In an effort to assist at-risk youth, the Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved the new “BRIDGE” Program on Tuesday, offering an alternative for 9th and 10th grade students who would otherwise be sent to alternative schools such as John B. Allard or Roselawn High School.
TUSD staff first approached the Board of Trustees regarding the new BRIDGE program at a meeting in March, and came back Tuesday evening seeking approval from the Board. Although the new program will not begin until the 2013/14 school year, the Board of Trustees expressed great enthusiasm for the program.
“I am encouraged by this program and hope that it will be fruitful for our community,” said Trustee Frank Lima.
By providing a hybrid approach of textbook and online learning for at-risk students in the 9th and 10th grade from both Pitman High School and Turlock High School, the BRIDGE program will implement a modified schedule so that at-risk students can continue to recover lost credit and modify their behavior.
The program will allow at-risk students to stay at their high school, but students in the program will not attend school for the full-length of a regular school day. Instead, 10th grade students in the BRIDGE program will attend their daily classes during the morning, while 9th grade students in the BRIDGE program will attend in the afternoon.
Neither Pitman High School nor Turlock High School currently have alternative settings on-site for 9th and 10th grade students who need direct instruction or a modified schedule to make up for credit deficiencies.
With the implementation of the new BRIDGE program, each high school will provide 30 students with independent study, online learning, tutorial support and instruction.
The Office of Pupil Services will work with students, parents and faculty at both Pitman and Turlock High School to place students in the program. Each participating student and their legal guardian will sign agreements outlining the expectations and guidelines of the BRIDGE program.
The program will cost the school district an initial $180,255 which will cover two teacher salaries, the annual Edgeunity software license fee, 30 new computers, two new printers, furniture and other related start-up costs. The program is expected to create over $200,000 in revenue for the district annually by retaining students who would have otherwise left the district.