About App Academy

App Academy is a four-year College & Career Pathway program at Pasadena High School. We teach computer programming and computer science through an engaging, project-based curriculum. Over the course of their four years in App Academy, students use their programming skills and their creativity to design and build websites, games, mobile apps, and more!
The program is now in its fifth year, and we're proud to have graduated our first class of App Academy seniors. Congratulations, Class of 2016!

What is Computer Science?

Computer Science is the science of using computers to solve problems. Learning computer science empowers individuals to design solutions to problems that make a real difference in people's lives.

Computer science is about so much more than programming— it requires critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and teamwork. In addition to being used in the technology sector at companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, computer science plays a huge role in all sorts of other industries. From business, to medicine, to engineering, to politics, to art— computer science is everywhere!

If you're looking for more information on computer science and what you can do with it, Code.org has some great resources. You can start with this document and the video below.

Our Courses

App Academy is a four-year progression of courses. Each year, students build upon their existing knowledge to build increasingly complex and exciting projects.


This course teaches the fundamentals of programming. Students create websites, 2D games, and simulations using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.



In this course, students build upon their web development knowledge, creating more complex games and client-server applications in JavaScript.



Juniors learn Android app development and object-oriented programming in Java, and have the option of preparing for the AP Computer Science exam.



Seniors start their year with an introduction to computer hardware, then work on capstone projects to showcase what they've learned in App Academy.

Our Staff

We're the team behind App Academy!

Sam Squires


Ann Boyles


Zach Tobin


Phyllis Fash


Briana Dacoscos


Curt Thompson


Kelly Mejia



Do I need previous programming experience to join App Academy?

Absolutely not! Most of our incoming 9th grade students are completely new to programming. You'll be surprised how fast you pick it up! We encourage any interested student who meets our entrance requirements to apply.

Can I be in band, JROTC, or take AP classes if I'm in App Academy?

Yes! Many of our current students are active in extracurricular activities and AP courses. The PHS counselors do their best to accommodate each individual student's needs when scheduling classes.

Do I need my own laptop for App Academy?

No, we'll provide you with one!

What if I'm still not sure that computer science is for me?

The great thing about learning computer science is that it connects with almost every other field out there! To get an idea of how CS can be used, check out the resources at dotdiva.org. If you're looking to try out programming for yourself, you could try out an Hour of Code with code.org. If you're still having fun, check out Khan Academy's courses on making webpages with HTML/CSS and drawing and animation in JavaScript!

How does App Academy prepare students for success in college and future careers?

Our world is increasingly driven by technology, and the skill of computer programming is in high demand. In addition to learning programming, App Academy students will build on their critical thinking and problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills. Students will hear from a diverse group of guest speakers who use programming in their careers, and also have the opportunity to visit colleges and workplaces.

Apply to App Academy!

Applications for the 2017-2018 school year are still open, but ONLY for PHS-Zoned applicants!

PHS-Zoned applicants apply here: 2017-2018 App Academy Application

If you are NOT zoned for PHS, you must apply to the App Academy through PUSD Open Enrollment.
Information about Open Enrollment and their application windows can be found here: PUSD Open Enrollment.

Please note: All applicants must meet the eligibility requirement below!

Eligibility Requirements:
In order to be eligible to be admitted to App Academy, students must have earned a cumulative middle school GPA of 2.0 (out of 4.0) or above.

Contact Us

Questions about App Academy? Please let us know!


(626) 396-3600 ext. 88520