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Pointe Coupee opening new 'alternative school'

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POINTE COUPEE - Students in Pointe Coupee Parish have a new disciplinary school.

It will cost taxpayers about 100,000 dollars, but school board members say it's providing a place for students, who have been suspended or expelled, to continue their education.

Pointe Coupee has been one of the few districts without an alternative school. In years past, these students would sit at home, missing school work, and come back unprepared. Now, they'll get help with school and behavioral issues.

The class will take place in a new modular building located behind their Central Offices and will be staffed with four teachers and a counselor. The school is strictly for students 12 and older who have been suspended or expelled for more than 20 days.

"I've wanted this for a long time," said Superintendent Linda D'Amico. "We wanted the rigor here as well as in the schools."

D'Amico says it's not a place to dump kids who aren't behaving. Instead, it's a place students can get whatever help they need to get back into a regular setting.

"It's not a place to stick kids," D'Amico said. "We want them to be able to come in, have the same schedule they had in the classroom and make this a place they can continue their education."

In years past, Pointe Coupee's in-school alternative education program was costing around $580,000. This year will cost an additional $100,000 with the cost of the building, computers, and set up. Every year following will only be an additional $8,000 to operate.

School starts in Pointe Coupee Parish on Aug. 11.


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