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Alternative School To Address Needs Of At-Risk Students

By Mike Scott

The Clark County R-1 School District will add an option this fall that may allow some at-risk students to remain in school through graduation.
At the district’s July board meeting, held July 12, the CCR-1 Board approved Clark County Alternative Program Handbook, a guideline for an alternative school.
The alternative school will be held in classrooms in next to the Clark County Preschool.  Daily classes will run from 11:15 am until 2:45 pm.
“We’ll have a maximum of 10 students,” said CCR-1 Superintendent Ritchie Kracht.  “This fall, we’ll start with five or six.”
Students will need to go through an admissions process to enroll in the alternative school.  Two referrals, made by the student, parent, teacher, counselor or administrator, will be required.  The student will go through an interview and, if selected, enter into a contract concerning attitude, attendance, and academic progress.
Course will be taught using computer based software, and the program will be supervised by Program Director Scott Murdock.
Students will need to earn 80 percent mastery of the core curriculum to receive credit.  Student also cannot work on more than three classes at a time.
Students will not be eligible for extra-curricular activities, but can attend ball games and dances, including prom.
“This is something we’ve needed for a long time,” said Kracht.  “It’s targeted at at-risk students-those who have fallen behind, are struggling, and are not on pace to graduate.  It’s not necessarily a student with discipline problems.”
An example student could be married student, or a mother with a child, whose schedule doesn’t allow regular all-day school attendance.
Students earning enough credits will be earn an diploma and be allowed to walk with their graduation class at the graduation ceremony, Kracht said.
“We really hope this will help with our dropout rate,” Kracht said.  Over the past few years, the district has had about 12 percent of students who start as freshman fail to graduate in four years.”