There were two items on the Excellence in Student Achievement meeting agenda, updates for the Youth In Transition program and the All City High program.
Youth In Transition is a “cross-systems program” of nineteen agencies providing alternative services, that follows the progress of students who are re-entering the district from incarceration, residential detention, and mental health facilities. Previously, these students were not tracked for re-entry into the school system and were generally dropped off the attendance rolls after leaving their alternative setting. Forty-nine students returned to the RCSD in May. The majority of these students are young Black males, sixteen years and older. Twenty-five of these students receive Special Education services. Since returning, five students have achieved honor roll status.
The All City High update was met with a great deal of concern from Commissioners Adams and White. Sandy Jordan, the proposed principal for All City High presented the updated information.
The enrollment for ACH, is now at 1183 students with 140 teachers, 12 administrators, and 12 school security officers. 53% of the students enrolled are on track to graduate on time with 8% age 18 and older with fewer than 3 credits toward graduation. The latter population will begin their work in summer school and then transition into ACH.
The main concern for the commissioners was the reading program, Springboard, that will be used. The commissioners were not convinced that anything innovative is happening within the program that will excite and engage the attending students who have been less than successful in their previous setting.
Discipline was another concern of the commissioners. Ms. Jordan stated that there was a problem hiring security officers because officers are “not to intervene physically until you have achieved all of the steps” of the escalation protocol she insists upon. Ms. Jordan also stated that due to the ages of the students, there will not be an ISS room for the students.
It is important to put programs in place to help failing students achieve academic success, it is more important to make sure they do not fail in the first place.
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