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Director: Career center changes would be costly

March 13, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The director of the Franklin County Career and Technology Center said Wednesday Chambersburg's proposed multiple delivery system could work, but it would come at a price.

James Duffey said that since he assumed the role of executive director in January, he has met weekly with staff to determine the best way to implement a new schedule for Chambersburg students.

Chambersburg Area School District officials have said they would like an alternative to the all-day, one-semester schedule followed by the 960 students at the center. Five other districts send students to the school.

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The Chambersburg district would like its students to attend half-days, year-round in order to improve course scheduling at the high school.

"Dual delivery can be accomplished with the proper preparation, commitment and patience," Duffey told the school board Wednesday.

He estimated it would cost between $150,000 and $200,000 for additional supplies, equipment, personnel and professional development if Chambersburg switches to a multiple delivery system. He could not estimate how much additional instruction space or locker space would cost.

"There will be ongoing costs that at this point I can't quantify," he said.

He said half of the programs at the center are two-teacher programs, so it would be easy to have one teacher focus on the all-day students and one teach a morning and afternoon session.

The problem arises with one-teacher programs like graphic arts and drafting.

He recommended switching some programs to a self-paced curriculum that would allow the individual student to proceed at his or her own pace, or having students rotate thorough clusters where they might learn a little carpentry, electrical and plumbing rather than just focusing on one concentration.

But he said Chambersburg students would not be able to complete the coursework to earn certificates in health occupations or protective services without hiring additional staff, and culinary students could only attend morning sessions.

Chambersburg school board member Eugene Gayman said some of those limitations might work against the district's intent.

"Our goal is to create a situation where more of our students want to go there," he said.

The district's curriculum and policy committee will further discuss the proposal at its meeting Wednesday.

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