Hope Public Schools Superintendent announces future of HAPS program
Above: Hope Public Schools Superintendent Jonathan Crossley announces the system's decision regarding the future of Hope Academy of Public Service in a video posted yesterday.

Following a decision by the Hope Public Schools board Tuesday night, Superintendent Jonathan Crossley announced in a video posted to the HPS website that the Hope Academy of Public Service program, now located in the former Garland Elementary building at 601 West Sixth Street, will be moved to Beryl Henry Elementary and Yerger Middle School starting in the fall of 2025.

The fifth and sixth grades at HAPS would be moved to Beryl Henry. The seventh and eighth, to Yerger Middle School.

In the video statement, Crossley said this would allow for the kinds of subject matter and teaching identified with the HAPS program to be made available to more students at the schools to which the HAPS program, which he said will be kept a "school within a school," would be moving.

Crossley said no teachers or staff would lose their jobs as a result of the move. The state of the former Garland Elementary building he cited as an prime influence on his advocating a move of students and staff out from the facility.

The decision comes as a result of a decision made by the HPS school board at Tuesday night's regular meeting held at Hope High School in favor of splitting the HAPS students between Beryl Henry and Yerger. The other option, to place all of HAPS students and staff to Beryl Henry did not pass. The board voted in favor of the 2025-26 school year being the first year of the move rather than next year. Board member Bubba Powers had expressed concerns about rushing to move too soon. 

At the same meeting, Crossley provided the board with two options for changing the school year from the traditional model of starting in mid-August, including several holiday periods and ending in early June. He emphasized that neither option, one starting July 25th and ending in June, the other starting July 18th and ending in May, is year-round school.  He compared the July 25th option to four-day week calendars adopted at public schools in Magnolia, Osceola and, recently, by Nashville.

There was no vote on the calendar change at Tuesday's meeting but discussions will be ongoing, Crossley said.