What is an “Alternative School?”

Alternative schools have been established since acim school to meet the needs of children and adolescents who cannot learn effectively in a traditional school environment (i.e., conventional public or private schools) due to behavioral issues, certain medical conditions, learning challenges, and or psychological issues.

In general, alternative schools have more complete educational and developmental objectives than standard schools. They often have program fundamentals that focus on improving student self-esteem, fostering growth of individuality, and enhancing social skills. Alternative schools are more flexible in their administration and organization, which allows for more variety in educational programs.

Once available primarily for disruptive students and those at risk for dropping out of a traditional school environment, alternative schools have expanded significantly in purpose as educators, parents, and wider communities recognize that many adolescents may not learn successfully in a traditional school environment. For children and adolescents with behavioral and psychological issues, such as depression, personality disorders, substance use and abuse, and violence, alternative schools may provide a safer therapeutic environment and more individualized attention than traditional schools.

For children and adolescents with certain medical conditions and learning challenges such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Asperger’s syndrome, and dyslexia, alternative schools may provide combined clinical and education services in one place to ease learning. Alternative school structure and curriculum varies depending on the educational goals and desired student population. Alternative schools may not be accessible or available locally and may require additional daily.

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