Board of Education to vote on charter’s expansion

The county Board of Education could vote down a proposal by Daytop Preparatory School today to expand its services beyond its current focus of serving students with substance abuse problems.

The new facility, Daytop Charter School, would operate separately from the preparatory school and bring in much-needed state revenue for general education needs, according to Executive Director Orville Roache. But county Superintendent of Schools Jean Holbrook said there are too few teachers in the school — only one full-time and one quarter-time — to teach a comprehensive curriculum to 25 students.

“While the petition includes most of the required elements, the plan is unrealistic and unlikely to be successfully implemented,” Holbrook said. She has recommended that the board vote down the school’s charter application at its meeting tonight.

Holbrook also questioned Roache’s credentials to supervise and evaluate teachers and develop curriculum.

“We’re disappointed in the recommendation and we hope to be able to make our case to the [Board of Education tonight],” Roache said. In addition to the teachers, the charter school would have a full-time instructional aide, psychologist, therapist and behavior counselor on site.

That ratio is better than most public schools, where a classroom of 25 students has only one full-time teacher, Roache said.

Daytop Preparatory School serves about 43 students with three full-time teachers and two part-time aides, said Roache, who is also executive director of that school. If the county Board of Education votes down the charter, Daytop could chose to apply for a charter with the Sequoia High School District.

The County Board of Education meets today at 7 p.m. at 101 Twin Dolphin Drive in Redwood City.

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