Langston and New Directions Co-Location

Overview

The recent retirement announcement of the Langston High School Continuation Program Cleveland James coupled with the upcoming Marshall Building lease expiration, created a unique opportunity to revisit previous conversations related to efficiencies within APS alternative programs. As a result, the New Directions program move and be co-located at the Langston-Brown building with the Langston Continuation Program for the 2021-22 school year to improve the experiences for students in both programs and remain at the location with plans to merge the programs beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Langston and New Directions are both small programs, with a combined total of 115 students based on the April 2021 Membership Report. The small number of students limits course offerings, and most teachers are part-time employees that work for both programs. Combining the two programs under one roof would create several staff efficiencies, including the following:

  • More full-time teacher positions, serving both groups of students;
  • The elimination of one administrator position, providing savings in the budget;
  • Currently shared teachers will no longer need to drive between schools, saving time and money.
  • Possible related services and custodial staff efficiencies

In addition, students in the New Directions program will have access to amenities available at other secondary schools, including a library, weight room, kitchen, student lounge, tennis courts, basketball court, and gym. New Directions students already travel to Langston to participate in physical education classes.  Further, the co-location and eventual merger of the two programs will also create opportunities for Langston students to receive APS transportation, which is not currently provided, increasing equitable access to all students to school.   Starting for the 2021-22 school year, Chip Bonar, who currently serves as the administrator of the New Directions program, will serve as administrator of both programs. It is expected that a new program, inclusive of the current Langston and New Directions programs, will be developed beginning for the 2022-23 school year.

FAQ’s

Q: Why is APS co-locating the Langston and New Directions programs?

A: APS is moving the New Directions Program to the Langston building, under one administrator, to achieve staff efficiencies, cost savings and improve the experiences for students in both programs. In addition, students in the New Directions program will have access to additional amenities that were not available to them in the current New Directions building.  

Q: Who will be the administrator for the programs?

A: Chip Bonar, the current New Directions Program administrator, will serve as administrator for both of the programs.  

Q: What is the timeline for the co-location of the programs?

A: The move will take place over the summer of 2021 so both programs will be co-located at the start of the 2021-22 school year. 

Q: What is the determining factor to co-locate the programs?

A: The recent retirement announcement of Cleveland James, Administrator of the Langston High School Continuation Program, coupled with the upcoming Marshall Building lease expiration in 2025, creates a unique opportunity to achieve efficiencies within two APS alternative programs. 

Q: What are the benefits of moving the New Directions program into the Langston-Brown building?

A: The small number of students at both programs limits course offerings, and most teachers are part-time FTEs that work for both programs. Combining the two programs under one roof would create several staff efficiencies, including:

  • More full-time teacher positions, serving both groups of students;
  • Provides budgetary savings;
  • Currently shared teachers will no longer need to commute between schools, saving time and money;
  • Possible related services and custodial staff efficiencies; and
  • Food services would only need to prepare and deliver food to one site each day.

Q: What are the benefits of the move for students?

A: Students in the New Directions program will have access to amenities available at other secondary schools, including a library, weight room, kitchen, student lounge, tennis courts, basketball court, and gym.

Q: How many students and staff would be affected?

A: Langston and New Directions are both small programs, with approximately 103 students based on the April 2021 Membership Report.

  • New Directions has 12 students and 7 staff members
  • The Langston Continuation Program has 91 students and 20 staff members

Q: Who would oversee the program upon the Langston administrator’s retirement?

A: The current administrator of New Directions Program will serve as the administrator for both programs. 

Q: What is the difference between the Langston and New Directions programs?

A: New Directions is a secondary program that gives court-involved students with parole officers, a second chance. Langston offers students an alternative way to achieve a standard high school diploma. Additional information is available in the High School Guidebook: English | Spanish.  

Q: What are the demographics of students in both programs?

  • Langston students are 69% Hispanic; 16% White; 11% Black; 3% Asian and 1% multiracial
  • New Directions students are 69% Hispanic; 19% Black; and 6% White.

Q: What steps are being taken to engage families and community prior to relocation?

A: The administrators of both programs will inform families of the change and information will be shared throughout the transition process with students and families.  

Q: Who else uses the Langston-Brown Community Center building?

A: Besides APS, the Department of Parks and Recreation has programs, including a Senior Citizen Center. Community members also use the community center. Additional information about the activities available at the community center are available online.

Q: Are the Langston and New Directions programs merging? A: Not at this time, but in the 2021-22 school year, the programs will be co-located. APS is considering plans to merge the programs at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year. 

Q: How does this move proposal fit with APS long-term planning?

A: The goal of the PreK-12 Instructional Program Pathways (IPP) is to assess the locations of programs and consolidate programs to achieve efficiencies that supports the Operational Excellence goal in the APS Strategic Plan.