Fulton school board looks at ‘school within a school’ model for alternative education

By Ashley M. Casey

The Fulton City School District is one step closer to revamping its alternative education program for high schoolers.

The school board heard from Director of Student Support Programs Geri Geitner at its July 8 meeting about a “school within a school” model for alternative education students in grades 9 through 12.

If the board approves the plan July 22, eligible alternative students will move from the Education Center to G. Ray Bodley High School in the fall.

Geitner said the “school within a school” model will enable students to take a wider range of electives at GRB and provide greater access to student services such as guidance counseling and the school psychologist.

“They access those services regularly, and it will be easier for them to do so in the high school,” Geitner said.

Currently, the district has 101 high school students in the alternative education program.

Geitner has identified 35 of these students for the new program at GRB.

She said she expects more to be eligible after the extended year (summer school) term is finished.

“We’re going to continue to maintain a tutoring program at the Education Center,” Geitner said.

Changes are in the works for junior high schoolers in the alternative program, too.

“The junior high program will continue to be at the Education Center, but we’re looking at ways we can make that better,” Geitner said.

She said those ideas were still in the developing stage.

Other business

• The school board welcomed Robert Briggs to its ranks and elected the following officers: David Cordone, president; Dan Pawlewicz, vice president; Barb Hubbard, clerk.

• The district is on schedule for its current capital projects. Abatement and rewiring are in full swing at Volney and Fairgrieve elementary schools as part of the 2012 capital project.

Roof repairs at GRB and Volney are also on track, and the Lanigan gym floor — approved in the February 2014 vote — is being replaced as well.

• Director of Technology Stephanie Maturo presented on the district’s Information Technology Plan for 2014-2017.

Fulton plans to provide more tech device carts throughout the schools, integrate the Schoology learning management system, and plan for computer-based assessments.

The work being done at Fairgrieve and Volney this summer is part of the district’s tech plan.

• The next school board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. July 22 in the Education Center.

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