Dr. Jeff Perry, Hamblen County school superintendent, said Friday the school system is examining on whether to change policy on how it handles children assigned to Miller Boyd Alternative School.
He said the question that school officials have is whether “we would be better off doing a more traditional alternative school,” he said.
But, he said if any steps are taken it would not require any more expenditures monetarily.
“We will not be creating another school,” he said. “We will not be hiring additional staff.”
Perry stressed that the school system is only in discussion phase at this point and has not made any decisions.
“We’re going to make sure everyone has a say,” Perry said.
The school, located on Snyder Road, houses students from kindergarten to 12th grade.
Currently, the school serves students who have made “bad decisions” and there are two different ways a student can be sent to the alternative school, Perry said.
The first is zero-tolerance policy violators who may bring alcohol or drugs to school. Those students are automatically sent to Miller Boyd. The second is students who have multiple disciplinary infractions throughout the school year.
The possible change in policy could be more of a preventive measure than a reactionary one, Perry said.
The new policy would be for school officials to identify at-risk children and send them to Miller Boyd for extra help and support before any serious incidents occur.
“One is more of a preventative piece,” Perry said.
He said there would not be any extra staff needed because if the new policy takes effect, the zero-tolerance children would then be asked to take night school classes, freeing up room for other students.
But Perry stressed before any steps are taken stakeholders would be asked for input.
“It’s not 100% done,” he said.