Two Orange County continuation high schools have been designated model campuses by the state for the quality of their academic programs and student-support networks.
Costa Mesa's Back Bay High School and San Juan Capistrano's Junipero Serra High School were among 13 statewide recognized Friday by the state Department of Education and the California Continuation Education Association.
Back Bay, which enrolled 119 students in 2011-12, is part of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District; Junipero Serra, which enrolled 192 students, is part of Capistrano Unified.
"Students who find traditional high schools are not meeting their individual needs or situations are often more successful with the flexible educational environment offered on these campuses," state schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson said in a statement.
Continuation schools apply to be recognized as California Model Continuation High Schools; they are evaluated based on their curricula, instructional strategies, educational climate, school management and counseling.
Students, parents and community members must submit written statements of support to accompany the school's application.
Fifteen California schools applied for the recognition this year, state officials said. Schools retain the title for three years.
Back Bay already is a model school, having also been recognized three years ago, in 2010.
The other Orange County continuation schools that hold the model campus honor are:
•La Vista High, Fullerton Union High School District, 2012-15
•Marie L. Hare High, Garden Grove Unified, 2011-14
•Silverado High in Mission Viejo, Saddleback Valley Unified, 2012-15
Continuation high schools provide students 16 and older with a smaller learning environment, intensive counseling and support, and a more flexible schedule than a traditional high school.
More than 69,000 students attended California's 504 continuation high schools last year.
The other 11 California schools designated Model Continuation High Schools this year were: Riverside's Alvord High, Indio's Amistad High, Lemoore's Donald C. Jamison High, Corona's Lee V. Pollard High, Lake Elsinore's Ortega High, Redondo Beach's Redondo Shores High, Santa Rosa's Ridgway High, Fremont's Robertson High, Huntington Park's San Antonio High, Bellflower's Somerset High and Perris' Val Verde High.
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