Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) provide a fully-accredited educational program for school-age youth. No matter what challenges they’ve faced in the past, the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) strives to help students focus on the present and the future, which is why we are taking a very proactive approach to enhance the program.
In the last year, SDCOE has replaced the top leadership of the program and devoted considerable, focused effort to partnering with the San Diego County Probation Department, the Juvenile Justice Commission, and others to use data to drive decision-making and personalize learning for our students. We have enhanced our partnership with Probation in support of effective teaching and learning practices, including around the important topics of extended learning time, instructional materials, and access to technology. Our conversations are ongoing, and we stand united in our commitment to serving the students under our care.
In a statement, the San Diego Probation Department describes its commitment to partnering. "We are currently working with the San Diego County Office of Education to expand access to technology and the internet in the classroom at our facilities. After school hours, youth in our institutions are allowed to complete assigned homework. Their afternoons and evenings are spent engaged in programs, services and treatment designed to support their rehabilitation."
The County Office is also working actively to increase parent involvement in all of our school programs, including through the use of technology to supplement our existing mechanisms. In the fall, SDCOE will begin designing and implementing trainings to help parents better advocate for their children and navigate the school system.
Most importantly, SDCOE has been moving decisively to address the learning and instructional needs of students served by JCCS. We have been aggressively infusing Common Core-aligned instructional materials and supplies, including technology and 1:1 devices, as a means to support students’ access to high-quality materials and supplies.
The County Office has also invested heavily in professional learning for teaching staff in order to raise the rigor of the educational program and ensure students leave JCCS prepared for college, career, and citizenship. This professional development is vital during the regular school year and during intersessions. The JCCS school year is structured in a way that is similar to other county office programs, which is in compliance with Ed Code Section 48645. In this, our first year offering intersession, we utilized existing JCCS teachers to fill teaching spots wherever possible. These teachers are familiar with our students’ instructional and social-emotional needs, and with our program. JCCS also provided professional development to the visiting teachers who worked during intersession on how to best meet the needs of our students.
As Stacy Spector, executive director of Juvenile Court and Community Schools, says, recent attention on the Juvenile Court and Community Schools "underscores the need to ensure high-quality curriculum, instruction and social and emotional supports for our students. This is work we already do and work we will continue."