The Academy connects students to school and community through strong personal relationships, an innovative academic program, internship opportunities, and partnerships with organizations throughout Santa Barbara with the ultimate goal to graduate productive and responsible citizens with a comprehensive life plan.
The Academy selects students on three metrics: students who have a truancy or attendance issues, those who have a history of disciplinary problems, and students who have the lowest grade point averages and are at risk of flunking out of school. Through this process, the Academy for Success identified 32 students, who had previously been unsuccessful in the school system, and recruited them at the end of their ninth-grade year to begin this three-year program.
Over the past 3 years, through personalized attention and support from a dedicated team of five teachers and a counselor, these previously struggling students are blossoming. Last fall, SMHS Academy for Success students participated as a cohort to English and World History classes. In the spring, students took science and math classes. All year long, students participated in Guided Studies, a study hall where they were paired with student mentors, to check grades and receive tutoring. During the last period of the day, students took their elective class with the general population. In addition to academic support, students are also given the option for one-on-one therapy with a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). The results so far are inspiring as there have been noticeable improvements in attendance, grades, and behavior.