Educational Services

Educating Youth in Secure Care

The Office of Juvenile Justice has the task of delivering educational services to a diverse population: diverse in age, in geographic location, in individual needs, and in academic functioning. All youth of mandatory school age who are placed in OJJ custody must be enrolled in a school program approved by the LA Department of Education.

The alternative schools located at OJJ’s secure care facilities prepare students to become lifelong learners and productive citizens by providing a structured educational environment that will meet the individual needs of all students. This educational environment provide skills that promote the maximum academic, vocational, physical, social, and emotional development of each student.

The alternative schools of the Office of Juvenile Justice provide an educational program, in concert with treatment and security that is responsive to the individual needs of the student. The Office of Juvenile Justice believes the general public and communities will benefit from a better educated and well-adjusted student, which will produce a better citizen less likely to recidivate and more likely to make positive contributions to society.

The following is a list of school programs in secure care facilities:

Riverside Alternative High School
Bridge City Center for Youth
School Office: 504-437-3052

Southside Alternative High School
Swanson Center for Youth 
School Office: 318-651-4840

Pinehill Alternative High School
Swanson Center for Youth at Columbia
Control Center: 318-649-2385

Educational program offerings at these schools include:

  • Academic curriculum that aligns with the comprehensive curriculum and the Common Core Curriculum for Louisiana schools
  • Remediation and academic recovery for struggling students
  • Statewide Assessments and High Stakes Testing (PARCC, iLEAP, LEAP, End of Course, LAA1, LAA2)
  • Statewide Assessments – Explore-8th and 9th grade, Plan-10th grade, ACT 11th grade
  • Carnegie Unit Classes
  • National ACT Testing Site
  • HiSET classes and testing
  • Vocational programs
  • Postsecondary programs

Currently there are 6 vocational program offerings between the three secure care sites. These include:

  • Automotive/Small engines
  • Carpentry
  • C-Tech – (fiber optics and wiring)
  • Culinary Arts
  • Horticulture
  • Welding

Administrative and educational personnel hold valid Louisiana Teaching Certificates and all are certified in their areas of instruction.

These schools operate year round and students are enrolled six hours per day at their appropriate levels of academic performance. Students who are eligible are given the opportunity to participate in HiSET preparation and/or vocational programs. Students who have obtained a high school diploma and/or high school equivalency diploma are given the opportunity to enroll in vocational programs and/or postsecondary programs.

Child Search (evaluation of education programs for students with disabilities) is conducted at intake and if a student has a history of academic and/or behavioral difficulties, a referral is made to the school building level committee (SBLC).

Recommendations are made for interventions and/or accommodations or modifications in the student’s educational program. If further assessments are needed to rule out an educational disability, the student is referred for an individual evaluation conducted by a multidisciplinary pupil appraisal team.

Special Education services are provided by Special School Programs (SSP) through an interagency agreement with the Louisiana Department of Education.  SSP follows all the requirements of federal and state laws pertinent to that specific population.

Services include:

  • Child Search
  • Initial and re-evaluations
  • Initial and review Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Related services – i.e. counseling, speech therapy
  • Support services
  • Participant on the School Building Level Team
  • Instruction to eligible special education students according to their Individual Education Plan (IEP)