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Academics and Functional Skills


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High school graduation requirements
Urban Skills Center provides the full compliment of courses leading to a high school diploma in keeping with the requirements of all San Diego area high school districts.


Practical skills are as important as academic skills

Academics taught around “big ideas”
Because it is common for our students to be behind their age mates in various academic areas, including the content areas like history and science, we search for teaching materials that meet California textbook standards and have been designed in keeping with the principle of “big ideas,” concepts or principles that are highly general and which can serve as anchor points for many facts, concepts, and principles.

Functional skills are necessary for many students
For many Urban Skills Center students, academics are not as appropriate as more functionally relevant skills. Depending on a student’s IEP, Urban Skills Center’s functional curriculum includes classes in money-management and budgeting, basic computer navigation, functional reading, health and nutrition, current events, and so on. For some of these skills, initial teaching is conducted in school simulations, and, subsequently, community outings are used to help transfer those skills to “real life” settings. This strategy is especially important for social skills, including being polite, helping others, congratulating others for their successes, and so on. At Urban Skills Center, social skills are taught throughout the day because we believe that the future success of our students will depend on their social skill as much as any of the skills in the curriculum.

"You have the most positive schools I've ever seen!" State Department of Education site reviewer