Phone: 1 (310) 644-8841
Email: ray.richard@valleyhs.com

Nonpublic School Program

Hawthorne Academy provides special education services to students, ages 9-22, in grades 4-12 who have emotional, learning and developmental disabilities. Our program combines prescriptive individualized instruction (30% of the day) with small group instruction (70% of the day). Hawthorne Academy works towards mastery of state standards to meet the educational needs and curriculum requirements of our students. An alternative, functional curriculum prepares students who are not on a diploma track for post high school by developing their social, basic academic, vocational and citizenship skills. Our program utilizes a structured behavior management program that emphasizes positive reinforcement and accountability. The school offers individual counseling, language and speech and transition services by appropriately licensed/credentialed staff. Transportation is available for students who fall within routes provided by the school and based upon availability of seats on vans. Other transportation arrangements can be made. Hawthorne Academy actively pursues preparing students for mainstreaming back into public schools, occupational centers, community colleges and jobs in the community.

Entrance Criteria
Student enrollment at Hawthorne Academy is initiated by a referral from their local public school district. Families may contact, or be contacted by, Hawthorne Academy to arrange for an interview. Prior to entering Hawthorne Academy, students and parents must have participated in the interview process, demonstrated a commitment to follow school rules and policies and completed and returned all required intake paperwork.

Standards for Acquiring Courses Completed or Grade Level Promotion Upon entering Hawthorne Academy, student's transcripts are requested and evaluated as soon as possible. If transcripts are not immediately available, grade placement will be based upon the grade level indicated by the most recent IEP. At the end of each semester, student's grades are recorded on their transcripts. Students are matriculated into the next grade based upon number of credits and appropriate class work taken as prescribed by the district of residence. Students will be placed in the following grade levels per district of residence policy and procedure:


0-50 credits= 9th grade
55 credits = 10th grade
110 credits = 11th grade
160 credits = 12th grade
230 + all required classes and exams completed= graduation

Exit Criteria
Students must complete all necessary class work and pass the CAHSEE exam, or other relevant district exams and/or requirements in order to graduate from high school with a diploma. As a student approaches graduation, the home school is contacted and the credit clerk is asked to verify our transcripts and indicate their assent to the processing of the diploma. That documentation is then sent to the district to process the diploma/certificate of completion request. Students who cannot pass the CAHSEE exam, but who have met all other requirements will receive a certificate of completion.

Mainstreaming/Dual Enrollment Program
The dual enrollment program at Hawthorne Academy is designed to successfully mainstream students back to the regular education setting. Each semester an assessment is completed on students who have (or whose parents/guardians have) expressed an interest in returning to public school, or in students that staff has identified as a candidate for dual enrollment. In addition, a parent may request an IEP meeting to evaluate the appropriateness of dual enrollment.

Each student is evaluated in three areas: classroom behavior, social behavior and academic behavior. Once evaluations have been completed, a dual enrollment team reviews the results and makes the final recommendation to the dual enrollment coordinator. Based upon these recommendations, IEP meetings are scheduled.

When the IEP team determines that a student is ready to re-enter the public school setting, the dual enrollment transition process is put in place. For the first semester, dual enrollment students usually begin with two elective courses, or one elective and one academic course in an area of strength. After completing the first semester each student's progress is reassessed. If the student is ready their schedule is increased to three or four courses at the public school for the next semester. On some occasions, students have demonstrated a readiness for full time enrollment after one semester. By the second year, most students are ready to return to public school full time. This type of transition program is beneficial because it allows the student to receive continued academic and counseling support from the nonpublic school staff.

Hawthorne Academy also enrolls students at local community colleges and occupational centers using similar criteria.

Other Exit Criteria
On some occasions a parent, or the school, feels that the student would benefit from a different educational program, which may involve transferring to another Nonpublic School, or district program. These transfers are coordinated with the parent and the school district. An IEP is held to document this change in program.

We have an experienced and dedicated group of teachers, aides and administrators. Each teacher strives to create a supportive and challenging classroom atmosphere that focuses on academic rigor and provides students with opportunities to grow emotionally, behaviorally and as a citizen in their community.

We strongly encourage parent participation and appreciate parent input.