Alliance College-Ready Public Schools K-12 Breakthrough Models

School: PACE High School
Grades Served: 9-12
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Operator: Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
Operator Type: Charter
Setting: Urban
Students at Start: 150
Students at Capacity: 600

Blended Model Type: Flex and A La Carte

Key Features: Competency-Based Learning, Project-Based and Experiential Learning, Early College and Dual Enrollment, Higher Education Partnership, College Readiness & Success

The Operator:
Founded in 2004, Alliance is the largest charter management organization in Los Angeles, operating 22 middle and high schools that educate more than 10,000 low-income students. The mission is to open high-quality, college-prep schools in poor communities in Los Angeles with historically underperforming schools. Current Alliance schools—both traditional model schools and the ten schools using the BLAST blended learning model—send 95% of graduates to college, but college persistence rates (59% in college or graduated after five years) are not meeting Alliance’s expectations. The PACE High School model addresses three key challenges faced by Alliance alumni in college: insufficient academic rigor in high school, lack of self-direction and time management skills, and financial pressures.

The Academic Model:

  • Self-pacing and mastery based progression through Common Core-aligned courses, California A-G college prep courses, and early college courses
  • Blended learning in core content classes combine self-paced progress through adaptive online digital content with targeted small group instruction
  • To strengthen 21st century learning skills, Forum is a daily independent learning period where students choose whether to spend their time on additional academic support, study groups, online courses, or Capstone projects
  • Students have the opportunity to complete up to one year of college during high school through online and in-person courses offered by Los Angeles Harbor College and California State University Dominguez Hills

The Organizational Model:

  • PACE Advisory Board includes faculty from Los Angeles Harbor College and Alliance to ensure alignment between high school and college curriculum Partnership with online courses
  • Forum requires two large open spaces in the school facility with moveable furniture to accommodate up to 150 students working on a variety of projects
  • With the addition of college instructors teaching college courses, the staffing model requires fewer full-time high school teachers
  • Los Angeles Harbor College courses cost $9,000 per course, Young Scholars courses cost $3.50 per student per course