Learning Works Charter School

The mission of Learning Works Charter School is to provide a personalized, rigorous academic program and relevant life skills to traditionally underserved students in grades 7-12 who have withdrawn or are in danger of withdrawing from mainstream education without attaining a high school diploma. The school focuses on what works: engaging students through rigor, relevance and relationships.

Learning Works goes beyond the traditional definition of a learning institution. The school has an approach to poor families that works, and a means to improve dropout rates in the city of Pasadena. The goal is to end poverty through education and the social/economic breakdown of families by ending the family dropout cycle. “We realized the existing system just did not know how to re-engage, welcome or serve dropouts, so we started a charter school where the dropout is the customer. We see our role as advocates for the poor and disengaged, with one goal: all youth deserve a high school diploma.”

Squid & Squash Foundation is particularly committed to Learning Works because

  • The school’s principles–fresh start; forgiveness and unconditional love; safe haven; reality and potential; desire to give back and be heard; honesty; joy and fun; irrational commitment to students–wholly reflect their diehard commitment to their students achieving a high school diploma.
  • Their complete wrap-around services help ensure a student’s success.  Most notable is their Chasers model where students are literally “chased” to complete coursework and to graduate.  Chasing includes coaching, mentoring and tutoring. Chasers are current college students who have come from similar conditions as the students served. They know the streets and work through youth in the neighborhoods with one goal in mind: graduation. They transport students to needed services, such as probation appointments, health services and whatever else might be a barrier to earning their diploma. The “Chaser” has received national attention as a unique model to reengage youth in their education.

Learning Works really does!