Charis Youth Center’s Non-public Special Education School is a highly structured, therapeutic, educational, and community-based program for emotionally disturbed (ED) youth. Charis offers a multi-faceted program utilizing standard teaching practices that incorporate cognitive, behavioral, and trauma-based theories to deliver state-approved curriculum to each student’s specialized education plan. Each student is guided through their Individual Education Plan (IEP) through assessment, implementation plans, progress and/or re-teaching benchmarks for successful goal completion. Charis Youth Center strives to graduate students to a less restrictive educational environment in the student’s home district. Charis Youth Center believes that all students have a place as productive and contributing citizens in society.
Charis Youth Center’s Non-public Special Education School was founded by Carol Fuller Powell Ed.D. in Hayward, California, and incorporated in 1984. In 1998, the school was moved to Auburn, California, and in 2003 moved to its current location in Grass Valley, a rural area nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Charis operates on a 12-month/235-day school year, serving a maximum of 24 students from various counties in California. The students are placed in Charis Youth Center’s Residential, Mental Health, and Education programs by the counties’ Juvenile Probation Departments, Social Services/Child Protective Services, Social Services/Adoption Assistance Program, and school districts (Education Related Mental Health Services). The students attending Charis Youth Center’s Non-public Special Education School live in Charis’ residential facilities and are transported to and from school in company vehicles. At full capacity staffing includes two full time Special Education Teachers, one full-time Special Education Intern working in Vocational Education, two substitute teachers, eight full-time teacher assistants, and eight part-time teacher assistants. Support staff include a Board Certified Psychiatrist, Therapists, Therapeutic Behavior Services Specialists, Mental Health Intervention Specialists, School Management Medical Coordinator, and Administrative Personnel.
All students enrolled at Charis Youth Center have identified disabilities. The majority of these disabilities have been identified as Emotionally Disturbed (ED). Other student’s disabilities include Other Health Impaired (OHI), and Specific Learning Disability.