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 Educating Students at Rancho del Campo

​Resting in the mountainous East County desert is Rancho del Campo, a residential camp for young men who have gotten into trouble with the law.

SDCOE operates a high school there for about 90 students, most of them freshmen and sophomores.

For the most part, students there get a typical high school experience. They have six periods with different teachers and classrooms. They don't have a football team or homecoming dance, but they can get some elective credit by volunteering in the kitchen or taking art and physical education classes.

In addition to academic lessons, students at the camp can get help to quit drugs and correct problem behaviors as well as psychological and medical attention.

The school is in a decommissioned Army barracks in Campo, near the U.S.-Mexico border. The site was known as Camp Lockett when it was established in 1941.

The setting can be therapeutic for the students, who were sent there by a judge based on a history of criminal activity. The site has a pool, obstacle course, garden, and theater.