Alternative education and schools for troubled teens have been in operation for over 30 years. Over time, they have evolved and improved to meet the needs of families that have found themselves looking for options outside of the public school system.
Changing Perspectives of Alternative Schools
When these schools were originally developed, they were intended to reach teens that had either behavioral problems or academic deficiencies. The schools facilitated the removal of troubled teens from the general high school population so that their issues would not impact their peers. Now, experts and parents alike view these schools as positive life-changing solutions as they provide various ways for troubled teens to earn their high school diplomas. Specialized classes, personal attention and even vocational training offer paths to successful futures for individuals while positively impacting their neighborhoods and communities.
Since their inception, alternative schools have developed different programs and options to meet the needs of young people who have found themselves with unanticipated social and emotional needs. The personal attention and variety of program offerings often give an additional level of care to help these students succeed.
What About Military Schools?
Some parents look into military school as an option. However, they do not accept teens who are already acting out or exhibiting rebellious behavior. Placing your child in military school requires extra forethought and planning. You will need to weigh the financial considerations should your child drop out or be expelled; you will not get your tuition back. This option also requires parents to provide solid structure for their kids when they return home so that they do not regress to the same behaviors.
Finding Help Closer to Home
Your own community’s school district may provide several alternatives to a traditional high school setting. Although they teach the same curriculum, they deliver the material differently. As one option, charter schools receive federal funds based on student enrollment but do not receive local funding. They function under their own rules of governance separately from the public school system but comply with academic standards established by the state.
Various choices include teen parent and independent study options. Online schools offer a variety of educational programs that allow students to pace themselves with complete independence. They also have the option to enroll in traditional semester scheduling with programs that are taught by teachers.
What Teachers Say
According to the National Education Association, alternative schools make a difference in students. Alternative education teachers testify to the positive changes they have witnessed in the lives of teenagers who would never have graduated from high school under normal circumstances. They believe that many kids make it in the alternative schools and go on to lead successful, productive lives simply because someone cared enough to help them.
Clearly, parents can consider many excellent options if your family has a teen that needs specialized, alternative education programs to help him through a difficult chapter of their lives. The bottom line with alternative schools is that they can serve to strengthen and heal entire families. When one family member is successful, the whole family succeeds.