Founded in 1998, Life Learning Academy emerged from an extraordinary community planning process that involved a broad spectrum of public agencies and community-based organizations serving disadvantaged youth, as well as formerly incarcerated adults, families, and youth representatives.
Due to extraordinarily high numbers of incarcerated youth in the 1990s, Mayor Willie Brown hired the nonprofit Delancey Street Foundation in 1996 to assess San Francisco’s juvenile justice system and create a plan for reform. One of the most frequent recommendations that emerged from this process was for an extended-day, structured, comprehensive high school program that provided hands-on, project-based learning and a school-to-career focus. In response to these recommendations, Delancey Street developed the Life Learning Academy, founded on many of the same principles that have been the cornerstone of Delancey Street Foundation’s success with adults.
Life Learning Academy is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and has earned the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Education during charter renewals. To date, Life Learning has consistently received the full six-year accreditation. Life Learning Academy serves students from San Francisco and all of the surrounding counties.