1858 - 2015 - Celebrating 157 Years of Educational Excellence

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BPS Alternative Education Programs

Past & Present:

1980 vs. 2006 - 2007

The Alternative High School was established in 1980 designed as one program for 6-8 students. There was one full-time and one part-time staff member and four academic courses offered.

The Alternative High School currently has seven programs with approximately 140 students. There are fifteen full-time and two part-time staff members. Thirty-three academic courses are offered.

arrow BPS Strategies that Work


  • Drop out prevention
  • Identify “at-risk” students and intervene before it’s too late
  • Save the district money

Key Concepts to Success:

  • Low Student to Teacher Ratio
  • Counseling vs. Program Counseling
  • Structured Setting
  • Behavioral Level System
  • Consistent Guidance
  • High Expectations
  • Close Parental Contact and Participation

School Meeting:
  • The foundation of all programs!
  • Meets twice daily
  • Student Run
  • Robert's Rules
  • Implementation of the behavioral level system
  • All students and staff discuss academic, social, emotional, and behavioral issues
  • Peer Feedback
  • Academic credit

Program & Student Scheduling:

  • When is mainstreaming appropriate?
  • Mainstream classes take precedence over program classes: Promotes responsibility
  • School Meeting is a must, at least every other day

Alternative High School's Referral Process:

  • Student is referred by a member of his/her support team
  • A recommendation form is sent to the Director of Alternative Education
  • Student writes and delivers a personal letter entitled, "Why I Need the Alternative High School."
  • Student introduces himself/herself to the Director of Alternative Education (Handshake required)
  • Student observes one afternoon school meeting
  • Student is wait-listed, pending an opening in the program
  • Student observes the program for a period of three days
  • Student delivers his/her commitment speech
  • The program votes to accept or reject the observer
  • An acceptance letter is sent to the parents, support team, etc.
  • Parent meeting is scheduled