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PLUS: San Jose’s Successful Alternative Education Option

Milbrey McLaughlin and Hoorig Santikian
Publication Date: 
June, 2011

This issue brief is part of a larger study of California Continuation High Schools begun in 2007. During this phase of the study, researchers conducted in-depth site visits and data analysis at 22 continuation high school programs in three California counties from November 2009 to October 2009, interviewing students, teachers, counselors, and administrators. San Jose’s PLUS program stands out among California’s continuation high schools in its design and operation as part of a district menu of alternatives, and in its ‘school-within-a-school’ design. Most notable are its students’ outcomes; though students are similar demographically and economically to other continuation students around the state, their outcomes are consistently more successful . This brief takes a close look at the PLUS program to feature the elements of program design, school and district supports that enable these positive outcomes.

Suggested citation: 

McLaughlin, M. and Santikian, H. (2011). PLUS: San Jose’s Successful Alternative Education Option. Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities.

Related Researcher(s): 
Bay Area
Policy area: 
Families, Communities, and Schools