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Sedona High School Among State’s Best

sedona oak creek unified school district logoSedona AZ (September 15, 2015) – Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District (SOCUSD) has been accredited by the national organization AdvancED following a rigorous on-site review by the nonpartisan, non-profit organization. SOCUSD Superintendent Dave Lykins received the certificate and accreditation banner at the district board meeting on Monday, September 14.

Lykins also announced at the meeting that U.S. News and World Report has recognized Sedona Red Rock High School as one of the best in the nation. The school is ranked No. 18 in Arizona, the only high school north of Scottsdale to make it into the Top 50.

AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the Pre-K-12 divisions of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Accreditation and School Improvement. The program expanded in 2011 through the addition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission.

“On their own, each of these achievements are important milestones, but collectively they represent a focused commitment throughout the district to ensure that our students have the tools, resources, support and opportunity to achieve their highest potential,” Lykins said. “It’s a tremendous tribute to the hard work and dedication of everyone in the district.”

red rock high school logoDuring the business portion of the meeting, the board approved Lykins’ goals for the 2015-16 school year which include developing and implementing a formal written teacher induction and mentoring program; implementing a comprehensive assessment system to provide quality, consistent professional development for staff on common assessments; and to develop a formal communication plan to improve, increase and enhance district efforts to inform all stakeholders about the successes, challenges and changes in the district.

The board also approved the Fiscal Year 2016 School Facilities Board Capital Plan.

Lykins also discussed the first in a series of community forums to discuss the state of education and its impact on the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District. The first meeting is scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, 2015, at the Sedona Performing Arts Center at Sedona Red Rock High School.

The forum will be facilitated by Karen Loftus, Leadership Development Director for the Arizona School Boards Association, with presentations by Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter; SOCUSD Finance Director Colleen Toscano; and Lykins.

Plans for additional community forums are being developed and details will be forthcoming.

For more information about the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District, visit www.sedona.k12.az.us.

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  1. OMG says:

    iT GETS SCARIER (or should that be “skeerier?) BY THE MINUTE.

  2. I'm With OMG says:

    My daughter attended RRHS, but due to lack of … everything/anything of value, she graduated from Verde Valley School. It was years ago, I know, but from what I’ve seen, nothing has changed – the egos have only grown larger and louder.

    Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain!

    We should be treating our young adult children with respect. They will inherit this place and, because you are a good parent and have taught them well, they will be the voice of reason in the future. Makes me think of this: https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/public_school_students_are_the_new_inmates_in_the_american_police_state

  3. ESM says:

    Then why did my physician, a Sedona resident, feel the need to relocate to Flagstaff because of concerns about the quality of the Sedona Unified School District? A good doctor and a better man for caring about the education of his children.

  4. Jess Lookin says:

    It’s not just the schools. One of the wives of a public servant hired not too long ago moved here with their young daughter. Being a good parent she got involved with the schools. After a year of involvement with the schools and Sedona living conditions, she said she was moving with her daughter to Phoenix. Her husband could quit or commute, but she was not living in Sedona.

    So, one of the most beautiful places in the country and a top paid position for her husband , she still refused to live and raise her child in Sedona.

    If I came to look at living in Sedona as I did 24 years ago, and raise my then 4 year old daughter, I would take a look around and say nope, this is a high traffic, high tax tourist trap.

    My now adult daughter said there is no way she would live in Sedona.

    I love my home, I love the beauty, but as soon as I can I will sell and move someplace with a high quality of life.

    A few greedy short sighted businessmen, a city supported Chamber of commerce that has no limit to the number of tourists that would be just fine with them and a complicit city council has ruined the place.


  5. N.A. says:

    @Jess Lookin I am in the same boat as you. I can’t wait to get out of here. The greed, lies and disrespect in Sedona is the worst I’ve ever seen.

    We can thank our City Council, City Employees, and the greedy short sighted businessmen like S. Segner and the chamber.They have taken the beauty for a fast buck.

  6. Carol N. says:

    It’s true @N.A. Sedona has turned into exactly what it wasn’t supposed to. For these past two city councils to act like they control the School and Fire Districts – well, they are way out of line. They don’t get it that it’s our property taxes that pay for those services. Instead they continue to give, give, give money for the school and all Verde Valley non-profits and look at the mess they’re in regardless of what this article says. We will soon be driven out when they impose a city property tax. And then they keep wanting to find stuff for kids to do when most parents who really care will move them on out of Sedona. They don’t expect or need for Sedona City Council to butt in. Then if that former City Council person runs for the school board – well, that’s it – out of here.

  7. IMO says:

    Well that would be the end of it ALL @Carol N. If the ex CC Littrel gets in then she WILL fast track for money at City Hall. But no one runs as they can’t stand ALL the bullies. So there is a good chance she’ll get in.
    That is really sad.

  8. Lisa, Sedona says:

    Unfortunately and with regret I agree with the comments here, this isn’t a place for children. My elderly neighbors of 55 plus are grouches, rude, overstep social boundaries, mean spirits, disrespectful, vulgar on occasion, and lots of other issues. Heaven help a child that laughs or is noisy as children can be in this town. We like the comment above will move when a new job can be found, currently working with a headhunter to make it happen. Goodbye beautiful scenery, goodbye lousy citizens.

    Ms. Litrell, I know you are well meaning person but you are too elderly. You just don’t have the credentials to be on our board and no teacher is supporting you at the ballot box. You are supported by those that spoon feed the public “change” while making sure none happens. We need young people with energy and vision.

    To the people here:

    Maybe you should ask why the fire chief’s wife doesn’t live here? Maybe you should ask why many with the city live in Flagstaff instead of here? Maybe you should find out why the charter school has equal or better outcomes than the public school? Maybe you should visit the VVS and find out how a real education is delivered?

  9. Donna Varney says:

    I raised my son here and found that all my retired neighbors were cheerful, kind hearted and enjoyable. My son spent time visiting them, helping them with chores here and there. He would even take them soup that I made when they were ill. They in return helped me in so many ways. @Lisa, Sedona. I was in my thirties.

    When it came to High School we had some tough choices to make and had to pay for the ones we made. The Sedona High School did not offer any higher math classes nor did they have any Physics Classes. No College level classes. The other big problem for me was that RR high called the teachers by their first name and kids could be seen smoking on campus. This was not acceptable.

    We put our son into Mingus HS who did offer college classes, AP classes and called the teachers formally. The locals did the bully thing as they do in Sedona when you don’t go along with them. We found Mingus to be great. He graduated Valedictorian, twice (JR & HS) and went on to 100% scholarships for his Phd in Physics. Today he is a professor.

    Make the best in the resources we have. It’s not all about how much the taxpayers pay but how we as a community works together. Today I find that everyone wants everything for free. Values and virtues are passing away with our retirees. Some of the most wonderful things my son learned was from a retired Professor of law.

    The blame game is easy to do. I find those controlling and spending taxpayers money to be causing more harm, creating anger in the retirees by they way they are treated. They do contribute in many ways to a wonderful community. The current climate in Sedona is about money and how none of us matter or contribute. That is wrong. Rationalizing bad behavior.

    The book I’m Okay You’re Okay is a great example of how you treat others and how they respond to that treatment.

    Donna joy Varney

  10. @Lisa

    It’s very unfortunate that you have had a less than pleasant encounter with someone “over 55.” Many of us have grandchildren and welcome the laughter of children. Furthermore, by the amount of school overrides approved by voters it appears the general population is absolutely supportive and believes education is a top priority. That is further verified by the amount of money we agree to pay for what we expect to be top-quality education.

    The behavior of the Sedona School Board in recent years is unacceptable. The cavalier manner in which they respond to public input and other lack of professional expertise is far more disgusting than perhaps the one old geezer you encountered. I sincerely hope that is the worst thing that ever happens to you and your entire family during life’s journey.

    In fact, don’t you place yourself in the same category as the grouch you write about when you generalize and consider we are all the same? You, too, will reach the ripe old age of 50 and however many more years it takes you I do so hope you will mellow. Enough really hard knocks might cause you to reevaluate your tolerance level.

  11. JeanJ says:

    Can’t fathom why the City Council funds so much stuff for kids. The City’s own records show Sedona school enrollment in decline over the last ten years. It’s alarming that it dropped from 1,525 in 2005 to 968 in 2014 (Finance Dept records), further indicating that Sedona isn’t the best place for children.

  12. steve Segner says:

    Dam the kids; Sedona is for the OLD, when is the city going to get it.
    Jean did you ever think that maybe there are less children of high school age coming up in the Sedona school system.
    Remember what happened in the late1950 and early 1960, oh ya that was US, the Baby Boomers.
    Funny thing, people seem to have fewer children, as they get older.

    Donna joy Varney said:
    The locals did the bully thing as they do in Sedona when you don’t go along with them.
    Donna, you got to stand seem you get bully, by everyone the chamber, the city, and now city and the residents of Sedona,

    Donna joy Varney said:
    “The locals did the bully thing as they do in Sedona when you don’t go along with them.”
    Donna, you seem to get bullied by everyone, the chamber, the city, and now the residents of Sedona.



  13. JeanJ says:

    It’s more than the just the high school that has lower enrollments. Less school-age kids is one reason the average age in Sedona has gone up from 50 to 56 during the last five years. Can’t understand why the City Council funds so much stuff for kids that are no longer here.

  14. Donna Varney says:

    Hi Jean. You bring up a good point. I attended some community meetings that pertain to this. Sedona being a tourist town can only provide service level jobs. The State through the Federal government has been providing grants for the low income families to assist. In one of these meetings I learned that West Sedona has more kids on food assistance than ever. The State said around $30,000 a year families qualify for assistance.

    Housing is high for these kind of jobs, so most live in outlying areas. This includes managers and other higher level jobs. When the economy is one sided that creates challenges. For example during spring and fall, Sedona’s busy season, no one can get enough help. Then when business slows down they cut the hours. People like to work and play close to home and young families need to be available to their children.

    Like everywhere else Sedona and the Verde Valley has options for our children. Private schools, public schools, home schooling, and now internet school is available. Parents can make the right decision for their children. Schools that focus on the Arts or High Tech schools are available in the Verde Valley. We have excellent teachers in both categories. Parents need to support each other in where works bests for their kids.

    I am thankful for the education my son got here (7th-12th) and how the resources that were available for academic scholarships for him to get a PhD. He worked to get a great education.

    Back to your point, Sedona doesn’t have high paying jobs to make it livable for young families. Waiters, hotels workers, even jeep drivers have a hard time affording Sedona.

    Those kids that attend the schools in the city limits can be coming from outside the city as the school districts are seperate from the city. Thats one of the things our property taxes pay for.

    @Over 50 But Still Working Great points also!

    Donna Joy Varney

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