Come Back Kids charter course helps residents obtain high school diplomas

Lacking a high school diploma can be a very limiting experience in today’s job market, where even working some menial jobs require it.

Of course, a person cannot be a fireman, police officer or even join the military without that important piece of paper. No junior college or university will accept students without it. That diploma is as important as the teachers tried to impress upon their students for all their school years.

The Riverside County Office of Education has a special program that allows for interested persons to resume acquiring their high school diploma, even if they quit school many years ago.

“Come Back Kids” is a charter program that offers prevention and intervention services to students age 16 to 24 who wish to re-enroll in an educational curriculum. These students can make up credits, find the classes they need and even get special training.

According to the RCOE website, the CBK vision is to prepare every student for success in college, career and the community, and its mission is to create personalized learning opportunities for all students to prepare them to be ready for the future through academics, post-secondary opportunities and safe and supportive learning environments.

This program is an unsurpassed opportunity for students to succeed. They can complete high school graduation requirements and credits, prepare for the High School Equivalency Exam, earn high school and even college credits, attend English as a Second Language classes and enroll in workforce development.

Only 200 credits are required to earn the high school diploma through the Come Back Kids charter courses.

The CBK website has a page dedicated to its success stories.

“Bernesha A. Smith is the first CBK graduate for the 2010-2011 school year,” the story said. “Bernesha attended the Milo P. Johnson Center for Learning in Banning for over a year to complete the requirements of the RCHS diploma. This has been a great accomplishment for this young parent who is also raising twin daughters. She attributes her success to her very supportive parents and her outstanding CBK teacher Vicky Burdick. Presently, Bernesha is attending a nursing program.”

So many children “fall through the cracks” of the school system, but CBK offers a chance for students to resume their education and even go further.

The  Come Back Kids Charter offers the following services: high school diploma with a 200 credit requirement; independent study and small group instruction; computer-assisted math; general education diploma preparation, pretest and testing; skill building; enrollment in regional occupational program or career technical education classes and Mt. San Jacinto College, Riverside Community College or College of the Desert career education programs; placement in an individualized education program; assessment of a student’s current skills; tutoring; a California Family Life Center Program and even a formal graduation ceremony at College of the Desert and Grove Community Church.

To enroll in the program, a person must sign up and attend a CBK orientation. Locations for these orientations can be found on the CBK Facebook page under “Events.” A CBK attendance registration technician will contact the student to schedule a registration appointment.

The following documents must be shown at the registration appointment: high school transcripts, vaccination records, birth certificate or other proof of age such as a baptismal certificate, passport, immigration certificate, Bible record or affidavit from the parent or guardian.

After these requirements are met, it is time to meet with the teacher and get started.

Certain goals must be met for graduation from the CBK Charter program: 30 credits of English or Language Arts, 30 credits of history or social science, 20 credits of mathematics which includes completing Algebra I through Integrated Math I, 20 credits of science, 20 credits of physical education, 10 credits of fine arts or language other than English or career technical education and 70 credits of elective courses for 200 credits.

There is no reason to lack a high school diploma when CBK is there to help aspiring students.

For additional information on the Riverside County Office of Education Come Back Kids Charter program, call (877) 726-3225 or visit www.rcoe.us/student-program-services/come-back-kids-charter.

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