SFF/Maya Angelou Academy Called "One of the Best Educational Programs in a Confinement Facility," According to Recent DC Court Report

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Partnership between See Forever Foundation and DYRS is "remarkable testimonial to young people's potential"

A new court monitor report shows that the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) and the See Forever Foundation are making substantial progress toward improving education programs for young people in the DC juvenile justice system.

DC recently provided specific criteria to ensure the juvenile justice system moved away from the dangerous conditions that once existed at the Oak Hill facility (the predecessor to New Beginnings Youth Development Center). In a newly released report on the city’s efforts to meet the court’s criteria, the court’s special arbiter cited major improvements in schooling, recreational activities, and overall management of young people under the supervision of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.

The See Forever Foundation operates the school at New Beginnings – named the Maya Angelou Academy. The report found that the See Forever Foundation is providing “an exceptional, high quality and appropriately individualized education for general and special education students.” In fact, the nationally renowned court expert on education found that the educational programming at the Maya Angelou Academy was “one of the best educational programs in a confinement facility” that she had ever seen in the country.

“We are rising to the challenge of taking a school system that was failing, and turning it into an academy that is helping young people succeed in school, everyday,” said David Domenici, Principal of the Maya Angelou Academy and Co-Founder of the See Forever Foundation. “Our partnership with DYRS is a remarkable testimonial to young people’s potential, and the success of a juvenile justice reform effort that must continue.”

Critical features of the educational reforms that See Forever Foundation and DYRS have implemented include: smaller class sizes for students, strong curriculum and regular assessments to measure student progress, teachers committed to differentiating instruction to meet the diverse needs of students, and a transition school that supports the young people when they leave New Beginnings. Since these reforms have been put into place, the system has seen an increase in school attendance, an increase in academic achievement, an increased connection to schooling upon release, and an increase in college attendance among young people once they leave the system. For more information, contact David Domenici at (202/412-9124) or at New Beginnings at (202) 299-3139.

About the See Forever Foundation:

The See Forever Foundation is the nonprofit organization that exists solely to support the programs and services of the Maya Angelou Schools. The schools campuses include: two successful charter high schools, an equally thriving middle school, as well as the Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings Youth Development Center and its affiliated transition center. To find out how you can support the work of the Maya Angelou Schools as a financial contributor or volunteer, contact our Development and Communications Director Ingrid Padgett via telephone at (202) 797-8250, or email at ipadgett(at)seeforever(dot)org.

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Eileen Bramlet

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