The Idaho National Guard Youth ChalleNGe (IDNG) School in Pierce is nearing the hiring stage. IDNG has issued a hiring plan which calls for a staggered schedule, and federal money has been released to begin the long awaited program.
Idaho will fund $1.4 million, with matching federal dollars of $4.2 million. Superintendent, Bob Vian, speaking Monday evening to the School Board, passed along the rather convoluted path the money will travel. “The state sends the money to us” he said. “We send the money to the military; the military is going to send a check to us for the teachers and students. It will be paid for in full by them” he stated. “The Food Service Program will be contracted, billed high, and adjusted every month based upon use.”
The school year will be a longer one for teachers, teaching for 22 weeks, taking a four week break, and going for another 22 weeks, thereby earning contract teachers double the regular salary. The school will be “broken out” as a separate entity from Joint School District 171, otherwise the increased salaries would figure into the district’s overall average. That would negatively affect the Pay for Performance structure currently in place. Mr. Vian said the IDNG School will be one of the only schools in Idaho that, in fact, has money.
The school district will contract with the National Guard for school bussing, food, and educational staff. The state will advertise for a head teacher (Principal) in January 2013.
Mr. Vian said the school, by its nature, will call for unique staffing. There will be a G.E.D. program for former drop-out students, attempting to earn a high school equivalency diploma. Students will also do community service on weekends, tied in t d teacher, as there is a high special education threshold involved,” said Mr. Vian.
Vian said the IDNG program, unlike the one in Bremerton, WA, will be required to take every student “that walks through the door.” There is a catch, however, once a student has entered the program and leaves voluntarily, is expelled, or leaves the campus unauthorized, he or she will not be allowed to return to the program. “It’s kind of like a high school dance,” said Vian. “Once in – and once out.”
The program will have a very military structure to it with a Commandant, and Cadré Leaders. Students will be working virtually ‘round the clock including mandatory weekend study halls. When asked if the students would be provided with religious services, Mr. Vian said, knowing the military, he was sure they would have a Chaplain or other religious activity of some sort.
A Program Coordinator and RPM Coordinator will be hired in December of this year. Beginning January 2013, the following positions will be filled: a Budget Officer; Recruiter; Commandant; LOG Specialist, and an Administrative Assistant.
By March, a Lead Teacher (Principal); Lead Counselor; MIS; two RPM Assistants; an Administrative Assistant, and a Maintenance person will be hired.
Five contract instructors; two Counselors, and two Case Managers will come on board in May. In September 2013, three Shift Supervisors; a Cadre Team Leader; a Nurse Practitioner, and Medical Assistant will join the team.
The school is set up to accommodate up to 120 students. There will be a total of 54 positions, 33 initial hires and 8 contracted workers, with 13 additional positions to be filled as the program grows.
Mr. Vian, accompanied by the district’s Business Manager, Special Education Director, Food Service Manager, and probably one special education teacher, will travel to Bremerton, WA to observe the National Guard operation there. The Guard will begin an advertising campaign within ten days, to include television, radio, and newsprint media announcements on the program’s particulars. Their website is located at: http://www.youthchallengeidaho.org/.