The Spotlight Newsletter – December 2023

The Spotlight Newsletter, December 2023 - Calaveras Hills High School
A Monthly Newsletter From CCEA Plus | Fifth Issue, December 2023 | Download & Share PDF Version

A Message from the Board

To Our Alt. Ed. Community,

Now that the Model Community Day School Award program is underway, CCEA Plus is excited to announce the addition of two new regional advisor positions becoming available. There is one advisor position available for the North and South, respectively, to support the expansion of the Model School Program. If you’ve considered being more involved with CCEA Plus, alternative education and/or growing in your leadership capacity, then a Regional Advisor position will provide you with the means and access to meet your professional goals. For detailed information on the expectations and requirements for this position, visit the CCEA Plus Regional Advisor page.

One last thing. A BIG THANK YOU to all who have submitted volunteer interest forms. The annual conference and model school readings would not be successful without the energy, expertise and overall support of our members. If you’re interested in partnering with us as a volunteer, we would love to have you share your talents. CCEA Plus is looking for volunteers in the space of Social Media, the upcoming conference, contributors to the newsletter and many other areas. Use this link to let us know how you would like to serve.

CCEA Plus Board | Meet the Officers

Save the Dates

Upcoming Dates for Model School Applications, as part of the MCHS (continuation) program and the new MCDS (community day) program this year:

  • October 16 – December 15 — Site Validation Visits for MCHS
  • November 6 – December 15 — MCDS Site Validation
  • December 15, 2023 — District Audit Reports Due
  • February 2024 — MCHS and MCDS Awardees Announced
  • April 26, 2024 — Model School Awards Ceremony | Get Tickets

CDE CCEA Model School Seal (MCHS)

This Month’s Spotlight is On…

Calaveras Hills High School

Calaveras Hills High School

Project-Based Learning – A New Way Forward

Calaveras Hills High School (CHHS) is proud to present a Project Based Learning curriculum. The move to PBL is helping CHHS with implementing more authentic assessments. By creating a project around an Essential Question, students are much more likely to find success as they engage in deeper learning. CHHS has fine tuned the Project Based Learning efforts on their campus this school year.

The PBL initiative was born from student input. Students reported in a 2022-23 school survey that when they worked on a PBL project, it felt less like a random set of assignments and more like they were actually learning something meaningful. While some teachers were already having success with the curriculum, CHHS decided to implement it schoolwide by contracting with PBL Works. Additionally, a TOSA position was funded to help with the implementation of PBL in all classes. CHHS has also committed to ongoing support and progress monitoring, in-person walk-throughs, virtual coaching of teachers, and other requested supports.

Calaveras Hills High School

The quality of the work that CHHS teachers received and the enthusiasm that students exhibited has produced some meaningful data. Over 90% said they felt that their PBL project gave them more of a voice in what they were learning and contributing. They felt that their ideas mattered and that the projects were more engaging than assignments and tests that did not always relate to each other. Students reported being excited about the public product and presentation that they created.

Next Steps

CHHS is committed to addressing achievement gaps between the demographic groups that make up their campus. Attention is being given to examining the equity gap between the traditional school and students referred currently to Alternative Education. This effort will involve data collection and review, a focus on equity and incorporation of the schoolwide PBL efforts. For example, there will also be an increase in collaboration time for teachers to produce more cross curricular, thematic units. CHHS plans to utilize the curriculum to build greater opportunities for all student voices to be heard and included.


Location: Milpitas, CA
District: Milpitas USD
District Pop: 10,400

Feeder Schools: 1
School Pop: 120 – 200
Certificated Staff: 9

Total Staff: 15
Model School Since: 2018

Tip of the Month

Calaveras Hills HS fosters student growth by using a restorative practice in conjunction with discipline. Suspendable offenses, as well as other behavior incidents requiring discipline, are subject to a restorative (re-entry) meeting before returning to school or class. This meeting includes an advocate, who is selected by the student, and may be a staff member or friend (not involved in the incident) to assist with the conflict mediation.

The re-entry meetings follow the Restorative Circles framework that is recommended by the IIRP (International Institute for Restorative Practices). CHHS staff members are trained to participate in and facilitate re-entry meetings.

Restorative re-entry meetings work hand in hand with accountability. CHHS students have the opportunity to “make it right” and successfully re-join the school community. This successful restorative practice highlights the concepts of “We all make mistakes” and “It is ok to apologize.”

Principal’s Message

Carl Stice, Principal of Calaveras Hills High SchoolThis year we are continuing to focus on bringing authentic Project Based Learning to CHHS, maintaining a positive culture and climate, holding all students accountable and doing their best daily.

To meet our goal of having Project-Based Learning in every classroom, we have partnered with PBLWorks, a leader in the PBL space, to help guide us in implementing authentic learning through projects. Each project contains important elements, such as the project launch, having a driving question throughout the project, and incorporating student voice and choice. To meet our goal of maintaining a positive culture and climate, we will continue with Restorative Practices, especially classroom Community Circles to build community and safety, and Restorative Meetings to deal with conflict. In addition, we will hold a community-focused Back to School Night that will focus on fun activities and food vendors for families. To ensure that students are not missing valuable class time, holding Student Attendance Review Team (SART) meetings for students missing more than 10% or more school days, and collaborating with families on school attendance.

-Mr. Carl Stice, Principal

The Value of Model Schools

CCEA Plus 2023 Board MemberCCEA Plus has partnered with the CDE to implement the Model Continuation High School Recognition Program since 1990. The Continuation High School Model Recognition Program seeks to highlight continuation high schools that are innovating how they offer educational programing to students that are in danger of dropping out or failing out of high school. There are over 400 continuation high schools across the state and only 100 schools to date hold the distinction of Model Continuation High School.

The changes over the last few years have compounded the difficult work required of continuation schools, yet a school does not have to do this alone. Becoming a Model Continuation School allows your school to share best practices and opens up networks that can bring continuation schools together to increase outcomes of their students. If you do not think your school is ready to submit, consider volunteering to be a reader. Being a reader is another great way to learn about the Model Continuation School Application Process and certifies the reader to conduct Model Continuation High School visits. CCEA Plus 2022 Board MemberThe school representative that participates will become acquainted with every step of the process. You can get more information about this opportunity using this link or by reaching out to us on our Facebook page. CCEA Plus is excited to partner with you as we move forward together.

Recent News & Resources

Announcing the 2024 Conference: April 25 – 28 @ Marriott Los Angeles, CA | Event Details

2023 Gala, aboard the USS Midway, CCEA Plus
Photo by Kris Reynolds during the 2023 Gala | View more photos

Upcoming Opportunities

Volunteer at the 2024 Conference | Google sign-up form

“The Spotlight” Feedback Form | Google feedback form — want to be featured?

Sign Up | Want to be a Volunteer? — Let Us Know

More Useful Links

Webinars From Previous Conference | Member area — requires login

Professional Award | Nominations Page — Nominate a Colleague

2023 Model School Awards Gala Photos | Photo gallery

Download and Share this Newsletter | PDF version

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More Resources

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Center on PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports)

California Department of Education

Save the Date, 2024 Conference, April 25-28 (Front)