Parents caught off guard as WCSD moves behavioral program

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- Outside looking in is how Hunter Lake Elementary School parents felt after they learned the Washoe County School District (WCSD) is moving a behavioral program to their school next year.

A parent's meeting was held December 13, 2017, at Hunter Lake Elementary School. Washoe County parents went with questions, but left with uncertainty.

"A decision without a lot of plans," said Jeff Jamieson, Reno resident.

The meeting was regarding moving the ‘Day Treatment Program,’ which is for students with behavior issues; from Sarah Winnemucca Elementary School to Hunter Lake Elementary.

"How they are rolling it out to parents, it doesn't give us any confidence," said Alesa Henson, Hunter Lake Elementary parent.

Henson says there were a lot of unanswered questions, such as how many students will move to Hunter Lake and what the staff numbers will look like. She also says the district wanted to announce the program in June 2018.

"They actually didn't notify us. I found out through some teachers that were told they shouldn't be speaking about this," said Henson.

Henson says the district stated it wants to move the program to Hunter Lake, so they can better utilize resources with other programs and save money.

"It is for fiscal responsibility, however; they don't have what we are going to need, so I don't know how they can say it's fiscally responsible," said Henson.

WCSD Deputy Superintendent Kristen McNeill says the district didn't have a lot of answers because they are putting together a plan and wanted the parent's input.

“We want to make sure that we had the input from all three different types of programs. We don't want to say this is how it's going to look without their input," said McNeill.

She says the district doesn't know how much the program will cost at Hunter Lake and they expect to save money, but don't know how much because of what the staffing ratio will look like

But Hunter Lake parents were shocked about the lack of certainty.

"The thing we teach our children is that 'If you want to be successful, have a plan,' said Sara Todd, Hunter Lake Elementary parent.