(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 for the second consecutive year. The achievement reflects the agency's dedication to providing special education programs and services to students with disabilities.
"I want to thank the DJJ special education team for their dedication to ensuring our youth have access to the tools they need to flourish," said Interim Commissioner Shawanda Reynolds-Cobb. "DJJ will remain committed to providing wraparound services for special education students and empowering them to become life-long learners."
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 2021 – 2022 school year and made the Fiscal Year 2023 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.
"I am proud of the work our entire Special Education department and teachers do to provide equitable services to our students with disabilities," said Zane Shelfer, DJJ Deputy Superintendent of Schools. "This is the second year in a row that we have scored 100 percent on this audit, and I want to thank our Special Education team for the hard work they do each day."
DJJ is the 181st school district, with 29 campuses in secure facilities and Education Transition Centers. During the 2021-2022 school year, the DJJ had nearly 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.
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.