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learn / 2016


Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by WISH Academy High School

Currently, there are no inclusive community high school options embracing (or even allowing) students of all abilities, including those with disabilities, to learn together in one inclusive setting.

Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

We are collaborating with the Los Angeles Unified School District and Loyola Marymount University schools of Education and Engineering.

Please describe your project proposal.

As many of our children are about to graduate eighth grade, they will once again be faced with the challenge of no inclusive school options. WISH Academy is designed to build on the unique and successful model of WISH Charter elementary and middle school, offering a rigorous, meaningful curriculum for ALL students - inclusive populations of students including those with mild, moderate and severe disabilities, as well as students who are designated as being high achieving and highly gifted.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Student education pipeline

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • South Bay
  • Gateway Cities
  • Antelope Valley
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

WISH Academy will serve as a small, high-performing 9th-12th grade school that will model best practices for inclusive education, university partnerships and a constructivist, interdisciplinary approach to instruction that leverages technology in a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. All students will graduate from WISH Academy as collaborative, informed, resourceful and reflective individuals who are college-ready, career-prepared and community-minded. As demonstrated by our International Fair exhibitions, Service Learning Culmination presentations and Annual Project open house, elementary and middle school students are prepared to problem-solve and be the environmental stewards of tomorrow. WISH Academy will utilize best practices in project-based and real world learning to foster refinement of key academic, social and ethical skills and attitudes that can only be developed when students of various abilities, needs and backgrounds learn together. There is a strong research base to support the education of children with disabilities alongside their non-disabled peers. WISH Academy will demonstrate the importance and broader benefits of a high school charter partnership with a university. As with our existing K-8 school, through our co-founding partnership with Loyola Marymount University, we will be able to provide our teachers with exceptional professional development by university faculty, offer a low student-adult ratio via LMU’s student teachers, and create a valuable feedback loop. In addition, LMU’s counseling students will support our college-ready commitment by counseling secondary high school students about college options and ways in which students can prepare to apply for colleges. Parents, community members and other industry professionals will bring real world learning and expertise into the classroom and beyond. There is a serious need for WISH Academy. There are very limited options for high schools in the area and the demand for viable high school options will only increase due to the proliferation of new families moving to the area employed by the Silicon Beach corporations in Playa Vista. More importantly, there are no inclusive high school education options. Period.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Several times a month the Principal will facilitate data chats with teachers to open dialogue, reflection and planning based on student achievement data. In order to support this process, the school will systematically collect and analyze student data on key demographic, behavioral and proficiency indicators. We will collect data through the implementation of a robust set of diagnostic and benchmark assessments that compliment the state standardized test data (SBAC, CELDT, etc.) and provide continuous information about student progress towards standards. We will use a variety of assessment tools to allow us to measure the depth of learning and competencies. We will consider what defines the growth of a student’s learning, and ensure that data collection remains an ongoing process throughout the academic year, using both qualitative and quantitative measures. Systems to measure the growth of our scholars will include: Mastery Based Digital Portfolios with goal setting at the outset, clear learning outcomes and evidence that demonstrates the mastery of content, Presentations of Learning - individual service based project connected to an internship and a student researched community identified problem, Exhibitions - Gold Standard PBL projects culminating each quarter that allows students to demonstrate their depth of knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills and ability to collaborate with peers on real-world issues and Curriculum based formative assessments.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Staff
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research