Alternative Education

Frequently Asked Questions and Promising Practices

II. Practices that May Benefit Students, Parents, and the School Community

10. Climate and organization — promising practices in Alternative Education

The Alternative Education program/school is supported and respected by the district administration and greater community as a high quality option for students. All students are held to high academic and personal standards, and an emphasis on "getting to know" each student is a high priority.

Each Alternative Education program/school has its own handbook that is aligned with the other handbooks in the district, and that sets forth its philosophy and purpose, and a description of student expectations - including criteria for exiting/returning to the traditional school, if relevant. The program or school has a system for identifying students who are failing to achieve the learning goals and objectives, and for delivering timely and effective individual assistance to the struggling learner.

To the extent that students are placed in a program or school for serious behavior related needs, the student's behavior is addressed as an educational matter requiring, for example, positive interventions and supports, strategies designed to promote self regulation, self esteem, and respect for others. Moreover, such an instructional plan is consistent with the goal of keeping students in school so they may, if provided appropriate instructional support from qualified staff, more fully engage in their learning, and achieve the challenging standards necessary to graduate.

Each program or school also acknowledges a commitment to broad principles of youth development, e.g., recognition that all youth have capacity for positive and productive lives; they are valued resources to be developed rather than problems to be managed; there is a need to build competencies in domains of health, social, intellectual, vocational, citizenship and mental health; and they have needs to met with respect to safety, self-worth, mastery, autonomy, belonging, and self-awareness.

back to top
Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.