Community day schools are operated by school districts and county offices of education. Community day schools serve mandatory and other expelled students, students referred by a School Attendance Review Board, and other high-risk youths. The 360-minute minimum instructional day includes academic programs that provide challenging curriculum and individual attention to student learning modalities and abilities. Community day school programs also focus on the development of pro-social skills and student self-esteem and resiliency. Community day schools are intended to have low student-teacher ratios. Students benefit from learning support services that include school counselors and psychologists, academic and vocational counselors, and pupil discipline personnel. Students also receive collaborative services from county offices of education, law enforcement, probation, and human services agency personnel who work with at-risk youth. Community day schools are supported by supplemental apportionment for community day school attendance, in addition to base revenue funding.
- Program Summary
Information on program purpose, services, outcomes, funding, students served, and results.
- General Guidelines for community day schools:
- Checklist for establishing a community day school
- Assignment of students to a community day school
- Minimum school day
- Approval of attendance accounting system
- Location of community day schools
- Countywide plans
- Core Elements
The California Department of Education (CDE), in collaboration with the leaders of the statewide Community Day School Network (CDSN), has outlined core elements and questions to guide you in describing your community day schools.
- Small District Funding Waivers
School districts and county offices of education with 2,500 or fewer units of average daily attendance may request a waiver that provides for an augmentation of community day school funding.
- Community Day School E-mail List
Join the Community Day School listserv to receive timely information about the establishment and operation of community day schools.
- County-District-School (CDS) Codes
The CDS code system is an administrative convenience designed to provide the CDE, the Department of Finance, and post secondary institutions with a basis for tracking schools. Each community day school must have its own unique code number.
- Education Code (EC) Waiver Process
The purpose of a waiver is to provide flexibility in a school district or county office of education without undermining the basic intent of the law. The governing board of a school district or county office of education may request that the State Board of Education (SBE) waive parts of the California EC and/or implementing regulations. The SBE may approve such waivers under its general waiver authority.
The Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM) provides accountability for educational options schools serving very high-risk, highly mobile students. These schools include community day, continuation, opportunity, county community, juvenile court, Division of Juvenile Justice, and other alternative schools that meet stringent criteria set by the SBE.
- California School Directory
This directory includes California's community day schools by county and district, including grade span and contact information.
- Community Day Schools - CalEdFacts
Part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.
- Resources for Educational Options Programs
Provides links to additional community day school information.
- Law for Community Day Schools
California EC sections 48660 through 48926 and other related sections of the EC pertaining to community day schools.
Educators in all professional roles involved in the operation of community day schools are encouraged to participate in the CDSN. The CDSN supports professional development and networking with statewide and regional workshops and conferences. It also maintains an electronic bulletin board.
Educational Options, Student Support, and American Indian Education Office
Dan Sackheim, Education Programs Consultant