Special Features of PACE
Summer Program for Incoming Ninth- Graders
The PACE experience begins on the California State University, Sacramento campus with a mandatory four-week enrichment program designed for incoming ninth graders. The four high school-level classes center on activities in literature, geography, and writing. Past field trips have featured visits to the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, the Oakland Museum of California, performing community service to the needy in Sacramento, and participating in a day trip to Donner Summit.
The summer program provides a unique opportunity for PACE students to establish PACE friendships, work with PACE faculty and begin
the transition to high school. High school credits are earned for this program if student absences do not exceed three days. (Students may miss up to five days of summer school and still maintain their ninth-grade acceptance status in PACE, but will not receive any high school credit for PACE summer school classes.)
School-Year Field Trips
During their four years in PACE, students attend two or more field trips per year. Field trips
have included university visits, live theatrical productions, history and art museum tours, state park outings, and explorations of historical sites. These field trips have been offered at minimal cost to the student. Last year PACE students could choose from over 30 different field trip offerings. Out-of-the-region field trips (such as a tour of East coast colleges, a Turkey, Greece, and Italy trip, and a trip to Ashland’s Shakespeare Festival) are optional field trips.
PACE requires extensive reflective and academic writing of all students. It starts during the summer program: incoming fresh man explore and practice the two genres of writing (reflective and academic) they will use extensively throughout their PACE and JFK courses. Several reflective essays are assigned each year, wherein a student draws connections between required PACE events – field trips, cultural events, community service – and their own learning and worldview. These essays are critical steps for students to assert themselves on the page with maturity and confidence for college applications, internships, and the workforce. Additionally, students regularly write academic papers for both history and English courses. All teachers in these core classes explain and emphasize the organization, conventions, and synthesis techniques necessary for students to succeed in academic writing – particularly on the kinds of researched, argument-based responses required for Advanced Placement exams and in college.
There is a rich array of cultural and civic activity occurring in the Sacramento area. PACE students are required once each semester (twice during the school year), to attend a cultural or civic event and write a reflective essay about their experiences. Attending these events provides opportunities for PACE students to learn more about their community, to expand their cultural and civic horizons, and to articulate their perspectives.
PACE encourages its students to read widely and to explore new literary horizons. During their freshman year, PACE students participate in several small-group book clubs led by community volunteers. This allows an opportunity for detailed discussion of works of important and popular literature (fiction and non-fiction) in an informal setting. Some book club groups read works by local authors and, in some cases, the authors have visited the book groups. This includes Eva Rutland, author of When We Were Colored and Naida West, author of River of Red Gold. Two years ago PACErs read Zeitoun by Dave Eggers and afterward, Mr. Eggers spoke at JFK and signed PACE students’ books.
The Practical Politics Internship allows seniors
to gain firsthand experience in government by working at city, county or state agencies, including the governor’s office. The program has recently expanded to the private sector, with internships
at a pharmacy, architectural firm, financial planning office and other places of business in the Greenhaven/Pocket and Sacramento area.