School districts agree to allow Jefferson County ESC to oversee alternative school

| July 20, 2017

COSHOCTON – Coshocton, Ridgewood and River View’s school boards recently passed resolutions to authorize the Jefferson County Educational Service Center to operate the alternative school in Coshocton County.

“For years all three school districts in the county oversaw the alternative school and one was always the fiscal agent,” said Dalton Summers, River View’s superintendent. “When it first started it was a simple way to do things and every school was the fiscal agent at one point with River View doing it for several years now. Things have changed over the years though with more charter schools and community schools forming. The laws and regulations have increased for these types of schools and we had to change with that. River View could no longer be the fiscal agent and it wasn’t working the way it was able to years ago. We had to find another entity to be the fiscal agent.”

The local school districts approached educational service centers and found Jefferson County’s offer to be the best fit for their needs and will try working with them for a year.

“The Jefferson County ESC runs an alternative school in Jefferson County and we had some connections to them and they were our best option on the table,” Summers said. “They will be the fiscal agent and manage the school.”

Procedures will not change and each school district will still be able to send students there. The school districts pay $25 a day per student and Summers said that rate will stay the same.

In addition to tuition, grants and donations have helped fund the school, which operates on a $110,000 to $120,000 budget.

“In the past we also had an Alternative Challenge grant for $40,000 from the state, but that was taken away by the governors and removed from the budget,” Summers said. “Each school will have to pick up that cost, which will be an added expense.”

Procedures with the school this year though should not change other than Jefferson County being the fiscal agent and overseeing the management of the school and its employees, who as far as Summers knows were all retained by Jefferson County ESC.

“The three (area school district) superintendents will still determine who runs it though and that is why our boards had to pass resolutions for Jefferson County to oversee the school,” Summers said.

He added though that all three school districts are glad to have the alternative school as an option for students.

“It’s worked efficiently over the years and been used instead of expulsion or long periods of suspension,” Summers said.

It’s also received great support from the community.

“The alternative school really is community supported,” Summers said. “Coshocton City owns the building it is in and gives us a really good deal on using it and has worked really well with us since we’ve been there. The paper and school supplies used there are provided by the schools, the court system has worked well with us and so has the sheriff’s office. It has community and county wide involvement.”

Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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