Alternative School or an Alternative to School

Alternative School or an Alternative to School? My son was taken out of his regular school and placed in an Alternative School when he was in 3rd grade.  He’s about to go into 8th grade and he hasn’t been able to get reinstated and back into a regular school.  He has to have 6 months of perfect behavior in order to be considered for reinstatement and I think that’s impossible given the other students he’s been put in class with.  They pick on him and he gets in trouble when he defends himself.  He’s been begging me to get him out of there and it’s breaking my heart because I don’t know where to start.”

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Alternative School or an Alternative to School The first step for you, or for any parent, is to familiarize yourself with Student’s Rights.  Many are national, but some vary from state to state.  All students are entitled to a free and fair education.  Your son’s education is free, but it doesn’t seem to be fair.  Four years is a long time to be stuck in an Alternative Program, and you have the right to talk to the school principal and find out, IN WRITING, exactly what your son needs to do in order to move on.

Alternative School or an Alternative to School

Alternative School or an Alternative to School

Alternative School or an Alternative to School The second step is to make yourself a presence in the school.  If you feel your son isn’t being treated fairly you should make yourself a presence at the school.  You have the right to visit your child’s classroom.  Show up unannounced as often as possible and ask to be shown the classroom.  Stand outside for a few minutes and watch what is happening.  Take notes.  Make sure those notes include time, dates, and exactly what you observed.  If you observe students or teachers acting in a way you feel is inappropriate, make sure you have written down exactly what was said or done with as much detail as possible.

Alternative School or an Alternative to School Nest, make sure you have a copy of your son’s student file and the school’s student handbook.  It should have a clear outline of what behaviors are unacceptable and what the consequences for each behavior will be.  Every behavioral report should be documented and you are entitiled to a copy.  If you don’t get one, ask the school for it.  Do not allow them to discipline your child if they consequences aren’t in line with what is stated in the student handbook or if you haven’t received a copy of the report.

Alternative School or an Alternative to School Finally, set up meetings with your son’s teachers and principal, weekly if necessary.  Make sure they know that you are not a parent who will just sit by and allow their child to progress through Alternative Schools without being an integral part of the process.  When they know they will have to answer to you if he’s not getting the services he needs or if they aren’t following their own rules, they will be less likely to be lax about both.  If this is not enough to get you started or you meet any resistance, email me and we can discuss how to proceed.

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