Continuation high school

Continuation high school

A continuation high school is an alternative to a comprehensive high school primarily for students who are considered at-risk of not graduating at the normal pace. The requirements to graduate are the same but the scheduling is more flexible to allow students to earn their credits at a quicker pace since they are usually behind when they arrive at the continuation high school. Students who attend these schools may include discipline problems, drug users, pregnant teens and teenage mothers.[1] Continuation schools, however, may also be used for mentally gifted students who find regular high school pace below their level.



Historically, there has been a tradition to detain unruly or criminal youth at continuation schools (Efterskoler) rather than juvenile halls.[2] The Danish continuation schools cover 8th to 10th form. Recently fashion like hip-hop for wearing T-shirt with the term "Inmate" and names of foreign jails have meant an increased demand for voluntary admission of normal youth at the continuation schools in order to appear tough among peers.

The association of Danish Industry has criticized this new development as too costly for society, and a waste of a full year in during a labor shortage.[3][4]

Disciplinary precautions are limited, restraints are not allowed, which results in up to between 25 to 33 percent of the youth to be expelled during a year at some schools. A single incident (January 2000) led one school to expel 23 percent of its students at once.[5]

Lately, parents who have immigrated to Denmark and have little understanding for the highly developed Danish youth culture are seeking strict orthodox Christian Continuation school for their children.[6] The number of teenagers placed at these school seemed to have been increased since the Danish government took action against re-education stays in the originally homeland. For a number of years the association of Continuation Schools have tried to target this parentgroup with an offer to detain their children and keep them "safe" from the challenging parts of the normal youth culture.[7]. In 2010 the Danish government announced that they would reduce the grants for students so the parents would have to pay a larger percentage of the cost for having a child attending the schools. A massive press campaign launced by the "Efterskoleforeningen" (Association of Danish Efterskoler) forced the government to adjust the grants slightly [8].

Some of the continuation schools in Denmark offer therapy and are similar to therapeutic boarding schools but this term is not known in Denmark.

Continuation high school in popular culture

A trilogy called Efterskoleliv about the life on continuation schools in 1970s has been published by the Danish author Finn Wilkens.[9]

California Qualifying Process for Continuation High School

Counselors, site administration, and/or district administration can determine candidates for continuation high school but most candidates are recommended by on site school counselors. Baseline qualifications for continuation high school vary district to district but all qualified candidates must under go an academic review process. Schools’ that receive additional counselor funding under California AB 1802 state legislation are required to follow the bill stipulations for students who are at risk. First, the stipulations include using an academic review process for all students and thus identifying students who are at risk of not graduating on time. Qualifications for being classified as at risk include, but are not limited to, credit deficiencies, poor attendance, and/or behavior issues. Second, stipulations require counselors to develop a list of coursework for continuing his or her education if he or she fails to meet graduation requirements. As a result, in many cases continuation high school fits the needs of those students who were identified as at risk.[10]

Features of Continuation high schools in California

Continuation high schools in California were created with the objective of meeting the needs of high school students. For such purpose, students from sixteen to eighteen years of age attend these schools. In order to graduate, students must complete the requirements set by the Department of Education in California. Continuation high schools are required, by law, to provide classes for students for a minimum of fifteen hours per week or 180 minutes per week. However, some schools choose to run the school day for a longer period of time. In October 2008, there were 525 continuation high schools with an estimated enrollment of 70,937. [11]

Continuation High Schools do not require students to take the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). The test measures student growth in Mathematics, Reading and Writing. However, students still receive a high school diploma once they have completed the required credits.

A unique feature of continuation high schools in California is the variety of programs offered to students. Such programs include career orientation and counseling, work study assistance, job placement, etc.

Example of a Continuation high school in California

Vail High School is a school located in Montebello, California. It serves 10th-12th grade students from 3 comprehensive high schools in the area. There is an on-campus daycare for the teenage mothers and fathers to use for their children while they are attending school. Students get bussed in everyday from school busses they can take from their original comprehensive schools.

Enrollment in the school starts at the comprehensive high schools. Counselors and administrators recommend the students to attend Vail. New students are enrolled at the beginning of every Quarter. They must attend a mandatory meeting with their parents, Vail Principal and Vail Counselor, where they are informed of all the rules and guidelines they must follow to stay at Vail.

Vail High School follows a Modified Traditional Calendar. The school year starts in late August and ends in late June. The school day starts at 8:00am and ends at 1:50pm. There are 3 one and a half hour periods and 1 Advisory period, which lasts 30 minutes. During the school day, students can take core classes, such as English and Math They also can take electives, such as Art and Woodshop. The Advisory period is an elective class which teaches them how to set goals, life skills and organizational skills.

During the school day students are able to earn 20 credits per quarter. They can earn 80 credits per year. Vail also offers after school courses that are taught through other programs, such as ELO and Adult Education. Students can earn an additional 10 credits per quarter.

Vail High School is like other comprehensive high schools because Vail offers groups such as ASB. Another program students can join is the Rosewood Park Tutoring Program. This program, with the guidance of a teacher, allows the students to go to a local elementary school for one period per day to tutor the students. They also have to write daily reflections on their tutoring and eventually write a children’s book.

When all 220 credits are earned, students are able to attend the yearly graduation held at Vail in June. They wear caps and gowns and receive their high school diploma just like any other student at a comprehensive high school.

See also

External links


  1. ^ Allie Gottlieb, Metro, "You Can't Come to School: The 1950s are over, so why are pregnant high school girls still facing segregation in public education?" April 10, 2003, accessed April 2, 2007
  2. ^ Når børn begår kriminalitet (When youth commit crimes), by Helle Harbo Sorensen, TV2 news, September 9, 2007
  3. ^ Information about continuation schools (In Danish), Center Validering - research center
  4. ^ Efterskoler sætter elevrekord (New record in students at continuation schools - article in Danish), Politiken, May 23, 2008
  5. ^ "18 elever bortvist - de sniffede" (in Danish). B.T. (Copenhagen: Berlingske Media). 16 March 2000. Retrieved 2009-04-22. "Efterskolen i Kragholm ved Rudkøbing har sat en tragisk rekord i dansk efterskole-historie: Man har måttet bortvise ikke færre end 18 elever på en gang for at sniffe lightergas - næsten en fjerdedel af skolens elever. ROUGH TRANSLATION: The continuation school in Kragholm ,near Rudkøbing, set a tragic record in the history of Danish continuation schools. It became necessary to expel no fewer than eighteen pupils at once for sniffing butane lighter fuel, nearly a quarter of the schools enrollment."  revised 21 November 2006 by Erling Andersen
  6. ^ Gudløshed skræmmer mere end tro, by Jeppe Bangsgaard og Bodil Jessen og Christian Nørr, Berlingske Tidende, January 26, 2009
  7. ^ Efterskolen kan give unge indvandrere kørekort til livet, by Maria Bendix Olsen, Kristeligt Dagblad, May 1, 2007
  8. ^ Besparelser på efterskoler rammer færre, Danmarks Radio, November 6, 2010
  9. ^ Forstanderen har altid ret!, by Finn Wilkens, ISBN 8792268315
    Forstanderinden har magten!, by Finn Wilkens, ISBN 8792268323
    Ned med forstanderinden!, by Finn Wilkens, ISBN 8792268331
  10. ^ http:///
  11. ^

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