College Preparatory Academic Curriculum


For students interested in continuing their education at two- or four-year colleges or universities upon graduation, Compass offers coursework that meets the “a-g requirements” necessary for entrance into  the University of California (U.C.) and California State University (CSU). The College Preparatory Curriculum provides students with a rigorous course of study in a supportive environment.  Our small class size and multisensory instruction enable students to master advanced content, and achieve success with our flexible approach to grading, testing, and homework. For students in need of additional challenge in their areas of strength, we individualize instruction to offer students challenging assignments, honors options, and dual enrollment in college courses with teacher support.

Priority Admission
Deadline, Feb. 1

Current Parent

“Compass has turned out to be a good place for [my son] to feel emotionally safe and available to learn. I think the best thing about Compass is the number of talented teachers.”

Current Parent

“It is very difficult to find a program for a child, who needs some extra help and support, a child, who is learning at a pace different from regular peers. The first time I visited Compass High School I was not only impressed, I was shocked, in a good way!...

Current Parent

“There is a very high level of individualization, school truly “teaches each and every child”

Current Parent

“Different methods, tools, technology, are used to accommodate kids with different learning challenges and learning styles.”

Compass High Student

“The most impactful part of Compass are the small classes and really being able to connect with the teachers. I feel comfortable making a mistake because my teacher’s know it is a part of the learning process.”

Compass High Student

”Teachers will work with us instead of giving up on us.”

Essential Skills Program (ESP)

Our Essential Skills Program (ESP) is a distinctive program that provides research-based, targeted support for the development of skills in reading (decoding, fluency, and comprehension), composition, study skills, social skills, and transition to higher education and work. Each course pairs respected instructional programs (like Slingerland, Visualizing and Verbalizing, Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking, Step up to Writing, and the SMARTS curriculum for executive functioning) with cutting-edge assistive technology tools. The ESP courses are comparable to educational therapy and counseling support but in a small group setting and for over four hours per week and they are included in our tuition. This combination of expert instructors, research-based curriculum, and significant time, results in impressive growth in literacy, executive function, and independence. These five intensive courses are offered as electives, and each Compass student must take at least two of the Essential Skills courses to graduate.

Electives

Elective courses at Compass offer engaging, structured, and challenging opportunities for students to become skilled while pursuing various interests. Clustered in three areas (the arts, physical education/health, and technology), our elective courses do not require any background knowledge or previous experience. Students’ preferences are regularly surveyed to determine elective offerings.

Homework

At Compass, we recognize that students who learn differently often experience intense struggles with homework for a variety of reasons. Weaknesses in executive functioning (planning, initiating, organizing of time and materials, etc.) and academic skills have often contributed to difficulties with homework. By the time they reach high school, many students lack the motivation and confidence to complete homework consistently.

Our homework philosophy is to provide a supportive, structured and manageable homework load. We ensure that students have recorded their assignments and due dates, and have made a plan for completing the work. We offer an online reference for homework. We assign roughly half the homework that is typical in high schools, about one to one-and-a-half hours per night.

We also provide a quiet place where students can work on homework with assistance. This is the Homework Center. The Homework Center is open from 3:30pm to 5:30pm every day. Cost is $12/hour, calculated on a quarterly basis. Please contact us for additional details.

Accommodations and Modifications

We are always seeking the sweet spot of learning, that place where students are challenged and stimulated but not frustrated and overwhelmed.

Accommodations are variations in the way content is taught without changing the academic standards. We offer students many accommodations and we don’t insist that students ask for them. We promote self-advocacy and a growing awareness of what strategies and accommodations work best for each student. For students in need of additional support, accommodations may include: extra time, space to work alone, alternative tests, readers, scribes, supportive notes, texts written at a lower reading level, many supports for time and assignments management, assistive technology, checks for understanding, as well as alternative assignments.

Modifications are changes to the content that significantly simplify instruction. Some students require alternative curriculum, problem sets, tests or courses that do not satisfy college entry requirements. With our robust accommodations, modifications are often not necessary. When we think a student requires a modified curriculum, we confer with the family to make the decision together.

Accreditation and Certification

Compass is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Essential Skills Program (ESP)

Our Essential Skills Program (ESP) is a distinctive program that provides research-based, targeted support for the development of skills in reading (decoding, fluency, and comprehension), composition, study skills, social skills, and transition to higher education and work. Each course pairs respected instructional programs (like Slingerland, Visualizing and Verbalizing, Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking, Step up to Writing, and the SMARTS curriculum for executive functioning) with cutting-edge assistive technology tools. The ESP courses are comparable to educational therapy and counseling support but in a small group setting and for over four hours per week and they are included in our tuition. This combination of expert instructors, research-based curriculum, and significant time, results in impressive growth in literacy, executive function, and independence. These five intensive courses are offered as electives, and each Compass student must take at least two of the Essential Skills courses to graduate.

Electives

Elective courses at Compass offer engaging, structured, and challenging opportunities for students to become skilled while pursuing various interests. Clustered in three areas (the arts, physical education/health, and technology), our elective courses do not require any background knowledge or previous experience. Students’ preferences are regularly surveyed to determine elective offerings.

Homework

At Compass, we recognize that students who learn differently often experience intense struggles with homework for a variety of reasons. Weaknesses in executive functioning (planning, initiating, organizing of time and materials, etc.) and academic skills have often contributed to difficulties with homework. By the time they reach high school, many students lack the motivation and confidence to complete homework consistently.

Our homework philosophy is to provide a supportive, structured and manageable homework load. We ensure that students have recorded their assignments and due dates, and have made a plan for completing the work. We offer an online reference for homework. We assign roughly half the homework that is typical in high schools, about one to one-and-a-half hours per night.

We also provide a quiet place where students can work on homework with assistance. This is the Homework Center. The Homework Center is open from 3:30pm to 5:30pm every day. Cost is $12/hour, calculated on a quarterly basis. Please contact us for additional details.

Accommodations and Modifications

We are always seeking the sweet spot of learning, that place where students are challenged and stimulated but not frustrated and overwhelmed.

Accommodations are variations in the way content is taught without changing the academic standards. We offer students many accommodations and we don’t insist that students ask for them. We promote self-advocacy and a growing awareness of what strategies and accommodations work best for each student. For students in need of additional support, accommodations may include: extra time, space to work alone, alternative tests, readers, scribes, supportive notes, texts written at a lower reading level, many supports for time and assignments management, assistive technology, checks for understanding, as well as alternative assignments.

Modifications are changes to the content that significantly simplify instruction. Some students require alternative curriculum, problem sets, tests or courses that do not satisfy college entry requirements. With our robust accommodations, modifications are often not necessary. When we think a student requires a modified curriculum, we confer with the family to make the decision together.

Accreditation and Certification

Compass is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Priority Admission
Deadline, Feb. 1

Current Parent

“Compass has turned out to be a good place for [my son] to feel emotionally safe and available to learn. I think the best thing about Compass is the number of talented teachers.”

Current Parent

“It is very difficult to find a program for a child, who needs some extra help and support, a child, who is learning at a pace different from regular peers. The first time I visited Compass High School I was not only impressed, I was shocked, in a good way!...

Current Parent

“There is a very high level of individualization, school truly “teaches each and every child”

Current Parent

“Different methods, tools, technology, are used to accommodate kids with different learning challenges and learning styles.”

Compass High Student

“The most impactful part of Compass are the small classes and really being able to connect with the teachers. I feel comfortable making a mistake because my teacher’s know it is a part of the learning process.”

Compass High Student

”Teachers will work with us instead of giving up on us.”

Compass is a proud member school of the National Association of Independent Schools