Academic Alternative Receives Board Approval

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Rim Country Middle School students who find themselves struggling in math and language arts classes next school year might find the help they need in the new Varied Instructional Delivery program.

The academic offering --hich will be open to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who fail math or language arts the first semester --s scheduled to debut in January.

According to RCMS principal Frank Larby, the roots of VID can be found in a governing board meeting held about seven months ago.

At the meeting, board members directed Larby to come up with an alternative program that would provide a boost to students at risk of academic failure.

"We want to emphasize this is not for behavior problems," Larby said.

A committee, headed by Larby, spent most of the spring studying alternatives that would meet the board's directives.

The committee came up with VID, and the proposal went before the school board at its July 12 meeting.

According to Larby, VID will be staffed by three teachers not yet selected.

The teachers could come from the current PUSD ranks or from outside the district.

The teachers eventually selected would have the first semester of the 2004-2005 school year to plan and build the foundation of VID.

Students placed in the program would attend math or language arts each school day in two-hour blocks.

"That means they might have to give up an exploratory," Larby said.

VID would also replace their mainstream math or language arts academic class.

The methods of instruction in VID would be computer-based, using the Learning Systems programs similar to those used by the Payson Center for Success.

Larby said it is his hope that VID, which was approved by the board Monday night, will provide the catalyst some students need to be academically successful in math and language arts.

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