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Canyon Crest Academy

A Proud Member of the San Dieguito Union High School District
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School Overview

Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) is a comprehensive public high school of approximately 2,545 students in grades 9‐12 who live throughout the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD). CCA is a public “school of choice” where any student in the district can select the academy. In the 2017-2018 school year, 76% of the Class of 2018 met or exceeded UC/ CSU requirements and 87% of students planned to attend a 4‐year college. In the 2018-2019 school year, less than 2% of CCA students were identified as English learners and less than 4% were identified as students with special needs. Overall, CCA students perform well on standardized assessments, including the CAASPP English language arts and Mathematics. 90.42% of CCA students met or exceeded standards in 2018 administration of the SBAC English Language Arts and 81.9% of all CCA students met or exceeded standards on the 2018 SBAC Mathematics assessment.
CCA is one of two schools in the district that implements the 4x4 schedule. Students take four classes that meet ninety minutes every day for one half of the school year. Another four classes are then taken during the second half of the school year. At the end of a complete school year, students have had the opportunity to have taken a total of eight classes as opposed to the typical six found in schools with block scheduling. These extra two classes allow students the flexibility to take classes that best meet their academic and career goals. Students have the opportunity to take all necessary courses for entrance into University of California, California State University and private post-secondary institutions, while still having room in their schedules to pursue expanded elective opportunities.
Students are attracted to CCA to pursue specialized education in the arts, sciences, and technology; and to participate in real‐world application of skills through established partnerships with local businesses and universities. Student achievement is strongly supported by parents and community members, who partner with school staff to enrich the academic experience for each child on our campus. Dedicated and talented staff members collaborate across the curriculum and embrace technology in support of student learning. The curriculum responds to evolving student interests and includes specialized and in‐depth studies. Students are supported in taking intellectual and creative risks as they engage in their studies which enables them to be confident, life‐long learners. Our students’ creativity, commitment, and exposure to rigorous academics uniquely prepare them for success beyond Canyon Crest Academy. CCA Counselors play a large role in ensuring students at CCA are prepared for their futures.
The Counseling Department connects with students regarding career preparation through a series of grade-level presentations. These presentations are tailored to specific grade level needs and provide students with information regarding careers, career planning resources, college resources, graduation requirements, and more. CCA also has a College and Career Center that is open daily. The College and Career Center contains a computer lab for student research and hosts a variety of guest speakers and university/college representatives on a regular basis.

Specialized Programs and College & Career Readiness

Career Technical Education

CCA offers seven CTE pathways that build transferable professional skills through project-based learning aligned with industry standards and core content: Business Management, Design Visual &  Media Arts, Engineering Technology, Film & Video Production, Graphic Design, Performing Arts, and Software & Systems Development. Pathways are designed with industry input and focus on rigorous, relevant and real-world learning.


Canyon Crest Academy has a strong and continuously growing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program. Targeted STEM courses allow students to explore the field beyond the traditional academic pathways, providing career-ready skills upon high school graduation and creating a strong foundation in the field for students who pursue STEM majors in college. Many of the students enrolled in the Computer Science and Engineering pathway courses also participate in various after-school enrichment programs, including multiple CCA Robotics teams who compete in national and international Robotics competitions. The QUEST Research program is another opportunity for students interested in STEM careers. QUEST is a three-course sequence designed to provide students who are motivated by curiosity and are capable of independent learning with an authentic science experience. In QUEST courses, students are engaged in all aspects of science and have the opportunity to observe and conduct original scientific research.


A distinctive curricular emphasis at CCA is Envision, a comprehensive arts program open to all grades and entailing classes in seven core disciplines: Cinema, Dance, Humanities, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Arts, and Vocal Music. This highly collaborative program was developed through the State of California Department of Education Specialized Secondary Programs Grant during the school‘s inception and focuses on providing an in-depth, technology-rich arts education to students in the San Dieguito Union High School District who recognize arts as their passion. All students have the opportunity to choose from a rich selection of Envision day classes in each of the seven disciplines, including CTE courses and pathways in cinema, music, technical theater, and visual arts. For students interested in pursuing a more in-depth experience, Envision has a second component known as Conservatory. Admittance to Envision Conservatory is by audition or interview only and will be serving 244 students in 2019-2020. This three year, pre-professional program includes an extended day fifth period class for students who not only recognize art as their passion, but intend to pursue this passion at the university and/or professional level. Each term, students participate in 90 hours of intensive discipline-specific work and about 15 hours of interdisciplinary exploration. Students participate in one-on-one and group/ensemble instruction/projects, internships, masterclasses, and workshops, as well as training and support for auditions, college entrance, and scholarship opportunities. Conservatory members are challenged with a rigorous curriculum with juried performances and portfolio reviews each year, culminating in a senior thesis project required for completion of the program.

Student Leadership

Canyon Crest Academy’s Associated Student Body (ASB) Leadership program combines a class with extracurricular opportunities for passionate and engaged students to accomplish our mission “to unify the school’s community and promote a spirited, diverse, and accepting CCA culture.” The ASB program also facilitates and approves the activities of a large number of clubs and organizations on campus (200+). The CCA PALs (Peer Assistant Listeners) have a twofold purpose; first, the course aims to develop leadership capacity within selected students, and second, the initiatives and activities PALs facilitate promote student wellness and facilitate student connections to encourage a safe and positive school community.