We know students learn best when they are known by the adults in their school and supported by expert educators to grow and develop at their own pace. At We the People High School, we believe students learn best when these six components are in place:

 1.    Students are positioned as sense-makers and instruction is inquiry-driven.

2.    Curriculum is relevant to students’ lives and has real-world application.

3.    Instruction is personalized to meet the needs of students.

4.    Students see themselves and their peers as a force for social change.

5.    Teachers continuously improve their craft through collaboration, professional development, and leadership.

6.    Data is used to make decisions about differentiation and personalization.


grade 9: apprenticeship in the local context

The saying, “all politics is local” is taken up in Grade 9 where we focus on building an understanding of who we are, our shared and unique histories, and how we can work together to solve problems we face today in Long Beach and greater Los Angeles.  In “Civics: Be the Change” students are apprenticed in the disciplines of civics, economics, geography and history in the local context. In environmental science, students tackle grand challenges such as climate change, resource use, and environmental quality. Using Long Beach as their “lab,” students explore these grand challenges in their own communities to create solutions for a more sustainable future through Democracy In Action intensives. Through their Integrated Math 1 course, students develop knowledge and expertise in multiple strands of mathematics and learn to use appropriate strands and tools to explain and unpack overarching questions.  In Art and Social Change, students explore local examples to investigate how art and artists tell the story of our region, its history and diversity in the past and present. And in ELA, students work with text sets of fiction and non-fiction, exploring the genres of memoir, autobiography and oral history. Spanish courses are oriented toward active use of language to communicate and educate.


grade 10: apprenticeship in global thinking and action

In grade 10, students shift their focus from the local to the global.  Students will learn how to think about scale in Big History investigating problems and questions that span hundreds, thousands, and millions of years.  The literature that students read – both fiction and non-fiction – will reflect the histories and cultures studied in Big History. Investigations in chemistry and Integrated Math 2 position students to use modeling and explanation to educate others about ocean acidification, the challenges of transitioning to a green port and economy, and strategies for cleaning our air. Global art and social change positions students to investigate and create art that expresses and critiques culture and history. 


grade 11: united states in the world

By grade 11, students are ready to use the skills and knowledge from the previous two years to engage in using their learning to generate and shape big questions and projects within subject matter and across multiple subjects and in multiple languages.  Coursework will still be designed to be integrative in nature, apprenticing students in making connections thematically and factually.  Students are supported to take critical stances in the disciplines to explain change over time, human/environment interaction, and use various tools and resources to educate and generate new ideas. Democracy in Action workshops will shift to interning outside of school in organizations working to fulfill the Global Goals. 


grade 12: me in the world - forging the path for my future

In the final year of high school, students will exercise more choice and decision-making both within and outside of school as they look ahead to college and career.  Students will have the opportunity to choose courses in the sciences and the humanities that mimic the work of college-level courses either by delving deeply into a specific area of study or discipline, or by taking AP courses in areas that they may be interested in pursuing in college.  They will use their time in advisory to work on college applications and essays, and will receive the full support of the college counselors and teaching staff.  Students will choose the issues they want to work on and the organizations they want to work with.