While we recognize that academic achievement lays the foundation for success, Citizens of the World Charter Schools LA’s model also acknowledges that students need more than success in core subjects to thrive in our society. Just like a DNA molecule, three different DNA strands come together to create the foundation of our Learning Model and support our students’ growth towards mastery in our Graduate Dispositions. Our three DNA strands of our Learning Model are below and reflect commitments to Student Learning, Staff Learning, and Family Learning.

Core Academics
We measure the success of core academics through existing, industry-standard assessments (e.g. Smarter Balanced Assessments) to measure proficiency rates, aligned to the Common Core state standards.

Social Emotional Development
SED supports the growth and development of the whole child, helping children develop the ability to understand their feelings and those of others and how to control their feelings and behavior to support collaboration. Since day one, Citizens of the World Charter Schools LA has embedded SED in every aspect of what our children experience during the day.

Difference & Inclusion
CWC LA creates a space to celebrate diversity across all characteristics and has developed organizational procedures to implement a model where everyone (students, parents, staff) can learn important skills around D&I. Research (e.g. stereotype threat) highlights the importance of D&I to solving the achievement gap challenge by helping students feel like they belong, develop their own positive self-identity, and much more. 


In addition to a rigorous core academics curriculum, we also want to make sure that we are preparing our students to emerge as a new generation of leaders–ready to work across lines of difference, solve complex problems, and contribute to their communities in a meaningful way. We have defined a set of habits, characteristics and mind that we aim for all of our graduate to possess upon leaving Citizens of the World Charter Schools and we focus our curriculum in a way that maximizes the development of these skills. See below for more in-depth definitions of our Graduate Dispositions framework.


These dispositions reflect the qualities our graduates will possess internally.


These dispositions reflect the qualities our graduates demonstrate in relationship with others, both one-on-one and within communities.


These dispositions reflect the qualities our graduates demonstrate as they engage in the world at large.


Identifies and understands one’s own emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Understands one’s passions, strengths and limitations. Recognizes the impact of context and others’ perceptions, and uses self-awareness to respond thoughtfully. Engages in continuous self-reflection.


Independent, disciplined and self-motivated. Consistently sets and achieves goals.

Critical Thinking

Analyzes, evaluates and applies information to ask questions, develop ideas, construct arguments and solve problems. Considers multiple perspectives, both from the past and present, when analyzing situations.


At ease with ambiguity and the unknown, knowing that it is an important step to finding clarity. Open-minded and able to manage rapid growth, change and disruption.


Expresses ideas and thoughts through verbal, nonverbal and written communication. Adjusts communication based on the purpose of the message, context and audience. Builds understanding by listening, asking questions, testing assumptions, and applying examples. Internalizes multiple viewpoints to inform communications.


Learns cooperatively with others to achieve a common or complementary goal. Encourages the contributions of others, through active listening, providing feedback and drawing on individual strengths. Responds to group dynamics, including issues of power and control.

Cultural Competency

Understands one’s own identity and story. Can initiate and build constructive relationships with others, across lines of difference. Understands issues of privilege and power, as well as one’s cultural norms and biases. Leads across diverse groups in different contexts, using an asset-based lens.


Acts with kindness and compassion towards living and nonliving aspects of one’s environment. Senses how another person feels, and can take another’s perspective.

Systems Thinking

Sees the connections and relationships between things (people, places and ideas) over time. Identifies and predicts complex patterns of behavior. Connects seemingly unrelated ideas to solve problems, innovate, and imagine new ways.

Global Advocacy

Evaluates issues from multiple perspectives and identifies the role one can play to promote change locally and in the world. Acts courageously, making sacrifices for the greater good. Works alongside others as global citizens to pursue justice with shared respect for human dignity.

Lifelong Learning

Demonstrates curiosity and the desire to discover new things. Asks complex questions to develop understanding. Has deep and broad content knowledge.

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