by Leslie Layton
During her freshman year at Chico High, Diana Chavez ditched all but about 20 days. “We’d go to the mall, do anything to fill up the day,” she said of herself and a friend. “Then we’d go back to school to get picked up.”
Chavez enrolled at Fair View continuation high school in fall 2009 after failing her freshman year classes. There, she was able to make up lost credits and get on track with emotional and academic support from school staff. Chavez will graduate from Fair View May 23 with plans to attend Butte College next fall.
Chavez’s story of failure and recovery follows an arc commonly heard at Fair View, a four-year high school that has managed to thrive in an era of austerity in public education — even while some California school districts roll back continuation school services.