School board approves program for at-risk 4th-, 5th-graders

School classroom
FILE PHOTO
Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM.

Young Okaloosa County students struggling in a traditional school environment will soon have another education option. Beginning in August, about 40 fourth- and fifth-graders will attend LEAP (Learning Enrichment Alternative Program) Community School, the newest piece of Okaloosa Academy Charter School.

The Okaloosa County School Board approved the new approach last week after learning the goal was to help at-risk students with “intensive academic and behavioral support” and then return them to the district for middle school. Students will likely rotate classes during the day and will have to sign a behavior contract like the older students.

The Rader Group, which will operate the charter school, will choose a location different from the academy just off Lewis Turner Boulevard. The group — which has operated charter schools in Florida since 1996 — runs Okaloosa Academy campuses in Fort Walton Beach and Crestview, Walton Academy in DeFuniak Springs and Learning Academy in Milton.

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