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CrossRoads could face changes next school year

CrossRoads School will see a road less-traveled in the 2006-07 school year. Carole Jean Carey, superintendent of Warren County Schools said next year the county will have their own CrossRoads program. Currently, McDuffie County CrossRoads serves McDuffie, Warren and Taliaferro counties.

"We are establishing our own CrossRoads Program next year. We will be able to serve up to 14 at a time, but hope to limit this to around 11," Ms. Carey said.

McDuffie Superintendent, Dr. Mark Petersen said he has not received any validation of Warren's new program. Dr. Petersen said the change will affect the school system budget.

"We receive X-number of dollars because we are sharing. It could have an impact. It just depends on how many students we are talking about. The fact is, we are losing a little bit of revenue, so that will put us in a little bit of a pickle for a little while," he said.

Dr. Petersen also said it is too soon to know details of how the school system will be affected, or how they will make up the lost revenue.

This year, the school has averaged 75 students, with one part-time, and five full-time teachers, according to CrossRoads Principal Steve Strouble. The superintendent of Taliaferro County is retiring at the end of this school year, so details on where Taliaferro County students will go are pending the appointment of a new superintendent. Ms. Carey said they have invited Taliaferro to join them in Warren County, because it is closer.

CrossRoads is a state-wide alternative school program started in the mid 1990's to serve students who have been removed from the classroom because of chronic disruption, and to provide them the same educational experience as students in the regular program.

Mr. Strouble said the program is for students who have been suspended or expelled from regular programs in grades 6-12. It is also for students who have fallen behind, and who seem to do better in smaller settings.

According to the Department of Education website, Georgia's program is designed to give some flexibility on the local level, as long as the program meets the requirements of the state Board of Education rules.

Some counties have a graduation program, but in McDuffie, students attend for only one semester, Mr. Strouble said. "If they have not shown any improvement, then they will be held an additional semester," he said.

Web posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006

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