When students enter Orange County Juvenile Hall, their lives may be temporarily put on hold. But their education doesn’t stop.

In fact, incarcerated minors are enrolled at Otto A. Fischer School, one of four detention and treatment facilities run by OCDE’s alternative education program.

As Program Administrator Kirk Anderson tells us, Fischer looks pretty much like any other school. You’ll find student work on the walls, technology in classrooms and a curriculum designed to engage students with project-based learning.

But the classes are much smaller, each serving about 10 to 12 students, and educators work closely with the probation department to teach character, problem-solving and anger management. There’s also a family liaison who works with parents, individualized education programs for those with special needs, and a transition specialist to help students return to their home districts.

“We want them to walk out of this place and really be able to work with people better, to understand themselves better, and to really feel good about themselves and good about having a future plan,” Anderson says.

Find out more about Fischer by watching the video above, produced by our Media Services team.