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Alternative school placements

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Full Member
3 months ago
Hello. I am looking for feedback or advice. I don't have many people to collaborate with in my community. I am an alternative Jr High teacher in an urban school district. I am new at it. Our program is small, with fewer than 30 kids per year. We are in the process of redesigning the program.

I want to make the program a sort of 'time out". Student placements should be short and kids should be able to return to their home schools asap. Our setting is so small. We can't replicate the traditional Jr High experience here that students need to prepare for high school.My program will focus mostly on life skills and pro social activities.

My questions are:

1. What reasons do you think are valid for a 7th or 8th grader to be referred to an alternative placement?

2. What criteria do you think should be met before they can return to their home school?
Full Member
3 months ago
Hi, I am not an expert, but have been working at an alternative high school since September. Our program is a school of choice, so students are allowed to stay until they choose to leave. While there are some things the student lose by being in the program (mainly extracurriculars) the small class-size and strong social-emotional support allow students struggling at their comprehensive high schools to succeed and thrive.

From your question, it sounds like students should be recommended for placement in your program if they aren't demonstrating the key skills to succeed in at their home schools and need an opportunity for an academic reset. These skills could include attendance, compliance with reasonable direction, work completion, self-advocacy, problem-resolution, perseverance, or abiltiy to cope with frustration.

To be returned to their home schools, the students will need to have demonstrated those missing skills. For example, students may return to their home school after attending for two full weeks without any attendance or disciplinary issues as long as they have successfully completed one project-based learning unit, identified a factor interferring with their success, and created a reasonable and do-able plan for resolving this problem.
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