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What is a "Continuation High School"?

What is a “Continuation High School?”

Parents often ask many questions about alternative education programs when they are faced with the reality of having to enroll their son or daughter at an alternative education school. Most often, they will ask, "What is a “continuation” high school? What is El Puente High School like? Is it a safe environment? What is the quality of the academic program? Will an El Puente High School diploma fulfill admissions requirements for college applications and financial aid?"

According to the California Department of Education (CDE), “The premise behind alternative schools of choice is that “one size doesn't fit all.” In other words, not all students will thrive or reach their full potential in the traditional comprehensive school. Alternative schools and programs of choice can offer a different structure, learning philosophy, or academic emphasis to accommodate different student needs, interests, and learning styles. The effective use of such instructional strategies as community-based education, focused or thematic education, and flexible scheduling increases attendance and improves performance while fostering student engagement.” There are currently 430 continuation High Schools in California, serving 78,000 students (CalEdFacts @ https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/fb/index.asp) .

California Education Code EC Section 58500 outline the goals of alternative schools and programs of choice:

  • Maximize the opportunity for students to develop the positive values of self-reliance, initiative, kindness, spontaneity, resourcefulness, courage, creativity, responsibility, and joy.
  • Recognize that the best learning takes place when the student learns because of his or her desire to learn.
  • Maintain a learning situation that encourages student motivation, time-management, and the ability to follow their own interests.
  • Maximize the opportunity for teachers, parents, and students to cooperatively develop the learning process and its subject matter. This opportunity must be a continuous, permanent process.
  • Maximize the opportunity for students, teachers, and parents to continuously react to the changing world, including, but not limited to, the community in which the school is located.

El Puente High School offers an academic and social environment that creates a sense of safety, security, and nurturing for students. The flexibility and adaptive nature of the program gives students a sense of belonging and enables them to finally discover a sense of self-actualization and confidence. They begin to realize that they truly can accomplish goals previously thought of as unattainable.

Many times, students will come to EPHS because they have fallen behind on credits needed for a Firebaugh High School diploma. But even after their credit recovery, they choose to remain and graduate from EPHS because of the small, calm, friendly, and nurturing environment. That fact alone is a testament to the quality of the school that EPHS has become.

Parents are always welcome to visit the campus, tour the facilities, ask questions, and get a sense for themselves that El Puente High School is truly a great educational option for students. For more information, please call (559) 659-3899, or send the principal, Terry R. Anderson, an email at [email protected] .