School systems have many different ways of serving the students. There are gifted programs, special education programs, and alterative programs for students with bad behavior. In most cases the school districts control these programs with their own resources and staffing.
However the Metro school district in Nashville, Tennessee has chosen to look to other resources to get the help that their struggling students’ needs. The school board previously voted to hire an outside program to conduct classes for struggling students.
The program, Ombudsman, has a local branch in Nashville and offers help for students that need to “catch-up”. The school system has been partially taken over by the state. One aspect that concerned the state Department of Education was the way that the district handled special education and alternative school programs.
The school board is hoping that the hiring of the private program will eliminate the concerns that the state found when examining the school board’s previous methods.
The program works by helping struggling students in smaller student teacher ratio classrooms and using computer-based programs. While students do not have to have bad behavior to use the program, the program states that it can handle discipline problems if they arise.
Around 500 students will benefit from the $2.5million program if it gets the board’s final approval. The cost of the program is about $2,000 less than the system typically spends on alternative programs per student. The money will come from federal funds.
The program claims to have an 85% rate when it comes to keeping children caught up until they graduate. The typical stay in the program is 45 days.
Once finalized, will begin looking to hire its own teachers and search for a location. The typical location for the program is strip malls and commercial area sites around the towns.