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Oklahoma Board of Education OKs night school program at Douglass High School

The state Board of Education agreed to waive some state laws governing class time in light of the academic crisis at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City. Douglass will have an alternative school within the larger school.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: December 19, 2012

Students at Douglass High School will have the option of taking classes for up to 10 hours a day two days a week in the spring semester to fill in the gaps on their transcripts, members of the state Board of Education decided Wednesday.

Board members opted to give Oklahoma City Public Schools some leeway when it comes to class time at school.

An audit of transcripts at Douglass earlier this fall uncovered that most seniors were not on track to graduate. The crisis is the result of years of academic mismanagement, which was reported by an attorney the district hired to investigate the school.

The board's decision means some students could attend classes as regular students during the day and then again as alternative education students two evenings a week.

To facilitate this schedule, board members decided to waive a requirement that students in alternative education programs have to spend at least four hours and 12 minutes in school during the day, said Melissa White, executive director of counseling and Achieving Classroom Excellence for the state Education Department.

Under the waiver, Douglass High School will have night school for three hours after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those three-hour sessions wouldn't have been long enough under existing rules.

The board also waived a rule that doesn't allow schools to have more than one school day within a 24-hour period.

“Those students that are going to that night school will also be enrolled as full-time students,” White said. “They're actually going to be going to school, in all actuality, for 10 hours.”

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