May 04, 2016
The School District of Philadelphia has been awarded a $945,000 federal grant to create a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) program that will help formerly incarcerated juveniles transition out of the criminal justice system.
Designed to serve an estimated 825 students over a three-year-period, the grant will specifically be used to implement the Open to Opportunities in Career and Technical Education project for court-involved youth residing in the Pennypack House and Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center schools.
“This initiative will allow the School District to create innovative opportunities for students who face hard challenges,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “Our Career and Technical Education programs have proven to reconnect and engage students, resulting in higher graduation rates. We plan to provide the same chance for success to students in court-ordered placements.”
The grant, which will be phased in for the 2016-2017 school year, comes through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
CTE instruction will include Introduction to Green Technology, Network Cabling-Fiber Optics/Copper-based Systems, Introduction to Telecommunications and Technology, Introduction to Home Entertainment (Audio Video), and Energy Management Systems. Both online and hands-on learning will be facilitated through the CTE program.
In addition to coursework, students in the program will receive support services ranging from guidance and career counseling to workforce readiness training and mentoring for a successful transition upon release. Organizations and agencies involved in the initiative include the Philadelphia Youth Network, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services – Juvenile Justice Services, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office – Juvenile Division and Community College of Philadelphia.