ans to vote on the closing of Snodon Preparatory School at a called meeting next Thursday, May 7. The item was first formally presented to the board during the initial budget review last week.
Superintendent Chris McMichael spoke on the topic at the board’s Tuesday, April 28, work session. McMichael said that while the closing of the site could lead to cost savings for the district, the savings aren’t the driving force behind the decision.
The program was implemented four years ago and the school continues to struggle with its graduation rates, dropout rates, End of the Course Test scores, climate ratings, course pass levels, absentee rates and state evaluations.
“It’s just not working,” said McMichael.
The board will also vote on a new three-tiered graduation requirement, with the lowest diploma requirement being 24 credits. McMichael said this could provide some flexibility to those students coming from SPS.
Joe Costello, a teacher at SPS, expressed concern for those students that come to the school for the “small school environment.” If approved, the students at SPS would be transferred into their respective zoned high school, either Apalachee High School or Winder-Barrow High School.
Students would automatically transfer under the 24-credit plan and would have the option to attend Foothills Charter High School.
In turn, the district could put the Alternative Education Program in the current SPS site for two years while renovations are being completed on the current Russell Middle School, giving the AEP a larger space. The district’s Church Street property would then be converted into an office/special program space.
If approved, McMichael said staff members would work with these former SPS students during the transition period back to the two other high schools, or to Foothills. Counseling and mentor services could be increased at the two high schools, adding focused support to the effected students.
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