Florida Department of Juvenile Justice marks the start of operations for Florida Scholars Academy

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — There is a new statewide academy that aims to reach and teach students caught up in the juvenile justice system.


It’s called the ‘Florida Scholars Academy and on Monday, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)  announced the academy’s first day of operations at a press conference held at the St. Johns Youth Academy.

“Closing those achievement gaps and having more of those kids get across the line with a high school diploma is definitely going to be a game-changer for our kids,” said Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Eric Hall.

The new academy is designed to help students commit to a DJJ residential program, where kids are placed by the courts into a residential facility because of criminal charges.

Over the last 30 years, local school districts have been providing education for 32 programs across 25 different school districts.

Now Florida Virtual School is the operating education service provider for the new academy.

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“For us, it was really just a chance to make a difference in the state of Florida,” said FLVS chief academic officer Robin Winder.

Kids enrolled in the residential programs will be able to get in-person and online instruction.

“The kids are going to go to class every single day,” said Hall. “They have a schedule like kids in our traditional school.”

One teacher will be assigned to every 15 students.

Nearly 184 team members were hired by FLVS to support this work inside the facilities across the state.

The goal of this education model is to help the youth graduate high school and get them into the workforce.

The first day of classes for the Florida Scholars Academy is July 10th.

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