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New academy aims to reach students in Florida juvenile justice system

The program will offer in-person instruction to kids in juvenile justice.
The program will offer in-person instruction to kids in juvenile justice.

Florida Virtual School will hire 190 teachers, paraprofessionals and school counselors to staff a new academy for at-risk youth.

The new hires will staff the Florida Scholars Academy, a program for at-risk youth served by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

The in-person academy will be available to kids at all 42 DJJ residential commitment programs in the state. Classes will start July 10.

Teachers interested in applying for the open positions must have a highly qualified teacher status, and be available to provide in-person instruction at DJJ facilities Monday through Friday.

Florida Virtual School said the goal of the program is to empower the more than 1,200 students in juvenile detention and to reduce recidivism rates.

“No matter the circumstances that led these students to be assigned to Department of Juvenile Justice residential commitment programs, they deserve a high-quality education,” said the Superintendent of Florida Scholars Academy, Julian Cazañas Jr.

“Our educators will meet every student where they are, providing them with the tools and skills needed to change the trajectory of their lives.”

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan found education programs like this one in prisons can reduce recidivism by 14.8%.

Read the full Mackinac Center for Public Policy study here.To apply for the open positions, click here.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.
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