posted on June 02, 2012 11:19
An intensive high school credit recovery program designed to help incarcerated students get on the fast track toward earning a diploma was unveiled June 1 at the Challenger Memorial Youth Center in Lancaster.
The AdvancePath Academy is tailored to the special needs of youth offenders who have not succeeded in traditional classrooms and have major gaps in their schooling. It is among 22 such academies nationwide and the first to be located at a juvenile detention facility.
"I am so thrilled to usher in this program for our students," said Arturo Delgado, superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education. "We're not just selling an educational program. We're selling hope for a future."
Delgado joined with stakeholders for an afternoon ceremony to unveil the AdvancePath Academy at LACOE’s Christa McAuliffe School, which serves the 250 youth detained at Challenger. The Superintendent’s goal is to make LACOE’s education program at the facility the “best in the country.”
The academy benefits 45 eligible students daily in two classrooms where they work at their own pace, at their own computer work station, with the guidance of a highly qualified teaching team. The academy provides personalized instruction in a supportive, technology-rich learning environment. Teachers and students work together to build the academic and social skills needed to attain a high school diploma.
“This is a great motivational tool,” said Shelley Torres, the academy’s lead teacher. “Students are excited about earning more credits and the possibility of completing a high school diploma at an accelerated pace.”
The program is made possible through a contract with AdvancePath Academics, a company based in Williamsburg, Va., that provides alternative education solutions for students at risk of dropping out of high school.
“All students, regardless of their situation, deserve to have hope and opportunity for a good education,” said John Murray, founder and CEO of AdvancePath Academics. “I am delighted that AdvancePath has been asked to be of service and help make a difference in the lives of these incarcerated youth.”
LACOE is a partner with the Probation Department, operating 13 fully accredited high schools in the county’s juvenile halls and camps that serve some 2,300 incarcerated students daily. The AdvancePath Academy is being piloted at Challenger for potential implementation at additional sites in the future.
Also recently launched at the facility is BuildingSkills, the largest hands-on vocational training program for youth offenders in the county’s juvenile court school system.
Photo: Celebrating the launch of the AdvancePath Academy are (l-r) Marsha Watkins, principal, McAuliffe H.S.; Arturo Delgado, LACOE superintendent; Luis Dominguez, North Region camps superintendent, Probation; Rita Hadjimanoukian, education deputy for Supervisor Michael Antonovich; and County Board of Education members Katie Braude and Gabriella Holt.