Academics » Curriculum


Two students working on their computersThe state-led effort to develop the Common Core State Standards was launched in 2009 by state leaders, including governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, two territories and the District of Columbia, through their membership in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). State school chiefs and governors recognized the value of consistent, real-world learning goals and launched this effort to ensure all students, regardless of where they live, are graduating high school prepared for college, career, and life.

The standards are informed by:

  • The best state standards already in existence
  • The experience of teachers, content experts, states, and leading thinkers
  • Feedback from the public

Language Arts Standards

The Common Core asks students to read stories and literature, as well as more complex texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas such as science and social studies. Students will be challenged and asked questions that push them to refer back to what they’ve read. This stresses critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are required for success in college, career, and life.

Mathematics Standards

The Common Core concentrates on a clear set of math skills and concepts. Students will learn concepts in a more organized way both during the school year and across grades. The standards encourage students to solve real-world problems.

The full list of criteria used to develop the standards is available here.

Ms. D, Assistant Principal, helping a studentOne Size Does Not Fit All

The Value Schools model is not a "one-size-fits-all" approach. What directs the instructional process is student needs, not the dictates of a particular curriculum or methodology. Good teachers always analyze student needs regardless of who selects the methods and materials. The Value Schools model focuses the teachers’ attention first on the needs of the student, and gives responsibility for choosing the most effective means to the teacher in collaboration with the principal and other on-site learning professionals. If the methods and materials are not successful, there is no blame assigned to the curriculum planners for poor decisions; responsibility is immediate and local.

Value Schools is not organized around a particular pedagogical style; rather it is organized around the twin centers of the five core values and the student needs. Educators know a variety of sound pedagogical methods. Using their professional judgment, they determine the learning strengths and needs of each student and the most efficient way for each student to acquire the knowledge or skill set by the curriculum.

Do you have questions about the English Language Development (ELD) Standards? The California Department of Education (CDE) has published resources for understanding the ELD Standards and their alignment to English Language Arts Standards. Read more about it out here.

Central City Value High School Course Guide
Central City Value High School uses the standards-based curricula adopted by the California State Board of Education and the State Department of Schools for the essential subject areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.  University Prep Value School also uses the California State Board of Education’s standards-based curricula in the areas of Fine Arts, Health/Physical Education and World Languages.


  • Language Arts: writing, reading, written and oral conventions, listening and speaking, including critical thinking and analysis. Courses: English 9/9 Honors, English 10/10 Honors, English 11/11 Honors, AP English Language and Composition, English 12/12 Honors, AP English Literature, Practical Writing 9, English Language Acquisition (ELA).
  • Mathematics: Math Readiness, Geometry, Algebra I/Honors and Algebra II/Honors, Pre-Calculus, and AP Calculus
  • Social Studies:
    • Grade 9:  Freshman (Value) Seminar
    • Grade 10: World History/Honors,
    • Grade 11: United States History/Honors, AP United States History
    • Grade 12: United States Government and Politics, AP US Government and Politics, Economics
  • Science: Grades 9 - 12: Physical Science, Chemistry/Honors, Biology/Honors, AP Biology, Physiology/Honors and Health.
  • Arts: Drama and Visual Arts – Art 1, Drawing and Painting, AP Studio Art: Drawing
  • Physical EducationGrades 9 and 10
  • World LanguagesSpanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III, AP Spanish Language
  • Electives: Art 3D Design, Chicano Studies, Drawing and Painting, Engineering for the Future, Game Design, Health, History of Rock & Roll, Intro to Business, Intro to Computer Science, Latin American History, Life Skills, Printmaking & Design, Psychology, SAT Prep, Women and Gender Studies, World Religions

Courses meet the A-G requirements of the University of California.  This includes four years of English, three years of Social Studies, three years of mathematics, two years of laboratory science, two years of a language other than English, one year of visual and performing arts, and one year of an elective from the preceding content areas.Students taking notes in class

For more, please see the Central City Value High School Regulations, Plans, & Policies.

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