FONTANA, CA – Citrus High School has been named a 2023 Model Continuation High School by the California Department of Education (CDE), recognizing its holistic approach to supporting student success and social-emotional wellness on the path to graduation.
Citrus High is among just 37 continuation schools to receive the award this year, which were celebrated for providing exemplary instructional strategies, flexible scheduling, and guidance and counseling services to “at-promise” students through an alternative educational program.
“We are honored to be recognized by the CDE and the California Continuation Education Association Plus as a Model Continuation High School,” Citrus High Principal Mike Bunten said. “CHS staff members have earned this recognition through their commitment to supporting every student with an alternative pathway that prepares them for college and career.”
Citrus High School has developed a positive school culture, complete with an intramural sports program, clubs and activities that help students feel connected to their campus and their peers. Citrus High students can compete in softball, volleyball, basketball and soccer; write, create and act in performances through the Jaguar Drama Club; and develop their leadership skills in Associated Student Body, which puts on engaging lunchtime activities and organizes community awareness projects, fundraisers, food drives, toy drives, senior graduation activities and more.
The positive learning environment is further supported by the use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) – an evidence-based, three-tiered framework that aims to create a positive school setting through strategies that define, teach, and encourage appropriate student behaviors.
Citrus High offers schoolwide behavioral incentives on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis to reward students for their good behavior and positive attitude. Currently in its second year of PBIS implementation, Citrus High has already been recognized by the California PBIS Coalition with a PBIS silver award for its stellar execution of PBIS strategies.
Citrus students also have access to support from a mental health therapist, counseling and wellness services from Care Solace and South Coast Community Services, an on-campus wellness center and more.
“The honor of Model Continuation High School belongs to our teachers, counselors, and school site staff,” Citrus High School Assistant Principal Amanda Wade said. “They work tirelessly to provide our most at-promise youth an inclusive and individualized educational experience that meets both their academic and emotional needs.”
In addition to providing a seven-period school day that provides flexible scheduling, Citrus High also offers credit recovery to place students back on track for graduation, provides academic support through in-person small group and whole group instruction, hands-on learning via career technical education (CTE) courses, and student-paced online learning through APEX courses.
Citrus High students also receive guidance and support regarding their academic progress – as well as college and career opportunities – from school counselors. College and career readiness efforts include field trips to local community colleges trade schools and businesses; youth conferences and college fairs; and a CTE pathway in construction and building trades through which students can learn foundational skills and earn industry certifications that give them a head start in their careers.
Student participation in the CTE pathway has steadily increased over the past four years; 52 students completed the pathway in 2021, up from just three students in 2018. The number of students who completed an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour Construction Site Safety certification increased from 21 students in 2018 to 56 students in 2022.
This is Citrus High School’s first designation as a Model Continuation High School, awarded to schools through a collaborative partnership between the CDE and the California Continuation Education Association Plus (CCEA Plus). Model Continuation High Schools serve as resources for the more than 400 continuation schools across the state, sharing their best practices, offering support and hosting campus visits.
Citrus High School will retain its Model Continuation High School designation for three years and be honored at the CCEA Plus 2023 State Conference, to be held April 27 to 30 in San Diego.
“Fontana Unified School District is committed to empowering every student to unlock their potential, an effort that is exemplified by the tremendous work Citrus High School does to support its students,” Interim Superintendent Juan M. López said. “Congratulations to the teachers, staff, administrators and students at Citrus High School on this well-deserved recognition.”
FUSD_CITRUS_MODELSCHOOL: Citrus High School has been named a 2023 Model Continuation School by the California Department of Education.