The alternative school where I work has a holistic, inclusive atmosphere that includes students with different learning styles and abilities. Some of the days are spent in the classroom, but we also interact in occupational therapy, movement therapy, nutrition therapy and languages. These schools have the same rules and regulations as any other school, but they often have different approaches to teaching. Alternative schools are modelled after the progressive education model, with a heavy focus on group work and hands-on activities to simulate real-life scenarios. These schools promote creativity and discovery.
What is an alternative school?
Alternative schools often use teaching methods different from traditional high schools, such as Montessori and Waldorf. Some people may want to skip or repeat grades to get more done faster, and this is why they would opt to enrol in an alternative school instead. This is called “skipping” or “remediating”. The person might want to do this because they feel as though they are too young and because they feel too old. There has been a push for new academic models, primarily because today’s students find it difficult to follow traditional methods.
High school isn’t for everyone, especially those who don’t do so well in the traditional system. These types of schools offer smaller class sizes and an engaging curriculum tailored to each student’s learning style and needs. Plus, teens feel more comfortable at alternative schools where they can express their individuality and creativity.
Alternative schools are popular
Many teens graduate from traditional schools, but an entire group of teens attends alternative schools. They are usually a quiet crowd with less interruption and more time to focus on work. Alternative schools typically have small class sizes, which helps work one-on-one with teachers. Most alternative education programs continue students’ education after high school until they turn 21 years old. One primary reason alternative schools are suitable for your teen is that the curriculum encourages them to think creatively and use their imagination.
Alternative schools are becoming more popular for teens who don’t want to be in a traditional classroom. There are many reasons why alternative schools work for the kids. First, because they don’t usually have repeating grade levels, kids at risk of falling behind can catch up faster with help from a teacher instead of other students. Further, teachers usually give more personalised attention to their students, which helps build confidence and instil a love of learning in them. Teachers are always looking to ensure that students get what they need academically and emotionally.
Alternative schools are cost-effective
Alternative school approaches are personalised for each student – learning isn’t limited to the classroom. It can encompass science and social studies. Schools centralise their efforts to help students graduate on time. Alternative schools might include a less formal and more hands-on environment. A classroom might be more informal, with teachers talking to students and teaching them inclusive ways. The curriculum is typically reflective of this philosophy, which might help students get better grades as they can engage with the material better than in an atypical school setting.
There are many ways to learn at an alternative school. Most will have unique methods like Waldorf schools do, focusing on creative and artistic expression. Other schools may integrate different learning techniques to move past just the traditional educational model, such as Montessori or Waldorf Schools. Most students who graduate from these schools are more prepared for the constant changes in technology and society than those who come out of more traditional schools, which focus on academic skills instead.