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High Schoolers to Yosemite!

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Please help us take 40 high school juniors and seniors to Yosemite National Park for five days! 

Week Without Walls:
Week Without Walls is about two different kinds of walls: the physical walls of the classroom and the psychological walls that we all face in life. Week Without Walls is a chance for students to take learning outside of the classroom, to gain new skills, to work together as a team, and to engage in their community. Through engaging real-world experiences, students expand their understanding of the world and their role in it. Week Without Walls also empowers our teachers to share their unique gifts and talents with their students in an open, dynamic environment. Most important, Week Without Walls also shows students that no barrier can stop them from achieving their goals. Students can get a sense of what is out there, what is possible. For these, and many more reasons, Week Without Walls serves as a cornerstone for the Leadership curriculum.

More about our school:
The mission of Leadership Public Schools (LPS) is to prepare 100% of our graduates to succeed in college and beyond, develop effective student leaders, and partner to share best practices with school districts around the world to strengthen both ourselves and other public schools.  Our school’s vision is that all students -- regardless of background, ethnicity, or neighborhood -- receive an education that prepares them to succeed in college, and improve their community.  All 540 students at LPS Hayward engage in a college preparatory (A-G) course curriculum, with a strong focus on analytical writing and problem solving.  Embedded in our philosophy is a holistic approach to preparing students for college success, which includes a commitment to developing students’ character and mindsets, and engaging in solving complex problems in the community.  Our school-wide demographics include 8% of students receiving special education services, 7% with limited English proficiency, 7% who are undocumented, 60% who qualify for free/reduced lunch, and 85% who are 1st generation students.  Many of our students come to us significantly below grade level; and yet, by the end of their four year sojourn at our school, 95% of our graduates have completed all required courses for UC or CSU eligibility -- more than twice the average of both the state of California and Hayward Unified School district. We are consistently ranked a GOLD medal high school by the U.S. News and World Report, and we are in the top 2% of high schools in California serving majority low-income students.

Enduring Understandings from our trip: Students will...
- exhibit personal growth by volunteering and giving back to the national park system (manual labor required)
- increase their appreciation for the natural world, camping, and outdoor experiences
experience awe and wonder while visiting some of Yosemite’s most beautiful sites
- learn how to have fun for a week without constantly checking their phones, facebook status, instagram, and all the other digital detritus that threatens peoples’ abilities to develop meaningful human relationships.


Sarah Gzesh
Hayward, CA

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