Alta Vista High School named a 2022 Model Continuation High School by the California Department of Education


Emily McNally

Alta Vista High School was named as a 2022 Model Continuation High School.

The California Department of Education named Alta Vista High School one of 36 honorees to be designated as a Model Continuation High School (MCHS). Model schools retain this designation for the following three years.

Continuation schools provide a high school diploma program for students ages 16 through 18 who are still required to attend school and may not graduate from their original comprehensive school.

Alta Vista, the continuation high school for the Mountain View–Los Altos School District, has received this acknowledgment eight times and has continually been recognized as an MCHS since 1999.

On the weekend of May fifth, they were recognized at the California Continuation Education Association (CCEA) Plus 2022 State Conference in Long Beach, CA. The CCEA evaluates schools based on academics, behavior and attendance. Schools that meet the criteria are invited to submit an application to the MCHS Recognition Program.

The criteria requires that the school is established as a “Continuation High school,” accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and that the school’s WASC Visiting Committee Report verifies that the school has completed a full self-study, which typically involves a three and a half day visit.

An MCHS accreditation for California public schools is determined by various factors, including California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test scores and the comprehensive services made available to at-risk youth. These services provide instructional strategies, flexible schedules and guidance counseling to students who are struggling and at risk of not completing their high school education. According to State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, model schools provide invaluable resources and opportunities to students dealing with difficult life events.

“Students reap the benefits of social and emotional learning, mentorship programs, student wellness and restorative justice practices, among other exemplary methods,” Thurmond said.

More than 430 continuation high schools serve around 78,000 students throughout the state.

“This is a testament to our teachers and staff’s hard work, passion and dedication,” Alta Vista Principal Bill Pierce said. “They are the heart of Alta Vista and are essential to the collective work we do to provide a supportive environment that motivates students to succeed and excel.”