When we asked our students and families to describe Westchester Secondary Charter School in three words or less, we kept hearing the same three phrases:
Rigorous. Personal. Community-Focused.
As an independently-authorized and accredited charter school, we are able to offer our families the best of two worlds: public education along with all the benefits of an independent school-- a truly college preparatory curriculum, a 13:1 student faculty ratio, and partnerships with organizations and corporations that take our classrooms out into the world around us. Our goal is to grow young people who are not only responsive to the world around them, but who have been seen, valued and educated in ways that allow them the confidence and character to serve their communities.
The 2015-2016 school year will be our third year and we will serve over 325 students in grades 6-11. Besides continuing to develop an academic program that includes AP courses and at least 2 fine art electives per student each year, we are building strong relationships with parents, local businesses, and community groups, all of whom recognize the need for a community-based secondary school for Westchester and its surrounding communities.
Our rigorous and comprehensive curriculum means that we cover all subjects, including arts, humanities, foreign languages, mathematics, science, and athletics. We do not ask our students to specialize, but rather make sure that they have a firm foundation in all subjects, allowing them greater options for college and the working world.
WSCS is a secondary “span” charter school (grades 6-12), targeted to serve a diverse student population in Westchester and the other communities that have traditionally attended Westchester schools, including Playa del Rey, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, and Playa Vista. WSCS was designed to incorporate many of the features that families from these target communities look for in a secondary school, based on what most of them end up choosing. To that end, WSCS:
- embraces diversity and tradition by targeting the communities that have historically attended Westchester schools;
- offers a span program covering grades 6-12, like that of LACES and other successful secondary school settings; offers smaller classes and personal attention to help all students achieve, regardless of background or needs;
- offers a comprehensive and personal, college-preparatory program that will have the arts as a priority in its budget, like the Hamilton magnets or other nearby public high schools;
- works with the Westchester community businesses and organizations to support student development.
WSCS is not a "specialty" school nor does it have a single academic focus. We believe in the power of the comprehensive high school experience, and that students should not have to choose a specialty school to get the kind of experiences such a school offers, whether it be a strong science program, inspiring humanities classes, athletics (even if a student doesn’t plan on going pro), or the chance to shine on stage in the high school musical (even if a student’s goal is not to become a Broadway star).
Most of all, we want to grow young people whose character and confidence means that are prepared to both enlighten and serve the communities around them as they move off to college and into the world.