Skip to main content

What is an Academy?


WHS Small Learning Communities (SLCs)


Watsonville High School has incorporated a Small Learning Communities (SLCs) program to improve student academic achievement by bringing staff and students closer together.  WHS functions with freshman academies and multi-grade academies organized around career interests.  Students choose their SLC in their freshman year and remain with their SLC and the small group of students who have chosen their particular SLC.   A core team of teachers will share the same core group of students to support the students’ educational progress through their senior year.  Students are also enrolled in an advisory period with one of their SLC teachers.    This way, teachers can collaborate on personalized strategies to support the learning needs of ALL students.  During the school year we will host interdisciplinary activities to strengthen the learning process.  We also host student/parent informational meetings to better support our students. 


Name of Each SLC and Description:

Freshmen SLC:

The Freshmen SLC is designed to prepared students for a successful transition from middle school to high school.  This non-career themed SLC is for all incoming freshmen, with committed teachers working together to reinforce organizational skills, academic preparedness for their high school years, and postsecondary pursuits in college and career.        


BATA (Business and Technology Academy)

BATA offers student an opportunity to work in three businesses on the Watsonville High School campus. Our “Spirit Store” is a retail business selling Wildcatz promotional products and our soon-to-be open Aquaponics business will be producing, marketing, and selling organic fish. Students can master their business management skills in the areas of sales, marketing, and finance. The Business and Technology Academy prepares students for post-high school careers via college or through technical training. BATA students have access to the most current computer lab on campus with two color printers and 30 computers.


ECHO (Education, Community, Humanitarian, Outreach)

ECHO is the SLC if you are looking to be a leader through teaching, mentoring, standing up for others, or protecting your community. ECHO students make a name for themselves through actions and leadership and contribute positively to the world and local community.  ECHO Academy recognizes all kinds of leaders, and works with students to focus their leadership style and explore themselves as individuals, how to be effective leaders, and what they can do for WHS.


ESNR (Environmental Science and Natural Resources)

ESNR is Watsonville High School’s GREEN Academy. ESNR provides students with the skills necessary to get that green job- the jobs of the future. With established partnerships with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, UC Santa Cruz, Community Alliance of Family Farmers and more, we learn about the environment, sustainable agriculture, and conservation of natural resources. Expect to get your feet wet- ESNR classes involve hands-on projects and field studies, from the WHS on-campus garden to Elkhorn Slough and beyond.


 ∑-Tech (Engineering and Technology)

ETECH is for students interested in pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and vocational careers. Academy courses promote hands-on learning. Students interested in architecture, construction, engineering, programming, computer aided design/manufacturing, automotive repair or welding should consider ETECH.  ETECH offers a rigorous pre-engineering program adopted from Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national pre-engineering curriculum. Both programs are articulated with post-secondary institutions.


 Health Academy

 The Health Academy is a three-year program that goes from sophomore to senior year. It is a place where students learn about careers in the medical field. Field trips to hospitals, museums, colleges, and other educational places are a key part of our program along with an internship at the hospital in the senior year. Sophomores and juniors meet with mentors to learn more about various medical careers.



 Mosaic is a visual and performing arts academy.  Mosaic connects the high school core curriculum and prepares students for college or post-secondary opportunities that showcase a student’s artistic talent and abilities.  Mosaic teachers believe that students who study the arts do better academically in all of their classes.   Mosaic is a fully funded California Partnership academy dedicated to helping students appreciate all aspects of art, including art history.


Video Academy

The Video Academy is a three year college prep program that combines academic classes with vocational training in broadcasting, video production, journalism and multi-media research and presentation skills. Students have the opportunity to produce videos, access to the latest technology, and may be a part of Watsonville High's daily live news broadcast, KATZ News. Specific skills taught include camera work, sound engineering, computer graphics, video engineering, video editing, studio audio production, special effects creation, script writing, directing and much more. Students participate in fieldtrips to universities and colleges, and an annual film festival.