News and Tribune

January 30, 2013

HAIRE: A look at alternative education


— Greater Clark County Schools continues to be committed to providing a superior education to all students throughout the district. 

As the second semester begins, the district will enhance our Response to Instruction program and implement our IMPACT initiative in which we will identify students in need of individualized academic or behavioral plans. Many different teaching strategies and techniques will be utilized to ensure every student succeeds.

One component of IMPACT is the expansion of the Alternative Education Program offered throughout the district. Greater Clark County Schools continues to utilize a tremendous partnership with Childplace in offering an Alternative to Out-of-School Suspension Program. Students in grades three through 12 who receive a two- or more day out-of-school suspension will be assigned to the Alternative to Out-of-School Suspension Program. Students who are assigned to this program receive educational services as well as counseling services during the day.

High school students continue to benefit from online credit recovery at all the high schools in the district. Students who may be struggling academically or socially can be served through an in-school alternate program. 

In addition, Greater Clark County Schools offers a separate Alternative School at Clark County Middle/High School. High school students who attend the alternative school complete online course work during a half-day program. Greater Clark County Schools is pleased to continue the expansion of services offered to students and beginning this semester, an alternative program for middle school students will be available. Students who attend Clark County Middle School will receive direct instruction throughout the day by certified instructors.

Students will benefit academically and behaviorally from smaller class sizes and more intensive focus, and their attendance will be monitored to ensure their success in the program. Instructors will also work with students to develop a community service portion of the program.

Greater Clark is proud that there has not been a student expelled from any school for more than three years. The district continues to provide safe learning environments where all students’ needs are met.

On a personal note, I could not help but notice the outpouring of concern and care from our parents in the wake of the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. I noticed parents putting their arms around their children at many of the school events I attended prior to winter break. 

Indeed, our children are of the utmost importance and now is the time, more than ever, that we put our arms around all of our students so that no student fails. The outstanding daily work by our faculty and staff does not go unnoticed. Together as a community, we must never give up on any child. It is with that philosophy that we continue to expand our initiatives to ensure every child in Greater Clark County Schools succeeds.

— Travis Haire is the Assistant Superintendent for Greater Clark County Schools and can be reached by email at thaire@gcs.k12.in.us