JIM THORPE — Officials with the Jim Thorpe Area School District today confirm they’ve reached a deal that allows a school inside a local juvenile detention center to stay open.
Without a deal, parents and teachers schools feared the kids with criminal records would be bussed from the lock-up to Jim Thorpe Area High School to attend school, which opens in 12 days.
All summer students at Jim Thorpe did not know if they would soon be going to school with other kids serving time at the detention center 12 miles away.
“I was a little concerned, knowing that they were at Camp Adams,” said incoming freshman Brian Denterman
“I would try a virtual online school, because that would be an option just to keep my children away from potential harm,” added Janet Kath, whose daughter will be a freshman at the high school.
But now it appears, all or most of the 50 juvenile inmates at Camp Adams will not be bussed to Jim Thorpe Area High.
“We just received a signed agreement,” said Superintendent Brian Gasper.
He says the deal keeps the school inside Camp Adams open.
Two months ago, representatives of Youth Services Agency, which operates Camp Adams, considered closing the school because of high costs.
And because Camp Adams is in the Jim Thorpe district, the district would have to take responsiblity for educating offenders.
But instead of busing the kids to Jim Thorpe Area High, the district will provide Camp Adams with a couple of teachers so the camp’s school can stay open.
“We are definitely hoping it’s going to be a minimum to the school district and not to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” added Gasper, who says the cost of helping Camp Adams will not force program cuts or a potential tax hike.
Sources close to the deal say there still could be one or two students at Camp Adams, that could be sent to Jim Thorpe Area High School. But these students would have to have good grades and have committed crimes considered non-violent.
Sources say even these juveniles are more likely to stay at the Camp school because most are serving 60-90 day terms.
At Jim Thorpe area high, students and parents welcomed the news of the deal.
“Everyone is entitled to an education, but I`m happy that the situation is all said and done with,” said Brain Denterman.
The deal still needs to be approved by the Jim Thorpe Area School Board. That is expected to happen sometime next week.