Teaching jobs at Roosevelt Community Education Center won’t be outsourced to private alternative education company Ombudsman Educational Services – at least for the 2012-13 school year.
Assistant Superintendent Matt Vosberg will present a revised alternative education plan to the Education Committee Monday and the full Rockford School Board Tuesday following negotiations with the Rockford Education Association, which changed the district’s initial plan for the coming school year.
The initial proposal – which the Education Committee approved last month — had a nearly $5.5 million price tag, and it included Ombudsman programs at Roosevelt, the four traditional high schools and two middle schools, plus additional social workers, counselors, a work study program and mentoring.
Roosevelt and Page Park supporters have attended recent board and committee meetings trying to stop the district from moving forward with plans to outsource District 205 teaching jobs to Ombudsman, which offers a virtual learning program. Roosevelt staff members have suggested for months piloting an additional small alternative program, instead of hiring the private company, and they’ve even presented their own plans.
The alternative education plan was delayed as district leaders negotiated changes with the REA. Following negotiations, the Ombudsman plan will no longer be housed at Roosevelt – or any of the district’s traditional high schools in the 2012-13 school year.
Vosberg said students will still have more options at the elementary, middle and high school levels, but it’ll be more limited than the original plan and cost the district an estimated $1.8 million.
Under the new proposal:
-250 students – ages 14-18 – can attend an alternative learning program through Ombudsman to be housed at the district’s Operations Support Center, the former Goodwill Industries building, 1907 Kishwaukee St. The site used to house the district’s Leadership and Learning Academy, another alternative high school program, before it was combined with Page Park School for the current school year. Officials plan to close Page Park School for the 2012-13 school year.
Students would attend in three-hour shifts, running from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; the program would never have more than 70 students there at a time, Vosberg said. Outside of those three-hour shifts, students would participate in a work-study program or community-based service.
-30 middle school students can participate in a partnership with the YMCA and Ombudsman where students spend half the day working on physical fitness and activity and the other half on core lessons.
-Ellis Arts Academy – which will be a traditional elementary school in the 2012-13 year, will have two classrooms set aside to serve students who are today housed at Page Park School.
-Adds three additional social workers – one each at Ellis, Lewis Lemon and Haskell
-Roosevelt will also have two computer labs for blended/computer-assisted learning. Staff members are working to develop education programming that also includes virtual learning – although it’ll be facilitated by Roosevelt staff, instead of outsourced to a third party.
-The plan also outlines that administrators will form a committee with the REA to study computer-assisted learning models for the 2013-14 school year.
Vosberg will present the modified plan to the Rockford School District’s Education Committee at 5 p.m. in the third-floor board room of the Administration Building, 501 Seventh St.
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