East Palo Alto Academy‘s goal is to prepare students to be independent learners who will succeed in college and the 21st century world and workplace. The distinguishing habits of mind and action that will support students in achieving not only academic success, but also self-regulated learning and collaborative problem solving are:
Critical and Creative Thinking
Application of Knowledge
We promote this development in a small, student-centered, and supportive context with close attention to the needs of each individual youth.
Our Core curriculum is aligned with state standards and UC/CSU A-G requirements. The core consists of:
4 years of English
3 years of Mathematics (4 recommended)
3 years of Science (4 recommended)
2 years of Spanish
1 year of Art
In addition to these A-G requirements, our students must also complete:
Advisory (4 years)
Our Advisory program pairs each student with a caring adult at the school who knows them well, communicates with their parents, and monitors and guides their progress. Each teacher is assigned a small group of 10-15 students. These groups meet at least three days each week and students receive ten units towards graduation each year. The advisory program is important in helping our staff create a positive, trusting school climate. Many students remain in contact with their advisors long after graduation.
Exhibitions (4 required, 1 each year)
Each year, our students demonstrate their learning through an exhibition. Exhibitions incorporate project-based learning and are designed to promote student learning in a number of ways:
Students develop research, writing, and presentation skills
Students become competent in the subject matter
Students demonstrate mastery of the Five Habits of Mind
We invite members of the community to join teachers and staff in judging our student exhibitions. This strengthens our community ties while preparing our students for the transition to the wider world where they will have to prove their understanding and skills to a larger public.
Early College Program (Encouraged, not required)
The Early College Program at EPAA provides access to college courses for EPAA students and an opportunity to experience the culture and rigor of college coursework early in their high school careers.
Credit-bearing college courses are offered to students, based on their readiness and interest, through a partnership with Cañada College.
In addition to courses that will transfer to two- and four-year colleges, the Early College program has career pathways in place that allow students to gain headway on certification in the health sciences and early childhood education.