Programs & Curriculum


Our Programs
Learning Works has tailored its inschool and afterschool and community-based programs to address issues faced by its student population, including:


Our Curriculum
We believe that all students can excel academically despite the circumstances that may have caused them to leave school or fall significantly behind.  We provide an academically rigorous, independent study program that allows for meaningful, real-life connections to students’ experiences.  Through strong teacher-student relationships that allow for personalized learning and mentoring, we offer target students a viable opportunity to return and succeed on the path to education.


Standards-based Instruction
The LW curriculum and instructional program focuses on providing students with core academic skills based upon the California state content standards.  Unfortunately, students identified as being at-risk of educational failure often receive a “watered down” curriculum that emphasizes the acquisition only of the most basic academic skills.  Conversely, at LW, we believe that all students, especially those at-risk, need to be engaged in interesting and challenging learning that goes beyond basic proficiencies, and focuses on mastery of state content standards appropriate at each grade level.

Students will be offered the graduation requirements for the high school diploma and the opportunity to complete coursework aligned to the A-G requirements for attending a California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC). The A-G curricula requires completion of coursework with a C or better including Algebra II and two years of foreign language. At minimum, curriculum offerings and requirements include courses in the following subjects:

  • 4 years of English/language arts,
  • 2 years of math (including passing algebra)
  • 2 years of science (including passing biology)
  • 3 years of history/social studies,
  • 2 years of physical education,
  • 1 year of visual & performing arts, foreign language or career technical education
  • 2 years of specified electives: expository writing, health/computer technology, environmental science & financial literacy
  • 2 years of electives, choices include: work experience, career exploration, foreign language & artWORKS. Parenting is an additional, optional elective in the PPT program.

Personalized Learning
From our experience, we have found that in-crisis/high risk students often require intensive, individualized attention and support in order to succeed academically.  LWCS offers personalized learning for our students through multiple vehicles:

  • Teacher assigned to assist students in coursework
  • Individualized learning plans (ILPs) developed and monitored by counselor
  • Chaser that provides accountability and mentoring  and ensure students meet contract due dates
  • Tutor to assist student with difficult work
  • Social Work Intern from local universities to provide support services where and when needed.
  • Small group instruction (SGI) for tutoring, CAHSEE prep, and other subjects.

Alternative Education in an Independent Study Format




• Standards-based Instruction
• State-Adopted Textbooks
• A-G Curriculum Path
• Dual Enrollment at PCC
• Required Tutoring
• Teacher
• Chaser
• Tutor
• Social Worker
• Volunteers
• Fieldtrips as part of visual and performing arts, science, and social studies
• Health
• Community Service
• Work Experience


Although students can enter at any point to begin coursework, LWCS is organized around trimesters in order to structure the curriculum and credit accumulation Students will be enrolled in either four or five classes per trimester for a total of 60 units or 75 units per year depending on how credit deficient they are. LWCS follows the state and district graduation requirements.

Under our model, LW allows students the flexibility to schedule weekly meetings that work within their own schedule and to work on 1-3 class subjects at a time. All LWCS students are required to attend regularly scheduled appointments with teachers a minimum of one hour each, twice weekly tutoring sessions, actual classes/laboratories and fieldtrips focused on key classes.  Students who have been assessed as needing additional academic support will attend small group instruction (SGI) classes for an additional 2-4 hours a week.  This high level of teacher contact, communication and oversight provides the needed personal support, role-modeling and mentoring that our target students need to succeed.


Academic Credits
Students earn academic credits by completing the assigned class work from a credentialed teacher and demonstrating mastery of skills and learning. Within LWCS, students have the flexibility to work at their own pace and they may use more or less time than the average 60 classroom hours needed to complete a class of 5 academic credits. Class completion OR earning 5 academic credits means that the student has demonstrated that he/she has accomplished the course objectives for the class, as certified by the credentialed teacher. Satisfactory completion of classes is also demonstrated by earning a passing grade, from A to D, per LWCS guidelines.

Within an independent study program, students often must demonstrate MORE.


Grading Policy
The grade a student earns represents the credentialed teacher’s considered judgment of the degree to which the student has achieved the goals and objectives of the class. It represents the teacher’s professional judgment of the quality of the student’s work and the student’s degree of mastery.

A 90% –100% Complete and accurate work with complete and accurate project(s)
B 80% –89% Complete work, mostly accurate with complete, mostly accurate project(s)
C 70% –79% Complete and accurate work with no project OR partially accurate work with partially complete and accurate project(s)
D 60% –69% Incomplete and inaccurate work with no project
F 59% or below Incorrect, incomplete or unacceptable work with no project

*   Students who receive a D or below on an assignment, must review the assignment with the teacher and must attend tutoring

Grade Level Standing
Grade level standing is based on the total number of credits a student has earned in high school, within grades 9-12. The following grade level standings have been established at LWCS:

9th GradeFreshmen0-44 credits
10th gradeSophomores45-89 credits
11th GradeJuniors90-134 credits
12th GradeSeniors135-180 credits

Participation in Junior/Senior Activities
LWCS will host a Junior/Senior Prom in June. Students that have attained 100 credits by May 15th will be allowed to a purchase ticket(s) for the event. Students wishing to attend our Grad Nite will need to have 165 units completed by May 15th and have the approval of their teacher that they are on-track to graduate in June. Guests will not be allowed to this event.

Distribution of Textbooks and Course Materials
Students enrolled at LWCS will receive two (2) courses of textbooks at a time. A student must have his or her ID card present in order to check out a book. Once a student has completed a course, he or she must first return the unneeded text prior to receiving a new one. In the instance that a book is lost or damaged, it will be the family’s responsibility to cover the cost of the book. Payment arrangements are available upon request. Pursuant to Educational Code 48904.3, LWCS is required to withhold grades, diploma and the student’s transcript until the financial obligation has been cleared.

Student Services and Activities
LWCS will offer extracurricular activities for all our students. Student Council, field trips, LWCS student celebrations, and graduation are some of the many activities that are offered. We look forward to working with students to design our activities, services, and set the overall climate and culture for the school. Youth voice and involvement is very important to our school—please speak up and be involved. If you have any questions about services and activities, please visit or speak with our chasers.



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