School Stability, Enrollment, and High School Graduation Rights of Foster and Probation Youth

School Enrollment for Foster and Probation Youth

Have you heard this before?

  • If you are missing credits, have bad grades, or are pregnant or parenting, you must go to an independent study program or continuation school, not your local school.
  • You can’t enroll in school without providing all of your records to your new school.
  • You can’t take the same classes you were in at your last school because those classes are too full at our school.
  • You have a right to attend your local school, unless you (1) have an IEP that requires you to attend a different type of school; (2) have been expelled after a formal hearing; or (3) are currently in juvenile hall or camp (youth returning from hall/camp have a right to attend their local school).
  • You cannot be forced to attend a continuation school, adult school, independent study program, or school for pregnant/parenting teens, even if you are not on track for high school graduation, have failing grades, or have behavior problems at school.
  • You have a right to attend your ‘school of origin’: (1) the school you attended when you were first removed from your parents; (2) the last school you attended; or (3) any school you attended in the last 15 months where you felt a connection.
  • You have a right to be immediately enrolled in and attend school, even if you do not have any of the required documents (transcripts, immunization records, proof of residence).
  • You have a right to be enrolled in the same classes you were taking at your old school if you transfer mid-semester.

Education Code §§ 48853, 48853.5

  • Ask your caregiver, education rights holder (if you are under 18), social worker or probation officer for help.
  • Work with your education rights holder to figure out what school would be best for you. Go and enroll.
    • Bring a copy of your transcript; a document, such as a gas bill, that shows your current address; and any other school records you have. Remember, you have a right to immediate enrollment even if you do not have any of these documents.
  • If any school refuses to enroll you, contact the Alliance for Children’s Rights for help: 213.368.6010 or
  • Meet with a school counselor to set up your class schedule. You must be enrolled in the same classes you were taking at your last school. They cannot make you take all elective classes.
  • Ask your school counselor to request your records from your old school, including an official transcript with all partial credits and check out grades.

Staying on Track for High School Graduation

Did you ever:

  • Transfer schools mid-semester and not get credits for the classes you took at your old school?
  • Take the same class more than once, even though you already passed the class?
  • Transfer schools mid-semester and get put in different classes than those you were taking at your old school?

As a foster or probation youth, you:

  • Have a right to receive partial credits when you transfer schools mid-semester for all work you completed before moving.
  • Cannot be forced to retake parts of a class you already passed if it would throw you off track for graduation.
  • Must be enrolled in the same or similar courses as those you were in at your last school.

Education Code §§ 49069.6, 51225.2

Before you leave your old school:

  • Make sure you are ‘disenrolled’
  • Get a grade for each class (even if you were only there for a short amount of time)
  • Ask your counselor to give you a final transcript including partial credits
What is AB 167/216 Graduation?
You can receive a high school diploma if you:

  • Transfer after your second year of high school;
  • Are behind in credits and off track for high school graduation;
  • Complete state graduation requirements (130 credits); and
  • Remain in high school for four years.

What are the state graduation requirements?
You must complete the following 130 credits:

  • English: 30 credits
  • Math: 20 credits (including Algebra 1/Mathematics 1)
  • Social Sciences: 30 credits (World History, US History, Government, Economics)
  • Science: 20 credits (Physical Science, Biological Science)
  • Visual/Performing Arts or Foreign Language: 10 credits
  • Physical Education: 20 credits
  • Within 30 days of transferring to a new school, the school must provide you, your education rights holder, and social worker or probation officer with a letter telling you whether you are eligible or not. Keep this letter in case you transfer to another school.
  • Get a grade for each class (even if you were only there for a short amount of time)
  • If you are eligible, only your education rights holder can decide whether you should graduate under AB 167/216. If you are 18 or older, you are your own education rights holder.

Education Code § 51225.1

If you believe that your enrollment, partial credit or AB 167/216 graduation rights have been violated, speak with your education rights holder, social worker or probation officer. You can also contact the Alliance for Children’s Rights at 213.368.6010 or visit for assistance.

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