District 117 considering alternative school program

By Ryne Turke on March 16, 2016 at 11:40pm

An alternative school program for students with behavioral problems could be in the mix for District 117 next school year.

Superintendent Steve Ptacek released the new school proposal to board members last night in an effort to address the increased level of extreme behavior from students over the past few years.

Ptacek says an alternative school would create a system to support students in need of a safe and secure academic atmosphere. Ptacek breaks down the variety of benefits the alternative school would bring to District 117.

The length of time students would stay at the school would vary. Ptacek says students could be expelled and sent to the school for multiple years or serve as little as a five day placement period at the school.

Ptacek says the startup cost for the school would include an administrator, clerical staff member, a social worker, three teachers, a part time custodian, a food service worker and rental of a facility.

District 117 board members approved the consideration of the alternative school. Ptacek says finalizing a contractual agreement with the school location, possibly the Franklin Elementary building, is the next step for the project. Franklin is the current location for 8 Points Charter School, which recently failed to get a contract renewed with the district for the 2016-2017 school year.

Vision 117 updates on the Lincoln Elementary and Jacksonville Middle School projects were also provided. We will have more details on that this afternoon.