The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 5, 2013

Student remanded to alternative school

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— An Elkmont High School secondary student was expelled during a special called meeting Thursday evening at the Central Office.

The Limestone County Board of Education voted to expel the student for one semester due to an unspecified drug policy violation. The pupil will attend the Limestone County Alternative School during the spring semester.

Violations to the board’s drug policy are Class III violations. Sanctions can include suspension, transfer to the alternative school and expulsion.

The student’s name, age and grade level was not released in accordance with the Central Office’s student privacy policy.

The alternative school is nearing 100 percent capacity, with approximately 25 slots available to students who are remanded from the school system’s six high schools. There are currently 22 or 23 students at the alternative school, according to Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk.

“We are attempting to resolve this issue, and this is something we’ve attempted to do prior to it reaching this point,” Sisk said.

Both Sisk and board member Earl Glaze said the board has looked at moving the alternative program from the campus of Piney Chapel Elementary School to Clements High School, which Glaze said is currently at 50 percent capacity. Sisk said there isn’t a timetable on moving the program, and Glaze said the program wouldn’t be split between two locations.

In the meantime, Sisk said the Central Office would continue to maintain a zero-tolerance policy for drugs, weapons and fighting violations. A possible short-term solution is to hire homebound teachers.

“We will hire homebound teachers (if necessary),” Sisk said. “They go and provide instructional service at the student’s home. We will find a way to educate these students, and this is mandated by the state.”

The school board will hold a regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Clinton Street annex.