Q: Describe the level of cooperation between the courts, the police and school administrators.
A: Juvenile court cannot place a student in New Directions or remove a student from any school program; the Arlington Public Schools staff determines placement. Juvenile probation officers may request a placement of a student at New Directions because they anticipate that the student would benefit from supportive and structured environment of New Directions and thus experience greater success. The New Directions coordinator has a close working relationship with juvenile probation and the courts. He has contact with juvenile probation officers almost daily: (a) verifying students’ academic progress; (b) verifying student’s controlled and appropriate behavior; (c) verifying students’ school attendance. He accompanies students on any court appearances in order to share school reports with the judge. A suspension from school results in an automatic juvenile probation violation and a court hearing. Students understand when they are admitted to the program that they must comply with the rules and procedures of New Directions in order to avoid juvenile probation violations.
Q: Once students are in New Directions, how do they behave?
A: Because New Directions is a well-supervised and controlled environment, students generally adhere to the rules outlined in the School Board policies as well as classroom rules. Students enter school, go to their classes, engage in instruction, complete assignments, show respect to teachers, and work cooperatively. The School Resource Officer visits regularly. The school’s behavior modification program focuses on rewarding positive behaviors through weekly meetings that celebrate the positive achievements of students that week.
Q: How are they disciplined when they misbehave?
A: New Directions students are subject to the same consequences outlined in the Arlington Public Schools policies regarding discipline as other students. Minor classroom infractions could result in lunch detention, in-school alternative, call to home to parents, call to juvenile probation officer, extra assignment, apology letter written. Students can be suspended for out of school offenses identified in School Board policies. Unlike the comprehensive high schools, violation of school rules can result in a violation of juvenile probation filed by juvenile probation officers. Violation of juvenile probation results in students being recalled by the juvenile judge with various serious consequences possible.