The Spotlight Newsletter – November 2023

The Spotlight Newsletter, November 2023 - Angel’s Gate High School
A Monthly Newsletter From CCEA Plus | Fourth Issue, November 2023 | Download & Share PDF Version

A Message from the Board

To Our Alt. Ed. Community,

Exciting news to share! It’s been a long time coming but a Community Day Model School award is finally here. MCDS applications will be reviewed and rated in early November and schools will be notified in February. The Model School Awards Ceremony in April will feature the acknowledgement and celebration of both Continuation and Community Day Schools in Burbank, CA. Don’t forget to register!

Also, if you’re interested in being more involved with CCEA Plus, 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 3, 2023 — MCDS Reviewed & Rated
  • 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…

Angel’s Gate High School

Angel’s Gate High School

CTE & Literacy – A Dynamic Duo

Angel’s Gate High School (AGHS) operates as a continuation high school for Los Angeles Unified School District in the city of San Pedro. AGHS thrives on connecting real-life and the need to improve the literacy of their students with a dynamic CTE program. Since 2017, students at AGHS have been able to complete a CTE pathway to earn an Auto Mechanic Light Repair certification. AGHS employs a full-time Auto Tech Teacher to support four semester-long classes over a two-year period. The facilities for this pathway are located on the campus of AGHS and are shared with their feeder school – San Pedro HS. Students at AGHS can also be concurrently enrolled at Harbor Occupational Center to further their career training and experiences.

In 2020, AGHS began to link their CTE program with improving literacy. The literacy program focuses on several aspects – one being using informational text that connects to their CTE pathway. Student of AGHS see the value of literacy as they read manuals, use technical equipment and apply new vocabulary to communicate. Also, AGHS uses a schoolwide supplemental program named Achieve 3000 to further develop the literacy of all their sub-groups.

To see AGHS and their CTE pathway in action, click this link.

Next Steps

Angel’s Gate High School Field Trip to USS IowaAngel’s Gate High School is focused on developing and refining the direct instruction in all subject areas. Administration and staff are committed to designing lessons that are content specific yet broad in skills. Twenty-first century skills such as applying academic vocabulary, accountable talk, cooperative groups and connecting skills across content areas are but a few of the elements that can be seen at AGHS in each classroom. The faculty are also developing Project-Based Learning units that are schoolwide to take advantage of the numerous resources available to AGHS, such as the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Marine Mammal Care Center, Angel’s Gate Cultural Center, Battleship USS Iowa and other local museums.


Location: San Pedro, CA
District: Los Angeles USD
District Pop: 565,000

Feeder Schools: 1
School Pop: 80 – 90
Certificated Staff: 4

Total Staff: 9
Model School Since: 2021

Tip of the Month

A Meet & Greet Table is a major reason for the success at Angel’s Gate High School.

Angel’s Gate HS utilizes student’s morning arrival to target PBIS, collect cell phones, talk to parents and learn names. Staff at Angel’s Gate HS check-in with students and gauge their affect by giving complements, shaking hands and having breakfast available for kids as they enter the school. By collecting cells phones Angel’s Gate HS students experience less distractions, decreased cyber bullying and a greater focus on academics while improving the overall quality of their school experience. Checking – in with parents is another benefit of using a meet and greet table. Staff and parents share updates regarding student progress and/or concerns. Also, Parents for School Site Council and Safety Committees are recruited from the connections made early in the year. The Meet & Greet Table is part of Angel’s Gate Positive Behavior & Intervention Plan.

Principal’s Message

Paul Valanis, Principal of Angel’s Gate High SchoolAs principal I challenge students to answer three questions:

  1. What is your passion?
  2. What is your purpose?
  3. What are your priorities?

Students who have a passion, purpose and set priorities are engaged in the learning process, create a connection to school, make positive friendships, experience a greater level of academic success and enjoy their high school experience more than those who have yet to find the value and meaning of ‘an education’. I encourage you to ask your students about their passion, to use their moral compass to resolve their purpose and utilize their mind to prioritize and achieve their goals. All students have been given gifts but without hard work these gifts will not develop into talents. Encourage each student to follow their heart, use their head and above all else commit themselves to the effort and sacrifice it takes to truly prepare their character for adulthood. Then and only then will students cultivate the tenacity necessary to academically prepare themselves to be college & career ready and a global citizen.

-Paul Valanis, 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?

More Useful Links

Webinars From Previous Conference | Member area — requires login

Professional Award | Nominations Page — opens 11/15/23

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)