WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The Waynesboro Area School Board will decide later this month whether to transfer its alternative education offerings from a satellite location into the district’s high school.
Currently, Waynesboro contracts with Manito Inc. for 15 slots at its Browns Mill center and 15 slots for its alternative education offerings in Marion, Pa.
Browns Mill serves students expelled from school; alternative education is for students, such as pregnant girls, who struggle in traditional classrooms.
Alternative education programs may be headed to Waynesboro Area Senior High School, in part to cut down on students’ drive time.
“We’d like to bring the alternative high school back to the (Waynesboro) high school. ... We just really believe our students would be more successful,” incoming Superintendent Sherian Diller said.
Waynesboro opened a “hope classroom” last year in the high school’s D-wing for alternative education options. Manito staff ran that classroom.
Now, Waynesboro may add a second classroom and keep them both under Manito staff for the coming year.
Diller said she anticipates cost-savings of $74,000 a year. There will be a one-time cost of $50,000 to create classroom space.
The hope classrooms would have two teachers, an aide and a counselor, all employed by Manito, Diller said. Waynesboro would employ a part-time teacher for a three-hour program that serves students with jobs, she said.
The classrooms could serve a total of 30 students, Diller said.
Expelled students are automatically sent to Browns Mill. Now, the board would be able to choose whether to send them to a hope classroom or Browns Mill.
Diller said administrators tell her they usually have a waiting list for alternative education. She said more students could be accommodated locally if the board approves the proposal.
“I’m very enthusiastic about this. ... I think we should be able to provide a very good service, regardless of the money,” board member Billie Finn said.
It should be easier to track and monitor students, board member Chris Lind said.
Diller agreed with Lind’s comment.
“I want them back into the mainstream when they’re ready,” she said.