|The Life Learning Academy graduation.
|Life Learning student DeShauna Jones received a 2005 full scholarship to play basketball at Holy Names University.
Life Learning Academy (LLA) has a proven record of success in
re-engaging our students and teaching them how to be contributors
to a positive community. A three-year independent longitudinal
study found LLA to be a “profoundly effective program”.
LLA students were significantly less likely to have school attendance
problems, to be arrested, to be placed in a detention facility
or committed to out of home placement, and were significantly more
likely to successfully complete Juvenile Court wardship. In a pre-
and post- survey administered as a part of this evaluation, LLA
students demonstrated a significant reduction in gang involvement and substance
abuse. They achieved a significantly improved orientation toward
learning, perceived social supports, general perceived self-efficacy,
self-worth, use of nonviolent, non-aggressive conflict resolution
skills, use of healthy anger management skills, perceived safety
of daily environment, emotional well-being, and family functioning
assessment. LLA students also demonstrated an increased orientation
toward community service. The vast majority of these youths, who
came to the LLA with histories of school failure and disengagement,
indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the school,
its programmatic elements, and its teachers and staff. Our students built and operate a 1,200 sq. ft. public café and have 1,000 sq. ft. under cultivation in an urban mini farm.
Despite these accolades, our most significant
accomplishment has been the graduation of 75 (as of 2006) of our “unreachable” and “unteachable” students,
most of whom thought they would never finish high school. LLA maintains
a graduation rate over 90 percent. Over 40% of our graduates have
continued on to higher education. Other graduates are attending
vocational programs, working full time or have enlisted in the
We have been very fortunate to receive public
acknowledgement of our work. In 2002, LLA was one of three schools
statewide to receive a California Department of Education Dissemination
Grant, which resulted in over 150 California educators visiting
our school to learn about our program and curriculum. In addition
we have had visitors from around the United States and other
countries including Japan, Australia, England, Israel and Singapore.
Replication of the LLA model is occurring in Alaska, Massachusetts,
South Carolina and four California counties.
|Principal, Dr. Teri Lynch Delane, with graduates and dog Jersey.