ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : SI-99-077

Date Created : 01/22/1999


Co-op Directors
Secondary Principals
Elementary Principals
other: Elementary and Secondary School Counselors

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Optional
Section:   School Improvement and Instructional Support - Dr. Kevin Penix
Alternative Learning Environment Trainings

Regulatory Authority:

Contact Person:
Ms. Ann Smith

Phone Number:


The Arkansas Department of Education and the Pygmalion Commission on Non-traditional Education are partnering to present a number of trainings for Alternative Learning Environment (ALE) educators around the state. The workshops will be spread over four months and are being held in places accessible to everyone with a minimum of driving time. The first five workshops will be from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM with a light supper at 6:00 PM. There will not be a charge for these trainings; however, participants will need to register by phone to the appropriate site so that food arrangements can be made. Reservations should be made no later than a week prior to each scheduled workshop.

Joanie Turner, who directed the ALE at Scott for several years and is now Coordinator of Alternative Programs for Pulaski County School District, will not only give her recipe for her successful years at Scott, but will also discuss many of the innovative strategies she is using at the new Alpha Academy. Ms. Turner is bringing two of her staff members, who will share their expertise with working with very difficult students. Sandy Williams brings a long-standing involvement with youth. His forte includes conflict resolution, Aggression Replacement Training (Peace Curriculum), gang prevention, and skill building. Mr. Brooks combines critical thinking and character-centered teaching to create positive change through goal setting and lessons of change. Both of these young men are very knowledgeable and entertaining speakers.

The same training will be offered at each site, therefore, anyone may attend as many trainings at any site as he/she chooses. THE ONE NECESSARY REQUIREMENT IS TO MAKE RESERVATIONS ONE WEEK BEFORE THE WORKSHOP. Please call Ann Smith, at 870-932-3396, for any cancellations. Ms. Smith will be out of the country from January 21st to February 8th. If you need to reach her during this time, please leave a message on her answering machine and she will return your call on the 9th. The workshops will be beneficial for any school persons who work with youth - all are certainly welcome.

Topics of Discussion:
Conflict Resolution (A.R.T.) - Sandy Williams
Helping Shape Young People through Critical Thinking - Lawrence Brooks

Joanie Turner has been active in alternative education for many years. She ran the alternative program for the cooperative school in which Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County School Districts co-oped. When that was dissolved, Ms. Turner set up one of the most successful alternative programs in the state. Recently, she became Coordinator of Alternative Education Programs for the Pulaski County School District and is responsible for all of the district's Alternative Learning Environments (ALE) and In School Suspension Programs. The new Alpha Academy combines many of the excellent qualities of the Scott School, as well as many new and innovative ideas, which Joanie developed from a number of out-of-state visits to other outstanding programs. She will share her art of getting the best out of unsuccessful students, as well as how her programs have dealt with gang problems, drugs, devil worship, and other disturbing problems. Other topics she will cover will be motivation, prevention of burnout, and techniques of working with students. Ms. Turner has been a member of the Pygmalion Commission on Non-traditional Education since its inception in 1993, and participated in the writing of the Pygmalion Guidelines under which Arkansas school districts operate their ALEs.

Joanie will be assisted by two of her staff members who are excellent presenters and know their subject matter well.

BIOGRAPHY: Sandy Williams
Title: Facilitator of Alternative Education
Degree in History/Math

Sandy has spent most of his lifetime working with at-risk kids through community groups, church groups, and actively with Alternative Education from its conception. Mr. Williams conducts workshops throughout the state on conflict resolution, Aggression Replacement Training (A.R.T.), as well gang prevention workshops and skill building. He is also the youth pastor at his local church, as well as a husband and father.

BIOGRAPHY: Lawrence Brooks
Title: Alternative Education Trainer
Degree in Broadcast Communications

Lawrence Brooks has worked for over twenty years with kids at risk. He has been involved in alternative education since its conception. Mr. Brooks is the host of a local television production entitled, "Story Time with Lawrence." Mr. Brooks is also the storyteller for the Museum of Discovery. He combines critical thinking and character education to create positive change through goal setting and lessons of change.


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