Table of Contents
Programs & Services
Program Components & Service Options
Data & Information Collection, eCSSS,& Reports
Program Planning, Development & Implementation
Program Review, Monitoring, & Evaluation
Description of Testing Instruments
Programs to Obtain a High School Diploma
Programs and Services for Secondary Alienated At-Risk Students
revised 11/07
There is a need to seek viable alternative programs for the at-risk middle and intermediate school students (grades 6,7,8 or 7,8), especially when the student's behavior is of concern for the safety of him/herself and other students in the regular school setting.
Currently, the middle and intermediate schools have the latitude to develop and implement alternative programs to meet the needs of their at-risk students. The funds provided to the schools through the Weighted Student Formula (WSF) may be used for this purpose. Generally, the schools determine whether to implement the Special Motivation Program/Class (SMP/SMC)) or the Alternative Learning Center (ALC) program
The 2007 YS2K Report indicated that of the 49 middle/intermediate schools, 35 implemented an alternative program to serve the needs of their at-risk students. The remainder of the schools provided services and supports for their students through:
the general education program;
the middle school core team concept; or
through the academic house arrangement.
Number of Middle/Intermediate School SMP and ALC Programs
(YS2K Report, 2006-07)
Total Number of Middle/Intermediate Schools
Number of SMP Programs
Number of ALC Programs
Central 8 (two combined high/inter)
1 (High Core)
Honolulu 9
Hawaii 12 (two combined high/inter)
1 (Hilo Hukilike)
Kauai 3
Leeward 6 (one combined high/inter)
Maui 8 (two combined high/inter)
Windward 3 (one combined high/inter)
A. Criteria to Identify At-risk Students
  The following criteria are used to identify a student as at-risk:
Ten or more unauthorized absences
Two or more courses failed
One or more grade levels behind (retention)
Three or more disciplinary referrals (Chapter 19 A, B, C, and D offenses)
Adjudicated (involved in the juvenile justice system)
Pregnant/Parenting Teen
The student who meets 2-3 criteria is identified as at-risk, and referred to an SMP/SMC program.
  The student who meets 4 or more of the criteria is identified as severely at-risk and is referred to an ALC program.
B. Middle School Alternative Programs for the At-Risk Student
Secondary students who are alienated and at-risk of school failure and who may be potential dropouts are subject to the CSSS process and procedures to determine the appropriate program placement and support services.
Special Motivation Program/Class: An alternative program in a classroom setting that offers an academic program in the core content areas. Students who meet 2-3 of the criteria are referred for placement in the SMP/SMC for their academic program, and receive counseling services to address their academic, emotional, social, and behavioral concerns.
On-Campus Alternative Learning Center Program: An alternative program for students who meet the criteria of severely at-risk. The student's behavior may pose safety concerns for themselves and for the other students on campus. The ALC is located on the school's campus. The teacher to student ratio is recommended at 1:12. Usually students report to the ALC program during the regular school day for their academic program. They are provided guidance and counseling activities to address their academic, social, emotional, and behavioral concerns.
Off-Campus Alternative Learning Center Program: The severely at-risk students who are disruptive and whose behaviors may pose a safety concern to themselves and others on the regular school campus may be referred to an off-campus ALC located at a separate site (e.g., High Core in Central District). The off-campus ALC provides an academic program during the school day. It also provides counseling services to address the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral concerns of the students.
After-School Alternative Program: Alternative programs for the severely at-risk middle student who is disruptive and whose behavior may pose a threat to themselves and others on the regular school campus may be implemented during after school hours in the existing school facilities. The student's academic program is scheduled during the after school hours (e.g., from 2:30-4:30 p.m. during the week).
C. Middle School Alternative Programs in Other School Districts
The following provides information on selected middle school alternative programs in school districts in other states. The programs presented are implemented as either on-campus or in off-campus settings as a separate program servicing the local area middle schools.

Alternative Program


Program Description

Middle School Day Program,

Twin Bluff Middle School

Red Wing, Minnesota

The program is designed for grades 6-8 and operates as a "school-within-a-school" on the campus of a middle school. It offers an academic program with smaller classes and operates with same calendar and length of school day as Twin Bluff Middle School. Students are expected to do coursework beyond regular school hours. Additional after school classes are offered from either 2:45-4:45 p.m. or 3:15-5:15 p.m. two days per week. Students are referred to the program after all other avenues have been attempted. The goal for the student is to return to the general education day program. Provides support services to the students.

Open Meadow Middle School Alternative Program


Portland, Oregon

This alternative school is located on a separate campus to serve the local middle schools. Each year it serves up to 90 at-risk students with the potential of dropping out in grades 6-8. Classes average about 12 students. It offers an academic program with emphasis on personal responsibility, accountability, and decision-making skills so students develop a sense of purpose and connection to school. Counseling and support services are provided.

86 students enrolled in the program during 2005-2006;

91% improved their course work with an average attendance rate of 92%

27 eighth graders completed the program with 6 moving on to high school;

21 students returned to the alternative program for continued service; and the remaining

59 students returned to their regular school program.

Middle Schools Alternative Education Program (MAP)

Stafford County Public Schools


Fredericksburg, Virginia

The Middle Schools Alternative Education Program (MAP) is an on-campus program that offers an individualized academic program in smaller class size arrangements. It includes a community service component for service learning experiences. Counseling and support services are provided. It is designed for middle school students in grades 6-8 referred by the Superintendent for a long-term suspension or expulsion. MAP meets daily from 7:50 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. The goal is for students to return to the regular middle school program.

Project X-CD,

Corporate Landing, Larkspur and Plaza Middle Schools

Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Project X-CD is an on-campus "school-within-a-school" alternative education program serving academically at-risk general education middle school students utilizing existing buildings and rooms. It offers an academic program and counseling support services. The goal is for students to return to the regular middle school program and ensure transition to the high school.

The Summit School YMCA


Auburn, New York

Located off-campus at Auburn YMCA, the day alternative education program is for middle school students who have experienced difficulty in attaining school success in the traditional environment. It provides small group instruction. Students can explore career options through a project-based curriculum and participate in career shadowing opportunities with mentors from the local business community. Development of the student's pro-social skills, responsibility, courtesy, punctuality, and communication skills are emphasized. The objective of the program is for students to return to the regular school program and ensure transition to the high school.
D. A Viable Middle School Alternative Program
The following represents an alternative program that may be implemented as an on-campus or as an off-campus program. The factors that distinguish successful alternative schools include:
a sense of community,
engaging instruction, and
the organizational structure to support them (Wehlage & Raywid, 1999).
  The program's components are briefly presented:
Program Components Description




  • Implement as "school-within-a-school" alternative program or as a separate program in an off-campus site.
  • Administrator or program coordinator to oversee the program.
  • The middle schools in the district or complex decide to implement the alternative program in an off-campus location.




  • The program offers a standards-based curriculum.
  • Electives are offered as needed by the students. Career and vocational education, and service learning may be integrated with the curriculum.
  • Varied instructional strategies are utilized, including project-based strategies, to deliver instruction.
  • Multi-disciplinary approaches address the academic, social, emotional and behavioral concerns and issues with support services.
  • On-campus in existing facilities as a "school-within-a-school" program; or as an off-campus, separate program servicing the middle schools in the district or complex.

Schedule: During Day Hours

After School Hours

  • The program operates during the regular school day.
  • The program may extend beyond the school day for extra instructional time or after school activities.
  • It offers a challenging, caring, nurturing, and supportive learning environment.
  • It is student-centered, emphasizes the development and building of relationships, and focuses on the whole child. High expectations for student achievement.
  • Highly Qualified Teachers in the core content areas. 1: 12 teacher to student ratio for severely alienated students. Educational Assistant hired to assist students.
  • Teachers and staff desire to work with the at-risk students and assume multiple roles as teacher, mentor, and counselor. They are accountable for student success, and create and work in an environment of collegiality, teamwork, and professional community.
Criteria for Enrollment
  • CSSS process and procedures and At-Risk Student Criteria used to identify students and to determine placement in the program.
Finance, Costs
  • Middle schools may use school funds provided through the Weighted Student Formula (WSF) to implement the program.
  • District or complex middle schools may decide to provide the funds for an alternative program.