Environmental Charter High School – Lawndale (ECHS-L) is an award winning, free, public high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles that prepares students for 4-year colleges using the environment as a lens for real-life learning. Our schools place an emphasis on experiential, project-based learning that engages students as it prepares them to become leaders in their communities.

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Our Students

Our students are builders, investigators, critical thinkers, dancers, gardeners, public speakers, activists, bicycling advocates, actors, musicians, and community leaders.

More than 83% of our students are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price meals program.

Hispanic 84%
Asian 4%
African American 7%
Caucasian 4%
Other 1%

96% of our graduates are admitted to a four-year college or university


Engaged students in small learning environments can achieve beyond even their own expectations. That’s why it is a requirement that all of our students graduate with the coursework necessary to be accepted into a four-year college. Our rigorous academics engage students in interdisciplinary and project-based learning that not only prepares them for college, but also for leadership.

Student Learning Outcomes

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.
  • College Match and POSSEE Foundation also offer support and scholarships for select college-bound students. Learn more about college prep at ECS.

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

  • Teachers collaborate to link the learning goals of their class with the learning goals of other classes making the content more relevant and accessible for students as they question, investigate, construct meaning, discover relationships, and solve problems.
  • Students spend the entire month of January working in interdisciplinary grade-level teams to answer questions like “What does LA need to thrive?” and “What is progress, and how can it be sustained?”
  • 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

Each year, students go on two-to-four day overnight field trip.  These field trips are outdoor classroom experiences that they will never forget.  They are designed to seamlessly integrate with grade-level curriculum by meeting state educational standards while harnessing the power of hands-on, experiential learning.  Students will also take local field trips to local landfills, water treatment plants, and sustainable buildings to strengthening their abilities’ to understand the depth and breadth of sustainability beyond our school walls. 

  • The average class size at Environmental Charter High School is 30 students.
  • We have one counselor for every 125 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.
  • Our small school of 500 students ensures student success and helps make school feel more like a second home or family away from home.