What struggling students need to know about their high school options
By Jason In
Currently, high school students in the Oakland Unified School District who have had difficulty with their classes in a normal high school have the opportunity to be transferred to a continuation school where the pace is much more suited for them.
Unlike regular Oakland high schools, where the graduation requirement is having 230 credits, continuation schools require only 190 credits for students to graduate. Also, continuation schools follow a different school calendar. All regular Oakland public schools are on the semester system, while continuation schools use the trimester system which means that instead of having two terms of classes like a semester school, they have three.
The credit system is different, as the required amount of time for a class has been changed for students in those schools. Students are still required to take 40 units (four years) of English, but only 20 credits (two years) of science. Overall, students need less credits to graduate with a high school diploma.
However, graduating from a continuation school still gives you a high school diploma. Oakland High School counselor James Wallace said that continuation schools, “…serve their purpose. I think that they’ve improved and they have good counselors there and have some support there for the kids there.”
According to Wallace, the rough number of students who went to Oakland High School that has been transferred to continuation schools is around 40 students which are mostly seniors and juniors. These students were sent to schools like Dewey and Rudsdale.
Continuation schools still count as high schools. Wallace stated, “They do get a high school diploma at a continuation school from Oakland Unified…,” he said, “…so it counts for financial aid, it counts for community colleges, jobs, and so forth.”
Oakland High School students have also expressed their satisfaction with continuation schools.
“It works,” said senior Aaron Saelee. “[Continuation-school students] just double their credits and they get to graduate earlier than regular high schools.”
Continuation schools are here to help students get a diploma at a school that is not as difficult as the one they are currently in and students there still have the same result; you get a diploma. Students who are having difficulty with their classes at O-High can ask their counselor if they’re eligible to transfer to a continuation school as they can graduate with fewer credits and get a high school diploma from a school that is less impacted than a regular high school.
“I feel like if you utilize the resource properly, then it can provide you with a great future,” said senior Julius Allen. However, he added that, “It works if you’re determined to work.”