LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Changes are coming for alternative schools within Jefferson County Public Schools, acting Superintendent Marty Pollio announced during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Pollio and Dr. Katy Zeitz, assistant superintendent for Academic Achievement K-12, are putting together a task force to recommend changes to the district’s alternative schools program.

Changes up for consideration include separate programs and facilities for middle and high school students as well as partnering with the district’s Academies of Louisville program to expose students to career-centric learning experiences, the district said in a news release.

“We believe we need significant changes in our alternative schools, specifically those focused on behavior,” Pollio told the Jefferson County Board of Education.

“We originally had them in our facility plan as you know, but we stepped back from that for one year to really take a look at how we provide services to our students that really can be centered around things such as mental health, counselors and career and technical education so that we provide better opportunities and better services for students in all of our schools.”

Zeitz will be assembling the task force from people within JCPS and Jefferson County who have experience with at-risk youth. The district said that she has been working with the JCPS Office of Diversity, Equity and Poverty Programs to identify possible task force members.

“Our task is: how do we build a situation that is safe and relevant, but also meets the social and emotional needs of students who have experienced the kinds of violence and trauma that some of our kids have seen?” Zietz said in a statement.

“We want to provide wrap-around and therapeutic supports to students, and collaborate and partner with other city efforts around response to trauma, violence prevention and safe and healthy neighborhoods.”

The group is begin meeting in the spring, and its recommendations are set to be implemented for the 2019-20 school year, according to the news release.

Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and kwheatley@wdrb.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.

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