Site for al­ter­na­tive schools found

The Covington News - - Front page - Am­ber Pittman apittman@cov­news.com

New­ton County’s two al­ter­na­tive school sites have been se­lected and will open at the start of the school year.

Om­buds­man will open al­ter­na­tive schools in the Publix shop­ping cen­ter on Brown Bridge Road and in the Johnny’s Pizza shop­ping cen­ter on Cov­ing­ton By­Pass.

The New­ton County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion chose Om­buds­man as its al­ter­na­tive ed­u­ca­tion provider ear­lier in the year and closed Sharp Al­ter­na­tive School. The move is ex­pected to save the school sys­tem more than $1.9 mil­lion and al­low the sys­tem to even costs out per stu­dent. Dur­ing the 2010-11 school year, Sharp stu­dents cost the sys­tem around $23,000 a year ver­sus the $7,000 spent on the av­er­age school sys­tem stu­dent.

Om­buds­man’s ser­vices will cost $1,245,500, which in­cludes tu­ition for 60 mid­dle school stu­dents and 140 high school stu­dents, along with trans­porta­tion. Stu­dents will be re­ferred to Om­buds­man from their home school — just like Sharp — and will at­tend threeor four-hour ses­sions five days a week, fol­low­ing the school sys­tem’s 201112 calendar. About 70 per­cent of the cur­ricu­lum is com­put­er­ized and the other 30 per­cent in­volves teacher in­struc­tion and re­me­di­a­tion. School staff will be made up of a di­rec­tor, spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher and three other in­struc­tors. Pre­vi­ous Sharp staff mem­bers are be­ing of­fered pref­er­en­tial in­ter­views.

Om­buds­man is ac­tive in 25 school sys­tems in Ge­or­gia.

The school sys­tem will not use the for­mer Sharp build­ing as a school this year.

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