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Trevor Ivan

Setting and Context
9.23.16
EDUC 450 – Thompson Valley
Who are the Eagles?
Thompson Valley High School is located in Loveland, Colorado founded in 1976
within the Thompson Valley School District. Currently its population sits around 1,500
students serving grades nine through twelve. It consists of 30 staff members, 24
different athletic programs and over 20 different student organizations ranging from
DECA to dance. Out of the four traditional high schools located within the Thompson
Valley District, TVH supports more students of diversity and carries the reputation of
“dealing more with less”. They have been labeled as the “drug” school having to deal
with more students involved in those behaviors while at the same time providing
intentional support through effective teachers and all around caring staff. Their
population in terms of race and ethnicity currently sits at 80% white, 19% Hispanic and
1% other which includes populations such as African Americans, Asian Americans and
international students. Thompson Valley recently incorporated the AVID program to
support students in preparation for college and they currently have over 20 different
Advanced Placement classes for students to take. In comparison to other high schools
in the district, as well as in the northern Colorado region, TVH has one of the most
supportive, caring and developed special education programs that has achieved great
success year after year.
Additionally the climate/culture of the school promotes student success as staff
members focus on the individual to help achieve the dreams of each student. There is
very much an atmosphere of comfortability as there is more friendly communication
between students and teachers in which students hold themselves accountable for
their learning and teachers take pride in making content relatable to real world skills.
As in any high school cliques of friends are present but when it comes to school pride,
the entire community comes out full force with a strong sense of family. Parents and

families are also actively involved in supporting their students whether in sports,
volunteering at school events or through their students learning. In all, Thompson
Valley promotes strong community values in which all students are supported,
challenged and valued for all the knowledge they bring to the table.
Furthermore, the overall mission and vision of TVH is “A community inspiring
lifelong learning” where “Together, we create unique experiences in a supportive
environment that empowers lifelong learning”. Thompson Valley ultimately embodies
the mentality of a community of learners especially in the classroom. This semester I
had the opportunity to be placed with Carey Duval who has 20 plus years of
experience teaching Social Studies in his sophomore level Modern America class. He
has a military background where he is originally from Southern Kentucky and a huge
fan of the University of Kentucky basketball program. Mr. Duval sets up what many
would consider a traditional style of teaching history consisting of reading the
textbook, filling out worksheets and lecturing. There are 33 students in the classroom
who majorly identify as white with one international student and four who identify as
latino/a. Our classroom is located in a cottage outside of the main building which can
be described as a large mobile home holding two classrooms. Mr. Duval’s military
background shows in the design of the classroom as there are many posters depicting
battles of previous wars and all the faces of past presidents.
Students in the classroom are well behaved and follow instruction very well,
with one student having an IEP to receive more time on exams and assignments.
Students within the classroom are very bright but are unfortunately are rarely
challenge to develop their higher level thinking skills regarding inferencing and
analyzing multiple perspectives of an event. The classroom culture is very rigid, with
some room for humor and fun, but it very much follows the traditional classroom

model for Social Studies. Students however are very open to new and exciting forms of
teaching as they respond positively to more outgoing forms of teaching history.
In all, Thompson Valley High School provides a supportive environment for its
faculty and for its students. Everyone very much has love for this school and its shows
through athletics, clubs and through the arts. Therefore, through the purpose to
achieve greatness in their students, TVH will continue to be a school that succeeds in
developing their learners into active members of the world.