In addition to the program activities at each building, an education program is provided on-site for the residential and secure students at each location. These services are funded through Act 30, under our designation as a Private Residential Rehabilitation Institution (PRRI). Educational services are provided 6 hours per day and may include non-traditional hours for the physical fitness program, which is conducted at the local YMCA or YWCA, except for the secure program. The education program has developed and implemented a curriculum to support the goals of Balanced and Restorative Justice, Drug and Alcohol Treatment, Parenting Skills and Gun Violence Prevention. These services are provided by education staff during education hours.

What we do best in school at A.R.C. is turn students back on to learning. The majority of our students has a long history of school failure, or at the minimum, feel disenfranchised from their school. Our teachers employ many creative methods to engage students and rekindle their enthusiasm for learning. As students build one success experience upon another, their confidence increases, and soon they are accepting responsibility for their learning and fully investing themselves in their education. This positive approach empowers students to be high achievers.

Each A.R.C. classroom has a full time teacher and teacher’s assistant. In addition, a counselor is present in the classroom. A.R.C. also employs two full time math coaches, a full time career education coach, one full time reading coach and two part time reading coaches. Students’ education programs are specifically tailored to meet their learning needs. The coaches provide direct instruction to students who need additional support, as well as some group instruction in the classrooms.

The majority of A.R.C. students focus either on earning high school credits in preparation to return to their home school district or prepare for and take the G.E.D. exam. A.R.C. uses universal course codes to easily identify courses students have completed at A.R.C. to ease the process of transferring credits. When a student completes their treatment program at A.R.C. and is preparing to transition home, the teacher contacts the home district to schedule a readmission meeting with school officials to facilitate the student’s return to school and the transfer of credits. Generally, these meetings are attended by the student, teacher, A.R.C. counseling staff, parents, probation officer and school officials.

Two years ago, through a federal grant under Title I, A.R.C., Inc. purchased A+ Learning Credit Recovery Software and 45 additional laptop computers to enable us to give students more opportunities to make up credits for courses they may have failed or missed in their local high school. This means a motivated student could possibly demonstrate mastery of Algebra I after just fifty hours of computerized instruction by learning the skills and passing the tests, compared to logging 120 clock hours then passing a test in a traditional classroom. This has enabled many students to recover credits and graduate on time with their class.

At A.R.C., students who have high school diplomas or GEDs have had the opportunity to take college credits since the 1990s. We routinely assist students who are twelfth graders or who have earned a high school credential with completion of the FAFSA application so the financial aid package is in place if they choose to continue their education after high school.

A wide variety of school assemblies dot the school year calendar and enriches the curriculum: A.R.C.’s Annual African American History Fair, Latino Day, The A.R.C. Family 5-K Race/Walk, A.R.C. Olympic Days, Math Camp, The A.R.C. Science & Technology Challenge, A.R.C.’s Anti-Gun Violence Summit, The A.R.C. PA Grand Canyon Bike Challenge, and the A.R.C. Thanksgiving and Christmas Assemblies. These assemblies expose students to new ideas and activities and give them experiences that create memories of success

In June 2011, A.R.C. became an affiliate of Pennsylvania Academic/Career and Technical Training (PACTT), which is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Chief Juvenile Probation Officers. Our PRRI funded education curriculum was modified to include the requirements for PACTT membership. This is significant because of the importance of preparing young people to be productive, functional members of society.

The main Career/Technical Education component offered at A.R.C. is Culinary Arts. Again, this training opportunity dates back to the early days of A.R.C. After a student successfully completes 120 hours in A.R.C.’s Culinary Arts program, students may be eligible to participate in an unpaid internship at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Harrisburg affording valuable hands-on experience. The curriculum parallels the introductory courses of Harrisburg Area Community College’s culinary arts Associates Degree program. A Culinary Arts Competency Checklist has been developed and added to the Culinary Arts Curriculum. This checklist will be sent to probation and the school with the Academic Summary.

Education at Shelter Care

Educational services are provided on site by the Central Dauphin School District in compliance with the Public School Code of 1949 and the Department of Education requirements. The educational program is in session Monday through Friday with academic subjects including mathematics, language arts/reading, social studies and science. Per state law, each student will receive a minimum of 4-1/2 hours of instruction each day. Once it has been determined that a student qualifies for special education services according to I.D.E.A., an Individualized Education Program (I.E.P.) is developed and implemented by Central Dauphin teaching staff.