Alternative Schools

Alternative Education is designed to meet the needs of at-risk students who are not succeeding in the traditional setting


Alternative Education is designed to meet the needs of at-risk students who are not succeeding in the traditional setting. Students are provided with a variety of options that can lead to graduation and are supported by services essential to success.  Find a great summary at the IDOE website.


  • If an alternative education program is funded by the state, there are requirements they must meet regarding teacher/student ratios and minimum hours.
  • Also, students in alternative schools must have an ISP.


  • IDOE Student Pathways Frequently Asked Questions Documents: The IDOE Student Pathways & Opportunities Team has FAQ documents for each of our areas of support. Prior to sending an email or calling our team for support, please be sure to utilize these FAQ resources! FAQ documents can be found at the following links: Alternative Education:


  • Q: If you are a high school counselor, do you also work with the students in the alternative school (if your corporation has one)? And if so, what are your responsibilities?
    • A: All of the same responsibilities, but the awesome gals who work with our alternative ed students do communicate with parents more than we do. We still monitor progress with regard to credits, advise, schedule, ensure they are taking the right online classes, etc. Several of our kids are half-day alternative school and half-day career center (which is right next door). This allows us to keep in touch with them and still meet with most of them. We did go meet with our other kids at the alt school for scheduling. We work very closely with the staff at the school.
  • The staff at alternative schools can feel isolated at times so it is good to reach out and maintain relationships with our local options so we are familiar when we refer students.
  • The high school students generally really appreciate it. They enjoy the smaller class size and lack of social influences during the school day. They know that it helps them stay out of trouble, and some admit to acting out because they feel picked on and that doesn’t happen as much in the smaller setting.
  • Counselortalk Survey by Amy Ulrey March 2020


If you have suggestions, feedback, or resources, please email and let us know.