La Entrada High School’s independent study model affords Placentia-Yorba Linda students a personalized learning experience

La Entrada High School's small campus in Yorba Linda.La Entrada High School's small campus in Yorba Linda next to the District's Professional Development Academy.

Since opening its doors in 1985, La Entrada High School (LEHS) 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 their Independent Study and Hybrid Pathways that result 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.

“La Entrada High School provides the support of a first class PYLUSD education along with flexibility that is not possible in traditional high schools,” shared Director of Instructional Support and Principal, Carrie Bisgard. “This makes LEHS an excellent solution for students who need a customized high school experience.”

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

“Students have the flexibility to pursue their own interests and passions,” Bisgard said. “We believe that this allows them the best of all worlds.”

While taking two or three classes at a time, students in La Entrada’s Hybrid Pathway attend daily academic support sessions for two hours and work online for an additional two hours at home. This program was thoughtfully designed to include small class sizes, online curriculum, and social emotional lessons. Like the Independent Study Pathway, students in the Hybrid program complete 20 hours of study per week, but either in the school’s new hybrid-style classroom or at home.

In addition to their independent academic efforts in both Pathways, 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 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 appointments and exams and leave. However, others stay for several hours to complete work or receive extra help from the school’s dedicated staff of teachers Elaine Hudson, Kim Peck, Dan Sobschak, and Dana Leon, as well as counselor, Sarah Miller, and secretary, Katia Murillo.

Each semester, LEHS students have the option to take up to two courses concurrently at their resident PYLUSD high school. Annually, students make use of this exclusive flexibility to take AP courses, lab sciences, or other classes of interest. La Entrada students are 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.

It is not unusual to see La Entrada’s highly motivated students taking advantage of the school’s College Enrollment Pathway. Students enroll in courses simultaneously at local colleges, thereby placing them on an accelerated path to complete high school.

This school year, La Entrada is offering an Introduction to Art college course on its campus due to a strong partnership between PYLUSD and Fullerton College. The school plans to expand their on-campus college offerings for students in the near future.

Nearly 25% of La Entrada students are enrolled in local community college classes this school year. As a result, typically 5% of La Entrada’s students graduate early at the end of their junior year.

“La Entrada’s unique model helps students develop skills essential to their success after high school,” Bisgard noted. “They learn to manage their time, work independently, and reach out for support when necessary.”

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

Be the first to comment on "La Entrada High School’s independent study model affords Placentia-Yorba Linda students a personalized learning experience"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.