HCJPD Education Services

Under the authority of the Juvenile Board, the Educational Services Division provides educational programs for expelled students, delinquent youth placed in a county-operated juvenile institution, and students on probation who want an alternative to the traditional high school campus. The Juvenile Probation Department is solely responsible for all programs of Excel Academy Charter School, the Excel Academy Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program, and The Opportunity Center.

Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (JJAEP)
Students attending JJAEP have been expelled from one of 22 local school districts for criminal activity or serious misconduct in school. The JJAEP is funded by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD), local and state school districts, and federal grants.

Excel Academy Charter School
All young people placed by the courts in Harris County juvenile detention and residential facilities are provided educational services under one, comprehensive academic program, Excel Academy Charter School, which is funded by the Texas Education Agency and state and federal grants.

Excel Academy Charter School provides a regular school year program and a summer school program enabling students to continuously improve their educational skills. The charter school focuses on student progression in core academic curriculum, TAKS/STAAR remediation, vocational education, and life skills and includes The Opportunity Center campus for currently and previously system involved young people who desire alternate education opportunities over a traditional high school modality.

Henry Gonzales, Executive Director of Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, serves as the Superintendent of Excel Academy.

Education Advocacy
The Education Support and Advocacy Services department advocates for improved educational services for probation-involved young people in community settings. Education Specialists and supervising attorneys provide tiered services to probation-involved young people to meet the unique needs of each young person and their family, maximize the reach of its services, build capacity for self-advocacy within the community, and that ensure zealous attorney representation is available when other efforts are insufficient.

School Board Members

  • Honorable Lina Hidalgo, Chair
    County Judge
  • Honorable Tanya Garrison,
    157th District Court - Civil
  • Honorable Danilo Lacayo,
    182nd District Court - Criminal
  • Honorable Michelle Moore
    Vice Chair/Secretary 314th District Court
  • Honorable Leah Shapiro,
    315th Juvenile Court
  • Honorable Natalia Oakes,
    313th Juvenile Court


The young people in our care receive specialized training to assist them in achieving academic success while empowering parents to become primary change agents for their children. Learn more about our programs.

Journey Through Life
Journey Through Life provides services to students enrolled at The Opportunity Center who qualify for Medicaid and present with barriers to functioning due to their mental, psychological, or emotional health. JTL provides a variety of services at The Opportunity Center including Case Management and Skills Training.

Houston Threads
Houston Threads provides free, new clothes to young people between the ages of 12 and 21 referred through their website. Through a partnership with The Opportunity Center campus of HCJPD's Excel Academy Charter School, Houston Threads provides free clothing to any student enrolled there.