1. The alternative school program is defined
through written board-approved policies and procedures that define and provide
appropriate educational opportunities for the categories of students to be
served. Further, the program must meet the requirements of Mississippi Code
2. The district has and follows
written procedures which meet the federal guidelines outlined in
Goss vs Lopez due process requirements for removal of
a student from school for disciplinary reasons.
3. The curriculum and instructional
methodology address the needs of students through an Individual Instructional
Plan which emphasizes academic performance behavior modification, functional
skills, and career education.
The student/teacher ratio in each classroom is no greater than 15:1 with a
process for approving exceptions by the State Department of Education.
5. Adequate instructional staff is
assigned to ensure the continuing education of students and classroom
supervision at all times.
Certified teaching staff and other staff assigned to the alternative program
have adequate credentials to achieve the stated mission of the program.
Further, students assigned for a grading period or longer and receiving
Carnegie unit credits will receive instruction from appropriately certified
7. When the alternative
school program is housed in a free standing facility separate from the regular
school program, there is a certified administrator assigned to supervise the
8. When the alternative
school program is housed in an existing school, the safety of regular staff and
students will be insured by appropriate supervision and isolation as necessary.
When an alternative program is operated by two or more school districts,
pursuant to a contract approved by the State Department of Education, the
contract will indicate which school district will house and which district will
operate the alternative education program.
9. Rules and regulations which address the
unique needs of alternative program students have been developed and
disseminated to parents and students.
10. The alternative school facilities are
clean, safe and functional, and commensurate with facilities provided to other
students by the local school district.
11. The school district is in compliance with
applicable laws and State Department of Education guidelines for reporting
information relating to the alternative program.
12. Cumulative records on each student placed
in an alternative program remain at and are maintained by the sending school.
13. Personnel assigned to an
alternative program will report any criminal activity or other unlawful
activity committed on school property to the appropriate authority.
14. Students enrolled in alternative
programs/schools, including those provided through contractual agreements among
multidistrict will participate in the Mississippi Assessment System at sites
determined by school officials and in accordance with established guidelines
regarding student grade levels and eligibility. Test results for these
students will be reported in the home school district.
15. Evaluation of the student's progress will
be conducted at regular intervals according to district policy and the
appropriate records will be maintained and subject to the State Department of
Individual Instruction Plan will provide full-day attendance with a rigorous
workload and minimal non-instructional time.
17. Districts may select programs from
options provided by the local school district, the Mississippi Department of
Human Services (Division of Youth Services) or the youth court, and/or transfer
to a community-based alternative school.
Alternative programs will provide:
a. a motivated and culturally diverse staff
b. counseling for parents and
c. administrative and
community support for the program.
19. The district will complete an annual
program review and evaluation as directed by the State Department of Education.
No school district is required
to place a child returning from out-of-home placement, in the mental health,
juvenile justice or foster care system in an alternative school program.
Placement of a child in the alternative school shall be done consistently, and
for students identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA), shall adhere to the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Improvement Act of 2004. If a school district chooses to place a
child in alternative school the district will make an individual assessment and
evaluation of that child in the following time periods:
a. Five (5) days for a child transitioning
from a group home, mental health care system, and/or the custody of the
Department of Human Services, Division of Youth and Family Services custody;
b. Ten (10) days for a child
transitioning from a dispositional placement order by a youth court pursuant to
An individualized assessment
for youth transitioning from out-of-home placement to the alternative school
i. A strength needs
ii. A determination of
the child's academic strengths and deficiencies.
iii. A proposed plan for transitioning the
child to a regular education placement at the earliest possible date
School districts that enter into a contractual agreement with a private entity
to provide services to students placed in an alternative setting must ensure
compliance with federal and state laws and State Board Policies governing
Alternative school placement shall be for, but not limited to, the following
categories of compulsory school age students;
a. whose presence in the classroom is a
disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the
best interest and welfare of the students and teacher;
b. who has been suspended for more than ten
(10) days or expelled from school, except for any student expelled for
possession of a weapon or other felonious acts;
c. who are referred by the dispositive order
of a chancellor or youth court judge, with the consent of the school district's
d. who has been
referred by the parent, legal guardian or custodian of such child due to
disciplinary problems (37-13-92).
23. The removal of a student to an
alternative education program shall include a process of educational review to
develop the student's individual instruction plan.
24. Alternative school placement shall be
determined individually on a case-by-case basis and applied consistently.
25. School districts are without
discretion to establish categories or classes of offenses for which the penalty
is total removal from the school setting. Thus, unless a child has been
suspended or expelled from school for possession of a weapon or other felonious
conduct, the student must be assigned to the alternative school for that school
district. The district is cautioned not to have policies that remove students
from the traditional school setting to an alternative school setting for minor
infractions. If the acts of a student, although not rising to the level of a
felony, are such that the student poses a threat to the safety of himself or
others or will disrupt the educational process at the alternative school, the
school district is not required to admit the student into the alternative