What is YouthBuild Charter School of California?
YouthBuild Charter School of California is a WASC accredited public charter high school with 15 campuses that empowers young people, ages 16-24, who have been pushed out of traditional high school to earn a high school diploma through social justice work and community action projects.
Why is there a need for this type of school?
In California, over 43,000 young people drop out of high school each year, and students in low-income neighborhoods are six times more likely to drop out. YouthBuild Charter School of California helps re-engage those students so they can earn a high school diploma, gain job training, and experience post-secondary success.
Where is YouthBuild Charter School of California located?
YouthBuild Charter School of California (YCSC) has 15 school sites throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego and Fresno Counties. For a complete list of our sites, see “Site Locations.” Our school administration office is located at 155 W. Washington Blvd., Suite 944, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
Is YouthBuild Charter School of California still enrolling?
Yes! We offer open enrollment at all 15 of our school sites all year long. However, there may be a brief waiting period before you can start classes and/or you may need to attend an orientation or complete Mental Toughness first. It's best to call the school site where you wish to enroll if you need more information about their enrollment timeline.
What are the requirements to enroll at YouthBuild Charter School of California?
Before you can enroll at YouthBuild Charter, you must first be accepted into one of our partner YouthBuild programs (see “YouthBuild Partners.”) Visit a site near you to pick up an enrollment packet. Age requirements vary by site, but most enroll students between ages 16-24.
The following documents are required for enrollment of students:
-Completed and signed Student Registration Form
-Identification card reflecting current address
-Official School Transcripts
-Special Education Documents (IEP)/504 Plan – and/or Opt Out Letter
-IEP verified with SEIS (Student Education Information System) (YCSC Staff)
-Signed Student Release Form
-Immunization Records, Blue Card (TDAP is a requirement). Student has 30 days to obtain TDAP shot and will be exited if not obtained. Parents can opt out, but it must be documented. (Required for applicants under age 18 only)
**NOTE: Additional documents may be required at certain school sites depending on the YouthBuild program. Students identified as homeless are not required to have all of the above documents before enrolling.
How much does it cost to attend YouthBuild Charter School of California?
Nothing! As a public charter school, we are funded by the state and our school is free to attend. There is absolutely no cost to earn your diploma here.
Is YouthBuild Charter School of California an accredited school?
Yes, YouthBuild Charter School of California is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC.) Click here to view our most recent WASC accreditation letter.
Can I earn my GED at YouthBuild Charter School of California?
No, but you can earn your high school diploma! Unlike most adult schools or GED prep programs, YouthBuild Charter School of California offers its students, the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma. How? California Department of Education Code Section 47610-47615 allows us to offer a high school diploma to all of our students, even if those over age 18, because we partner with YouthBuild and Conservation Corps programs.
Is getting a GED easier than getting a diploma?
Not necessarily, and in today’s economy, having a high school diploma is becoming increasingly valuable. Those with only a GED have a more difficult time joining the military, going to college, or even applying for entry-level jobs. By offering students the opportunity to earn a diploma instead of taking the GED test, we are opening the door to a wider array of post-secondary options. In addition, whereas most adult schools and GED prep programs are independent study and packet-based, our school is classroom-based, so students are able to get more one-on-one attention and support from their teachers and counselors. Additionally, for students who struggled with high stakes testing at traditional schools, having to study for and take the GED test may be daunting. At YouthBuild Charter School of California, we do not rely on testing to assess students or measure progress. Instead, students learn through hands-on projects that are more relevant to their lives, all while meeting the state requirements for graduation.
Is YouthBuild Charter School of California an independent studies school?
No, YouthBuild Charter is a classroom-based school environment that features hands-on, project-based learning. Our class sizes are smaller than at a traditional school, so students are able to receive more one-on-one attention from teachers. The classroom-based setting allows our students to recover credits faster than they would in an independent studies model, while also receiving a wealth of other services, including job training, college and career counseling, and leadership development.
How long will it take me to graduate from YouthBuild Charter School of California?
It depends how many credits you come in with and how many classes you take, so it’s different for everyone. It takes the average student 1.3 years to earn their high school diploma at YCSC. YouthBuild Charter students earn an average of 46.5 credits each school year (1.7x more credits than these same students earned at the previous schools they attended). Motivated students who take a full course load and complete all assignments can earn around 30 credits per trimester or 90 credits per year.
How many credits do I need to graduate?
In order to graduate, students need to complete 200 credits* in the following areas: 30 credits of English, 10 credits of Algebra, 10 credits of Math, 5 credits of Government, 5 credits of Economics, 10 credits of Art/Foreign Language, 10 credits of Biology/Life Science, 10 credits of Physical Science, 10 credits of U.S. History, 10 credits of World History, 10 credits of Technology, 5 credits of Health, 5 credits of Life Skills, 5 credits of Community Service, and 65 credits of Electives. When a student enrolls at YouthBuild Charter, a counselor will assess their transcripts to see which credits they have already earned at previous schools so that they are not enrolled in classes where they have already earned the required amount of credits. Learn more on our Graduation Requirements page.
* Students who qualify under AB167/216 (foster/probation youth) or AB1806 (homeless youth) are eligible for a credit reduction waiver. Talk to your counselor when enrolling to verify whether you qualify for a waiver.
What are Community Action Projects?
Community Action Projects are long-term commitments to the neighborhoods where we are based. They take place in the local community and seek to address an inequity that exists in the neighborhood. Each trimester, students and teachers brainstorm issues in their community that they wish to address. Some examples of these issues include, income inequality, lack of access to healthy foods, drug abuse, police brutality, and racial profiling. All learning in the classroom, whether it is in a science, economics or art class, will reflect on the community issue that the students and teachers have chosen. Then, at the end of each trimester, students work on Community Action Projects alongside their teachers, community members, and other local non-profits in an effort to actively address the issue they chose to focus on and help to transform their community. Examples of past Community Action Projects include a Health Fair, a Rock the Vote Campaign and Voter Registration Drive, a Town Hall event and organized protests against sheriff violence in L.A. jails, and adding locally grown fruits and vegetables to a corner liquor store.
What is YouthBuild?
YouthBuild is a non-profit organization which provides education, counseling, and job skills to low-income young people between the ages of 16 to 24 who have dropped out of high school. The YouthBuild program has five components: construction, education, counseling, leadership, and graduate opportunity. There are currently over 270 YouthBuild programs in the United States. YouthBuild Charter School of California partners with 14 YouthBuild programs to provide an education component.
I’m over 18 and aged out of high school. How can I still earn a diploma?
YouthBuild Charter School of California is able to enroll and offer a high school diploma to students between the ages of 16 to 24. This means that even if you turned 18 and were too old to remain at your old high school, you can enroll at our school and earn a high school diploma with us. How is this possible? California Department of Education Code Section 47610-47615 allows for this age exemption for charter schools that work with YouthBuild and Conservation Corps programs; click for full text of the California Ed. Code.
I’m a former YouthBuild Charter School of California student and I need a copy of my transcript. How can I get my records?
The best thing to do is to contact the YouthBuild site you previously attended (all contact information can be found here) and speak to the counselor there to request your transcripts. If no one is available at your YouthBuild site or if the site has moved or closed, you can fill out a transcript request form here.
How is YouthBuild Charter School of California handling the Covid-19 pandemic?
YouthBuild Charter School of California has a number of safety measures in place to protect our students and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, including Covid-19 testing (PCR and rapid antigen), temperature checks, self-screenings, and masking recommendations. You can learn more about all of our safety precautions and Covid-19 Safety Plan on our "Safely Returning to In-Person Learning" page.
Where can I see copies of the YouthBuild Charter School of California Board Meeting minutes?
We keep all of our Board documents on Google Drive. Click here to view them.