The small schools movement, the Internationals Network for Public Schools, and the mission of the Oakland Unified School District have all informed and shaped the values of our school. These values are:
1. Heterogeneity and Collaboration -- Students work in heterogenous groups in all their classes--this allows them many opportunities to practice English with each other, creating bridges across cultural and linguistic differences. Teachers are also expected to collaborate with each other within their teams, departments, and committees. We believe that dialogue and communication within diverse groups of students and teachers are essential to our goal of helping our students learn English and graduate on time.
2. Experiential Learning -- Teachers engage students through project-based learning, hands-on experiments, and multimedia. We believe that students who are engaged in the learning process are more motivated and eager to learn in all their academic content areas.
3. Language/Content Integration -- All of our teachers are language teachers. They incorporate multiple opportunities for speaking, listening, writing, and reading in all their classes.
4. Localized Autonomy & Responsibility -- As an alternative school within the Oakland Unified School District, we have the great privilege and the great responsibility to create high-quality curricula and assessments that are appropriate for our unique student population. Our team, department, and committee structures provide teachers with many opportunities to lead and to create sustainable structures that benefit our students.
5. One Learning Model for All -- The collaborative structures in which students work and learn mirrors those in which faculty work and learn, capitalizing on everyone's diverse strengths and maximizing their ability to support one another.
6. Rigor -- Part of our mission statement is focused on preparing students for college and the workplace--we aim to do this by ensuring that our curricula and assessments are rigorous and aligned to common core standards. We evaluate students based on effort, growth in English, and mastery of the content in each class and we provide regular feedback to students about their progress in their classes.
7. Nurturing Immigrant Students -- Our students are among the most under-served in the nation and here in Oakland. They come to us with a variety of social, emotional, and academic needs. Our vision of being a full service community school centers on our desire to fully serve the needs of our students and their families through special classes, after-school support, and constant communication with parents.
8. Education as a Civil Right -- We believe that everyone has the right to an education. We are a public school and we are open to all recently arrived immigrants in the city of Oakland, regardless of the time of their entry to the United States or their educational background. We serve many students who have never attended school before or who need a great deal of support in addition to academics. We strive to be an open and welcoming environment for every student who wants to learn English and graduate from high school.