In August 2016, we opened a new school inside of the Youth Study Center (YSC), the New Orleans juvenile detention center. CEEAS runs this school in partnership with the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). As a team, our school staff elected to name the school the Travis Hill School, and we welcomed our first students on August 22, 2016.
At the School, our mission is to provide each student we serve with the best educational experience of his or her life, to ensure that each is successful at our School and finds a reason to be excited about learning, and to prepare each student to succeed at school when they return home.
If you are interested in learning more about the Travis Hill School, or getting involved with our work in New Orleans, click below.
We believe it is critical for students in secure facilities to explore the power of reading at every opportunity; to read for pleasure, not just for a grade; and to develop the habit of reading. So, in February we sponsor a month-long readathon and book review project called Unbound.
Unbound provides a framework and incentives to increase students’ engagement with books. Between February 2015 and 2016, over 100 schools in secure care facilities around the country participated. Students have really taken to the project. Click here to read some of the book reviews students have written.
Unjammed is an intensive, year-long initiative designed to help juvenile justice agencies and their education partners transform education in their schools through blended learning. Juvenile justice agencies apply to be selected to participate in the cohort each spring. Teachers from selected agencies attend a week-long blended learning ‘Tech Camp’ over the summer. CEEAS supports agency leadership in developing revised policies that enable the safe, secure use of technology and the Internet in their facilities.
The Consortium is a peer-supported network of juvenile justice agencies from around the country who have all committed to improving education in their juvenile justice facilities. CEEAS supports the Consortium members with a range of member-based activities as well as agency-specific projects.
We know how important it is that all the adults working with students in juvenile justice facilities come together and share a common mission. We work with juvenile justice agencies and their education partners to create Mutual Accountability Teams (MATs). The MATs are designed to bring education and secure care together and provide them with the tools they need to work cohesively, to address challenges in real-time as they arise—in service of students in their care.
We work with juvenile agencies at a range of levels to support the use of instructional technology. At the leadership level, we help agencies overcome barriers related to safety and security, Internet access, technology funding, policy, procurement, and implementation. For teachers and practitioners, we provide onsite training on highly engaging instructional technology strategies that can transform classrooms and re-engage students.
We work with juvenile justice agencies to help them develop the capacity to meet the unique needs of students with special needs. We provide intensive training and support on the ‘how to’ of delivering quality student-focused education and related services to special education students. We also provide training and support for site and agency leadership on policy and day-to-day practices that offer meaningful alternatives to the use of punitive sanctions.
We know how critical it is to get our nation’s best teachers into schools in juvenile justice facilities. We help juvenile justice agencies transform their recruiting, training and evaluation, and teacher support processes–with the goal if improving the quality of their teaching corps and improving teacher retention (ensuring that high quality, dedicated teachers remain and underperformers do not).
We understand the importance of soliciting student input, listening to their concerns and ideas, and meaningfully responding to what they share. We have developed a now widely-used school climate survey that we administer with juvenile justice agencies from across the country.
We work with juvenile justice agencies to help them implement a range of academic and CTE courses for their credentialed students. We help schools develop partnerships with local community colleges, deploy the technology infrastructure to support online courses, train schools on how to access and use free and low-cost courses that offer college credit courses (AP, CLEP, ACE), and facilitate processes so that students have access to Pell Grants.