The Oak Ridge Alternative Program has been renamed the Secret City Academy.
The Oak Ridge Board of Education unanimously approved the name change in a voice vote during its June meeting. Staff and students had previously weighed in on the name change.
Here was the rationale, according to a May 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.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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