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Staff and students are shown at Delta High School in this undated photo.

Contributed photo

Santa Maria's Delta High School has been recognized for its work with at-risk youth, earning the designation of Model Continuation High School from the California Department of Education.

According to the state Department of Education, recipients are recognized for creating innovative programs that focus on academics, social and emotional learning, and helping students overcome chronic absenteeism and truancy to get back on the path to realizing their full academic potential.

Principal Esther Prieto-Chávez called the recognition an honor, adding that staff members help use various methods to help their students achieve success.

"Our ultimate goal is for our students to obtain their high school diploma and continue on to college, a technical school, the military, or have the employment skills to be a productive citizen," she said.

Delta was chosen because of the many programs and procedures that are in place to address each student’s individual needs, said Prieto-Chávez, adding the school offers a variety of support services and individual assistance. 

Prieto-Chávez said support from the community and Santa Maria Joint Union High School District also contributes to the school's success.

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"The Model School designation for Delta High School is a tribute to the hardworking and dedicated staff and students that call Delta home," said district Superintendent Mark Richardson. "They earn every recognition they receive."

Delta joins 31 other schools — including Lopez Continuation High School in Arroyo Grande — as recipients of the three-year designation. Recipients will be recognized at this year’s California Continuation Education Association State Conference in San Diego from April 27 to 29. More than 400 students attend classes at Delta, according to the district.

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga