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February 18, 2009 > Students can get back on track

Students can get back on track

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Dustin Findley

A refuge for students to help them keep up with the world academically, socially and emotionally, Milpitas Community Day School stands to support students who struggle to meet the standards of the system. "We provide a safety net," said Principal Mike Baxter.
Students who have been expelled from Milpitas Unified School District are enrolled; students returning from the California Youth Authority, Juvenile Hall and the Ranch are also supported; students who are significantly behind in credits; those who have failed 7th or 8th grade or those with behavioral problems are all taken good care of.

"My main population is kids who are here for behavior or academic reasons," said Baxter. "Our philosophy is to work on the social relations skills (of the students), we also have a drug and alcohol counselor." With the small class size of around 30 students, the educational program gives individual counseling to students to help them meet academic, legal, and social requirements.

Also called the "Other or Alternative" school, it aims to serve as a stepping stone to regular schools and is not the final destination. The school started in 1999. "We run grades 7th to 12th, and we have three main judging criteria - attendance, grades and behavior" said Baxter. "Community day schools should have security of location, have a special staff and be flexible," he added.

Milpitas Community Day school provides a special curriculum and offers a study program which is more flexible than a traditional school. Students attend this school until they have the requisite satisfactory attendance or till they complete the required work. Following this success the students of 7th and 8th grade either return to Rancho or Russell Middle Schools or graduate from the 8th grade and are promoted to Milpitas High School. Students in 9th through 12th grades return to Milpitas High School or move to Calaveras Hills, and graduate.

A student's placement and program is decided at the time of enrollment. The student is required to meet with the Director of Student Services for the Milpitas Unified School District and the school site principal with his/her parent. The school staff works effortlessly to provide the opportunity for students to get back on track, change unsuccessful behavior, and return to the regular program.

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