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Joan Macy School

Joan Macy School

Joan Macy School is a specialized, non-public school for at-risk students grades 1-12, who are placed with us by their local school districts. Practical instructional skills are integrated into the classroom experience to promote the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in society today. Students follow school district graduation requirements, with special guidance for those behind schedule. We also offer exposure to community activities such as field trips, dual enrollment, regional occupational programs, and full mainstreaming back to public school as appropriate.

We offer individual and crisis counseling, behavior management training, social skills training, transitional and vocational training, speech and language therapy, door-to-door transportations, healthy living and physical education, and one-to-one services.

Eligible students have access to the San Antonio and East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Programs and an on-campus Work Experience Program, where students gain hands-on job training and earn both a work allowance and vocational credits.

We adhere to the Common Core State Standards developed by the State of California. Individualized adaptations to curriculum are done on an as needed basis. Math curriculum includes California-adopted My Math, California Math Course 1-3, and Core Curriculum Integrated Math I & II. Our English Language Arts curriculum includes California adopted California Journeys and Collections California.


JMS Documents

Photo Credit Joanne Wilborn and Marlyn Woo

Street Law Clinic

Understanding their place in society is important for all young adults. To this end, Joan Macy School has many for years partnered with the Street Law Clinic offered by Professor Laura Dym Cohen through Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. The clinic teaches legal life skills to high school students at Joan Macy School and throughout Los Angeles County. Law students step into the roles of teacher, mentor, and advocate to empower at-risk youth to make better choices, overcome adversity, and build stronger futures.

These participatory lessons inform the teenagers about their rights and the laws that apply to them, and provide legal information and resources they need to successfully transition to independent living and adulthood. Law students teach a weekly 90-minute lesson using active-learning methodology at sites arranged by the clinic director, as well as meet with their students individually to ensure that each has a plan as they leave high school. Based on this plan, the law students prepare a resource binder specific for each youth that targets their needs and interests, focusing on housing, employment and education.

For more information on Street Law Clinic, contact:

Laura Dym Cohen
Clinical Professor of Law and Director
Street Law Clinic and Public Service Programs
Southwestern Law School

Photo Credit Julie Griffith

Stronger Together: Joan Macy School & Renaissance Community Prep

The 2021-2022 school year looked a little different this year, not because of virtual classes or wearing masks, but because Joan Macy School and Renaissance Community Prep joined forces on the David & Margaret campus. The new, larger cohort of students from 1st-12th grade has been a huge success. Students are progressing academically, socially, and vocationally through individualized lesson planning and community-based learning.

Twelve students applied and now hold jobs on campus, six of which have been accepted for employment through the Department of Rehabilitation. To be eligible for the work program, a student must maintain excellent school attendance, be passing all their classes, and demonstrate appropriate school behavior. Through the work program, students learn useful skills, responsibility, and time management.

One student is involved in the adult transition program to develop independent living skills. He is learning how to create a weekly menu, shop for all the ingredients, and prepare food for himself. Additionally, he is also learning to do his own laundry, clean the kitchen and bathroom, along with other household chores, all while attending specific classes to continue working on reading, writing, and math.

There is so much to celebrate at Joan Macy School/Renaissance Community Prep! Three of our students have already applied and been accepted into local junior colleges, thanks to their hard work and dedication. These are excellent students who are working towards a bright and better future for themselves. We look forward to many more successes in the years to come as we continue to expand our programs to better meet the needs of our youth.


Read the full Newsletter here

Our Impact This Year

  • Youth & Families Served


  • Volunteer Hours


  • Youth Internship Hours


  • Housing Provided


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