Rise & Shine: New school will offer alternative to suspensions and expulsions

Good morning!

Detroit will soon have a new alternative high school for students who’ve repeatedly gotten in trouble in traditional schools. The new school, which got the green light Tuesday night from the Detroit school board, is designed to reduce suspensions and expulsions and keep troubled students in school.

As Koby Levin reported this week, the school board Tuesday also approved a plan to consider hiring teachers with minimal classroom training — a  idea that triggered a vigorous debate online and at the school board.

Keep reading to learn more about these stories and other education news.

Kimberly Hayes Taylor, senior reporter

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, or forward to a friend who cares about public education.

ALTERNATIVE The district’s new alternative school will open this fall in a building that once housed a legendary school for teen moms. Chalkbeat

TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS Some parents and school board members have raised concerns about a district hiring plan that includes recruiting teachers with alternative certification, but defenders say such programs help skilled professional college grads get into teaching, even if they didn’t major in education. Chalkbeat

SUSPENSIONS A new study shows that students who get suspended from school pass fewer classes, which increases their risk of dropping out, and lowers the odds of them graduating high school. Chalkbeat

SPECIAL ED SHORTFALLS Detroit’s main district is failing its students with special needs and disabilities by not providing legally mandated services, enough qualified teachers, timely evaluations and properly identifying students who need intervention, two separate audits its superintendent ordered show. The Detroit News

CLEANED COFFERS Detroit’s main district is taking legal action to recover millions of dollars from a janitorial and maintenance services contractor after an internal investigation uncovered overbilling and a failure to screen employees working in schools. Detroit Free Press

SECURITY GUARDS Although it renewed its $5 million contract with a security firm with guards in 95 district schools, the Detroit schools superintendent wants security officers to be hired as district employees in at least 10 schools this year. WDIV

SICK CAMPER A student attending summer camp at a Detroit high school was diagnosed with viral meningitis, but the district said the camp will continue after it found no other students or staff were affected. WJBK