State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced last month that 31 schools were newly designated as Model Continuation High Schools for 2019, and John J. Cairns High School in Lindsay ranked among the best in California.

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 Thurmond. “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.” 

J.J. Cairns principal Dennis Doane was thrilled for the school and its administration to be recognized for their leadership in internship programs for their learners.

The school’s internship process is very involved. Students have to initiate the process with their advisors and teachers to develop a highly personalized internship program that will help them move forward in their lives.

“They are the driver of the process,” said Doane. “Our internship process is a big part of it. One of the reasons we have earned the award is the dedication of our staff. They are very committed to the learner’s success, their individual needs, and their personalities. All of the learners are different, and their differences should be celebrated and acknowledged.”

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.

John J. Cairns made the list for their personalized learning plans and learning projects that focus on the academic and behavioral growth of its students. The school did not have any dropouts during the 2017–2018 school year, which is unprecedented for a continuation high school.

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 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 page or the CCEA websiteExternal link opens in new window or tab.

Recommended for you