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28 students moved from Langston Focus School after two teachers resign  October 11, 2017 – 06:09 am
Danville Public Schools

Staff resignations have caused more than two dozen Langston Focus School students to move back into regular classrooms, the Danville School Board learned Thursday evening.

Twenty-eight middle school students enrolled in the alternative program at Langston were moved back into Bonner and Westwood middle schools on Thursday. Talking with the school board, Chief Academic Officer Sandra Andrews said two of the three middle school alternative program teachers had recently resigned, prompting the student transfer.

“With SOL testing coming up after spring break, we were very concerned about what we were doing to teach those children, ” Andrews said.

Administrators spoke with the principals and guidance counselors at Westwood and Bonner middle schools in making the decision. Bonner will take 14 of the students, Westwood will take 12 and two students will be home-bound.

Andrews said she was hopeful the students would continue the improvements made at Langston.

“They want to be back in school, ” she said.

Director of Safety and Security Dave Cochran said Danville-Pittsylvania Community Services was working with the students two times a week to help them with adjusting to the new setting.

“It was undertaken to do what was best for those children, ” Cochran said.

Danville Superintendent Stanley Jones declined to comment on why the teachers resigned.

Also during the meeting, Jones gave a presentation on the second draft of the 2017-18 budget proposal. The superintendent addressed the challenges facing the system — and in particular its teachers — before delving into specific new positions and programs in the budget.

Stricter Virginia accreditation standards, less state funding and a national teacher shortage all had an effect on school performance, he said.

“Teaching has become more difficult, ” Jones said.

Jones said the budget proposal would reinvest in teachers by adding positions like an additional social worker, a community outreach specialist and a facilitator of services of support personnel. The last position would be responsible for helping retain teachers and combating the teacher shortage, Jones said.


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