Academics and Curriculum


Surprise Valley High School is accredited by The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The majority of the required high school academic classes at Surprise Valley High School meet the a-g requirements and recommendations for admission to University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) campuses. Students have the opportunity to take courses from each of the a-g categories, and consideration is given in scheduling to ensure there are no conflicts that would restrict students ability to meet the a-g requirements. Surprise Valley High School offers a four period day, This allows us to offer more elective opportunities to students. Our class periods are 83 minutes and students complete a year long course in one semester.

Graduates of SVHS have been eligible for acceptance into every UC and CSU and have been accepted into selective private colleges. The reality for today’s students is that entering college is becoming more and more competitive. In order for students to have a high school experience that is excellent preparation for college, we schedule time and faculty support for students to take advantage of online college or AP courses. We offer access to technology through 1:1 iPads, as well as athletic, and leadership activities which can all be components of the student’s experience. The activities available at our school in concert with academic opportunities creates the positive school environment that is Surprise Valley High School.

Many elements are unique to SVHS such as small class sizes and the four period days but one of the most obvious elements is the real support of families and community. Partnerships with local businesses, the BLM and Forest Service, Rotary, and other organizations provide many hands on opportunities for students. Further, class and college trips provide both information and academic experiences and give students a chance to form strong and positive peer relationships. The faculty of SVHS is committed to our mission, to developing academic skill, and opportunities to mentor our students. All faculty members have taken on extra-curricular responsibilities such as coaching, club advisement, and performing arts. A core belief of the SVHS staff is the importance of adult role models who are accessible to students and committed to each student’s success.

Curriculum and Philosophy

In the 21st century, post-secondary education is essential to prepare young people to be successful in a fast-changing and competitive global community. The SVHS course of study prepares our students to be competitive applicants to universities and autonomous learners with the self-directed study skills necessary for their future education.

What are “A-G Courses”?

In California, most students who satisfy the UC admissions Subject Requirement do so by completing 15 high school courses. Seven of the courses must be taken or validated in the last two years of high school. The “a-g” subject areas include:

  1. History/Social Sciences – 2 years;

  2. English – 4 years;

  3. Mathematics – 3 years;

  4. Laboratory Science – 2 years;

  5. Language other than English – 2 years;

  6. Visual and Performing arts- 1 year

  7. College Preparatory Elective