ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION

NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina law states that alternative education programs are for students who are: suspended or expelled; at risk of participating in juvenile crime; dropouts who want to return to school; chronically truant; returning from juvenile justice settings or psychiatric hospitals; or students whose learning styles are better served in an alternative setting. The state has published a comprehensive manual on standards and implementation procedures for alternative education.

North Carolina's accountability model evaluates alternative programs and schools based on both state testing and locally chosen quantifiers such as attendance, dropout rates, graduation rates, parent or community involvement, and school safety/student conduct. No matter what statistics the schools choose, they are required to designate at least one to quantify progress in one of two benchmarks: “higher expectations for student achievement” or “student progress and proficiency.”

The state recognizes the link between student support services and academic success, and encourages alternative programs to partner with community agencies to provide these services.

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