County community schools are public schools operated by county offices of education to serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade who are expelled from their regular schools, referred by a School Attendance Review Board (SARB) or at the request of the pupil’s parent or guardian, referred by probation (pursuant to the Welfare and Institutions Code sections 300, 601, 602, 654), on probation or parole and are not in attendance in any school, or homeless.
County community schools provide an educational placement for students who are expelled or referred by juvenile court, probation, or a SARB. County offices of education operate the county community schools and provide for the administration and operation. County community schools are typically supported by resources from caseworkers, family and community members, mental health counselors, and intensive supervision and educational guidance that fit the student’s needs to ensure that the appropriate services and educational needs of the student are met.
Outcomes include: dropout prevention; recovery of out-of-school youth; increased student graduation rates for students at risk of failure of completing high school; educational, emotional, and counseling services; support for foster youth; diversion from the criminal justice system; and support for pregnant and parenting students.
Base funding for county community schools is either the base revenue rate of the referring school district or the county’s juvenile court school rate, depending on how the student was assigned to the county community school and the age of the student. The standard minimum school day for county community schools is 240 minutes of instruction. The minimum school day for pupils in attendance in approved vocational education and work experience programs is 180 minutes, which shall be calculated on the basis of the average number of minutes of attendance during not more than 10 consecutive days in which classes are conducted.
Although the Educational Options, Student Support, and American Indian Education Office does not have specific reports on the efficacy of county community schools, it has prepared a research paper and compendium of resources entitled Zero Dropouts for California. This paper contains information regarding the dropout crisis; recommendations for the State, counties, districts, and the California Department of Education; and an extensive bibliography of resources.