Calloway County Schools consolidation creates concerns

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Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. - The Calloway County School Board voted to move all three of its alternative and student assistant programs under one roof.

Currently the Laker PRIDE Center is located in a house in front of the high school. The Day Treatment Center and Alternative Education programs are just down the road. In the fall, Superintendent Kennith Bargo said the Lake PRIDE students will be bused to the Day Treatment Center where there are two vacant classrooms.

Kathy Adams is the Director of the Laker PRIDE Center now, but will be moved back into a traditional teaching role once the switch happens. She's less concerned about her title and more concerned about her students. 

"I do think the stigma of having to be going and being part of that population of students when we are more of a credit recovery, dropout prevention," she said. "And I see us as a resource center for all students." She's also concerned they won't get the same attention they currently do.

"They may not get the amount of counseling that we're able to provide by having me on staff full time for these students," she said.

Bargo disagrees.

"We don't see where there's going to be any loss at all of services to the kids," he said. "As a matter of fact, I think in some ways it's going to be better."

 

He said the district will provide the transportation for students to get to the new location, all of the services will still be offered, and Laker PRIDE students will not be blended with the other students.

"Those kids can enter from the side of the building and never walk into the other parts of the Day Treatment and alternative," he said.

He said it was a necessary consolidation because of their budget. The district will save $150,000 a year by eliminating the three program leadership positions and create one position to over-see all of the programs. He added that all three current directors will still have jobs with the district and can apply for the new position.

"The last thing we want to do is hurt any one of our programs because they're all three excellent," he said.  "And we want to maintain that integrity."

 

Adams is frustrated no one included her in the decision-making process and some parents have come forward with concerns about how the decision was made in a special session. Bargo addressed those concerns by saying everything was done "by the book".

The transition will happen over the summer.

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