Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Macomb School District to implement behavioral intervention program

The Macomb School District will pilot an intervention program for students who need extra help with behavioral and social-emotional issues.

Superintendent Patrick Twomey said the Alternative Learning Opportunities Program (ALOP) is already being used in a Chicago suburban district.

“I think that they’re in their second year and they’re already expanding the program because it’s had so much success,” he said.

Dr. Twomey said there’s a need for the program in the Macomb district, especially at the middle school level.

He said those students were in third, fourth, or fifth grade when the pandemic hit, so they missed opportunities to learn social cues in school during those formative years.

“A psychologist recently told me that if you look at our middle school kids today across the country, while they’re young teenagers, they’re really nine and ten years old in terms of that social, emotional IQ piece,” Twomey said.

“That’s the reason we’re seeing so many issues at that level in terms of how those students respond to conflict and to each other.”

MAC 185 will begin ALOP next school year.

Twomey said grant funding and Regional Office of Education 26 will cover the first-year cost.

The district will hire four interventionists – two for the middle school and two for the high school. Each interventionist will handle a caseload of 30 students.

Twomey said parents will need to agree to have their child participate in the program, and the interventionists, parents, and their child will need to agree on goals.

The Canton school district will join Macomb in modeling the program for ROE 26, which serves Fulton, Hancock, McDonough, and Schuyler counties.

Twomey said he is excited to try ALOP because there is not another program like it in west central Illinois.

He said the Macomb district has also signed an agreement with the federally funded Bella Ease after-school program to help at-risk kids next school year.

He said that program provides transportation to a specific location to help students get their homework done.

Program educators also talk to students about the importance of school, the program has a social/emotional component, they do activities, and they feed the kids before sending them home.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.