Alternative Education

Frequently Asked Questions and Promising Practices

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

20. Student enrollment process - promising practices in Alternative Education

Application and acceptance procedures for alternative education programs/schools include the following assurances:

  • The Alternative Education program/school has a transparent and defined purpose, including a description of the types of students that may benefit most from the program/school environment;
  • There are clear and objective criteria for admission consistent with stated program guidelines that are provided to students and their parents;
  • Opportunities for input are solicited from a variety of staff and administrators from the Alternative Education program or school who are able to assess the likelihood of compatibility between the prospective student and the program guidelines;
  • Students and parents have opportunities for visits and individual meetings with program/school staff and students to ensure an appropriate match between the student and program/school;
  • Enrollment criteria provide an opportunity for students to apply for admission in the Alternative Education program/school, including completing an interview and/or written application to indicate commitment and motivation to attend the program or school;
  • Criteria for enrollment are neutral, fair, non-discriminatory, and are designed to be accessible to a wide and inclusive applicant pool, and
  • Regular data review and analysis remove barriers which result in unequal rates of assignment/transfer to Alternative Education programs or schools - including unequal rates of placement or success for students based on race, national origin, income, disability, or limited English proficiency; and
  • Due process protections are provided prior to any involuntary transfer from the public school program to the Alternative Education program/school.

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

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


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