Our Programs

Academic Instruction/John Muir Charter Schools

Rancho Cielo offers its vocational training and high school education on-site in partnership with WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)-accredited John Muir Charter Schools. The collaboration provides students in the Ag Technology & Mechatronics, Auto & Diesel Repair, Drummond Culinary Academy, Construction and Sustainable Design Academy, Welding & Fabrication, and Silver Star Youth programs the opportunity to complete their high school education and earn a high school diploma or the equivalent via the HiSet® (High School Equivalency Test) or GED® (General Education Development) test. 

“The ultimate goal is a high school diploma, job training, and certifications that allow young people to go on to post-secondary education, whether that’s community college, university, vocational training, etc., or move directly into the workforce and sustainable, lifelong employment.”

—RJ Guess, CEO of John Muir Charter Schools

“The John Muir Charter School, our educational partner, individualizes education and makes pursuing a high school diploma a reality. Our programs integrate core academic instruction into vocational training to educate young people in a meaningful and relevant way.”

—Chris Devers, CEO of Rancho Cielo

 Individualized approach to success

John Muir administrators and educators work closely with Rancho Cielo’s case managers and instructors to help determine which program best fits the student’s interests and goals. Each student receives an individualized plan for their academic courses and vocational training, personalized attention in small classes (capped at 18), and the tools they need to complete their education — including a laptop and WiFi stick to allow them to continue coursework online at home if they do not have internet services. The hours spent in vocational training count toward elective credits. In turn, that training prepares students to enter the workforce and/or enroll in post-secondary education.


Monday – Thursday:
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

9 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.


August through June. Approximately 10 months to complete.

Ongoing/open enrollment.

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The length of time to complete high school education depends on the amount of credits students have when they start attending Rancho Cielo. Once students complete their education and programming, they may attend the annual graduation ceremony held at Rancho Cielo in May. 

To graduate students must:

  • Maintain an 85% or higher attendance rate while in the program. 
  • Meet credit requirements each week through academic work. 
  • Complete requirements from each part of their vocational program. 
  • Meet all high school diploma requirements according to the program’s academic curriculum. 
  • Remain drug and alcohol-free during enrollment.
  • A Program Coordinator/Case Manager will assist graduates in their job searches, college applications, and any other services needed to join the workforce and/or continue their education.  
  • Students will receive follow-ups from the Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator for 12 months following graduation to ensure student success after graduation. 
  • Some graduates have come back to help out in their former programs and those coming up behind them, effectively coming back full circle to their community. 

Founded in 1998, John Muir Charter Schools’ teachers are fully credentialed, licensed educators. Rancho Cielo is the largest charter site for John Muir, with approximately 30% of the school’s total student population in California served at Rancho Cielo. John Muir partners with their community to safely deliver programs and services that inspire at-promised youth to learn new skills, and gain self-esteem and confidence.

John Muir also provides paraprofessionals, who work under the supervision of licensed teachers, to assist in Rancho Cielo classrooms. John Muir delivers the same services and academic instruction as any other high school and supports Rancho Cielo’s vocational training and wraparound services, such as transportation, food/ nutrition, and case management.