East Stanislaus High School is located in the relatively small foothill town of Oakdale, California. The population of Oakdale is about 20,000 and growing! Oakdale is known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World” and most residents are proud of this western heritage. The Oakdale Joint Unified School District provides high school services to the towns of Valley Home and Knights Ferry as well as to the residents of Oakdale. As the only district classroom based alternative education high school, East Stanislaus serves students from all three communities, which provides us with a very diverse student population. East Stanislaus serves its students with a small staff that includes: four full-time, fully credentialed teachers, a secretary and a principal, as well as a part-time student counselor. Our student population now consists of about 100 students, which keeps our students to teacher ratio around 1:25. This helps create an environment where teachers can enthusiastically focus on individual student achievement.
The curriculum at ESHS is California Content Standards based and is designed to meet the varied academic needs or our students. The school year consists of six 6-week blocks. The block system allows our students the flexibility to be engaged in variety of subjects and accrue credits faster than they would at the comprehensive high school. By earning credits at a faster rate, students gain the options of returning to Oakdale High School and/or graduating on time from ESHS. The staff of ESHS is committed to aligning all of our instruction to the California Content Standards so that our students will be prepared to be successful in both STAR testing and the California High School Exit Exam. We have a district career technician that remains in contact with our students in the skills related to job acquisition and college or trade school entrance. This program has created a high level of interest from our students and has enabled the ESHS staff to better assess the needs and concerns of our high-risk student body.
Typically students are referred to ESHS both voluntarily and involuntarily from Oakdale High School. The reason for the referral in most instances is because students have not had academic success at the comprehensive high school. The ESHS principal, at the end of the school year, meets with the OHS principal and counseling staff to identify OHS students who are 16 years of age and are not on track for timely graduation. The ESHS principal contacts and invites those parents and students to an orientation meeting at which the ESHS program is discussed and parent/guardians are given the option to transfer their student to ESHS. On occasion ESHS will get a student referral from the county independent study program, but this is a very small percentage. Students are admitted to ESHS by meeting with the principal and agreeing to follow the student behavior code. ESHS is an attractive option to students because of their ability to get back on track to graduate.