Why Alternative Schools?

In a perfect world, we would not need alternative schools because each student’s unique learning situation and needs would be addressed. However, this is not a perfect world, in particular when it comes to students who can’t be generalized into a single stream. Alternative schools are needed because the mainstream has limitations. However, alt schools don’t work for everyone. They’re a place for alternative thinkers and learners to get the help, support and understanding they need while learning.

Alternative schools are accommodating

Alternative schools are generally smaller. This is not only better for those who are socially anxious but also for those who require more intervention. The lower student-to-teacher ratio at alternative schools often affords students increased one-on-one time with teachers. It also can allow the teacher to develop a deeper connection to the class, which means they can shape lessons and assignments to suit students’ learning styles. The school being smaller also means less social grouping, which leads to less bullying and more positive student interactions.

Alternative schools do a good job of accommodating anxiety and fostering creativity in all subjects. In the past, the alternative schools that students on this committee have attended (elementary and secondary) have emphasized critical engagement over assignment completion, which allows anxiety about past due projects to fade away. In addition, students often are able to complete their work at school. As well, alternative schools generally are a closer knit community in which people care about the success of others. Lastly, students feel they benefit from alternative schools because the teachers encourage them to think for themselves and develop their own ideas.

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