Each individual site is managed by a designated lead teacher with the exception of Sabal Palm School, which has a principal. All sites are supported by resource specialists in specific areas, such as regulatory compliance therapy, ESE etc. Education staff are also supported by paraprofessionals and adjudicated youth specialists at Juvenile Justice sites.

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The Dept. of Juvenile Justice Education Programs is composed of two program types: At Risk and Juvenile Justice. At Risk serves students who have been identified by the school system as being at risk of being a school dropout. The Juvenile Justice component serves students who have been adjudicated and assigned to Department of Juvenile Justice programs by the courts. Both components work with students who have one or more of the following problems-learning disabilities, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, mental health disorders, school dropout, family crisis, juvenile delinquency, and socialization conduct disorders. These problems have caused most of our students to be two years or more below grade level in academic performance, and at risk of non-completion of requirements for a high school diploma.

Avon Park Youth Academy
Administrator: Dr. Zeuli
242 South Boulevard
Avon Park, FL 33825
Phone: (863) 452-3815

The program is a residential, educational and treatment program designed to serve Level 6 juvenile offenders placed by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. The facility has 200 beds. All youth assigned to the program are 16 to 19 years of age and stay for an average of 9 months. Home Builders Institute operates as a school within a school to provide vocational instruction for the construction trades. The facility is operated by Securicor. Educational services are provided via the contractual agreement with the PCSB.

Bartow Youth Academy
Assistant Principal: Corey Miller
2415 Bob Phillips Rd.
Bartow, Fl 33830
Phone: (863) 533-7252
Fax: (863) 533-7254

Polk Halfway House
Assistant Principal: Corey Miller
2145 Bob Phillips Road
Bartow, FL 33830
Phone: (863) 519-5561 ext. 108

The program serves students with mental health issues. The 20 bed maximum capacity residential commitment facility is a moderate risk Level 6 program for boys, ages 10 to 14. The facility is operated by Sunshine Youth Services and the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Center
Assistant Principal: Mike Butler
2390 Bob Phillips Road
Bartow, FL 33830
Phone: 863-519-3611
Fax: 863-519-3790

The program serves youth detained by various circuit court/s for violations of the law or court orders. The average length of stay is 14 days. The residential facility serves 100 youth. The youth are detained pending adjudication, disposition or placement in a commitment facility. The facility is operated by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

At Risk Programs

Department of Juvenile Justice Education Programs At Risk Programs serve students who have been identified by the school system as being at risk.
Check the Schools Section for more information on each of the following programs. Includes Address, Administration, Phone, Fax, School Improvement Plan, School Public Accountability Report, and Zone Map.

New Horizon
Lead Teacher: Rodney Jamison
6980 South State Road 37
Mulberry, FL 33860-6931
Phone: (863) 428-1520

The program is for male students, grades 6 to 12, with ages ranging from 12-17. The residential alcohol, drug and mental health program is administered by the Agency for Community Treatment Services (A.C.T.S.). Referrals to the program are both court ordered and through private admission by the parents.
There are 20 beds in the facility. The education curriculum offered in the program includes high school courses in language arts, math, social studies, science, and vocational training.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Central Center
Lead Teacher: Corton Parks
2390 Bob Phillips Road
Bartow, Fl 33830
Phone: (863) 519-3611

The program serves 10 to 20 youth, grades 6 to 12, pending court assignment or waiting for assignment to adult jail. Generally, juveniles assigned to the South County Center are charged with severe violence or particularly grievous crimes. The education curriculum offered in the program includes high school courses in language arts, math, social studies, science, and vocational training. The jail facility is operated by the Sheriff’s Office.

Vocational Training

Vocational training and community service are an integral part of the Alternative Education Program’s Agriculture/Aquaculture programs offered at all appropriate sites. The agriculture programs are an extension of the agri/science courses; the community service provides a “hands on” component in vocational training experiences for the students. Student participants plan and develop the community service projects which are linked to the classroom and have a curriculum base. Community service targets an area of need in the community and utilizes the strengths and skills of the student population to help achieve a positive common goal. The agriculture programs are an extension of the agri/science courses; A certificate is given to students identifying the skills the student has mastered.

For several years agri-science class vocational students at the Boot Camp program have been in operation of plant production, aquaculture and community service landscaping.

The program has a “state-of-the-art” greenhouse, shade house, fish tanks and agriculture field and is viewed as a model program. The site serves as a base for the agriculture vocational community service programs at other sites.

Title IV Community Service

Learn and serve vocational projects statistics for 2004-2005 period

Alternative Education Department Students’ Participation:

A total of 869 students were serve. Of those, 187 were elementary-age children from the B.E.S.T. Centers, and 682 were from other sites, grades 6-12. As a part of their project involvement, 98 of the elementary students participated in field trips where the older students at the other facilities gave presentations and demonstrations, thus affording the older students an opportunity to prepare and “teach” about what they had learned.

Students’ propagated and nurtured plants for use in 23 landscaping projects at non-profit agencies and organizations that serve Polk County Communities. The total number of plants used or donated to community service landscaping was 1395. The total value of those plants which were donated is estimated at $8,385. The total number of yards of mulch donated for projects was 95 yards, valued at $2,850. The total number of yards of rock donated for the projects was 20 yards. valued at $1600. The total value of the donated labor involved is estimated at $25, 919. In addition to growing plants and trees for landscaping, student have raised and donated over 300 pounds of tilapia and over 500 pounds of vegetables to a church service center that helps feed the homeless.


For Title IV Community Service, Learn & Serve, State Farm Service Learning, Southwest Florida Water Management District Splash!, and Perkins Vocational Projects

  • The Polk County Sheriff’s Office — Adam H. Putnam, Member of Congress
  • Parks and Recreation Division, Board of County Commissioners
  • Public Works Department, City of Bartow — Parks and Recreation Department, City of Lakeland
  • Florida’s Natural Brand, Inc. — Harrell’s Nursery, Inc. — Florida Citrus Mutual
  • Polk Education Foundation — United States Department of Agriculture
  • Central Florida Resource Conservation & Development Council
  • David Byrd, Coordinator, Agriculture & Natural Resource Education, Career Education Services
  • Polk County Public Schools
  • Carlos Martinez, University of Florida — Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory
  • Al Herndon, Florida Masonry Apprentice & Educational Foundation

Digital Printing Education Vocational Training Project

Digital printing vocational courses were implemented at the Boot Camp School in the fall 2004. Through these vocational training courses the students are able to be dually enrolled in their academics for high school credit while receiving the vocational skills and training needed to enter the digital printing and related vocational areas. The students utilize a new digital printing computer lab and software funded through the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) grant.

Internet Computer Lab Project

Through funding from the EETT grant, new computer labs are/have been implemented at Alternative Education Department middle-secondary school sites. The labs have internet access since spring 2005. Teachers and students at the sites are/will be able to utilize the computers to access online high school academic and vocational courses from Florida Virtual School and Education Options.