La Entrada High School’s independent study model allows Placentia-Yorba Linda students to customize their learning experience

La Entrada High School.

Since opening its doors in 1985, La Entrada High School’s (LEHS) Independent Study program has afforded Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) students the opportunity to customize their high school experience through an alternative educational environment. Complete with WASC-accreditation and an extensive list of A-G CSU/UC approved classes, LEHS empowers its students through textbook, online, and/or hybrid-style coursework that results in high academic achievement.

Located at 4999 Casa Loma Avenue in Yorba Linda, La Entrada’s small, yet spirited campus offers students a high school environment that is clean, comfortable, and unique.

“Students choose to attend La Entrada because some aspect of the traditional high school environment does not best suit their needs or learning styles,” shared Carey Cecil, who became principal in 2017.

Unlike a conventional high school structure that includes a yearlong class schedule, students at LEHS are enrolled in one subject at a time and complete an average of 20 hours of work independently per week. If preferred, the format allows students to work or participate in other activities during the regular school day, and focus on their studies in the evening.

In addition to their independent efforts, students must schedule and attend a weekly appointment with their assigned teacher to take exams, go over completed work, and receive an overview of the next week’s assignments. While on campus, students are also required to participate in counselor and teacher led workshops to encourage peer interaction and to build upon critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity skills.

Some students visit campus for their weekly appointment and exams and leave, while others stay for several hours to complete work or receive extra help from the school’s dedicated staff of teachers Elaine Hudson, Kim Peck, and Dan Sobschak, counselor, Sarah Miller, and secretary, Sarah Soberanes.

La Entrada staff member.

Each semester, LEHS students have the option to take up to two courses concurrently at their resident high school. Annually, 30% of students make use of this exclusive flexibility to take AP courses, lab sciences, or other classes of interest. La Entrada students are also welcomed and encouraged to participate in any and all extra-curricular activities at their resident school in order to increase their opportunities for social interaction and further develop their well-roundedness.

It is not unusual to see La Entrada’s highly motivated students taking courses simultaneously at local colleges, thereby placing them on an accelerated path to complete high school. Each school year, roughly 10% of La Entrada students concurrently complete classes at local community colleges, resulting in 5% of students graduating early at the end of their junior year.

La Entrada High School teacher working with a student.

Although La Entrada’s population tends to fluctuate as students register, finish their requirements, or opt to return to their comprehensive school of residence, Principal Cecil hopes to further customize her students’ learning experience moving forward.

“I want to focus on providing individualized services and support through a concerted effort to know each student’s story and goals,” she noted. “When La Entrada is the right fit for students, they benefit from an environment in which they feel comfortable and supported, they build time management skills as they work independently, and they enjoy the advantage of individual time with teachers, school staff, and a counselor.”

Students and families who are interested in receiving more information about LEHS are encouraged to call (714) 986-7026 or visit to further inquire.

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