The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice operates its own school district with fully accredited academic and career and technology education programs, serving approximately 500 students in grades 4-12. All youth in DJJ’s care attend school while detained or incarcerated.
DJJ schools function similarly to others in South Carolina. There is a district superintendent, principals, teachers, directors, and program coordinators. DJJ schools differ from other state public schools in that they are in session year-round (enabling students to make up absences and close learning gaps). DJJ’s school district has no local tax base, relying exclusively on state and federal funding. Classes are geared to meet the individual needs of each student.
The DJJ school district is responsible for all educational programs operated by the agency, including those in private vendor programs and alternative school sites in community residential placement facilities. Youth committed to DJJ can earn either a high school diploma or a GED. DJJ’s school district also offers students a variety of CATE courses, extensive special education services, the nation’s first Army JROTC program in a juvenile correctional facility setting, media centers, career development centers, and guidance counselors. DJJ graduates receive a quality education and are equipped to pursue their post-secondary education and career goals.
- DJJ has more than a decade-long partnership with the University of South Carolina that helps graduate students prepare to become teachers, and to promote literacy and a love for reading among our youth through the UofSC-DJJ Literacy Project.
- Since 2017, DJJ & DMV have partnered to assist youth in obtaining their SC DMV-issued credentials.
- Project-based learning was implemented in 2018-2019. The focus was on environmental science. Youth created products including hand soap, jewelry, pet beds, candles, and handmade mats for the homeless.
- Since January 2016, 26 students have earned college credits through the Allen University program at Birchwood School.
- During the 2018-2019 school year, 12 DJJ-involved youth were hired with Michelin in Lexington County. These students have cumulatively worked almost 3,000 hours and earned over $40,000 in wages.
Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plans (ARP) Act was signed into law. In it, the U.S. Department of Education is providing an additional $121.9 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III Fund). This legislation will award grants to state educational agencies (SEAs) for providing local educational agencies (LEAs) with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.
South Carolina will receive $2,112,051,487 in ESSER III funds from the Act, with 90 percent being awarded to school districts with amounts determined in proportion to the amount of Title I, Part A funds they received in summer 2020 from funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The remaining funds will be used for state-level activities to address issues caused by COVID-19.
This plan describes how the LEA or district will provide the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services for all schools, including those that have already returned to in-person instruction. This report template complies with all reporting requirements of the ARP Act (Public Law 117-2), the ESSER III grant terms, conditions, and assurances (CFDA Number 84.425U), and the interim final rule established by the United States Department of Education, 86 FR 21195.
Proviso 1.3 - School Budget
According to Proviso 1.3 – Pursuant to Section 59-20-80, each school board of trustees must make available by September first each school year its annual budget that includes state, local, and federal investments in education. The budget must be available on the district’s website. The department, in collaboration with local school districts, will provide a template that each district must use in reporting its budget.
SECTION 59-20-80. School budgets must be made public; itemization of salaries.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each school board of trustees in this state shall annually make available to the general public its budget for that year, which budget shall include an itemized list of the average salaries paid to the superintendents, supervisors, administrators, principals, consultants, counselors and teachers employed by the district. No state aid shall be given to any school district whose board of trustees fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
Download and view below:
Meet Our 2023-2024 District Teacher of the Year
Meridth Flynn’s (center) impact reaches into classrooms across the school district and her tireless energy and undaunted enthusiasm for her students is felt by all who encounter her. When one her students makes even incremental progress or gets across the finish line to acquire a GED or diploma, she celebrates as if the student were her own child. She has served as an educator for more than 22 years and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina – Upstate, and a Masters degree from Converse University. She is certified in Social Studies, English, middle level language arts and social studies, and elementary, and holds endorsements in Read to Succeed and Gifted and Talented. Being recognized by her peers for this honor speaks of her dedication and passion for her students, and serving as District Teacher of the Year brings with it opportunities to represent DJJ School District, to participate in events with other Teachers of the Year from across the state, and to compete for the honor of State Teacher of the Year.
Meet Our 2023-2024 Support Staff of the Year
Beverly Jackson (center), affectionately known as “Mama J”, is the Communities In Schools Site Coordinator, and has served DJJ students for almost 25 years. Living a life of service, she consistently models character rooted in, motivated by, and humbly demonstrated by her faith. Her life and career continue to leave an indelible mark in the hearts, minds, and lives of others, both students and staff alike. She has been instrumental in developing programming to help the most challenging students among those in the long-term facility school.
School Records Requests
To obtain school records for students currently or previously enrolled in the SCDJJ School District, complete the appropriate form below in its entirety. For students or parents, the completed Request Form should be returned with a copy of your State Issued ID or Driver’s License. For Public Schools, please complete the appropriate form, including your District-issued email address. This information may be emailed to email@example.com or faxed to (803) 896-5953. Please allow at least 48 hours for processing of your request.
For former students more than 19 years of age, submit your request to our Archives Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DJJ District Report Card
South Carolina Department of Education School Report Card Website