The Spotlight Newsletter – March 2024

CCEA Newsletter March 2024
A Monthly Newsletter From CCEA Plus | Eighth Issue, March 2024 | Download & Share PDF Version

A Message from the Board

To Our Alt. Ed. Community,

Congratulations to all continuation and community day schools for being recognized by the state of California as Model Schools. This is the first year the California Department of Education has recognized community day schools for model and exemplary practices, so a special kudos for the schools who ventured to be pioneers. Your commitment, sacrifice and hard work has not gone unnoticed. CCEA has reserved a special event for all conference attendees and Model School Award recipients at Universal Studios Hollywood on Saturday, April 27th to celebrate the much deserved recognition of teachers, counselors, administrators and the numerous support staff that, without their professionalism and devotion, this distinction would not be achievable.

One of the privileges of being a Model School is the opportunity to host, support and be an example to other similar schools within your region. The best professional development is when schools are able to communicate, exchange ideas, program structures and share best practices to the betterment of students and staff.

Similarly, there’s a unique opportunity for members who are attending the conference to participate in visiting model schools in Burbank and the surrounding area. CCEA Plus highly encourages members who have yet to visit a model school to take advantage of a tremendous professional development field trip on April 25th. Transportation and lunch is provided as members typically visit two or three model schools. You can find more information on our 2024 Conference page.

CCEA Plus Board | Meet the Officers

Register for the 2024 Conference

Don’t miss the 2024 Conference: April 25 – 28 @ Marriott Los Angeles, CA

Event Details | Register Now

Universal Studios Hollywood

Save the Date

Upcoming Dates for the 2024 Conference & Grant Application:

  • March 15, 2024Student Design and Essay Contests Due (previous deadline has been extended)
  • March 29, 2024 — CCAP & Early College Grant Applications Due | Learn More
  • April 25, 2024 — 2024 Conference Model School Visit Trip | Sign-up
  • April 25 – 28, 2024 — CCEA Plus Annual Conference in Burbank, CA | Register Now
  • NEW Professional Awards Lunch Date: April 26, 2024 — Professional Awards Ceremony | Get Tickets
  • NEW Gala Date: April 27, 2024 — Model School Awards Ceremony at Universal Studios! | Get Tickets

CDE CCEA Model School Seal (MCHS)

This Month’s Spotlight is On…

Alessandro High SchoolAlessandro High School

Phoenix Rise With Career Tech Education

Serving as Hemet Unified’s only continuation high school, Alessandro High School proudly offers students three CTE pathways that support relevant, hands-on, and career-oriented learning. The longest established, and most successful, is the welding pathway that allows students to earn preliminary certifications in welding with both a certified welding inspector and in a fully-equipped, industrial welding shop. This pathway also helps with post-secondary job placements in the industry as well as transitions into additional certification programs offered in the adult school.

Alessandro High School

In addition to the welding pathway, Principal Matthew Centofranchi is proud to offer two additional pathways including a first responder program and one focusing on students developing entrepreneurial skills. Like the welding pathway, a heavy emphasis in the first responder program has been on exposing students to industry-grade equipment, including donated fire trucks and ambulances, and focuses on students graduating with the initial skills to enter the civil servant workforce. The entrepreneurship pathways supports students with learning how to design a product, launch a business, and work with various mediums including 3-D printing, embroidery, garment presses, and etching.


Location: Hemet, CA
District: Hemet Unified School District
District Pop: 22,417

Feeder Schools: 5
School Pop: 300
Certificated Staff: 21

Total Staff: 26
Model School Since: 2023

Next Steps

Alessandro High SchoolAs part of continuing to better serve newcomer students, Alessandro High School is refining their implementation of a self-contained, language acquisition and support program that ensures recently arrived students have the language and learning support they need to be successful. Principal Centofranchi reflects that, “these students are true newcomers and we have a lot to learn about how to best serve these students.” This learning includes how to deepen the implementation of the classroom program and also better transition newcomer students into content classes with the support they need.

Tip of the Month

Alessandro High School has a collaborative, graduation tracking system, through a shared spreadsheet, that ensures data transparency about the graduation status of students. This system is part of the advisory class and ensures counselors and teaching staff have access to shared data about students’ credits, needs, and progress towards graduation. The system helps foster learner-centered discussions and collaboration about students and coherence amongst the staff about what interventions and supports each student needs.

Principal’s Message

Matthew Centofranchi, Principal of Alessandro High SchoolWe have a district vision that Hemet Unified focuses on, “providing equitable educational outcomes for all students including and especially those who have been kept furthest from opportunities. “ That is exactly the work we do at Alessandro High School. We make sure our students realize their potential, even if they haven’t felt seen or successful before. Just because they were unseen, doesn’t mean they aren’t capable. Our goal is to give continuation high school students an advantage over their peers over those in comprehensive schools.

– Matthew Centofranchi, Principal

Watch: Weld Science – Alessandro High School

Spotlighting Exemplary Programs

Paloma Creek High School

2022 Exemplary Award Winner – Building Together: A Community Partnership

The Building Together Program is a partnership between community members and Paloma Creek High School. This program provides students with training in the construction trades through the development, building and sale of a structure. This year the students and community members have designed, built and will be selling a shed. The students learn from our community partners how to build a structure from the ground up. They begin with collaborating on design, and researching the cost of materials, as well as the cost of their labor -and ultimately what they must sell their shed to cover their costs and make some gains. They then prepare a presentation of their ideas, that is shared with the principal and community partners prior to beginning their build.

The community partners and students started this year with the building of the foundation, and the framing of the structure, and the installation of windows. Students learned incredible skills, such as how to use simple tools, to how to handle a nail gun, electric sander, and skill saw. They also learn basic electrical skills, including how to pull wire and install outlets. Both male and female students participate in the process, and all students are exposed to a variety of trades during the process of the build. Currently the students and community partners are working on the roofing process of the build. They are learning about materials and procedures, as well as how to assess for the accuracy of the installation.

As part of this process, students also take a number of field trips into the community to learn about construction in action in their hometown. Students have been able to walk through construction sites, learn about the industry and how to enter this labor market. Included in the field trips are the opportunities to network with business owners in the community who are looking to hire our students following graduation. Students build their resumes as part of this process, including skills in the areas of framing, electrical, painting, budgeting, purchasing, marketing/advertising and sales.

All Paloma Creek High School students have the opportunity to participate in the building process. It is projected that the shed will be completed by early March and the students already have a buyer. The next build is projected to be an outside shade structure for an outside classroom. Students and community members will use their financial gains from the shed to purchase materials for their next build.

This partnership between our incredible community members and our school is amazing, and we look forward to seeing what exciting things are built through this collaboration in the future. We are building structures, building student capacity, and building positive adult relationships through working side by side to accomplish a common goal! Truly an exceptional experience for all!

Recent News & Resources

CCEA Member Continuation School Professionals – Grant Money is Available to Support Your Students! Apply by Friday, March 29, 2024. Learn More

College & Career Access Pathways Grant Opportunity

CCAP Grant to create or expand partnerships with Local Community Colleges – $100,000 per school

“The goal of this funding is to provide incentives for local educational agencies (LEAs) to establish partnerships with community colleges that gives students access to college courses while in high school, especially students who may not be college bound or are underrepresented in higher education.” -CDE

CCAP Grant Info and Application

Middle College & Early College Grant Opportunity

Early College Program Grant to create or expand dual enrollment pathways with local colleges leading to high paying jobs and careers – $250,000 per school

“Supports the costs to plan for, and start up, a middle college or early college high school that is located on the campus of a local educational agency (LEA), a partnering community college, or other location determined by the local partnership, and that is consistent with the specifications of Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 11300) of Part 7 of Division 1 of Title 1.” -CDE

Early College Program Grant Info and Application

Upcoming Opportunities

2024 Conference Model School Visits | Sign-up
2024 Conference Awards Celebrations | Get Tickets
Volunteer at the 2024 Conference | Google sign-up form
“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
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