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      New alternative school in Quincy to help kids flourish

      The new school will be held in the lower level of the Board of Education office for seventh to twelfth graders who have difficulty in a mainstream class.

      The Quincy School District is putting its finishing touches on its new alternative school.

      The Adams County Regional Safe School will replace the districts previous out-sourced Ombudsman program.

      "We have to recognize that not all kids flourish in this type of setting and design a program that will allow them to be successful, and I think we've done that," Danielle Edgar, principal of Quincy Senior High School said.

      The new school will be held in the lower level of the Board of Education office for seventh to twelfth graders who have difficulty in a mainstream class.

      "These students don't do well in a regular classroom setting and we had to find a place that they could succeed and flourish," Cheryl Dreasler, the Adams County Regional Safe School director said. "We've learned a lot through the past of what works and what did not work so now we're putting everything together."

      One thing the district found that did work was flexible scheduling. The safe school will start at 8 o'clock in the morning and end at 3:15 p.m. Students will take three, two-hour courses throughout the day versus the standard six to seven classes per day. Every eight weeks, students will switch to another three classes.

      "This structure provides them the opportunity to succeed at a greater rate of recovery more quickly if they've had some difficulties that have caused them to fall off a little bit in their school experience," Edgar said.

      The program will include six teachers, a director and a family liaison/dean for 75 ninth through twelfth graders and 10 seventh and eighth graders.

      "Some kids just flourish in a smaller environment to where they have a good relationship with staff and where there's an integration of online learning with teacher-led classrooms where they can really participate with their peers and that the lessons are more directed to meet their needs," Edgar said.

      The new program will cost approximately 450 thousand dollars.

      The district estimates it will save 40 thousand dollars the first year, and even more later.

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