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The Sunburst Youth Academy is a collaborative partnership with the Orange County Department of Education.  Academic Excellence is one of the eight Core Components at the academy.  Students attend class daily in a traditional, sit-down, classroom environment and are provided a top-notch educational experience.  The smaller student-to-teacher ratio enables our students to receive the maximum support.  Students maintain an average GPA of 3.8 while enrolled and grow an average of three grade levels in math and reading comprehension.  Our goal is to teach our students the foundational tools and skills to achieve their full potential and return to the district of residence motivated and on track to graduate with their high school diploma.



  • Cadets attending Sunburst are expected to earn 65 credits, comparable to a year's worth of high school credits, in five and a half months. 

  • Credits earned at Sunburst can be taken back to a student's home school and applied toward graduation, or eligible cadets can achieve a high school diploma (not just a GED credential) from Sunburst.

  • A highly structured environment with paraeducator support allows teachers to focus more on academics rather than student discipline.  Translates to increased academic time for students. 

  • Transition cadets back to their District of Residence.


  • We are not keeping students beyond one semester.

  • We are not taking students who are regularly present and on track to graduate.

  • We are not "stealing" ADA as we have students recommended to our program by your schools.  They would not be generating ADA for the district anyway.

  • We are not serving a high percentage of students from any district at any one time.


  • We send back students who are more competent and dedicated, generating more ADA for the District of Residence when they return.

  • Students are followed by Sunburst for a year after they complete the academy.  This provides extra support for students who are going back to their District of Residence.  Sunburst graduates are more likely to become high school graduates, increasing graduation rates for your school.

Has a student asked you to help them with a Sunburst Application?

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