Since 2009 the district has had a contract with Ombudsman Services to provide up to 120 seats for students serving a long-term suspension, lasting longer than 10 days, from grades six through 12.
“The district has a strong desire to bring that back internally,” said Associate Superintendent Brian Otott.
The district had used Ombudsman because it offered a virtual learning program, said District 3 board member Kim Cobb. Virtual learning is a tool for students to learn while at their residences.
“The Paulding County School District can now provide an alternative education facility complete with the virtual options without outsourcing,” Cobb said in an email.
The facility will be based at the New Hope Learning Center.
A staff hired by the district will supervise students. Possible positions include a director of alternative education, teaching staff, clerical and para-professional.
“I believe this will be a positive change because we will be utilizing our own certified teachers and can expect more program accountability for student success,” Cobb said.
Cost for the program is still unknown, but should be a savings for the district. The numbers should be finalized by May for the board to be able to vote on the budget in June.
Benefits of the district operating the program include students having software to prepare them for the SAT and ACT, class credit recovery and better opportunities for hospital and homebound students to receive an education, which Ombudsman did not offer, Cobb said.