Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tawanka headed to high school

As printed in today's Courier Times . . .
Tawanka students and teachers can start packing their book bags and boxing up their classrooms - they're headed to the high school.
The Neshaminy school board Tuesday night voted 8-0 to relocate the alternative school program from a building on Brownsville Road in Lower Southampton to a portion of the high school that otherwise would've been demolished.

You can read the complete article by clicking here.


JS said...

Wow, 8-0? I hope our negotiations with the teachers are so money conscious.

Will the district at least save on not having a principal for the Alt Ed program? If the program has its own principal that means there will be 6 administrators on the high school property.

I will make the prediction now that though they have "said" they will address the programs needs, with in a year they will still be asking for what they need because it just isn't available at the high school.

I still love the whole argument from the previous articles that the district couldn't lease Eisenhower if the Alt Ed program moved there. Well facilities is located there now, so we'd still have to move them to lease it. They were supposed to go to the area of the High School just given to the Alt Ed program. So much for that argument.

I pray this works, but I seriously only see this program failing many of its students because of the proximity of distraction.

Rebecca said...

I don't think this was done in the best interests of the students. The only good thing about it not being put at Eisenhower is maybe now the cost cutting board members will stop threatening to cut the program completely. Hopefully the program will get the space it needs as Mr. Spitz said.

LivininLevittown said...

The kids will be just fine at the high school and we can rent or sell the eisenhouer building. This is good for education and for the taxpayers. Some students will struggle but overall they will be ok because of the competent staff. JS is right that the special principal should be cut we don't need that many at the high school.

JS said...

LL, You can't sell Eisenhower, it's currently being used by the Facilities department of the district. That's why the argument of not putting the Alt ED program at Eisenhower so you could sell/lease it didn't hold water. In fact, now the district is stuck using part of Neshaminy Middle as well (shipping and receiving).

Both Shipping/Receiving and Facilities were supposed to move to the area now giving to the Alt Ed program thus still leaving both the back part of Neshaminy Middle and Eisenhower occupied.

William O'Connor said...

JS - only part of the BELC area will house the Alt Ed students while the rest will be the home to those other staff groups you mentioned.

Pianomom said...

That's a good point I hadn't considered Rebecca. Maybe now this program can fly under the radar of those who look to cut every expense no matter how it hurts the students. It may also be the reason that those board members who have been sympathetic to the Tawanka students (Cummings, Blasch, Spitz) ended up voting for relocation to the high school.

It is too bad that you could not be there William but in the end it wouldn't have made any difference. All we can ask is that you don't forget about these students now that the location has been settled.

I must be living in Jersey said...

Never mind the Tawanka students or facilities staff, is there enough room at the high school for the 9th - 12th grade students???

nostradamus said...

My predictions for the new home of the alternative education program:
* The program will never get the extra space they want up at the high school.
* To make up the space they will need, the service program of preparing food for the needy will be greatly reduced.
* With 9th grade coming up to the high school, another 15-20 students will want to enroll in the program but won't be able to due to lack of space.
* The cost cutting isn't over yet. The board will want to sync up the program's start/end time with regular students to save on special bus runs. This will result in students dropping out of the program out of embarrassment.

sportsfan said...

Mr. O'Connor:

Just a quick question.
Can you tell us all in $$$, how much this whole Tawanka move is really saving us ?
Does anyone know ???

Sometimes major decisions like this are made premature and the cost savings are insignificant.


Neshaminy said...

In theory it should save money because both Tawanka and Eisenhower will be leased out. Does that mean it will actually be a benefitial program in its new location? I highly doubt it will be as successful.

I don't know how many students can "enroll" in the Alt Ed program. I thought it was more of a placement thing. There are times to think about money and there are times to think about education. There have been a lot of shoe horning decisions based on "money" when they should be based on education (let alone they should have been thought out long before they were forced to make a decision).

William O'Connor said...

I'll address the questions about cost savings later today. Stay tuned.

JS said...

I know the figures tossed out had been roughly 60k for renovating BELC and 110K for Eisenhower. Did that 60k cost for the High School include the requested extra space that the Alt Ed program said it needed?

srodos said...

It seems to me the Board made a choice between a 30 year out of service school and a portion of the high school which was one week away from demolition. How this benefits the students in a great program is beyond me. When making choices it is time to listen to educators.