Local continuation high schools are models of success

Lindsay, Cutler and Dinuba schools named state’s Model Continuation High Schools


SACRAMENTO — Getting kids to come to continuation high school every day is a major accomplishment, but keeping them from dropping out would require an entire enrollment of model students or at least a school with an innovative model for engaging students.

Dennis Doane Principal John J. Cairns

Dennis Doane
John J. Cairns

John J. Cairns Continuation High School in Lindsay didn’t just lower its drop out rate for 2017-18, it eliminated it. Through its use of personalized learning plans and learning projects that focus on the academic and behavioral growth of its students, John J. Cairns did not have any dropouts during the 2017–2018 school year, which the California Department of Education called “unprecedented for a continuation high school.”

The Lindsay school was among 31 continuation high schools statewide newly designated as Model Continuation High Schools for 2019. Other local schools recognized as Model Continuation High Schools were Lovell High School in Cutler and Sierra Vista High School in Dinuba. These schools are recognized for their innovative approach to instruction and helping students who have faced many challenges—including behavior issues, chronic absenteeism, and truancy—get back on the pathway to learning.

“These schools have created exemplary programs and strategies that provide students with a second chance at academic success,” said Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The commitment demonstrated by the teachers and administrative staff, combined with a culture of caring that focuses on the emotional and education needs of the unique populations they serve, are what make these continuation high schools the best examples of how to help kids strive and reach their full potential.”

All the schools honored offer strategic and specialized programs. For example:

Continuation schools provide a high school diploma program for students ages sixteen through eighteen who have not graduated from high school, are required to attend school, and are at risk of not completing their education.

The schools were selected based on a comprehensive and competitive application process that involved effectiveness, assessments, and use of data. The process included a peer review panel and on-site visit.

The Model Continuation High Schools Recognition Program is a joint project of the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Continuation Education Association (CCEA). The program honors continuation high schools for the comprehensive services they provide at-risk youth through instructional strategies, flexible scheduling, guidance, and counseling.

More than 51,000 students attended the state’s 435 continuation high schools during the 2017–18 school year. The 31 schools selected as Model Continuation High Schools retain their designation for three years and will be recognized at the 2019 CCEA State Conference in Santa Clara on April 26–28. For more information, please visit the CDE Continuation Education web site at www.cde.ca.gov/sp/eo/ce/ .

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