Swan Valley School District is dedicated to actively involving students and adults in achieving their maximum potential by providing focused, high quality programs which prepare them to be self-sufficient citizens, promoting our district as a community resource, and building partnerships with business, service groups, and residents of the community.
About The District
The Swan Valley School District is located in the southeastern portion of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, five miles west of Saginaw and is within 20 minutes driving time of Saginaw Valley State University. The district’s 20-square miles has several subdivisions and new site developments. Approximately 300 home sites have been approved for development. Swan Valley benefits from the industrial base within the Saginaw, Bay and Midland County region. Of major importance are Saginaw Division, Central Foundry, Dow Chemical and Dow Corning. The community enjoys a sound economic climate, with heads of households in the district generally in the middle-age bracket, with school age children and above average incomes and skills. Population is quite stable with some growth having occurred during the past few years. Home valuations range from $50,000 to $300,000. The school district embraces the community education philosophy whereby all area residents benefit from the supplemental programs and services. These programs and services have evolved as a result of continuous leadership and assessment of area needs and concerns, in cooperation with existing community agencies.
Enrollment in the Swan Valley School District is around 1800, which includes Young 5’s through adult education students. The enrollment has remained fairly steady since 1987-88. Approximately 90 percent of the graduating seniors will be going on to further their education and the school has a drop-out rate of less than three percent. As of the opening of the 1998-99 school year, the high school has 5 computer labs and computers available for students and teachers in each classroom. Swan Valley High School is now fully accredited by the North Central Association and is pursuing the School Improvement Endorsement. Swan Valley Middle School has also acquired North Central Association accreditation. The school consists of grades six through eight and has nearly 400 students.
An Academic Track program, the Saginaw County Spelling Bee, the America and Me Essay Contest and the Michigan Trivia contest are just some of the extra items that a student can participate in at the middle school. Along with these, a full compliment of sports is offered.
There are two elementary schools in the Swan Valley School District. Both consist of grades kindergarten through five. Robert B. Havens Elementary opened in the fall of 1971. It has 15 classrooms plus a computer room and library with about 300 students. Seventeen percent of the students come from families whose income make the students eligible for either free or reduced price lunches and milk. The socio-economic blend is lower, middle and upper class families with a trend toward middle and upper classes. Shields Elementary has a current enrollment of 400 students. All teachers are certified in elementary education and have extensive hours and training beyond their bachelor’s degree. Each elementary school has a computer lab and three computers per classroom. Both elementary schools and the middle school have a number of special programs to help students learn. Title I is a federally funded general education program that provides support services to students with the greatest academic needs in reading and math. It is a reinforcement to the classroom lessons and approximately 250 students receive help each year. The state funded “at risk” program supplements the school year program for students in grades one to 10. Another program that is incorporated in both schools is Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). This occurs three times each year and all students in grades one through five select a paperback book to keep. The purpose of the program is to show students that reading is fun. Activities planned around each of these days make it a special happening. A preschool program is available at Havens Elementary for three and four year olds. Two 17-week sessions are held during the school year. The fees charged pay for the expenses such as a teacher and an aide as well as supplies.
Swan Valley School District is actively involved in school improvement, site-based management, curriculum and professional development. The curriculum has been revised and aligned to the Michigan Standards and Benchmarks in Science, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and World Languages. Building staffs spend seven half-days working on curriculum related activities in order to strengthen teaching and learning. The community continues to provide support and passed a $6.9 million bond in June, 1997 for the renovation of school buildings and the addition of technology. All of the work has been completed and now Swan Valley students have the tools necessary for the 21st century. All of the schools have access to the internet from within each classroom. Over 450 computers have been placed in the schools.
Swan Valley High School offers several Men’s and Women’s Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity sports, including:
- Ice Hockey
- Football – Final four 2006, 2010, 2012
- Competitive Cheer
- Pom Pon- Class B State Champs 2012
- Cross Country
- Bowling – Women’s State Champs 2008
- Track & Field – State Champs Mario Guerrero, Jeramey Bierlein, Marck Berden, Herb Waits
- Wrestling – State Champs BJ Suitor (2007, 2008, 2009), Troy Lamson 2010, Jake Jeske 2009; Team Top-8 Finishes in 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010
- Baseball – State Champs 2000
- Softball – State Champs 1986, State Runner-up 2002, 2012, Final Four 2011
Swan Valley has a rich history of athletics, which aim to teach sportsmanship and physical fitness for the student athletes. Since 1972 Swan Valley’s varsity football team has accumulated a regular season record of 248 wins and 120 losses (.674 winning percentage). In 2006 the Varsity football team won the conference, district, and regional championships. They also earned a final four appearance and had 2 all-state selections. That same year the girl’s basketball team won the district championship, the wrestling team won the conference championship and sent 4 wrestlers to the state finals with BJ Suitor going undefeated for the year. In 2007 the girls softball team won the district and regional championships with 2 all-state selections, and the boys track team won the regional championship. They came in 4th at the team state meet and 3rd at individual state meet netting 10 all-state runners. Three Seniors were awarded Academic All-State honors. The school added Varsity Bowling in 2003. In 2008 the girls varsity bowling team went undefeated and won the state championship. From 1986-2003 the Girls softball team won the conference championship all but three years. In 2009, the varsity football team won district and regional championships final four appearance. This football team also produced one all-state selection and two all-state honorable mention players.
Swan Valley High School offers some clubs and organizations including Band, Drama, media center, Scientific Sorcerers, Student Council, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Business Professionals of America, National Honor Society, International Club, student store, Quiz Bowl, and Breakfast Club which is a morning workout club intended to keep athletes in shape during the winter.
Swan Valley High School has been awarded the Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary School Award 2005-2006. Blue Ribbon Schools are models of both excellence and equity. To be recognized, a school must demonstrate a strong commitment to educational excellence for all students. The program recognizes schools that have demonstrated success in achieving these values as well as schools that have overcome obstacles and can provide evidence of five years of sustained student achievement.
Demographic and Administrative Information
Swan Valley’s student to teacher ratio is 19 students to every 1 teacher. 93% of the students are white, 3% black, 3% Hispanic, and 1% other. 25% of the students receive free or reduced lunch and the average attendance rate for the school is 95%. Swan Valley spends $7,279 per-pupil with 65% going to instructional costs, 8% to student and staff support, 12% to administration and 15% for other. Currently Swan Valley offers two Advanced Placement classes (Literature & Composition and Calculus) but others are offered as an independent study. The Michigan Department of Education gave Swan Valley High School an “A” for the Michigan Education “YES!” program.