Q: My student desires a large social pool and we feel that is important. Is sloCAHS too small?
A: High School is a time of social development, exploration and challenges. Ideally, it is a time to develop friendships that will last for years to come. While a smaller setting can bring its own challenges, it also brings opportunities for what we believe are at the heart of social growth — students form a peer group in which they can know and be known; virtue is seen as admirable; they must face relational challenges rather than hide from them; they experience support from teachers and peers; they feel safe to truly be who they are; they are an important part of the community. Social interactions are characterized by naturalness and good humor, a challenge by peers to be all they can be, and a commitment to seeing each other through the ups and downs of being a teenager.
sloCAHS does not offer a perfect high school social environment - there will always be difficulties and hurdles; but it does offer a different approach to these challenges - one where staff and students alike are committed to growing through each season together.
Some have wondered if the smaller social setting can prepare students for “real life” beyond high school. There are many “real life” skills to learn for us all, and we’ve found that the smaller setting creates more opportunities for learning social and relational skills than does a larger pool. The normal high school social challenges are presented to each HS student at sloCAHS, but those challenges are faced with support and encouragement in the context of community. In addition, because sloCAHS students are so equipped with the ability to think and to stand firm in beliefs and convictions, and because they were given the gift of having their minds and hearts expanded and prepared with a strong liberal arts education, they will be more prepared for “real life” than the average high school student. They leave confident in who they are and prepared to deal with other environments.
Q: How does sloCAHS help students prepare for college?
A: We know that getting into college can be an intimidating process for any high school student, but especially for those who choose a non-traditional schooling option. Whether our students plan or choose to attend college after graduation, they will be well-prepared for that opportunity.
sloCAHS offers quality, college-preparatory classes, which will prepare our students to meet the expectations of colleges. One of our goals is to nurture a love of learning in our students which we believe makes them better learners throughout their lives. We do this by providing small classes, which enable teachers and students to better connect and work together. Our history and English classes are rich in literature and writing instruction. We provide lab science classes and math with an emphasis on learning to think mathematically. Elective classes have/do include rhetoric, speech, debate, current events and art. All classes are designed to enable students to excel in college because they will be equipped with abilities to make connections, think critically and express themselves well.
Any high school student may take AP exams whether or not they have taken an AP class. Because we do not believe in creating classes to cater to tests, and because of the unusually rich and rigorous approach to education, our classes are not specific AP classes, but we feel that the education our students receive in their classes will prepare them well for the AP exams. We are working to provide extra support for preparing for specific exams as well.
Yes, we are an accredited school.
A: How does sloCAHS handle technology in HS?
A: SLOCA embraces technology as an incredible learning tool in the life of HS students. We allow laptops to be used in class, the teachers integrate technology into their classrooms, students use technology in presentations and grades are often posted on the internet. However, technological training is not a primary focus on the campus. Why? Our students have proven themselves incredibly capable of learning the latest technology on their own - a task that tech companies have made almost foolproof to learn - allowing us to be about the business of challenging minds and hearts with an education that will truly prepare students for all of life.
Q: What about athletics?
A: The athletic philosophy of sloCAHS is in unison with the academic philosophy. We believe that young people develop as a whole. The intellect, emotions, and social interactions grow alongside one’s physical body. While resources and student population limits our athletics offerings presently, we are actively pursuing opportunities to grow into an athletics program that supports the development of the whole person. Our goal is not to offer every sport, but rather to cultivate those sports that we can compete in with excellence.
Presently sloCAHS students participate in intramural volleyball and are being coached in the skills that will translate into an interscholastic volleyball program. Our students have also had the opportunity to run together as a running club. Some have competed in 5K runs outside of school as well. These and other sports are expected to expand into a sports program that will focus on technique, discipline, and teamwork in order to perform with excellence on the court or field of play. We have great hope for athletics at sloCAHS and look forward to growing them as we grow.
Q: What about socials, dances, clubs, etc?
We have a variety of socials including prom and continue to work on creating traditions and regular opportunities for the students to connect. Our students get together for movie nights, bonfires, holiday parties, theater performances, and camping trips. Some of our students regularly get together to study and hang out at cafés in SLO as well.
Q: Will you accept classes from other institutions? Cuesta College?
A: Yes, as long as it is not a class we are currently offering at sloCAHS, and after reviewing the class, if it meets our requirements.
Q: Can students transfer to other institutions from sloCAHS?
A: Yes, it has easily been done.