For many teenagers, success in a conventional high school setting doesn’t come easily. Graduating on time—or at all—can be difficult. Challenges such as poor academic performance, having and raising their own children, or personal adversities prevent them from earning a diploma in four years. A new Senior Extension Program, operated by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), is giving teenagers more time to earn their diplomas and providing them with more opportunities to succeed in life.
In a mid-year graduation ceremony at the Sierra Health Foundation on January 17, high school diplomas were awarded to 11 SCOE community school students. All but two of the graduates earned their diplomas through the Senior Extension Program.
Launched in the 2015–16 school year, the program aims to re-engage students who are in jeopardy of dropping out of high school—or who have been out of school and want to return to complete their graduation requirements. Students receive personalized education plans, allowing them to earn the credits required for graduation. Students are referred to the program by their school district.
Students receive a combination of independent study and classroom work, allowing them to earn credits while still meeting work and family obligations that would have otherwise prevented them from completing their education.
The Senior Extension Program is offered at SCOE’s North Area Community School and Gerber Jr./Sr. High School campuses, and will soon be offered at Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. High School. Partners include: Another Choice Another Chance, Birth and Beyond, Greater Sacramento Urban League, Northern California Construction Training, OMNI Youth Programs, Sacramento County Probation Department, Sacramento Employment Training Agency, and WEAVE.