Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wilcox County BOE plans Alternative School

Wilcox Co. Board of Education members here approved a plan for an in-county alternative school at their Tuesday meeting.

Previously, Wilcox County has sent students to an alternative school in Pulaski County when they could not attend regular classes in the Wilcox schools for disciplinary reasons. They decided at an earlier meeting to pull out of the Pulaski program because other counties had pulled out, and Wilcox County did not think it could be cost effective to continue.

Wilcox school officials will use the funds they were sending to Pulaski County to equip a mobile lab with 25-30 laptops for use by students in the alternative school only. A paraprofessional will be hired to run the program unless Superintendent Steve Smith can negotiate with a certified teacher to work halftime.

Classes will operate in the high school facility from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Alternative school students will be allowed to attend weekend sporting events at the school; however, if they are caught on campus during regular school hours, they can be charged with criminal trespass, Smith said.

They may not attend sporting events during the hours that they are supposed to be in class.

Students usually spend up to a semester in the alternative school, Smith said. “They must earn their way back to the traditional classroom with good attendance, behavior and completion of their course work.”

Also, during Tuesday’s meeting, Smith was awarded a two-year contract. Each year, he can request that an additional year be added to his original contract.

He will begin interviewing candidates for principal of Wilcox County High School this week, Smith said, and he hopes to have the position filled by July 1. A new principal will replace Arney Bryant who was released from his contract to go to Dooly County as high school principal.

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