Environmental Charter High School – Gardena (ECHS-G) is a new high school serving the community in Gardena and the South Bay. Part of an award-winning, public school network of schools, we prepare students for 4-year college using the environment as a lens for real-life learning. Our school places an emphasis on experiential, project-based learning that engages students as it prepares them to become leaders in their communities.

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Engaged students in small learning environments can achieve beyond even their own expectations. Our rigorous academics engage students in interdisciplinary and project-based learning that not only prepares them for college, but also for leadership.

Expected Learning Results

Our goal is that Environmental Charter High School students graduate as:

Critical Reasoners

Our students are trained and encouraged to investigate, hypothesize, analyze, evaluate, self-reflect, and synthesize.

Collaborative Communicators

Our students listen effectively, read, write, and speak across 21st century media.

Creative Contributors

Our students learn to address and find solutions to environmental, social, economic, and cultural challenges in the local and global community.

Our Approach

Classes at Environmental Charter High School are demanding and place an emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving.

  • We offer a variety of enrichment and advanced placement classes.
  • We encourage concurrent enrollment in community college.
  • Student’s schedules are designed to ensure each student meets A-G requirements for acceptance into California Universities.
  • Students must earn a C or higher in their classes.
  • In order to graduate, all seniors are expected to apply and gain acceptance into a 4-year university.
  • All students are supported in organization, study skills, academic planning, and the college application process in their college-prep courses.
  • Students complete college research projects, go on college visit trips, and enroll in SAT prep courses.

Our students are taught to solve real world issues through the lens of different subjects and disciplines.

  • Standards are linked between teachers and subjects making them relevant for students as they question, investigate, construct meaning, discover relationships, and solve problems.
  • Math and college-prep courses focus on student loans and financial sustainability.
  • Senior projects require students to call on all subjects and skills as they investigate, research, devise, and present a solution to a social injustice in the community.

The ECHS campus is a living textbook, which makes it easy to design every course through a lens of sustainability. Beyond this, each year students have an opportunity to participate in a series of opportunities that strengthen their understanding and application of environmental practices:

  • 9th: Environmental Science, interdisciplinary introduction
  • 10th: Green Ambassadors environmental leadership and service learning
  • 11th: Sustainability internship with a community partner
  • 12th: Senior project related to a social or environmental issue in the community

Students also take field trips to local landfills, water treatment plants, and sustainable buildings, strengthening their abilities’ to understand the depth and breadth of sustainability beyond our school walls.

  • The average class size at Environmental Charter High School – Gardena is 25 students.
  • Group and teamwork is incorporated across all disciplines, which strengthens student connections across campus and makes the campus safe and comfortable.
  • Each student takes an advisory course each year with the same teacher that remains with her over the course of her high school experience, which facilitates strong parent-student-teacher relationships. Advisory teachers provide academic monitoring and support, incorporate team building exercises and socio-emotional development, monitor community service, and hold parent-teacher conferences.