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Credo High School fall semester underway despite controversy

CREDO HIGH SCHOOL juniors Ariel Swanson, Kaylyn Conway, Angelika Ingham, with Chip Romer, Jourdyn Bossio and Jackson Love, all hail from Sonoma and enjoy the unique Waldorf-inspired Credo offering. (Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune)

CREDO HIGH SCHOOL juniors Ariel Swanson, Kaylyn Conway, Angelika Ingham, with Chip Romer, Jourdyn Bossio and Jackson Love, all hail from Sonoma and enjoy the unique Waldorf-inspired Credo offering. (Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune)

Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor

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Reports of the demise of Credo High School in Rohnert Park were inaccurate and upsetting to the staff and students of the charter high school. The Waldorf-inspired school reports it is fully operational this fall with 100 students in grades nine to 11, approximately 20 percent of whom hail from Sonoma or Glen Ellen.

The school came under fire from the Cotati-Rohnert Park School District earlier this year when it failed to meet ambitious enrollment projections. In September, Credo was threatened with having its charter revoked, but in good news for the fledgling school last week, the district school board voted to rescind any action to revoke the charter.

Founded in 2011, Credo is the only public Waldorf high school in the North Bay. All Credo students are on a college-prep track vs. only 26 percent of public high school students countywide, according to Director Chip Romer. And Romer is quick to point out that in its first two years, Credo consistently ranked in the top three Sonoma County high schools in standardized testing, with a current API score of 853.

The school expands the traditional college-prep curriculum to include number theory, algebra, English and theater, history through art, world revolutions, history through economics, financial literacy, eastern history, earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, Spanish or Mandarin, drawing, printmaking, blacksmithing, media arts, practical skills, farming and food literacy, social sustainability, personal sustainability, CPR, first aid, PE, sports intensives and a choice of music classes, including orchestra, American music or choir.

Sonoma parent Monica Conway’s daughter was in the first class at Credo, “We had many concerns about going to a start up school, having been through one already at Woodland Star. However, within weeks of Kaylyn starting school, we have been very happy with Credo and the great STAR test scores definitely help. Kaylyn really knows her teachers and feels that they in turn know her. It seems so simple, but it is also priceless to be held in a way by your teachers that you feel heard and respected. It’s one of the things I like most about Credo.”

The school is in temporary space across from Rancho Cotate High School, with hopes to build an ambitious new green campus in the sustainability-focused Sonoma Mountain Village development in Rohnert Park. The target full enrollment at the high school is 640.

Credo invites prospective students to shadow at Credo any Tuesday or Wednesday. The school is offering open houses at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct.19, and Saturday, Nov. 16. Applications are due Thursday, Dec. 12.

Families interested in learning about Credo can contact Sonoma resident Romer, to arrange a tour or student shadowing appointment. Romer was one of the founders of Sonoma’s Woodland Star Charter School, which, like Credo, also uses the Waldorf curriculum.

For more information about Credo, visit credohigh.org.