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The Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative (WALC) is an academic program that utilizes environmental education as the central, unifying theme with which we integrate science, English, social studies, art, technology, and math.



Our mission is to provide a diverse community of students at two San Francisco high schools with a transformative educational model that integrates environmental education and ecological principles with ethnic studies and social justice principles.


Our vision is that our students will achieve greater academic success and grow into an interconnected community of scholars and activists, applying the principles and values they have learned in WALC to shape positive futures for themselves, their families, their communities, and the environment.

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Wilderness Arts
and Literacy 


at two schools

Balboa High School
Downtown High School

Students at Balboa High School choose a pathway, also called a small learning community, to enroll in from the beginning of their junior year to the end of their senior year. The WALC pathway consists of three integrated classes each year in science, social studies and English: Astronomy, U.S. History, and American Literature for juniors and Environmental Science, American Democracy and Economics, and English/European Literature for seniors.

Students at Downtown High School, a continuation high school for students who have experienced a lack of academic success in their home schools, choose a self-contained, interdisciplinary, project-based program to enroll in each semester. Students participate in these “projects” all day, every day for a semester at a time. The WALC project integrates science, English, history, art, and math, with four discrete semester-long units of curriculum so that students may enroll for in WALC up to four semesters in a row if the program is effective in helping them re-engage with school and succeed academically.

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