It's Friday the 13th.
Seems like it's been a "bad-luck" week for Cuthbertson families. Surely some are weary of the issue of bringing UCPSALTSP to Cuthbertson High School's campus and forgoing the use of G-Wing by CHS's Class of 2011 Seniors. UCPS superintendent and board of education members seem to think CHS parents are in opposition of the program and can't seem to grasp that opposition is only to its location. An extreme case of tunnel vision and defense of a good idea gone bad exists within the comments offered by all UCPS officials who have responded to parents' concerns. Here are some very astute thoughts shared by a concerned parent:
Definition of Long-Term suspension from UCPS Policy Manual Chapter 4, Sect. 4-b:
Long Term Suspension is an out of school suspension in excess of 6 days for high schools on condensed academic terms and 10 days for middle schools and traditional schedule high schools up to 90 school days or the end of the current school year, whichever comes first.
At the end of the school year, Long-term Suspensions expire. This means that at the beginning of each school year, there are no long-term suspended students participating in the UCPSATLSP. Which means essentially G-Wing will sit empty on the first day of school. It will sit empty each day until the first UCPSALTSP participant is admitted...
How much time will go by before a student commits offenses that make him or her eligible?
Excerpt from Dr. Davis’ document released on Aug.11th:
"Students will be offered placement in the ALTS Program by the Superintendent’s Office (in accordance with principal recommendation) after a recommendation for long-term suspension has been submitted by the home school principal and approved by the Superintendent’s Office. Upon acceptance of the placement, students will be assigned to South Providence School (SPS) including bus routes and transported to Cuthbertson High School (CHS) via South Providence School. The program will be voluntary for students who qualify".
What if the first few don’t volunteer to participate? Or a greatly reduced number do from last year? Great news on all fronts if behavior incidences are reduced. But, eligible to participate doesn’t “guarantee participation”. How long will the progression of events take, for a student to exhibit behavior that leads up to a long-term suspension recommendation from a principal? How long will it take to get superintendent approval? Will we see a rush to place students in this program to justify its existence? Program cost will exist whether there are none, or one participant, etc.
What duties and assignments will the “full-time Assistant Principal and two full-time teachers” fulfill while the program stands empty at the beginning of each school year, and until such time as the first participant is admitted? Another quote from Dr. Davis: "The assistant principal position is a teacher ADM (Average Daily Membership) position from South Providence and would be used for this purpose no matter the location of this program". Disturbing that there may be no "membership" on the first day of school? Should Dr. Davis should feel so comfortable freely spending our tax dollars in this manner? The only small positive element of this scenario is that the South Providence principal that is assigned to this program will assist CHS "in the after hours". What type and quantity of educational materials will sit unused, waiting the first participant? Funds allocated to support this program, i.e. fuel costs for the two additional bus rides each day, hourly compensation for drivers, school resource officers, etc. may sit unused while budget shortfalls occur throughout other areas of the system.
Will G-wing remain empty?
Dr. Davis’ August 4, 2010 quote from the Enquirer Journal - is “maximizing the use of our resources.”