The DJJ School District          

Birchwood School
All of the educational entities of the SCDepartment of Juvenile Justice School System are organizations that provide education and treatment services in residential settings in South Carolina for adjudicated youth.   South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ) provides these services to every county in the state and serves students according to the mandates of the judicial systems in the respective counties. The district is charged with serving a very fluid and transient population of youth in 15 separate sites.

Schools are in session year-round (enabling students to make up absences and close learning gaps).

§         DJJ's school district has no local tax base, relying exclusively on state (EFA is calculated at 70%) and federal funding.

§         Classes are geared to meet the individual needs of each student.

The DJJ school district is responsible for all educational programs operated by the agency, including those in private provider programs and alternative school sites in community residential placement facilities.

The Division of Educational Services includes the following functions:

School Supervision and Operations

Career and Technology Education (CATE)

Professional Development and Federal Programs

Student Accountability Systems

School Supervision and Operations

Special Education Services

Juveniles committed to DJJ can earn either a high school diploma or a GED. DJJ's school district also offers students 10 CATE courses, extensive special education services, the nation's first Army JROTC and Communities in Schools (CIS) programs in a juvenile correctional facility setting, media centers, career development centers, and guidance counselors. 

For More Information

For School Records Information

Complete the Information Request Form and email or fax to the District’s Registrar’s Office:

Current Student Record Request Form

Former Student Record Request Form

Phone (803) 896-5952
Fax (803) 896-5953

For Special Education
and 504 Records
Please Contact

Office of Special Education Services
Department of Juvenile Justice School District
Palmetto Building
4900 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29212
803-896-5548 or
803-896-9382 (phone)
803-896-8481 (fax)

SCDJJ School District

Transparency Site

Information for Parents

Parents have the right to inquire about the qualifications of their children's teachers. Presently, 100% of all teachers at Birchwood School are highly qualified. See the Annual School Report Card for additional information. 

The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) operates its own independent school district.  The school district consists of one long-term facility and three regional evaluation centers, one detention center and ten satellite programs. These school sites provide education for approximately 700 students in grades 6-12.  All schools provide basic academic classes and courses necessary to earn a high school diploma.  The General Equivalency Development (GED) Program is also provided for juveniles selected as appropriate candidates.

            The Department of Juvenile Justice School District participates each year in the statewide testing program.   The High School Assessment Program (HSAP) which enables students grade 10 and above to earn a high school diploma is administered three times a year.  The End of Course Education Program (EOCEP) tests are also administered three times a year to students eligible. The Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) test is administered to students in grades 6 - 8.

The educational program at Birchwood School offers a range of services including:

·         College Programs of Study                           

·         Special Education

·         Career & Technology Education                        

·         Character Education

·         Remedial Services                                         

·         JROTC Program                                                     

·         Community Service Programs                         

·         Student Mentoring Programs

·         Entrepreneurial Ventures                               

·         Visual and Performing Arts

·         After School Enrichment Programs                   

The following schools and school sites are supervised by DJJ's school district. All are fully accredited:

Birchwood High School: Located at the Broad River Road Complex in Columbia, this is a comprehensive high school offering male and female students in grades 9 through 12 a variety of CATE and academic courses. This school has the nation's first Army JROTC located inside a correctional setting. Birchwood may offer dual credit through the Technical College System and consistently offers a variety of CATE classes, including:

Graphic Communications


Digital Desktop Publishing


Auto Collision Repair

Auto Technology

Culinary Arts

Parenting Education






Birchwood Middle School: Located at the Broad River Road Institution in Columbia, this school serves male and female juveniles in grades 6 through 8. Curriculum offerings include art, career appreciation, language arts, math, physical education, science, and social studies.

WIllow Lane School Programs: This area comprises the Community Residence Placements and Alternative Programs that are managed by private providers.

A DJJ school principal provides programmatic supervision and monitors compliance of these programs.  All transcripts are prepared by a DJJ guidance counselor and all Carnegie units are awarded by the DJJ school district.  These programs include: Camp Aspen by Community Education Centers, Inc.; AMIkids Bennettsville; AMIkids Sand Hills, AMIkids White Pines; AMIkids Piedmont; AMIkids Beaufort; and AMIkids Georgetown; Youth Development Center at Camp Long by Clemson University Youth Learning Institute; and South Carolina Youth ChalleNGe Academy by the South Carolina National Guard.

Regional Evaluation Centers/Detention Center: Juveniles, by law, are required to continue their education when they are sent to one of DJJ's three regional evaluation centers or our pre-trial Detention Center in Columbia. The curriculum at these centers is aligned with the South Carolina Curriculum Standards and is designed to maintain the juveniles' eligibility for required attendance and credits towards promotion and graduation.

Currently, DJJ's three regional evaluation centers include the Coastal Evaluation Center in Ridgeville; the Midlands Evaluation Center in Columbia; and the Upstate Evaluation Center in Union. The educational component in the regional evaluation centers serves both the family court (in its efforts to evaluate juveniles) and the students themselves.

DJJ's JROTC program has won "Honor Unit With Distinction" honors many times since its inception and each year, JROTC cadets make up a high percentage of high school graduates and GED recipients at DJJ.

The program is a cooperative effort between DJJ’s school district and the U.S. Army.

DJJ's Communities in Schools (CIS) School: Communities in Schools is a national program that educates struggling, at-risk youth by providing a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, a safe place to learn and grow, and a marketable skill upon graduation.

South Carolina was the first state to use the national CIS program in a juvenile correctional setting, launching the program at DJJ in 1991. The program and its instructors have won several awards in the years since, creating one of DJJ's finest educational programs.

A unique part of DJJ's CIS is "The Insiders," a select group of students who travel throughout South Carolina, encouraging troubled children and promoting community awareness of the prevalence and consequences of juvenile crime. These young leaders have committed themselves to serving others by telling personal stories of the choices that led to their incarceration. The Insiders have become sought-after speakers around the state, and their speaking engagements are booked many months in advance.

Career and Technology Education (CATE)

The focus of career education is to develop a system that is structured for all students. This system integrates schools and workplaces, academic and career and technology learning, and secondary and post-secondary education and links educators, students, parents, and business leaders. It provides students with both academic and industry workplace skills, which are recognized and portable. Career education includes:

§         A rigorous, relevant academic curriculum.

 Collaboration among employers, schools, colleges, universities, and agencies.

Career interest assessment, exploration, and preparation.

DJJ partners with Midlands Technical College to update, improve, and expand the district's CATE programs. DJJ's school district offers students 10 career and technology courses with supporting career development activities:

Graphic Communications


Personal Finance

Digital Desktop Publishing


Culinary Arts

Parenting Education


Brick Masonry


Other educational/work programs offered by the agency’s school district are

School-to-Work -- A challenging academic and CATE curricula; career exploration and counseling initiatives; teachers trained to link classroom learning to the world of work, apprenticeships, and mentorships.

Youth Industries Program -- A cooperative effort between business and government. In February 1998, DJJ was registered with the United States Department of Labor as an Apprenticeship Program site. This program allows juveniles committed to DJJ to learn a trade. Participating juveniles also earn wages to make victim restitution payments, child support payments, and to put aside money for reentry into their communities.

Facility Work Program -- This program provides an opportunity for juveniles to help facilitate their transitions from incarceration to their communities. Each long-term facility at DJJ provides the opportunity for a meaningful work experience for all juveniles in an organized, supervised work program that affords juveniles opportunities for at least two hours participation per day in constructive and physical work activity.

Special Education Services

Special Education services are provided for juveniles with disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  All juveniles with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs and  to prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living. Juveniles may also receive services and accommodations through an ADA/504 plan.

Professional Development and Federal Programs

Teachers, counselors, and media specialists at DJJ are employed for a total of 235 days during the school year, 5 of which must be devoted to professional development. Each teacher, counselor, and media specialist must develop a minimum of 3 goals for the enhancement of their professional development. These goals must be completed within a 3-year evaluation cycle.

The Department of Juvenile Justice School District (DJJ) receives federal funding from the Title I, Part A program of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Title I Part D, Subpart 1 program for Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk.  These funds are to be utilized to improve the educational services for children and youth in local and state institutions so that these children and youth will have the same opportunity to meet the same challenging State academic content standards and challenging State student academic achievement standards that all children in the State are expected to meet.  The Title I program at DJJ consists of one long term facility, Birchwood school, three Evaluation Center schools and one Detention Center school.  The Measures of Academic Progress(MAP) and the California Achievement Tests, Fifth Edition(CAT-5) are utilized for measuring student progress in these Title I programs.

Student Accountability Systems

The primary purpose of DJJ's Student Accountability System is to classify each student into one of the pupil classifications described in the Education Finance Act (EFA). The South Carolina Pupil Accounting System is designed to provide the South Carolina Department of Education with average daily membership reports to support the EFA.

The coordinator of Student Accountability Systems serves as the coordinator for all pupil accounting software needs, correspondence, newsletters, periodicals, and for the statewide electronic bulletin board sent to selected audience(s) throughout the school district of DJJ. The coordinator of Student Accountability Systems also supervises attendance reporting for all schools in the district.