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Advanced program for Roanoke students in danger of being cut

March 23, 2010
  • Program director Ginger Eure said, "No one comes back and says this program is a total failure and my life is in shambles and blames it on CITY school. The ones who come back have found it very helpful."
Program director Ginger Eure said, "No one comes back and says this program is a total failure and my life is in shambles and blames it on CITY school. The ones who come back have found it very helpful."

It's easy to talk about school budget cuts. It's a little harder to understand exactly how those cuts will affect students.

One example of a program in danger is the CITY School.  It is an honors program in Roanoke City that's been around since 1982.  The students say the program is invaluable and needs to be saved.

CITY School is for high school seniors and it focuses on AP English and AP Government. The classes are designed to be a lot like college courses and administrators believe it's been a huge success with more than a thousand graduates.

Program director Ginger Eure said, "No one comes back and says this program is a total failure and my life is in shambles and blames it on CITY school. The ones who come back have found it very helpful."

Currently 40 students are enrolled in the program.  They start off at Patrick Henry or William Fleming High Schools and then in the afternoon come downtown for two hours.

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Beyond rigorous coursework, students are required to do community service and guest speakers are frequent.

On the government side, students often visit city hall which is just a block away.

On the literature side, the group makes once a year trip to Europe to see the places they learn about.  They're scheduled to leave in a week.

Students say they wouldn't get these experiences anywhere else.

That's why they along with parents whose children have been in the program are surprised and saddened to hear CITY School may be shutting down because of budget cuts.

Genie Lindsey is a parent of a CITY School student. "I never understand that really because they are our future and anything that is an asset to their education and their future should always stay."

The closing would save the school system a $150,000 a year. These advanced placement courses may still be offered at the high schools but students say it won't be the same.

The school budget is not final, but under every scenario, CITY School is listed for cuts. So the chances of saving this program are slim to none.

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