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Alternative school reconsidered


The school district’s Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) program might be coming back.

The alternative school program was cut last summer due to budget crunches, but could be coming back, Superintendent Paul Turner told the school board Feb. 26.

Last July, in the midst of shaping this school year budget, the district was faced with cutting some $700,000 from its staff and programs in order to present a balanced budget.

On the chopping block, along with some personnel and other programs was the district’s ALE program.

Turner noted that about a dozen students in the program left the district to join ALE programs in other districts.

While the program was cut, the district intended to move ALE students back into the high school’s regular classroom schedule.

While that worked with some students, it didn’t with a significant number of others.

“We need to take a survey of students that left the district to see how many would be willing to come back,” Turner said.

The number of students in school now who would fit the program, plus those that might come back, could guarantee the success of the ALE program again.

“It would take about 12-15 students to generate enough funds to make the ALE program successful,” Turner noted in his report to the board. “The bottom line,” Turner noted, “is that these students don’t function well in the regular system and need an alternative.”

Turner said further discussion on the ALE program would be held at the board’s March meeting.

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