Compass High School offers a dynamic college preparatory program with an array of accommodations and modifications tailored to each student to ensure mastery of challenging content. We use many excellent research-based instructional programs for students with learning differences that incorporate multisensory instruction into their designs. We facilitate a team approach in which teachers, speech and language specialists, occupational therapists, and psychotherapists are available to collaborate on an integrated, individualized program.
Our college preparatory curriculum provides students with a rigorous course of study in a supportive environment. Small classes 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 and dual enrollment in college courses with teacher support.
Our homework policies and support build independence and self-advocacy skills. Students’ educational experiences are enriched through experiential, hands-on activities, including vibrant arts and athletic programs.
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. Past offerings include Spanish, Film Studies, Photography, Psychology, Art, Drama, and Music.
At Compass, we recognize that students who learn differently often experience intense struggles with homework for a variety of reasons. Challenges 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 philosophy is to provide a supportive, structured, and manageable homework load. We assign roughly half the homework that is typical in high schools, about one-and-a-half hours per night. Teachers also offer after-school office hours four days a week.
We are always seeking the sweet spot of learning. The 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 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, readers, scribes, supports for time and assignments management, assistive technology, and checks for understanding.
Accreditation and Certification
Compass High School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).