Academics

Blended Learning: Small class sizes, one-to-one instruction, community college coursework, and online learning.

Students from Albany Richmond El cerrito in alternative school

CLASSROOM VS. One-ON-One Learning

We believe it is critical for students to learn within a classroom setting. Beyond preparing students for college class based learning, current work trends emphasize team work, group problem-solving, and collaboration which students can only learn if they have multiple opportunities to be together in a classroom and in a community. Holden is the best of all worlds in this regard because we offer small classes, community education, one-on-one support, and the opportunities to learn using online platforms.  Holden, using these modalities, sparks a love of learning and prepares young people for life and learning after high school.

Our progressive educational philosophy recognizes that people learn in social, creative and emotional ways, and that these are just as important as academic growth. We provide a strong, personal environment, allowing trust to develop within the community, which opens students up to the full range of their abilities and interests.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. Y.B. Yeats

Holden fosters success in an empowering learning environment.

  • Average class sizes of 3-8 students: Small classes foster greater engagement, reasoning, interpretation, and critical thinking skills. Teachers are able to differentiate lessons and class plans to meet individual and group needs.
  • Personalized education tracks: Students who are strong academically are challenged and able to move through high school credits at a fast pace. Students who struggle academically are able to find success at a pace that works for them.
  • Earn credits outside of school: Holden offers students the opportunity to earn independent credits for learning that takes place outside of school hours.
  • Students are encouraged to learn in whatever style suits them. We measure academic success by the depth and quality of comprehension
  • Dynamic curriculum: Classes are discussion and project based. Teachers are empowered to create and adjust curriculum to engage students’ interests and move them forward academically. .
  • Ending the homework battles: Homework at Holden is reasonable.  We teach and inspire teens to take ownership of their learning. Students are given meaningful homework that meets their specific educational needs and furthers classroom learning.  Our program has had great success in teaching homework-averse students to take responsibility for class work and in preparing them for the reality of college and vocational programs.
  • Providing safety and acceptance: Students who have experienced emotional or physical bullying find safety and acceptance within the student community.
  • Learning to love learning: Students who have developed a negative relationship to school because their learning styles have not been met are able to rekindle their innate curiosity.
  • Preparing for the future: Our Transition/College Counseling Program ensures that each student has a concrete plan when he or she leaves Holden. Through internships, job skills training, and in depth self-exploration, we prepare students to make and take successful steps after high school.

“In short order Holden ended our homework battle.”  -Parent