Published: Sunday, September 18, 2011, 6:33 AM
By Terri Finch Hamilton | The Grand Rapids Press
Heidi Cate was in one of those spots — everybody’s had one — where she was It. The longtime therapist and educator was in a countywide meeting to talk about how to best serve the needs of kids expelled from school. The state says they can’t go back to public school for 180 days. “Within six months, expelled kids are either incarcerated or they’ve dropped out,” Cate says. “What a loss — that’s 200 kids a year. Everybody says these are the most difficult kids — that they’re beyond hope. “The more I looked at it, the more the kids became real and their stories became real,” she recalls. So she took the idea of a special school for expelled kids and made it real.