USC Hybrid High School opened its doors in downtown Los Angeles today, welcoming nearly 100 new freshman students. The school was developed by the USC Rossier School of Education and blends personalized instruction with digital coursework.
A unique quality of USC Hybrid High is its year-round, seven-days a week schedule. For many teens in South Los Angeles, attending class during regular school hours conflicts with other responsibilities. Many work full-time or part-time jobs to support their families. USC Hybrid High’s goal is to be available to these students when other schools may not.
“The most glaring reason that kids drop out is scheduling problems,” said Principal Stephanie McClay. “Our model is about empowering [students] as self-directed learners and the intelligent, capable young people they are. Every kid has a different path for achieving that goal.”
Each USC Hybrid High students is required to attend 35 hours of class per week and 180 days a year, and the school develops a personalized learning plan to fit their needs. There are currently 93 students enrolled, but enrollment will remain open.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year in the United States. Many educational scholars view charter schools as a viable solution to this problem, which give teachers and administrators more freedom to address problems while still receiving state and federal funding.
Jose Cole-Gutierrez is the district director of charter schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In an article in the USC’s Daily Trojan, he said looks forward to working with Hybrid High.
“A 100 percent graduation rate is one of the top-line goals for the district,” he said. “We look forward to working with them to reach this goal. They’re all committed to a new way of working.”