The Alternative School Programs

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1 PBA Standard # 29 The Alternative School Programs Central Alternative School 208 Lynda Lee Drive Natchez, Mississippi Natchez-Adams School District P. O. Box 1188 Natchez, Mississippi Central Alternative School

2 Vision The vision of the Natchez-Adams School is to provide a safe learning environment involving all stakeholders in student achievement, producing life-long learners who are productive citizens in a global society. Mission The mission of the Natchez-Adams School District is to ensure that all students are prepared to continue their education and to successfully enter the workplace as productive, responsible citizens. Goals Improve student achievement Increase parental involvement Improve attendance of students and employees Integrate technology, seamlessly, into all programs Enhance the image of public education Natchez-Adams School District C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 2

3 Natchez, Mississippi PROGRAMS AND CRITERIA Central Alternative School Registration and Entrance Procedure ALL Parents must register their student at the home school before being admitted to CAS. Students entering the district for the first time or returning to the district from any treatment center, detention center or alternative education program must re-enter through CAS and will follow the same process outlined below. Students currently attending a school within the district that are to be placed at CAS must follow the steps outlined below before attending classes at CAS. 1) School must provide copies of the following documents: a) Current registration packet i) Registration form ii) Internet use from iii) Health form b. Birth certificate c. Immunization record d. Permanent record e. All standardized test scores f. Discipline summary history from previous and current school years g. Current schedule, report card, progress report and grades h. Attendance report for current school year i. Complete Teacher Support Team (TST) folder j. Special Education IEP (if applicable) 2) Referring school must provide copy of referring document i.e. waiver form, discipline hearing letter, other. 3) Parent must contact principal at CAS to arrange intake appointment time with principal only. Once the information above has been received and reviewed, the interview has been conducted; the principal will determine specific time of placement. C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 3

4 Programs The Central School for Alternative Programs functions as a drop-out prevention program. For some, it is the "school of last resort." The following programs constitute the various programs and services that are available. Special Education for Behavior Disorders/Emotionally Disturbed Homebound Instruction Special Programs Academic Credit Recovery Program 504 Program for Special Students GED Equivalency Program Discipline School Adolescent Offender Program (AOP) Youth Court Detention Program Staff The staff at the school includes the following: 1 Principal 1 Counselor 1 Office Manager 1 Special Education Teacher 9 Certified Teachers 3 Paraprofessionals 1 Security Guard C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 4

5 Special Education for Behavior Disorder/Emotionally Disturbed Students Description/Explanation and Criteria A special class for educational handicapped students who exhibit consistent incorrigible behavior while enrolled in a special education program at his/her "home" school. Class is limited to less than10-14 students. A special education teacher and aide teach in the program. The criteria for admission include the following: The documentation of behavior patterns must be submitted to the program developer for special education for a ruling. Documentation required includes the following: 1. Complete disciplinary file. 2. Current IEP showing changes in programming to modify deviant behavior. 3. Documentation of other alternatives discussed but not implemented, e.g., assigning the student to a different teacher. 4. Documentation of attempts to involve parents/guardians in behavior modification. 5. Reports of parental conferences conducted. 6. Parents are required to participate in the discussion of alternatives implemented at the "home" school and in the placement meeting for the purpose of placement. 7. Change in assignment will be based on IEP. C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 5

6 Homebound Instructional Program Central Alternative School Natchez, Mississippi Description/Explanation and Criteria 1. Medical documentation provided by a physician stating the nature and duration of the illness, or assignment by the Superintendent, or designee. 2. Instruction shall focus on the four major disciplines of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. 3. The homebound teacher either will provide direct instruction or secure lesson material from the "regular" teacher(s). 4. Reassignment to the regular school program (full-time or part-time basis) will be based on release by the attending medical health officer if placement were based on a medical reason or approval by the Superintendent, or designee, if placement were based on any other reason.. C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 6

7 Special School Description/Explanation and Criteria The special school is designed to serve those students whose academic needs are not met in the regular program, e.g., students who are a minimum of two years behind grade-level but do not meet requirements for Title I or 504 students who have exhausted all available accommodations at the "home" school, etc. The District-Wide Review Committee will determine eligibility of each student recommended. Academic Credit Recovery Program 1. Students are at least two years behind in grade-placement and are functioning poorly in the regular program. 2. Documentation of accommodations submitted to the District-Wide Review Committee which will determine appropriate placement. 3. Instruction will include a diverse approach including, but not limited to, individualized instruction, computer assisted instruction, and study skills. 4. Assignment to the special school shall be for a full school term. Reassignment to the regular school shall be based on the student's academic progress. C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 7

8 Special School (continued) Central Alternative School Natchez, Mississippi 504/ADD/ADHD Program 1. The local school has implemented the 504 flow-chart. 2. The student is not eligible for IDEA (SPED) services. 3. Documentation based on the 504 Flow-Chart must be provided to the District-Wide Review Committee which will determine appropriate placement. 4. Administration of medication, as appropriate, shall be closely monitored. 5. Instruction will include a diverse approach including, but not limited to, behavior modification, individualized instruction, computer assisted instruction, and study skills. 6. Exit shall be based on a review of the students overall behavior plan. GED Program 1. High school students who are not age/grade appropriate and have insufficient units credit in order to graduate within age requirement. 1.1 Two or more grade levels behind their peers and 16 years of age or older. 1.2 Assessed by pre- and post-test of the TABE or other approved instrument. 1.3 Periodic assessment made at intervals of hours of instruction. 1.4 GED curriculum emphasize critical thinking in the core curriculum. 2. Exit is based upon successful passing the GED exam or reaching mandatory age requirement for attendance in a public school setting. (If the latter occurs, the student can be referred to either the JTPA/GED or night GED program.) C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 8

9 Discipline School Description/Explanation and Criteria The Discipline School is the school of "last resort" for students who have exhausted all steps in the discipline code up to and including expulsion, except expulsion for possession of a firearm or illegal drugs of the Mississippi Code stipulates that, beginning school , all school districts must provide an alternative school. The law stipulates the following criteria: 1. Any compulsory school-age child who has been suspended or expelled from school, except for any student expelled for possession of a weapon or other felonious conduct. 2. Any compulsory-school-age child referred to such alternative school based upon a documented need for placement in the alternative school program by the parent, legal guardian or custodian of such child due to disciplinary problems. 3. Any compulsory-school-age child referred to such alternative school program by the dispositive order of a chancellor or youth court judge, with the consent of the principal. 4. Any compulsory school-age child whose presence in the classroom, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, is a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the students and teacher of such class as a whole. The guidelines used by the school district will include: 1. The student has exhausted all steps in the discipline code. 2. Referral to the District-Wide Review Committee which will: 2.1 Review the documentation and the school's implementation of the discipline code. 2.2 Recommend: Placement in the "home" school with specific accommodations Placement in the discipline school Expulsion (to the Superintendent.) Refer to the youth court/youth school. 3. Instruction will include a diverse approach including, but not limited to, behavior modification, individualized instruction, computer assisted instruction, and study skills. 4. The student's academic progress and behavior as determined by a review committee will be the basis for reassignment to the regular school program. 5. The Principal or designee shall make weekly visits to the Alternative School. The Home School counselor working with Alternative School Counselor will conduct group session with the students assigned for home school. C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 9

10 Guidelines for Referral Guidelines for Student Identification 1. Students with repeated infractions of the school discipline code resulting in multiple and/or long-term suspension(s) who have not responded to corrective actions at the local school as identified below: 1.1 Teacher efforts for correction of behavior. 1.2 Recommendations of TST have not achieved desired results. 1.3 Guidance counseling intervention has been ineffective. 1.4 School administrative involvement with parent(s) and/or student has not achieved desired results. 1.5 Due process procedures reviewed by the District-Wide Disciplinary Review Committee recommends alternative school placement. 1.6 Placement requested by parent/guardian or mandated by court order. 2. Student with infraction(s) of the school's discipline code whose continued attendance at the local school is judged to be detrimental to the safety of other students and/or staff and who has been suspended long-term or expelled. 3. Student re-enrolling from one of the state's training facilities. 4. Student enrolling from an alternative placement at the transfer school, unless said placement was based on possession of a firearm or illegal drugs. Procedure for Student Assignment 1. Meets guidelines for Student Identification (above). 2. Recommended by the principal. 3 Due process procedures reviewed by District-Wide Discipline Review Committee. 4. Requested by parent or required by court order. 5. Recidivistic student reassignment based on actions during probationary period. Guidelines for referral are subject to review and revision by the district-wide committee. Length of Assignment The student shall be assigned to the alternative school for a period of no less than grading period. Students who demonstrate acceptable behavior and appropriate academic achievement in the minimum of our courses shall be recommended to return to their "home" school. C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 10

11 Central Alternative School Natchez, Mississippi Name: School: Grade-Level: SPED Yes No. If "YES," classification: Placement Recommended by: School Parent Court Other: Alternative School Program: Academic Skills Development Program Discipline School GED Homebound SPED 504 Date of Referral: Signatures Required: Building Level Principal: Alternative School Principal: Central Office Representative: Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent: Special Services Director (Special Education Student Only): A parent, based on (1) (b) Mississippi Code 1972, may request placement in the Alternative School based upon need or due to infractions of the Code of Conduct in lieu of a District-Wide Disciplinary Review Committee hearing. Prior to reassignment of a student to Central Alternative School, the referring principal must discuss the placement with the principal of the Alternative School to discuss the student's placement. If the referral is made during the summer, the referring principal must document that s/he has conferred with the student's parents. The referring school must provide the following documentation, as applicable, to the Alternative School. Items must be provided prior to placement. C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 11

12 Check-List of Documents (that are applicable and are being provided): Discipline Review Forms: Academic Documents: Central Alternative School Referral form Disciplinary Referral Form Copy of cumulative folder (include copies of standardized test results) SASI Reports: schedule, attendance, discipline, and report card Complete transition form with current grades IEP (if SPED student); current level of functioning (skills list) in each subject area IIP Survey (all teachers that teach student survey) C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 12

13 Referral to Central Alternative School School: Date of Referral: Student's Name: Date of Birth Age Grade-Level SPED: Yes No / / SPED Program: Address: City, State Zip Parent/Guardian: Date of Suspension: Phone Number: # of Suspensions: Effort(s) for Correction (check [ ] all that apply): The school initiated the following actions: Parent-Teacher Conference Counselor referral In-School Suspension (ISS) Parent Care Additional action taken by the school: Parent-Administrator Conference Teacher Support (TST) Meeting Behavioral Management Program (BMP) Other: Referral to Southwest Mental Health Agency Is the case open? Yes No. Name of Case Worker: Referral to District-Wide Discipline Review Committee for an external due process review Reported to law enforcement. If "Yes," Date: Referral to youth court. If "Yes," Date: Parent waives right to a due process discipline review and requests placement in the alternative school program. Results of Efforts or Comments: Recommendation of the District-Wide Discipline Review Committee: Remain at the school in the regular education program. Remain at the school with enrollment in the regular program ISS BMP Assignment of the Alternative School. Length of Placement: 9-Weeks Semester School Year Expulsion Other: Attach or submit, on the reverse side of this form, any other information you deem pertinent so that the Alternative School can adequately serve the student. Principal' s Signature Parent' s Signature (Acknow ledging Know ledge of Action) C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 13

14 Natchez-Adams School District Natchez, Mississippi Alternative School Descriptor Code: IHBH Rescinds Policy: IGBH Approved/Revised: 07/12/2001 Originally Approved: 04/13/89 The Board of Trustees recognizes that there are students who, for various reasons, cannot function within the regular classroom environment. In an effort to meet the needs of these students, alternative settings should be established, and appropriate program modifications developed. Therefore, in compliance with Mississippi Code 1972, the Superintendent of Schools is authorized to establish such alternative school programs that will meet the educational needs of students who have been recommended for such programs and services. The program shall meet all appropriate accreditation requirements of the Mississippi Department of Education MS Code (2000) and will be operated under the direction of the Office of Curriculum and Instruction. The Superintendent of schools, or designee, is authorized to develop such administrative regulations as necessary for the establishment of the alternative school programs. The alternative education program is operated in connection with the regular programs of the district for the following, but not limited to, categories of students: 1. Any compulsory school-age child who has been suspended for more than 10 days or expelled from school, except for any student expelled for possession of a weapon or other felonious conduct. 2. Any compulsory school-age child referred to such alternative school based upon a documented need for placement in the alternative school program by the parent, legal guardian, or custodian of such child due to disciplinary problems; 3. Any compulsory school-age child referred to such alternative school program by the dispositive order of a chancellor or youth court judge, with the consent of the superintendent of the child s school district; and 4. Any compulsory school-age child whose presence in the classroom, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, is a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the students and teacher of such class as a whole. The principal or program administrator of the alternative school program shall require verification from the appropriate guidance counselor of any such child referred to the alternative school program regarding the suitability of such child for attendance at the alternative school program. Before a student may be removed to an alternative school education program, the superintendent must determine that a written disciplinary policy that has been distributed to parents and students is being followed. The policy shall include standards for: C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 14

15 The removal of a student to an alternative school education program that will include a process of educational review to develop the student s individual instruction plan (IIP) and the evaluation at regular intervals of the student s educational progress; the process shall include classroom teachers and/or other appropriate professional personnel, as defined in the district s policy, to ensure a continuing educational program for the removed student; The duration of the alternative school placement; and The notification of parents or guardian, and their appropriate inclusion in the removal and evaluation process, as defined in district policy. Nothing in this paragraph should be defined in a manner to circumvent the principal s or the superintendent s authority to remove a student to alternative education. The school board or the superintendent shall provide for the continuing education of a student who has been removed to an alternative school program. A school district may, in its discretion, provide a program of general educational development (GED) preparatory instruction in the alternative school program. Legal reference(s): Mississippi Code 1972; NSBA code: IGBH C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 15

16 State Law Alternative school program for compulsory-school-age students; transportation of students; expenses. (1) Beginning with the school year , the school boards of all school districts shall establish, maintain and operate, in connection with the regular programs of the school district, an alternative school program for, but not limited to, the following categories of compulsory-school-age students: (a) Any compulsory-school-age child who has been suspended for more than ten (10) days or expelled from school, except for any student expelled for possession of a weapon or other felonious conduct; (b) Any compulsory-school-age child referred to such alternative school based upon documented need for placement in the alternative program by the parent, legal guardian or custodian of such child due to disciplinary problems; and (c) Any compulsory-school-age child referred to such alternative school program by the dispositive order of a chancellor or youth court judge, with the consent of the superintendent of the child's school district. Any compulsory-school-age child whose presence in the classroom, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, is a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the students and teacher of such class as a whole. (2) The principal or program administrator of any such alternative school program shall require verification from the appropriate guidance counselor of any such child referred to the alternative school program regarding the suitability of such child for attendance at the alternative school program. Before a student may be removed to an alternative school education program, the superintendent of the student's school district must determine that the written and distributed disciplinary policy of the local (school) district is being followed. The policy shall include standards for: (a) The removal of a student to an alternative education program that will include a process of educational review to develop the student's individual instruction plan and the evaluation at regular intervals of the student's educational progress; the process shall include classroom teachers and/or other appropriate professional personnel, as defined in the district policy, to ensure a continuing educational program for the removed student; (b) The duration of alternative placement; and (c) The notification of parents or guardians, and their appropriate inclusion in the removal and evaluation process, as defined in the district policy. Nothing in this paragraph should be defined in a manner to circumvent the principal's or the superintendent's authority to remove a student to alternative education. (3) The local school board or the superintendent shall provide for the continuing education of a student who has been removed to an alternative school program. (4) A school district, in its discretion, may provide a program of general educational development (GED) preparatory instruction in the alternative school program. However, any GED preparation program offered in an alternative school program must be administered in compliance with the rules and regulations established for such programs under through and by the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges. The school district may administer the General Educational Development (GED) Testing Program under the policies and guidelines of the GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education in the alternative school program or may authorize the test to be administered through the community/junior college district in which the alternative school is situated. (5) Any such alternative program operated under the authority of this section shall meet all appropriate accreditation requirements of the State Department of Education. C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 16

17 (6) The alternative school program may be held within such school district or may be operated by two (2) or more adjacent school districts, pursuant to a contract approved by the State Board of Education. When two (2) or more school districts contract to operate an alternative school program, the school board of a district designated to be the lead district shall serve as the governing board of the alternative school program. Transportation for students attending the alternative school program shall be the responsibility of the local school district. The expense of establishing, maintaining and operating such alternative school program may be paid from funds contributed or otherwise made available to the school district for such purpose or from local district maintenance funds. (7) The State Board of Education shall promulgate minimum guidelines for alternative school programs. The guidelines shall require, at a minimum, the formulation of an individual instruction plan (IIP) for each student referred to the alternative school program and, upon a determination that it is in a student's best interest for that student to receive general educational development (GED) preparatory instruction, that the local school board assign the student to a GED preparatory program established under subsection (4) of this section. The minimum guidelines for alternative school programs shall also require the following components: (a) Clear guidelines and procedures for placement of students into alternative education programs which at a minimum shall prescribe due process procedures for disciplinary and general educational development (GED) placement; (b) Clear and consistent goals for students and parents; (c) Curricula addressing cultural and learning style differences; (d) Direct supervision of all activities on a closed campus; (e) Attendance requirements that allow for educational and workforce development opportunities; (f) Selection of program from options provided by the local school district, Division of Youth Services or the youth court, including transfer to a community-based alternative school; (g) Continual monitoring and evaluation and formalized passage from one step or program to another; (h) A motivated and culturally diverse staff; (i) Counseling for parents and students; (j) Administrative and community support for the program; and (k) Clear procedures for annual alternative school program review and evaluation. (8) On request of a school district, the State Department of Education shall provide the (school) district informational material on developing an alternative school program that takes into consideration size, wealth and existing facilities in determining a program best suited to a district. (9) Any compulsory-school-age child who becomes involved in any criminal or violent behavior shall be removed from such alternative school program and, if probable cause exists, a case shall be referred to the youth court. (10) The State Board of Education, in its discretion, may exempt not more than four (4) school district alternative school programs in the state from any compulsory standards of accreditation for a period of three (3) years. During this period, the State Department of Education shall conduct a student of all alternative school programs in the state, and on or before January 1, 2000, shall develop and promulgate accreditation standards for all alternative school programs, including any recommendations for necessary legislation relating to such alternative school programs. SOURCES: Laws, 1991, ch. 539, 6; Laws, 1992, ch. 524, 9; Laws 1994, ch. 555, 1; Laws, 1994, ch. 607, 12; Laws 1995, ch. 610, 1; Laws, ch ; eff from and after July 1, 1997; Laws 2000, ch. 559, 3, Laws, 2004, ch. 563, 3; Laws, 2007, ch. 326, 1; Laws, 2009, ch. 511, 1, eff from and after July 1, C:\WPDOCS\HANDBOOK\ALT Page 17

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