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NCJ Number: 50762 Find in a Library
Title: INDEPENDENCE HIGH - A SCHOOL FOR DELINQUENTS
Journal: CORRECTIONS MAGAZINE  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:(DECEMBER 1977)  Pages:45-48
Author(s): K KRAJICK
Corporate Author: Correctional Information Service, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Correctional Information Service, Inc
New York, NY 10017
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A PRIVATE SCHOOL IN NEWARK, N.J., FOR UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS WHO HAVE DROPPED OUT OR BEEN EXPELLED FROM THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IS DESCRIBED.
Abstract: ABOUT HALF OF INDEPENDENT HIGH'S 80 STUDENTS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED AT SOME POINT, THOUGH NOT FOR SERIOUS FELONIES. OTHER STUDENTS HAVE DROPPED OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL, OR WERE SIMPLY LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT. MOST OF THE STUDENTS ARE AT LEAST 1 YEAR BEHIND IN SCHOOL. ALL ARE FROM LOW-INCOME FAMILIES. THE SCHOOL OFFERS BASIC COURSES IN MATHEMATICS, ENGLISH, AND SOCIAL STUDIES PLUS ELECTIVES SUCH AS STREET LAW, JOB INTERVIEW SKILLS, ARCHAEOLOGY, AND MUSIC. THE STUDENTS GO ON WEEKLY FIELD TRIPS TO MUSEUMS, LIBRARIES, MOVIES, AND OTHER ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS. AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE PROGRAM IS THE DIVISION OF THE SCHOOL YEAR INTO EQUAL PERIODS OF OUTSIDE WORK AND INSCHOOL INSTRUCTION. DURING EACH OF FOUR 8-WEEK SEMESTERS, HALF OF THE STUDENTS TAKE CLASSES WHILE THE OTHERS WORK IN JOBS. THE SCHOOL OFFERS THE STUDENTS A CHOICE OF UP TO 85 JOBS AND PAYS THEM A STIPEND OF $30 PER WEEK. THE INDEPENDENCE HIGH STAFF FEELS THAT THE KEYS TO ITS PROGRAM ARE THE THINGS THAT DISTINGUISH IT FROM MOST PUBLIC SCHOOLS: ITS SMALL SIZE, THE INFORMALITY OF CLASSES, STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN DECISIONMAKING, AND AVAILABILITY OF TEACHERS IN THE EVENINGS AND ON WEEKENDS. MANY OF THE STUDENTS SAY THAT THE SCHOOL GIVES THEM INTERESTING CLASSES, INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION, AND PRACTICAL SKILLS THAT HAVE CHANGED THEIR OUTLOOKS ON EDUCATION AND ON THEMSELVES. THE DROPOUT RATE AT INDEPENDENCE HIGH IS UNDER 10 PERCENT. RECIDIVISM AMONG STUDENTS WITH POLICE/COURT RECORDS IS ABOUT 15 PERCENT--CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN WOULD BE EXPECTED. OF THE SCHOOL'S 57 GRADUATES, OVER HALF HAVE GONE TO COLLEGE. ALMOST ALL OF THE REST HAVE ENTERED TECHNICAL TRAINING OR JOBS. FOUNDED IN 1975 BY SIX VOLUNTEERS IN SERVICE TO AMERICA (VISTA) VOLUNTEERS, THE SCHOOL HAS SINCE RECEIVED NEARLY $1.5 MILLION IN STATE, FEDERAL, AND PRIVATE FUNDS. THE SCHOOL SPENDS APPROXIMATELY $4,250 PER STUDENT PER YEAR (COMPARED TO $1,600 FOR NEWARK'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS). LEAA FUNDS HAVE HELPED THE SCHOOL TO EXPAND AND TO RECRUIT MORE DELINQUENTS. THE STATE AGENCY THAT MONITORS INDEPENDENCE HIGH FOR LEAA HAS RECOMMENDED THAT THE SCHOOL BE NAMED AN EXEMPLARY PROJECT. PHOTOGRAPHS ILLUSTRATE THE ARTICLE. (LKM)
Index Term(s): High school education; Juvenile day treatment services; Law-related education; New Jersey; School dropouts; Youth employment
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50762

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