"The BUILDING will house a new program, assuming that it's acceptable under the original program that allowed us to buy the building, which we're looking into.
This program will be "suspension respite" as well as transitional for students returning from the DoC or perhaps from other programs who need assistance in transitioning back to a regular school environment. Suspension respite accomplishes a few things.
First, students who look on suspensions as a vacation from having to go to school get a rude awakening. They STILL have to go to school, but now there's no fun at all. (In-school suspension is actually quite common -- I admit I served one myself in high school, for parking tickets of all things -- in districts that have the space to house such a program. Out of school suspensions are definitely a less-preferred option.)
Second, students who need behavioral assistance, etc., are able to get it -- suspending a kid for fighting for 10 days doesn't actually fix any underlying problems that are going on. This program will allow us to deal with underlying problems.
Third, it keeps students in the classroom and getting educated, even while they suffer the classwork and grade penalties that normally go with suspension, so while their grades suffer, we're at least keeping them from falling too far behind their classmates. (Since most students who end up suspended ARE struggling academically, and a suspension sometimes leads directly to dropping out as they decide now they'll never catch up.)
It's not intended to be a "stable" student population; it is intended to serve as an intervention and a stop-gap for those students who are in danger of expulsion, but who -- we hope -- can turn their behavior around with assistance."
Monday, July 25, 2011
"This was Laura Petelle's response to my email asking what was going into the Knoxville Building:"
Friday, November 13, 2009
Peoria's District 150 currently has five alternative schools: The Developmental Center; Greeley Regional Safe School; Robert A. Jamieson School; Knoxville Center for Student Success and the Adult Education Center. The average student who enrolls in an alternative school faces steep odds to graduating. Low skills, tough lives and scarce resources at schools are big barriers.
Second chance for dropouts
by Sarah Karp, October, 2009
On day two of her second try at high school, Brianna Gibson is full of resolve. In a windowless classroom with a world map on the wall and history books on the shelves, the young woman slides into a desk, offers up a smile and says she thinks that the small alternative school she chose is going to be a good experience.
The teachers seem nice, she says. They would take time to explain assignments, something the teachers at her former high school didn’t seem to want to do. Brianna adds that she doesn’t know many of the other students, but in her mind, that’s a plus. Being anonymous should keep her from getting into fights and into trouble.
“I won’t get caught up,” Brianna explains. She was suspended from Clemente High in Humboldt Park last year for fighting, and never returned.
But for all her confidence, Brianna’s expectations signal trouble ahead. At 17, she’s antsy to move on from high school and plans to enroll in evening, Saturday, online and summer courses in an attempt to graduate within a year.
“One year,” she insists. “I guess I would do two if I absolutely had to. But I can’t be here for three. No way.”
Yet Brianna arrived in September at CCA Academy, one of 22 alternative schools operated by Youth Connections Charter, with only one credit. She needs to earn at least 21 to get a diploma—an unrealistic goal, given that most high school students earn about six credits a year. (CCA was formerly called Community Christian Alternative, but has no religious affiliation.)
Read the entire article here and come here and share your thoughts.