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 Enrollment Grows at North County Academy

Enrollment at North County Academy has more than doubled since the school for children facing significant behavioral or emotional challenges opened last year.

The school in Carlsbad has nearly 70 students now, compared with about 30 when it opened last year and 50 at the beginning of this school year.

Unlike many schools, the goal of educators there isn’t to keep students.

“We really try to get these kids back to their home districts,” Principal James Dayhoff said. “That shows success.”

The 11-classroom campus is run by the San Diego County Office of Education for the 14 school districts in the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education​ along with Poway Unified School District.

It opened last year and serves students in grades 5 through 12. The program was designed to meet students' academic and therapeutic needs.

“We’re going to do what it takes to help the students succeed,” Dayhoff said.

The County Office of Education contracts with the San Diego Center for Children for therapeutic services for students. There is strong collaboration between the therapists and educators there, Dayhoff said.

The school serves students who require more intensive services than their home school districts are able to provide. Most of the classes have a teacher, two aides, and eight to 10 students.

Students don’t even have to miss out on typical high school activities such as competitive sports and clubs. There are sports teams that compete with other small schools in the area as well as clubs for interests such as art, anime and Legos.