Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program

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About the Program

In 1995, the Texas legislature established the concept of juvenile justice alternative education programs (JJAEP). This legislation mandated a separate educational setting to ensure safe and productive classrooms through the removal of dangerous and/or disruptive students and to address the issue of expelled youth receiving no educational services during the period of expulsion. Prior to the creation of JJAEPs, disruptive and dangerous students either remained in the classroom or were expelled to the street.

Ensuring Classroom Safety

Thus, the state had a critical interest in ensuring safe classrooms for teachers and students while providing educational services in an alternative setting for expelled students. The legislation provides for juvenile justice alternative education programs (JJAEPs) operated by county juvenile boards in counties of more than 125,000. Each juvenile board is required to have a Memorandum of Understanding detailing the operation of the JJAEP with each school district in the county.

An Alternative Educational Environment

A JJAEP must focus on English / Language Arts, mathematics, science, social studies and self-discipline. JJAEPs are required to operate seven hours a day for 180 days a year. The Brazos County Juvenile Department's JJAEP is entitled "The Academy" and is an alternative educational environment for students under the supervision of the juvenile court who have not been successful in the traditional school setting.

Work At Your Own Pace

At the Brazos County Academy students work at their own pace to progress individually through the modules of each course. Course credit is awarded upon the student's demonstration of 80 percent mastery of the course. Grades are in the form of credits. Each module is based on performance objectives that specify the skills the student should have mastered upon completion of the module. The curriculum has been designed so that a student could earn .5 credits within a six weeks grading period.