School district adopts anti-drop out program

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 21, 2003

Members of the Brookhaven School District board of trusteesapproved a new program that will encourage some students in thedistrict to earn a General Education Diploma (GED).

The goal of the GED Program Policy is to lessen the numbers ofdrop outs in the district, said Superintendent Dr. Sam Bounds.

“(High school dropouts) are beginning to be such a nationalproblem that we want to address this right now,” he said. “We wantto be pro-active.”

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The program will identify drop-outs in the district as well asstudents who are struggling and possibly heading toward droppingout.

After being recommended by school officials, those ages 16 to 21years who are drop-outs or at least two grades behind will beenrolled in the program at Mullins Alternative School.

It will give students an alternative to dropping out, Boundssaid.

“We feel this will be an incentive. This will give them a newlease on life. It will give them a new ambition to be successful,”said Bounds.

When board members asked about the program costs, Boundsexplained that participants will be considered students of theBrookhaven School District. Therefore, the district will receivestate and federal funds.

The district will initially have to hire one instructor for theprogram, which should get kicked off in January.

Students with discipline problems will not be allowed in the GEDProgram until they have successfully completed a behaviormodification class.

“I’m really impressed with this because it really helps,” saidboard chairman Gwendolyn Sartin, who was recently appointed toanother five-year term.

Board member Dan Brown Jr. was also delighted to hear about theprogram.

“It gives them a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe thiswill also help our district, too,” he said.

The board, with the exception of Dr. Prentiss Smith who wasabsent, unanimously voted to start the GED Program in thedistrict.

Prior to an executive session on a student matter, Bounds showedthe board plaques received by the district for reaching AverageYearly Progress (AYP) in every grade and every category in statetesting earlier this year.

The board was also informed about some of the programs atBrookhaven Technical Center during a presentation by teachers and astudent.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Dec. 16, ratherthan Dec. 23, due to Christmas holidays.