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Liverpool unveils high school academy proposal

FOCUS, Creative and Performing Arts presented as first of six possible academies

Attendance climbed a few 50 seats or so during tonight's Liverpool Central School District's high school academy presentation. The presentation, which began approximately 10 minutes after the LCSD Board of Education called the session to order, lasted 40 minutes.

The presentation began at 7 p.m. and was held at Liverpool high School.

Many community members mentioned that the presentation was "going too fast," while most played "reporter" and took notes during the presentation.

The majority of the information was presented by Dr. Maureen Patterson, LCSD assistant superintendent for improvement, who said that much research had gone into the proposal for the district.

For the 2010-11 school year, Patterson said, if the proposal is accepted, then the goal would be to have the Free of Obstacles Creating Unlimited Success or FOCUS Academy at Liverpool up and running along with the Creative and Performing Arts Academy at Liverpool.

FOCUS would be designed for 150 to 200 "non-traditional students" who require a smaller setting and alternative school schedules. The alternative schedules will better benefit a student who is working to help support their family during the economic downturn, said Anthony Davis, Associate Principal for grades 10 through 12 at LHS.

Davis also said that FOCUS could help "attendance troubled students" have a better high school experience that will lead to completing their high school education.

The Creative and Performing Arts Academy would serve students who are interested in a wide range of arts, including both vocal and instrumental music, drawing, painting, dance and theater.

The FOCUS Academy would be based at the Wetzel Road Elementary building while the Creative and Performing Arts Academy's location could possibly be LHS or the Annex.

Because there were timelines expressed and talk of research, several audience members wondered how long the idea of an academy was in the works in the LCSD.

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