Children who have been suspended several times from high school probably shouldn't be put back into that environment over and over again. The results will inevitably be the same. If you're a parent struggling with a teen who gets into a lot of trouble at his current school, consider sending him to an alternative high school. This article looks at the benefits of alternative high schools for suspended students who need a different environment in which to learn.
Alternative high schools offer students a second chance. Students who have a past history of suspensions often struggle with admittance into other high schools. Nobody seems to want to deal with a delinquent child. However, alternative high schools offer suspended students a second chance at an education, which is vital to their success beyond school. Where other schools will turn suspended students away, alternative high schools have open doors for these troubled students.
Alternative high schools don't pressure students as much. Alternative high schools don't approach schooling in exactly the same way as regular high schools. The atmosphere is one of less pressure, and fewer class lessons. Students have time to work at their own pace. With more independent work, students learn at the right pace in alternative high schools-their own. Without the pressure to compete against other classmates as much, previously suspended students will come to excel in their own ways.
Suspended students have the opportunity to graduate early. Without the pressures of working at the same pace as one's classmates, previously suspended students may find that they can work through the curriculum faster than expected. In turn, these students may have the opportunity to graduate early. It is possible to finish an entire semester in an alternative high school in only 9 weeks, with the right attitude and work ethics. This is especially helpful to students who have arrived past the start of the semester, or have had to take off time for family or medical reasons. Everyone has the opportunity to catch up, thanks to independent work.
Your suspended child will get the attention he needs. It may just be that your suspended child was acting out in school because he or she was frustrated with a learning disability. It's tough to be at the bottom of the class constantly. In alternative high schools, teachers don't generally present lessons to the entire class so they are more readily available to work one-on-one with students. This is ideal for children who need just a bit of extra help in order to grasp ideas. As well, without the need to work as part of a group, previously suspended students should find that they are no longer embarrassed by weaker skills. They can then focus solely on earning a diploma without worrying about mean comments from impatient and uncompassionate classmates.
Suspended students have the flexibility to hold down a job at the same time. Alternative schools also offer flexible scheduling. This is great for older students who prefer to hold down a part-time job as well. There aren't necessarily ‘set' school hours, so students can attend when it is most convenient for them.
These schools are trained to deal with difficult students. To offer even more peace of mind to parents of suspended students, alternative schools also have School Safety Offices readily available to deal with conflicts. In addition, all teachers are trained to work through conflicts with students. It's the ideal environment for your suspended child to be learning in.
Alternative high schools do have a few setbacks. There aren't as many extracurricular activities available to suspended students, which is too bad because those offer an outlet for extra energy. As well, the strong focus on obtaining a diploma takes a little bit of the fun out of learning, which may frustrate your child. However, the positives of alternative schools are obvious. Your suspended child will get more attention, be in an environment better suited to teach him and deal with his behavior problems, and he'll have the flexibility to attend the alternative school when it is convenient for him.