Helix High School: What to know Before Applying in 2023

A public school that functions as a school of choice is known as a charter school. Charter schools agree to accomplish specific educational goals in exchange for a charter to run a school.

Charter schools must abide by public school standards, such as not charging tuition or having ties to a particular religion, but are exempt from necessary municipal or state regulations about operation and management.

Helix High School is a charter school in La Mesa, California, a San Diego suburb. From 1951 until 1996, Helix charter high school served community members as a traditional public high school, and from 1998 to the present, it has done so as a public charter school.

In essence, charter schools must have a documented performance contract with the accredited public chartering body and depend on families deciding on enrolling their children. In addition to being autonomous, charter schools have more administrative and operational freedom than conventional public schools.

Helix charter high school in La Mesa, Ca, became the first comprehensive public high school in California to become a charter high school. While the educational program has undergone significant changes to better meet the student body’s needs, the school’s History has been preserved.

Helix charter school is known for its strong academics and great arts, athletics, and extracurricular programs. It also continues to be a community school, and thanks to its charter status, it is open to students from the surrounding areas.

Do you want to enroll in Helix Charter High School in La Mesa, Ca? Then this article was carefully researched and written for you!

Background Information of Helix Charter School

A long time ago, a school formerly called La Mesa High School opened its doors, sparking a later crosstown rivalry.

Students showed up on September 11, 1951, for Helix High School’s first regular day of classes. The student body assembled for Welcome Week after four years of innovative planning, financial, and administrative difficulties—including a battle to prevent the school from being named La Mesa High School.

Things were pleasant for ninth students just starting. This is due to the district’s ban on the initiation hazing custom known as Freshmen Slave Week. However, it had become familiar for sophomores, juniors, and gymnasium arriving at school around 1 p.m. because Helix High’s first academic year was spent on the Grossmont High School campus.

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History of Helix Charter School

A ceremony to mark the site’s construction was held there on April 12, 1950. County school representatives, GUSHD Superintendent Smith, business manager Hughes, director of counseling Benton Hart, and four GHS sophomores anticipated to be in the first La Mesa graduating class of 1952.

Jack Campbell, Stanley Hawks, Julie Anaya, and Phyllis Straka were present.

 On the projected $2.5 million campus, construction got underway right away. A completion date that would allow for the anticipated opening in September 1951 was made possible by the tight schedule.

A four-month delay in construction entirely threw off the original plan for the La Mesa high school. In addition, shortages of construction supplies, particularly steel, would cause additional delays until 1952 due to the United States’ involvement in the Korean Conflict in June 1950.

The Grossmont campus would need to support two different high schools on the Grossmont campus by the fall of 1951, district staff realized before the 1950s ended. The 3,200 pupils expected were to be shared between Grossmont and La Mesa following the plan, which Superintendent Smith developed alongside new La Mesa head Benton Hart.

The Grossmont students would attend classes from 7:50 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., while the La Mesa pupils would attend classes from 1:20 to 6 p.m.

Sports, clubs, and bands would all have different timetables for the two schools. La Mesa sports team practices take place in the mornings. The two management and staff were expected to operate separately despite sharing the same campus.

Helix had a unique student government, music, cheerleaders, football squad, and 26 clubs when it finally opened in September 1951. Helix traditions started on the Grossmont campus, beginning with “Welcome Week” and continued almost daily after that.

Grades and Programs Offered

Helix High School is a public school supporting grades 9 to 12.

While not all students need to go to college to succeed, Helix charter high school’s educational program provides training that equips them with all options after graduation.

This includes attending a two- or four-year college or university, starting a job, enlisting in the military, or attending a trade school.

All students must fulfill a demanding set of requirements to graduate from Helix Charter high school in La Mesa, Ca.

A Helix charter high school diploma guarantees that students have satisfied the minimal course requirements to be qualified to apply to the California State University and the University of California systems.

The Helix high school’s programs also ensure that students can choose between elective courses and a Career Technical Education (CTE) program to help them develop their abilities.

Business/entrepreneurship, biotechnology, education, and sports medicine programs are available through Helix. Additionally, students can access a wide range of performing arts and athletic programs. Additionally, students can access a wide range of performing arts and athletic programs.

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Unique Features at Helix High School

Helix charter high school in La Mesa looks like any other regular high school to visitors arriving for the first time. The 2,400–2,500 students enrolled at Helix High School are a wonderfully diverse group, and about 200 staff members serve them.

A campus with a reliable infrastructure and cutting-edge amenities has been created at Helix charter high school due to two school bond proposals that received great approval from East County residents.

Recent additions include a new science building with integrated lab stations, a 36,000-square-foot performing arts center, and a sports medicine facility. In addition to the new construction, the existing facilities received significant improvements.

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Helix High School Admission Process

Helix charter high school is devoted to serving a student body that reflects the surrounding community and is open to all students. According to enrollment data, charter school students are just as varied (in terms of race and economic status) as regular district schools.

Charter schools are prohibited by law from having admissions procedures that discriminate against pupils. All children who wish to attend a charter school are accepted. Charter schools frequently use a lottery mechanism to pick students at random when there are more applicants for enrollment than available seats.

Eligibility Requirements

All charter schools are available to any student who wishes to apply, irrespective of where they reside. They are schools of choice, subject to space. Independent studies or non-classroom-based schools are subject to certain geographic restrictions. This restricts enrollment to residents of the county in which they are approved or of nearby counties.

Any student in grades 9 through 12 is eligible to enroll at Helix charter high school. The lottery, conducted online via the school’s website, is only required for new students. These are the lottery’s top priorities:

  • Siblings of students returning
  • Residents who fall inside Helix High School’s attendance zone 
  • Employees’ children
  • Students that sign up for the Bagpipe program and commit to it for two years. They must show commitment and attend a briefing with the band director to see if they fit in.
  • All other student candidates will receive a 40% weighted preference. Students who live within the Grossmont Union High School district attendance boundaries will receive a 60% weighted preference.

Application Process and Deadline

Since Helix high school is a charter school, all prospective students must participate in the lottery. Applications for the lottery are open from January 5, 2023, until March 1, 2023. After March 1, 2023, applications will be wait-listed according to how they are received.

You can click Here to open a school Mint account and submit a school Mint application at Helix Charter High School.

Curriculum and Instruction

Besides the extensive support system that enables students to reach more significant personal and academic goals, Helix Charter High School in La Mesa, Ca features a challenging comprehensive curriculum geared to prepare students for success in college and the workforce.

Besides the extensive support system that enables students to reach more significant personal and academic goals, Helix Charter High School features a challenging comprehensive curriculum geared to prepare students for success in college and the workforce.

Overview of Curriculum and Instruction at Helix Charter High School

Helix high school is a charter school with the capacity to develop and implement a curriculum that will benefit the students. These initiatives—all an element of “The Highlander Way”—have been evaluated and developed over many years. And they have all been crucial to Helix’s success.

Helix high school offers the following courses for 9th – 12th Grade:

  • Biology
  • Calculus BC
  • Comparative Government and Politics
  • Psychology
  • Spanish Language and Culture
  • Statistics
  • Physics 1: Algebra-Based
  • Studio Art: 2-D Design
  • Studio Art: Drawing
  • United States Government and Politics
  • United States History
  • Computer Science A
  • English Language and Composition
  • Human Geography
  • Environmental Science
  • Macroeconomics
  • European History
  • Microeconomics
  • Music Theory

Helix charter high school emphasizes conceptual comprehension, practical learning, and combining STEAM and legal ideas.

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Extracurricular Activities

Helix charter high school in La Mesa Ca carry out extracurricular activities to fully equip students with various talents and skills.

In addition to clubs and organizations that cater to students’ interests, Helix Charter High School has an exceptional performing arts curriculum. This curriculum includes instrumental music, vocal music, dance, drama, speech, and debate.

All of these co-curricular and extracurricular activities are designed to help students at Helix charter high school feel a sense of belonging at their school since such kids are more likely to advance both academically and personally.

Helix high school’s athletic program offers a wide range of boys’ and girls’ sports at the freshman, junior, and varsity levels. It is one of the biggest and most successful in San Diego County.

The athletic department works hard to create a sports-based culture that values honesty, decency, transparency, and a strong work ethic. They uphold their illustrious traditions, uphold their high standards, and relentlessly pursue success while instilling in student-athletes valuable life skills.

There are some clubs available for students’ participation in Helix high school; they are:

  • Academic league
  • ACE (architecture construction engineering)
  • Amp (Aspiring Medical Professionals)
  • Art Club
  • Chess club
  • Educators rising
  • Environmental Club
  • Gender & sexuality awareness (GSA)
  • Girls in stem
  • Academic league
  • Ace (architecture construction engineering)
  • Amp (aspiring medical professionals)
  • Art Club
  • Gospel club
  • Journalism / social media club
  • Key club
  • Astronomy club
  • Bsu (black student union)
  • Best buddies

Student Life

All Helix Charter High School students receive a thorough education that equips them to graduate prepared for college. Graduates of this school are capable of achieving their academic and personal goals.

Their primary goal is to give students life-changing learning opportunities to equip them with the knowledge, abilities, and insights they need to transform how they interact with one another, the world, and themselves.

Student Demographics

2,469 students attend Helix charter high School. Helix High School has 45% Hispanic students, 25% White students, 12% students of at least two races, 11% Black students, 6% Asian students, and 1% Hawaiian students.

Students Support Services

As a large comprehensive high school, Helix charter high school, it is crucial that students stay on campus. Helix high school assigns new students to a Grade Level Team. This team comprises a Grade Level Principal, Academic Advisor Counselor, and Administrative Assistant.

This team serves the graduating students for their whole four-year period, helping to make a huge campus feel smaller and safer. This enables families to have a reliable team of support staff members committed to their child’s success, growth, and development.

The grade level teams steps in when students struggle. They are aware of their student’s academic objectives and social-emotional requirements.

To fulfill the school’s high standards for college readiness, students who have difficulty academically could be enrolled in an academic support program or required to attend weekly or daily tutorial sessions after school. Students have the option of receiving individualized guidance from a tutor as well as their instructor through their before- and after-school programs. In addition, one of the institution’s social workers may recommend a student who needs assistance to the Wellness Center within the school for services.

Faculty and Staff

At Helix Charter High School, a diverse community of approximately 2,500 students is served by around 200 staff members.

The student-to-teacher ratio in California is 22:1, which is more than the national average of 25:1.

A bachelor’s degree in education and the necessary accreditation are prerequisites for teaching at Helix Charter High School, just like they are for teachers at public and private schools.

Helix charter high school staff have more freedom when teaching their students as long as they adhere to the school’s prescribed metrics.

 Since many charter schools work with families, teachers receive help from parents at home.

Parent Involvement

Although expanding parental academic involvement and successfully including parents to fulfill students’ needs continue to be challenges for many educators, parental involvement in children’s education is associated with significant and varied positive results.

There is no clear explanation for why parents are more engaged in charter schools than regular public schools serving a similar demographic.

Opportunities For Parent Involvement

The school administration of Helix charter high school invites all present and future parents and students to participate in a Community Roundtable, which draws families together to explore juvenile drug and alcohol misuse and abuse and how it connects to mental health.

There will be conversations about how students may learn further about these topics, share their knowledge and intellectual curiosity, and look into how to advocate for better child and family health and education.

Parents and students will be divided into two discussion groups after a short presentation, where this investigation can start with different facilitators leading a Q+A session.

The Institute for Public Strategies, led by Kyra Merryman, the Youth/Community Organizer, and the outstanding Helix Charter team, which includes counselors and social workers, are co-hosting this event.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the operation of charter schools in California?

Charter schools are publicly supported, privately run, and somewhat independent schools of choice. They don’t have a tuition fee. Charter schools in CA adhere to the same standards of academic responsibility as conventional schools. They get the same public financing as regular schools.

What distinguishes a California charter school from a public school?

Charters operate independently through separate contracts, or charters, with local or state governments that specify rules and performance criteria rather than being a part of a public school system, which establishes curriculum and standards for all schools.

Do charter schools in California have a price tag?

The public, tuition-free charter schools in California are accessible to all pupils. Public charter schools in California provide challenging curricula and distinct educational philosophies.

Who foots the bill for California’s charter schools?

The State Controller’s Office electronically distributes funds to county treasurers, who subsequently distribute them to charter schools following their choice of direct or locally supported funding.


A superb setting for intellectual exposure and overall development is Helix Charter School.

Parents often need to request a spot at the school to enroll their child in a charter school. Even though entrance exams are not required for admission to charter schools, unlike other private schools, they are only sometimes simple to get into.

To be accepted into Helix Charter High School and be prepared to receive the greatest assistance, you must deliberate about your aspiration.



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