El Puente High School
The primary goal of El Puente High School (EPHS) is to provide an alternative academic setting to the comprehensive high school for the purpose of remediating credit deficiencies and returning those students to FHS. Students identified as being off-track for FHS graduation are identified at the end of their 10th grade year and are transferred to El Puente High School. At EPHS, students take 6 direct instruction classes and have one period of taking online computer classes through a program called Acellus. These core courses through Acellus are A-G approved for CSU and UC systems admissions purposes and students can accelerate their credit-earning potential in order to reintegrate back at FHS for their senior year. This is very important in that graduation rates and drop-out rates are critical metrics for our LCAP and California School Dashboard.
With very few exceptions, almost all EPHS students eventually earn their high school diploma from FHS, EPHS, or transferring into Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School. This rate of success is partly attributed to holding quarterly parent/student conferences to review grades, attendance, discipline/behavior, and credits earned beyond their regular direct instruction classes. This systematic monitoring and review of El Puente students ensures a new layer of accountability for both students and staff and appears to assist students in completing their academic and behavioral goals.
As a "continuation" high school, the program has improved dramatically over the years and continues to develop into an important component in FLDUSD’s multi-tiered system of supports for all students. Staff at El Puente do not see students as "at-risk", but rather as "at-promise", as they have the many systems of support that are necessary for success at all levels. El Puente High School offers a high-quality alternative setting for students to either get back to the comprehensive high school or be in an academic environment that is smaller, more structured, and can access the 1:1 assistance that many students desire. The district has been very supportive in providing the resources necessary for the continued development of this program.
Staff at El Puente High School embarked on a lengthy application process to be designated as a California Model Continuation High School. Many changes and new programs needed to be developed and successfully operationalized before such a recognition could be awarded by the California Department of Education. These milestones and benchmarks included a full 6-year WASC re-accreditation, A-G course catalogue, dual enrollment opportunities with West Hills Community College, and student support services for the holistic social and emotional health of each student. The application was scored by a panel of Field Experts from the California Continuation Education Association and earned a passing score. A visiting team under the aegis of the CDE conducted a visit to the El Puente campus (virtual) on November 29 through December 1, 2021, and made their final recommendation to the CDE. The CDE officially notified the district and FACE staff that this top distinction was awarded on February 10, 2022.
El Puente High School is a fully accredited institution by the Accrediting Commission for Schools/Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ASC/WASC). Having that seal of accreditation on our transcripts and diplomas validates the efficacy of our program and signifies that an outside, third-party evaluation process confirmed that El Puente High School meets all of the criteria for a trustworthy, high-quality institution.