USC Hybrid High Granted Charter by LAUSD

Dec 07, 2011, 14:49 ET from USC Rossier School of Education

The Charter High School, Affiliated with the USC Rossier School of Education, Will Run Up to 12 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week and Year-round to Serve Students at Risk of Dropping Out Due to Work, Family Responsibilities

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- USC Hybrid High was granted its charter on Tuesday by the Los Angeles Unified School District, paving the way for the charter school to open near the USC University Park campus in September.

The school, which is affiliated with the USC Rossier School of Education, will be open up to 12 hours per day, seven days per week and year-round to cater to students who may be at risk of dropping out because they hold jobs or care for family members. Each year, one-third of students who drop out of U.S. high schools identify those stressors as key factors in their decision to leave school.

USC Hybrid High's mission is to graduate 100 percent of its high-need students prepared for college or career success, and on the same tax dollar as other public schools.

USC Hybrid High earned its name for the mix of online curriculum students use in the classroom along with face-to-face instruction with teachers and instructional aides on a schedule that meets their needs.

The online coursework – which serves as a "dynamic electronic textbook" – allows students to work at their own pace in the classroom setting until they master a topic. The program delivers real-time feedback to teachers and aides who then give support individually or in groups, said David Dwyer, USC Hybrid High's executive director and the Katzman/Ernst Chair in Educational Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship at USC Rossier School.

Students will meet weekly with an academic advisor and participate in community projects and internships that support the curriculum, Dwyer said.

"The notions of the square box classroom and school don't necessarily work for everyone; it's an artifact," said Melora A. Sundt, associate dean for academic programs and professor of clinical education at the USC Rossier School.

"We're creating an environment for testing some of those assumptions by getting down to the bare bones of what learning is all about, and, on the other hand, really harnessing technology to work on behalf of learners," Sundt said.

The charter school is an affiliate of the USC Rossier School and will benefit from the research and expertise of faculty there.

A new non-profit organization, Ednovate, was established to assume responsibility for the school's charter and day-to-day operation.

The USC Rossier School launched Ednovate as an organization whose mission is to eliminate the dropout problem and prepare every student for success in post-secondary education and in the workplace.

USC Rossier School Dean Karen Symms Gallagher is chair of Ednovate's board of directors. Thomas S. Sayles, USC's senior vice president for University Relations, is also a member of the governing board.

The school will be located in a renovated space near the USC University Park neighborhood that is soon to be selected.

In its first year, USC Hybrid High will enroll 150 ninth-graders, building to a total enrollment of up to 650 students within four years. Admission will be offered by random lottery system.

The school will hire seven full-time and one part-time certified teachers, for a ratio of 20 students for every certified teacher during the first school year. When including instructional aides, the student-to-staff ratio will drop to 1 to 15.

The LAUSD Board of Education voted to grant USC Hybrid High a five-year charter to operate through 2017.

A number of donors have provided early support for USC Hybrid High, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Elliot and Marcia Sainer.

For more information about USC Hybrid High, go to

Contact: Merrill Balassone at (213) 740-6156 or (213) 509-7805 or

SOURCE USC Rossier School of Education