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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alternative Education?
Oklahoma’s Alternative Education programs are designed to serve at-risk students failing to successfully complete their secondary education and acquire basic life skills necessary for higher education and/or employment. 
What is the difference between an alternative education program and traditional classroom settings?
Alternative Education programs are a part of the traditional school; however, they are specifically tailored to meet the needs of students who may be struggling with poverty, substance abuse, family dysfunction, or psychological or physical trauma. Some of the unique features of many programs include:
Flexible scheduling
Small class sizes
Youth and family involvement in goal-setting
Learning activities based on students’ interests and abilities
Career skills training
Service learning opportunities
Innovative instructional techniques
Open communication and positive relationships with faculty
Assistance with transitioning to college or career training
How does a student qualify to attend an Alternative Education program?
Be an "At-risk" student. At-risk is defined as "a student whose present or expected status indicates they might fail to complete their secondary education for reasons which may include academic deficiency, behavioral difficulties, excessive absences, pregnancy or parenting, family issues, substance abuse, financial issues, physical or mental health issues, juvenile justice involvement, or other such factors, not including disability status." 

Are there different types of Alternative Education programs?
An Alternative Education program may be offered by an individual school district or may be offered jointly by school districts that have formed cooperatives. 

Where can an Alternative Education program be located?
Programs can be located within a traditional school, in a separate school, in a vocational or career tech center, in a juvenile justice facility, or in a community setting like a mall.  All sites must meet health and safety codes.

How many Alternative Education programs are in Oklahoma?
Starting in 2002-2003 school year, all school districts are required to provide alternative education programming that meets the requirements of statutes and rules concerning Alternative Education.  There are a handful of exceptions.
How does a student enroll in an Alternative Education program?
Visit with the student's school counselor, principal, or superintendent to inquire about the specific Alternative Education program(s) available in your local school district.

Do Alternative Education teachers have to be certified/licensed teachers?
Yes. All teachers in Alternative Education programs must be licensed teachers in Oklahoma.

Who determines the placement of a student in the Alternative Education program?
An intake and screening process determines the eligibility of students as required by state law. The student, parent(s)/guardian(s), school administrators, counselors, and teachers should be included in the intake and screening process. This is a partnership between student, parent/guardian, and school district. 

Can students over 21 attend the Alternative Education program?
Oklahoma does not have an age limit on individuals working on a high school diploma. Placement in the Alternative Education program is at the discretion of the school. 
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Last updated on April 8, 2022