by George J Elbaum
Foothill High School opened in 1973 and its current student body of approximately 2,300 reflects the demographic and economic diversity of their newly affluent and upwardly mobile community. Foothill’s rich tradition of both care and accountability is a factor in helping each student reach his or her full potential. Recognized as a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon California nominee, Foothill remains dedicated to school improvement. Scholastically, students excel, scoring above national, state and district averages on standardized tests, high school exit exams and the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Advanced Placement tests.
In an attempt to meet the needs of its diverse student body, the school provides, in addition to standards-based curriculum, numerous academic and service groups such as the Multicultural Club and a rigorous sports selection reflected in the excellence of the athletic programs. At the same time, character education is an integral part of the school’s core mission, emphasizing integrity, honesty, responsibility, respect, compassion and self-discipline. The mission of Foothill is to nurture and stimulate the intellectual, emotional and physical growth of each student, so that the expected learning emphasizes four growth areas for all students: becoming independent, life-long learners; utilizing essentials skills in current and future situations; strengthening personal character; and practicing active citizenship and concern for others. One outcome is that Foothill has an award-winning Model United Nations team which has earned over 70 individual and 5 delegation awards, and has been distinguished as one of the best delegations in the entire East Bay. Participants debate global politics, simulate diplomacy, and travel around the nation at Model UN conferences.
Its focus on good citizenship also involves Foothill’s involvement with Facing History and Ourselves. Its English teachers use Facing History in teaching Eli Wiesel’s Night and the language of “upstanders and bystanders” to help the students’ understanding of these concepts. Students also learn about the Holocaust in their World History classes, and an audience of approximately 250 ranging from 10th to 12th grade attended my presentation. It was organized by English teacher Nadia Moshtagh and arranged by Language Arts Instructional Coach John Ribovich and Jack Weinstein of Facing History. In attendance were also English teachers Michelle Garlit and Heather Fleming, Social Studies teacher Michelle Jurich and Librarian Patti Stein. Photography was in the capable hands of Instructional Tech Coach Scott Padway took many of the photos including the 360 degrees panorama per this link: Spherical Image | RICOH THETA