Bay Point Schools

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Bay Point Schools is an accredited alternative public school and outreach program for young teens that get in trouble with the law. It is a program that gives teens a second chance on life. The students are sent by the courts and come from all over the state of Florida.


Bay Point Schools[1] Miami-Dade County public alternative school, that reaches out towards troubled teens. The school's focus is turning troubled boys into productive citizens. The program is includes a student government status system that emphasizes positive peer pressure. It has mental health therapies such as aggression replacement and multi-systemic therapy.

Founder and Head[edit]

Dr. Mary Louis Cole is the founder and head of bay point school.[2] Dr. Cole earned a PhD in education from the University of Miami.[3] She also became the executive director of the Children’s Home Society (CHS)-Southeast Division[4] in 1998. During her 11-year tenure, CHS grew from a small adoption agency to a $12 million agency with nine children’s homes throughout Miami-Dade County. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew destroyed almost all of South Dade County. Dr. Cole established an Interfaith Coalition to organize and support hundreds of church volunteers coming to South Dade to help in the rebuilding effort.

Bay Point History[edit]

In 1995, concerned with the runaway statistics of youth crime, Dr. Cole created a radical and innovative approach that would later prove to capture national attention. The Bay Point property was purchased in 1994 by the Ethel and George W. Kennedy Family Foundation. Located on 48 acres (190,000 m2) within a mangrove ecosystem, this tropical setting in South Dade had previously been one of the army’s Hawk missile sites. The Kennedy family supported Dr. Cole’s philosophy that troubled juveniles could be guided into becoming successful members of the community. Dr. Cole began Bay Point with an AmeriCorps grant and her own private funds. She received her first contract from the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in 1995. Bay Point began as a pilot program for 36 at-risk youths with a unique model designed to be different from the usual juvenile detention or half-way house model. The program became so successful that it has now expanded to four campuses with over 241 beds. Bay Point Schools also has a private student campus that invites parents to place out-of-control teenage boys into the successful Bay Point program. The school is no longer a part of the DJJ system.

Bay Point North[edit]

Bay Point North campus is located in Miami Gardens. It is a program providing rehabilitation and treatment to youth classified a moderate risk to public safety with an approximate length of stay of 6 – 9 months. This model is based on the foundation of the boarding school concept, which focuses on education, strong leadership, accountability and self-discipline. Youth are court ordered into the program. The program focuses on four areas of growth: academics, athletics, socialization and vocations, and provides the foundation for success by arming each youth with an education and goals for the future. Offenders learn self-discipline and prepare for entering the workforce or college. It currently has a capacity of 28 male offenders, aged 13–15.[5]