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New Alternative Education Programs. School systems are not responsible for meeting every need of their students. But when the need directly affects learning, the school must meet the challenge. Carnegie Council Task Force on Education of Young Adolescents, 1989. IC 20-30-8-5.

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New Alternative Education Programs

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New Alternative Education Programs

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School systems are not responsible for meeting every need of their students. But when the need directly affects learning, the school must meet the challenge.Carnegie Council Task Force on Education of Young Adolescents, 1989

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IC 20-30-8-5

  • To qualify as an alternative ed program must:

    • Be an educational program that instructs in a different manner than in the traditional school setting

    • Serve eligible students in grades 6-12

    • Operate for a minimum of 2 continuous hours

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Department Policy

  • No greater than 15:1 teacher/student ratio

  • Generally ≥ at least one semester

  • Programs should embrace best practices for alternative education

  • Programs should generally be the child’s primary educational placement

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2007-08 Data

Number of Programs208

Number of Students Served22,705

Number of Participating Districts183

Number of Counties Represented65

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Eligible Students Served

  • 9%Intends to withdraw/has withdrawn

  • 58%Failed to comply academically

  • 5%Parent or expectant parent

  • 1%Employment required for support

  • 27%Disruptive student

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Integrated, Model for Academic and Behavioral Supports

Data-based Decision Making Across the Tiers

Intense, Individualized Support

Targeted, Supplemental


Core curriculum,

instruction, &

learning environment

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Type: Academic Services

  • Academic intervention to improve academic behavior/attainment

  • Variety of appropriate, individualized instructional methods

  • TRANSITIONS and continued support are important.

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Type: Positive Behavioral Services

  • Second-Chance

    • alternatives to expulsion

    • behavioral interventions prior to expulsion

    • NOT the first intervention (IC 20-30-8-8)

    • NOT specifically focused on special education

    • TRANSITIONS remain important

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Type: Extended Services/ Post-secondary Preparation

  • Often longer-term

  • School Community Partnerships-feature collaboration and use resources of community

  • Vocational Interventions-prepare students for workforce and have a work component

  • School Continuation-serve students with economic, family, personal challenges with appropriate services like childcare

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Program Development

  • Establish an Advisory Group that will insure broad-based school and community support

  • Conduct a needs assessment (data)

  • Decide on type/mission/vision/goals

  • Design program and how it will operate including location, administrative structure and policies, entrance/exit criteria

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Program Development (cont.)

  • Identify teaching and support staff

  • Design curriculum and instruction

  • Create a positive school climate

  • Create mechanisms for transition (as applicable)

  • Determine budget and sources of income

  • Set accountability measures

  • Get school board approval

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Accountability Components

  • Administrator Survey

  • Teacher Survey

  • Student Survey

  • Site Visits

  • DOE-AL Report

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  • Alternative education is NOT the first intervention

  • Alternative education is not a quick fix

  • Alternative education is not the answer…it is AN answer

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Contact Information


  • Sue Foxx317-233-3598

  • Molly Chamberlin317-232-0579

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