The high school program has been an English language instructional program for many years. The program has a two-tier model. One meets the needs of students who require an academic program that provides marketable skills from business and vocational-technical classes. The other program is designed for learners to fulfill the pre-requisites for attendance at postsecondary institutions. Classes are designed so that ELs can participate in 30-40% of mainstream classes the first year, 55% the second year, and 75-80% the third year. By the fourth year, if state-exiting criteria are met, ELs are reclassified and attend 100% of mainstream classes.
The School to Work program was established with St. Luke’s Hospital in 1997. ELs who do not have college as a career goal take a modified program in which their science and English classes are related to a twice a week shadowing experience with selected hospital mentors. The close coordination between students’ hospital experiences and their English and science classes helps students to find purpose in their studies and gain understanding of the personal responsibility, hard work, and knowledge needed by a health care professional. Students are impressed by the teamwork they observe in all areas of the hospital. Hospital staff provide an atmosphere of respect and caring. In them, the young people encounter many worthy adult role models. Students who complete the School to Work program may participate three afternoons a week in rotations organized by the Health Bureau, such as Emergency Medical Services, pediatric clinics, the HIV prevention programs, dental services, etc.
The high school curriculum was revised for the block schedule now in place at Liberty and Freedom High Schools. Each block period meets for 80 minutes daily. An increased number of classes to support students learning English as a second language are provided for first and second-year Entering and Emerging level ELs.