The Model Community Day School (MCDS) Recognition Program is sponsored by the California Department of Education (CDE), Educational Options Division, in cooperation with the California Continuation Education Association (CCEA Plus).

California Model School Flag - CCEAThe newly developed MCDS Program will identify and recognize outstanding community day schools and will create a resource list of exemplary programs for school visitations and mentoring.

Community day schools serve and support high-risk youths, including those referred by expulsion, probation, a School Attendance Review Board or other district level referral process. They provide challenging academic curriculum and develop pro-social skills and resiliency.

The MCDS Program is based on the longstanding MCHS Recognition Program for continuation schools created in 1990, and adapted specially for community day schools. In addition to celebrating excellence, another goal of this program will be to create and maintain other forms of peer mentoring to support other schools to adapt successful approaches and practices of these model schools in their own communities.

Model Community Day School (MCDS) Recognition Program:
Quick links: Overview | Requirements and Application | Current Model SchoolsPast Awardees

California’s MCDSs provide comprehensive services to students whose needs and strengths can be better met within these specialized settings using exemplary asset-based positive instructional strategies and social, emotional, and mental health and guidance and support services.

The application primarily consists of five narrative statements, addressing the following topics:

  1. School Profile
  2. School Management
  3. Educating “This Whole Child” (Instruction)
  4. Educating “This Whole Child” (Social, Emotional, and Mental Health and Development)
  5. School Evaluation of Effectiveness

All eligible community day schools in the state are invited to submit an application to become a “Model School”.

Model School Program Overview:

  • Began in 1990 for continuation schools, as a collaboration between the California Department of Education (CDE) and  CCEA Plus. The program was adapted and developed in 2023 for community day schools.
  • Identifies and recognizes outstanding programs.
  • Creates a resource list of quality programs for visitations and other forms of technical assistance — educators have committed to being mentors for other AltEd educators.
  • Identifies individuals to assist with the review and rating of applications and Site Validation Visits.

Requirements and Application

CDE CCEA Model School Seal (MCHS)CDE encourages all community day schools that have been in operation a minimum of two years and meet other eligibility criteria to review their programs and submit an application for statewide recognition.

Selected schools are Model Schools for three years; after that, those schools will need to re-apply.

Learn How to Apply

Application (for 2024-2025) | Download forms

Our Model Schools

The first community day schools to become Model Schools were selected in fall/winter 2023, and announced in March 2024. Selected schools are awarded in person at the annual CCEA+ Conference each April/May.

Model Schools Only (only members can view):
Purchase Model School Flag | Purchase Diploma Stickers

To purchase a Model School flag, please follow the steps on our FAQs page.

2024 Model Community Day School

Congratulations to our new model schools!

  1. Pathway Community Day School, Central Unified School District, Fresno County
  2. Sanger Community Day School, Sanger Unified School District, Fresno County
  3. Dorothy V. Johnson High School, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  4. Montebello Community Day School, Montebello Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  5. Lighthouse Community Day School, Fort Bragg Unified School District, Mendocino County
  6. REACH Academy, Santa Ana Unified School District, Orange County
  7. Hesperia Community Day School, Hesperia Unified School District, San Bernardino County
  8. Lindsay Community Day, Lindsay Unified School District, Tulare County

Past Years & Announcements

  2024 Announcement | CCEA+ news