School systems continuing relationship with DAY Program
Published 2:52 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Students in all schools in Shelby County will still be eligible to attend the Developing Alabama Youth Program in Alabaster for the upcoming school year, as the county’s school systems are continuing their financial support of the program.
During an Aug. 3 meeting, the Alabaster Board of Education voted unanimously to extend its contract with the DAY Program, which came shortly after the Pelham City School System also agreed to renew its contract with the program for another year.
The DAY Program serves students from all private, public and homeschools in Shelby County who are struggling in a traditional classroom environment, and receives funding from local school systems, the Shelby County Commission and area civic organizations. DAY Program Executive Director Miller said about 67 percent of the program’s students are from Shelby County Schools, with the other 33 percent coming from the Pelham and Alabaster school systems.
The Shelby County School System’s current contract with the DAY Program expires in October, and Miller said she expects the county Board of Education to renew the contract before then.
“It’s truly a good partnership to do what’s right for the kids,” Miller said during an Aug. 18 interview, noting DAY Program students from the Alabaster and Pelham school systems “did not miss a day” in the program as the two cities separated from the Shelby County School System over the past few years.
Most of the kids at the DAY Program, which is housed in the second floor of the Alabaster YMCA building, are referred to the program by teachers or by the Juvenile Court system because they were disruptive in class, were having trouble coping with a school environment or had fallen behind on their academic work.
Over the years, the DAY Program has helped hundreds of struggling students to find success and eventually graduate from their home high schools.
The Shelby County School System provides transportation and classroom materials for all DAY Program students, and the Pelham and Alabaster school systems pay based on the number of students they have in the program.
Funding for court-referred students comes from the Alabama Department of Youth Services.
As of the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, the program had an enrollment of 42, which is down from previous years, Miller said. The program has the capacity to serve 70 students.
“Enrollment is down for us right now, but by October it will be full again,” Miller said, adding the program had a wait list for most of the 2014-2015 school year. “There are some kids that just need a second chance.”