Alternative School to Open at Ramey-Estep Campus

From the Daily Independent

by Mike James


RUSH: The Boyd County School District is relaunching its alternative school and will base it at the Ramey-Estep High School, district officials said.

The school will serve students with disciplinary issues and also some who are at falling behind academically and at risk of dropping out, the officials said.

Enrollment to begin with will include about 20 students. Their quarters at Ramey-Estep will be separate from the other students at the school, which is a residential facility for troubled teenagers from all parts of Kentucky.

The alternative school program had been shuttered since the 2015-2016 school year when the district had embedded its components into the middle and high schools, but changes in graduation pathways prompted a second look and the decision to return to a separate facility, director Dara ’Su Stevens-Williams said.

The school will use four rooms at the Ramey-Estep school, with a lead teacher and two other teachers, Ramey-Estep principal Ann Brewster said. Brewster will serve as principal to both schools.

In addition, the students will have the services of Ramey-Estep’s therapists and counselors, Brewster said. “I?don’t know of another A-5 school with as much therapeutic help as these students will have,”?she said. A-5 is a state designation for alternative school.

Addition of a therapy room is in the works. The therapy component addresses the needs inherent in placing children in an alternative setting, Brewster said. “Any time a child has been placed in an alternative setting, there are usually issues above and beyond that caused them to be placed there,”?she said.

Ramey-Estep also will offer in-home family counseling, she said.

Alternative school students will be kept separate from the residential students and won’t be permitted to communicate with them. Among concerns is that alternative school students come and go from the school each day and might otherwise introduce forbidden items to the campus, she said.

Some students have fallen behind in their studies to the point they are in danger of dropping out. The alternative school will provide the opportunity to earn the needed credits away from the traditional setting of 20 to 30 students in a classroom, Stevens-Williams said.

District data shows that the alternative school in the past has decreased dropouts, she said.

The Ramey-Estep complex consists of the high school, residential cottages and an administration building on an expansive rural campus in Rush. The high school is part of the Boyd County system.

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