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Continuation Education

Continuation education is an alternative high school diploma program. It is for students who are sixteen years of age or older, have not graduated from high school, are still required to attend school, and who are at risk of not graduating.

Many students in continuation education are behind in high school credits. Others may need a flexible school schedule because they have jobs outside of school. Some students choose continuation education because of family needs or other circumstances.

Students who attend continuation high schools must spend at least 15 hours per week or three hours per day at school. They take courses that are required for graduation. They also receive guidance and career counseling. Some programs offer independent study, job-placement services, and concurrent enrollment in community college.

The California Department of Education is involved in the funding and management of continuation education programs.

  • For more information about continuation education, contact your local school district.
  • The Continuation Education - CalEdFacts page provides a more detailed overview of continuation education.
  • The links and information below were developed for educators and others who are directly involved with continuation education.

Continuation education is a high school diploma program designed to meet the needs of students sixteen through eighteen years of age who have not graduated from high school, are not exempt from compulsory school attendance, and are deemed at risk of not completing their education. California Education Code sections that provide for continuation education include sections 44865, 46170, 48400–48438, and 51055.

Program Summary
Information on program purpose, services, outcomes, funding, students served, and results.

Application for a New Continuation High School
Information and application process for the establishment of a new continuation high school.

Model Continuation High School Recognition Program
Identifies and recognizes outstanding programs and creates a resource list of quality programs for school visitations.

Continuation Education - 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.

Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS)
Provides accountability for educational options schools serving very high-risk, highly mobile students. These schools include continuation, community day, county community, juvenile court, Division of Juvenile Justice, opportunity, and other alternative schools that meet stringent criteria set by the State Board of Education.

Voluntary and Involuntary Transfers
Information on the voluntary and involuntary transfer of pupils to continuation classes, programs, and schools.

Resources for Educational Options Programs
Information to support academic and social-emotional development and youth engagement in schools.

Questions: Dan Sackheim | | 916-445-5595 
Last Reviewed: Friday, January 12, 2024