Education vs. incarceration for troubled teens

Anything remarkable is about to transpire at Gateway Community School in Camarillo, which serves college students who have confronted a rocky highway on their higher school journey. Some have been expelled from their common significant schools, and many others have experienced run-ins with the regulation. All of them have faced important hurdles as they get the job done toward earning their large college diplomas.

Commonly, a number of of the learners in Gateway’s senior course fail to satisfy the requirements for graduation. But this calendar year, virtually all 21 of them will acquire their diplomas and have options to enroll in university or enter the workforce. Items could easily have turned out in different ways for these learners if they had been incarcerated for their offenses fairly than presented the assistance they desired to turn their life around.

Acquiring these college students across the finish line took the involvement of caring gurus from the Ventura County Place of work of Education and learning, which operates Gateway, and our associates at Ventura County Behavioral Wellbeing and the Ventura County Probation Company. They created the relationships and designed the connections with students and households essential to triumph over the obstructions that can very easily derail the purpose of graduating.

Quite a few of the college students have to maintain down employment to assist their family members and should juggle the calls for of both of those school and operate. Some of them are moms and dads who struggle to come across childcare so they can go to course. When faculties had been shut to in-man or woman learning thanks to the pandemic, they skipped out on crucial aid and steering that couldn’t be duplicated on the web.

When pupils returned to Gateway in individual, the employees redoubled their efforts to make up for missing time. They enhanced the chances for college students to recover skipped credits. They have been in continual conversation with learners and mothers and fathers to increase attendance and observe progress. And they partnered with Oxnard Faculty to tour the campus and support learners with the admissions system. The students also stepped up to the plate by coming to course, holding appointments with counselors, and catching up with schoolwork on evenings and weekends.

Even though we’re celebrating the maximize in Gateway’s graduation charge, we’re excited to see a distinct statistic on the drop. The Ventura County Place of work of Education and learning also operates Providence College, which is located within the Ventura County Juvenile Justice Facility in El Rio. For several years, the variety of pupils at Providence has been dropping as teenagers are progressively diverted to spots like Gateway as a substitute of placing them powering bars. It’s a change in priorities which is spending true dividends, as we can see with this year’s Gateway graduating class.

In a few months, they will proudly wander across the stage in caps and gowns to obtain their tough-earned diplomas. Even though high school graduation is a provided for several kids, it’s rather a little bit a lot more for these pupils. It’s evidence that the problems they’ve produced in the past never have to outline their long term. It’s a testament to the good that can arrive when public organizations collaborate in the most effective desire of college students who have to have extra assistance. And it is a reminder that the will to make improvements to, develop, and triumph is alive and effectively in all of us.

Dr. Cesar Morales

Dr. Cesar Morales

Dr. César Morales is the Ventura County Superintendent of Educational facilities.

This posting initially appeared on Ventura County Star: Guest column: Instruction vs. incarceration for troubled teens