Community Report Spring Valley High School is located in the northeast region of Columbia, South Carolina.

The current building was opened in 2008, although the school was established in 1970, and at the time it was the only high school in Richland Two School District. It serves students from zip codes 29229, 29223, 29045. Zoning extends from I-20 in the south and a few neighborhoods beyond the interstate, to past Two Notch in the north, to Elgin in the east, and to Polo Road in the west. Some areas are closer to downtown Columbia and some are in Elgin where open area and farmland still exist. The median home price is around $150,000. Spring Valley has some interesting zoning areas, including one area that is zoned for Richland Northeast with an option to Spring Valley, and one that is Westwood with an option to Spring Valley. Several students in my classes live in Elgin or Blythewood. The Spring Valley zone encompasses a diverse area of homes and neighborhoods, mostly suburban, but including both wealthy and poor areas. One can see this difference in comparing the upscale shopping area of the Village at Sandhill and the Columbia Mall on Two Notch, which is older and a little run down with many empty store spaces. In immediate vicinity of the school, there are also lots of large shopping areas with restaurants, chain stores, grocery stores and upper-middle class neighborhoods and apartments. Spring Valley serves almost 2,000 students. The racial demographics are 51% African American, 35% White, 7% Asian, 5% Hispanic, and 2% other. 35% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch. The school report card lists many excellent scores for academics, character development, accreditation, opportunity in the arts, and the like; however the line for modern language assessment is the only one that shows N/A. On the

surface this tells me that the school does not place as much value on languages as other areas, however there may be another explanation. The demographics of the 29 students I serve in French 2 CP reflect the general school population with 14 African American students (49%), 10 white students (34%), 4 Asian students (14%), and 1 Hispanic student (3%). (Note: Neither of my French 3 Honors classes reflects the general school demographics with more white and Asian students than African American.) French 2 includes 12 girls and 17 boys and the class division is majority underclassmen with 14 freshmen, 5 sophomores, 8 juniors, 2 seniors. 9 students receive free or reduced-price lunch, which is about 31%. 8 students are part of a vocational program. 10 students are listed as gifted/talented. Several students speak other languages at home or as their first language: 1 Arabic, 1 German, 1 Vietnamese, 1 Spanish and 3 who speak Indian languages including Tamil, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Bengali. The girl who speaks Arabic was born in Lebanon and used to be in ESOL classes. None of the others have been in ESOL classes while they have been in high school. Of the 29 students, 19 expressed the desire to go to college after high school, for degrees including criminal justice, IT, music, literature, being an inventor, and to start his own software development company. 2 of those mentioned athletic scholarships for football and wrestling. 2 students want to enlist in the navy and 2 other students want to be entertainers or actors. One student does not know what he will do after high school and says “I try not to limit myself as I'm often quickly bored by repetitive schedules.” Only 2 students currently have part time jobs, although some expressed the desire to have a job and asked if I knew of any. 50% of the class spends 4 hours or more a week on extracurricular activities which include soccer, cross country, track, wrestling, football,

swimming, lacrosse, softball, chess club, student council, FCA, Younglife, marching band, orchestra, tech crew, poetry club, and circle of friends. Popular interests outside of school include hanging out with friends, watching TV, playing video games, playing instruments, and reading. I have 2 students who are really good artists, as shown by their skill in class during certain activities. Many students mentioned going to Sandhills on the weekends with their friends or hanging out at home. Most of their descriptions of their neighborhoods correspond to suburban areas with middle class homes, old people, dogs, and lakes. One student’s response was “Not trying to be racist, but mostly white people live there. I like the lake and park we have since it is serene.” Several students expressed dislike of the small size of their neighborhood or that there was nothing interesting. 18 expressed the desire to move from the area in the future. It is worth noting that the performance and grades of these students in French class are extremely polarized. Many have come from different middle schools with different teachers for French 1, and they also demonstrate drastically different study habits and capacities to learn a language. I have never had to think more about how to teach the very high and very low performing students.