Rowland Unified School District

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Santana Continuation High School Students Move to Temporary Campus: Community Invited to Open House Oct. 16, 5 - 7 p.m.

Santana continuation high school students move to temporary campus during renovation

LA PUENTE >> The babies moved into their new nursery at Santana High this week. They googooed as the teen moms changed their diapers and rocked them.

The whole high school moved over the summer, taking up temporary residence in the former La Seda Elementary School in La Puente.

The old Santana campus is being renovated. Meanwhile, the continuation students are enjoying the sprawling school on La Seda Street.

“Our students really like this school, it has more of an academic feel than Santana does,” said Assistant Principal Doi Johnson.

The model continuation high school provides many educational options for high school students in Rowland Unified. Staff helps students with credit recovery or acceleration with individual instructional plans.

We visited the new nursery, where waist high walls partitioned off the large former classroom. Parents rocked their newborns before leaving for their next class.

Sixteen-year-old Dulce Aguero smiled after changing the diapers on her happy 2-month-old son, Jaethan Martinez.

“I like going to school here and taking care of my son,” Dulce said.

Life Center Director Cyndi Caffrey said the nursery has 10 babies at the moment. Caffrey said the students take a parenting class in addition to their regular schoolwork.

Santana gives the young mothers the chance to stay in school, where they can also take care of their babies. But the nursery is just a small part of the high school that focuses on student support.

“We have a culture of high expectations and the entire staff encourages the students to graduate on time, then go on to college,” Johnson noted.

Which is a tall order for some of the students who have fallen way behind on credits because of various issues. These range from family problems to instructional difficulties.

But helping the teens are dedicated teachers like Cathy Blackler, who loves working with the continuation students. Blackler was named Rowland’s Teacher of the Year in 2012. Last week, the English teacher was inducted into Rowland High’s Alumni Hall of Fame.

“I love to see these students’ grow academically, they really work hard to catch up with their peers,” Blackler said.

The Rowland instructor was happy with the La Seda campus.

“It’s a much more positive environment,” Blackler said. “This campus is more conducive to learning.”

Student Dulce Vasquez agreed, “I like this school better.” The 17-year-old ASB treasurer said she has recovered more than 40 credits since coming to Santana High.

Her class was working with counselor Paulo Duran to learn about college. They were studying the application process and other requirements. Many now want to continue their education.

All part of the process at the continuation school, which helps them with their academic, career and personal development.

The community is invited to come and visit during an open house, from 5  to 7  p.m. Oct.  16. The school is located at 341 S. La Seda Road in La Puente. Visit for more information.

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