(Decatur, GA) – The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is pleased to announce that the DJJ School System scored 100 percent on the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) Special Education evaluation, reflecting the agency's dedication to providing special education programs and services to students with disabilities.
"DJJ is committed to providing an education that empowers life-long learners to reach their full potential," said Commissioner Tyrone Oliver. "I am proud of our school system and special education team for their hard work and dedication to ensuring youth have access to wraparound services while in our care. We look forward to continuing to provide an environment where our special education students can thrive."
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children. The act requires states to review and evaluate Local Education Agencies (LEAs) performance in meeting the IDEA requirements and purposes each year.
The GaDOE Division for Special Education Services and Supports completed a review of data from the 2020 – 2021 school year and made the Fiscal Year 2022 determination that DJJ 'Meets Requirements' of Part B of the IDEA, scoring 100 percent. Children and youth ages three through 21 receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.
DJJ is the 181st school district, with 29 campuses in secure facilities and Education Transition Centers. During the 2020-2021 school year, the DJJ had 300 special education daily students representing approximately 30 percent of the youth in secure facilities. In addition, the Department currently employs 32 special education teachers.
"We are thrilled with our 100 percent score on the Local Education Agency (LEA) Determination report," said Zane Shelfer, DJJ Deputy Superintendent of Schools. "We welcome and value the guidance and feedback provided to our school system by the Georgia Department of Education. I want to thank our Special Education Director Winifred Pierce, Special Education Curriculum Specialists, and all teachers whose hard work each day made this happen."
The DJJ Special Education programs and services enhance student achievement and post-secondary outcomes by implementing regional and statewide activities for students, families, educators, administrators, and other stakeholders. Areas for services and supports include accessible instructional materials, assistive technology, curriculum access and alignment, family engagement, and positive behavior supports.
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The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is a multi-faceted agency that serves the state's justice-involved youth up to 21 years of age. The Department's mission is to transform young lives by providing evidence-based rehabilitative treatment services and supervision, strengthening youth and families' wellbeing, and fostering safe communities. Visit us online at www.djj.georgia.gov.