Two Schools, One Vibrant Community
As the next school year approaches, Rolling Hills Preparatory and Renaissance Schools are raising the bar for South Bay educational programs—one exciting change at a time.
- Written byLaura L. Watts
There’s never a dull moment at the San Pedro campus of Rolling Hills Preparatory and Renaissance Schools, where if you blink you may miss one of the exciting happenings at this diverse learning hub. Excitement is in the air as both schools prepare for the 2019–2020 school year.
Rolling Hills Preparatory and Renaissance Schools recently hosted their first annual STEM and Science Expo featuring a student science fair with interactive demonstrations, robotics activities and a wide range of speakers and presenters. In the arts, upper school students took Hello, Dolly! to the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro and also performed Macbeth on campus, where middle school students performed the musical Beauty and the Beast Jr.
“This educational community is at the top of its game with the student–focused, customized curriculum that has been offered for more than 38 years.”
Beginning next year, these activities will be housed in a newly renovated theater on campus. The Adam Z. Rice Memorial Theater is named in honor of an alumnus who brought his zest for life to the campus for seven years. This intimate space will be equipped to support cutting-edge performances, presentations and activities for many years to come.
The athletic department has recently made great achievements as well. For the third consecutive year, the varsity boys basketball team won the CIF Southern section for their division, and the varsity girls basketball team competed in the State CIF Finals for their third consecutive year. These athletes earned the John Wooden Award for varsity basketball again for the third year in a row.
When it comes to academic programs, this educational community is at the top of its game with a student-focused, customized curriculum that has been offered for more than 38 years. Now Rolling Hills Prep is taking inquiry-driven education to the next level by becoming a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme, which serves students ages 11–16.
This flexible education program drives students to think critically about their role as global citizens—prioritizing self-awareness and “learning how to learn.” The goal of IB schools is to prepare students to actively engage in international-mindedness, to question their biases, and to develop a willingness to grow and change course as needed so they can succeed in a world full of diverse possibilities, challenges and outcomes.
In keeping with the focus on individualized education, the schools offer three specialized diploma programs where students can “major” in a field of study: global studies and world language, math and science, and arts. These programs go above and beyond the standard graduation requirements and include summer programs or travel, participation in subject-specific clubs and service opportunities, GPA requirements and teacher recommendations.
The Global Scholars Program is designed to connect students with the global community through a three-year service learning process that cultivates empathy, ingenuity and resilience. Through travel and service learning opportunities, students are equipped to be creative leaders, constructive citizens and international social entrepreneurs.
The Math/Science Honors Diploma Program is a four-year process that cultivates critical thinking, ingenuity and problem-solving, including leadership and work ethics components. This program encourages students to master theoretical and applied scientific and mathematical topics at an advanced level.
The Specialized Diploma in the Arts is for the student who demonstrates early and dedicated passion in an artistic discipline. Students work closely with a teacher mentor, learning invaluable insight and skills beyond those taught in the classroom. All work in this four-year program is cross-disciplinary, preparing students to work in the professional art world.
In addition to programmatic enhancements, Rolling Hills Prep and Renaissance Schools have hired Christina Morse—known for her counseling work at Chadwick School—to serve as director of student life and help reinforce key aspects of social-emotional learning, school counseling, and various inclusion and diversity goals. The schools now offer a deeper integration of mental wellness and emotional support—including counseling—to maintain a nurturing environment where students can thrive on numerous levels.
Rolling Hills Preparatory School and Renaissance School were established to support various types of learners throughout middle and high school. Both schools customize curriculum for each student in order to create an educational program that encourages social-emotional learning, creative expression and academic achievement.
Rolling Hills Prep, founded in 1981, is a rigorous college preparatory school, while Renaissance School, founded in 2004, serves students with learning differences, offering them the educational structure, support and opportunities to succeed at a heightened academic level. Located on the same campus, the schools unite around the notion of “two schools, one vibrant community.”
Rolling Hills Preparatory and Renaissance Schools are now accepting applications for the 2019–2020 school year. See their newly published viewbook and learn more about admission opportunities at RollingHillsPrep.org/viewbook
Rolling Hills Preparatory and Renaissance Schools
One Rolling Hills Prep Way | San Pedro