Engaging Academics in a Low-Stress Environment

A Student-Centered Educational Experience.

Holden’s academics emphasize teamwork, group problem solving, and collaboration. This emphasis prepares students for class-based college learning and current work trends. Holden offers small classes, community education, one-on-one support, and online learning platforms. Our approach sparks a love of learning that prepares young people for life and continued learning after high school.

Holden provides an environment that encourages a multi-dimensional approach. This results in young people who learn to develop trust within their community—resulting in students who fully open up to their abilities and interests.

Small Class Sizes

Average class sizes of 4-12 students: Small classes foster greater engagement, reasoning, interpretation, and critical-thinking skills. Teachers can differentiate instruction and meet individual student and small-group needs.

Engaging Curriculum

Holden’s comprehensive high school program includes a wide range of classes in language arts, mathematics, social science, lab science, and electives including second languages, computer science, art, music, and drama. Classes focus on depth over breadth and give students ample opportunities for success. Many are discussion and project-based. Teachers create and adjust the curriculum to engage students’ interests and move them forward academically. 

Trusting Relationships with Adults

Studies routinely show that a trusting relationship with an adult can be game changing for a struggling student. Developing connection with our students is key to supporting them academically. A strong connection with an adult at school increases student motivation and promotes learning.  

Students are Safe and Accepted

Students are better able to learn when they feel safe.  Evidence from the fields of neuroscience and cognitive pyschology show that physical and emotional stress can have a profound impact on working memory and self-control.  Students who have experienced emotional or physical bullying find safety and acceptance within our inclusive community. The Holden staff is committed to supporting marginalized students by addressing our own biases and celebrating the unique gifts that each student brings into the classroom. Our program encourages community participation and social responsibility.

A Reasonable Approach to Homework

Students receive meaningful homework that meets their specific educational needs and furthers classroom learning. Students are given time in their school schedule for homework support. Our program has had great success in teaching homework-averse students to take responsibility for classwork and prepare them for the reality of college and vocational programs.

Learn to Love Learning

Students who have developed a negative relationship with school rekindle their innate curiosity at Holden. For over 50 years, Holden has helped students to overcome self-limiting beliefs and supported them in becoming lifelong learners. 

Holden's Full High School Program Includes:

5 days per week of academic, elective, and social-emotional support services

ENAGING ACADEMICS & ELECTIVE CLASSES

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ENGAGED ACADEMICS & ELECTIVES IN A LOW-STRESS ENVIRONMENT

  • Small class size (4-12 students per class)
  • Mixed grade level classes
  • Manageable homework load
  • Seminar style classes and experiential opportunities for learning
  • Credit for learning done outside of school hours
  • 10am start time
  • No fail school: students earn credit for the work they complete

CONNECTED, COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY

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SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES

  • Weekly, student-run Community Meetings
  • School-wide community service
  • Weekly one-on-one counseling
  • Student council
  • Family support services

FUTURE STEPS: PREPARATION FOR LIFE

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TRANSITION PROGRAM: FUTURE STEPS + PREPARATION FOR LIFE

  • Grade Level Projects
  • Dedicated Transition Classes (College Empowerment & DPV)
  • Focus on Social Emotional Learning
  • Dedicated Staff (College and Transition Counselors)