The Spotlight Newsletter – January 2024

CCEA Newsletter January 2024
A Monthly Newsletter From CCEA Plus | Sixth Issue, January 2024 | Download & Share PDF Version

A Message from the Board

To Our Alt. Ed. Community,

The Board would like to invite and encourage you to apply and/or nominate deserving individuals to the various awards and recognition categories from CCEA Plus. Additionally, unique school programs/practices that support student achievement are eligible to apply for an Exemplary Program. Below is a list of recognition opportunities available to students, certificated staff, classified staff and the other stakeholders that support our schools.

So many individuals are deserving of recognition for their tremendous efforts and the impact they have on students and your school community. For these reasons, consider nominating using the CCEA Awards Page.

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 and the 2024 Conference:

  • February 2024 — MCHS and MCDS Awardees Announced
  • March 1, 2024 — Professional Award Nomination Forms Due, Exemplary Program Application Due, All Student Contests Due
  • April 25, 2024 — 2024 Conference Model School Visit Trip | Sign-up
  • April 25 – 28, 2024 — CCEA Plus Annual Conference in Burbank, CA | Register Now
  • April 26, 2024 — Model School Awards Ceremony | Get Tickets

CDE CCEA Model School Seal (MCHS)

This Month’s Spotlight is On…

Central Valley High School

Central Valley High School

School Culture Is At The Heart Of CVHS Success

Inclusive, inviting and a safe place to be are hallmarks of Central Valley High School (CVHS).

Kids connecting to CVHS campus, increased attendance and over an 80% graduation rate are but a few of the positive outcomes attributed to the multiple systems and structures in place that drive student success. The Kern High School District has invested heavily in the supports available to CVHS. Currently, students are supported with an Intervention PBIS Specialist, Campus Interventionist, a Counselor, a Substance Abuse Counselor and Social Worker to provide services such as motivation, targeted intervention groups, Why Try lessons, etc.

With a steadfast commitment, CVHS earned a CA PBIS Silver Implementation Award in 2018 / 2019 and, most recently, a Platinum Implementation Award in 2022/2023. Over the past few years, staff at CVHS have developed a living and organic Behavior Matrix to support behavior expectations. Regular training, weekly inputs, shared stories and anecdotes, and regular review and norming keep CVHS staff calibrated to implement their tiered PBIS strategies.

CVHS takes pride in students feeling significant, welcomed and appreciated. Students speak highly of the staff because of the school environment and how the staff make them feel as family.

Central Valley High School

Next Steps

Literacy growth for all students is at the top of CVHS’s agenda. Like many alternative ed. schools, students arrive at CVHS with low reading and comprehension abilities – typically at the 3rd and 4th grade Lexile levels. To combat this deficit, a schoolwide (every subject, every class) literacy program has been implemented. CVHS staff have identified three literacy strategies to target: annotation, vocabulary building and a unique data-driven reflection practice of STAR Renaissance data. Understanding that data is only as good as the effort level of student input, CVHS teachers meet with every student after the STAR Renaissance test. Teachers add value to the diagnostic exam, help students reflect on their effort and set literacy goals. A goal setting matrix is created with student personalized goals and shared in every subject. The feedback from students and staff has been extremely positive, and student literacy is improving.


Location: Bakersfield, CA
District: Kern High School District
District Pop: 41,000

Feeder Schools: 1
School Pop: 100
Certificated Staff: 10

Total Staff: 18
Model School Since: 2020

Tip of the Month

Get Curious, Not Furious

Listening to kids is critical to establishing healthy, positive relationships. CVHS advises to not jump to conclusions or make assumptions but ask questions before making any decision. CVHS students, similar to other alternative education students, struggle with issues relating to poverty, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse and anxiety among many other challenging circumstances. The key to supporting at-risk/at-promise youth is to give them an ear and to give them a place to go. Encouraging conversations while reducing prejudice has helped CVHS become a school where students want to go.

This collective effort by CVHS staff has not only benefited students but has also increased parent trust with the school. Parents have noticed an improvement in their child’s school attendance and involvement in school activities.

Principal’s Message

Mr. Michael Akey, Principal of Central Valley High SchoolCentral Valley High School is committed to providing all students with programs and services that allow them to graduate from high school prepared to succeed in the workplace and at the postsecondary level. The staff at CVHS is dedicated to the success of each student. Students receive support academically as well as socially in order to become productive members of society.

– Mr. Michael Akey, Principal

CVHS has graciously permitted this document to be shared – Behavior Matrix.

Spotlighting Exemplary Programs

Rose City High School

2020 Exemplary Award Winner: Empowerment Course

The ten-week Empowerment Course is designed to orientate students to the school program and empower them to overcome obstacles and failures they may have experienced before transferring to Rose City. The class is co-taught by two teachers and includes many guest speakers and activities that address resiliency, brain development and trauma, growth mindset, changing negative attitudes, conflict resolution, substance abuse and includes a mentorship component where students connect to community mentorship organizations. This course is mandatory for all newly enrolled students to take their first quarter at Rose City. It was initially created for three purposes:

  1. To help establish immediate connections to staff and students at the school.
  2. Address barriers and issues which may have contributed to academic failure.
  3. Quickly identify students in need of additional support and/or services.

The result of this course is that students are reporting feeling more connected to the school after taking it. In fact, during our WASC and MCHS Visit, the student focus groups report that the Empowerment Course was their favorite class and that it instilled in them a positive message that they can be successful despite their previous failures. The Empowerment Course at Rose City HS is a model program in Pasadena USD. All guest speakers are partners with the school or are district employees, which costs no extra money to operate.

If you would like to learn more about Rose City’s Empowerment Course, you may email the site administrator Dr. Michael Bell.

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

Articles, Videos & Presentations

CA lags behind other states in bilingual education for ELs

Implementing PBIS in High Schools

Integrating Academic, Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Supports for Student Need

Scaling California’s School-Based Mental and Behavioral Health Infrastructures

The Science of Reading: The Importance of Comprehension

Upcoming Opportunities

2024 Conference Model School Visits | Sign-up

2024 Conference Awards Celebrations | Get Tickets

Volunteer at the 2024 Conference | Google sign-up form

Regional Advisor Application | Sign-up

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

Contribute to The Spotlight newsletter | Sign-up

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

More Useful Links

Student Design Contest | Submission Page — Submit Student Artwork

Student Essay Contest | Submission Page — Submit Student Essay

Professional Award | Nominations Page — Nominate a Colleague

Exemplary Program | Submit Application

2023 Model School Awards Gala Photos | Photo gallery

Download and Share this Newsletter | PDF version

Join Us on Social Media

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More Resources

Click the logos below to visit their websites.



Center on PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports)

California Department of Education

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