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The Academic Leadership Learning Community School for Advanced Studies

Updated Mar 30, 2017
322 S. Lucas Ave. - Los Angeles CA - 90017
Type of autonomy arrangement: pilot schools
Basic Profile

Opened In

2007

Grades

9 through 12

Environment

Urban

Type

District - Pilot
Autonomies
Select leaders
Determine learning program
Select colleagues
Determine professional development
Transfer or terminate colleagues
Determine whether to take, when to take, how much to count district/EMO/authorizer assessments
Determine tenure policy
Make formal arrangements with district/EMO/authorizer to allow multiple measures in determining school success (not only a mean proficiency score)
Evaluate colleagues
Set schedule
Set staff pattern
Determine teacher workday
Determine school budget
Set school-level policy
Determine compensation
Teacher Authority Is...
De Jure and De Facto

De jure authority is granted to the school governing board via the pilot agreement, which is in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between LAUSD and UTLA. The MOU gives the board authority to make decisions in some areas. De facto, the governing board transfers this authority to the teachers, who collectively make decisions in areas indicated.

In addition to the MOU, teachers collectively write an Elect to Work Agreement (EWA) for their site on an annual basis that outlines the working conditions at the school that are different from those outlined in the collective bargaining agreement between the district and union. For example, they can expand their own work hours, require participation in school events, and expand professional development requirements. This is a means to exercise more autonomy at the school level, at the will of the teachers. Teachers at the site vote on the terms they outline in the EWA, and anyone who does not agree to work under the conditions will enter the district’s hiring pool and default to the working conditions outlined in the existing collective bargaining agreement.

About the Learning Program

The ALC Vision

The Academic Leadership Community (ALC) believes that a healthy intersection of rigorous academics, leadership opportunities and a nurturing community will empower our students to reach their academic and professional potential. Thus, we declare our vision and purpose to be:

Providing a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum and encouraging lifelong learning,

  • cultivating each student’s unique leadership identity,
  • and fostering a community that includes students, staff, families and community partners united to encourage students.

The ALC pursues excellence in:

ACADEMICS

Our instruction in all disciplines is challenging, intellectually stimulating, and culturally and linguistically relevant. Classes are rigorous as to prepare all students for college level academics in the English language, mathematics, the sciences, technology, personal and global health, and foreign language. All students are included in our college preparatory curriculum and are encouraged to take honors and advanced placement courses when appropriate. Students are taught to take ownership of their education, analyze personal data, and use logical, high-level thinking to question and make connections between various areas of study and their lives, communities, and the world.

Specific methods of note-taking, text analysis, inquiry, writing, organization and lesson design are used across all disciplines. Students are taught to express themselves in discussion using Socratic methods and to collaborate and explore. Instruction promotes precise and creative expression, and students learn to structure an argument and express a sound and critical grasp of ideas. The evaluation of learning is based on clear rubrics, authentic and portfolio assessment, state assessments, the high school exit exam, and college entrance tests. At each grade level students prepare an interdisciplinary portfolio and presentation to demonstrate mastery and internalization of curricula. Seniors will prepare a thesis project and present to a panel of teachers, staff, family, peers and community members upon graduation.

LEADERSHIP

The ALC is committed to working with all students and helping them foster their unique leadership qualities. Students are encouraged to be involved in all aspects of the school community and to advocate for themselves and their peers. Students develop and pursue personal, academic goals and envision themselves as learners working to become academically prepared for college. Each student is an important part of our community and is expected to support the learning goals of their peers.

Students are nurtured and challenged to discover their individual strengths and to overcome areas of personal challenge. Each student’s identity as a competent, lifelong learner and agent of positive change is promoted.

COMMUNITY

The ALC recruits faculty and staff that are supportive of its vision and goals. Staff members are well trained in their fields and are committed to excellence, continued study and leadership. Faculty and staff envision themselves as co-learners with students, and as such respect student ideas and abilities and work to empower students to realize their greatest potential. Staff members are available and approachable; and students are able to trust that all who work on behalf of the ALC do so with students’ interests at heart.

A hospitable learning environment is diligently pursued. All stakeholders -- including students, parents, faculty, staff, and community members -- collaborate and share responsibility for the formation of an academic community based on mutual respect, friendship, communication and a shared commitment to the vision of the community. The ALC fosters relationships with professionals and community groups that want to be a part of our community and share their expertise in various fields. Parents are welcomed on campus as partners to ensure student success. We believe that fostering positive links between home, school and community will enable student success.

As a result: We measure our success by the lives of our alumni. If our students are able to continue their education after high school, pursue careers in harmony with their strengths and desires, exhibit community leadership, and experience general satisfaction in life, then the ALC has fulfilled this vision.