Conference Awards, Programs and Student Art 2024

CCEA Conference Gala 2024

Quick links:  State Regional Award Honorees | Model Continuation High School Program Recognitions | Model Community Day School Program Recognitions | Student Art Showcase | Keynote Speakers and Presentations | Exemplary Program Awards and Summaries | Save the Date 2025

Want to see more event photos? View them here: 2024 Conference Photo Gallery.

State Regional Award Honorees 2024

Administrators of the Year
Region 1: Matthew Centofranchi
Region 1: Hector Murrieta
Region 2: Dr. Irma Lemus
Region 3: Amalia Lopez
Region 4: Melissa Brennan
Region 4: Tami Dillon

Classified Employee of the Year
Region 1: Alicia Gutierrez
Region 1: Judy Alvarez
Region 2: Christopher Salazar
Region 4: Amanda Lim
Region 4: Carlene Hunt

Counselor or Support Person of the Year
Region 2: Haley Beagley
Region 2: Vanessa Almonte
Region 3: Porshia Pruitt
Region 4: Rosalie Armijo
Region 4: Diana Rudesill

SRO Officer of the Year
Region 1: Walter Isaac

Superintendent of the Year
Region 1: Dr. David Pyle

Teacher of the Year
Region 1: Delfina Martinez
Region 2: Karen Roberts
Region 2: Nancy Frazier
Region 3: Lana Jimenez
Region 3: Robert Vega
Region 4: Keith J. Sprague
Region 4: Yuri Buechler

Student Essay Contest Winners
1st: Cassandra Rafton, Phoenix Continuation High School ~ 11th Grade
2nd: Atziri Sanchez, Olympic High School ~ 12th Grade
3rd: Melvin Gonzalez, Walt Whitman High School ~ 12th Grade

Student Art Contest Winner
Angelina Sanchez, Valley High School

Model Continuation High School Program Recognitions 2024

CDE CCEA Model School Seal (MCHS)Thirty-one schools have been awarded Model Continuation High School (MCHS) status for 2024. Review teams conducted a Site Validation Visit to each of the schools and prepared a report based on their findings. These reports included a Program Summary, which explains specifically how the awardees meet the criteria for recognition as a MCHS.

2024 Model Continuation High Schools
1. Aurora High School, Calexico Unified School District, Imperial County
2. Black Diamond High School, Pittsburg Unified School District, Contra Costa County
3. Broadway High School, San José Unified School District, Santa Clara County
4. Calaveras Hills High School, Milpitas Unified School District, Santa Clara County
5. Calico Continuation High School, Silver Valley Unified School District, San Bernardino County
6. Cambridge Continuation High School, Fresno Unified School District, Fresno County
7. Central Valley High School, Kern High School District, Kern County
8. César E. Chávez High School, Santa Ana Unified School District, Orange County
9. Chaparral High School, Bonita Unified School District, Los Angeles County
10. Del Valle Continuation High School, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, Alameda County
11. Delta High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, Santa Barbara County
12. Eric Birch High School, Fontana Unified School District, San Bernardino County
13. Frontier High School, Whittier Union High School District, Los Angeles County
14. Gateway Continuation High School, Clovis Unified School District, Fresno County
15. George and Evelyn Stein High School, Tracy Joint Unified School District, San Joaquin County
16. Hillview High School, Tustin Unified School District, Orange County
17. Kings Canyon High School, Kings Canyon Joint Unified School District, Fresno County
18. Liberty High School, Lodi Unified School District, San Joaquin County
19. Metropolitan Continuation High School, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County
20. Mission Continuation High School, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County
21. Patricia Dreizler Continuation High School, Redondo Beach Unified School District, Los Angeles County
22. Pershing Continuation High School, Central Unified School District, Fresno County
23. Raincross High Continuation, Riverside Unified School District, Riverside County
24. Rancho del Mar High School, Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, Los Angeles County
25. Robert Elliott Alternative Education Center, Modesto City High School District, Stanislaus County
26. San Andreas High School, Tamalpais Union High School District, Marin County
27. Sierra High School, Azusa Unified School District, Los Angeles County
28. Sierra High School, San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Bernardino County
29. Stoney Point High School, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County
30. Vista Continuation High School, Kern High School District, Kern County
31. Vista Continuation High School, Lynwood Unified School District, Los Angeles County

Model Community Day School Program Recognitions 2024

CDE CCEA Model School Seal (MCHS)Eight schools have been awarded Model Community Day School (MCDS) status for 2024. Review teams conducted a Site Validation Visit to each of the schools and prepared a report based on their findings. These reports included a Program Summary, which explains specifically how the awardees meet the criteria for recognition as a MCDS.

2024 Model Community Day 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

Student Art Show 2024

At the 2024 Conference in Los Angeles, CCEA+ members showcased student art from their schools. The artwork remained on display for all attendees throughout the event weekend. Kathleen Rarewalla, the art show program coordinator, remarked: “Our schools submitted such outstanding work that I awarded so many students with medals and ribbons.” This year’s Conference included our largest attendance yet. Below is a snapshot of some the student art for 2024.

The following schools exhibited — Oxnard HS, Calvine HS, Citrus HS, Jamison HS, Frontier HS, Valley HS, Coronado HS, Mount San Jacinto HS.

Selected credits (from above):
1. Boy with Cap: Ivan Colin Miranda (Mount San Jacinto HS)
2. Woman: Ivan Colin Miranda (Mount San Jacinto HS)
3. Car drawing: Adam Garcia (Mount San Jacinto HS)
4. Spider-Man: Velazlo (Mount San Jacinto HS)
5. Three Cars: Liondra Sanchez (Mount San Jacinto HS)
6. Clown/joker: H’Layhan Nelson (Coronado HS)
7. Handful of Chain: Ricardo Diaz (Coronado HS)
8. Doll Classroom: Mia Cebreros (Coronado HS)
9. Carrie: Mia Cebreros (Coronado HS)
10. Skateboard Cobra: Sylvestre Ruiz (Valley HS)
11. Skateboard Hello Kitty: Brady Avila (Valley HS)
12. Skateboard Cat/Sun: Ariel De (Valley HS)

CCEA Plus Keynote Speakers and Presentations 2024

Guest Speakers

Conference Opening Keynote Speaker, Academy Ballroom:

Dr. Samuel Buenrostro, Superintendent for the Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) Dr. Samuel Buenrostro is the Superintendent for the Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) where he has served in numerous roles over the past 25 years, including Deputy Superintendent in Human Resources and Instructional Support. Dr. Buenrostro’s just commenced his 39th year in public education, started as support staff at a continuation high school.

Dr. Buenrostro obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Chapman University, his Master’s from Cal State San Bernardino, and his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at the University of LaVerne. Dr. Buenrostro is married to Sandra, a personal counselor. They have three adult children: Eric, Luis, and Samantha.

Dr. Buenrostro taught Spanish, English as Second Language, and served as head soccer coach at Santa Ana High, Riverside Poly High School, and John W. North High School. Dr. Buenrostro served as Assistant Principal and Principal of Centennial High School for 12 years.

During Dr. Buenrostro’s tenure, Centennial High School received several accolades: National PLC School distinction, Riverside County Model of Excellence awards, named one of America’s Best High Schools, numerous CIF Championships, and a California Golden Bell Award. Dr. Buenrostro was named 2009 CNUSD and Riverside County Principal of the Year.

In 2016, Dr. Buenrostro was named ACSA Region 19 Human Resources Administrator of the Year. As Superintendent, Dr. Buenrostro has received the following accolades: 2023 CALSA Superintendent of the year, 2023 Quantum Impact Courageous Leadership Award, and the 2024 CalSPRA Superintendent to Watch Award. Dr. Buenrostro was recently appointed by Governor Newsom to the Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs.

Dr. Buenrostro places high importance on community service and healthy living. Over the years he has provided service as a Board Member of Corona Chamber of Commerce, Corona History Association, Circle City Kiwanis, Rotary International, Lions Club International, and Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Buenrostro is enthusiastic about living life with a purpose, the power of people, and inspiring others to make a difference.

Model Schools Gala Keynote Speaker, Universal Studios Sound Stage 15:

Ben Chida, Chief Deputy Cabinet SecretaryBen Chida is Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Senior Advisor for Cradle to Career in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, which he joined after serving on the Governor’s transition in 2018. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Ben served as Attorney-Advisor in the executive office of then-Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, as a judicial law clerk to federal judges in California and on the D.C. Circuit, and as a third-grade teacher in New York City. Ben’s educational journey includes dropping out of high school, attending Orange Coast College, and receiving a B.A. from UC Berkeley, a teaching certificate in childhood education from Pace University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Reference

From the CCEA+ President: “During Saturday’s Awards Gala, Gov. Newsom’s top educational advisor. Ben Chida will share his extraordinary story on how he has persevered through the most difficult of mental health challenges. Mr. Chida’s journey is filled with many life-changing experiences including an abusive homelife, dropping out of school, depression and suicidal thoughts. Through influential people in his life, including a teacher from his alternative high school in Huntington Beach, Mr. Chida has forged ahead and has become a strong voice for providing wraparound services to students at the earliest stage possible. Currently, Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary Ben Chida is a key member in the governor’s new California Master Plan for Career Education in high schools.”

Spotlighted Presentations

2024 CCEA+ Conference – Reaching for the Stars | Putting a Spotlight on Alternative Education

As with our guest speakers. CCEA Plus was delighted to partner with some of the most influential people in education as they provide us with much needed resources, insights and inspiration during our break out sessions.

Highlighted presentations:

  • Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports: Systems for District Leaders — Jada Jackson
  • Leaving to Learn: “Minterships” and Real World Learning — Isaak Egge
  • Championing Change: How Intramurals Changed the Climate & Culture — Mike Bunten & Bethel Trice
  • Cultivating Synergy: Bridging the Divide Between CT and Tier I Excellence — Roberta Figueroa
  • Lead Like Lasso: Science-based Leadership Skills from America’s Favorite Coach — Joelle Hood

Featured sessions with CDE, our advocates and team:

  • Sacramento Update – Legislation and State Funding Affecting Ed Options — Barrett Snider
  • Drum Circles, A Participatory Example of Positive Alternatives to Negative Behaviors — Dan Sackheim
  • Positive Alternatives to Problematic Behaviors: Building Bridges through Preventive and Restorative Practice
  • A Model Continuation High School Panel Discussion on Promising Practices for Application Writing and Site Validation Visit Preparation
  • How to Become a Model Continuation High School or Community Day School
  • CCEA Plus Leadership Academy Professional Development Roundtable — Jerry Abrica

CCEA Plus Exemplary Programs 2024

The goal of the Exemplary Program recognition is to provide an opportunity for all continuation or alternative schools to reap the benefit of the numerous special programs that have been developed by our members. It is intended that through this process every continuation or alternative school in the California can replicate the selected programs/projects. In addition, the designation of an Exemplary Program provides recognition for individuals, schools and districts, provides outstanding ideas that benefit the needs of at-risk students; and, provides continuity of delivery of services statewide.

Schools and Programs Recognized:
1. Cambridge High School — Men’s and Women’s Alliance
2. Central Valley High School — MTSS Implementation Program
3. Frontier High School — The Rocket Lounge Wellness Center
4. Major General Murray High School — Big Picture Learning & Community Schools Initiative
5. Mojave High School — HUSDSTUDENTS@WORK
6. Phoenix Continuation High School — Phoenix Community Garden
7. San Andreas High School — The Business of Science and Technology Career Academy
8. Sierra High School — Sierra High School AP Program
9. Walt Whitman Continuation High School — Good City Mentors Program

Full program summaries below.

Cambridge High School: Men’s and Women’s Alliance

The Cambridge Men and Women’s Alliance program, inspired by our school district’s Alliance program, is dedicated to cultivating Alliance teachers with a growth mindset. These teacher leaders exhibit exemplary personal behavior and academic leadership, fostering success in their students’ academic and personal lives during their transition to adulthood. The daily Alliance class is a key component, focusing on goal setting, character development, and interpersonal skills. Here, students practice through language and interactions with peers and adults, complemented by motivational guest speakers, including former Alliance students, business owners, and community leaders.

During the fall, students attend a job fair, securing internship offers from notable establishments like Zoomies, CVS, or Walgreens. Many students receive permanent job offers post-internship. Additionally, a field trip to Fresno State Campus strengthens bonds through campus visits, bowling, and group activities.
Students express gratitude for the class, valuing the social skills, job experiences, and opportunities it provides. They describe classmates as more than friends, akin to brothers and sisters. Practical skills, such as tying a tie, are appreciated, along with the maintained confidentiality during circle time.

Mr. Vega, a six-year Men’s Alliance teacher, stresses the class’s importance in meeting immediate needs and educating the whole child. Mrs. Waller, a seven-year Women’s Alliance teacher, notes the development of a “Can Do” attitude and clear understanding of strengths by the end of the Alliance class.

Our program, initiated ten years ago by our newly appointed principal, was the first Alliance program in alternative education in our school district. Since then, it has positively impacted 60 to 70 students annually. Remarkably, about 90% of at-promise students from the Alliance program graduate from high school, and all are employable. Since its 2014 launch, over 200 Alliance students have secured paid internships, and 600 have explored Fresno State as a potential college pathway.

Furthermore, our students actively engage in community service, providing homeless packages to Fresno Rescue Mission and collaborating with Marjorie Mason Center on awareness campaigns.

Lifelong mentorship by teachers is integral to students’ success. They seek advice even after graduation, creating a supportive network that goes beyond their time in the program. In a recent tragedy, former Alliance classmates supported each other and family members at a funeral, highlighting the profound relationships cultivated through the Alliance program. As one teacher aptly stated, the Alliance program is all about the “relationship.”

Central Valley High School: MTSS Implementation Program

The mission of the Central Valley Continuation High School’s (CVHS) PBIS implementation is to encourage students to show respect, integrity, and motivation (RIM), both in school and community. The PBIS program encourages and rewards students who regularly display these values. This program equips students with values that aide in their academic and post-secondary success. The PBIS program at CVHS is comprised of two main systems: the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and the RIM program.

CVHS’ Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is comprised of a three-tier system of behavioral supports and interventions. At the Tier I level, teachers handle behaviors by proactively teaching school wide expectations in the classroom. Tier I supports include but are not limited to 1-on-1 student/teacher conferences, phone calls home, and referrals to On Campus Intervention (OCI). If Tier I supports are unable to correct student behavior, a referral to the Tier II Team is made. These referrals can be made by teachers, staff, parents, or students, and they can be initiated online or in person. Tier II supports include but are not limited to support groups with the Intervention Specialist, check-in check-out, daily progress reports, mentoring, and Boys and Girls Counsels. If Tier II supports are unable to correct student behavior, the Tier II Team refers the student to a SST, which may then refer the student to Tier III. Tier III supports are provided by the School Social Worker, with any additional support from outside agencies. In addition to the MTSS, CVHS has a RIM Program, which provides a schoolwide focus on Respect, Integrity, and Motivation. Monthly RIM lessons, accessed online through Canvas, are taught in the classroom to all students. These lessons are developed by the OCI and are derived from school climate survey results, the California Healthy Kids survey results, and student focus group outcomes. CVHS has a schoolwide reward system in place where the students earn RIM Coins for displaying one of the three values of RIM. These coins are tracked, and students can purchase school spirited gear at the Scorpion Store. This gear includes shirts, hoodies, windbreakers, hats, beanies, lanyards, bracelets, water bottles, and back packs. The Kern High School District has allocated an annual $5,000 budget. The PBIS/MTSS program is embedded in the daily operations of CVHS. Students and staff are educated on the systems that make up these programs, and both systems are utilized to their full extent. CVHS’ PBIS/MTSS implementation is instrumental in the reinforcement of positive behaviors that promote student success while preparing them for achieving post-secondary goals. A result of this program has been an increase in graduation rates, average daily attendance, and a decreased suspension rate resulting in CVHS being recognized by Kern County Superintendent of Schools for being in the top 10% in the county for low suspension rates.

Frontier High School: The Rocket Lounge Wellness Center

The Frontier High School student wellness program was developed in response to the increased need for mental health support for students. The Rocket Lounge Wellness Center opened its doors to students in the Fall of 2021. The center is staffed by one full-time Student Wellness Specialist (SWS) and one full-time Wellness Guidance Technician. Every school year, the SWS coordinates administration of a school-wide social emotional screener. Data collected from this screener guides the programming that will be implemented out of the Rocket Lounge. Funding for this program is allocated from district LCAP funds. The approximate cost of the program is as follows: Salaries – $255,000.00, Operating Expenses – $24,150.00

As students walk into the Rocket Lounge they are welcomed by the Guidance Technician who invites students to sign in on tablets via a google form. This form collects critical data on the number of students and the reason they are accessing the center. There exist various stations for students to utilize within the center. These stations include The Wellness Library, The Calming Station, The Resource Station and The Rocket Closet.

The Student Wellness Specialist is tasked with coordinating Tier 1 school-wide prevention activities. These activities include monthly mental health themed workshops, quarterly Rocket Closet events and an annual wellness fair. The SWS also provides direct Tier 2 social emotional individual and group counseling services to students in need.

There is a streamlined referral process for parents/guardians, students and school staff to request to meet with the SWS. Since the introduction of our wellness program in the Fall of 2021, the SWS proudly provided 1,095 students (duplicated). Another major role of the SWS is to create partnerships with local agencies to bring their services to our center. This school year, we have local agencies providing specialized support to 45 students. This includes individual therapy, case management and teen parenting resources.

Every school year students have the opportunity to become Wellness Peers. Wellness peers receive specialized training on mental health initiatives. These students plan and facilitate monthly mental health Tier 1 activities. At graduation, these student leaders are honored for their work and presented with an exclusive gold graduation stole.

The Frontier High School student wellness program has transformed our school site. Students are now able to readily access quality mental health support. We have witnessed a decrease in recidivism of student discipline incidents, an increase in attendance for students in the SARB process, an increase in graduation rates and an overall better climate on campus. The Rocket Lounge is a safe-haven for students and our wellness center staff are regularly sought after by parents, administrators and faculty alike. Please take a moment to visit our Instagram to view highlights of our program: @fhs.wellness

Major General Murray High School: Big Picture Learning & Community Schools Initiative

Now in its 2nd year at Major General Murray (MGM) High School, Big Picture Learning supports a network of schools dedicated to putting students at the center of their own learning. Big Picture Learning schools exist to provide needed opportunities for young people who have not been successfully served by traditional schools. At MGM, Big Picture Learning has supported the work of advisory classes, where students have a daily opportunity to check in with and learn from their advisor. Teacher advisors work with students to create and share their personal story to inform educational experiences both in school and in the community which leverage students’ areas of strength and assets. All 200 MGM students participate in Big Picture Learning methodologies, and MGM’s additional designation as a Community School has transformed the campus with unique opportunities and experiences that students would not be afforded at comprehensive sites. Community partnerships, leaving to learn, informational interviews, and students participating in internships for credit are indicators of our success with the resources afforded by BPL and Community Schools. The training/consultation contract with BPL is less than $50,000/annually.


HUSDstudents@work is a youth employment program that provides workforce readiness training and paid work experience for seniors in our district. The objective is to provide paid work experience for 50 identified youth. We focus on: Foster, Homeless, EL, potential dropout, parenting, and Special Education seniors.

How Program Was Developed:

When funding for a similar program was cut by the County, in his zeal to provide “like services” to his students, Mr. Von der Heide created something new from scratch to continue reaching and teaching our students to be prepared for the workforce.

  • Date Program Was First Implemented: July 1, 2022. Mr. V worked with this program for 15 years with County funding, when that was cut in 2022, he created this exemplary program.
  • Number Of Students Participating Each Year: The Program’s goal is to serve 50 HUSD students.
  • Approximate Cost: $214,000
  • 83% funding goes directly to students!
  • $35,000 Staff Over Contract
  • $1,000 Mileage
  • $175,000 Student Salaries
  • $3,000 Supportive Services (donations)

Student Outcomes / Impacts / Successes:

The HUSDSTUDENTS@WORK Program focuses on enhancing student outcomes through work readiness training, real-life work experiences, and successful transitions to unsubsidized employment. The training includes practical exercises, role-playing, and discussions on soft skills such as communication and problem-solving. Specific modules address job search strategies, resume and cover letter writing, and effective interview follow-up techniques. Local businesses provide meaningful work experiences aligned with students’ career goals, emphasizing skills like time management and adaptability. Employers offer feedback and mentorship, aiding students in understanding workplace norms and expectations.

Successful participants celebrate transitions to unsubsidized employment, showcasing the program’s impact. Ongoing support and mentorship are extended to these individuals, assisting with workplace integration and career advancement. Collaboration with employers identifies job openings and career pathways for program graduates, fostering strong relationships for future placements. The program’s holistic approach is exemplified by over 20 participants securing unsubsidized employment, reflecting their dedication and the program’s effectiveness in preparing students for the competitive job market.

Phoenix Continuation High School: Phoenix Community Garden

Gardening Quote:
“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.” — William Shakespeare

During the last school year in 2022-2023, Phoenix Continuation High School enlisted an AGRICULTURALIST from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources division to support us in the process and planning of a Community Garden on our campus. We used our supply funds to purchase tools, plants, soil, and other supplies needed to make an outdoor learning space at Phoenix HS. We were excited to provide enrichment and gardening experiences that could ignite our students’ natural love of learning and get them outside of the classroom and into the world.

This year we enlisted a MASTER GARDENER from the University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources division to support us in the planning to use our supply funds to purchase the plant beds, tools, plants, soil, and other supplies needed to make the school garden an on-going program at Phoenix High School. Then we even asked for a SECOND MASTER GARDENER from the Bay Area to join us for 2 days this Spring to help us plan, plant, and learn how to maintain our spring garden.

Our GREAT gardening students are currently now growing seed starter plants in the classroom to prepare to plant them soon in above-ground flower and plant beds in our redesigned garden area.

Expenses included:

  • Phoenix Garden expenses 2022-23 = approximately $8,000 to start
  • Outdoor Educational Curriculum for 2023-24 = $1,500

Our Phoenix Continuation High School students have varied gardening interests and many of our students do not know what they want to do after high school, so we planned to use excess funds last year in the 2022-23 school year to buy gardening materials and plants in order help foster interest in college and career.

We started the school outdoor gardening education program last year and set aside funds to expand. Now members of our local community and school stakeholders ask to see the gardening and the plant beds – we show them! We even get some people to help us plants seeds in little cups and we put their names on the cups and plant them in the raised garden beds when the time is right!

San Andreas High School: The Business of Science and Technology Career Academy

San Andreas Alternative High School is in the San Bernardino City Unified School District and designed for students over the age of 16, who are at risk; credit deficient, and in need of extra support. Students at San Andreas are typically behind their peer grade cohort in credits needed for an on-time graduation. Other students need a more flexible educational environment or schedule because they are employed, foster/homeless, are fulfilling family/parenting obligations, or other extenuating circumstances. The principle goal of the continuation school is to give enrolled youth a renewed opportunity to accelerate their learning progress and to graduate with a standards-based diploma. In more recent years, San Andreas has raised the bar and built The Business of Science and Technology Career Academy with two Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways that have received Gold Certification for exceptional implementation of Linked Learning and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) strategies to elevate standards for student achievement and to advance the college, career, and civic readiness of its graduates. San Andreas’ CTE career pathways are the only continuation pathways in the nation to receive this certification!

The mission at San Andreas goes beyond assisting students to reach graduation but is to inspire, engage and empower students with high-quality academic, career and technical education through hands-on, work-based learning. San Andreas guides and supports students to meet their goals of graduation, higher education, and meaningful employment and to develop into successful members of society and community leaders. San Andreas services 700 to 900+ students yearly, with approximately 450-500 students at one time. Every student at San Andreas chooses a career pathway and has the opportunity to complete that pathway which includes: gaining work-based learning experiences, earning college units, and attaining industry certifications.

In the past seven years, the San Bernardino Unified School District (SBCUSD) and community partners have supported San Andreas in developing two career pathway programs: a Health Science Pathway and a Business and Technology Pathway. Each pathway has its own specific CTE staff and shares core academic, special education, student services and counseling staff. Both pathways were officially established in the 2019-2020 school year. Before the creation of the two current CTE pathways, San Andreas had begun experimenting with an Agricultural and Geographic Information Systems pathway. The two pathways were merged and transformed into what is, today, called the Business and Technology Pathway. The school also features a professional greenhouse hydroponics enterprise that is managed by students in the special education program and provides our continuation students in both pathways with work-based learning opportunities. Over the last seven years, SBCUSD began investing $24,000 to $28,000 annually into career pathways at San Andreas until last year when both pathways at San Andreas qualified for state career pathway, CTEIG and Perkins funding. San Andreas is currently utilizing $170,000 to maintain and build upon both CTE Pathways.

The Business and Technology Pathway offers students cutting-edge technology and information systems training. Students obtain authentic fieldwork by managing the school’s Quake Innovators student-run businesses. Students learn about modern growing technologies, harvest produce, and work in the school’s progressive hydroponics lab and greenhouse. Students can also create business products utilizing 3D printers and a laser engraver. Students partner with community businesses and local schools. Students write business plans, market, service tower gardens throughout the community, help create gardens, teach school children and community members how to grow, produce, and deliver produce to the San Bernardino City School District Nutrition Services, restaurants, and food banks in the community.

Students have opportunities to participate in career events, industry field trips, community college classes, and internships. This pathway encourages student innovation and creativity while developing solid business practices. Currently, students can earn certifications in General OSHA, Food Handlers, Food Allergen and Forklifting.

In the Health Science Pathway, students are given the opportunity to explore careers in health care and emergency medical services. Students gain a foundation and understanding of medical terminology, body systems, disorders, diseases, and pre-hospital care for the sick and injured. San Andreas has a patient care lab with three hospital bed stations with computerized mannequins (patients). This lab also houses state-of-the-art Anatomage Tables where students can virtually dissect and study the human body. The pathway has a classroom with an ambulance simulator where students can practice emergency medicine, CPR and First Aid. Students will develop medical skills within the responsibilities of a first responder and proper procedures of patient care in an introduction to Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and public service.

This pathway will prepare students who are interested in a career as an emergency medical technician, paramedic, CNA, and health care careers in general. Students will also have the opportunity and background to pursue further endeavors in medicine Upon completion of all required CTE sequenced courses, students will have had the opportunity to earn several industry certifications that can be used to assist students in obtaining a job or entering into a career field. Currently, students can earn certifications in FEMA Incident Command, General OSHA, Infection Control, American Heart Association Basic Life Support and First Aid.

The CTE career pathways at San Andreas have led and contributed to many student successes. Two courses in both pathways are articulated with San Bernardino Valley College. Last year 57 students earned units for at least one college course. Sixty-one students have completed a pathway which means they completed 300 hours of CTE coursework and work-based learning. Fifty-five students earned American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support Certification and 64 earned AHA First Aid. Fifty-one students earned Fork-lifting certification, 76 students received OSHA certification and 151 students earned Food Handlers certification. Many of these pathway students have left San Andreas and have successfully completed the Certified Nursing Assistant program with Inland Career Education Center, a community partner, and are now earning Licensed Vocational Nursing Licenses. Many students stayed enrolled at Valley College and have or are in the process of completing degree and certification programs.

Still, the main goal for all students is to attend and to graduate with a standards-based diploma. We believe the CTE Career Pathways at San Andreas has contributed to improving school-wide data and meeting school goals. San Andreas’ one-year graduation rate for 2021-22 was 87 percent, which mirrors the state’s average cohort (including traditional high school) graduation rate for the same year. The school’s positive transition rate was 100% for the 2021-22 school year, which means that of the 258 students who left the school that year, 219 graduated and 39 other students made a positive transition back to their home school, or to another setting that offers an opportunity to obtain a standards-based diploma. The school’s dropout rate that year was zero. San Andreas has improved school-wide attendance. Attendance in 2020-2021 was 83.3 percent and improved to 86.7 percent in 21-22 and last year was 87.3 percent. After the first quarter of this school year, attendance has improved to 89.2 percent.

According to Jorge Ruiz de Velasco of Stanford Graduate School of Education:

“In the most recent year reported on the California school performance dashboard (2021-22), San Andreas reported an 87.3% graduation rate (including a 91% graduation rate for English Learners, a 92.3 percent graduation rate for Foster Youth, and an 84.4% graduation rate for students with disabilities). Moreover, in the five-year period between 2017-18 and 2021-22, the school recorded an impressive and steady positive transition rate (graduate diploma completers plus transfers back to a traditional high school or standards-based diploma-granting program) of between 97-99 percent annually. Beyond certificates and degrees earned on-site, the school places a great deal of emphasis on preparing students to be successful and to persist in further professional training or higher education. These student achievement markers easily place San Andreas among the top 5-10 percent of Continuation high schools in California, bringing together rigorous academics, career-technical education, work-based learning, and integrated student supports to prepare young people for college AND career success. The leadership and educators at San Andreas have also established a culture supportive of student-centered learning and an exemplary professional learning community focused on continuous learning and organizational improvement in the service of positive youth development and universal college and career readiness for all.”


San Andreas Alternative High School, located in the San Bernardino City Unified School District, caters to students aged 16 and above who are at risk of dropping out or need a flexible educational environment due to various circumstances. The program aims to accelerate students’ learning progress and facilitate their graduation with a standards-based diploma. Recently, the school has expanded to include a Career Academy offering two Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways, both awarded Gold Certification for exceptional implementation of Linked Learning and PBIS strategies. These pathways, in Health Science and Business & Technology, provide hands-on, work-based learning experiences, enabling students to earn college units and industry certifications.

San Andreas services 700 to 900+ students annually, with around 450-500 students at any given time. The program has garnered significant success, with students achieving industry certifications, completing college courses, and transitioning positively to home schools, higher education, or meaningful employment. The investment from the San Bernardino Unified School District and community partners has helped establish and sustain these pathways. Notably, the program’s outcomes include impressive graduation rates, high positive transition rates, and improved attendance, positioning San Andreas among the top 5-10 percent of Continuation high schools in California. This success is attributed to a student-centered learning environment, rigorous academics, career-technical education, and integrated student supports, fostering universal college and career readiness.

Information taken from:

Sierra High School: Sierra High School AP Program

Sierra High School’s (SHS) AP program offers students the opportunity to take AP Government and Politics and AP Studio Art; a college level class where they can earn high school credit and prepare for the AP Exams which can earn them college credit. Traditionally alternative education has been void of AP opportunities for students. As a result of feedback from stakeholders, it was identified that there was a desire and need to provide opportunities for students who wanted to challenge themselves. In 2016 this program was developed to give continuation high school students the opportunity to compete at an advanced academic level. Most students who enter SHS have never thought about post-secondary education, let alone AP classes. Many students, due to their barriers and past academic challenges, believed that their life path was to just get a job upon graduation and college was never an option. The goal of the AP program is to break stereotypes and have students defy the odds.

On average, between 15 to 30 students participate each year, which equates to 10 to 20 percent of our total student population. While enrolled in the class, students recognize they have the skills needed for post-secondary opportunities. This class creates an academic team that fosters a learning community with the desire to rise to the academic challenges. Students who do complete the class and take the AP exams have earned and are entitled to wear special sash and colored cord at graduation. While some students are able to graduate early, many stay until the end of the school year in order to take the AP exam.

The weighted GPA allows SHS students more opportunities to wear a white gown at graduation. The white gown is afforded to those who have earned a 4.0 GPA while at SHS. Overall it is an opportunity to be recognized for their academic achievement and a morale booster for students, staff and parents. In addition, the AP Program at SHS provides an opportunity to graduate high school equipped with the skills they acquired through taking AP class(es) and with college credits before graduating high school. Thus the student is building academic confidence, saving time and money by already having a head start on their college education. Over the past four years, 45 students have taken AP exams and 26% of AP students scored a 3 or higher on their exam. Scores were affected by the pandemic, in 2023, 47% students passed with a three or higher. These results do not include those students who returned to their home high school and completed the test there. The overall impact and cost to the district and school is minimal. Throughout the history of the AP program, the district has covered the cost of the exam thus making sure that cost was never a deterrent to taking the exam. In addition, the district pays for the AP training for teachers, and substitutes for teachers to proctor the exam.

Walt Whitman Continuation High School: Good City Mentors Program

Unlocking Potential, Embracing Opportunity:

For the past four years since 2020, annually approximately twenty Walt Whitman Continuation High School (WWCHS) scholars have participated in the Good City Mentors Program. This mentorship program provides our scholars with the necessary resources, support, and guidance to overcome obstacles and achieve their academic and personal goals. Through personalized mentorship with mentors from Netflix, Sony, Legends, Disney and Google, our scholars have participated in weekly leadership development, personal growth and skill-building activities that help empower them to chart their own paths towards success. The mentorship sessions also equip WWCHS scholars with the tools and confidence needed to thrive in both their academic pursuits and future endeavors. During their Spring Break, WWCHS mentees will travel to New York to meet with mentor, Delfin Ortiz Managing Director of Legends at the One World Observatory. This invaluable opportunity and experience will illustrate first-hand the support that mentors provide and will boost the insight that our scholars will gain through the experience. While there is no cost to this program from the school site, the return on investment in our WWCHS scholars cannot be quantified. Because of the Good City Mentors program, scholars have graduated to see success in college and career with one former mentee now employed by the Los Angeles School District as a Community Representative at WWCHS.

Save the Date

Save the Date, 2025 Conference on April 24-27, CCEA Plus