In the summer of 2021, educational programming for adjudicated youth in the Spectrum Juvenile Justice system in Highland Park, MI had all but collapsed. The organization operating programming for the students had been removed and there did not seem to be a clear direction forward to provide educational opportunities for the incarcerated youth within the facility. Spectrum Leadership knew that something had to be done quickly to provide academic support to its 85 residential students in both the Lincoln and Calumet residential centers in the heart of Highland Park.
GPS Solutions was engaged in late June of 2021 to begin services immediately. Tareia Caldwell, Director of Impact Services and Special Programs at GPS Solutions, worked quickly to assemble a team, stage necessary technology and materials and prep staff for implementation. The resulting program was a “high priority” math and literacy skills-based intervention program design, utilizing both technology as well as face-to-face teaching. A Social Emotional Learning (SEL) component, “Mind Up!” was also implemented to best meet the wholistic needs of the learner. The results of the one-month comprehensive program were significant with students’ academics stabilizing and/or growing. Self-reporting data revealed that >80% of students were satisfied or highly satisfied with their GPS Solutions academic experience and >85% reporting high levels of satisfaction with the social emotional learning components.
One Spectrum Case Manager commented, “At the end of the day when the GPS Solutions Specialists left, our students on the block were still talking about what they had done that day. Anytime we have our youth excited and talking about positive learning experiences, that’s a very special thing!”
The GPS Solutions Specialists assigned to the Spectrum project were:
Sean Waters- Academic Intervention Coordinator
Andrei Nichols- SEL/Behavioral Specialist
Dr. Denyse Jones- Academic Interventionist
Jamal Ross- Academic Interventionist
Katina McKinney- Academic Interventionist
Katrina McKinney- Academic Interventionist