Small Learning Community
A Small Learning Community (SLC), also referred to as a School-Within-A-School, is a school organizational model that is an increasingly common form of learning environment in American secondary schools to subdivide large school populations into smaller, autonomous groups of students and teachers. SLCs can also be physical learning spaces.
The primary purpose of restructuring secondary schools into SLCs is to create a more personalized learning environment to better meet the needs of students. Each community will often share the same teachers and student members from grade to grade. Teachers in these units usually have common planning time to allow them to develop interdisciplinary projects and keep up with the progress of their shared students.
SLCs can take several forms.
- Theme-Based Smaller Learning Communities or Focus Schools are usually formed around a specific curricular theme. Examples might include "Success Academy" or "Humanities".
- Houses may be themed or non-themed or separated by grade levels.
- Career Academies are generally a three- or four-year structure developed around a career theme or Career Clusters. Characterized by career-related electives and integration of career theme across entire academic curriculum.
- Freshman Academies are structure designed to support 9th grade students as they transition into high school.
- Magnet Schools are a career-themed SLC that includes accelerated course-work for Gifted & Talented students.
- Atlantic Coast High School (Jacksonville)
- Balboa High School (San Francisco)
- Betty H. Fairfax High School (Phoenix)
- Cane Ridge High School (Nashville, TN)
- Chávez High School (Houston)
- Diamond Bar High School (Diamond Bar, CA)
- Edmonds Woodway High School (Edmonds, Washington)
- Eleanor Roosevelt High School (Maryland)
- Fayetteville High School (Fayetteville, AR)
- Hillsdale High School (San Mateo)
- Kelvyn Park High School (Chicago, Illinois)
- Lebanon High School (Lebanon, OR)
- Lincoln High School (Tacoma, Washington)
- Lynnwood High School (Bothell, Washington)
- Marysville Getchell High School (Marysville, Washington)
- McGavock High School (Nashville, TN)
- Minneapolis South High School
- Monroe High School (Los Angeles)
- North Hollywood High School (Valley Village, Los Angeles)
- Northwestern High School (Maryland)
- R.L. Turner High School (Carrollton, TX)
- The Wheatley School (Old Westbury, NY)
- Wyandotte High School (Kansas City, Kansas)
- Association for Career and Technical Education small learning community resources
- Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
- Background and Structure of Career Clusters
- U.S. Department of Education SLC Program
- Career Academy Support Network
- Institute for Research and Reform in Education
- California League of Schools
- National Educator Program