Our School

Meaningful Evaluation & Individual Support for Students
Growing up comes with great opportunities and challenges. Adolescents grapple with questions of identity, purpose, belonging, personal values, and what the future holds. At the same time, they are learning to balance school, jobs, homework, sports, relationships, and extracurricular activities.

At Youth Initiative, we understand adolescents. We provide challenge and support, responsibility and freedom, structure and independence. From our small classroom size to our unique Care Group system of support, we are able to pay close attention to each student, to meet them where they are, and to help them grow and flourish in the ways they need most. Our faculty members write detailed reports of student progress for each class weekly, so parents and students can track growth and look for areas of improvement. These reports reveal far more about each student’s capabilities, contributions, and areas of challenge than a letter grade ever could.

Collectively, these narrative reports also create an impressive transcript that helps Youth Initiative students stand out in the college application process.


No matter where else I go in the world I know there’s a place where I can feel comfortable being myself and I know people accept me for who I am. I feel like everyone should have a place like that.
Maris B.

YIHS Student

Our students come with a fantastic array of life experiences, gifts, challenges, and abilities. What they all share is a willingness to take initiative in their education, to engage with their school work and peers, and to discover their true passions.

The diverse and multi-talented faculty of YIHS all share a passion for working with adolescents and helping them become more free and capable young adults. Each faculty member brings expertise in his or her subject and a desire to light a fire within the students.The 6 core full-time staff have a balance of teaching and administrative responsibilities and collaborate with the 20-30 part-time faculty to maintain high standards and to support the students.


The highest truth that I try to teach my students is that we are all capable of cultivating creativity. It takes creativity to look at a challenge from a different perspective and imagine a solution.
Anna R.

YIHS Teacher

The Care Group
One of the most unique elements of the education at YIHS is the Care Group.  This body is comprised of:

  • The Student
  • The student’s House Leader (an experienced faculty member who acts as their institutional support person)
  • A peer mentor chosen by the student
  • An adult mentor from the community
  • The student’s parents

This group supports the student through his or her entire high school career.  The Care Group is kept abreast of the student’s scholastic activities and meets to discuss important issues when necessary.  Care Groups meet to welcome the incoming student, to plan the student’s senior year, to plan foreign exchange opportunities, to intervene if a student is having academic or behavioral problems, to construct an alternative course of study, to support a student during a major life change or event, or for any other reason deemed to be in the interest of the student.

Indeed, along with trust and individualized attention, flexibility is the Care Group’s asset.  The Care Group is empowered to make decisions, open doors, and create consequences based solely on the best interests of a particular student.

At Youth Initiative every student doesn’t get the same education, every student gets the education they need.

The Houses
Along with all the relationships that are forged between students and their teachers there is also a special relationship that exists between members of each House and their House Leader.

The school is divided into four mixed-age groups or “Houses”.  Houses meet monthly and as needed to discuss school issues and help shape school policy.  In addition, House Leaders act as the Faculty support contact for each student member of their House.  House Leaders lead the student’s Care Group, advise the student on independent studies, and act as sounding board and sage for students who have concerns inside or outside the school.

It’s just one more way we make sure no one slips through the cracks.