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Juvenile Education

River Valley Detention Center provides juvenile education services on a year round basis working with Joliet Township High School District 204.


Educational Program

The students' academic levels are assessed as soon as they arrive at the facility.  Test results in Reading and Math help the staff provide appropriate instruction to students at their present instructional levels.  Academic instruction is provided in Math, Communicative Arts, Social Sciences, Health and Physical Education.  A tutorial styled program is used in the facility due to the wide age range, grade levels, as well as the varied academic abilities of the students.  Students are provided direct instruction as new material is presented.  The teachers check the students' work for understanding and mastery of the concepts being taught.  Class work is graded daily.  Low scores on daily school work will result in additional instruction as they repeat the assignment until they are successful.

Computer Based Learning

Two computer labs are dedicated to a computerized learning approach with the use of Aztec and Success Maker Software.  These self paced software programs are targeted to the individual students needs with a focus on improving reading and math skills.

Student Support Services

Many of the students entering the facility are functioning significantly below grade level.  Truancy, unidentified special needs and other at-risk factors have hindered their educational progress.  Many of the older students have stopped attending school or have been dropped from the school for lack of attendance and/or behavioral concerns.  School, for most residents has not been a very successful experience.

The RVDC staff and teachers actively work together to ensure successful learning experiences for all students.  In addition to meeting the students' educational needs, the entire facility strives to build self esteem and an "I Can" attitude for the students.  Programs designed to develop a positive self image include classes in anger management, drug prevention & intervention.

Teaching Staff

All educational programs are staffed by certified teachers.  Teachers are certified in a variety of subjects at the Secondary and Elementary levels.  Remedial and Special Education instruction is also available to students who are at risk or have specialized needs.


Out of District Students

The students' home schools are contacted as soon as they arrive.  Homework assignments as well as the students' current performance levels are requested from the students home school.  The facility will provide appropriate instruction if the student's home school is unable to provide the necessary materials.








The Detention Center is a 102-bed facility which houses pre-adjudicatory youth.  The average length of stay for a youth is 23.5 days.  Statutorily, the Detention Center maintains strict adherence to confidentiality regarding Residents confined in the facility.  There is 24/7 on-site medical services and mental health services.  The River Valley Detention Center has year-round school on site.  Joliet Township District 204 teachers are assigned to the Detention Center.  River Valley Detention follows the school calendar for District 204 for school breaks (excluding summer break) and Teacher Institute Days.  As such, the Detention Center has adopted parts of District 204’s School Wellness Policy and incorporated additional parameters site specific to the Detention Center.  Please note that while Residents are in the custody of the River Valley Detention Center, the Superintendent is designated by statute as “parent in loco parentis”.


Resident (Student) Wellness, including good nutrition and physical activity, shall be promoted in the Detention Center’s educational program, school activities, and meal programs.  This policy shall be interpreted consistently with Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.


River Valley Detention is accredited with the American Correctional Association and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.  The Detention Center also abides by Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice standards.






The goals for addressing nutrition education include the following:


·       River Valley Detention will support and promote good nutrition for the Residents;


·       River Valley Detention will foster the positive relationship between good nutrition, physical activity, and the capacity for the Residents to grow and learn;


·       Nutrition education will be part of District 204’s comprehensive health education curriculum;


·       River Valley Detention does not provide food-based commissary items, does not have vending machines in the secured portion of the facility where Residents are housed, and does not generate and/or sponsor any fundraisers; and


·       As part of its 2016 goals, River Valley Detention will promote Health Fairs, including guest speakers (i.e. a dietician demonstrating differences between food choices) focusing not only on nutrition, but also promoting good, healthy habits.





The goals for addressing physical activity include the following:


·       River Valley Detention will support and promote an active lifestyle for Residents, even during non-classroom hours;


·       Physical education will be taught to all Residents and shall include a developmentally planned and sequential curriculum that fosters the development of movement skills, enhances health-related fitness, increases Residents’ knowledge, offers direct opportunities to learn how to work cooperatively in a group setting, and encourages healthy habits and attitudes for a healthy lifestyle;


·       Unless otherwise exempted, all Residents will be required to engage daily during the school day in a physical education course;


·       The curriculum will be consistent with and incorporate relevant Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health as established by the Illinois State Board of Education; and


·       River Valley Detention will provide various physical activities during non-school hours and normal school breaks.  There is indoor and outdoor recreation available to youth.  A Program Manager aligns physical activities for youth with Juvenile Detention Officers, including, but not limited to:  basketball and volleyball tournaments.





River Valley Detention promotes nutritious foods and beverages to Residents consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Food Guidance System published jointly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.  River Valley Detention also abides by the rules of the Illinois State Board of Education and the Child Nutrition Programs.  River Valley Detention serves the highest age/grade group meal plan as part of the USDA’s meal pattern requirements. 





Reimbursable school meals served shall meet, at a minimum, the nutrition requirements and regulations for the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program.  River Valley Detention does claim reimbursement for breakfasts and lunches served. 





The Superintendent, or his designee, shall meet with the Assistant Superintendent, and Local Wellness Advisory members as applicable, to review these Wellness policies not only to monitor progress, but to also adjust the policy or guidelines if necessary.  Yearly goals will also be part of the Superintendent’s assessment.





The Superintendent, or his designee, shall periodically monitor the policy’s success by reviewing and collaborating with the Assistant Superintendent, Program Manager, Detention Officers and others involved in the implementation of the Wellness Program.  As cited earlier, the Superintendent is “parent in loco parentis” – he is the legal guardian of the Residents while they are detained.  As such, Residents’ parents are not their guardians during detention and cannot participate in a Wellness Board for that reason, nor for confidentiality purposes as specific instances regarding a Resident may be addressed or other causes for concern may be discussed regarding those specific instances.  For parental input, the Wellness Board is comprised partially of facility individuals who have children and who can better understand the strengths and weaknesses that accompany trying to teach children how to eat better, to make good, healthy choices, and to become more physically active in a sedentary, technology-infused world.


Policy Revised January, 2016







Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, PL 108-265, Sec. 204


Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1771 et seq


National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1758


42 U.S.C. Sec 1779, as implemented by 7 C.F.R. Sec 210.11


105 ILCS 5/2-3.139


23 Ill. Admin. Code Part 305 Food Program


ISBE’s “School Wellness Policy” Goal, adopted Oct. 2007


Cross Ref. :4:120 (Food Services)


Joliet Township District 204 & River Valley Detention Center