LA VERNE/SAN DIMAS – Chaparral-Vista High School is one of 27 schools named a 2021 Model Continuation School by the California Department of Education (CDE), recognizing its innovative approach to addressing the academic, social and emotional needs of students as they pursue their paths toward graduation.
Chaparral is focused on student mental health and well-being, using Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Social Emotional and Academic Learning (SEAL) strategies to provide a nurturing environment that guides its students toward realizing their potential.
“We like to refer to our students as being at-promise. Many face significant obstacles, including coming from difficult or non-traditional living situations,” Chaparral Principal Christine Black said. “It’s our policy to get to know every student and how we can best help them thrive at Chaparral. Our door is always open, and our staff is simply amazing.”
Chaparral’s staff is highly trained in trauma-informed practices to assist students in building coping skills and self-efficacy. Flexible scheduling and counseling support services allow students to work on an individualized learning plan while plotting a post-secondary college or career path. In the classroom, teachers emphasize self-awareness and developing a growth mindset.
Chaparral students are provided resources to pursue college and career through partnerships with Mt. San Antonio College, which offers outreach services and workshops throughout the year on Chaparral’s campus and schedules an annual visit to the Mt. SAC campus.
Chaparral students also have access to the Fairplex Career and Technical Education Center, where they can pursue career pathways in welding, auto repair and urban farming, just to name a few. U.S. Armed Forces resource support is also provided.
“We understand that our kids need outlets to relieve their stress. We have a dedicated room that is designated as a serenity space, where students can elect to go when they need to talk to a trusted adult, journal or just have alone time, so they can get in a frame of mind to get back to the classroom,” Black said. “The serenity space epitomizes Chaparral’s commitment to student’s emotional well-being, and our students think, wow, this school gets us. It’s a great feeling.”
This is Chaparral’s first designation as a Model Continuation School, awarded to schools through a collaborative partnership between the CDE and the California Continuation Education Association Plus (CCEA+). The three-year designation will be recognized at the CCEA+ State Conference in April.
As a Model Continuation School, Chaparral will serve as a resource for the more than 400 continuation schools in California, offering support, sharing best practices and making its campus available for peer visits.
“Congratulations to Chaparral on its recognition as a California Model Continuation School,” Superintendent Carl J. Coles said. “I want to commend Christine Black, who has done such a magnificent job, and her amazing staff, who work diligently and tirelessly to provide their students the academic support and social emotional resources to put them on the path to success. Chaparral’s recognition would not be possible without their leadership and enthusiasm.”