Structure, Practices, and Curriculum of Small Secondary Schools in California


This research examines the structure, practices, and curriculum offerings of small secondary schools in California. This brief places particular emphasis on magnet centers and schools.

Key observations from our research

1. Three of four profiled schools allow students to choose from either two or three career-themed pathways.

2. School C functions as a stand-alone magnet school, but the other three profiled schools (i.e., School A, School B, and School D) leverage partnerships with nearby high schools to increase course offerings.

3. The prescriptive nature of profiled magnet schools’ curriculum limits the variability of student course demand.

4. While contacts note that most high schools offer six periods per day to students, students at three of four profiled schools enroll in at least seven periods.

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