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CLIFTON PARK: Shen debates student policy

Shenendehowa PTA president Julianne Davis said that some parents were worried that grade-level assignments would keep their children from seeing their friends. However, Davis said that her high-school-age son has not been affected.

"My son, Christopher, doesn't seem to be bothered by the small learning communities," said Davis.

Associate principals, Claire Brown and Chris Culnan, presented an alternative education plan that they said would offer more flexibility for at-risk students.

"The curriculum would be delivered with the needs of individuals in mind," said Brown.

According to Brown, students who fail a course often have to repeat a grade. Through a concept called semestering, the plan would allow at-risk students to earn smaller incremental units toward graduation without having to repeat a grade.

"Our aim is to bring these students into the mainstream," said Brown.

The alternative education plan also features a twilight school, which would offer instruction to students who have been suspended for five days or fewer. That is, students would no longer receive home tutoring and would be able to get instruction at the high school after 3 p.m. "Instructing students at home is too costly, and teachers are separated from students," Brown said.

In other news, Donald Flynt was appointed as the new principal of Shenendehowa High School at a salary of $121, 500. Flynt, who is superintendent of the Stillwater Central School District, has also served as principal at Stillwater middle and high schools.

"We found that Mr. Flynt was extremely supportive of the students and had extensive program development experience," said assistant superintendent Michael Dutkowsky. ""

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