SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 38
June 4, 1999
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Survey of Local and Regional Alternative Education Programs in Response to HJR 242 and the Appropriation Act of the 1998 General Assembly|
The 1998 General Assembly directed the Department of Education (Appropriation Act) and the Board of Education (HJR 242) to work with the Commission on Youth to conduct a study regarding services for suspended and expelled students. This study will investigate and report on the availability of regional and local alternative education programs that provide educational services for expelled and suspended students who cannot be served in traditional public school settings due to their dangerous and/or disruptive behaviors. Additionally, this investigation will identify the number of students served, the criteria for placement, and program locations. The findings of the study will result in the development of guidelines for alternative educational settings for middle and high school students. The guidelines will include "the recommended number of alternative settings per 1,000 middle and high school students and average incremental costs thereof." The first aspect of the study is the gathering of demographic data regarding each student who is long-term suspended or expelled or placed in an alternative setting in lieu of long-term suspension or expulsion during the entire 1998-99 school year. Superintendent's Memorandums Numbers 78 (November 20, 1998), 5 (January 29, 1999), and 92 (April 30, 1999) have addressed this data collection effort. The Department of Education and the Commission on Youth appreciate school divisions' efforts to provide detailed information. This superintendent's memorandum focuses on the second aspect of the study, a local school division survey of needs for expansion of programs and costs of programs. The attached survey focuses on alternative education programs operated during the 1998-99 school year. The Commission on Youth will send a survey to court service unit directors gathering information about alternative education programs available to youths known to the court service unit. Please complete the attached survey and return by July 9, 1999, to Kim Echelberger, legislative research analyst, Virginia Commission on Youth, Suite 517 B, General Assembly Building, 910 Capitol Street, Richmond, VA 23219-0406. Note that Section 2 should be copied and completed for each alternative education program the school division offers or in which it participates. The school division that serves as fiscal agent for regional alternative education programs should complete all of Section 2 of the survey. School divisions participating in the regional alternative education program shall complete only question 1 of Section 2. Questions regarding the survey content should be directed to Lissa Power-deFur, Associate Director, Special Education and Student Services. Dr. Power-deFur can be reached at (804) 225-2818 or firstname.lastname@example.org. PDS/oml Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attach- ment will be sent to the superintendent's office.