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Alternative school program cut
Cuts force closure of one Ombudsman site
interin sup Harley Grove
Harley Grove - photo by Courier file photo
About Ombudsman

Ombudsman Educational Services collaborates with school districts to provide an alternative education program that offers personalized, computer-assisted learning for middle and high school students facing a variety of issues including truancy, credit or academic skill deficiencies, social and family challenges or learning/behavioral disorders. Ombudsman operates 74 sites in 13 states.
According to Title 1 facilitator Harley Grove, Liberty County School system’s alternative school, The Ombudsman Program, is among the long list of budget items recently forced to adjust to fit budget crunches.  
“The biggest impact is that we’ve moved the middle school program on campus,” Grove said.
Previously, there were three Ombudsman sites, two mainly for high school students and one for middle school students. Only the two for high school students remain open this semester.
He said the decision to close the third site was based primarily on financial reasons.
The middle school students who previously went to an off-campus Ombudsman building are now going for a full-day at area middle schools. He said the students are still isolated from their peers and have access to instruction support and remediation classes, but will now follow the regular system schedule.
He said this includes the three system-wide furlough days.
“They won’t have longer days though,” Grove said explaining that they are under a contract with the Ombudsman instructors that prohibits longer days.
Last spring there were about 90 middle school students who completed the program.
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