JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — On paper, a disproportionate number of students in the Jamestown School District have the deck stacked against them from the start.
Some 72 percent of children live in poverty and more than 500 of them have suffered from at least one adverse childhood experience, said Bret Apthorpe, the district’s superintendent.
To help provide some relief, he’s leading an effort to help those students feel physically and mentally safe at school.
Apthorpe's three-part plan includes restructuring secondary school curriculum to meet the needs of the area's labor market, as well as creating a summer education and literacy program.
He also plans to re-open Rogers Elementary as a "Success Academy" complete with 11 service providers, like mental health professionals, for the more than 280 students in grades five through to 12 skipping school.
"Kids have to be healthy, we know how to help kids overcome trauma, we just need the setting to do it in," he said.
Apthorpe says the goal is to improve the economy, local living standards and student achievement.
The Success Academy is set to open for the 2019-2020 school year.