A First of Its Kind Graduation Ceremony

A First of Its Kind Graduation Ceremony
Posted on 01/16/2020
Graduation capsFor the first time ever, on January 7, 2020, the District held its first graduation ceremony in the Brown County Jail’s gym. Six young men were able to celebrate their high school graduation with a formal ceremony, and were provided caps and gowns. While family members were not allowed to attend, since the ceremony was held in the secure portion of the jail, District staff and two Board of Education members who had completed the background screening process were there. 

The graduation ceremony included presentation of the class to the District superintendent. Each student also received a written letter from a family member, that was read aloud. The six young men expressed the lessons they learned during their incarceration, and the gratitude they felt for being afforded the opportunity to finish their high school education.

“We are very appreciative of the professional relationship we have with the Brown County Jail staff,” stated Minoka-Hill Principal Lynn Eldredge. “Their willingness to be flexible and allow the ceremony to happen, as well as almost a dozen professional visitors into the secure area, is unprecedented anywhere. It was an emotional day for everyone.”  

The Green Bay Area Public School District serves as the public education provider for all juveniles housed at the Brown County Jail, regardless of which Brown County school district or private school the student previously attended. The educational program at the jail has five teachers and one school counselor. The teachers and the counselor work diligently when a student arrives, to get records from previous schools.They determine the number of credits each student has, how many they need, and whether or not the student qualifies for special education services. Each student has an individual plan, which may be attaining the 22 traditional credits for graduation required by the District, earning a GED, or working through the District’s competency-based program. The school counselor keeps in regular contact with families and community service providers to assist the students with transitions when they are released. 
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