Board of Education General 05 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/5/13) – Daviess County School District Superintendent Owens Saylor proposed to the Daviess County Board of Education at Tuesday night’s meeting the idea of building a new alternative school to replace Beacon High School in 2015 or 2016.
 
“This has been a year in the making,” Superintendent Owens Saylor said.
 
The school would introduce the program, Discovery, which has been implemented in a few other schools across the Commonwealth, and would focus more on college and career readiness. The school would offer soft skills certification for the workforce, virtual and in-person education in subjects such as construction, masonry, electricity and other industrial subjects, and even Microsoft Office Certification.
 
“I think every student should be college and career ready,” Saylor said.
 
The school would be a full academic program that would be all day for the ninth through 12th grades. There will be a variety of remediation opportunities, research based study and support services, provide career and technical pathway connections, and would better prepare students for the ACT starting in the ninth grade. The new alternative school would no longer be an alternative route to graduation, but would now be a school designed to target the support and needs of each student, according to Saylor.
 
“We have the will and we have the skill,” Saylor said.
 
The proposed school would go from placement of students related primarily to lack of success in the regular school setting to a collaborative team-recommended placement based on early identification, said Saylor. The school will also try to take away the social stigma that comes from alternative schools by encouraging personal and academic excellence.
 
The school would continue to help students with grade and attendance issues, students who are social disconnected or who have behavioral and developmental issues. Saylor wants the school to be a key component to meet the policy prohibiting students under 18 from dropping out, but also wants the school to be “welcoming” to students.
 
“A sense of community is vital,” Saylor said.
 
Attendance would go from 75 kids per grade at Beacon to 98 kids at the proposed school. This is projected 15 to 1 student/teacher ratio.
 
“There will be more need than we have spots,” Saylor said.
 
Projections applied by the Board of Education for the cost of the building would be $4 million initially and would be paid for with bond money. Superintendent Saylor asked the board to further explore the project, and the board voted yes to pursuing the idea.
 
SurfKY will continue to keep you updated on the proposed idea of a new alternative school for DCPS. The next DCPS Board of Education Luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 11:45 a.m.
 
Taylor Riley
SurfKY News

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