What is a Continuation High School?

A continuation high school is an alternative grade 12 diploma program for students aged 16 to 18 who have not yet graduated or are on the verge of failing to do so. The goal of continuation high schools is to provide students with an alternative to finishing their education due to family, drug, or other issues such as depression. A continuation high school is more career-focused than traditional secondary schools and provides students with more flexibility.

For example, a student who is skipping classes at a regular high school and faces expulsion may be given a workable study schedule that must be completed during non-traditional school hours. A typical continuation high school has individual study plans and smaller class sizes. School days may be cut short as well.

It’s worth noting that students in continuation high schools work at a faster pace than students in traditional secondary schools. When these students transfer to the continuation school, they are frequently behind in their classes. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and attend the alternative school model for a variety of reasons.

Some academically gifted students prefer the continuation high school model because it allows them to work at a faster pace than most traditional schools. Many pregnant teenagers and young mothers enroll in continuation high schools to accommodate their child-care responsibilities. Alternative school models also allow students in similar situations to connect with other students in similar situations.

While most traditional high schools offer student counseling, a continuation school places an even greater emphasis on providing guidance to students. Students who attend continuation high schools are better prepared for careers and/or college. They may also collaborate with youth and scholarship programs to provide financial assistance to students who wish to attend college or pursue a career. Individualized plans and counseling are provided as part of the traditional high school curriculum. It’s important to note that the graduation requirements for continuation schools and traditional high schools are the same.

Unlike traditional secondary schools, continuation high schools usually allow students to complete coursework online at home. The majority of exams must be taken at the school in person. While most students apply to continuation high schools on their own, courts may refer students to these alternative diploma programs in youth delinquency cases.