Six continuation schools from OC are recognized as state models

An image of Brea Canyon High School

Six continuation schools in Orange County have been recognized among California’s Model Continuation High Schools for 2022.

The local honorees are:

  • Brea Canyon High School, Brea Olinda Unified School District
  • Union High School, Capistrano Unified School District
  • El Camino Real High School, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
  • Lorin Griset Academy, Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Hare High School, Garden Grove Unified School District
  • Valley Vista High School, Huntington Beach Union High School District 

Statewide, just 36 campuses earned the distinction based on a comprehensive application process that included detailed narratives and descriptions of assessment tools and data to support continuous improvement. Finalists were subject to peer-review panels and on-site visits.

Exemplary methods

Continuation schools are specialized campuses that provide a path to a high school diploma for students ages 16 through 18 who are at risk of not graduating.

In California, there are more than 430 continuation high schools, serving nearly 78,000 students. But only three dozen made the 2022 list of Model Continuation High Schools, which was announced Feb. 10 by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond.

“These model schools provide invaluable resources and academic opportunities to our high-needs students, who often are dealing with difficult life events,” Thurmond said.

“Students reap the benefits of social and emotional learning, mentorship programs, student wellness, and restorative justice practices, among other exemplary methods,” the superintendent said. “The efforts of teachers and administrators at our Model Continuation High Schools provide students with the social support, goal-setting, and coping skills that they need to succeed in the academic setting and in their lives after high school.”

Examples from OC

A news release from the California Department of Education cited a pair of Orange County schools as examples of how continuation schools offer opportunities for students to pursue academic and social success.

“El Camino Real Continuation High School in Placentia provides social support and realistic planning and coping skills, factors essential for helping build resilience which, in turn, fosters an environment of learning and life management. An emphasis on student wellness can be found on campus via a wellness team, professional development centered on trauma-informed practices, and various wellness centers on campus.”

“Lorin Griset Academy in Santa Ana is dedicated to ensuring that all students receive the best personalized education possible and focuses on breaking students into small groups, which allows students more time to critically think, analyze, and evaluate content with their classmates. Teachers incorporate gallery walks, jigsaws, and breakout rooms to allow students to strengthen their social skills in the academic setting.”

Uplifting at-risk youth

The Model Continuation High School Recognition Program represents a partnership between the California Department of Education and the California Continuation Education Association Plus, or CCEA Plus. 

The program annually honors schools that uplift at-risk youth through innovative instructional strategies, flexible scheduling, guidance and counseling. The CDE noted that educators at these sites typically support and mentor their peers in other schools and programs.

This year’s Model Continuation High Schools will retain their designation for three years. They will also be formally recognized at the CCEA Plus 2022 State Conference in Long Beach in May. 

The full list of honorees is available on the California Department of Education’s website