Simon Youth Academy at Westminster Mall Expands Capacity to Serve Local Students New Academy Space Designed to Further Local Dropout Prevention and Recovery Efforts

A successful dropout prevention and recovery program, operating since 2003 as a partnership between Simon Youth Foundation (SYF), Westminster Mall and Huntington Beach Union School District, is expanding its capacity to serve local students through a larger academy space at Westminster Mall and an affiliated second site, Simon Youth Coast High School Academy.


Simon Youth Academy at Westminster Mall will be one of 22 Simon Youth Academies nationwide that exist to help at-risk students stay in school. To-date, SYF has graduated more than 12,000 students, awarded more than $12 million in scholarships and maintained a 90% cumulative graduation rate across all Academies. In Westminster, CA, the existing Academy has served more than 600 students.  To-date, SYF and Westminster Mall have awarded $98,000 to local college-bound high school students.


A preview of the new Academy space and celebration of the expanded program model is set for September 18, 2014. This is not a Public preview. It is by invite only.

There will be 2 Simon Youth Academies in Westminster – Simon Youth Academy at Westminster Mall and Simon Youth Coast High School Academy located on Gothard Ave.


SYA at Westminster Mall will have a seating capacity of 120. However, this program is predominantly independent study. The combination of additional staff, seating, and instructional delivery model (independent study) will allow this SYA to serve 2000 students per year.  The majority of the students (80%) are between the ages of 18 to 22 and working toward their high school diplomas. Students work through their required courses one course at a time while balancing adult responsibilities such as families and work. The new space offers roughly 3,000 more square feet of instructional space than the old site, and the interior is being designed and furnished to accommodate modular, flexible classroom spaces.


For Coast High School, an added partner to the SYA network, capacity is 240. This program also has an independent study component and a flexible classroom environment. These students are typically 14 – 18. Coast has three curriculum delivery models that support students’ learning, based on individual needs. Traditional direct instruction is offered to students who need support and guidance. Lab-style independent study is offered to students who have the academic background to work independently but require staff on hand to guide them and keep them focused. Full independent study is offered to students who have demonstrated that they can be to be both academically independent and independently motivated.


SYF has operated nationally since 1998, and has maintained an academy in Westminster since 2003.


Credit: SYF.

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