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Alternative Schools Planning to Merge

Greenwich's two alternative schools are planning to merge locales to alleviate classroom overcrowding and potentially combine the programs, school officials said last week.

In the district's recent 2011-12 budget proposed by Superintendent Sidney Freund, $200,000 has been allocated for the move. Moving the two institutions — the Community Learning Program at Sacred Heart Church in Byram and ARCH School on East Elm Street — into a different, larger space would not only help ease the overcrowding, but may also make it easier to combine the programs.

"The programs are becoming more similar than dissimilar," Robert Lichtenfeld, managing director of operations for Greenwich Public Schools, said in a published report.

Community Learning Program is a small program aimed at providing services to students who haven't been academically successful at Greenwich High School. An offshoot of Greenwich High, ARCH School serves students with emotional and behavioral issues.

In 2007, ARCH School relocated from the Byram Archibald Neighborhood Center to Milbank, a building neighboring Julian Curtiss School that was previously used by school maintenance staff. Representatives of ARCH School declined to comment on the potential move. According to published reports, Lichtenfeld also declined to comment on the new location because of pending lease negotiations.

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