Best Practices in Alternative Education: What is working in Kentucky

Kentucky Center for School Safety > Resources and Responders > Alternative Education > Best Practices in Alternative Education: What is working in Kentucky

Alternative education is as much a belief system as a program…the belief that there are many ways of being educated and many different types of educational environments where learning occurs. KCSS has, since it’s inception, been a vocal proponent of effective alternative education throughout our state. Far more than an outmoded “dumping ground,” successful programs exemplify public education at it’s most creative and innovative. Alternative education is a means to accommodate our growing diversity by recognizing the strengths and challenges of each student, while providing the best available option for all students.

Alternative Education = Common Threads

But the title “Alternative Education” means many things: continuing education for court adjudicated and expelled youth, Advanced Placement students, Special Education students, Arts and Technical Education, or At-Risk students who are chronically truant or potential dropouts. No matter what you mean by it, research indicates that successful Alternative Education Programs have specific common threads which make them successful.

  • Structured and supportive classrooms
  • Appropriate Curriculum
  • Quality, Engaging Instruction
  • Multiple and Continuous Assessment
  • Positive, Individualized Approach to Discipline
  • Quality Professional Development
  • District Support
  • Family and Community Involvement
  • Clearly Identified Student Outcomes

These standards represent essential elements of effective programs critical to meeting the ultimate goal of alternative education: a successful transition to adult life. The video and other materials linked below provide an overview of current research and best practice in alternative education today.