The Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) services high-risk youth in its Court/Community Schools. Tulare County operates two separate community schools in addition to the Juvenile Detention Facility Court School. On a daily basis, the Court/Community Schools have approximately 75 students enrolled but will serve several multiples of that figure in one school year. This is due to the high transiency of students through individual programs.
TCOE Court/Community Schools serve those referred students ranging from seventh through twelfth grades who are either expelled, adjudicated or incarcerated. TCOE currently operates two community school sites to serve group homes.
The adjudicated/incarcerated student category is considered high-risk because of the overlapping of juvenile offenders, those at risk for school failure, and children who have various disabilities. Low academic achievement and performance, teen parent status, physical/sexual abuse, chemical dependence, and school expulsion are some of the challenges these students face. These high-risk students are referred to Court/Community Schools by the Juvenile Court, the Probation Department, schools districts, and other public agencies.
TCOE Court/Community Schools are chartered to provide high-risk students an alternative educational setting where they can develop the social, academic, and life skills to be transitioned successfully back to their home schools or to complete a diploma or the general equivalency diploma (GED).
Volunteer work opportunities are available at many sites, strengthening positive experiences with the community and exposing students to practical career options. Job placement support from SEE and C-SET are also provided at school sites.
Special features of Court/Community Schools include:
- Individualized programs that accommodate the age range and subject requirements of students.
- Modern facilities designed to meet the needs of at-risk youth.
- Opportunity for vocational training, possible part-time work experience and labor market counseling.
- Counseling for students and their families in the areas of substance abuse, anger management, gangs and violence prevention.
- Specialized curriculum to teach the CHARACTER COUNTS! program. This innovative and exemplary program teaches students to make better decisions by teaching responsibility, trustworthiness, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship.
- Additional school day on Saturdays for court school students.