DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — The Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program was created in 1995 to help students who need a bit more than the normal classroom setting.

JJAEP is now available to the Grayson County Juvenile Justice Center since the county's population has grown to exceed 125,000.

"This will provide an opportunity for not only Sherman ISD but for all of Grayson County schools to have a place to be still served educationally," said Dr. Thomas O'Neal, Deputy Superintendent with the Sherman Independent School District. 

"When JJAEP started, a lot of kids were being removed from their schools, removed from their alternative education programs, and being expelled at home. So, it was an alternative, kind of a next layer of support," said Dr. Greg Sumpter, director of Grayson County Juvenile Services.  "Our hope is that they'd have reduced delinquency... more stronger social skills, social emotional regulation skills, when they are regulated back into the community.'

"Want to make sure they have quality education while they're here," Sumpter added. "And so we've limited it to 36 young people at a time, and the 13 school districts would be able to refer youths to that school."

The Sherman High School principal will move to serve as principal for the JJAEP, and the district is lending teachers to show students support.

"Perhaps they get a little more individualized care as well, and those are kids that have, usually have more needs, some trauma history so maybe they need a little more specialized care," Sumpter said.

"A safe place, or someplace if they're behind educationally," O'Neal added. "Or just maybe not that regular class setting is not for them, so this will provide an opportunity for them to maybe reset, or possibly catch up on credits if they're behind, and they can reintegrate into their home campus."

Students will be able to be referred for the program starting in August. The campus will be located in the vicinity of North Texas Regional Airport.