New school takes shape in east Patterson
by Maddy Houk
Jul 26, 2012 | 3203 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Construction of a new special needs school along Walnut is under way in Patterson. Construction is being done by CT Brayton & Sons out of Escalon.
Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
Construction of a new special needs school along Walnut is under way in Patterson. Construction is being done by CT Brayton & Sons out of Escalon. Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
slideshow
Construction of a new special needs school along Walnut is under way in Patterson. Construction is being done by CT Brayton & Sons out of Escalon.
Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
Construction of a new special needs school along Walnut is under way in Patterson. Construction is being done by CT Brayton & Sons out of Escalon. Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
slideshow
Construction of a new special needs school along Walnut is under way in Patterson. Construction is being done by CT Brayton & Sons out of Escalon.
Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
Construction of a new special needs school along Walnut is under way in Patterson. Construction is being done by CT Brayton & Sons out of Escalon. Lisa James / Patterson Irrigator
slideshow
Construction is under way on a county-run school at Hartley and Walnut avenues that will house alternative-education and special-education students beginning in the 2013-14 school year. The campus, to be run by the Stanislaus County Office of Education for students who live on the West Side, will have six classrooms, a multipurpose room and a career technical room. It is expected to be finished next summer. The county office of education leases a small house on F Street for Patterson Independent Study that will close when the school is completed. “The students who are in independent study classes usually come to school for an hour of school instruction a week,” explained Scott Kuykendall, division director of career and charter schools for the Stanislaus County Office of Education. “We’re asking students for more time — four hours a day for four days a week.” To start, the school will be open to students in seventh through 12th grades who have been expelled from their schools or referred to alternative education by a teacher or school district administrator. Students can attend for reasons such as family hardships, safety considerations, a court order or medical conditions. Plans are still in the early stages, but about 60 students will likely attend the school in its first year. Details are being worked out for special-education students to use the school, too. Sara Grantano, the county office of education’s division administrator of special education and health services, said administrators are considering the age range of special-education students who would attend the school. “What we are trying to accomplish is having a shorter bus ride time for students with the same services than they have in Turlock or Ceres ,” Grantano said “Right now, we just want to make sure we have the facility for that to happen.” While academics will be the primary focus of the new school, courses could also include career training. For instance, Patterson Joint Unified School District might be able to use the space for business logistics classes when it is not in use by SCOE, according to Superintendent Phil Alfano. “Our district is excited about the opportunity to work with the Stanislaus County Office of Education to provide alternative education opportunities closer to home for students in Patterson,” Alfano said. “Additionally, we are planning ways to use the facility for students currently enrolled in our business logistics pathway at Patterson High School. We are meeting with officials from the county, our high school administration and local business leaders to determine how we can best utilize this space.” The school has been in the works for six years and broke ground a couple of months ago. The county office of education qualified for 100 percent state hardship funding of about $4 million for the facility, which is being built on 3.5 acres of land. The State Allocation Board Office of Public Construction gives financial hardship assistance to districts that can show that they are unable to provide all or part of their share of their cost of a school facility project. The process to get money is twofold: First, district’s applications, including cost estimates and detailed plans, are considered on first-come, first-served basis. Second, funds are distributed by the state based on the money in the district’s facility account. Stanislaus County Office of Education is also building a school in Oakdale that will focus on academics and on culinary arts. A third new school planned for Ceres has yet to receive state funding. • Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.
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