Our School History



Susan H. Nelson School History/ Timeline

1992- 1993

Temecula Valley Independent Study formed with only one teacher and one secretary in a single classroom located on the Rancho Vista Continuation High School campus (then housed at the district office site). A second teacher was eventually added as the program consistently grew.



Consistent growth continued and two more teachers were added.



Temecula Valley Independent Study was renamed “Rancho Santa Rosa High School” and teachers numbers five and six were hired.

2006- 2007

A seventh teacher was added to the staff and the school was moved to a new (larger) room on the same campus. Later that school year, another (half) classroom space was provided. By the end of the school year, four teachers worked in private/enclosed offices and two teachers worked in open offices, separated by a temporary wall.  

2007- 2008

The remainder of the half-room was used for student computers and tutoring in core classes until space issues arose the next fall.

2008- 2009

TVUSD Board of Education voted to close Sparkman Elementary School and reopen the site as Joan F. Sparkman Alternative Education Center. Then current principal, Dr. Richard Lawrence, requested that the name “Rancho Santa Rosa High School” be changed to “Susan H. Nelson High School” in honor of former teacher Mrs. Susan Nelson, who sadly lost her battle with cancer the previous year.   

2009- 2010

This year marked the most recent full self-study conducted by Susan H. Nelson (High) School, during which time SHN(H)S was granted a six-year accreditation with a one-day midterm review. A change in principals took place and Mr. Greg Cooke became the principal over Alternative Education in TVUSD.  

2011- 2012

The Excelsior Academy program was opened as a credit recovery option for severely credit-deficient fifth-year seniors, seniors, and juniors. Initially the program was not a part of Susan H. Nelson (High) School, and was housed in “bungalow” type classrooms, adjacent to the the Temecula Valley High School campus and immediately neighboring the Temecula Valley Adult School campus. SHNHS experienced a decline in enrollment and lost one teacher. A part-time assistant principal over alternative education was added to the site.  A part-time alternative education school psychologist position was also added.



Temecula Advantage Virtual School opened on the Sparkman campus as an online school option for students in grades six through twelve. Susan H. Nelson High School was renamed Susan H. Nelson School due to the addition of sixth grade. The most recent midterm progress-report was completed. One shared alternative education counseling position was eliminated. Nelson High School lost two teachers to retirement. Excelsior Academy became a program under the umbrella of Susan H. Nelson School. Biology labs were created for both Biology A and B. Nelson’s (traditional independent study) A-G courses were approved, with the exception of Foreign Language and Biology. The community service graduation requirement was increased from ten hours to forty hours, districtwide.   

2013- 2014

Advantage each gained one full-time teacher, Nelson lost one teacher to retirement. UCOP approved a fully A-G approved course of study for Advantage students, including lab sciences and world languages. SHNS staff began CCSS training.   



One teacher reduced their contract to 80%, enabling TAVS to hire one 20% Science position. A new full-time World Language/ ELA teacher was added to the TAVS staff. Lost categorical funding, implementation of LCAP.