The purpose of community day schools (CDSs) is to provide an education setting for students who have been expelled from a school, students referred by a School Attendance Review Board or probation, and other youth at high risk. CDSs are operated by school districts and county offices of education (COE).
The 360-minute minimum instructional day includes academic programs that provide challenging curriculum and individual instructional strategies to meet the students' learning abilities and modalities. CDSs also include school-to-career and other “real world” connections as a part of the curriculum. Additionally, CDS programs focus on the development of social skills, emotional development, and resiliency. CDSs are expected to operate in an environment of high expectations for staff and students. CDSs are intended to have low student-to-teacher ratios. Students benefit from learning support services that include school counselors and psychologists, academic and vocational counselors, and pupil behavioral support personnel. Students also receive collaborative services from COEs, law enforcement, probation, and human services agency personnel who work with at-risk youth.
In October 2010, there were 283 schools reporting an enrollment of 8,923 students. However, CDE demographic reports for prior school years indicate that the total number of students served by these schools over the entire year averaged over 23,700.