Just a short note that I feel I must write, short because I have other things that need to be written up. First, let us look at how some students go from Opportunity Schools to Alternative schools like Gompers. If one read the education code regarding Opportunity Schools and what students should enter, and the type of transition plan that should be developed to return them to regular schools, one would know that the district has not yet developed a plan to return any of the students back to regular schools. If they have, I have not been at or heard about a board meeting where the transition plan was discussed or how many students had transition out of Opportunity Schools into regular schools.
Therefore, to not develop these transition plans for students only continue the patterns that have caused them to be expelled from regular programs. It is true that some students will need a small environment to learn, and some students need Alternative schools, like Delta, Sigma, North Campus, etc. to earn the necessary credits to graduate, because an education plan had not been develop with them and parents to complete the necessary course work for graduation, or the parent/students did not know what was needed until late. (I don't have to remind you of how some of the counselling monies were used). Therefore, when some students reach 11 or 12th grade they find out that they are short credits. Some students can make up the differents through concurrent enrollment at the community college, others must go to an Alternative school, like the ones mention above. Not to many go to Gompers for the above reason now. In the old days, of Diana, Gompers had a better rep.
I have said this before, the Board should review the edu. code on Opportunity Schools and demand that the guidelines for such schools be implemented. But if they continue to allow students to be expel to these schools without the administrators DEVELOPING A TRANSITION PLAN for dealing with the behavior, the behavior will only become worst. Some questions are: How many students go from Opportunity schools to Alternative schools? How many are returned to regular programs and what is their success rate? What type of support services are given to them in the regular program before they are placed in Opportunity schools and when and if they return to a regular program? How many students attend Alternative schools to make up credits for graduation? What is the drop out and graduation rate for these students? How many of these students have special needs, that were not identified? So, if the intent of Alternative schools were carry out and a PLAN developed to return the students to the regular program, the behavior would not become worst and students would not drop out like the sixty or so, that went to the Barbara Alexander school, that we don't know where they ended up at.
This is my two cents worth which you and many others have heard.
-------------- Original message from "Kevin Rivard" : --------------
> I am sorry if I gave an impression that Gompers should be a thought of as a
> dumping ground for misbehaving students. However, in my opinion the reality
> of Gompers is two fold. It is a place for students that cannot behave or
> tolerate education in a regular classroom setting but still have a yearning
> to be connected to education. It is also a place where teachers who have a
> very special gift can give that gift to very needy children.
> Lynn and I know one of those very, very special teachers at Gompers, Ms.
> Grace. She is a teacher that would be good in any classroom but she has a
> talent that is brought out in the Gompers setting and she has saved many a
> student from losing hope of getting an education. Gompers to the general
> public is a negative place but when you get to know teachers like Ms. Grace
> you realize it is a positive place for those students who can need a Gompers
> type school to see a ray of hope.
> Lynn and I are unique in this district, as parents who have utilized all the
> different available mediums of education this district has to offer. When my
> son, followed by his four sisters, went into Independent Study at the old
> Vista Hills site in 1991 the student population of that program was made up
> of pregnant teens, kids who had to work to help the family pay rent, kids
> who were bullied and whose parents did not trust the school safety and so
> on. That program has grown and matured to be one of the more sought after
> alternatives for education in this district along with Middle College.
> Lynn and I came to know Ms. Grace from a part time job she had and we were
> customers of her employer and we would talk for hours about the program she
> runs at Gompers. So when I speak of the alternative schools I speak coming
> from the attitude that they are needed for the types of students they serve
> and they are needed to separate out those students who because of their
> needs and own life experiences cannot deal with a standard educational
> environment and need to be removed so that those students who can be
> educated in the tradition medium can do so without the interruptions from
> those that that cannot.
> But again regardless of where a student is taught the message must be, you
> are here to learn and not be a distraction and if you cannot be civil and
> respectful of others you will be removed so those students that do want to
> learn will have an environment that will be educational friendly.
> >From: Diamel@...
> >Reply-To: email@example.com
> >To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] disrespectful and abusive language
> >Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 00:28:05 EDT
> >Hello all,
> >I want to interject and respond to some of the comments, suggestions that
> >have been made in this very needed discussion. Where do I start? Well, I
> >went to
> > and is a proud graduate of Samuel Gompers High School in our district.
> >Without going into detail, I think it is important to let you all know
> >that I
> >didn't go there for misbehaving. I don't believe that Gompers should be a
> >dumping ground for students. Don't get me wrong being a teacher I realize
> >have changed. I had the choice to go back to regular school, but decided
> >to because of the nurturing environment and I respected the support that
> >teachers gave me. It was a wonderful experience knowing that adults
> >any issues and was willing to work with me. As a matter of fact one of my
> >teachers at Gompers is the reason I'm teaching today and in this district.
> >have been teaching for over 20 years and unfortunately there are rotten
> >in any bunch. I get somewhat angry when I hear people of the community
> >of Gompers in so many negative connotations.
> >I have to agree with the suggestion that high expectations is key and that
> >setting this example should be done in September across the board. In my
> >classroom I have only four rules and the one that is most hard to enforce
> >is my No
> >Nonsense Policy. I get a lot of resistance from students and parents, but
> >work my but off to get parents to understand that their child is held
> >accountable for their behavior even if they feel I am the problem. It
> >takes a lot
> >of documentation and even classroom suspensions. I did not put up with any
> >disrespect from the parent, and if it was necessary I ended the
> >conversation. It
> >is truly important to have a uniform process when dealing with irate
> >and students.
> >Speaking from a teachers perspective means everyone is on the same page
> >dealing with abusive behavior. We have to identify it and call it for what
> >it is. I don't accept it and know one else should.
> >I agree that at the beginning of the year parents and students understand
> >what is expected. I believe that part of the responsibility is on the
> >and leadership. Principals are counting suspensions because it shows bad
> >leadership. Districts want the ADA, however I don't think that makes a
> >to the state now.
> > There should be a forum to address this issue and sending these students
> >Gompers is not the answer. There are students at Gompers that want to
> >also. If our leadership is not taking responsibility then these issues
> >be made public.
> >In my classroom I lead by example and expect all my students to do the same
> >or they face the consequences that are appropriate to the behavior. Its
> >pretty simple. They get what they earn. In my classroom I had a group of
> >that took a great deal of the learning time from students that never
> >caused a
> >problem and was always on task. I decided to acknowledge and solve this
> >problem in a very risky way. It turned out to be very successful. I felt
> >confident that my approach would work because all of my students were very
> >clear about my expectations and understood boundaries. Students are very
> >When they realized what I was doing they made the distinction on there
> >One student said, "Oh those are the good students." I only had to say, "I
> >didn't say that you did." This was a learning experience for me and them.
> >We had
> >a celebration at the end of year that was very different from what they
> >use to. i.e. there weren't certificates for every single student or an end
> >year class party as they knew it. I'm not sure if these comments are
> >helpful. What I'm trying to say is that disrespectful and abusive language
> >can be
> >handled. We have to be risk takers get on the same page and hold everyone
> >Diane Brown
> >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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