Our mission is to foster meaningful growth with students, faculty, and staff in the intellectual character virtues in a thoughtful, challenging, and supportive academic environment. It is important that our students and their families feel a sense of belonging and connection. Here are some of the programs and activities we have put in place to ensure we caring community, while maintaining our expectations of engagement and rigor.
Diversity and Equity
Our goal is to create a respectful and responsive community where each member is valued and supported.
In order to achieve this goal, we:
- Actively recruit and support students, teachers, and staff from diverse backgrounds.
- Foster confident self-identity while building empathy and relationships with people from diverse backgrounds.
- Commit ourselves to an anti-bias agenda that celebrates diversity and challenges inequality and all forms of bias.
- Empower students as leaders to stand up for themselves and others to create a more just world.
- Implement several educational and support programs to develop students’ empathy and appreciation of one another.
We understand the reflection, dedication, and perseverance necessary to meet our goal. We believe meeting this challenge will make us stronger as individuals and as a community.
The Academy welcomes any and all Long Beach incoming 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students to apply. We believe in an equitable learning opportunity for all students in a high quality, college preparatory environment; therefore do not require a minimum GPA or High School Index.
Led by our Director of Student Services, and graduate level counseling interns, our counseling team facilitates counseling groups, and meets one-on-one with students, to emphasize our positive culture, as well as our community values and virtues. At the Academy, we believe teaching students about emotional and social wellness can be as important as academic content. All students can benefit from social and emotional support, explicit teaching about coping strategies, and practice on being an ally to their peers.
Every student will learn about self- awareness, social development, and social justice issues. Our goal is for each student to engage with an open mind and the courage to ask questions, to seek a better understanding of themselves and others. While each grade level is different based on developmental needs, counseling groups include discussion, role plays, and games to help students develop their social and emotional skills. These skills are also taught in our advisory program.
One element of our discipline process is to hold Restorative Conversations which are adopted from restorative practices.
It is our goal to create the most positive, least disruptive learning environment for our students. We serve high school students and this age brings with it all the complications of growth and development. The combination of the age of our students, and our role as a public school to serve all students, means that we cannot promise an environment free from disruptions, but we can commit to minimizing the seriousness and frequency of disruptions caused by student misbehavior through our school's policies. In order to prioritize learning at the Academy, we take very seriously any distraction that might stop our students from being provided a positive learning environment. It is a part of our model of education to capitalize as best we can on mistakes, failures, struggles, and other "disruptions" as, potentially, teachable moments.
The Academy values a Restorative approach towards student behaviors and academics to ensure equitable practices.
- This model creates a safer, more caring environment.
- Establishes a more effective teaching and learning dynamic.
- Creates a greater awareness of the importance of connection, addresses the need for belonging and feeling valued by all members of our community.
- Creates more confidence in staff team to address difficult situations together.
- Reduces bullying and other interpersonal conflicts.
- Acknowledges that relationships are central to building community
- Ensures equity in voice among all members of our community. All voices are valued, and everyone is heard.
- Establishes a culture of high expectations of support, emphasizing doing things WITH others.
- Builds systems that address misbehavior and harm in a way that strengthens relationships and focuses on the harm done rather than only rule-breaking.
- Engages in collaborative problem solving.
- Enhances accountability, responsibility and empowers change and growth for all members of the community.
Adapted from Amstutz, L., & Mullet, J., (2005), pg 29-32.The Little Book of Restorative Discipline, pg 26-28 Wachtel & Costello (2009), The Restorative Practices Handbook, International Institute for Restorative Practices.
The Academy prioritizes relationships as essential to a supportive learning environment. In addition to building a positive classroom culture, we set aside time, twice a month to celebrate the learning that is happening at the Academy, as a community. Students and teachers take turns highlighting the thinking and learning taking place in their classrooms and embrace the authentic platform to develop their presentation skills. Students develop their voice, and are given the opportunity to listen to the diverse perspectives of their classmates. We also take time to celebrate individual community members who have demonstrated at least one of the virtues through our Virtue Ceremony.
Academy Special Education
Students are taught how to resolve conflicts within our community through a restorative lens. Conflicts happen when people have different opinions, are not showing respect for one another, or simply misunderstand intentions. Resolving conflict involves communicating effectively and reaching a compromise. We believe this is a life skill students will use in all aspects of their relationships.
The Academy’s Inclusion Model is committed to ensuring that children with disabilities and special needs have equal access to full participation in inclusive learning environments.
The Academy’s definition of inclusion:
- Children with and without disabilities participate in recreation and learning activities together.
- Modifications and accommodations to routines and activities are made so that all children can benefit.
- ALL children are welcomed and have the sense of belonging!
Benefits of inclusion:
English Language Learners
The Academy is committed to the success of English Language Learners (ELs) and will meet all federal and state requirements for serving these students, including initial and annual identification and assessment of primary and secondary language, fluency in listening, speaking, reading and writing, reclassification of ELs and communication with parents/guardians of ELs.
Teachers, administrators and advisors will work collaboratively to provide ELs full access to the curriculum and to facilitate English language development. The focus of the EL program is to ensure equal access to differentiated instructional materials and supports so these students make grade-level progress on the core curriculum and achieve English language proficiency in all areas of communication and graduate college and career ready.
Supporting Students' Use of Technology
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Supporting Your Child's Learning
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