December 30, 2005

State Alternative Conferences

Here are known dates and links for state alternative education conferences:
-California Continuation Ed. Assoc. April 28-30, 2006, Los Angeles Conferences.jpg
-Connecticut State Alt. Ed. March 22, 2006
-Iowa Assoc. of Alt. Ed. March 31-April 4, 2006, Des Moines
-Michigan Alt. Ed. Organization April 27-29, 2006, Bay City
-Minn. Assoc. for Alt. Programs, Feb. 22-24, 2006, Duluth
-Missouri Assoc. for Alt. Ed. TBA
-New York State Alt. Ed. Assoc. TBA
-Pennsylvania Assoc. for Learning Alternatives, March 29-31, 2006, Lancaster
-Texas Assoc. for Alt. Ed., Feb. 2-4, 2006 San Antonio
-Virginia Alt. Educators Assoc. March 27-28, 2006, Roanoke
-Wash. Assoc. for Learning Alt. March 9-11, 2006, Ocean Shores

Note: several other states held fall conferences.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2005

Conference on At-Risk Students

The National Alternative Education Association will co-sponsor the Alternatives to Expulsion, Suspension and NAEA.jpg Dropping Out of School conference at Orlando, FL February 16-18-2006. This is the 12th annual conference. Registration form and other information is available. Also available are some 19 handouts from the 2005 conference.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2004

Contracted Alternative Programs

Another type of alternative school is those which contract with a school district to serve a particular population of students. For example, the Metropolitan Federation of Alternative Schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, consists of 22 schools run by community non-profits. Each contracts to serve particular populations of "at-risk" students. The students remain on the district rolls but by statute the district gives 95% of the state aid the student generates to the contracted program. Each of the schools controls its programs, staffing and budgets. It's a win-win. The programs obtain revenue from the district to provide programs that better meet the needs of elementary and secondary students. This arrangement has been in place for several decades although in the early years, the programs received much less revenues from districts. The schools have formed the Federation as a mutual benefit organization.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 05:47 PM

July 08, 2004

New Study on At-Risk Alternatives

The Urban Institute has published a comprehensive, thoughtful study, Educational Alternatives for Vulnerable Youth: Student Needs, Program Types, and Research Directions by Laudan Y. Aron, Janine M. Zweig. The study touches on general alternatives but the major focus is on programs for at-risk youth and the enormous expansion in recent years. This is a useful piece with much data for those wishing a landscape view of at-risk programs. Many additional research questions are listed.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 01:56 PM

June 16, 2004

Alternatives for At-Risk Students

Many existing alternative schools serve at-risk students. IALA believes in alternatives for all students and that there should be many types of alternatives and choices for all students. Still, the perception remains for many educators that alternatives are for unsuccessful students. That view is thoughtfully explored in a paper, "Alternative Learning Environments" by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. For example, the issue is raised of how well secondary schools serve all students and whether establishing programs for at-risk students lets traditional schools off the hook of improving their programs for all. The paper is well done and recommended.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 02:55 PM

February 27, 2004

Residential Academies

Ray Morley, IALA board member and prolific contributor to educational alternatives for many years has described a rapidly growing phenomenia, that of residential academies. For a quick look at this concept see his paper, "Residential Education: A Topic for Consideration in Alternative Education." He also describes the Coalition for Residential Education.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 02:05 PM

January 11, 2004

Book Report

Saving Our Students, Saving Our Schools: 50 Proven Strategies for Revitalizing At-Risk Students and Low-Performing Schools Robert Barr and William Parrett developed this 500 page comprehensive guide to school improvement. Chapter 8, for example, "Create Caring Classrooms, Schools and Communities of Support" suggest four key strategies, action steps, references, and a reflection page. (2003, Pearson, Skylight).

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:52 AM

Risk of Dropping Out of School

Jack Frymier and others constructed a table showing the family, personal, and academic risk factors that have a high correlation with dropping out of school. You can view this excellent but brief chart.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:03 AM

July 12, 2003

National Conference on Alternatives

Tenth Joint National Conference on Alternatives to
Expulsion, Suspension, and Dropping Out of School will be held January 15-17, 2004 in the Orlando area. People considering presentations may complete a form. The conference is co-sponsored by the National Alternative Education Association headquarted at George Washington University.
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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 10:13 PM

June 19, 2003

Types of Alternatives

John Loflin, in a recent article, describes the types of alternatives (Type I, II, III) and critiques Indiana's alternatives which are too often "soft jails" for at-risk youth and marshalls a persuasive argument for alternatives for all students. He wants to see school districts and the state take a more proactive position to provide choices of programs for everyone.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 10:48 AM

May 20, 2003

Study of Alternative Schools

The National Center for Educational Statistics polled U.S. schools to determine the nature of alternative programs. They found 10,900 public schools serving 612,900 at-risk students. There are other alternative schools but this 2002 study examined just public schools serving at-risk students. The study contains much useful data on a little examined area. For example, 12 percent of the student population in at-risk schools had IEPs, about the same as the general population of students in district schools.

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Posted by Wayne Jennings at 05:52 PM