Congratulations Avenal High School!

Press Release - State Honors Avenal High School with Exemplary Dual Enrollment and Distinguished California Partnership Academy Awards Avenal High School of Reef-Sunset Unified School District leads state in college and career prep programs for first-generation students 

Avenal, CA (February 27, 2023) - Reef-Sunset Unified School District was awarded two important recognitions for their participation in pre-college and career opportunities for students. 

Avenal High School has received an award from the California Department of Education for Exemplary Dual Enrollment. The award recognizes schools for their quality, equity driven Dual Enrollment programming and allows these schools to share the practices that have contributed to their success.

47% of Avenal High School students are enrolled in Dual Enrollment, which provides them with the opportunity to take UC/CSU transferable college courses to earn college credit and high school A-G credit. Currently, eighteen sections of UC/CSU transferable courses are taught by faculty from California Community College’s West Hills Community College District-Coalinga Campus.

Avenal High School has also received the title of Distinguished California Partnership Academy (CPA) for their Wonderful Agriculture Career Preparatory Program. The award is bestowed based on unambiguous criteria, including strict adherence to the CPA model, implementation of all model components and known best practices, and providing opportunities for students that go above and beyond those required by statute. Avenal High School was selected as a Distinguished CPA out of 400 CPA schools statewide. 

The Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep Program allows students to graduate from high school with up to two years of tuition-free college coursework, earning students an associate degree and over 200 hours of employment experience. Students’ options upon graduation include entering the skilled workforce with a guaranteed job, continuing at a community college, or enrolling at a four-year college or university as a junior. 

95% of students enrolled in the Avenal High Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep Program are first-generation college candidates and more than 95% are Latino or African American. Currently, Avenal High school has a school-wide enrollment of 762 students, the largest ever. Almost half of the students participate in dual enrollment courses.  26% percent of those registered with dual enrollment courses signed up for the Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep Program as well.

“The beauty of our Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep Program is its accessibility to all students,” said Silvia Maldonado, Principal, Avenal High School. “The program continues to allow first-generation students to receive a head start on their college education and create a culture of high expectations throughout our school district. Thank you to the California Department of Education for recognizing the hard work of our CPA team, staff, students, and families.”

“Dual Enrollment is an important way to expand educational opportunities, improve our community, and improve economic mobility while helping to meet California’s growing workforce needs. Students can take charge of their futures, get a head start on college, and set themselves up for success,” said Maldonado.

“We are very proud of our school district’s Dual Enrollment partnership with West Hills College Coalinga,” said Pat Sanchez, Superintendent, Reef-Sunset Unified School District. “We look forward to strengthening the pathway for all our students to receive college opportunities. We also recognize Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep Program for their belief in our community, and their commitment to our students’ education and career opportunities. The partnerships between Reef-Sunset and our local business and academic institutions are prime examples of what it means to invest in your community to support future generations.”

About Reef-Sunset Unified School District: Reef-Sunset Unified School District serves over 2,660 students across its three primary schools, middle school, two high schools and adult school. Located in the Central Valley in California, about 75 miles north of Bakersfield, Reef-Sunset Unified School District is committed to providing a safe and positive learning environment for all of its students. For more information:

Media Contact: Silvia Maldonado, (559) 386-5253

enlace en español:

El Estado Rinde Honor a la Secundaria Avenal con Premios de Inscripción Doble Ejemplar y de Distinguida Academia de Asociación de California