Cutting class

Hasty departure of RISD chief leaves district in a school daze

For its after-school programs, the company has developed a curriculum that merges education with entertainment. It was created for children--in kindergarten through the eighth grade--who might otherwise spend their after-school time in day-care programs, and it's intended to teach them about numerous subjects.

Parents will have to pay $3 an hour to enroll their children--who are called, appropriately enough, "Voyagers" in the company's promotional materials. Voyager, in turn, hires teachers at the participating school, paying $40 a day to have them stay an extra two hours, and uses the school's facilities.

Voyager's promotional materials boast of multidisciplinary programs dealing with such subjects as astronomy, mythology, architecture, anthropology, and entomology. There's even a business program called Success City, U.S.A. in which "the Voyagers...are young business owners, employees, and consumers." The children are even encouraged to make loans and prepare rsums--which they might consider handing over to the RISD school board.

With Johnson scheduled to be out the door next month, the board has begun its search for a replacement. So far, the recruiting firm hired by the board has produced 10 possible candidates, six of whom are from Texas. Board member Cochran says he expects a decision as early as the first week of April.

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