Grade Court Executive Summary


The mission of Grade Court is to work with the Juvenile Justice System and the Education System to reduce recidivism and the number of children committed to institutions by acknowledging the importance of educating youth in the community and to increase the success and self-esteem of juvenile offenders through the power of hard work and education.


1. To hold juvenile offenders accountable for their actions and to reinforce the ideal that education is essential for their success.                                       

2. To develop basic tasks such as turning in daily homework and weekly progress reports in efforts to hold juveniles accountable for their academic progress, attendance and behavior at school.

3. To provide consistent monitoring of clear and relevant standards with immediate consequences for failure to comply with the conditions of the program such as daily school attendance and turning in daily and weekly progress reports signed by teachers and parents.  Failure to comply with these conditions may result in weekend detention, work detail, attend Youth In Progress Class, or an alternative sanction such as additional community service or an assigned report.

4.  Advocate for the juvenile within the education system to ensure that he/she is placed appropriately in classes and that all testing for special education has been completed.  Attend IEP's with juvenile and parents to ensure that they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them throughout their educational process.

5. In order to complete the program, juveniles must get "C's" or better on two nine-week report cards consecutively, graduate from High School, or obtain their G.E.D.  Each juvenile who successfully completes "Grade Court" is offered a full two-year tuition scholarship at San Juan College.


Grade Court was started in January 1997 by a Chief District Judge to make school performance a primary component of Juvenile Probation Supervision Services.   

Many students questioned the Judge's commitment to them, the program, and their education.  Few believed they would receive consequences for truancy or failing to turn in their daily homework and weekly progress sheets.  They soon learned the consequences of failing to follow the program's rules.  As students returned to the monthly Grade Court Sessions, they began to hear more about the relevance of education to the success they would experience in their life.  They began to learn that through "hard work", they could be successful and improve their grades. 

Parents of juveniles are made party to the petition.  Violations are exposed quickly and immediate sanctions are enforced.  As a result, the judicial system is providing structure in the community and encouraging discipline and self-esteem in delinquent youth.

Throughout the years, many opportunities have become available to increase student successes through various programs.  Programs such as the Summer Reading Program, a Summer Adventure Challenge sponsored by the Farmington Police Department, a Community Service Work Detail Program sponsored by the San Juan County Detention Center, a Youth in Progress Class, Weekend Jury Duty for Teen Court Cases, and the Endurance Session sponsored by the Farmington Police Department School Resource Officers.

Today, District Judge Daylene Marsh conducts Grade Court each week on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. at the Farmington District Court.


2284  Juveniles Served
698    Graduates from the program
366    Program Graduates have enrolled in College
54      Program Graduates have received an Associates Degree or Certificates


The New Mexico Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee funded the first Grade Court Program in January of 1997.

In July 1998, Grade Court was honored with an Achievement Award presented to the 11th Judicial District by the National Court Managers Association.

The New Mexico Legislature funded a Grade Court Administrator in the District Court's budget.  Three additional positions were funded by the Community Corrections Program in July 1999.

The Grade Court Program provides the educational component of the District's Juvenile Drug Court and is funded through the Eleventh Judicial District's general fund.

A generous benefactor has donated over $240,000 to the Scholarship Fund over the past 10 years. 
(Created: August, 2013) 

Grade Court Statisics FY13 (July 1, 2012 to June 31, 2013).pdf215.32 KB