Our Philosophy

Leadership High School’s Mission is to serve the diverse students of San Francisco by providing an excellent education and by developing effective community leaders. We believe that we will achieve our Mission by ensuring that every student is known well by at least one adult and by fostering a learning community that, based in inquiry, is focused on equity and achievement.

Leadership High School is committed to preparing all its students for college. We believe that rigorous high expectations, coupled with support and care, will lead to achievement.

We also believe in the importance of preparing students to be leaders in their own lives and in the community. To that end, Leadership has designed its program around four core concepts, known as the School-Wide Outcomes or “SWOs,” that define what every graduate must know and be able to do:

  • Social Responsibility: Demonstrating empathy and compassion; being accountable to other people and to community; serving as an ally, especially across difference; working constructively with others, particularly in times of challenge and disagreement; recognizing and deconstructing oppressive structures that create obstacles for communities and individuals.
  • Personal Responsibility: Recognizing that every action you take is a reflection of who you are as a learner and as an emerging leader; being accountable for your actions, your thoughts, and your words; demonstrating organization and prioritization to handle responsibilities; following-through on your commitments; being able to identify needs and advocate for support; taking responsibility for your own development and life-long learning.
  • Critical Thinking: Moving beyond seeing only problems to create solutions; being aware and reflecting to understand, learn, and promote change; making connections between issues and concepts; recognizing and making inferences; breaking down information into its parts and synthesizing the parts to understand a whole; using logic and reasoning, building sound arguments, backing up points with strong data; recognizing bias and purpose; understanding implications, evaluating options and actions to make good decisions.
  • Communication: Clearly expressing beliefs, ideas, and opinions in a way that others can understand; listening with the goal of understanding others’ perspectives; effectively using a variety of communication forms (e.g. oral, auditory, written, mathematical, scientific, technological, creative) to communicate; knowing how to vary your communication style based on your audience and purpose.

Through our program, we expect students to learn to be leaders for positive change in their own lives and in the community. We expect students to develop not only a social consciousness so that they may imagine a more just, equitable, and healthy world but also concrete skills so that they may bridge differences and act as allies to others. We believe that strong students understand how knowledge and information are constructed in our world and that they use their minds well in order to navigate our complex world of information. We are committed to graduating students who have the tools, knowledge and experiences to be self-sufficient and empowered life-long learners.