There has not been much word lately, on this side of the river, about "The Bridge"--the alternative learning program that was supposed to open last week at the corner of Warren and Fourth streets--not since September 3, when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the enabling legislation, but today, from the other side of the river, the Catskill Daily Mail has an update: "'Bridge' project on life support."
In this article, some interesting information is revealed by Kathleen Farrell, the superintendent of the Catskill Central School District, which was to be a partner in the Columbia-Greene Partnership Academy. The teachers for "The Bridge" were to come from Berkshire Union Free School, but according to Farrell, because of the late signing of the bill by Cuomo, Berkshire "redeployed their staff." Although HCSD superintendent Maria Suttmeier last predicted the school would open in January 2014, Farrell says "they're looking at possibly January or next (school) year."
There's more. According to Farrell, the bill that was approved by the state legislature and signed by Cuomo only addressed creating a school at 364 Warren Street for special education students and did not include alternative education students. So, according to Farrell, the bill has to be amended. What is not addressed in the article is the question of whether or not a public referendum is required for voters in the Catskill Central School District to approve busing students out of the district to attend an alternative learning program.
Thanks to a Gossips reader for bringing this article to my attention.