Gwinnett school board talks alternative education

SUWANEE -- Members of the Gwinnett County Board of Education on Thursday discussed the successes and the challenges seen at the district's alternative schools as well as the possibility of a new facility in the future.

The education officials discussed Gwinnett Intervention Education centers east and west, which serve about 400 students with disciplinary issues per year.

Steve Flynt, associate superintendent with Gwinnett County Public Schools, spoke to the board about the facilities' combined recidivism -- or the rates at which students return to the school within two years of completion.

Flynt said the rate is currently 25 percent and highest among middle school males.

Despite a success rate of 75 percent, Flynt said there were "a number of challenges."

Among them: the lack of educational opportunities for elementary age students; the lack of a program for "chronically disruptive" students who are not successful at the GIVE centers; and difficulty of students' ability to provide transportation to and from GIVE.

While the GIVE centers currently serve the eastern and western populations of Gwinnett County Public Schools, the possibility of a GIVE South is being discussed, Flynt said.

A committee of community and education leaders has already been appointed to make recommendations for the design of alternative education programs at the school.

The committee will also study best practices for intervention.

The center would serve students in the southern end of the county as well as those who may have difficulty finding transportation to the current alternative schools. Flynt said it could be housed near the Anderson-Livsey campus in the Shiloh Cluster.