Graduating During a Pandemic

New School Community Day School, 2020 Graduation

As we all cope with the challenges of COVID-19, it’s important to celebrate the hard work of our educators, students and staff across California. On behalf of everyone at CCEA Plus, congratulations to the Class of 2020!

One of our members, Bryan Love, shared his school’s graduation during the pandemic. Bryan is lead teacher at the New School Community Day High School. Principal Rafael Ramirez and his day school have been a part of CCEA Plus since 2018, while Bryan’s been with us since 2016.

Here’s their graduation experience this year (quoted):

New School Community Day School, 2020 GraduationThe motto of New School Community Day School in Watsonville, CA is “Never Give Up!” So, when New School’s “Drive Through” graduation event had to be postponed from June 4, they rose to the occasion.

All eleven members of New School’s graduating class of 2020 were met by New School’s complete administration, teaching, and classified staff, as well as Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees President, Daniel Dodge Jr. and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary and Alternative Education, Kristen Shouse, in the school’s decorated driveway on Monday, June 8.

Unphased by the rescheduled event, New School graduate and winner of New School’s Attendance Award and Watsonville Rotary Scholarship stated that:

New School Community Day School, 2020 Graduation“Moving to New School was one of the best decisions of my life. I love it, and I am so sad to have to move on. In my twelve years of school I have never seen a teacher actually care about their students as much as every member of New School’s staff cares about every student. New School is more like a second home than a school. New School has so many opportunities. It was definitely a life changing experience for me.”

Graduates drove through yesterday’s honoration with friends and family.

About New School:

New School Community Day High SchoolNew School Community Day School was founded in 1994 to keep displaced high school students off the streets of Watsonville. Students typically come to New School with truancy issues, credit deficits, disciplinary records or with stipulations of their probation to attend. Today, New School serves 55 students, that are 100% Latino/Latina, 80% English Language Learners, 90% of whom come from families that qualify as low-income.

Most of our students are here for credit recovery. Prior to admission, they must acknowledge responsibility for their mistakes and commit to changing unproductive habits. Our goal is to help our youth correct behaviors so that they can become more productive at school, at home, at work, and in the community.

Check out New School’s website.

More About Community Day Schools

New School Community Day School, 2020 GraduationCommunity day schools are operated by school districts and county offices of education. Community day schools serve mandatory and other expelled students, students referred by a School Attendance Review Board, and other high-risk youths. The 360-minute minimum instructional day includes academic programs that provide challenging curriculum and individual attention to student learning modalities and abilities. Community day school programs also focus on the development of prosocial skills and student self-esteem and resiliency.

Community day schools are intended to have low student-teacher ratios. Students benefit from learning support services that include school counselors and psychologists, academic and vocational counselors, and pupil discipline personnel. Students also receive collaborative services from county offices of education, law enforcement, probation, and human services agency personnel who work with at-risk youth.

View CDE’s page

Graduation press statements and photos provided by CCEA Plus member, Russell Bryan Love, lead teacher at New School Community Day School in Watsonville, CA.