Graduation for ALOP students

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Students who attend the Alternative Learning Opportunities Program (ALOP) being offered by Paris Union School District 95 may participate in graduation if they choose to do so following action by the Paris Cooperative High School Board of Directors Monday, April 8, at the high school.

Paris 95 Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Larson, who is overseeing the program, presented four changes to the ALOP handbook. Larson said he believes it is important to give the 15 students who currently have completed work for their high school diplomas through the program to have the opportunity to attend commencement.

Larson also made two other recommendations. ALOP students will not be able to attend dances — such as prom — unless they are the guest of a PHS student. They also will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities, he said.

The handbook proposals — which were approved unanimously by the board — were made in consultation with high school interim principals Lorraine Bailey and Carol Jones as well as assistant principal Mark Cox.

The board members were introduced to two more of the ALOP students who have completed their work. Frank Lee, 19, is employed fulltime at Pretium, Larson said. Lee is working 38-48 hours a week, including several 12-hour days.

“He was getting off at 8 a.m. after working overtime and arriving at ALOP at 8:30 a.m. where he worked three hours,” Larson said.

Lee said receiving his high school diploma means the ability to find a better job. He currently lives on his own, pays his own bills and has his own vehicle.

Velvet Fredrickson, who just turned 18, also recently completed her high school diploma. Fredrickson said she needed to complete five classes. She has accepted employment at Paris Healthcare Center and will live on her own.

Both students praised ALOP teacher Josh Hollis who helped guide them through the program.

Hollis said a total of 15 students have earned their high school diplomas through ALOP. There are now 17 students enrolled working toward that same goal.

The board heard from PHS teacher Heather Seaton who reported on the continuing success of her entrepreneur class in raising funds for the after-prom festivities. This past week the students sponsored a donkey basketball game at Eveland Gym. In the past month, they have also sponsored a car and truck show, which had a $1,240 profit.

Seaton said the students have already raised more than $10,000 with more to come in thanks to the upcoming “Egg Your House” project for Easter. “We’ve ordered 130 dozen eggs,” she said. Seaton said there have been 17 events and only one — cow chip bingo — was canceled. “That’s a pretty good record,” she noted.

Board member Mary Liz Wright praised the work of the students.

“I’ve been impressed with every single idea,” she said.

In other business, the board:

nAccepted the resignation of high school P.E. teacher Shawn Nugent, who has accepted the job of P.E. teacher at Mayo Middle School.

nAccepted the resignation of assistant coach Scott Block, effective immediately.

nAccepted the resignation of Jessica Navarette as high school French teacher at the conclusion of the present school year.

nHired Taylor Birchfield as a P.E. teacher for the 2019-2020 school year.

nHired Nicole Shay as the health and driver’s education teacher for the 2019-2020 school year.

nHired Chase Brinkley as a P.E. teacher and head basketball coach for the 2019-2020 school year.

nApproved J.B. Eslinger as a volunteer JV boys baseball coach for the current season.

nApproved Craig Smith and Ronnie Waggoner as volunteer golf coaches for the 2019-2020 school year.

nApproved a three-year contract with the teacher’s union (PACT) beginning Aug. 1, 2019 and running until July 31, 2022. No details of the contract were available.

Heard from parent Crystal Trotter, asking the board to once again consider its policies concerning students who are homeschooled. Trotter said the decision to homeschool her child is not a reflection of Paris High School. Her daughter has been involved in color guard previously but is now ineligible because she is homeschooled.

Bailey announced school attendance for the school year now stands at 94.72. The goal is 94 percent.

“If we make it, we will have a yard party for the students,” she said. In March, the juniors and freshmen attendance was 96.9 percent while the sophomores were 96.4 percent.