Stop the New Alternative Elementary School for K-2nd graders

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The Fresh Start Academy would serve as a separate, alternative school where students in kindergarten through second grade, who are removed from their regular classrooms for disruptive behavior, would be required to attend for a period of 45 days. Under state law and regulations, such removal is considered an illegal suspension.

The pre-k through second years are the foundations of academic and social learning. What message are we sending if we allow students to be cast aside before their education truly begins. For the youngest learners who need extra support, best practices call for parent engagement, training for teachers and staff, instructional aids and services, and increased behavior specialists in the regular school setting. We need transparency about the use of these tools and the process by which students are being redirected to this program.

Blatant violations of state and federal laws against education segregation and expulsion of children during their early childhood development are unacceptable. The ACLU joins the Charles County NAACP, Advocates for Children and Youth, Disability Rights Maryland, Office of the Public Defender, Public Justice Center.

Thank you for your support.

Please take action now.

Message Recipients: Charles County School Board

Young Black child writing in the textbook
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Your Message
Dear Board Member

I urge you to cancel the creation of an alternative school elementary school otherwise known as the Fresh Start Academy.

Charles County needs to invest more in support students, especially young students, educational and emotional needs. Creating this school for Kindergarten to 2nd grade goes against common sense and the state law.

We’ve seen the damage that these policies and practices have on students. We can’t let it happen. I urge you to follow state law and reconsider the creation of an alternative school elementary school otherwise known as the Fresh Start Academy.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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