their needs for a rigorous and challenging curriculum beyond the standard college-prep classes. The District also employs a GATE Coordinator to facilitate additional support for GATE students. Liberty Ranch High School also offers a variety of Visual and Performing Arts electives. LRHS is represented on the District GATE Committee to help develop programs to meet the needs of GATE students beyond AP/Honors offerings.
• Teachers have accepted the challenge of addressing the needs of students, who fall in the middle, by improving their achievement through increased attention to standards-based instruction and assessment. Liberty Ranch High School has started an AVID program to encourage students to work towards college enrollment after high school. AVID will provide tutoring, study skills practice, field trips to colleges, and encouragement for students with no family history of college enrollment.
• Students performing at a basic or below level in academic core areas have urgent needs for additional support to increase their skills and raise their level of performance. There are many support systems in place which include:
1. For Special Education students: Algebra 1 two-year programs, helping the student meet the state algebra requirement (Algebra 1A and 1B), and Intensive English Support
2. Algebra 1 support classes (for incoming 9th graders and repeaters)
3. English Intensive Support classes with Board Adopted intervention materials (Edges-Hampton Brown)
4. English Strategic Support classes for students in the core program who require additional support (6th-8th grade level)
5. After school tutoring in English and Mathematics
To ensure all of our students participate in a rigorous, relevant, and coherent standards-based curriculum that supports achievement, we have instituted a number of programs:
All students at Liberty Ranch High School are enrolled in a rigorous, relevant, and coherent standards-based curriculum. All of the district adopted curriculum and textbooks are aligned to State standards. All adopted curriculum has gone through the Curriculum Committee and Board of Trustees. All adopted textbooks are reviewed by a committee of teachers, administrators, parents, and students, recommended to the governing board and approved by them. Common Assessments have been created for all core classes.
All of our programs, including CTE, World Languages, Leadership and Advanced Placement are available to all students. In some cases applications and/or interviews are required. To ensure their effectiveness each program will be reviewed by any or all of the following groups; School Site Council, Site Leadership Team, CTE Program advisory groups, and area AVID Program review.
Prior to attending Liberty Ranch High School, general education eighth grade student’s grades, CST scores, and teacher recommendations in Math and English are reviewed for proper placement. Using the results of this data students are placed in one of four levels of ELA classes (English Intensive Support (Edges), English 9 Core with Support, English 9 Core, or English 9 Honors) and/or one of four levels of Math placement (Algebra 1-9 Core with Support, Algebra 1-9, Geometry 9, Algebra 2 with
Liberty Ranch High School works to ensure that all entering students have access to information about the school when the students are in 8th grade.
During December of their 8th grade year, students in our feeder schools will be visited by counselors who present an overview of how students can be academically successful in high school during our Making High School Count presentations. Counselors work with students to develop a “4 Year Plan”, helping students select classes for their first two years at Liberty Ranch. During January, parents and students are invited to a “Building the Bridges/Department Showcase “ presentation. This presentation is
designed for them to see what they should expect during high school and what our school has to offer. At this event each department showcases their specific program.
At registration, students receive a one on one meeting to examine course offerings. Due to significant state budget reductions, our counselors will no longer be registering students in the evening, instead attend registration days at the feeder schools during their regular day. At these meetings, the staff has access to the students current grades in Math and English, teacher recommendations, and 7th grade CSTs.
During the Freshmen year, counselors once again meet with the students for a presentation entitled “Reality Check”. This multimedia presentation is intended to help students envision their future goals and identify how their education will help them achieve these goals. At this time the students map out the next two years on the “4 Year Plan” document. During their Sophomore year, each student and their parents have the opportunity to meet with a counselor during “Sophomore Counseling’ meetings in the late afternoon and early evening.
Liberty Ranch High School provides after school homework assistance from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Students may drop in and receive support/assistance in mathematics and language arts. Currently our ELA tutor is utilizing the computer lab to assist students in writing essays.
Liberty Ranch High School‘s academic departments use state standards and frameworks to determine curricular content. Instructional strategies and assessments are developed to support attainment of standards and the Expected School Wide Learning Results. Each teacher uses a variety of instructional strategies that encourages the active involvement of each
student. Students are encouraged to develop techniques to organize, access and apply knowledge.
Most of the teachers at Liberty Ranch have received training on the theories of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), with many teachers attending conferences and workshops sponsored by ICLE or their Successful Practices Network (SPN). With this training, teachers are consistently reviewing their activities to determine where they stand on the
“Rigor/Relevance Framework” and make adjustments accordingly. During the evaluation process, teachers are required to outline an entire unit with special care in determining what quadrant their lessons fall into.
We have had three “cohorts” of teachers, totally 28 teachers and all 4 administrators attend a series of “Elements of Effective Instruction” workshops presented by Dr. Ernest Stachowski. All 4 administrators have also participated in an additional workshop on “Focus Walks” to observe and support implementation of the EEI training. Currently a representative from English, Math, Social Science, Science, And Agriculture are attending Performances Fact’s Eye on the Goal training for data analysis.
Collaboration time is provided to teachers to review the results of common assessments and based on those results modify their lessons for better results. These structured collegial discussions have proved valuable in making improvements in content and teaching methodology.
At Liberty Ranch High School, regular observations and evaluations confirm and support teachers are using a variety of strategies and resources in their teaching. Teachers across all departments enrich instruction with innovative and effective classroom activities which appeal to many different learning styles. In addition to the use of traditional instructional techniques
like lecture and note-taking, problem sets, reading comprehension activities, sciences labs, and classroom discussion, students are up on their feet, engaged in simulations, debates, performances, problem-solving activities, and hands-on experimentation. Each classroom has a ceiling mounted projector for teachers to use for video and presentations. Many
departments have common PowerPoint presentations that are shared for consistency.
Liberty Ranch High School believes that parents are our partners in educating our youth and as such they are involved and encouraged to participate actively in their students’ education. Parents serve on a variety of committees, which include:
• School Site Council
• LRHS Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA)
• English Learner Advisory Committee
• Athletic Boosters
• GLUE Band Boosters
• Agriculture Advisory Committee
• Informational Technology Advisory Committee
• GJUHSD Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee
• GJUHSD Special Education Advisory Committee
Liberty Ranch High School hosts its’ annual Back to School Night in August and its’ annual Open House in March. Parents of incoming freshmen are invited to our Building the Bridges to High School/Department Showcase presentation, as well as a one-on-one course selection session for their student during the registration process. Liberty Ranch High School presents an evening “Department Showcase” event for incoming students and parents after the Bridges presentation and before the course selection evenings. At this event, parents view presentations and demonstrations by each department and are able to ask questions and interact with teachers to learn about the many programs offered at Liberty Ranch High School.
Parents also can speak to our Athletic Director, Activities Director, and School Counselors. Parents of athletes are invited to attend Fall, Winter and/or Spring Sports meetings to learn about expectations for athletes for behavior, to maintain eligibility, and NCAA requirements.
Liberty Ranch High School, partnering with its’ sister school Galt High, also invites parents of students experiencing academic or behavioral problems to attend Parent/Teen Project classes. The Parent/Teen Project is a 10 week series for parents assisting them in dealing with difficult behaviors. Staff each year makes recommendations to the Parent/Teen Project team for families to invite. The classes are offered in English and Spanish and are taught by trained facilitators.
Parents are kept informed of current events, programs and students’ progress in a variety of ways, including PowerSchool, a school website, school marquee, newsletters, teacher emails, attendance calls, automated phone dialer, and regular student progress reports. In addition, parents may request parent/teacher conferences through the Counseling Department as necessary. There is a full-time District Translator to assist with Spanish language needs for all written communication(s).
It is the goal of Liberty Ranch High to assist students in their social and personal development as well as academics. The school gives special attention to students who experience achievement problems, difficulty coping with personal and family problems, trouble with decision making, or handling peer pressure. The counselor to pupil ratio is 1:574.
Liberty Ranch High School greatly benefits from its supportive parents who take an active interest in the daily activities of LRHS. The school has a strong base of parent volunteers who participate in our School Site Council and English Learners Advisory Council.Parents are also welcome to join the LRHS Parent, Teacher, Student Association. The school also benefits from several community partnerships including Athletic Boosters, Galt Liberty Unified Ensemble boosters, AG Boosters, AVID Advisory, AG Advisory, and GATE Advisory. LRHS also has community partnerships with D2 Trailer Sales, Silva Ranches, Greendale Dairy, Pearson’s Concrete, and Rausser Bros. Trucking.