Model and Program Practices


Students On Academic Rise (SOAR) High School is an early college high school and collaborative program between the Antelope Valley Union High School District (AVUHSD) and Antelope Valley College (AVC).  Students attend high school and college courses concurrently. The program is also rooted in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) principles and is committed to an AVID school-wide model through its emphasis on leadership, systems, instruction, and culture.  This program was created and continues to exist in order to close the achievement gap and provide structures, supports, and opportunities for students who have traditionally not been successful candidates or completers of four-year universities, many socioeconomically disadvantaged and underrepresented youth.  Over 400 Antelope Valley students benefit from this early college high school experience every year.

Since SOAR is a collaborative program between the AVUSHD and AVC, the program is funded through both entities at no cost to students or families (all college tuition and textbook costs are covered by the program) and referenced in the AVUHSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).  SOAR aligns its site goals with the district’s LCAP goals:

  1. Ensure that students are academically proficient and prepared for college and career ready

  2. Provide a 21st century learning environment and rigorous curriculum that allows students to have multiple experiences and opportunities for academic, collegiate, professional, and personal growth

  3. Cultivate a safe and secure, positive school culture that supports all students’ personal and academic growth

  4. Communicate effectively with all stakeholders and continue to build relationships in the community that help provide our students with innovative educational opportunities  

Students begin taking college classes during their first year at SOAR.  As students progress through the program, they add in more college courses, many of which they can receive dual credit for high school and college, plus they can work towards an associate’s degree or Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) Certification at AVC.  

A large portion of the program’s budget is also used to support the AVID program, which is seen an essential element to overall student and program success.  SOAR leadership, counseling, and instructional staff are trained in various aspects of AVID in order to promote AVID’s school-wide model. Each student is strategically placed in an AVID elective/support class during each year in school to reinforce aspects of Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading (WICOR).  The AVID class also provides a multitude of school counseling services: transcript review, course selection advisement, PSAT/SAT guidance, social/emotional health curriculum, and everything regarding how to apply and pay for a college or university. AVID class supports focus on instilling positive habits during the four years students attend SOAR so that they will go on and continue to use what works in a four-year university and beyond.  

SOAR has a 100% graduation rate and nearly 60% of students from each class will also receive an associate’s degree or IGETC certification from AVC within four years.  Over 90% of SOAR students are accepted into a four-year university upon high school graduation, with a small amount of students choosing to stay at AVC for an additional year (at no cost to the student) or enlist in one of the military branches.  There are minimal attendance and disciplinary issues in this college-going setting. Universities highly admire students coming from the program because of the demonstrated success shown by students in college classes, their ability to handle the rigor of both high school and college coursework, and SOAR’s full accreditation from the Western Accreditation of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  SOAR students are accepted at a high rate to many of the Cal State and University of California institutions – many students have even achieved acceptance into their dream universities (Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and MIT) because of their academic diligence and success.

Implementation and Monitoring

SOAR employs the cycle of inquiry and continuous improvement model.  After the program’s last WASC accreditation visit, the Continuous School Improvement (CSI) Committee was created to spearhead the school’s initiatives with regards to the school’s goals (listed above).  This committee meets often and works closely with school leadership in order to develop, review, and revise the details of the school plan. All aspects of WASC’s recommendations, the district’s LCAP goals, school initiatives, and early college high school expectations influence the committee’s decisions when providing feedback for the plan.  The AVID Site Team also works to align AVID goals with the school’s plan. Each year, SOAR’s School Site Council provides input and approves the school’s plan.

The implementation and monitoring of SOAR’s early college high school and AVID school-wide program has several references in the AVUHSD’s LCAP:

  • Goal #1 – Ensure that students are academically proficient and prepared for college and career ready  

    • Provide a Point of Contact for AVC in order to support dual enrollment and course articulation agreements

    • Provide access for students in 9th through 11th grade to take the PSAT

    • Provide access for students in 11th grade to take the PSAT

    • Provide access to Naviance/Family Connection software to improve college and career readiness  

    • Provide access to x2vol in order for students to manage their community service hours

    • Provide access to live tutors through Princeton Review (tutor.com)

    • Provide access to college and university visits

  • Goal #2 – Provide a 21st century learning environment and rigorous curriculum that allows students to have multiple experiences and opportunities for academic, collegiate, professional, and personal growth

    • Provide expansion of technology in classrooms

    • Provide expansion of technology/materials for STEM activities

    • Provide professional development for teachers on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

    • Provide access to DigiCoach to gather coaching data on Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and 21st learning

  • Goal #3 – Cultivate a safe and secure, positive school culture that supports all students’ personal and academic growth  

    • Provide access to training and materials to staff for Positive Behavioral Supports (PBIS)

    • Ensure access for students to needed instructional materials

    • Provide maintenance and upgrades to facilities

    • Gather stakeholder feedback through CA Healthy Kids Survey/Qualtrics

  • Goal #4 – Communicate effectively with all stakeholders and continue to build relationships in the community that help provide our students with innovative educational opportunities.

    • Gather stakeholder feedback using the Hanover Research Group/Qualtrics

    • Provide Parent Link and Sprout Social systems for messaging families, creating a digital app, and coordinating social media

    • Provide college information and financial aid workshops for non-English speaking families

Results and Outcome

SOAR has experienced continued success since its introduction as the early college high school program to the Antelope Valley Community.  There are a multitude of ways SOAR uses data collected through its CSI committee and the AVID Site Team to ensure effective practices continue, impacting student wellness and academic achievement.  Students’ progress is closely monitored and adjustments are made along the way by leadership, teachers, or staff to make certain students are given every opportunity to be successful in the program.  SOAR has the benefit of gathering qualitative feedback – the small learning environment provides the chance for an ongoing dialogue among its stakeholders. The SOAR team, which includes both AVUHSD and AVC employees, work hard to hear stakeholder opinions and suggestion, then adjust aspects of the program when possible.          

Overall, students are achieving in a variety of ways, sharing in the program’s major successes:

  • Fully accredited by WASC

  • 100% graduation rate (2018)

  • 96% of students are considered college or career ready (2018)

  • 91% of students are accepted into a four-year university (2018)

  • High Smarter Balanced Tests (2018)

    • English/Language Arts – students scored on average 110 points above the standards

    • Math  - students scored on average 40 points over standard  

  • Low suspension rate (2018) - .2%

  • Over $2,000,000 in financial, grants, and scholarships for the Class of 2018 (89 students)

  • 64% of students graduated with an AVC Associate’s degree when graduating from high school (2018)

  • Ongoing improvement of PSAT and SAT results

  • Golden Bell recipient (2013)

  • CA Gold Ribbon recipient (2015)

  • Blue Ribbon recipient (2015)

  • US News and World Report – Bronze


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SOAR Bulletin Link


Mission & Vision


Students On the Academic Rise (SOAR) High School provides a supportive, flexible, and academically enriched environment with an emphasis in mathematics, science, and engineering for underrepresented students who may be high potential but low performing in the traditional educational system. SOAR High School is designed to promote academic achievement, social maturity, and enhanced economic opportunities through the completion of high school and success in college. SOAR High School embraces the Core Principles of the Early College High School (ECHS) Initiative, including improving the graduation rates by creating a flexible high school year, by compressing the number of years to complete a college degree and removing financial and other barriers to college.


SOAR Stars are life-long learners and self-advocates who solve the most pressing challenges through an unwavering pursuit of knowledge, innovation, and collaboration, becoming engaged and productive leaders in their communities.

Principal's Take

Principals Take Image

   December 17, 2018



As we wind down the end of our first semester of this 2018-19 school year, I am extremely grateful once again for all of the wonderful people who make up the SOAR community. We have had several events over the last month where our Stars have shined so brightly!

ASB, along with Mrs. Franklin, did a fantastic job of providing Late Night Tutorials for over 175 students this year. Students spent time reviewing in subject-specific groups for their college finals. ASB provided pizza, snacks, and drinks -- the students loved it!

We also welcomed students and families for Coffee with the Stars. This early morning event allows for our community to build relationships and hear from our Title I Coordinator, Mrs. Norman. She mentioned all of the great work our AVID Site Team is doing in providing structures and supports to meet the needs of our students. Mrs. Norman also mentioned that PSAT scores are out -- check College Board if you haven’t seen your scores yet.

Our SOAR Ambassadors, with the help of Dr. Zimmerman, Mrs. Moya, and Mrs. Chainey, set up the entire AVC Café for our first Gingerbread House Contest. SOAR Mentors and Mentees worked together to compete in a variety of categories: Most Creative, Most Delicious, Best Teamwork, and Most Traditional (see the pictures below). Congratulations to our winners -- what a fun activity!!

We also had a wonderful winterball! Moonlight Enchantment brought a lot of students out to celebrate the end of a terrific semester. Congratulations to the Sophomore Class and Mrs. Norman for putting on a fun-filled event for all! We loved the Dance Club entertainment and can’t wait for more at this upcoming Thursday’s pep rally.

Again, Thursday is a student activity day which means that students only need to attend from 8-11:05am. ASB is planning a very exciting event with lots of activities before the winter break.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2019!

We’ll see you back for high school classes on January 14th, 2019 -- enjoy your time off!

~ Dr. Herrera

Principal's Take


Principals Take Image

   November 14, 2018



I’m feeling extremely grateful for all of the wonderful people associated with SOAR! We have a tremendous partnership between the AVUHSD and AVC, plus such an amazing group of faculty and staff that put their hearts and souls into everything they do to make SOAR the best experience possible for students. Most of all, I’m thankful for the wonderful student body...our students are truly the reason we all continue to do the very important and meaningful work in this early college high school program.
Around this time of year, we get lots of alumni visits. It’s amazing to see all the life-changing opportunities and learning experiences our former students have taken advantage of after SOAR. Our community continues to live out its vision in that
SOAR Stars are life-long learners and self-advocates who solve the most pressing challenges through an unwavering pursuit of knowledge, innovation, and collaboration, becoming engaged and productive leaders in their communities.
I’m so proud of the hard work and progress of everyone this first semester...I encourage everyone to get some good rest over the Thanksgiving break, so that we can come back rejuvenated in order to finish strong this semester!
With a heart FULL of gratefulness...Happy Thanksgiving to all!
~ Dr. Herrera
Principal's Take Pictures


Principals Take Image

   October 17, 2018



Can you believe that the first quarter of our school year is complete? Report cards will go out today and tomorrow through AVID. What a great time to reflect and build upon current progress (great conversation for parents and students)!

I do want to thank everyone for a great job during the PSAT administration! Our testing coordinators, Dr. Rubin and Mrs. Moya, did a good job in organizing and managing the administration. Another big thank you to all of our proctors - we couldn’t do it without you! PSAT scores should be out around the first week of December, so please be on the lookout. Remember, 11th grade students will take the SAT on March 6th.

We’ve had lots of trips lately - CSU Channel Islands, Salute to Youth, and this Saturday (10/20) will be the UCLA trip. Students signed up for the trip need to arrive to SOAR no later than 3pm in front of the tennis courts. Students should arrive to AVC around 11:30pm that evening. Tomorrow is the annual Great Shake Out in which all staff and students on campus during the morning will participate in this simulated emergency situation/evacuation. AVC will not be participating in this activity.

The Homecoming dance, Midnight Masquerade, will take place this Friday from 7-10pm in the AVC Cafeteria. Tickets are still on sale at lunch this week -- $10 for a single and $18 for a double. Tickets will be available at the door for the single price only. Permission slips are available in the front office (you must have this signed to purchase a ticket). Food and drink will be available for purchase.

9th and 10th grade parents, please mark your calendars for an upcoming support workshop - Tuesday, October 30th at 6pm. More details to follow.

Thank you to everyone for making SOAR such an awesome place to be...have a great week!

Principals Take Image

   September 25, 2018


What a great turnout at last night’s annual College Information Night! I loved that our Robotics and InvenTeam students were out to support our program by sharing information on what they do as members of those teams. They all also did a fantastic job in sharing general SOAR information to prospective students. I’m so grateful for our wonderful students!

At this point, we’re only about two weeks away from our 9th through 11th graders taking the PSAT. The PSAT administration will occur in the morning on Wednesday, October 10th. This is an amazing opportunity the AVUHSD gives to all of its students at completely no cost to families. I truly hope students are taking advantage of Khan Academy and the pre-assessment that we did at earlier this year.

Please mark your calendars for our first Coffee with the Stars this school year on Friday, October 5th at 8am in S-3!

~ Dr. Herrera

Principal's Take


Principals Take Image

   September 17, 2018



I loved seeing our SOAR mentees enjoy the SOAR Ambassador Ice Cream Social last Friday at lunch. It’s so important to keep connected and plugged in while on this SOAR journey!

During this month, ASB, along with our new counselor, Mrs. Moya, will be out to spread the news about the ‘Take 2’ campaign in order to support Suicide Prevention month. I hope everyone has the opportunity to see the presentation and get a bracelet from ASB while in AVID. The blue bracelets have emergency contact information similar to the backs of the ID cards this year. If you haven't had a chance, please take the time to look at the variety of resources list on the back of your ID card. Our hope is that this is a safe and very supportive place for all!

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming College Information Night on Monday, September 24th from 4:30 - 7pm at the AV Fairgrounds. This is a great opportunity to talk with representatives from all over the US and attend beneficial workshops. I really hope you make it a priority to attend.

Enjoy your week!

~ Dr. Herrera

Principal's Take 9_18_18


Principals Take Image

   September 4, 2018



Last week our freshman, sophomore, and junior students had the opportunity to take a baseline PSAT assessment using Khan Academy’s online tools.  During future AVID classes, students will have the opportunity to review and properly identify their areas of strengths and needs for growth.  We believe this is a very worthwhile task and can be extremely beneficial if students take the time to invest in the growth process.  Seniors also had the chance to participate in the ASVAB to gather additional aptitude information for potential areas of growth. 

Our AVID Site Team also met last week and had some very good conversations to promote AVID schoolwide.  Students should notice that teachers are observing each other’s classrooms more this year.  This is in an effort to gain feedback from colleagues and further grow professionally here at SOAR.   

Thank you to everyone who came out to the AVUHSD’s first Back to School event with the JetHawks last Tuesday evening!  It was a fun night for all who were able to attend.  

Have a great week, Stars!

~Dr. Herrera

September 4, 2018 Principal's Take


Principals Take Image

   August 27, 2018



I absolutely loved the energy on campus last week! It was great to see the AVC community come alive with classes starting back for the fall term…lots of people on campus. It was also great to see so many SOAR students visiting booths and inquiring about clubs/activities out in the library quad during AVC’s Welcome Week. SOAR students may take advantage of all AVC services and resources…avc.edu is a great source for acquiring this information.

Many AVID classes were getting situated to begin the tutorial or study group process this week. Again, AVID is the foundational program here at SOAR and is grounded in WICOR elements: W-writing, I-inquiry, C-collaboration, O-organization, and R-reading. Tutorials and study groups can be a very powerful resource if taken full advantage of during class sessions. AVID teachers and AVID tutors are on hand to guide and support students through this process. At SOAR, we are continually aiming for AVID schoolwide through aspects of leadership, instruction, systems, and culture. We want every student to see how AVID and really the WICOR elements apply to all subjects and areas of life.


This Tuesday marks the AVUHSD’s Back to School Night JetHawks baseball game. We’ve invited all of our students, staff, and families to attend. All students received a voucher through AVID in order to get a free ticket to the game. Game time is 6:35pm. I think it is going to be a fun event…a great place to mix and mingle with other students. I hope to see you all there! Wishing you all a fantastic week…keep SOARing!


~Dr. Herrera


Principal's Take, August 27 2018


Principals Take Image

   August 20, 2018



What a wonderful first week of school! Students and staff were right back at it, working hard and fully engaging in activities on campus. Thank you to everyone who attended our annual SOAR Family BBQ/Back to School Night event. We were pleased with the fantastic turnout and the participation by our clubs. I was also excited to see all of our new SOAR ambassadors with their mentees. This is such an important connection that I truly hope students fully take advantage of this school year. Again, thank you to all of our staff, faculty, students, and families for making my 6th SOAR BBQ very memorable!

Remember, AVC classes begin this week. I hope everyone takes some time to fully evaluate what each week will look like...planning for unscheduled time and having conversations at home to ensure students have adequate time for studying. Communication, communication, communication...I can’t stress it enough.

Wishing you all a fantastic first week of college...enjoy all the fun things AVC has to offer this ‘welcome week’ and please make sure to reach out if you need anything!

~ Dr. Herrera

2017-2018 STARLIGHTS 

Click the image above to download all 2017-2018 STARLIGHTS.

School Safety Plan

We are committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for all our students and employees. We are focused on teaching strategies for violence prevention and have high expectations for student conduct, responsible behavior and respect for others.

Each school safety plan is reviewed by the Board of Trustees and District leadership. 

If you have a safety concern, please use the Tip Line to submit a tip to the District.

  SOAR High School Site Safety Plan


Principal's Message

As the principal of SOAR High School, it is my pleasure to welcome everyone back for an exciting school year! Our staff and faculty have been working hard to provide students with the best possible Early College High School (ECHS) experience while addressing both access and equity barriers for students. At SOAR, we continue to have a strong foundation in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) principles and remain committed to our mission which supports science, math, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities.

SOAR’s vision is the following:

SOAR Stars are life-long learners and self-advocates who solve the most pressing challenges through an unwavering pursuit of knowledge, innovation, and collaboration, becoming engaged and productive leaders in their communities.

Involvement from everyone is needed in order to ensure that students fulfill this vision. Parents, especially, make up a critical part of the team that will enable students to excel in this program. We encourage all stakeholders to reach out to us if we can ever help you in any way.

On behalf of the entire staff and faculty at SOAR, we look forward to working with SOAR students, families, and community members this year and sincerely wish students the best while beginning or continuing the journey with us at SOAR!

Stephanie A. Herrera, Ed.D.

Principal, SOAR High School


Janet Andrews

Stephanie Herrera

Jaylene Schaeffer
Site Data Tech


Rika Moya
Head Counselor

Tracey Chainey