Juvenile Court and Community Schools in the North Region held the first annual Winter Graduation Commencement Ceremony at the North County Regional office, with proud parents, joyous teachers and a handful of very grateful students all in attendance.
County Board of Education member Sue Hartley, Assistant Superintendent Claudette Inge, and JCCS Executive Director Maruta Gardner were part of the presentation of diplomas and certificates.
"We are very excited to have so many graduates. This is our first graduation ceremony and to have so many students participating is a great accomplishment," said Leilah Armour, JCCS North Region Principal.
Five out of ten Class of 2005 graduates participated in the commencement ceremony, each expressing their gratitude to parents, teachers and friends who supported their achievements. Each of the graduates faced serious challenges on their way to the commencement ceremony.
The Class of 2005 graduates consisted of students from four North Region JCCS programs: Breaking Cycles, Rancho Del Oro, Escondido, and North Independent Studies.
The graduates participated in home school studies over the course of six months to a year. Each student was assigned to meet with a designated teacher who delivered standards-driven curriculum and instruction focusing on core academic subjects. Differentiated instruction was emphasized to meet the individual needs of all students.
Graduation requirements included a final senior project on a subject of the student's choice. Projects ranged from infant development, to auto mechanics to music and the educational achievement gap. A few projects were on display for family and friends to view.
"It takes a lot of fortitude and perseverance to hang in there and get your diploma," said Debra Thompson, parent of Independent Study student, Allan Thompson. "I admire my son more and more each day. I admire his teacher Charlene Kemp even more. She was the guiding force to his success. Because of her Allan plans on attending Palomar College in the fall."
Charlene Kemp, North Region Independent Studies teacher said, "This is very exciting. Other programs did not suit Allan, but independent studies worked for him. He was very motivated and had a very motivated mother."
"The tutoring programs helped a lot with homework and my final senior project , which I did on Landscape Architecture," said . Jesus Santiago, a North Independent Study student. "I appreciate all of the support I received from the teachers and staff,"
The Juvenile Court and Community Schools are committed to making a difference, through high expectations, social justice and equality for all students. For more information please visit www.sdcoe.net.