Board votes for teachers to continue working at Reichert House


Published: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 7:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 7:25 p.m.

An after-school educational program led by three certified teachers will continue at the Reichert House this year, per an agreement approved by the Alachua County School Board on Tuesday.

For the last 10 years a grant has paid for three certified teachers working part-time at the Reichert House, an after-school program for at-risk boys. The grant expired July 31, said Everett Caudle, director of grants procurement and project development for Alachua County Public Schools.

So the school district decided to foot the bill for the teachers to stay at the Reichert House, which mainly serves boys coming from local public schools.

“These are some of our kids that we know are already struggling,” Caudle said.

The School Board approved the use of $80,000 in categorical funds to go toward paying up to three certified teachers for up to four hours of instruction a day for one year, including over the summer.

Caudle said the teachers have worn many hats in the past, but they will focus most on reading and math instruction. They’ll also help some of the Reichert House’s older students with credit retrieval.

As the program has done for the last 10 years, Caudle said the after-school educational program will be evaluated at the end of the year before the district considers renewing the agreement.

The board also approved two proposals to the Florida Department of Education seeking five-year grants to provide after-school and summer programs for Title 1 students and their families at eight schools.

Both programs are aimed at boosting student achievement, and both feature the same demographic of three underperforming urban elementary schools and one rural school.

Alachua County Public Schools is asking for a little more than $567,000 from the state for the first year of Project Flourish, which would serve 260 students at Duval, Rawlings, Terwilliger and Shell elementary schools.

Project Thrive seeks about $528,000 to fund an identical program at Alachua, Idylwild, Lake Forest and Metcalfe elementary schools.

Superintendent Owen Roberts said he received notice that Alachua County Public Schools has met all requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act self-monitoring report this year.

“What that basically says is that we are in compliance with the law” as far as student achievement, he said.

Roberts said he wanted to reassure the public that Alachua County Public Schools will work toward excellence, not just compliance.

Two transportation employees were recognized for their service Tuesday night.

Isaac Godbolt, a 5-year employee, was named Bus Driver of the Year, and Kathy Fowler was named Bus Attendant of the Year.

“He does a phenomenal job,” transportation director James Speer said of Godbolt.

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