The McCracken County Regional School is one of a select few schools featured in the Kentucky Department of Education’s recent publication, “Persistence to Graduation.”
The full report includes four sections highlighting schools and programs throughout the Commonwealth that promote high school graduation, especially for underserved and at-risk students.
The Regional School, featured as the third case study in the Alternative Education section, is a short-term residential facility for juvenile delinquents pre- and post-adjudication serving Kentucky’s 18 westernmost counties. Because the average stay at the school is only 20 days, its three full-time teachers have a unique challenge to keep students focused on their education.
The school offers a trauma-informed program, including trauma-sensitive yoga and a life skills course. The majority of students at the Regional School have experienced high levels of Adverse Childhood Experiences (60% have four or more; 42% have seven or more).
The report identifies four key strategies and practices that make the Regional School an exemplary alternative program, including:
• Having a vision of student success and doing whatever is necessary to reach it
• Willingness to be flexible to meet students’ needs
• Consolidating services to improve quality
• Creating a supportive, structured environment
The McCracken Regional School has made KDE’s Top 10 Alternative Program of Distinction list the last several years, and was the first juvenile detention facility to ever make the list.