A New School at the Youth Study Center
In August 2016, The Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS), opened a new school inside of the Youth Study Center (YSC), the New Orleans juvenile detention center. CEEAS runs this school in partnership with the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). As a team, our school staff elected to name the school the Travis Hill School, and we welcomed our first students on August 22, 2016.
At the School, our mission is to provide each student we serve with the best educational experience of his or her life, to ensure that each is successful at our School and finds a reason to be excited about learning, and to prepare each student to succeed at school when they return home.
Our School, our Students
Just over 40 students are held at the YSC and attend school on a daily basis. There are two fairly distinct groups of students at the YSC. One group, generally those facing juvenile charges, is held at the YSC, on average, for approximately two weeks. The second group, generally those who are facing adult charges, often remain at the YSC for six to nine months. Nearly all of the students who pass through the YSC have faced school failure--many did not attend school regularly and have been suspended or expelled. Most are far behind their peers academically, and 30-40% of them have special education needs. They all, though, have hopes and dreams, skills and talents, and family and friends who care for them, as well. It is our moral imperative to reach out to these students, to show them we care, and to help them find a path forward academically.
Key Design Elements of our school
The YSC School is student-centered, with an intensive focus on making school relevant and meaningful, on creating a culture of high achievement, and developing a school climate based on mutual respect and understanding. We work closely with the custodial care staff at the YSC, actively engage with the families of our students and invite them to be active participants in the life of the school, and partner with members of the greater New Orleans community--building relationships that will support students when they return home.
"I will never forget about this school. It inspires me and motivates me a lot."
- Travis Hill Student (fall 2017 survey)