Petersburg Schools work on contract for middle school option

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – A contract agreement is being hashed out between Petersburg Schools and its new "lead turnaround partner," Cambridge Education. It's all part of an effort to increase academic performance.

A representative with Cambridge Education says the price tag for service is about $300 per student plus additional fees.  A final cost won't be known until a contract is agreed upon.

Starting in September middle school students in Petersburg will have a choice. They can opt to learn under Petersburg Schools or an "independent program" provided by the British based company Cambridge Education.

"What we're hoping to accomplish for Petersburg Schools is for every student to have maximum success," said Trevor Yates, VP of Cambridge Education.

A representative with the company is in town conducting what it calls a quality review of the district.

"First of all to look at where the schools are currently, what's going well in those schools and build on that," said Yates.

The independent partner was selected by the school system as part of a mandate from the state. The goal, in part, is to boost student performance and help turn the school system around.

"Teamwork makes the dream work and as we move together and move forward, we'll find we'll be able to help our students be stronger," said Dr. Alvera Parrish, Petersburg Assistant Superintendent of Schools.

Petersburg Schools and Cambridge Education are working on a contract which will outline the exact scope of the job, goals, how those goals will be achieved and cost.

"The only question I have is 'what's the difference,'" said Petersburg parent, Jutan Lipscomb.

Lipscomb still has plenty of questions about the middle school option program. She also has one wish for all students in Petersburg.

"For the kids to get more education, to learn more and to be brighter," said Lipscomb.

A contract between Petersburg and Cambridge Education is expected to be finalized by July.

"Until they're able to enter a contract with firm deliverables -- terms of the contract then there is no way to start," said NBC12 Education Specialist, Dr. Bill Bosher.

So far, one public comment session has been held where parents could ask Cambridge Education questions. Several more will take place before the start of the new school year in September.

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