Moorpark : Continuation High May Get Accredited

Moorpark Community High School has received a favorable report from an accreditation committee that could change the image of the continuation high school for problem students and help the students get into a four-year university.

A team representing the Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges, after visiting the school on Casey Road in downtown Moorpark, declined to say if they would recommend the school for full accreditation by the nonprofit group that works with the state Department of Education.

But members of the visiting team, who reviewed the school’s curriculum, staff, facilities, goals and student activities, said its prospects looked favorable. “We thought it was a very fine school,” said Linda Tonkinson, chairwoman of the visiting committee.


The committee’s recommendation will go to the association’s board of commissioners for a vote sometime in June, said Earl Nielsen, an administrative assistant for the association. The school could receive accreditation for up to six years.

If fully accredited, students who graduate from the continuation high school could go directly to a four-year university, Principal Gabino Aguirre said. Without such accreditation, he said, students bent on continuing their education must first attend community college.

Aguirre said Moorpark Community High has also sought accreditation out of a desire for legitimacy. “There used to be a feeling that education here was not up to par,” Aguirre said. “Accreditation gives us that legitimacy.”

The continuation high school provides an alternative education for 78 Moorpark students who have been reassigned there for a variety of reasons. Some were sent to Moorpark Community after disciplinary problems at Moorpark High School. Others chose to go to Moorpark Community after having problems fitting in or completing their studies at the regular high school.

Aguirre said he is so enthused about the report from the visiting committee that he has “prematurely” ordered the association stamp that can be put on students’ grade records.