Department of Natural Resources (DNR) senior fisheries biologist John Kilpatrick recently visited Terrell County RYDC to teach the youth about the types of local fish found in south Georgia’s waters. Kilpatrick brought an ice chest full of fish samples from the Flint River. Youth were able to hold a Bullhead, Carp, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, Walleye and Yellow Perch and learn about each fish’s anatomy. He described different fishing techniques as well.
“I had not known this type of opportunity was available until Ann Williams asked me to come to Terrell County RYDC,” said Kilpatrick. “I knew this was something I wanted to do. I could not pass up the opportunity to teach the youth on a subject I am so passionate about.”
Kilpatrick talked to the youth about the importance of conservation efforts in the Flint River and the state, and explained the role DNR has in that effort. He sought to give the youth a greater appreciation for the environment and local wildlife. One youth mentioned, “It’s pretty cool to learn hands-on about what types of fish and wildlife are found nearby instead of from a textbook.”
Kilpatrick spent the rest of the afternoon entertaining the youth with fishing stories from his childhood. He also described plenty of great areas to fish in Georgia and encouraged the youth to give fishing a try in the future. Kilpatrick is a U.S. Navy veteran and received his degree in aquatic biology from Ball State University. He has spent 11 years working for DNR and currently resides in Leesburg with his family.
As recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma are underway in Georgia, we are first grateful that members of the DJJ Team and their families are safe and not negatively impacted by the storm.
We depend on members of this dedicated Team to persevere in these times that challenge our responsibility for the safety and security of the youth placed in our direct custody and care. Now, we see more work to be done in the days ahead and we continue to look to your leadership.
Governor Nathan Deal, in consultation with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, has issued instructions to agency heads for the opening of Offices of State Government. The Department of Juvenile Justice will resume normal business hours on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.
The following guidance is in effect for the Department of Juvenile Justice:
All DJJ personnel should return to work. If you are scheduled to work, you should report for your normal work schedule on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. As a reminder, Policy mandates that security staffing be maintained at appropriate levels.
However, if some unforeseen reason restricts you from reporting to work, I am requesting that you notify your supervisor as soon as possible. I need you to be at work. We at DJJ have a very important role to play when it comes to the rehabilitation of our youth, so I am depending on you. Please drive safely as you travel to and from your work assignment.
DJJ Staff in the metropolitan Atlanta area will also be officially notified of any other pending announcements through WSB (ABC) television (Channel 2), WSB 750 AM and WSB 95.5 FM. Other DJJ Staff will be notified through their supervisors and the DJJ website at www.djjnewsandviews.org and DJJ Facebook and Twitter.
Please post a copy of this message at your work place and share a copy with colleagues who do not have DJJ on-line access. Again, thank you for your outstanding service during Hurricane Irma.
Avery D. Niles, Commissioner Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice
As you are aware, Hurricane Irma’s path is impacting Georgia. Governor Deal has declared a State of Emergency for all 159 counties. The hurricane will impact the entire state with high winds and rain – particularly the western half of the state.
In addition, in consultation with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Governor Deal has ordered that state offices will be closed on Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12. The following guidance is in effect for the Department of Juvenile Justice:
Policy mandates that security staffing be maintained at appropriate levels. All essential DJJ personnel are required to report to work on those days. Essential personnel include all those who work at secure facilities around the state, as well as all HITS officers and investigators who are certified law enforcement officers. HITS officers and investigators not assigned to secure facilities are directed to maintain on-call status and will receive instructions from supervisors where to respond when needed.
Therefore, if you are scheduled to work on either or both of these days, you should report to work as you normally would. If you are unable to report to work, contact your supervisor as soon as possible so that alternative arrangements can be made.
As Hurricane Irma approaches Georgia, please join me in prayer for those already impacted by the storm in the Caribbean, as well as those impacted in Florida. In addition, let us pray that all DJJ employees and their families are not negatively impacted by the storm. In the coming days if you or your families are in need of shelter, please visit www.gema.ga.gov for a list of shelters near you.
DJJ Staff in the metropolitan Atlanta area will be officially notified of decisions to close state work sites or shifts by way of announcements through WSB (ABC) television (Channel 2), WSB 750 AM and WSB 95.5 FM. Other DJJ Staff will be notified through their supervisors and the DJJ website at www.djjnewsandviews.org and DJJ Facebook and Twitter.
Please share a copy of this with colleagues who do not have DJJ on-line access. Thank you for your service.
Avery D. Niles, Commissioner Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice
Georgia Preparatory Academy Open House: Metro RYDC
Story information from Mary Catherine Heard
DJJ’s Georgia Preparatory Academy (GPA) held a series of Open House events in August that continues during September to kick-off the 2017-2018 school year. Open House allows the parents or guardians of youths housed at Regional Youth Detention Centers (RYDCs) and Youth Development Campuses (YDCs) or attending Education Transition Centers (ETCs) to meet and get to know teachers and educational staff, as well as learn about the curriculum and educational plans for the school year. GPA serves as Georgia’s 181st school district and is accredited by AdvancED. GPA has locations at all 26 DJJ secure facilities around the state and three ETCs. DJJ Commissioner Avery D. Niles (who also serves as Superintendent of Schools) and Associate Superintendent Jean Lee addressed students and parents via a welcome video.
“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all students and parents to a new school year at Georgia Preparatory Academy. Our schools offer a curriculum aligned with the Georgia Department of Education’s Georgia Standards of Excellence, with opportunities to take vocational and college courses as well,” said Superintendent Niles. “We work very hard every day to address the academic needs of our students. I want to encourage parents or guardians to be active participants in their child’s education while they are enrolled in our programs. My hopes are that all students take this opportunity to participate in the academic success that we offer at the Georgia Preparatory Academy.”
Associate Superintendent Lee stated, “It is essential that you remain a partner in your child’s education. Our goal is to provide quality educational programs to all of our students while they are here with us. We look forward to seeing you at future events during this school year.”
The Metro RYDC in Atlanta held its Open House on August 30th. Principal Kendall Douglas welcomed parents and guardians and gave a presentation on Title I funding. He also shared information on the upcoming school year and gave away door prizes. “The teachers at the school inside Metro RYDC work to provide educational opportunities for each of our students,” said Principal Douglas.
“All of our classrooms are equipped with smartboards to encourage interactive learning.” Assistant Commissioner Joe Vignati attended and thanked parents for supporting their child’s education and teachers. He reminded them that every credit their child receives at GPA will be transferred back to schools in the community. Facility Director Wayne Dashield also gave welcoming remarks. Social studies teacher Damien Northern gave parents and students a tour of the classrooms. Science teacher Dr. Cedric Masten chatted with parents during the tour. “It’s good to see the kids take responsibility for their education and especially wonderful to see that spark when they learn something new. I believe all kids are capable of learning,” said Dr. Masten. “I try to incorporate lots of hands-on activities in the classroom. We also strive to integrate art and technology into our science lessons.” Assistant Associate Superintendent Letunya Walker, Deputy Commissioner John Pearson and Regional Principal Muriel Horne also attended the Open House.
DJJ STORM ALERT: EDUCATION OPEN HOUSES POSTPONED FOR SEPTEMBER 8TH AND 9TH
Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for multiple counties in Georgia in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The hurricane, a Category 5 storm with winds topping 185 miles an hour, is one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded and is on-track to make landfall Saturday afternoon.
The Department of Juvenile Justice, in preparation for Hurricane Irma, has cancelled all proposed education open houses for September 8th and September 9th with the exception of the one to be held at the Marietta RYDC. In addition, next week's proposed Open Houses for the Waycross RYDC and Loftiss RYDC will also be postponed. The Open Houses will be rescheduled for a later date.
DJJ’s Georgia Preparatory Academy (GPA) is holding a series of Open House events in August and September to kick-off the 2017-2018 school year. Open House allows the parents or guardians of youths housed at Regional Youth Detention Centers (RYDCs) and Youth Development Campuses (YDCs) or attending Education Transition Centers (ETCs) to meet and get to know teachers and educational staff, as well as learn about the curriculum and educational plans for the school year. GPA serves as Georgia’s 181st school district and is accredited by AdvancED. GPA has locations at all 26 DJJ secure facilities around the state and three ETCs.
For more information about GPA and future Open Houses, visit www.djj.state.ga.us.