IMPLEMENTATION & PROCEDURES
WHAT IS AN ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM?
The 1995 North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation requiring that the Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to evaluate all alternative learning programs across the state, without regard to funding source. For the purpose of evaluation an alternative learning program is defined as:
a school or program that serves students at any level, serves suspended or expelled students, serves students whose learning styles are better served in an alternative program... or provides individualized programs outside of a standard classroom setting in a caring atmosphere in which students learn the skills necessary to redirect their lives. ALPs are limited to programs that also meet the following criteria:
- Provide the primary instruction for selected at-risk students outside the standard classroom,
- Enroll students for a designated period of time (not drop-in),
- Offer course credit or grade level promotion credit in core academic areas, and/or
- Assist the student in meeting requirements for graduation.
As of 1998-99, there were at least 84 ALPs in North Carolina. Alternative schools have a state allotted principal and often issue their own diplomas to graduating students. Alternative programs are affiliated with regular school within which the program resides.. Students in an alternative program, upon graduation, receive their diploma from their home, or referring, school.
Some alternative schools are located on a separate campus and function independently, as do alternative schools, but do not have their own principals or their own school codes.