[ Jefferson H.S., LAUSD ]


A Nationally Recognized Program using a Liberal Arts Approach to College Preparation

"The Unexamined life is not worth living." --Socrates

Edited by Marco O. Updated January, 1999.


A team of teachers offers a core of classes at each grade level. The teachers meet often to discuss how to present class material. Our goal is to guide students to see how the different subjects are connected. We believe that what students learn in school must be what actually happens in the world. In the students' world. In a traditional school, every subject is given a different name and a separate period. In Humanitas, students are guided to see that all knowledge is connected. For example, tenth grade students take English 10, World History, Biology and Art with a team of teachers who work together to help students see the "big picture" or how all knowledge is inter-related.

For more on the Humanitas Academy please visit the Los Angeles Educational Partnership (LAEP)


A theme is a topic or an idea that appears in art, literature, debate and other forms of human communication. Each year, at each grade level, all Humanitas classes focus on one theme. The units of study connect to that theme. Teachers often begin teaching units by asking students an essential question that does not have a simple answer. As students are taught the unit, they acquire the information and knowledge to answer the question with confidence and intelligence.

For example, in the 11th grade, the year's theme was "The American Dream." This theme was adopted by Mr. Hoag's English class. He went further and collaborated on this project with students in Germany via the internet. The Germany class discussed the project and exchanged their opinions via e-mail. One of our essays written by student Marco O. was selected for their school year book. Some of the American and German students still keep in contact through the Internet.


The Humanitas Program prepares students for college. We take special care to ensure that students take the classes they need to get into the college of their choice. The training and practice students receive in thinking, speaking and writing help to ensure that they will succeed in college later on. Our goal is to prepare students for the adult world, and we know that a college education is a special and important part of that world. Honors credit is available to students who are willing to-and can-do Honors work.


Humanitas recognizes that writing is an essential tool to communicate successfully. We believe that students learn to write by writing. All program teachers take the time to guide students as they learn the process of writing. We teach them how to write well-planned, clear, and thoughtfully written essays that center around the unit themes. All core teachers grade and give credit for these essays.


Humanitas also recognizes that all students learn in different ways. While essay writing is important, there are other ways that they can show what they have learned. We give them the opportunity to work together on a variety of projects that demonstrate what they have learned in their core classes. The inclusion of Fine Arts in the core gives them the training to use artistic expression in these interdisciplinary projects.


In Humanitas, we understand the need for students to develop their own "voice." In a community working together, students are encouraged to define themselves and their beliefs, and to express themselves on a variety of human issues. We empower them to use this voice and to actively participate in the work of improving the community. The Fine Arts, the study of history and literature, the growing sense of responsibility for learning both within and outside our learning group, all contribute to the students' sense of self-worth and their knowledge of the world around them.

Humanitas believes ALL students can learn and achieve success. Whether they are a top student or a one having difficulty, Humanitas knows they deserve a quality education. Working together, we grow to celebrate the students' capacity to acquire such an education, and to achieve beyond their expectations.


Projects often extend beyond the classroom and involve participation in the outside community. Active participation takes on many forms, including Fine Art exhibitions, student produced videos, participation in contests, and various community service projects. Inside the classroom, students will learn how to express themselves. Outside the classroom, they get the opportunity to put learning into practice. From Mock Trial to Student Government, from Woodstock Day to the AIDS Walk or school-wide AIDS awareness projects, students will be encouraged to test their learning in many different real world adventures. A growing number of our graduates are becoming teachers, college activists and community workers. We encourage our students to look beyond their own tiny individual universe, and to seek ways to give back to the community as a whole.

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Images Downloaded from Anthony's Icon Library, WWW Images: http://www.cit.gu.edu.au/images/Images.html , December, 1998.