By Wendy Ngo

For many students, it is hard to focus and learn in a traditional classroom environment. Budget cuts are also a big contribution to the struggles with getting help from teachers. Class sizes are rapidly growing at almost 40 students per classroom making it hard for teachers to spend one on one time with students. Therefore the student is left unable to understand the lessons.

For myself, it was hard to focus because I didn’t catch on as quickly as others. I was often talking instead of paying attention. Teachers saw it as a class disruption. I got sent out a lot. Slacking off was the main reason I’m now credit deficient. I had to find a school where I could focus on my work and get the extra help. I needed to learn what I missed out on.

I decided to go to American Legion, a continuation school. They put me into their academy for freshman and sophomores. It very different from a traditional school. We were separated from the actual school building by a gate. In the academy, they separated the boys and girls. The only time we would interact was during Lunch and P.E. There were only three classrooms. There were only three teachers. One teacher per classroom. 2 periods for each teacher. This was not working for me.

At this point I had to find a school that did work for me. I wanted to try an independent study. This way I could work independently with my teacher at my own pace. I found a school that was recently opened near my house. I enrolled at Heritage Peak Charter School.

Its first location was in the Rio Linda Unified School District in 2005. Four years later, they opened learning centers in Vacaville, Broadway, Elk Grove, and West Sacramento. I’m currently attending the Broadway location.

They offer many classes such as: Yoga, Dance, Art, Math, and English. There are also tutors for students who need extra help. We have a school counselor on site for anyone who needs guidance and advice. Students are welcome to come in and work on site any day of the week from Monday through Friday. We are allowed to use the computers and they even have everyday breakfast for us. The teachers are wonderful. They are willing to help us in every way possible. They truly put effort into creating successful students. Thanks to all their support, I have kept up with my graduation plan. I’ve been attending HPCS for about two years and my experience has been rewarding. I would recommend this school to anyone who is aiming to achieve great goals.