American Turban

Sacramento Valley Charter’s first day of school

"Students are hard at work at their first writing exercise of the year." (Photo: Sacramento Valley Charter School Facebook page)

"Students are hard at work at their first writing exercise of the year." (Photo: Sacramento Valley Charter School Facebook page)

Today marked the first day of school for many children.  For most kids and parents, there’s always a sense of nervousness and excitement as students take on the next year of their education.  For the Sacramento Valley Charter School – the first Punjabi charter school in the United States – the excitement coming from the side of staff and administrators would be understandable.  It was their first day, too.  

According to the California Charter Schools Association:

Charter schools are independent public schools with rigorous curriculum programs and unique educational approaches. In exchange for operational freedom and flexibility, charter schools are subject to higher levels of accountability than traditional public schools. Charter schools, which are tuition-free and open to all students, offer quality and choice in the public education system.

The Sacramento Valley Charter School was set up to begin this school year and is located in West Sacramento, California, next to the Gurdwara in that city.  The establishment of this charter school has allowed the community to incorporate Punjabi – the language spoken by most Sikhs – into the school’s curriculum, and therefore gives children a connection to their culture and religion that they do not receive in the traditional public education system.  This is a significant accomplishment for Sacramento’s Sikh community, and hopefully a model that other Sikh communities around the United States can follow. 

Congratulations to the students and staff of Sacramento Valley Charter School on their first day, and best of luck on their first year!

More information about the school can be found on their Facebook page.

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4 comments

  1. Paul Pannu

    We have three kids attending SVCS… grades 1, 3, and 4… they had a wonderful first day of school and we have high hopes for this program! 🙂

  2. Rajinder Cheema

    I wonder if ghettoizing our children is the best way for them to be strong-willed Sikhs ready to face a challenging and multicultural world.

    I considered enrolling my children as well, but feel that with my supplementing their education that they recieve from the Gurdwara Sunday School, that their Punjabi will be up to par.

    One concern I would have for the readers of this blog, which is a concern that has been discussed in my social circle: The school is on gurdwara premises. It is not separate from it. What if school children bring meat, drugs, alcohol, etc. to school? I worry about maintaining the sanctity of the space that is filled with respect for the Guru, especially when there are non-Sikhs attending the school.

  3. Paul Pannu

    Rajinder, I agree with you… and you should voice these concerns at the Board meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, 8/31/2011) at 6pm inside the West Sac gurdwara. I wrote a letter listing some of these issues and would be happy to share it with you if interested. The only way to change things for the better is to take a stand, and voice our opinions to all the stakeholders and decision makers!

    Best,
    Paul
    paulpannu@gmail.com

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