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Curriculum Information

The curriculum at HSHMC will be:
  • standards-based, advanced, and rigorous
  • delivered by highly qualified educators
  • designed for students to meet and exceed A-G requirements for UC/CSU entrance
  • learned in a context of health sciences, health careers, and health education
  • engaging, meaningful, and individualized to meet students' need

HSHMC students will exceed high school graduation requirements determined by California Education Code (section 51225.3) and exceed A-G requirements determined by the California State University and University of California for freshman admission. The following sequence of courses outline the typical core program for HSHMC students:

Grade History-Social Science English Science Mathematics Health Sciences
9 English 1 Earth Science Math 1 (Algebra 1 or Geometry) Intro to Health Sciences; Hospital Job Shadowing
10 Modern World History and Geography English 2 Biology Math 2 (Geometry or Algebra 2) Issues in Health Sciences; Anatomy and Physiology; Hospital Practicum
11 Modern U.S. History and Geography English 3 Chemistry or Physics and Engineering Math 3 (Algebra 2 or Statistics or Calculus) Policies and Practices; Medical Terminology; Hospital Internship I
12 Government and Economics English 4 Science and Technology (Biotechnology) or Anatomy and Physiology Math 4 (Statistics or Calculus) Careers and Ethics in Health Care; Paid Internship II

HSHMC students will study world language for a minimum of two years before graduation. These, and a number of advanced courses (health, science, technology, etc.), will be available through our partnership with Community Colleges and some may be offered online as well. Physical education (P.E.) requirements will be met through personal fitness plans developed by students with staff, and may include P.E. electives, clubs, teams, and other sports alternatives.


HSHMC students will have options to participate in on-campus electives and special interest groups. Topics for these will be determined in large part by students (e.g., painting, drama, music, student government, Health Occupations Student Association, yoga, karate, weightlifting, etc.).

Implementing curriculum integration and a unique block schedule at HSMHC, students at each grade level will meet regularly as a large group to engage in lectures, activities, and presentations that introduce a specific issue or topic (often related to health sciences). Related to the large-group topic, students will then break into smaller groups to meet with a content-area teacher who will teach the standards-based curriculum in the context of that topic. Students will rotate between their core content teachers to better understand the topic and develop subject-specific skills and knowledge.

Educational technologies, including podcasting, vodcasting, and internet-based programs, will enhance student learning and provide diverse opportunities for interactions with topic expertise.

In order to promote deep understandings, the curriculum will be organized into big ideas and essential questions. For example, a big idea for 10th grade students might be "Healthcare impacts a nation's economy" with an essential question of "Who is responsible for public health in a global economy?" Each teacher will address discipline-specific standards in a way that ensures students understand the purpose of the standards and their applications to real human issues. In this case, the science teacher might address these grade-level standards:

  • Organisms have a variety of mechanisms to combat disease;
  • As a basis for understanding the human immune response, students know the role of antibodies in the body's response to infection, and how vaccination protects an individual from infectious diseases.
  • The history teacher might address these standards:
  • During the Industrial Revolution, examine how scientific and technological changes and new forms of energy brought about massive social, economic, and cultural change;
  • Students analyze the integration of countries into the world economy

The English/Language Arts teacher might focus student learning on these standards for structural features of informational materials:

  • Generate relevant questions about readings on issues that can be researched;
  • Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis, evaluation, and elaboration.

School-wide approaches to content literacy instruction will ensure that students develop an interest and purpose for reading, habits of mind, and transportable strategies that they can use across disciplines to read, write and think. By using these strategies in each classroom, students will develop habits for engaging with texts and learning with texts. They will apply these reading, writing, and thinking strategies in their health science independent reading and writing tasks as well. Visual and performing arts content will also be integrated into core courses.

Assessment Features

In order to ensure that students are meeting required grade-level competencies and prepared for the rigors of postsecondary programs, assessments will be administered and evaluated every 4-6 weeks providing specific and immediate feedback to students. Learning gaps will then be addressed in one-on-one and/or small group tutoring and interventions.

As required for all public school students in the state of California, HSHMC student will pass the California High School Exit Exam in order to receive a high school diploma. In accordance with the state's academic accountability system (STAR program), HSHMC students will also take the California Standards Tests.

Health Sciences Pathways

Based in our partnership with th e local community college, students will work with counselors and mentors to identify and develop a Health Science Pathway that meets the needs of the individual student. HSHMC students can take community college courses for credit toward both degree and Healthcare professional certification programs. For example, students will be able to enroll in courses such as Emergency Medical Technician training, anatomy and physiology, Physical Therapy assistantship, biochemistry, Respiratory Therapist certification, phlebotomist certification, and so on.

Furthermore, HSHMC coursework and internship program at Sharp hospitals will allow students to pursue vocational pathways in such fields as Biotechnology Research and Development, Diagnostic Services, Health Informatics, Support Services, and Therapeutic Services.