Students will continue to develop their composition skills and narrative voice through regular fluency, vocabulary, and grammar exercises. Students will hone their abilities to derive solid thesis statements and write convincing arguments as well as to properly quote, cite, and format in line with MLA guidelines. Active reading strategies (annotations) and group discussions will help students develop a better understanding of the narrative text.


Algebra C/D
This CPM [College Preparatory Mathematics] class, which adheres to the state of California’s new common core standards, will focus on group interaction, puzzles, manipulatives, and critical thinking. Algebra concepts are studied through puzzles and identification of growth patterns with each pattern deciding a rule. Each concept is represented by a graph, pattern, rule, and table. Students use group learning and different forms of manipulatives to solve problems. Students will learn not only key algebra concepts but also how to approach and solve real-life problems using math. Students will be graded, both individually and in groups, on participation, classwork, homework, and unit tests.

Algebra II A/B
This year we will become familiar with solving equations and inequalities involving absolute values, systems of linear equations and inequalities, complex numbers, quadratic equations, polynomial functions, logarithmic and exponential functions, and radical functions. Students will be graded on attendance, participation, unit quizzes, homework worksheets, and an end-of-semester final.


Biology with Lab A and B

This class will explore the structure and function of DNA and the role of DNA in genetics, evolution, and biotechnology. We will start with an overview of the basics of cell, DNA, and chromosomal structure. We will then continue with a wide range of topics, including: identifying criminals from DNA evidence; physical and other genetic traits in humans and animals; cloning and bioengineering; and genetic diseases ranging from sickle-cell anemia to addiction. There will be brief weekly quizzes, labs with write-ups or presentations, and a final research paper or project that involves genetics.

Social Sciences

U.S. Government 
Students will learn about the structure and foundation of the U.S. government and will analyze the Constitution and the dominant political theories and events of our time. Students will have the opportunity to critically evaluate political articles and speeches and will be expected to synthesize this process through essay writing.


Art Journaling
In this class, we will find a creative way to record our lives. Incorporating poetry, prose, drawing, collage, and doodling, we will explore our dreams, goals, inspirations, friendships, and favorite things. Using the mixed media métier, we will express our most creative selves. By the end of the year, you will have a beautiful book that will act almost like a time capsule, recording you and your year authentically and colorfully. If you aren’t feeling particularly creative one week, don’t worry, I will supply prompts for each class to get your creativity flowing.

Open Art
We will be focusing on visual works, such as mixed-media sculpture and painting. I will have some great project ideas set aside for those days when you cannot think of what to do next.

Strength Training
Want to get stronger, more agile, and develop your muscles? Want to be quick and gain more energy? Want to do it at your own pace in a non-competitive environment? Then this is the class for you. We will be doing yoga, jump rope, obstacle courses, sit-ups, and push-ups in our own styles and at our own paces. The only goal is to improve your own strength and stamina. Everyone who makes a consistent effort will receive credit. Comfortable clothes and shoes that allow for the free movement required.

Yoga and Mindfulness
Cultivate your spiritual warrior! This class introduces the physical practices of Hatha Yoga, as well as mindfulness and meditation techniques. Descended from the Indian warriorship tradition, yoga gives us greater strength and flexibility. This class is designed to increase our connection with our bodies and strengthen our connection to the present moment. No experience required, but comfortable clothing that you can move in is a must.

Music Ensemble



I’m Freaking Out

College Empowerment
This class is geared towards students considering attending college after high school. College Empowerment aims to give students a supportive environment in which to discover their options and commiserate with peers. Students will gain a better understanding of the college admissions process, test-taking skills, and perspective on different colleges and college life. Together we will make sure that we choose schools that are right for us, take steps to fulfill admissions requirements, and create the best possible versions of our applications.

Dreams, Passions, and Visions
Are you interested in getting a really awesome internship? Or landing a great summer job? Or taking time to research other possibilities after Holden? If you have a dream, passion, or vision — the bolder the better — that you want to begin pursuing, then this class is for you. We will get clear about intentions, set goals, make a plan, and, with the support of the group, begin to take the action needed to help those interests take root.

Holden's Full High School Program Includes:

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




  • 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




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




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


changing lives since 1969