REEDLEY – After 25 years in its current location, the Valley Regional Occupation Program (Valley ROP) administrative offices will move from Sanger to Reedley in spring 2024.
The new building will be near Reedley High School behind the tennis courts, off of Myrtle Avenue and Hollywood Drive. Valley ROP Superintendent Fabrizio Lofaro said the move comes from a need for more space and a desire to be closer to all of the districts Valley ROP works with.
“We serve seven school districts that range from Cutler-Orosi all the way to Sanger Unified, and all the districts in between. … Reedley is the center of our region,” Lofaro said. “We will be centrally located and … it will be a lot easier for our teachers to get to our district office.”
Lofaro said Valley ROP doubled its office staff in the last six years, so they need a larger space to accommodate their operations. They broke ground on the new building on Aug. 18 and construction is expected to wrap up in December, with facilities ready for move-in by spring.
Valley ROP provides career technical education to students in seven school districts, including Selma, Sanger, Parlier, Kings Canyon, Dinuba, Cutler-Orosi and Kingsburg Joint Unified High School.
Established in 1971 as a joint powers agreement, Valley ROP functions as its own school district within the Fresno County Office of Education, according to its website. Students who take classes through Valley ROP can receive high school credit or participate in dual enrollment courses through the State Center Community College District (SCCCD) or the College of the Sequoias (COS).
Support services provided from the Valley ROP administrative offices include business services like accounting and budgeting, an IT department and curriculum and instruction services that support teachers and students in Valley ROP programs. Lofaro said that they also work with Reedley College, which is a part of SCCCD, on the dual enrollment process and being in the same city as the college will help facilitate that process.
The new building being on Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD) grounds is in line with where the Valley ROP offices have been located in the past. They are currently on Sanger Unified School District (SUSD) grounds near Washington Academic Middle School and operated out of Parlier before that, Lofaro said.
Lofaro said he first approached the Valley ROP Governing Board about needing a bigger space around three years ago, at which point the board suggested Valley ROP begin a search for a good site.
“At that point we did a quick study, we looked at our regions and we wanted to address the fact that we wanted to be centrally located,” Lofaro said.
Through working with KCUSD Superintendent John Campbell, they found the new spot for the Valley ROP offices and Lofaro received approval from the Valley ROP board to move to the new location, he said.
According to Lofaro, what some people do not realize about Valley ROP is that it is a publicly-funded school district that serves its joint powers agreement between other school districts to specifically create and support career technical programs.
“We’re not a private organization. … I’m just a school district, just like anyone else,” Lofaro said. “One of the differences is that we don’t have physical schools or buildings; we work with the different school districts to house our programs at their schools.”