Oak Ridge school officials will discuss renaming the Oak Ridge Alternative Program as the Secret City Academy during a meeting tonight (Tuesday, May 26).
Here’s the rationale, according to the meeting agenda for the Oak Ridge Board of Education:
- Negative connotation—Alternative school/program creates a negative stereotype with some students and community members. Some assume that only the “bad” kids come to the Alternative Program, such as criminals, those with continual behavior problems, and those who have given up on school. These misperceptions may be based on hearsay, other programs that use alternative in their title, or reports in the news media, but those are not the only students served in the program.
- Prevents confusion—Some parents have attempted to enroll their student in the program thinking that is was a nontraditional school that incorporated different curriculum than that of the middle and high schools. (This would be similar to the old Laurel High School in Knoxville.)
- Secret City Academy—The name ties our program to the community and to the history of Oak Ridge. The atom is on the seal for the school system and is also on the high school. It can be incorporated in our program materials as well.
Today’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room at the Robert J. Smallridge School Administration Building at 304 New York Avenue. See the agenda here.
Also during tonight’s meeting, the school board will consider the proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 and three balanced calendar options for the 2016-2017 school year. See that story here.