About the Social Justice Pathway

What is the Social Justice Pathway?

The Social Justice Pathway is a three-year program at Palo Alto High School that blends subject curriculum with community action to empower students to make positive change to their community. It is a replacement for orthodox english and history, while still meeting the same Common Core standards.

What is Social Justice?

Social justice can be defined as both a state and a process.

Social justice is the state in which individuals recieve and practice the human rights and privileges that all should have in terms of wealth, stability, education, opportunites, and happiness.

Social justice is a process of building the steps to a completely just society. This can be done by instituting government policies, carrying out community intervention, and individual intervention.

Definition by: Ahana G., Jason P., Tanner N., Nadia L., and Nicole L.

Requirements to Join

Students who join the Social Justice Pathway must be Freshmen going into Sophomore year at Palo Alto High School. Students can't join Junior or Senior year because preparation for our Senior year capstone project and is a three year process.


The Social Justice Pathway is the latest addition to Palo Alto High School's interdisciplinary programs. It is a three-year cohort-based program, includes University of California A-G approved courses in the Humanities, American Literature, World History, United States History, Economics, and Statistical Applications. These courses are distinct in that they fall under the purview of separate departments, i.e. History/Social Science, English, and Mathematics. However, they are companionate to one another and taught thematically. The History/Social Science and English courses form the core of the program, and teachers of these subjects remain with their students for the duration of the program, collaborating closely to ensure that their courses are thematically compatible. The program follows a model of project-based and self-directed learning for students and includes a authentic service component in the form of internships with local non-profit organizations, and culminates in a capstone project in the 12th grade comprised of an action research proposal and executed project.