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 Sarah Anthony School: Supporting Students in Juvenile Detention

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Being a kid can be tough, and sometimes children make bad decisions that get them into legal trouble.

Some of those kids are sent to the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility. This is where the San Diego County Office of Education's (SDCOE) Sarah Anthony School comes into play. The school is located inside the facility and educates the boys there.

Studies show that most students who enter the juvenile justice system have serious gaps in their education and poor academic skills. Many are reading at or below a fourth-grade level and are functionally illiterate. Others have learning or other disabilities. At least 30 to 40 percent are English learners.

Sarah Anthony School offers fully-accredited educational programs and services. Students there get support from the credentialed, skilled team of teachers, instructional aides, counselors, administrators, and other staff who are dedicated to serving this challenging population of students.

"A student's past does not mean they are not willing and able to learn," said Stacy Spector, director of Juvenile Court and Community Schools. "These kids have so much potential; it is our job to show them their potential in the short time we have them."

A high point for the youth at Sarah Anthony School is when they earn their high school diplomas or general educational development (GED) certificates and are able to take online college courses that are offered through the educational program.