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Sat, Dec. 07

School districts co-op efforts in alternative program

Prescott Valley will host what area educators are calling "a pretty exciting joint venture" for at least the next two years.

Bradshaw Mountain High School – East (BMHSE) will house several cooperative alternative high school programs – known as the Regional Alternative Learning Center Education (RACE) – that Prescott (PUSD), Chino Valley (CVUSD), Mayer (MUSD) and Humboldt (HUSD) unified school districts will participate in.

Linda Nelson, CVUSD's superintendent, said at a special four-district meeting Monday, Aug. 30, at BMHSE, "this year, Henry Schmitt (superintendent at HUSD), Kevin Kapp (superintendent at PUSD) and I have been fortunate to make a go of it."

She was referring to the tri-district joint effort to provide alternative high school curriculum and services to students who otherwise may not remain in school.

"As the demands to provide services for our students increase, the resources decrease," Kapp said.

Therefore, all three districts (PUSD, HUSD and CVUSD), he said, "moved their resources into a pool."

Each district will put some resources into the program. All of the districts will provide staffing. PUSD will provide PEAK, an alternative high school service. HUSD will provide long-term suspension and GED preparation. CVUSD will provide SEAS (Special Education Alternative Services). All three districts will provide other services as well.

HUSD will provide the facility – a four-room area at its new high school campus, which includes a computer lab with 20 computers, a classroom with desks, a 14-computer room and another classroom. Basically, Kapp said, "we put everything together on one table and everybody came out ahead."

Jim Nelson, MUSD's superintendent, said he looks forward to working with the other three districts since MUSD already offers programs similar to the proposals for RACE.

At this time, he said, "we seem to be geographically too far away to participate," but he said he plans to look into ways that district can do so.

Schmitt said that, at this point, RACE is a two-year pilot program, since HUSD will fill the Bradshaw Mountain High School – East campus with students after two years.

After that, he said, "we're looking perhaps at additional land and facilities."

Some of the RACE programs will begin Sept. 7, and the others, such as PEAK, will follow shortly thereafter, depending on staffing and transportation.

Kapp said PUSD has not provided transportation to PEAK before, but may look into sending a school bus from Prescott to Prescott Valley at certain times during the day. HUSD will supply shuttle service. CVUSD provides transportation for the SEAS students. RACE will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with two administrators on site from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and possibly security on site from 4 to 8 p.m.

District administrators es-timate that 200 to 300 students will participate.

"We're going to try to make this as easy as possible," said Dean Slaga, HUSD's administrator on site at the new high school campus.

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