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 Serving Students at Camp Barrett

When teens are sent to Camp Barrett in rural East County, they’re pulled away from many of the things they’re used to, but they still need an education.

That’s where Barrett High School comes in. Teachers at the Juvenile Court and Community Schools campus educate students whom judges have sent to the residential camp for committing serious crimes or repeat offenses.

About 80 boys between the ages of 16 and 18 live at the camp, most for seven or eight months. Some stay as long as a year.

Camp Barrett is run by the County of San Diego Probation Department, and Barrett High School is run by the San Diego County Office of Education. The two organizations work together to help students there learn through positive reinforcement as often as possible, Principal Joanne Finney said.

“It’s really important that our kids hear that they’re good kids, that they’re doing their best, that they try hard,” she said.

Students there can earn points through good behavior that shave days off of their length of time there.

The campus recently got a makeover with new paint, desks and other work that helps the boys there take pride in their school.

“They’re now taking responsibility for their furniture and their textbooks because they don’t want them getting messed up,” Finney said.