San Diego County authorizes contract extension for San Pasqual Academy
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, July 13, voted unanimously to extend the contract for San Pasqual Academy through June 2022, allowing the boarding school for foster children to continue operating through the end of the next school year.
For the past 20 years the school has provided residential education and career preparation to foster youth ages 12 to 17.
Recent changes to state and federal policy discourage the use of group homes for those children, favoring home placement instead. In February the state ordered San Diego County child welfare officials to prepare to close the academy by Oct. 1.
County officials requested an extension from the state until next June to allow current students to finish out the next school year. The board approved an agreement for that extension in May.
On Tuesday, July 13, the board authorized the County Chief Administrative Officer to update the contract for an additional nine months with New Alternatives, Inc., which runs the facility. The contract would authorize the organization to provide continued care and services for students at San Pasqual Academy and assist with foster placements for those who remain by supporting “mindful and trauma-informed transitions” for the children and teens.
The academy is home to 64 students, including about 27 Latino, 26 Black and 11 White students, as of June 21.
Foster care advocates have praised the school for its success in preparing students for the transition to work, college and young adulthood. Out of this year’s graduating class of 13 students, four plan to attend a four-year university, eight will attend local two-year community colleges, and one will participate in Job Corps, the county staff report stated.
The Board of Supervisors has called for county staff to work with San Pasqual Academy officials, students, alumni and others involved in foster care to restructure the site, so it can continue providing services to foster youth along with other at-risk children and teens.
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